Issue: Volume: 22 Issue: 12 (December 1999)


Win InCADplus technology from Algor Inc. enables engineers to transfer solid model data seamlessly from Mechanical Desktop 3.0. The product has an interface that connects the company's entire range of FEA capabilities, including advanced mechanical event simulation, directly to Autodesk's Mechanical Desktop. The menu selection "ALGOR: Algor Mesh" in Mechanical Desktop launches Alsor's CAD solid model interface, enabling engineers to view their entire model prior to FEA surface meshing. (Pittsburgh, PA; 412-967-2700;

Win For maintaining levels of precision and topologies when solid models are moved between CAD systems, Trans 3D version 1.7 from Coretech International can convert even the largest complex models while preserving the semantic integrity of the data. This includes transferring the assembly structure with new options for automatic processing, improved handling of CAD files drawing layers, processing isolated entities, points, and construction lines; and conversion of object attributes such as names, graphic characteristics, and transparency/translucency/opacity. (Lyons, France; 011.33 4 72 52 30 90;

Win Among the most significant new capabilities in Anvil Express 3.0 from Manufacturing and Consulting Services Inc. is the Open 2D Mender, which is used for repairing two-dimensional CAD drawings. It heals gaps, overlaps, tangencies, redundancies, and more. The product can update and repair legacy drawings to make them mathematically accurate enough to move directly into 3D and solids. Other enhancements include the abilities to directly import AutoCAD DWG and DXF files up to and including release 14, use Visual Basic programming language to customize and run GRAPL/API programs, and drag and stretch surfaces with the mouse using the interactive surface and curve editors. Pricing starts at $1495 for the base Design Drafter and less than $14,000 for the complete CAD/CAM product line through 5-axis NC. (Scottsdale, AZ; 602-991-8700;

Win The interactive Viewpoint Digital Inc. e-Catalog offers access to the company's entire digital content archive of Premier 3D models, real-time models, texture maps, and 2D satellite imagery and motions as well as to software tools, including the Interchange 5.5 3D file translation system and plug-ins for 3D Studio Max and LightWave 3D. The CD offers full off-line capabilities for searching, browsing, and previewing categories of models simultaneously, in rendered, wireframe, or voxel mode. The free e-Catalog is fully integrated with the Viewpoint Web site to provide 24-hour content licensing and download capability. (Orem, UT; 801-229-3000;

Win Featuring the products of almost 200 manufacturers, Edition 2.5 of Thomas Publishing Company's PartSpec and PlantSpec contain hundreds of thousands of CAD drawings, many generated parametrically, as well as product information for designers and engineers in several industries. PartSpec features 149 manufacturers, including 53 with new or updated data, while PlantSpec features 47 manufacturers, with 14 offering new or updated information. The titles are now AutoCAD 2000 compatible. A "Sequence of Selections" feature enables users to go back and selectively modify parameters they have previously entered for a part and generate a new drawing of a differ ent part from the same product line. The CDs are available free to qualifying professionals (New York, NY; 212-290-7277)

Win With Animo Production Tracker from Cambridge Animation, production studios can use the Internet, intranets, and internal networks to track every aspect of a production cycle. The software is fully integrated with Animo. Calculations from raw data, such as total number of scanned and painted frames done in Animo or other programs, are automatically stored in a standard database, which interacts with Animo Production Tracker. The product provides status reports of what was done on Animo tasks as well as data about work performed outside the computer, such as animation drawing, clean-up, and checking. A detailed record of what was done, by whom, and how long it took is collected and can be transferred to a standard spreadsheet program. (Cambridge, UK; 919-481-4599)

Win Unica from Motek Motion Technology is a Web-based product for deploying professionally captured movement in mainstream creative projects. Users can export the motion capture data into a range of professional 3D packages, including Softimage and 3D Studio Max. The product draws on a proprietary 1.5-terabyte catalog of motion-capture data compiled over the last eight years. (Manchester, NH; 603-641-1300;

Win/Mac/Unix Electric Image: Universe from Play Inc. introduces new capabilities to the Electric Image system, such as hybrid surface/solid modeling, real-time 3D video tracing and digital backlot technology as well as a sophisticated ray tracing engine, a deeper animation tool set, and the ability to directly save Trinity effects file formats. Additionally, Universe has an improved interface designed to take advantage of natural workflow processes with tear-off tool palettes, custom layouts, context-sensitive menu systems, and user-created tool palettes. (Rancho Cordova, CA; 916-851-0800;

Win A shader package from bhodiNUT for Cinema 4D SE and XL, Smells Like Almonds contains 42 procedural shader engines with more than 200 presets. Users can make attenuated reflections, translucent objects, weathered surfaces, brushed and tooled metals, and volumetric wood look realistic. Each shader offers up to 40 variable parameters. (Thousand Oaks, CA; 805-494-0718;

Win Version 9.0 of Avid Technology's Media Composer offline/online nonlinear editing system includes dual streams of uncompressed ITU-R 601 video for online editing directly within the Media Composer environment at uncompressed video resolutions. Increased productivity and collaboration features include the ExpertRender mode, chromakey support, keyframable color effects, and soft-edge drop shadows on titles. The Universal Offline editing option enables 24P offline editing for creating frame-accurate cutlists and 24P HD EDLs, while working seamlessly with the Avid Symphony Universal Mastering systems capabilities via Total Conform. (Tewksbury, MA; 978-640-3541;

Win Designed for CAD/CAM professionals and serious gamers alike, the Cold-Fusion desktop computing system from SYS Technology teams the Athlon (K7) processor from AMD with a built-in KryoTech cooling system to achieve an operating speed of 800MHz. Athlon boasts a 200MHz Alpha EV6 system bus, a 128K on-chip L1 cache, and a 512KB standard L2 cache, scalable to 8MB. In its standard configuration, the system comes with 128MB of RAM, a 9.1GB 7200rpm hard drive, Asus TNT 2, a 19-inch monitor, Creative Labs Live Value sound card, and a 56 V.90 WinModem with voice capabilities. (Cypress, CA; 714-821-3900;

Win/Mac A super-bright industrial-grade D-ILA projector, the G4000 from Hughes-JVC utilizes a 1600W Xenon arc lamp that features a specially designed compound reflector that results in 4000 ANSI lumens of brightness on screens up to 40 feet wide. With a contrast ratio greater than 350:1, video resolution of 1000 TV lines, and graphics resolution of 1365x1024, the unit is intended for demanding large-venue applications. The price is $59,995. The company also offers the model G1500, which delivers high-brightness, high-quality pictures on a 35-foot-wide screen.This model is available with either a zoom lens or a special fixed-focal-length lens that features a vertically adjustable offset. The price is $18,995. (Carlsbad, CA; 760-929-5300;

Win/Mac Geared for graphics professionals and high-end photo enthusiasts the BJC-8200 Color Bubble Jet photo printer from Canon Computer Systems produces 1200x1200 dot-per-inch prints at a cost of approximately $1.50 for each 8x10-inch photo print, including ink and photo paper. The printer's Advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology creates a four-picoliter droplet. The star-shaped printhead nozzle design enables the ink to be center-weighted and therefore ejected in a controlled straight line to appear as a perfectly round droplet on the page. The BJC-8200 Color Bubble Jet printer includes the Canon Creative Photo CD-ROM, which comes with Adobe Systems' PhotoDeluxe software. The price for the printer is $399. (Costa Mesa, CA; 800-652-2666;

Win/Mac/Linux A free online application, GIFWorks 3.0 from Andover.Net enables Web builders to select, process, and create animations online using a standard Web browser. Twenty new visual effects such as chalk, emboss, oil paint, and water color, as well as a number of new editing tools are featured in this release. New GIFWorks editing tools include insert text, smart crop, replace color, add/remove transparency, and optimize to a "Web safe" palette. (Acton, MA; 978-635-5300;