Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 6 (June 2000)

LETTERS - 6/00

At RT Viz, we are building specialized dedicated hardware for volume graphics. Software will never be fast enough for real-time volume rendering, which RT Viz defines as 30 frames per second on a 256-cubed data set, minimum. By next year, the definition doubles.

Our company's value proposition is real-time volume rendering on large data sets, with no compromised image quality, at PC price points. We believe it takes dedicated hardware to accomplish the goal of affordable real-time volume rendering with superior image quality-not software, not polygon surface rendering, not expensive proprietary systems, and not academic research projects that never make it to market.

Steve Sandy
Vice President of Marketing
Real Time Visualization - Mitsubishi
Sunnyvale, CA

I agree that RT Viz's Volume Pro board for the PC is a quality product, and I have often extolled the virtues of dedicated hardware for volume rendering. But as a technology journalist, I am committed to reporting on the range of tools and techniques being developed for a given application. I disagree that there's no room for software-based approaches in the volume-rendering arena. Ultimately, I think the best volume-rendering solution will incorporate an integrated software/hardware approach.

In terms of the academic research proj ects covered in Tech Watch, the goal of researchers is to plant seeds in the minds of industry. Often, the techniques and tools being developed in academic and corporate research labs do make it to market in some way, shape, or form. In other cases, pieces of research are picked up and explored by other researchers or vendors. At the very least (or most, depending on your perspective), the research efforts spawn discussion and debate about the technology's potential.

Diana Phillips Mahoney
Chief Technology Editor

I am an architectural/engineering design visualization illustrator and currently the chairman of a worldwide group of visualization artists that use Bentley Systems' MicroStation for modeling. I have been involved with A/E visualization for nearly 11 years. I am also a faithful reader of Computer Graphics World, and have a question regarding the magazine. I have noticed in the past year a handful of articles about AutoCAD, as well as some of the rendering packages that are related to the AutoCAD design software. However, I have never seen any articles about Mic roStation, or its rendering and animation capabilities, which, as a MicroStation user and visualization professional, I find some what disappointing. It is my opinion that MicroStation is far superior to Auto CAD in many areas, including modeling and visualization.

Ray Dwyer
TMC Visualization SIG

As you point out, a product such as MicroStation merits closer editorial attention. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for new developments with regard to it.

Your article on innovative interfaces on pg. 39 of the February 2000 issue was a breath of fresh air. I agree wholeheartedly that interface development has failed to keep up with content development. What we are seeing in computer technology these days is the equivalent of Formula One V10 racing engines being put into Model T chassis. My particular focus is on Linux, and the unfortunate direction this desktop environment is going-down the Windows clone highway. Developers are wasting an opportunity to enhance a rising star with a new and completely different GUI based on the amazing 3D images that are now around. Instead, they're creating more boring renditions of taskbars and icons. I suspect these developers are still locked in the previous century and that they don't read Computer Graphics World. Please do more articles like this one. You have a great magazine that offers quality instead of quantity.

Brian W Moyse
City Of Christchurch
New Zealand

We welcome any insights you have to offer that would further our readers' understanding of topics discussed in this issue, or that concern the computer graphics industry in general. We may edit your comments to conform to our style and space requirements.
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