The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB; www.nab.org) is holding its electronic media show, NAB2004, this month in Las Vegas. The NAB.Show reportedly draws approximately 90,000 electronic media professionals from more than 130 countries. Attendees are privy to the latest tools and technologies in the areas of content creation, management, and delivery. NAB2004 and the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC-USC) announced the addition of the next-generation Digital Cinema Summit program—a day of speakers, panels, and demonstrations targeted at directors, producers, cinematographers, and postproduction and visual effects professionals—slated for Sunday, April 18. Carly Fiorina, chairperson and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is scheduled to deliver the All-Industry Opening Keynote Address on April 19. Also at the show, a number of new and updated product releases will be presented during NAB2004. Among them are the product announcements presented on these two pages. For additional NAB2004 product news, turn to page 65.
Nvidia debuted its latest graphics solution for mobile workstations, the Nvidia Quadro FX Go1000. In addition to 128mb of graphics memory, 12-bit subpixel precision, and 128-bit floating-point graphics pipelines, the Quadro FX Go1000 includes three new vertex engines, two new shader units, Nvidia PowerMizer 4.0 technology, and a high-definition enabled and enhanced video processor. Available immediately in the Dell Precision M60, the Go1000 reportedly not only achieves the industry's fastest performance on key benchmarks, but also exceeds the graphics power of competing desktop-class workstations.
The new Nvidia Quadro FX 700 and 600 PCI are designed to excel in professional 3D and professional imaging applications, respectively. For 3D applications, the Quadro FX 700 fills the tech-nology gap between Nvidia's Quadro FX 500 and 1100. The new 700 model features 128mb of DDR unified memory, an AGP 8x 2.1gb/sec. interface, nView multi-display capability with DVI-I and VGA connectors, and passive, silent thermal cooling. The Quadro FX 600 PCI also boasts nView multi-display functionality, offering two DVI-I and one stereo connector. The 600 PCI further offers a PCI-32 system interface and 256mb of DDR memory. —Courtney E. Howard
Avid Technology will demonstrate the latest updates to its professional products for the film and video postproduction, broadcast, and asset management markets.
The Avid DS Nitris, Media Composer Adrenaline, and Avid Xpress Pro with Avid Mojo systems have been amended with new editing features, increased performance, and expanded networking and work flow capabilities. Additionally, Media Composer Adrenaline gains an HD option, enabling Avid devices to share high-definition media throughout the postproduction process.
At the same time, Avid has infused the Avid NewsCutter Adrenaline FX system with HD support. NAB2004 attendees will be the first to see the upgraded iNews newsroom computer system, now supporting the Linux platform.
While also demonstrating the alienbrain product family it acquired from NXN Software, Avid will introduce several en-hancements to its digital media asset management solutions. The Avid Unity Media-Manager sports such new capabilities as expanded full-resolution media browsing, more comprehensive logging, and the ability to search multiple sites. —CEH
Avid Technology; www.avid.com
A leading Web game publisher, WildTangent has upgraded its WebDriver on-line game platform, which boasts more than 53 million users to date.
Based on console gaming technology, WebDriver 4.0 enables the real-time delivery of console-quality graphics securely over the Internet to a PC. Version 4.0 combines a new console gaming engine, which initially was released with Microsoft for its Xbox Music Mixer title, with WildTangent's own streaming technologies.
In conjunction with the release of its WebDriver 4.0, WildTangent introduced the Chrysler Group's three new Web-based games built on this next-generation streaming on-line game platform. Jeep 4x4 Adventure, Chrysler West Coast Rally, and Dodge Racing-HEMI Edition demonstrate the console-quality graphics and streaming capabilities possible with the upgraded WebDriver. Now available to the public, WebDriver 4.0 can be downloaded free from WildTangent's Web site. —CEH
Allegorithmic has entered the US market with its MaP|Zone texture modeling plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Founded by a prize-winning computer scientist, producer, and director of animated movies, the new company's goal is to provide graphic artists with innovative, user-friendly, and intelligent tools with which to be more creative, productive, and in control of their art. Eliminating the need for highly technical and time-consuming solutions, MaP|Zone aids artists in the quick and easy creation and modification of complex texture maps, which, in turn, enable the development of realistic materials, textures, and shaders.
Professionals in the film, video, broadcast, and game industries can use MaP|Zone to cover computer-generated scenes, backgrounds, objects, and characters with complex and modifiable maps, thereby adding greater depth, texture, and realism. The new tool offers users the ability to design a texture map; define its scale, granularity, and roughness; and also move, alter, or erase local elements by hand. MaP|Zone is shipping at a cost of $99. —CEH