Win Di-O-Matic has unveiled Character Pack, a suite of character animation plug-ins for use with Discreet's 3ds max. Targeted at 3D animators, the new software bundle integrates several of the company's award-winning plug-ins: Facial Studio, Voice-O-Matic, Morph Toolkit, Morph-O-Matic, Cluster-O-Matic, and Hercules. Priced at $1999, Di-O-Matic's Character Pack ships with a training CD and a one-year VIP membership card, which provides users free access to plug-in upgrades, beta tests, and additional 3D tools.
Win Avid has unveiled a new software development kit (SDK), called Windows Inte-gration Framework, for its Alienbrain Studio 7 digital asset management solution. Windows Integration Framework enables content creators to infuse virtually any Windows-based software application—including Criterion RenderWare, Discreet 3ds max, Alias Maya, Softimage|XSI, and Kaydara MotionBuilder—with Alienbrain Studio 7 functionality, such as file access and version control. The new SDK is designed to streamline work flow and reduce the risk of losing or overwriting data. The Windows Integration Framework is available free with Alienbrain Studio 7.
Win Mac Linux RealViz has introduced Absolu, a new monthly subscription scheme designed to provide access to the company's MatchMover Professional 3.0 motion-tracking software, including all upgrades. With RealViz Absolu, postproduction houses, individual users, and video professionals who require occasional matchmoving functionality gain the use of MatchMover Professional in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. The monthly fee begins at $300 for companies, schools and universities, and freelance artists; professors, teachers, research scientists, and students incur a monthly fee as low as $60.
SIGGRAPH attendees will be among the first to view the latest addition to Artbeats' standard- and high-definition collections of stock footage. For film, video, and multimedia professionals, the new titles include Cloud Chambers, Majestic Scenics, Southwest Scenics, and Extreme Sports. Standard-definition offerings are available in D1 NTSC 720x486 or D1 PAL 720x576 resolutions, whereas high-definition footage is offered in HD 1920x1080 resolution.
Reelhouse, producer of royalty-free footage and video effects, has amended its product line with a new bundle: Film Makers FX Suite. Targeted at DVD and video editors, Film Makers FX Suite includes more than 815 film effects offered in NTSC and PAL formats. Built from 16mm and 35mm sources, the new offering combines five of the company's popular titles—Filmbacks FX, Film Leader FX Library 1 and Library 2, 16mm Film FX, and Ultimate Countdowns—on eight DVDs at a cost of $999.
Sand Dune Ventures has developed the Sahara Touch-it Tablet PC to meet professionals' mobile computing needs. Well suited to the entertainment sector, the slate Tablet PC features a 12.1-inch Resistive Touch Screen with 1024x768 resolution, a Trans-meta 1ghz CPU, 256mb of DRAM, and a 30gb hard disk drive. Running Microsoft Windows XP Home or Professional Editions or CE.net, the Sahara Touch-it Tablet PC accepts input via a pressure-sensitive touch screen. Available now, the new system also supports handwriting recognition.
Sand Dune Ventures; www.tabletkiosk.com
AJA Video Systems' Io FireWire Interface for video editing on Apple Power Mac G5 and G4 systems has been qualified by Apple for use with the company's Final Cut Pro HD editing software. Using a single FireWire interface, Io connects 10-bit uncompressed video and 24-bit multi-channel audio to the Power Mac.
AJA Video Systems; www.aja.com
Provider of digital video editing and compositing systems, 1 Beyond introduced a 64-bit laptop configured for non-linear editing (NLE) and graphics applications. The 1 Beyond Power Pro 6434-X is designed to run 32-bit applications now, and provides a seamless migration path to 64-bit applications in the future. The NLE laptop integrates an AMD Mobile Athlon 64 processor 3400+ with AMD PowerNow! technology, a 1600mhz system bus with HyperTransport technology, a DDR memory controller, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, and a 15-inch SXGA TFT LCD with 1400x1050 resolution and 32-bit color. Also available with Avid Xpress Pro or Sony Vegas, the Power Pro 6434-X with all the options and Adobe Premiere Pro is priced at $5395.
1 Beyond; www.1Beyond.com
Alienware has introduced its latest workstation for mobile professionals, the MJ-12m. With the MJ-12m, Alienware combines desktop performance with the convenience and mobility of a notebook computer. The new Alienware system is designed to meet the computing needs of virtually any digital content creator working in graphics, visual arts, animation, and the like, especially those people on the go. The MJ-12m laptop, which comes equipped with an Nvidia Quadro FX Go 1000 graphics card, is currently shipping at a starting price of $2869 in the US.
Many Worlds Productions has released a new book and DVD from Michele Bousquet. Character Studio 4 Training DVD provides more than six hours of training on DVD at full-screen, 1024x468 resolution. The DVD teaches viewers how to use the Discreet Character Studio 4 plug-in. After covering the basics, Character Studio 4 Training DVD tackles advanced footstep animation, free-form animation, and the use of motion capture. Model, Rig, Animate! with 3ds max 6, Bousquet's new book, offers easy-to-follow instructions for modeling and animating low-polygon characters with 3ds max 6. Among the tools and techniques discussed are: box modeling with editable poly; how to model heads, faces, and hair; creating and editing bones; animating facial expressions; and more. The text and DVD are priced at $49.95 and $9.95, respectively.
Many Worlds Productions; www.click3ds.com
AK Peters, Ltd. has introduced Interactive Storytelling: Techniques for 21st Century Fiction by Andrew Glassner, a writer, director, and consultant in story structure, interactive fiction, and computer graphics. Composed of more than 500 pages, Interactive Storytelling imparts the fundamentals of classical story and game structure, and explains the challenges in bringing the two together into an interactive story form that involves the audience as active participants. Glassner's latest text is available now at a cost of $35 in the US.
AK Peters, Ltd.; www.akpeters.com
O'Reilly has begun shipping Essential ActionScript 2.0, a new book by Colin Moock on object-oriented development with ActionScript 2.0, introduced in Macromedia Flash 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004. In the roughly 500-page text, Moock delves into ActionScript 2.0 syntax, as well as object-oriented design and programming. The book discusses how ActionScript 2.0 differs from Version 1.0, how to upgrade legacy code to Version 2.0, how to take advantage of ActionScript 2.0, and how to leverage your object-oriented programming knowledge in Flash, for delivering multimedia over the Web. Essential ActionScript 2.0 is priced at $39.95 in the US.
O'Reilly & Associates; www.oreilly.com