Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 2 (Feb 2004)

Products - 2/04 - Part 1


Digital Juice's VideoTraxx is said to be the largest single volume of royalty-free stock film and video footage available today. Indeed, VideoTraxx boasts more than 3200 unique clips, equating to 220gb of stock footage across 34 DVDs. The 100 percent royalty-free clips are offered in NTSC QuickTime MOV format and divided into 36 categories. Among these categories are Family, People, Fitness, Abstract, Extreme Sports, Suburbia, City Life, NASA, Military, Aerials, Weather, and many others. Now available for purchase from Digital Juice's Web site, the VideoTraxx film and video library is priced at $599.
Digital Juice; www.digitaljuice.com





VISUAL EFFECTS

Mac Discreet has announced the availability of its combustion 3 visual effects and 3D compositing software for Apple Macintosh systems. Carrying a suggested price of $995, combustion 3 for the Mac is targeted at Mac users who produce Web content and professional motion graphics, repurpose video content for use on the Web, and create effects for feature-film and HDTV content. Reportedly the first visual effects application to offer integrated editing, combustion 3 enables users to perform simple editing tasks and assemble video with transitions without the need for nonlinear editing (NLE) software. Other features new to combustion 3 for the Mac are JavaScript-based expressions and the ability to create and output Flash animations.
Discreet; www.discreet.com





Mac Synthetik Software has released Version 3.0 of its Studio Artist graphics synthesizer, which has been optimized for Mac OS X and OS 9 operating systems. In addition to more than eight hours of QuickTime video tutorials and instructional guides, Studio Artist 3.0 incorporates the new Vectorizer raster-to-vector synthesizer with EPS output capabilities, MSG (modular synthesized graphics) plug-in architecture, and live video processing. Enhanced animation capabilities, image processing, and Paint Synthesizer functionality help to round out the updated version. User-configurable painting and drawing tools, a complete image processing and video effects suite, and automatic Intelli-gent-Assisted painting actions provide professionals a wealth of options. Now available for purchase, Studio Artist 3.0 is priced at $379. Registered users of earlier versions can upgrade at a cost of $179.
Synthetik Software; www.synthetik.com

ANIMATION

Win, Linux Softimage debuted Version 1.5 of Softimage|Behavior, its crowd effects software. Upgraded in response to customer feedback, Behavior 1.5 boasts an SDK, a powerful Integrated Development Environment, and what is reported to be the only batch-processing module currently available in crowd-simulation programs. Softimage|Behavior is now shipping at a cost of $14,995.
Softimage; www.softimage.com

CAMERA TRACKING

Andersson Technologies LLC has unveiled SynthEyes 2004, its new 3D camera-tracking software offering both automatic and supervised tracking. In fact, users can automatically track and solve a DV shot with more than 100 frames in less than a minute. A light solver helps users match lighting, whereas the solver assists with single-camera and multiple-camera setups, object tracking and camera-plus-object tracking, reference stills, zooms, and tripod shots. SynthEyes can be downloaded from Andersson Technologies' Web site at a cost of $349 or purchased on CD for an additional $10 in the US or $15 internationally.
Andersson Technologies LLC; www.ssontech.com

GRAPHICS CARD

Matrox Graphics has unveiled the Triple-Head upgrade kit for its Millennium P650 graphics card. Enabling users to drive three displays from a single Millennium P650, Matrox Graphics' new kit includes a DVI-to-dual HD-15 cable and TV output connector, as well as a utility that adds TV output functionality. The TripleHead upgrade package also sports a fanless design, enabling silent operation conducive to efficient sound production. The Matrox Millennium P650, a 64mb graphics board offering AGP 8X support and dual 400mhz RAMDACs, is priced at $169, whereas the optional TripleHead kit is priced at $90.
Matrox Graphics; www.matrox.com





STORAGE

SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) has introduced the InfiniteStorage NAS 2000, its latest network-attached storage (NAS) system. Already adopted by Reel FX Creative Studios, a 3D animation and visual effects studio, InfiniteStorage NAS.2000 offers universal data access, providing artists and animators access to the same digital content simultaneously. And because the system is scalable, users are able to increase network bandwidth and storage capacity as their company and its needs grow. In fact, the SGI.NAS.system can expand into a storage area network (SAN) with the SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS. Without having to convert the data, users can retain the ease of use of a NAS and gain the speed and power of a SAN. Redundant power supplies, cooling fans, and RAID 5 data protection round out the company's latest offering.
SGI; www.sgi.com

SERVER

Acme Portable Machines has launched a new family of portable servers with the release of the GMII-102. The portable system sports 2.0ghz or 3.0ghz Intel Pentium 4 processors and eight expansion slots in a compact solution measuring roughly the size of a lunch box. Well suited for the storage and transfer of large files, the GMII-102 offers high-end image, graphics, and video processing that include data-intensive video editing and 3D visualization. Now available and priced at $4500, Acme's GMII-102 multifunction, por-table server includes 32mb or 64mb of video RAM, integrated multimedia speakers, two USB ports and an Ethernet/Fast Ethernet port, and a flat-panel, 14.1-inch XGA TFT display.
Acme Portable Machines; www.portablesys.com

WORKSTATION

RackSaver has premiered its NemeSys I2 workstation based on the 1.4ghz Intel Itanium 2 processor. Now available for purchase at a base price of $7995, the workstation sports an ultrahigh-bandwidth system architecture, dual-monitor compatibility, and 1.5mb of L3 cache. In other company news, RackSaver recently demonstrated what is said to be the industry's first Intel Itanium 2-based server blade. Operating in the company's 132 CPU UltraDense Blade-Rack, the RackSaver Intel Itanium 2 processor blade supports dual Intel Itanium 2 processors running up to 1.5ghz with a maximum 6mb of L3 cache and 16gb of four-way, interleaved ECC DDR RAM memory.
RackSaver; www.racksaver.com





BOOK CORNER

Authored by Rick Young, director and founding member of the UK Final Cut Pro Users Group and an Apple solutions expert, Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro 4 is intended to aid professional video editors, producers and independent filmmakers, wedding videographers, corporate video producers and film producers, students, and others in the use of Final Cut Pro 4. Designed to help Final Cut Pro users get the most out of the tools in the latest version of Apple's flagship editing application, the 240-page book includes work flow tips and is shipping at a cost of $24.95.
Focal Press Publishers, an Imprint of Elsevier; www.elsevier.com

Virtual Humans is a new book from Peter Plantec, a psychotherapist and digital graphics artist. The text assists readers in creating Web-based virtual assistants that guide visitors through a Web site. It instructs readers how to create an illusion of conscious intelligence through Q&A scripting and facial expressions. A CD-ROM containing v-human brains, animations, and environments accompanies the 288-page, paperback book priced at $34.95.
AMACOM; www.amacom.com

From Andrei Doubrovski, a professional photo restoration artist and technician, comes As Simple As Photoshop (ASAP). ASAP, a video-book offered as a 103mb EXE (Windows only) or Adobe PDF file, includes 198 embedded movies with a total run time of 291 minutes. Macromedia Flash Player 6 is required. The video-book is priced at $19.50 if downloaded and $29.50 on CD.
As Simple As Photoshop; www.SimplePhotoshop.com
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