SketchUp for Mac users
MAC @Last Software's SketchUp 3D design software is now available for Mac OS X users. Featuring a variety of tools for creating, viewing, modifying, and communicating 3D AEC designs, SketchUp for Mac OS X includes component editing and built-in support for OpenGL. It also has built-in PDF integration and dynamic section cutting tools that enable designers to visualize and generate measurable building sections and floor plans. The software costs $495.
Win | MAC QuarkXPress 5.01, available for download from Quark's Web site at no charge for current users of QuarkXPress 5.0, features performance enhancements designed to provide faster and more reliable operation of the software. For instance, if a user utilizes Quark License Administrator (QLA) and the QLA server or network becomes disabled, he or she can use an emergency key launch sequence to run QuarkXPress 5.01 for up to 120 hours until the network or server is running again. In addition, new spell checking dictionaries and a new hyphenation option are available in QuarkXPress Passport when using Dutch, French, German, Italian, Reformed German, and Swiss German.
MODELING AND ANIMATION
Natural scenery in 3D
Win | MAC e-on Software has announced a downloadable update to its 3D natural scenery product, Vue d'Esprit 4. The new 4.1 version includes LightWave 6+ LWO2 file format import, Cinema 4D terrain exports, direct static Poser scene imports for the Mac OS X version, and Truespace 5 file format import. Meanwhile, the company has improved the import of low-resolution images into the Terrain Editor, the rendering of skies, and the resolution when rendering enlarged materials. Vue d'Esprit comes with two CDs that include 30 SolidGrowth 2 trees and plants, more than 100 atmospheres, 100 types of clouds, 300 materials, 250 fully textured 3D objects, and more than 50 example scenes.
Apple intros QuickTime 6
Win | MAC QuickTime 6, the latest release of Apple's digital media software for Mac and Windows-based computers, features MPEG-4 digital media technology, enabling users to author professional-quality, ISO-compliant MPEG-4 audio and video files that can be played back by QuickTime 6 as well as by any MPEG-4-compliant player. QuickTime 6 also includes an MPEG-4 video codec, as well as an AAC codec. According to Apple, the AAC audio standard provides more efficient compression than older formats such as MP3, yet delivers quality rivaling that of uncompressed CD audio. Additional features include MPEG-2 playback, Skip Protection for preventing interruptions or skips in streaming media, an updated user interface, a new DVC Pro PAL video codec, support for Macromedia Flash 5, a new JPEG 2000 still image codec for Mac OS X, enhanced AppleScript support, and new developer APIs. Price not available.
Flat desktop display
The latest in its line of Xtreme Flat pure-flat desktop displays, KDS USA's 17-inch XF-7b boasts a 0.22mm dot pitch, thanks to a proprietary dot pitch technology that allows the screen to be extremely flat when compared to other standard CRT monitors. The flat screen, says KDS, virtually eliminates all glare and distortion, making viewing easier on the eyes. The new monitor is available for approximately $169.