Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 11 (November 2000)

Products - 11/00

Design Engineering

Win/Unix CADDS 5i Release 11 from PTC updates the company's mechanical computer-aided design suite. It allows bi-directional associative sharing of 3D-design information between different CAD systems as well as changes to more complex designs, faster drafting, and extended lofting and surface analysis capabilities. It provides full concurrent assembly mock-up support. The price is unavailable. (Waltham, MA; 781-398-5000;

Win Toolbox/SE 6.0 automation software from Cimlogic includes a new drag-and-drop interface for SolidWorks 2000 that allows the placement of standard hardware into assemblies, enabling users to create circular and linear cams and sprockets. New hardware includes additional bolts, screws, nuts, pins, and jig bushings. Also included are advanced hole types and a full hardware library. The price is $695. (Nashua, NH; 603-881-9918;

Win Geomagic Studio 3.0 from Raindrop Geomagic allows users to take output from 3D scanners, capture the color, texture, and shape of real-world objects, and transfer them into usable models for applications in manufacturing, engineering, design, and new media. It allows surface patch layouts to be re-used, and includes automatic edge sharpening, instant color maps, automatic map generation for streaming 3D content, curvature-based hole filling, and new hardware support. The price is unavailable. (Durham, NC; 919-474-0122;

Win LightTools version 3.0 from Optical Research Associates improves the illumination and design software's 3D rendering capabilities and its ability to model scattering surfaces. LightTools uses the OpenGL rendering engine, and can import measured bi-directional scatter distribution function data for a surface, and use the data to model rotationally symmetric scatter or fit to an elliptical gaussian function to model anisotropic scatter. The price is unavailable. (Pasadena, CA; 626-795-9101;

Win/Unix Optimus 3.0 from LMS works with all major mechanical engineering software programs to help the user understand how changes affect designs by identifying the design's sensitivity to a range of parameters. Parameters can be grouped together to simplify display, and ranges, values, names, data sets, and consistency can be validated before the design of experiments is launched. Users can perform such operations as zoom, copy and paste, and snap to grid. The price is unavailable. (Troy, MI; 248-952-5664;

Modeling and animation

Win Dominatrix from House of Moves is a plug-in for Alias|Wavefront's Maya 3.0. Animators can define the motion-capture skeleton they want and how it can be controlled. It allows the use of traditional Inverse Kinematic keyframe animation techniques with motion-captured performance, and lets animators compensate for differences in proportion between live performers and CG characters. The price is unavailable. (Marina del Rey, CA; 310-306-6131;

Win Animo Inkworks from Cambridge Animation Systems is a plug-in that allows users of Alias|Wavefront's Maya and Discreet's 3D Studio Max to assign cartoon materials to 3D scenes and model, creating the effect of hand-drawn animation. 3D data from these applications can be output directly as pre-painted, regionalized Animo levels with color models. Regions can be defined by material or object, and levels can be output as basic gray-scale unpainted drawings. The price is unavailable. (Cambridge, England; 44 1223-488220 ;

Win/Mac Swift 3D from Electric Rain is a vector graphics software tool that allows designers to create 3D content for use with vector authoring tools such as Macromedia Flash and Adobe LiveMotion. The program is now available for the Macintosh platform. Images can be created from fonts and basic 3D primitives within the program, or imported from other applications that export Encapsulated PostScript files. It includes pre-built drag-and-drop animations and keyframe animation. The price is $139. (Boulder, CO; 303-543-8233;

Win/Linux/Unix Toonz version 4.4 from Softimage Co. is 2D cel animation software used to create cartoons, which has been updated for Linux and Windows 2000. A new particles engine plug-in improves the creation of atmospheric effects such as rain, snow, sparkles, and smoke. It also includes 3:2 pulldown, allowing animators to move from video to film frame rates. It has support for Twain scanners and a DDR feature to render directly to a video device. The price is $11,995. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 800-949-2843;

Win/Mac Poser 4.0.3 from Curious Labs is a 3D animation and design tool that allows animators to create images, movies, and posed 3D figures from a collection of fully articulated human and animal models. Libraries of pose settings, hand gestures, facial expressions, and swappable clothing are included. The price is $359. (Santa Cruz, CA; 831-462-8222;


Win/Mac VR Worx 2.0, VR Toolbox's suite of authoring tools for QuickTime VR, is scriptable via AppleScript and Visual Basic. It can generate an object movie that has the object within a panoramic background. It has 11 new transitions, including cross fade, wipe, zoom, radial, and iris. It can import and export panoramic images at sizes up to 10,000 by 3000 pixels, and allows users to create interactive QuickTime VR movies with film, video, or digital cameras. The price is $299.99. (Pittsburgh, PA; 877-878-6657;

Win/Mac/Linux Piranha Stream from Piranha allows real-time, full-frame-rate encoding of streaming video files while keeping file sizes low. It encodes at the 24 frames-per-second rate of film or the 30 frames-per-second rate of video for frame sizes of 320 by 240 pixels or greater. The price is unavailable. (Dallas, TX; 214-800-2843;


Win AGI32, lighting design software from Lighting Analysts, has a 32-bit advanced graphical interface that allows lighting designers and architects to create photometrically correct renderings for complex environments. It includes a library of products from leading lighting manufacturers with pictures and photometric data. AGI32 provides analysis for unlimited luminaires and types, four aiming angles, reflective or transmissive objects, lighting power density computation, CIE glare rating criteria, extensive 3D reflective geometry, and more. The price is unavailable. (Littleton, CO; 303-972-8852;


Win/Linux/Unix EnLiten and EnVideo from Computational Engineering International work with the company's EnSight applications to allow organizations to share high-end visualizations across the Internet or corporate intranets. They allow communication of complex visualizations in areas such as fluid dynamics, finite-element analysis, crash analysis, and aerodynamics. The programs plug into PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and Netscape, and support 3D stereo viewing and a full range of computing and display systems. The price for EnLiten is $3000. EnVideo Basic is free and EnVideo Pro is $450. (Morrisville, NC; 919-481-4301;