Issue: Volume: 24 Issue: 3 (March 2001)

News - 3/01

A handful of modeling and animation packages-LightWave, Cinema 4D, and formZ, among them-have continued to be developed for the Mac over the years, but recent months have shown mounting support from hitherto disinterested quarters. Notably, Alias|Wavefront announced a Mac port last year. At MacWorld in San Francisco, the company announced more definite plans to ship Maya Complete 3 for Mac OS X in the second quarter of this year. Other vendors with plans for Mac OS X ports include Motek with its StockMoves motion-capture library, Nothing Real's Shake compositing program, Matrox's RTMac PCI video card for real-time digital video editing, Kaydara's real-time character animation system, FilmBox, and pmG's project:messiah character animation tools.

Ed Catmull, Rob Cook, and Loren Carpenter of Pixar Animation Studios have received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The award was bestowed on the basis of the team's work in developing RenderMan software, which was used in the films Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and A Bug's Life, among many others.

This month, we list the five workstation and graphics card combinations that most recently achieved the highest scores for the Design Review (DRV-07) subset of the SPECviewperf 6.1.2 benchmark. Design Review is a package tailored for reviewing plant design models consisting of piping, equipment, and various structural elements. The DRV-07 benchmark comprises five tests that represent the most common operations performed by Design Review.

The mean scores represent the combined, weighted results of the tests, measured in the number of frames per second the machines were able to execute. The larger the numbers, the better the performance.

To see how the same workstations fared in other benchmark tests, or to review results from additional systems, visit

News is written and compiled by Jenny Donelan.