Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 2 (Feb 2000)

Spotlight: Alias Maximizes Studio Tools for NT

Studio Tools 9.5 consists of StudioPaint, with real-time pencils, brushes, and airbrushes that can be used for preliminary sketches; AutoStudio, an automobile-specific design package (though not used exclusively for this purpose); and Surface Studio, a technical surfacing product for developing Class-A surfaces.

Version 9.5's integrated paint (available for the NT version only) allows users to integrate 2D and 3D designs. For example, a user can create a 3D model using preliminary 2D sketches as guides, all in the same software package. Studio Tools 9.5 also incorporates ClearCoat, a rendering technology released from SGI last year that simulates the reflective, lacquered look of an automobile finish.

Bjoern Heinekamp, a jewelery manufacturer and designer for his family's firm in Germany, is a beta user of the program. "I use StudioPaint for sketch ing and bring ing ideas to paper," he says. The program is faster than the watercolors he used to use, and besides, "Clients like to see ideas on the computer." Heine kamp then uses Auto Studio to model the jewelery, then outputs to STL for rapid prototyping. "This workflow is new for my industry," he says, "But we can now produce faster, and more predictably."

Studio Tools 9.5 is available for SGI Irix and Sun Solaris operating environments as well as Windows NT. The suite is slated to be released in the spring of 2000, at a cost yet to be announced. (Alias|Wavefront; Toronto; 416-362-9181;
-Jenny Donelan