Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 3 (March 2000)

SPOTLIGHT: Paraform Introduces Points-to-Polygons

The new points-to-polygons feature includes the ability to process large (in excess of 1 million points) data sets, to process multiple point clouds at once, and to complete the process locally or globally. Another noteworthy addition is scalability in terms of user expertise. The software now offers an automated approach for those with little 3D modeling experience, as well as complete control over all the options for seasoned users.

Gentle Giant Studios in Burbank, California, has used Paraform since the program's inception for creating models for films and prototypes for toys. Although Version 1.5 has just been released and the company has not yet had the chance to use the points-to-polygons feature, "We're excited about it," says technical director Steve Chapman, "because we just bought two different scanners, and we're saving about $35K [with Paraform 1.5] because the software that came with the scanners would have cost $50K."

Paraform 1.5 pricing starts at $17,000 for a package running on either Microsoft Windows NT or SGI Irix operating systems.

In addition, the company is offering the points-to-polygons functionality of the program free of charge to "qualified users" via its Web site. The free version is called Points2Polys and runs on the Windows NT platform. (Paraform; Santa Clara, CA; 408-855 4300;
-Jenny Donelan