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Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 7 (July 2004)

Products - 7/04 - Part 1




Maker of motion-capture solutions, Vicon has announced its next-generation suite of real-time, optical motion-capture systems, Vicon MX. To date, the new Vicon MX family includes the MX40, MX13, and MX3 cameras. Now available for purchase worldwide, all three MX configurations will be on hand at SIGGRAPH 2004 next month.

Designed for real-time and offline applications, such as film, tele-vision, and video games, the ultra-high-resolution MX40 is based on Vicon's four-million-pixel, digital CMOS.sensor. The most powerful of the three Vicon MX models, the MX40 achieves full-resolution capture speeds of 166 frames per second. The Vicon MX13 is capable of 1.3-million pixel capture and frame rates up to 10,000 frames per second. Finally, the MX3 captures 300,000 pixels at rates up to 240 frames per second.

The Vicon MX family of cameras combine multiple high-speed processors and real-time proprietary image processing, while offering support for a wide array of lenses and integration with thrid-party devices. —Courtney E. Howard






Vicon; www.vicon.com

3Dlabs is targeting the professional graphics market with its new PCI Express-based Wildcat Realizm 800.

The company's latest graphics accelerator, the Wildcat Realizm 800 combines a Wildcat Realizm Vertex/Scalability Unit (VSU) and dual Wildcat Realizm Visual Processing Units (VPUs). The new card is reportedly capable of more than 700 GFLOPS of floating-point graphics processing. It features 128mb of onboard DirectBurst memory, 512mb of GDDR3 graphics memory, and two, dual-link DVI-I connectors and a stereo connector.

The company also introduced two new AGP 8x-based graphics cards, the Wildcat Realizm 100 and 200. The Wildcat Realizm 100 and 200 incorporate the Wildcat Realizm VPU and up to 512mb of onboard GDDR3 memory.

All three Wildcat Realizm graphics accelerators offer support for OpenGL Shading Language and Microsoft DirectX 9.0 HLSL shader programs. 3Dlabs anticipates shipping the Wildcat Realizm 800 starting next quarter at a cost of $2799. The Wildcat Realizm 100 and 200, scheduled to ship next month, are priced at $1249 and $1599, respectively. —CEH






3Dlabs; www.3dlabs.com

Hewlett-Packard Company has premiered three new personal workstations—the xw8200, xw6200, and xw4200—which take advantage of Intel, PCI Express, and USB 2.0 technologies.

In addition to a choice of 2D and 3D PCI Express cards, the HP Workstation xw8200 and xw6200 incorporate the Intel Tumwater chipset and Intel Xeon processors with Intel's Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T), an extension that infuses the workstations with support for 64-bit solutions. In fact, the xw8200 and xw6200 are capable of running 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows and Linux. The xw4200 boasts Intel Pentium 4 processors, the Intel Alderwood chipset, and a PCI Express graphics card. All three workstations sport Hewlett-Packard's new tool-less, rack-mountable chassis design. —CEH






Hewlett-Packard; www.hp.com

Adobe Systems has begun shipping Standard and Professional editions of its Video Collection 2.5, which integrates all-new versions of the company's popular digital video software programs. Adobe Video Collection Standard edition includes Premiere Pro 1.5, After Effects 6.5 Standard, Audition 1.5, and Encore DVD 1.5. The Professional package adds Photoshop CS and steps up to the Professional version of After Effects 6.5.

Adobe Video Collection 2.5 boasts more than 200 new features. Premiere Pro 1.5 has gained advanced support for high-definition video, whereas Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Encore DVD share such Photoshop CS capabilities as non-square pixel support. All the tools in the Video Collection are more tightly integrated and sport common interface elements, heightening ease of use and productivity. Users can take advantage of copy and paste functionality between After Effects and Premiere Pro, as an example. Moreover, Encore DVD now supports timeline markers in AVI and MPEG-2 files created with After Effects and Premiere Pro, enabling and easing conversion to DVD chapter points.

Available now for Windows XP, Adobe Video Collection 2.5 Standard and Professional are priced at $999 and $1499, respectively. Users of the previous version of the Adobe Video Collection can upgrade at a cost of $249. —CEH






Adobe Systems; www.adobe.com

The article "Beautiful People" (May 2004, pg. 28) describes how animator Scott Billups used Adobe's Photoshop CS to organize the creation of a pair of digital actors. The article lists some of the tools used to model the "Vitruvian" couple, including Curious Labs' Poser and Alias's Maya, though Billups also employed others not listed in the article. Billups notes that the final geometry will be exported to Maya, but that the following software applications and components are among those that were instrumental in the development of the couple.

The base figures used for the man and woman were the DAZ Michael and Victoria models, along with corresponding head and body morph packages from DAZ (www.daz3d.com). The morph targets for the Michael and Victoria characters were from Zeta Studios (www.zs3d.com). Billups also employed textures from Zeta Studios along with the V3 Xtreme Close Up Xpansion Pack from DAZ and the Cinema Quality Texture pack from PoserDreamers (www.poserdreams.com).

According to Billups, the couple won't have their final heads of hair until they are re-animated in Maya, but until then, he has used a number of virtual hair products, including the Morphing Flat Top from DAZ and Yann hair by Neftis (available from www.renderosity.com). He has also used hair created by Kozaburo (www.digitalbabes2.com).

In addition, Billups employed Joe LeGecko's Mendoza character and Michael 3 Character Construction Set to manipulate and texture-map the male Vitruvian character. Both are available from PoserStyle (www.poserstyle.com). The color, reflections, and styles of the eyes of both characters were generated from the HiRez Eyes package, also from PoserStyle. —Jenny Donelan

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