|Below are some exhibitors' highlights, which include SIGGRAPH show floor booth numbers.
WinUnix NXN alienbrain Studio provides asset and configuration management for digital entertainment and computer graphics projects. The system offers version control, system configuration, and project and work flow management, along with the ability to handle file formats including 3D models, textures, video, audio, source code, and office documents. Pricing varies according to the number of users. Booth #3236.
NXN Software; www.nxn-software.com
WinMac The new Avid Xpress Pro nonlinear editing software package works with Avid's portable Mojo hardware to provide real-time video, film, and audio editing for both Windows XP and Macintosh OS X platforms. The system includes support for 24p digital video projects, automatic color correction, and uncompressed video over a standard FireWire cable. Pricing for the Avid Xpress Pro software is $1695. Avid Mojo is also $1695. Booth #2414.
Avid Technology; www.avid.com
WinMac NewTek makes the popular LightWave modeling and animation software, as well as the Video Toaster desktop nonlinear editing application. LightWave 3D 7.5, the current version, comes with soft-body dynamics, particles, hair and fur, and unlimited render nodes. Version 2 of Video Toaster is set for an upgrade to Version 3 in the near future. LightWave 7.5 costs $1595. Video Toaster costs $2495. Booth #2848.
Modeling and Animation
Win RealFlow 2 from Next Limit is a particle system based on computational fluid dynamics technology. The software calculates varying fluid states and allows fluids to interact with changing polygonal environments, thereby enabling 3D artists to simulate natural fluid motion in real time. Version 2 comes with a new interface, multiple viewports, multithreading with support for up to 32 processors, object dynamics, fast mesh generation, and more. RealFlow is available as a plug-in for Maya, 3ds max, Softimage|XSI, LightWave, and Cinema 4D. The price is $1195. Booths #3347 and #3349.
Next Limit; www.nextlimit.com
WinMac Alias|Wavefront's flagship modeling and animation tool Maya is now in Version 5. Chief among the enhancements are a unified work flow for a variety of rendering options, better import/export capabilities, and improvements to character animation, dynamics, and polygonal modeling. The new release also features updated online tutorials and user documentation. Price varies according to the package purchased. Booth #3015.
WinLinux Irix Softimage|XSI Version 3.5 is designed to provide artists and developers with a wide range of modeling, animation, simulation, rendering, and compositing tool sets. The latest release includes new features for increased efficiency and accelerated productivity in demanding production environments. Softimage also makes Softimage|.Behavior for behavioral animation and crowd simulation. Prices vary according to the package. Booth #2414.
WinMac Eyetronics offers a variety of 3D scanning and modeling technologies and services. The company's ShapeCam system for static 3D scanning includes a digital camera and a specially designed flash device. Photographs captured with the ShapeCam system can then be processed and converted to 3D using Eyetronics' ShapeSnatcher Suite software. Eyetronics is also introducing a new facial motion-capture service that uses a digital video or HDTV camera to record an actor's performance while an additional unit continuously projects a fine grid onto the actor's face for reference. The system is designed to be mobile so that it can be used for capture sessions at any location. Prices vary according to service and configuration. Booth #3045.
WinLinux Irix Houdini 6 is the latest version of the effects family of products from Side Effects Software. Houdini's digital assets feature enables technical directors to create and manage libraries of re-usable characters, effects, and other elements. Other enhancements to the software include global illumination, embedded online help, and enhanced animation, lighting, compositing, and particle tools. Prices vary according to the package. At partners' booths.
Side Effects Software; www.sidefx.com
WinIrix Discreet produces modeling and animation tools such as 3ds max and character studio, as well as effects and compositing systems like inferno, flame, flint, and combustion. Editing and finishing products include fire and smoke, while encoding and streaming media are represented by the company's cleaner series. A relatively new package is Discreet's lustre, a software-based digital grading and color correction tool for interactive film design and creation. Prices vary according to the product and configuration. Booth #2836.
Win Software from NGrain Corp. enables the real-time modification and manipulation of complex 3D data on desktops, laptops, and even tablet PCs. NGrain Transformer makes it possible to repurpose 3D data from over 35 file formats—including polygons, point clouds, and volume datasets—to the interactive, compressed NGrain format. The NGrain Knowledge Module allows users to add hyperlinks, logic, and animation to converted files without scripting or programming, and NGrain Mobilizer is a Web browser that lets users manipulate and modify the NGrain models created with the Knowledge Module. The NGrain Constructor is a software development kit that enables programmers using Microsoft's .NET to rapidly develop interactive 3D applications. Prices are available on request. Booth #1901.
WinMac Maxon Computer makes Cinema 4D Release 8.1, a modeling, animation, and rendering tool that was for several years one of the only such programs at its level for Macintosh users. The software now comes with a variety of optional modules, including Advanced Render, Thinking Particles, Pyrocluster, and BodyPaint 3D. Prices range from $595 for the basic package to $2495 for the entire Studio Bundle. Booth #1937.
Maxon Computer; www.maxon.net
WinMac Wondertouch has introduced particleIllusion 3.0, the latest version of its particle effects program that is designed to balance power with ease of use. Users create visual effects based on the software's 2D, sprite-based particle effects technology. The latest version adds new features such as Forces, a Library Manager, and Super Emitters for more realistic results. The price for the Windows version is $374. The price of the Mac version, due out the third quarter of this year, is to be announced. Booth #3153.
WinMac Kaydara has introduced Version 5.0 of MotionBuilder, its flagship 3D character animation software. The new release comes with a completely revamped Storytelling Timeline that integrates 3D animation with audio, video, and camera shots. MotionBuilder also includes improved character animation tools and customizable shortcuts for better work flow. Support for OpenGL improves speed and overall functionality for photorealistic rendering. Booth #2536.
Win NaturalMotion makes endorphin Virtual Motion Capture software, which is based on the company's Active Character Technology. With endorphin, game developers, animators, and others can endow 3D characters with real-time intelligence and physical actions and reactions. Booth # 2247.
WinMac Linux The latest version of boujou, the 3D camera tracking package from 2d3, runs on Mac OS X-based systems, bringing the company's automated shot-tracking technologies to Mac-based artists and production facilities. Version 2.1 also runs on Windows- and Linux-based systems. 2d3 has announced plans to unveil an additional product, a new camera stabilization plug-in. Prices vary according to the package. Booth #1927.
ATI Technologies makes the FireGL line of workstation graphics accelerators, including two new additions to the product line that the company plans to announce shortly. ATI's product line includes entry-level, mid-range, and high-end cards that are aimed at both the design and DCC markets. Booth #2936.
The Tryclops Motion Capture System from PhaseSpace is designed as a rugged, portable, scalable, and affordable motion-capture option for game developers, robotics manufacturers, and filmmakers. The multi-camera system captures active LED markers powered by a lightweight battery and tetherless receiver that can be embedded in a jumpsuit or attached to objects and props. The system can export live data in real time to Kaydara's format or save data in formats for use in programs such as Maya, Softimage|XSI, LightWave, and 3ds max. The Tryclops system costs $49,900. Location to be announced.
The new Vicon 6 system from Vicon Motion Systems is designed for smaller production facilities and users such as independent game developers. The Vicon 6 includes Vicon's new VCam, a camera designed to capture the widest possible volume within a small space. The Vicon 6 system also ships with Vicon iQ software, with which users deliver the optical motion-capture data to character animation. Price depends on system configuration. Booth #1927.
Vicon Motion Systems; www.vicon.com
Boxx Technologies has introduced systems based on the new AMD Opteron 200 series processors. The company now offers Xxtreme 3DBoxx workstations, RenderBoxx render nodes, and ServerBoxx servers based on the Opteron. Boxx also has a system designed for digital cinema and postproduction facilities, the CineBoxx Review. The CineBoxx is a turnkey package that runs on Windows 2000 and offers 2k film, HD, and SD sequential playback and review, and up to 1752gb of storage. Booth #2948.
Boxx Technologies; www.boxxtech.com
The Visbox company offers the VisBox, a turnkey projection-based VR system that incorporates head-tracking and stereo display. The VisBox is a general-purpose VR system based on an open-source development environment that supports OpenGL, SDL, Performer, FreeVR, and vrJuggler. It is designed to be both affordable and user-friendly. Visbox also makes the VisWall, a scalable, tiled, high-resolution display wall that is available in a variety of configurations, depending on user needs. The VisBox costs $48,600. The VisWall's cost varies according to the configuration. Booth #2653.