Housed in a rack-mountable or desk-side chassis with a front 1394 Firewire port, Boxx Technologies' new system boasts a Bluefish444 Wildblue AV board and support for a variety of video formats, such as MPEG-1 and 2, DV, AVI, Windows Media 9, and QuickTime. The price of SDBoxx [pro] starts at $8900 and varies according to configuration. —Courtney E. Howard
Boxx Technologies; www.boxxtech.com
Houdini 6.1, the latest version of Side Effects Software's popular program, boasts a wealth of new features based on feedback from artists and animators in the field.
Designed to provide increased control and speed, Version 6.1 boasts an improved interface and enhanced texturing, character, modeling, and digital asset features. UV Pelt, on the texturing side, enables users to unwrap a model's UVs complete with cut lines. The new Bones on Curve tool aids designers in spacing bones evenly on a curve, whereas new wire, bone, and muscle deformation tools enable users to sculpt surfaces by simply pushing and pulling points or sections. —CEH
Side Effects Software; www.sidefx.com
XGI Technology made its US debut during CES in Las Vegas last month. A graphics chipset supplier, XGI Technology is an independent company formed through a combination of the technology assets and intellectual property of Silicon Integrated Systems' (SiS) multimedia division and Trident Microsystems' graphics division.
During CES, XGI Technology demonstrated its Volari line of graphics processors for real-world 3D gaming and multimedia applications. The Volari Duo processors sport two graphics chips with 80 million transistors, enabling the equal distribution of frame loading and reducing bottlenecks at the data path. Whereas the CPU communicates with one chip, the two chips are able to work together as one with the help of XGI's patented BitFluent Bus. —CEH
XGI Technology; www.xgitech.com
Corel's most recent software release, CorelDraw Graphics Suite 12, begins shipping this month. This latest version of CorelDraw sports new, intelligent tools designed to help users work faster. With Version 12, Corel aims to reduce the number of steps required to complete a design task.
The new suite of tools incorporates CorelDraw 12 for illustration, page layout, and vector drawing; Corel Photo-Paint 12 for digital imaging; and Corel RAVE 3 for the creation of motion graphics. Among the new tools introduced to speed and simplify work flow is the Smart Drawing tool. Its built-in intelligence enables it to recognize shapes—including circles, rectangles, triangles, arrows, and more—and then to smooth curves and lines automatically. The Smart Drawing tool even can interpret freehand line drawings, and applies symmetry and balance on the fly as needed.
Its Snap to Objects utility has been expanded with the ability to snap to nodes, intersections, midpoints, quadrants, tangents, edges, and more. A new, customizable Touch-Up Brush enables users to remove defects, such as dust and scratches, from digital images with minimal effort. Available only on the Windows platform, Corel-Draw Graphics Suite 12 carries a $399 price tag. —CEH
Eurocom has launched the D870P, a mobile workstation well suited to 3D modeling and high-end gaming applications.
The Eurocom D870P is powered by the ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 graphics engine with 256mb of DDR video. The system sports a 17-inch WUXGA wide-screen display, a 1.3-megapixel PC video camera, a choice of Intel Pentium 4 processors, and an onboard, 1gb LAN. Additional options include an internal TV tuner, subwoofer, and Bluetooth technology. Pricing varies according to configuration. Customers can customize their own Eurocom D870P online at the company's Website. —CEH
Media 100 is shipping what is said to be the company's first Macintosh design in eight years. The Media 100 HD is a 10-bit uncompressed, native HD and SD editing system powered by GenesisEngine technology, called HDX.
Thanks to HDX, Media 100 HD users can convert files to and from virtually any SD and HD format. And because it is resolution-independent, editors can mix HD and SD source material within the same timeline.
The new editing system comes complete with Media 100 i software. Priced at $7995, Media 100 HD is targeted at independent studios, large broadcasters, and postproduction facilities, as well as corporate and educational media departments. —CEH
Media 100; www.media100.com