Products - 1/05 - Part 2
Issue: Volume: 28 Issue: 1 (Jan 2005)

Products - 1/05 - Part 2

Voodoo PC;

Avid Technology has introduced HD versions of its Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline solutions.

The first HD version of the company’s non-linear digital editing software, Avid Xpress Pro HD boasts support for native Panasonic DVCPRO HD acquisition and editing, as well as Avid DNxHD editing and rendering. Multicamera functionality, DV50 capture and output, and 24p and video effects output over IEEE-1394 round out the HD offering. Now shipping worldwide, Avid Xpress Pro HD is priced at $1695 for the full version and $49.95 as an upgrade. Avid Xpress Pro HD customers will be eligible for a free software update, which adds HDV support, scheduled for availability in the middle of the year.

Avid’s Media Composer Adrenaline HD 2.0 system has been upgraded to offer HD editing capabilities for the first time. Priced at $25,000, the professional editing solution includes Media Composer Adrena-line HD 2.0 software and the Avid Adrenaline hardware. Its multicamera functionality enables users to combine multiple HD, SD, and DV formats and resolutions in a single timeline. -CEH

Avid Technology;

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, has announced the first value-added extension for its 3ds max 7 software.

A 3D modeling plug-in, Cloth Extension provides artists a cloth-simulation system with which to build realistic, film-quality clothing for 3D characters in film, television, game, and other professional projects.

Users have the option of translating modeled geometry into cloth or importing clothing patterns for the creation of characters’ garments. In fact, the Cloth Extension enables cloth presets to be saved and shared, thereby ensuring consistency and increasing productivity. Further streamlining and speeding the production work flow, most cloth functions are accessible with MAXScript; commonly used tools can be scripted for quick and simplified use.

The Cloth Extension ensures that digital clothing responds and moves as it would in the real world by providing the ability to define or select different types of cloth, such as silk, cotton, and wool. Moreover, clothing can be tailored to a character, rather than appearing as loose-fitting or as draped cloth. This new innovation also supports inner seam lines for incorporating pleats and vents.

The company’s new cloth-creation technology, based on Size8 Software’s ClothFX product, will now be integrated directly into 3ds max 7 software and will be delivered in January at no additional cost to valid Discreet Subscription customers. Other 3ds max users are able to purchase the new release for $595. -CEH


Softimage, together with its Avid Technology parent company, has announced an upgrade to Softimage XSI.

The latest software update, Version 4.2, is geared toward streamlining the creative process for game, film, broadcast, and postproduction professionals working on complex CG productions.

Features new to Version 4.2 are UV unwrapping, the Alienbrain Studio plug-in, XSI rendering and Mental Ray Version 3.3, and GPUSurfaceFX2 technology. Of interest to game developers, Version 4.2 offers normal map generation; whereas film and broadcast professionals will benefit from XSI’s newfound support for 10-bit and HD MXF, AAF, and OpenEXR formats.

As part of the new upgrade, XSI Advanced gains Version 2.0 of the company’s behavioral crowd-simulation software, Softimage Behavior. Creatives can develop CG crowd scenes using Softimage Behavior software and independently control characters designed in Softimage XSI, creating a complex crowd consisting of greater than 100,000 characters.

At the same time, the XSI Essen-tials package newly integrates resolution-independent compositing and paint features, which previously had been available exclusively in the XSI Advanced edition. Lastly, XSI Foun-dation sports improved rendering capabilities and support for the Linux operating system.

Softimage customers having purchased Version 4.0 can download the upgrade to Version 4.2 from the company’s Web site. -CEH


Adobe Systems has unveiled an upgraded version of its Acrobat Professional software. With the release of Version 7.0, Adobe expands the functionality of Acrobat beyond the conversion of various document formats to PDF. The latest version boasts performance enhancements, especially in the areas of application launch and PDF creation. Acrobat 7.0 Professional also now provides users with PDF correction tools for solving common problems, and an output preview feature is useful for spotting potential errors on screen. The upgrade offers enhanced control over 3D content, and adds support for JDF and PDF/X files. Improving collaboration and review processes, Acrobat 7.0 Professional enables users to grant colleagues access to commenting tools from within the free Adobe Reader 7.0 software.

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional carries a price of $449. Registered users of Versions 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 Standard and Professional can upgrade to Acrobat 7.0 Professional for $159. The company also has integrated Acrobat 7.0 Professional software in Adobe Creative Suite Premium 1.3, the full version of which is priced at $1229. Adobe Photoshop users can upgrade to Creative Suite Premium 1.3 at a cost of $749, whereas Creative Suite Premium users can upgrade to Version 1.3 for $159. -CEH

Adobe Systems;