Because ET Shade is new to the English-speaking market, it's difficult to assign it a niche here as yet. In Japan, the product is used for both entertainment and CAD applications. Since ET Shade also runs on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems, it's tempting to compare it to autodesssys's formZ solid and surface modeler, at least in terms of versatility. But ETShade's modeling technology differs from that of most other packages because it is based on Bezier curves. And ETShade also offers rendering and animation features that might put it more on a par with some of the professional-level/high-end hobbyist packages such as Maxon Computer's Cinema 4D, Caligari's trueSpace, or even Discreet's 3ds max.
|Image courtesy Shade 3D Data Collection (Toilet/Bath of Inax).|
In terms of rendering, ETShade supports scanline, raytracing, and radiosity, in addition to other varieties. Network rendering is supported, and animation is done using keyframing, inverse kinematics, or a variety of other options.
The software supports scripting and a plug-in interface. Because Shade has been around for a while, a substantial number of plug-ins are available for it, including ones for particles, text, and lens flares.
ETShade runs on Windows 98/NT/ME/2000 or Mac OS 8.1 to 9.0 systems with a minimum of 64mb of RAM. Shade costs $1399, and is currently being offered to ArchiCAD users at a special price of $980. (ExpressionTools; www.expressiontools.com)-JD