MODELING AND ANIMATION
WinLinux Irix Sharing a booth with the robot from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Softimage demonstrated Version 3.5 of its Softimage|XSI non-linear 3D production environment. The upgrade features a robust SDK, interoperability with Avid editing and finishing products, and the ability to handle large data sets. Also included in Version 3.5 is mental ray 3.2 from mental images. A new, interactive renderer provides instant, fully rendered images able to be modified and manipulated in the 3D viewport. At the same time, an expanded NetView feature now encompasses the Linux platform, opening 3D pipelines to the benefits of the Web.
Win Mac Linux Irix Alias Systems, formerly Alias|Wavefront, introduced Maya 5, an upgraded version of its flagship modeling and animation tool, and Maya Personal Learning Edition 5. Maya 5 provides a unified work flow for a variety of rendering options; improved import and export capabilities; and enhanced character animation, dynamics, and polygonal modeling. Based on Maya 5, Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 is a fully functioning edition of Maya Complete for non-commercial use. Alias's new product also boasts Maya Paint Effects, a hardware rendering option that takes advantage of the latest graphics cards, and animation enhancements to constraints, ghosting, and forward/inverse kinematics. Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 currently is available as part of the Learning Maya Beginner's Guide via Alias's online store.
BOXX Technologies has upgraded its HDBOXX, an uncompressed HD editing and compositing system running under the Windows OS, to include in-sync's Speed Razor HD 2.0 software. Based on a strategic relationship with Discreet, BOXX.is offering 3ds max with its XXtreme series of 3DBOXX workstations. BOXX workstations bundled with 3ds max can be acquired from authorized Discreet 3ds max resellers. BOXX also announced the availability of the Nvidia Quadro FX 3000 series of professional graphics cards in its 3DBOXX workstations.
SGI premiered two visual computing products not only priced lower than, but also exceeding the performance of, the company's current systems. Available now in configurations starting at $20,500, the Tezro visual workstation delivers quad processing power, high bandwidth, a suite of professional digital media solutions, and a desktop architecture based on SGI's supercomputers. For the entertainment market, it supports two streams of high-def, 10bit 4:4:4:4 RGBA video. Pricing for the Onyx4 Ultimate Vision, SGI's next-generation Onyx advanced visualization system, begins at $45,000, one-fifth that of its predecessors. The system sports a product architecture that is scalable from two to 32 graphics processors.