Issue: Volume: 25 Issue: 1 (January 2002)

Products - 1/02

Design Engineering

Electronic design review
Win Using SolidWorks Corp.'s eDrawings Professional, engineers can communicate and review designs via email. But unlike with most CAD viewing and markup tools, which require that all users buy the software to mark up a design, anyone who receives an eDrawing published using eDrawings Professional can review, mark up, and measure it without having to purchase any software. The software does this by embedding a "markup pen" in the eDrawing, making it "review-enabled." Users can protect sensitive design data when creating an eDrawing by disabling the measurement feature so that others can't determine exact specifications. eDrawings Professional also includes viewing capabilities such as dynamic component translation and cross-section views. Pricing starts at $995.
SolidWorks Corp.;

A new Inventor
Win Providing users with a seamless transition from 2D to 3D is the main focus of Inventor 5 from Autodesk. New features that facilitate this include an AutoCAD DWG import and export wizard that helps users read and write AutoCAD-compatible files to and from Inventor quickly and easily. The wizard provides an interactive preview of the drawing file selected for translation, allows custom import/export of AutoCAD layers, and provides tools to help users convert this data to title blocks, borders, symbols, or new 3D designs. In addition, users who move from Autodesk's Mechanical Desktop software can migrate their 3D feature-based designs and drawings into Inventor and keep their 2D drawings. New features such as Broken Views, Dual Dimensions, Auto Dimension, and Hole Charts, along with improvements explicit to the 2D drafting environment, also ease user migration from 2D to 3D. Added features in Inventor 5 include new assembly modeling capabilities, transitional constraints, and new features for sheet metal design. Price not available.

New 4D Revit
Win The latest release of Revit Technology Corp.'s parametric building modeler, Revit 4.0, introduces the concept of time, or 4D, in that components in Revit 4.0 can now be associated with construction phases and be related to each other over time intervals. The construction and demolition of any component can be recorded in a phase, and multiple generations of phased construction documents can be created from the single parametric model. In addition, Revit 4.0 includes worksets that enable team members to work simultaneously on separate sections of a single building model. Each team member can view the entire model but edit components only within worksets they have checked out of the shared model. Changes can be saved on the fly and are available to other team members when the workset is returned to the shared model. A monthly subscription to Revit begins at $199.
Revit Technology Corp.;

Ansys simulation and analysis
Win The new Ansys 6.0 suite from Ansys features enhancements designed to provide engineers with tools for designing, testing, and verifying products under real-world conditions. For instance, a new Probabilistic Analysis Method Wizard simplifies the process of determining the appropriate probabilistic analysis method, while a Shell Section Builder eases the definition of layered composite elements. Plus, a Variable Viewer integrates time and history variables into one interface, simplifying the post-processing of these variables. Ansys 6.0 also provides v nonlinear elements to handle complex assemblies. The nonlinear capability allows analysis of stresses, temperatures, displacements, and contact pressure distributions on component and assembly designs. Products comprising the Ansys 6.0 Software Suite include Ansys/Professional, Ansys/ -Structural, Ansys/Mechanical, Ansys/Emag, Ansys/LS-Dyna, Ansys/Flotran, and Ansys/Multiphysics. Prices are not available.


Image-editing software
Win Ulead PhotoImpact 7, a new image-editing application from Ulead Systems, boasts tools for users in digital photography, image design, and Web graphics applications. Digital photography features include an Enhancer tool that automatically improves overall photo color quality, and a Lens Distortion effect that corrects spherical and trapezoidal distortions occurring in photos produced in cameras without expensive lens corrective filters. In terms of creative design, a new Z-Merge tool creates a Z axis to provide a means for placing objects in 3D space, while a Crystal Effects tool simulates viewing through crystal and glass surfaces. Web graphics users benefit from support for JavaScript Effects, as well as the inclusion of an on-screen Image Slice tool and an Image Map tool to slice images and define hotspots directly within the workspace.The price is approximately $100.
Ulead Systems;

Character software enhanced
Win bioVirtual's new 3DMeNow 1.5 adds to the creation and deployment of photorealistic human models the ability to author animation in real time and output the animation to the Web. New features in 3DMeNow 1.5 include integrated animation control via a WYSIWYG drag-and-drop timeline editor; user-definable automatic animation for lip-syncing and idling expressions; integrated audio recording; an integrated hair and spectacles model wizard; and improved perimeter modeling. In terms of web output, all bioVirtual .bio file content can be displayed on the Web and controlled using XPlayer, a scriptable ActiveX control that simplifies access to 3D web content. 3DMeNow 1.5 sells for $49.

Automatic tracking
Win Automatic tracking, calibration, track cleanup, and support for matte sequences for tracking specific objects highlight the list of features in RealViz's MatchMover 2 Professional 3D tracking software. With MatchMover 2 Professional, users can track forward, backward, and bi-directionally, and the software will solve for camera position, rotation, focal length, and distortion. Users also can solve for low-parallax shots using Helper frames, track cameras as well as objects, and export to 3ds max, LightWave, Maya, Softimage, Cinema 4D, and combustion. The software also features a user-defined coordinate system, as well as scale settings. List price is $4999.


Rhino enhanced
Win Features in Rhino 2.0, a conceptual design and modeling tool from Robert McNeel & Associates, include hundreds of new modeling and editing commands, options, and enhancements; new STEP and VDA import and export file formats; and VBScript and JScript support. However, the main focus of the new version is a C++ software developer kit for plug-in applications developers. With it, developers can create plug-ins such as Flamingo, the first major plug-in created for this release, which uses raytracing and radiosity technologies to create photorealistic still and animation image files from 3D models inside Rhino. Rhino 2.0 sells for $895.
Robert McNeel & Associates;
Photo Courtesy of Tom Longtin

2D animation upgrade
Win Toon Boom Technologies has announced the release of the LightTable module, which introduces to USAnimation V5 users the concept of the virtual animation studio, enabling 2D animators to work remotely and send their drawings electronically to their partner studio(s) anywhere in the world. With the LightTable module, animators can hand-draw animation with a pressure-sensitive pen and graphics tablet and use these vector drawings with all the other USAnimation modules. USAnimation V5 also includes new and improved vector drawing and repainting tools, the ability to build and export USAnimation Paint files, the ability to display bitmap images and live-action sequences for rotoscoping, support for the import of audio files and multiple sounds at playback, and the ability to lip-sync sound files. Price not available.
Toon Boom Technologies;

Deep Paint for LightWave
Win LightWave users can now paint and texture on 3D objects, including over UV mapped surfaces, using a special LightWave 3D edition of Deep Paint 3D from Right Hemisphere. Some highlights of Deep Paint 3D LightWave Edition include complete workflow integration including file and plug-in support between Deep Paint 3D and LightWave 3D; projection paint capability; a bi-directional interface to Adobe Photoshop, including filters; and support for the Wacom Intuos or compatible tablet. Deep Paint 3D LightWave Edition is available for $595.
Right Hemisphere;