Extended Design Review
Autodesk has expanded its Design Review DWF-based review and collaboration software for engineers, service technicians, and others in product design and project teams. Autodesk Design Review provides on-demand access to ThomasNet’s industrial product and service information, enabling users to search the ThomasNet database directly from within the software, as they are working on a design. Now with contextual search capabilities, Autodesk Design Review accesses metadata in the published design model and part characteristics in the design to connect the user with relevant information in ThomasNet’s catalog. The software enables professionals to share information securely throughout the supply chain, collaborate with team members on designs, access critical design specifics, and speed time to market. Autodesk Design Review is priced at $199 for a single-seat license, $895 for five seats, and $1740 for 10 seats.
NaturalMotion has unveiled Version 2.7 of its Endorphin and Endorphin Learning Edition 3D character animation software. Version 2.7 includes a new library of standard simulation and prop characters, support for the Acclaim 2 file format, additional tutorials, and a revised user guide. Characters and objects in Endorphin are now able to interact with fluids realistically, taking into account buoyancy and drag forces, and including support for moving fluids and waves. A new Endorphin Control Panel plug-in for Autodesk Maya, a stickiness parameter for modeling the effect of sticky surfaces, and extended forces and torques round out the new version. Endorphin 2.7 is priced at $9495, and can be rented on a monthly basis for $1195. Existing NaturalMotion customers with a valid maintenance contract can upgrade at no charge.
Vizrt has integrated its Viz/Curious World Maps software with its Viz/Artist graphics design tool, Viz/Trio real-time CG software, Viz/Content Pilot content management and control utility, and Viz/Weather real-time broadcast system. Vizrt’s Map Server serves as an Active X plug-in, bridging Curious World Maps with the other graphics applications. Curious World Maps also offers integration with Microsoft’s Virtual Earth platform, enabling broadcasters using Curious World Maps to take advantage of high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery from the popular Microsoft platform.
Boris FX has upgraded its Boris Graffiti 2D and 3D vector title animation plug-in to Version 5.0. Based on Boris Red 4.0, the latest Boris Graffiti boasts a new ergonomic user interface, enhanced compositing and effects creation utilities, and EPS import and extrusion. Additional features in Version 5.0 include more than 40 title treatment filters, new browser templates, and support for Intel-based Macs, 16-bit color, and additional nonlinear editing hosts, such as Avid models, Canopus Edius 4, and Sony Vegas 7. Boris Graffiti 5.0 is now available for $299. Existing Boris Graffiti users can upgrade to Version 5.0 at a cost of $199.
Extending 3ds Max
Autodesk has introduced 3ds Max 9 Extension: Productivity Booster, software that provides Autodesk subscription customers with more than 30 productivity enhancements in animation, rendering, and overall usability. Design visualization customers also benefit from improved interoperability with AutoCAD 2008, AutoCAD Architecture 2008, and Revit Building 2008. The new software solution also offers DWG import options, an optimized import memory management system, and compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista with DirectX 10 support. The extension’s Select Similar tool uses metadata to isolate content having similar characteristics, simplifying the identification and manipulation of objects in a scene.
Archipelis Company has upgraded its Archipelis Designer to Version 1.1. Geared for 3D professionals and beginners alike, Archipelis Designer enables users to quickly create 3D models by sketching shapes and then enhancing them with textures and photographs. The latest version of the product offers compatibility with Google SketchUp, as well as the ability to generate C code automatically for rendering models based on OpenGL. For further cross-application modeling, Archipelis Designer Version 1.1 enables export to a wider array of formats, including VRML, OFF, DXF, DirectX, STL, X3D, and .asc for Autodesk’s 3ds Max. Archipelis Designer 1.1 is now available at a cost of roughly $64.
Sculpt in Mudbox
Skymatter has announced a free trial of Mudbox 1.0.4, advanced 3D sculpting software for professional digital sculptors. Mudbox is a brush-based 3D sculpting solution offering 3D layering, a 3D camera for perspective and orthographic views, texture baking, and a library of 3D brushes Mudbox integrates with such industry applications as Autodesk Maya and Softimage XSI. The free trial version, offering all the capabilities of the professional edition, can be downloaded at www.mudbox3d.com/downloadTrial.html.
3Dconnexion’s 3D navigation devices now offer support for Adobe Acrobat 3D software through Version 3.1 of the company’s 3DxSoftware. Users of 3Dconnexion SpacePilot, SpaceExplorer, SpaceTraveler, and SpaceNavigator can pan, zoom, and rotate 3D content in PDF documents via Acrobat 3D Versions 7 and 8, as well as Adobe Reader Version 8. 3DxSoftware Version 3.1 is now available via download free of charge to owners of the SpacePilot, SpaceExplorer, SpaceTraveler, and SpaceNavigator. 3Dconnexion anticipates releasing its 3DxMacWare Macintosh-compatible driver software, compatible with Adobe Reader 8, by June.
Managed Media Distribution
A developer of digital media distribution and management solutions for the media and entertainment industry, Signiant has upgraded its Digital Media Distribution Management Suite. The software suite is designed to aid creators and producers of rich media content in better managing file-based workflows and their distribution of digital content. The Signiant Digital Media Distribution Management Suite helps users exchange, repurpose, and move digital files, as well as secure and automate digital media workflows. The enhanced solution combines the Central Media Manager, having a Web-based user interface, with Media Agents that handle the distribution and collection of data. Optional modules for use with the suite include the Media Accelerator, Media Exchange, and High-availability Central Media Manager.
Art in a Snap
Snap Art, an image-editing plug-in from Alien Skin Software, provides a variety of effects to artists, photographers, and designers. The new product aids in the production of pen and pencil line drawings with shading and cross-hatching, comic-look art with shading and half-toning, Neo-impressionist pieces, and dry-brushed watercolor or textured impasto creations. Able to emulate traditional artistic effects such as colored pencils, charcoal, and oil pastels, Snap Art includes hundreds of presets, an intelligent stroke engine, and various brushes, pencils, pastels, pens, and canvas and paper types. The Snap Art plug-in is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS or later, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 or higher, and Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI or later. Snap Art is priced at $149; registered users of other Alien Skin products can purchase the new product for $99.
Alien Skin Software; http://www.alienskin.com/