— Digimation has started delivering SpeedTree3, the latest version of its software tool for the creation of low- to medium-polygon-count trees. SpeedTree has been upgraded with support for flared trunks, enhanced MaxScript support, and a new sample library with higher-quality trees. An advanced wind control, SpeedWind enables uses to define how the wind affects different parts of a tree, whereas the improved foresting tool now supports copies, references, and instances. Priced at $395, SpeedTree3 includes Version 3.4 of the company’s SpeedTree CAD Lite program. Upgrades from SpeedTree Versions 1 and 2 are available for $200 and $100, respectively. Digimation also has begun shipping three separate SpeedTree Tree Libraries, each with more than 30 new tree species and 150 SPT files.
— Toon Boom Animation has released Version 2.5 of its Toon Boom Studio for the PC. This latest upgrade features improved sound scrubbing and support for scanning. Version 2.5 enables users not only to draw in the 3D Sceneplanning space, but also to visualize and manipulate drawings and keyframes in the timeline. Users of Version 1 or 2 can up-grade at a cost of $199 and $99, respectively.
Toon Boom Animation; www.toonboom.com
— Informatix Software International has unveiled a Macintosh version of its Piranesi 4 software. Now running on the Mac OS X platform, Piranesi 4 employs 3D painting technology designed to aid designers in adding detail and hand-drawn effects to models and renderings. Version 4 boasts a library of more than 300 new cutout and texture images, an im-proved user interface, and improved integration with the 3DS, DXF, and SketchUp formats.
Informatix Software; www.informatix.co.uk
Mac • Linux
— The Pixel Farm has introduced PFPlay 1.0, a software-based digital film production review system. The release enables resolution-independent, uncompressed playback directly from disc, as well as the exportation of movies in any format for client approval. Additional features include editing and color analysis tools, before/after shot comparisons, cross-platform batch processing of image sequences, a 3D Look Up Table manager, and media management utilities. Now available for Mac OS X and Linux, PFPlay is expected to ship for the Windows platform this quarter.
The Pixel Farm; www.thepixelfarm.co.uk
JVC has added the GY-DV5100 to its professional DV line. The new 3-CCD, Pro-DV camcorder boasts a newly developed 24-bit digital signal processor (DSP), an integral 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and a 400-percent dynamic range. Now shipping, the GY-DV5100U sports a 16:9 mode for wide-screen programming, a Hi-Res Frame Mode for greater vertical resolution, and expanded customization settings and audio capabilities.
JVC Professional Products; www.jvc.com