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

Products - 6/00




DESIGN ENGINEERING

Win With its 3D annotation and organizational tools, I-deas 8 from SDRC enables companies to effectively eliminate the 2D drawing documentation process. The capabilities behind documenting and manufacturing a 3D digital prototype include support of standard documentation symbols. Users have a digital workspace for organizing product information for communication or in support of downstream operations such as inspection, manufacturing, or purchasing. Web entry enables secure access to product structure data and geometry through a standard Web browser. 3dDocCom provides the ability to document and communicate all manufacturing information in 3D. The price is unavailable. (Milford, OH; 513-576-2400; www.SDRC.com)




Win Version 4.0 of SmarTeam software from SmarTeam features a new PDM-to-ERP product called SmartERP and new distributed database capabilities. This version also delivers advanced tools for Web collaboration, usability improvements, and an easy PDM package for design-centric workgroups that need a simple tool to manage the product development lifecycle and its related documentation. Users can attach hyperlinks to any of the product data being managed, giving them the ability to link to any URL for additional information. The price is unavailable. (Beverly, MA; 978-524-1950; www.smarteam .com)

Win Major enhancements in version 4.5 of ArtCAM from Delcam International include tools for interactive surface smoothing, plus the ability to create organic surface shapes by sweeping vector cross-sections along pairs of lines or rails. The software can now import CAD files from conventional design systems. The product creates 3D relief models, rather than true 3D objects, and these can be CNC machined. This version provides a direct interface for the Picza 3D digitizer from Roland Digital. The price is $7500. (Windsor, Ontario; 519-974-8088; www.delcam.com)

Win Among the more than 200 enhancements in Inventor Release 2 from Autodesk are rich Web-based tools that provide interactive collaboration between designers. Design information can be leveraged by more non-engineering-based groups-such as purchasing, manufacturing, and sales-at any time, from any place in the world. New assembly design tools include restructure assembly, replace part, dynamic constraint creation, pattern part in assemblies, cross-part terminations, and split part. The price is unavailable. (San Rafael, CA; 800-964-6432; www.autodesk.com)

Win QuickCompare from Cimatron mathematically compares two sets of surface data that represent different versions of the same part. The software identifies the geometrical differences between the two sets, graphically marks these differences, and documents the changes in the CAD file. Tool designers can update related components and tooling, while archiving the engineering changes. The price is unavailable. (Livonia, MI; 734-432-6600; www.cimatron.com)

MODELING AND ANIMATION

Win Improvements incorporated into Version 5 of World Construction Set, 3D Nature's photorealistic terrain modeling, visualization, rendering, and animation software, include easier import of more types of data, including Bryce, NED, Terragen, and SDTS DEMs and 3D shape files. Users can view projects with improved and expanded OpenGL previews, and enhance skies, shadows, and clouds with star fields and volumetric atmospheres. Placing vegetation and 3D objects, including unlimited numbers of color maps, is easier and more flexible. The price is $940. (Arvada, CO; 303-659-4028; www.3DNature.com)




Win/Mac Both productivity-enhancing tools and creativity additions are offered in DigiEffects' Delirium for Adobe After Effects. The product comprises three categories of effects: particle-based simulations of real-world events like fire and snow, effects that generate graphic elements for designers, including Nexus and Visual Harmonizer, and production tools like framing gradients. The price is $695. (Austin, TX; 512-306-0779; www.digieffects.com)

Win Version 1.5 of FamousFaces from Famous Technologies includes support for NURBS and the ability to generate streaming animation files. With this software, users can animate dialog and facial expressions based on an actor's performance. The resulting animation offers lifelike movement and lip-synced audio. This version is expected to be available in the second quarter at a cost of $4990. (San Francisco; 415-835-9445; www.famoustech.com)

Win TalkBack is the run-time version of the LipSinc SDK, and enables developers of games, animation tools, motion capture applications, e-commerce sites, intelligent agents, and educational and training applications to incorporate the high-quality version of the company's voiceDSP analysis engine directly into a Web-based application. The product's proprietary core analysis and content-generation engine takes spoken human and synthesized speech and user-selectable actions to create character-driven content. The price is unavailable. (Cary, NC; 919-468-7005; www.lipsinc.com)

Win Texture Weapons from Right Hemisphere is a set of texturing and painting tools for Deep Paint 3D that offers enhanced productivity and distortion-free UV mapping for game developers and professional 3D artists. The software includes MercatorUV technology, a set of functions for automatic and manual UV map editing of complex 3D polygonal models. The projection paint feature enables a user to paint from any position in 3D space through an unlimited number of different planar projections with brush and texture size unaffected by UV coordinate variations. The price is $495. (Bellingham, WA; 360-738-7940; www.righthemisphere.com)

Win Version 2 of Maya Fusion from Alias|Wavefront makes the product features easier to access via an advanced user interface technology known as Maya Marking Menus. The new Maya TimeSlider enables several time-related parameters to be viewed and edited simultaneously. Other new features include UI navigation, space bar toggle, UI tabs, image data streaming, dynamic tracking, and fringe color correction. The price is $5000. Current Maya Fusion owners receive the upgrade free. (Toronto, Ontario; 416-362-9181; www.aliaswavefront.com)

Win Artists and editors who use Toonz DS 1.0 from Digital Video can work on 2D animation from within the Softimage/DS software. Artists use the same scan and cleanup stand-alone utilities to input line drawings and then work with the Softimage/DS system, painting Toonz animated layers using Inknpaint, creating exposure sheets using Xsheet, and animating painted cells with the Camera Stand. The plug-in is shipped with every Softimage/DS 3.01 boxed set. (Montreal, Quebec; 514-840-0299; www.softimage.com)

Win A plug-in for use with Play's Electric Image 3D animation system, Anvil Steamroller from TripleDTools generates geometry-based templates for texturing, which enable the user to line up details perfectly within models. The template files offer control over the construction of accurate texture maps. The product offers comprehensive documentation and a tutorial to ensure that novice users can begin work immediately. The price is $129. (Albuquerque, NM; 505-332-3332; www.tripledtools.com)

Win Swift 3D from Electric Rain enables designers to create or import 3D images and animations for export to the Macromedia Flash file format. Users have control over the extrusion, rotation, coloring, and animation of 3D images. Pre-built drag-and-drop animations and keyframe animation enable users to apply motion to new or imported images. The price is unavailable. (Boulder, CO; 303-543-8233; www.erain.com)

Win Mimic 1.0 from LipSinc enables users to automatically create realistic lip-synching and facial animation with MetaCreations' Poser software. Users load in a sound file, add text to enhance the output (if they wish), and the software automatically outputs the precise corresponding mouth, jaw, and lip positions. Speech F/X technology enables Poser users to generate head, eye, eyebrow, and eye-blink movements that are appropriate to a character's dialog. The price is $195. (Cary, NC; 919-468-7005; www.LIPSinc.com)

WEB AUTHORING TOOLS

Win/Mac Adobe GoLive 5.0 introduces numerous innovations, including an on-board interactive editor that enables control over any Web design source code, as well as site planning and management, asset check in and out through WebDAV support, and smart links that provide drag-and-drop object sharing with other Adobe products. Advanced functionality such as dynamic linking simplifies the incorporation of dynamic database and e-commerce capabilities. Additional features improve collaboration between coders and designers. The price is $299. (San Jose, CA; 650-566-2975; www.adobe.com)

LIBRARIES

Win/Mac/Unix "Seamless Textures 6-Classic Architectural Ornaments" from Marlin Studios provides a library of 325 high-resolution seamless textures. The textures represent the ornamental elements seen in various forms of classic architecture, including Gothic, Greek, and Roman. Typical textures include arches, walls, windows, doors, octagonal patterns, window box frames, and tiles. The price is $149. (Arlington, TX; 817-860-0596z; www.marlinstudios.com)






Input/Output

Win The Minolta 3D 1500 combines the company's Dimage EX digital camera with MetaCreations' MetaFlash 3D image production technology. Users can produce photorealistic 3D images that can be transmitted over the Internet and manipulated by the viewer. The user takes multiple shots of the subject, transfers the shots to the PC, then uses the MetaFlash software to stitch together the perspectives to create the model. The price is unavailable. (Osaka, Japan; www.minolta.com/dp/3d1500/)
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