Win Bauhaus Software is shipping Mirage 1.0, its integrated, real-time video paint, animation, and effects system. Mirage 1.0 provides users with a unified environment for the creation of animated graphics, 2D animation, and special effects. Well suited to a variety of projects, from HDTV to film to the Web, Mirage incorporates a Digitally Organic work flow, enabling users to create and animate traditional CG and natural media styles. Among its features are video paint, stop-motion, a volumetric lighting system, an integrated particle system with 2D alpha collision detection, keying, color correction, natural-media drawing tools, and more. Mirage 1.0 is available for Windows XP and 2000 operating systems at a cost of $895. A Mac OS X version is expected to ship before the end of the year. A special $349 upgrade price is available to users of NewTek's Aura, Video Toaster, and LightWave products.
Bauhaus Software; www.bauhaussoftware.com
Win Character Animation Technologies announced the availability of its first product offering, Character Animation Toolkit (CAT). A plug-in for Discreet's 3ds max, CAT Version 1.0 is a next-generation character animation system targeted at animation professionals in the areas of film, video, broadcast, and game development. Version 1.0 features CATMotion, a flexible parametric motioncycle system for creating complex animations, such as those with secondary motion. Layer Manager supports an unlimited amount of layers, whereas Clip Manager enables the user to save layers as clips for reuse. Additional features include real-time keyframe controls, a mocap importer with support for popular motion-capture formats, and a nonlinear animation system. CAT Version 1.0 is available at a cost of $995 from Character Animation Technologies or select Discreet Resellers.
Character Animation Technologies; www.catoolkit.com
Mac Cinebench, Maxon's solution for benchmarking 3D performance of CPUs and graphics cards, has been optimized for Apple's new G5 desktop computers. Based on Cinema 4D's render and display engine, Cinebench 2003 has been optimized for G5 desktops with the help of Apple. In fact, the upgraded software is said to achieve speeds of up to 20 percent faster on the G5. The beta version of Cinebench 2003 is available now.
Maxon; www.cinebench.com, www.maxon.net
WinMac Canopus unveiled DVStorm2 Pro+ for the creation of professional video productions. DVStorm2 Pro+ boasts com-ponent video output and Canopus's MPEGCraft frame-accurate MPEG editing tool. The new release is bundled with the company's EDIUS LE real-time editing software and the Adobe Video Collection, which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Encore DVD. The solution offers color correction with waveform/vectorscope, variable speed control, DV chroma key, auto white balance, region filter, and voice-over recording. Real-time, multi-track editing and a collection of filters, 3D effects, and render-free DV output round out this new offering. DVStorm2 Pro+ is priced at $1599. The company also announced two additions to its family of digital video converters. The TwinPact100 is reportedly the first scan converter to offer DV output capabilities and bidirectional analog/DV conversion in a single unit. The ADVC300 is a bidirectional analog/DV converter featuring image-enhancement technology and component video output. The TwinPact100 and ADVC300, each priced at $549, begin shipping this month.
Win Wacom Technology has entered into a partnership with Alias Systems to offer Alias 3D modeling software with the Wacom Cintiq 18SX Interactive Pen Display. Enabling users to draw and manipulate images directly on screen, the Cintiq 18SX includes an 18.1-inch LCD tablet capable of up to 1280x1024 resolution and a cordless, battery-free, pressure-sensitive pen. In addition to the tablet, buyers of the new hardware and software bundle receive one seat of Alias DesignStudio and StudioTools Tech-niques: Painting and Sketching for Design, Alias's DVD learning tool. The Alias-Wacom package is offered on the Windows platform at a cost of $7800.
Wacom Technology; www.wacom.com
Win ATI Technologies recently introduced its Mobility FireGL T2 mobile workstation processor. To rival the graphics performance of desktop-class workstations, the new processor offers fast geometry processing, realistic rendering, and power management capabilities. To date, ATI's Mobility FireGL.T2 is incorporated in such mobile workstations as the HP.Compaq nw8000 and IBM's Thinkpad R50p and T41p.
ATI Technologies; www.ati.com
Verbatim debuted digital media with the look of a traditional movie reel. DigitalMovie recordable DVD discs are designed to meet a multitude of applications, from recording original content via personal video recorders or backing up DVD titles to transferring films from videotapes. Digital-Movie 4x DVD+R and DVD-R discs take advantage of Metal Azo recording dye technology from Verbatim's parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media. Ultra-Precise Molding technology ensures discs are not only flat, but also stable during high-speed rotation. Each DigitalMovie disc features 4.7gb of storage capacity, a Super Jewel Box polystyrene case, and compatibility with today's DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. A three-pack of Verbatim DigitalMovie DVD+R or DVD-R discs is priced at $11.99.
Verbatim Corporation; www.verbatim.com
Digimation has started shipping Model Bank, a collection of more than 4600 fully textured 3D models. Each of Model Bank's 1160 individual models is provided in four different levels of detail. The models are accompanied by the associated texture maps and materials. The complete collection is divided into 15 categories, including aircraft, animals, architecture, furnishings, plants, and many others. Although Digimation anticipates releasing future collections in LightWave, .3DS, and .OBJ formats, the current models are provided in .MAX format for use with any version of Discreet's 3ds max. The Model Bank Collection is offered by Digimation at a price of $695.