Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 7 (July 2000)

SIGGRAPH 2000




For more information, see www.siggraph.org






MODELING & ANIMATION

Win Reflex Drama from Reflex Systems represents the convergence of ideas from bio-mechanics, symbolic programming, and 3D graphics used in the entertainment industry. The software offers fast visual human modeling through the company's patent-pending Reflex-DNA sequencing technology. The musculo-skeleton engine provides automatic regeneration of internal bones, cartilage, muscle, fat, and skin layers. The resolution-independent single skin technology enables skin to be generated on demand at any resolution as a network of NURBS or polygons. The facial expression controller uses direct simulation facial muscles sliding on bones and other muscles. The product is scheduled to ship in December. Price: $25,000. (Montreal, Quebec; 514-985-0695; www.reflex3d.com)
Booth 461

Win New from Alias|Wavefront, Maya 3 professional 3D software now includes Trax nonlinear animation. This version also includes enhancements to Maya Builder, Maya Complete, and Maya Unlimited. Additionally, Maya's Paint Effects technology can be used as a plug-in to Adobe After Effects and Maya Fusion. (Toronto, Ontario; 503-225-0725; www.aliaswavefront.com)
Booth 1219

Win Toon Boom Technologies' USAnimation V5 software now supports the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format. The software enables users to export static animation frames and render Macromedia Flash movies and stream them over the Web. New modules for V5 include LightTable and LineTest. The LightTable module introduces the concept of a virtual animation studio while the LineTest module enables artists to preview their animation in real time. (Montreal, Quebec; 514-278-8666; www.toonboom.com)
Booth 729

Win Designed around a solid body dynamic simulation in which all forces such as gravity, impacts from weapons, character interactions, and collision detection are handled automatically by the software, GameBlender from Not a Number B.V. enables users to create 3D worlds and real-time interactive 3D animations that can be transported over the Internet. The product features a versatile animation system, contemporary modeling principles, advanced rendering tools, deformation tools, Inverse Kinematics, and an editor for post production. (Amsterdam; 0044 207 821 5811; www.blender.nl)
Booth 1741

Win/Mac/Unix Play's Electric Image: Universe includes a deeper tool set for its hybrid surface/solid modeler and animation system, real-time 3D video tracing and digital backlot technology. The product also boasts a sophisticated raytracing engine and the ability to directly save Trinity effects file formats. The software offers 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. The company also offers the HoloSet chroma-keying system, which can reduce the costs, creative limitations and technical difficulties associated with conventional blue/green screen effects. (Rancho Cordova, CA; 916-851-0800; www.play.com)
Booth 819

Win CTP 2D animation software from Crater Software now supports HDTV resolution. Users can choose between the 1280x720 resolution (at 24, 30 or 60 fps) and the 1920x1080 resolution (at 24, 30 or 60 fps). Users can still enter values to obtain specific resolutions for other film and broadcast formats. Animators acquire their original drawings via scanner, video input, or from a computer-generated file, and the artwork is placed into CTP for inking and painting the cartoon cels. The layers are then animated under a virtual animation camera, to create pans, zooms, and rotations on the animation layers, as well as animated transparencies and blur effects. Once all layers are animated under the virtual camera, they are composited and output directly to video or onto a storage media for transfer onto film. Price is $2995. (Montreal, Quebec; 514-284-7771; www.cratersoftware.com)
Booth 327

Mac ZBrush from Pixologic is a painting application with a 3D-like rendering engine. Artists are able to 'paint' not only the color desired, but also apply material and depth information all in the same brush stroke. With the inclusion of lights and object modeling tools, users can create images that would have taken much longer to create previously. Artists can use 3D objects and have them incorporated into the drawing. Use any of the primitive objects that are supplied, or create new objects and sculpt them to a desired shape. Smart pixels, called Pixols, retain color, material and depth information. (Los Angeles; 213-748-0990; www.pixologic.com)
Booth 1453

Win Deep Paint 3D from Right Hemisphere provides designers with authentic artistic media-such as oils, watercolors, crayons, and pastels-that can be brushed directly onto 3D models. With a single stroke, the product paints complete material or shader definitions and can be used to brush surface textures, such as skins or woods, directly onto objects. Other features include multi-layer support for bump, color, shine, opacity, and glow channels; 3D masking and selection tools, including a 3D polygon selection tool; full NURBS support for 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage, and more. (Bellingham, WA; 360-738-7840; www.righthemisphere.com)
Booth 1078

Win Project:messiah is a professional software package created from the ground up to revolutionize the art of 3D character animation. It is the product of collaboration between CGI veterans Dan Milling, Lyle Milton, and Fori Owurowa. The product's speed and ease of use make it geared for the way artists and filmmakers actually work. (Playa Del Rey, CA; 310-342-0077; www.projectmessiah.com)
Booth 238

Win The RenderPipe for Maya plug-in for RenderDrive from Advanced Rendering Technology provides users with tightly integrated control and access to RenderDrive's rendering features, including high-quality, ultra-fast ray tracing, area lights, depth of field, access to RenderMan shaders and physically accurate materials libraries from within the Maya application. The product is scheduled to ship in Q3 2000. (Mountain View, CA; 650-254-7610; www.art-render.com)
Booth 1341

Win/Mac New from Discreet, Combustion is a paint and 3D compositing solution for content creation designers, compositors, and visual effects artists. The company offers an innovative 3D character animation technology with a new release of Character Studio. Neptune is the company's code-named Internet product initiative for desktop content creation and Web streaming. (Montreal, Quebec; 514-393-1616; www.discreet.com)
Booth 1037

Win ArchVision's RPC image-rendering technology makes it easy to add complex objects such as people and trees. The product offers plug-in support for 3D Studio, LightWave, Maya and Photoshop. Several new content libraries, including the Motion RPC collections, have been added. (Lexington, KY; 859-252-3118)
Booth 1467

Win New features in Kaydara's Filmbox v2.7 include real-time animation triggering, improved motion blending and re-targeting tools, and Macromedia Flash export. The product is designed for game developers and animators doing high-volume animation for games or weekly teleseries, and provides a complete suite of character animation and motion capture manipulation tools. (Portland, OR; 503-796-9822; www.kaydara.com)
Booth 3105

Win ShadeTree from Cinema Graphics is an interactive authoring tool that enables non-programmers to create and edit shaders for RenderMan, BMRT, or Mental Ray rendering software. The newest version supports Side Effects' Houdini Mantra VEX and RenderDotC from DotC Software. The price is $5000. (Chatsworth, CA; 818-718-6320)
Booth 1529

Win Orchestrate 3D (O3D) from Improv Technologies is a non-linear production system for creating and managing 3D animations. Animators can cut, paste, drag and drop, layer, blend, and sequence animations in a non-destructive timeline-based editing environment. Libraries of key frame, motion capture data and procedural animation can be combined and used interchangeably to create a variety of original content. (New York; 212-725-4590; www.improv-tech.com)
Booth 2403

Win FreeForm Version 2 from SensAble Technologies enables users to model on the computer using their sense of touch. This version offers improved, more realistic "soft clay" sculpting modes as well as a more interactive smoothing tool for removing unwanted marks and surface roughness. 2D conceptual work can be brought in as reference images or geometry used directly for model creation. Engineered parts can be imported from CAD systems as basic shapes to be refined or as "no fly zones" that modelers can't violate. OBJ export helps downstream workflow for D.C.C. and product visualization/rendering. A new decimation toolkit reduces model file size while holding detail in areas where it is most needed. (Woburn, MA; 781-937-8315; www.sensable.com)
Booth 1917

Win Animo 3 from Cambridge Animation Systems is embedded with a 3D structure or "harness" that enables users to work with the company's Scene III plug-in, which reads model and scene files from Kinetix's 3D Studio MAX and Alias/Wavefront's Maya. Interface improvements include tabbed windows for easier access to scene-graph, X-sheet and other modules. The product also features local output from Animo Director without needing to access the batch system and Epson scanner support. Pricing starts at $10,000. Scene III is available for $4125. (Cambridge, England; +44 01223 488200/578100; www.cam-ani.co.uk)
Booth 1080

Win Digital NatureTools v3.0 for Maya, from Arete Entertainment, includes a new liquid shader along with enhancements to Psunami and Psyclone. P_Liquid is a shader that generates photo-real, full-motion liquid surfaces directly from Maya particles. At render time P_Liquid generates an implicit liquid surface and couples with the Maya raytracer to image both reflections and refractions of other Maya objects through the P_Liquid surface. Psunami now offers an ocean polygonal mesh that gives users full control over the number of polygons in the ocean surface. An advanced optic shader in Psyclone allows full control of volumetric lighting properties such as self-shadowing, visibility and specular highlights. The Digital NatureTools Plus Pack, which includes Psyclone, Psunami, P_Liquid and RenderWorld, costs $2295. (Sherman Oaks, CA; 818-501-1045; www. areteis.com)
Booth 2944

Win/Mac Animation Master Millennium from Hash offers Hash patches, reusable motion libraries, materials and more. The product's theme is "physical simulation," which includes such developments as cloth, soft body dynamics, and post effects. The price is $299. (Vancouver, WA; 360-750-0042; www.hash.com)
Booth 1635

Win/Linux Jig 1.0 from Steamboat Software offers a comprehensive solution for rendering traditional geometry as well as photorealistic hair, volumes and particles. The product is designed to be scalable, performing well on modest workstations as well as large rendering systems. (Los Angeles; 323-665-0454; www.steamboat-software.com)
Booth 2523

DESIGN ENGINEERING

Win New from Raindrop Geomagic, Geomagic Studio 3.0 incorporates the principles of digital duplication-automatically converting physical models into digital form for rapid surfacing and reverse engineering-and digital inventory-preserving solid objects in digital form. New features include automatic edge sharpening, template-based model creation, primitive identification and segmentation, curvature-based hole filling and parting line and draft checking. The price is $19,995. (Research Triangle Park, NC; 919-474-0129)
Booth 519

Win SMLib Release 2.5 from Solid Modeling Solutions features non-manifold sweeping: A point, curve or face can be used to sweep to the next dimension whereby a face of a solid is used to create a new region sharing the same face. Other new features include shelling, mass properties, and a variety of improvements to the Merge process resulting in speed improvements up to 10 times. The product is released as C and C++ source code. A product license costs $2000/month for internal use at one site or $2500/month for use at one development site with unlimited external distribution rights for the resultant applications without payment of any per seat royalty fees. (Bellevue, WA; 206-463-1417; www.smlib.com)
Booth 539

MULTIMEDIA/VIDEO EDITING

Win Designed for use in high-end graphics, effects, video, and electronic film production, the high-definition WSD/HD from Accom Inc. is an uncompressed digital video storage device that can record and play high-definition and standard definition television formats. The unit records and plays 1080/720-line HD and ITU/R.BT-601 SD formats, and supports 24P, 30P, and 50i/60i formats. Any QuickTime-compliant graphics or effects application can seamlessly access and work with WSD/HD video and audio clips. (Menlo Park, CA; 650-328-3818; www.accom.com/HD)
Booth 2129

Win/Mac/Unix New from MediaFORM, cdDIRECTOR is an advanced network-enabled disc-on-demand CD-R production system. The product comes with software that enables the user to design the CD artwork for "direct to CD" in-line printing, CD mastering, and job maintenance. While no other software is needed, the product provides an API for customization. Through the use of Microsoft NT, the product can readily attach to virtually any network. Multiple users on a network can utilize the product to generate CDs. Each unit is equipped with six 8x CD-recorders capable of running six different jobs at a time. The model 3706NT is priced at $32,500. Other network-attached models, while not shareable between users, include models 3703T and 3703I, priced at $8695 without printer. (Exton, PA; 610-458-9200; www.mediaform.com)
Booth 2516

Win Available in Q3 2000, three effects libraries will be offered to Matrox RT2000 owners. Realtime 3D particle effects include explosions, shatters and shaped cut outs that are controlled by real-world attributes such as gravity and dispersion. The advanced 3D environment-mapped bump-mapping capability of the Millennium G400 graphics chip that is built into RT2000 provides an unlimited variety of realtime distortion filters. Shimmers, waves, bevels, shower door effects, and others can be applied to video and graphics in realtime without rendering. The Inscriber EffectsPak I gives video editors more than 300 realtime effects in the following categories: carpet rolls, flips and flops, blinds, shatters, sphero-wraps, and 3D geometry folds such as paper airplane and envelopes. (Dorval, Quebec; 800-361-4903; www.matrox.com/video)
Booth 6514

Win/Mac New from Boris FX, Boris Red version 2.0 includes vector-based paint tools that allow the user to created animated graphics for use in video projects and export the same animation to Flash for simultaneous Web distribution. The product supports systems from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Canopus, Discreet, DPS, Fast, InSync, Incite, Media 100, Panasonic, Sony, Ulead and United Media. The product is a resolution-independent 3D compositing and title effects plug-in suite. (Boston; 617-451-9900; www.borisfx.com)
Booth 3045

Web Authoring Tools

Win/Mac Instant Community from Blaxxun Interactive is off-the-shelf media-rich software that enables companies to extend their Web sites into virtual communities. Companies can offer both 2D and 3D chat interfaces simultaneously. For maximum performance and an immersive experience, users can run the client interface in a 3D environment using a plug-in that downloads to the member's computer. The package also contains authoring tools such as Place Builder and blaxxun Avatar Studio. Standard pricing is $7500 per 50 concurrent users and domain. (San Francisco; 415-437-6160; www.blaxxun.com)
Booth 2309

MISCELLANEOUS

Win/Mac/Unix With the Magma API from ReachIn Technologies developers are offered a modern and powerful tools that enables them to develop applications where the users can touch and interact with 3D objects. The API provides integration of haptic and graphic rendering. The US price for a research license is $5950. (Sweden; +46 8 222060; www.reachin.se)
Booth 2745

Win glAnalyze Pro from 3D Pipeline is a hardware-accelerated OpenGL reverse engineering and application analysis tool that gives users real-time access to behind-the-scenes details of any OpenGL application without requiring access to the source code. The product reveals the geometry, texture statistics, state changes and hidden optimizations at work in any OpenGL application. It offers multiple options in setting breakpoints, profiling OpenGL calls (with their durations) and logging the results. The product consists of an OpenGL32 dll, a program for pipeline control and data flow interception, and a log file playback application. The price is $695. (La Jolla, CA; 858-551-5493; www.3dpipeline.com)
Booth 1280

Win/Mac/Unix Users of VIP 1.3 from Research Systems can graphically create, modify and run sophisticated, graphics-intensive programs without writing a single line of code. Users access an intuitive interface where they select and connect nodes and run programs. New features include code generation capabilities, enhanced node capabilities, additional object nodes, more intuitive node appearance, improved usability features (such as snap-to-grid and directional indicators) and improved documentation. (Boulder, CO; 303-786-9900; www.rsinc.com)
Booth 2521






BOARDS

Mac The D1 Desktop 64 AV from Digital Voodoo provides powerful features such as audio capabilities for uncompressed editing with Apple's Final Cut Pro, design with Adobe After Effects, and broadcast paint with Adobe Photoshop. Price is $3995. (South Melbourne, Australia; 310-545-9731)
Booth 226

Win SBS Technologies Inc. offers six high-speed, processor-efficient dataBlizzard computer communications interfaces for PCI, CompactPCI and PMC systems. The product moves data from any system memory or PCI memory location in one system to a memory location in the other system. The DMA engine provides sustained data transfer rates of 80 MB/s. Each kit costs $4700 and includes two cards, a 10-meter fiber-optic cable, software drivers, and a manual. Individual dataBLIZZARD cards cost $2350 each. (St. Paul, MN; 651-905-4700; www.sbs-cp.com)
Booth 3207

DISPLAYS

Win/Mac/Unix The RC3300W is the newest member of SGI's range of Reality Centers. This wall-spanning immersive display brings the power of group collaboration and accelerated decision-making to companies at a low price point. The company also offers Visual Serving technology, which makes it possible to bring the power of high-end Onyx graphics systems to any desktop anywhere in an organization-removing the need for users to be stationed at the Onyx console. (Mountain View, CA; 650-933-3938; www.sgi.com)
Booth 1019

Win/Mac/Unix The Barco Reality 909 is an ultra-high resolution digital projector that is capable of projecting 1600x1200 pixels in stereo mode or at 3200x2560 in mono. The company also offers the Relocatable Reality Center, based on the BR909. This three-channel 150-degree horizontal field of view curved-screen display system presents clarity and high resolution from a large-format immersive projection environment. Another product, the Sim6 dual-LCD projection system, automatically converts in real time an active stereo signal into two signals for passive stereo projection. (Kennesaw, GA; 770-218-3278; www.barco.com)
Booth 642

INPUT/OUTPUT

Win 3Scan 2.0 from Geometrix is a 3D capture system that generates ready-to-use, fully textured 3D object models in minutes, regardless of object complexity. The product combines the complete automation of video scanning with the sub-millimeter geometric accuracy of Dynamic Laser Scanning. This video scanning technique acquires many images of a physical object rotating on a computer-controlled turntable, then automatically processes the images into a complete 3D model. Algorithms ensure a seamless mesh without holes or gaps, plus UV-mapped textures. The scanner outputs 3D file formats, including VRML 2.0, 3DS, DXF, and OBJ at accuracy levels to +/-0.5mm. Price is $7495. (San Jose, CA; 408-999-7499; www.geometrix.com)
Booth 2436

Win 3D-Bird from Ascension Technology is a non-magnetic tracker that measures orientation angles without range limitation or line-of-sight restrictions. It is designed for tracking headsets for use in simulators and virtual environments. The product's patented technology makes up to 160 measurements per second and outputs orientation angles to a host computer. The company also offers the laserBIRD optical motion tracker, with sub-millimeter accuracy, as an alternative for tracking in environments unsuited to magnetic, inertial or acoustic trackers. (Burlington, VT; 802-893-6657; www.ascension-tech.com)
Booth 2329

Win The Visualeyez VZ2000 motion and position-sensing unit from Phoenix Technologies Inc. can capture a full body motion capture session with a single sensor unit at 2400 Hz with no user calibration. All data acquired by the sensor unit is instantaneously displayed on-screen via VZSoft on a connected workstation. The application enables the user to alter and export data to all leading animation packages. Pricing ranges from $49,000 to $70,000. (Vancouver, British Columbia; 604-321-3238; www.ptiphoenix.com)
Booth 2835

STORAGE

Win/Mac/Unix Designed for data-intensive networks, the Exabyte 430 MammothTape library accommodates up to 4 M2 tape drives and 30 data cartridges and offers the ability to conduct unattended operations for more than 10 hours. The operator interface guides users through library and drive status, diagnostics, and help functions. The unit occupies five rack units and two cubic feet. Other features include Ethernet connectivity, pluggable interface options, removable data cartridge magazines, barcode capability, entry/exit port, and field-upgradeable tape drives. (Boulder, CO; 303-442-4333; www.exabyte.com)
Booth 1641

SYSTEMS

Unix The SGI Octane2 visual workstation combines the next-generation VPro 3D graphics system (which features 104MB texture memory capacity), the latest high-performance MIPS processor, and industry-leading system bandwidth, according to the company. Other features include hardware-accelerated per-pixel lighting, 48-bit (12-bit per component) RGBA, 96-bit hardware-accelerated accumulation buffer for depth of field, full-scene anti-aliasing, motion blurs, and other effects, perspective-correct textures and colors, and high-performance hardware clipping. Two versions are offered. The V8 version with 128MB of graphics memory, 400MHz MIPS R12000 CPU, 256MB system memory, and 9GB UltraSCSI system disk is priced from $24,995. The V6, with 32MB of graphics memory, 400MHz MIPS R12000 CPU, 256MB system memory, and 9GB UltraSCSI system disk, is priced from $19,995. (Mountain View, CA; 650-933-3938; www.sgi.com)
Booth 1019

Win/Linux The SGI 230, 330, and 550 workstations accelerate OpenGL graphics functions such as hardware transform and lighting, texture mapping, and anti-aliasing, allowing users to bring increased realism to 3D models. The systems are based on Intel Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon processors and have been certified for the Windows NT 4.0 and Red Hat Linux 6.1 operating systems. VPro graphics on these workstations offers up to 64MB of high-speed double data rate graphics memory. The systems deliver geometry performance over 17 million triangles per second and up to 540 megapixels per second. Pricing starts at $2725. (Mountain View, CA; 650-933-3938; www.sgi.com)
Booth 1019
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