Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 2 (Feb 2000)


Win Halodeck MasterTool from HighRES is CAM-based 3D reverse engineering software for Mastercam 7.2. Using this product, machinists can recreate complex 3D surfaces and solids from existing molds, models, or parts and visualize, analyze, and critique 3D product designs in real time. Features include points, line, spline, closed-line, and closed-spline data collection options. Smart features include rectangle (center corner, corner corner, and 3 point), circle (center +1 point, 3 point, radius, and 3-point arc), measurement (point to point, sphere), cutplane, and cutplane offset. The price is $5200. (La Jolla, CA; 619-459-1493;

Win Design engineers can create solid models based on 2D AutoCAD drawings using Helix Capture, an option for the Helix Design System from Microcadam. Starting within the AutoCAD program, users are prompted to select views for 3D generation. These views are automatically transferred into Helix Modeling, which creates solid models using AutoSolid and the Gen3D function. Full-function hybrid modeling benefits include integrated surfaces, motion simulation, interference detection, and advanced design for sheet metal. The price was unavailable. (Burbank, CA; 818-253-2200;

Win/Mac/Unix Three high-quality texture products-each containing more than 100 textures-in the Dosch Textures line are available from Dosch Design. Rust & Metal offers multi-layer textures covering all aspects of rust and metal in graphics. The Stone & Concrete CD offers textures that include stone bricks, concrete, plaster, floor surfaces, aged stone surfaces, and more. For character design, the Skin CD features skins for humans, fantasy and science fiction creatures, reptiles, and other animals. The products cost $59 each. (Marktheidenfeld, Germany; +49-9391-915853;

Win/Mac's latest offering, "The Visual Effects CD, Volumes I & II," each contains more than 35 high-quality, royalty-free visual effects sequences. Full-size file dimensions range from 720x540 to 2048x1536. Included are a time-lapse cloud sequence, a star field loop, birds, dust/debris, glass breaking at camera, water, rain, snow, fire, smoke, explosions, an atomic blast, and more. (Sylmar, CA; 800-242-9627;

Geomagic Studio 2.0 from Raindrop Geomagic automates the conversion of scan data to polygonal models, and polygonal models to NURBS surfaces, allowing a quick-and-easy transition from physical model to production-ready CAD model. Studio consists of a suite of tools: Geomagic Wrap 4.0, which handles the scan data to polygons conversion, and Geomagic Shape, which converts the polygons to NURBS surfaces. The price of the bundle is $19,995. (Research Triangle Park, NC; 800-251-5551;

Win/Unix MoveTools V 1.5 from LambSoft supports 3D Studio Max R3 and Maya 2.0 in addition to Softimage 3.8 and Lightwave 5.6. Artists can work in parallel and across both hardware and software platforms. The product converts cameras, lights, motion, hierarchies, geometry, material names, and texture coordinates between animation software packages. Compact "hub" files enable users to move all motion and geometry across hardware platforms with a single file transfer. (Minneapolis, MN; 612-872-1700;

Win From LambSoft Inc. comes Pro Motion V1.5 for 3D Studio Max R3, which contains two new interfaces for optical motion-capture data input. LSkeleton is used to read in hierarchical formats such as BVA, BVH, Acclaim, HTR, and SDL/ASK. LTracker is used to read in any of the tracker formats such as TRC, AOA, C3D, and CSM. Max script commands have been added for all of the Global Interfaces and for the export of each data format. The Pro Motion MAXScript commands enable users to write a script to process multiple motion capture files. (Minneapolis, MN; 800-535-5117;

Win For use with Play's Electric Image modeling, rendering, and animation system, PowerParticles v1.5 from TripleDTools Inc. enables animators to create rich organic behaviors found in nature quickly and easily. Users can render stills at any time from any preview mode without run-up. The software features collision detection between emitted objects and child models. With the improved Model Emission feature, users simply animate the child object and assign PowerParticles to the first and last frames of the cycle. Users can set up emission based on polygon size or the entire surface, set emission direction, and vary the density of emission based on the speed of the model and/or the direction of the emission model. The price is $199. (Albuquerque, NM; 505-332-3332;

Win From Spaceward comes Satori, a 64-bit graphics and animation bundle that includes vector paint, graphics, special effects, and animation. It's intended for use with Photoshop, Painter, Paint Shop Pro, Photo-Paint, or other compatible software, and comprises the Satori FilmFX64 3.2 and Satori PaintFX 1.1 plug-in suite. It is priced at $99 for a limited time. (Cambridge, UK;

Win In the 4.3 release of the procedural tree creator Tree Professional from Onyx Computing, the DXF export is complemented by high-resolution BMP and TGA export. With its proprietary, RAM-independent rendering engine, the variable size and resolution BMP and TGA export, and matching DXF panel export, the user can create a large number of single-polygon "panel" trees, and build photorealistic vegetation of any density. (Cambridge, MA; 617-876-3876;

Win Everest real-time graphics animation and rendering software from Peak Broadcast Systems is available on the SGI Windows NT platform. This version offers the identical feature set available when using Everest on the SGI Onyx and O2 platforms. The latest release features three-layer live compositing, support of 3D beveled fonts, immersive graphics, and particles as a plug-in. The price starts at $20,000. (Bergen, Norway; 47.55.908.080;

Win From Credo Interactive, Animania for Poser Animals is the latest module in the PowerMoves Online series of downloadable, ready-to-use 3D content. It offers three animal motion modules-horse, dog, and cat-each including more than a dozen characteristic motions. Additional Animania modules offer either segmented or mesh model versions of individual animals in the following 3D formats: Life Forms, Lightwave 3D, and 3D Studio Max. The price per animal is $34.95. The price for all three animals is $49.95. (Vancouver, B.C.; 604-291-6717;

Win Animo Inkworks from Cambridge Animation Systems is a plug-in that enables Alias|Wavefront Maya users to assign cartoon materials to 3D scenes and models, creating the look of hand-drawn animation. Users can export 3D data from Maya into Animo. The 3D models are composited within Animo 2D scenes using the Scene III plug-in. The 3D data can be output directly from Maya as pre-painted, regionalized Animo levels, complete with color models. Regions can be defined by material or object, and levels can be output as basic gray-scale unpainted drawings. (Cambridge, UK; 919-481-4599;

Win VoxBlast RealTime from VayTek Inc. is a hardware/software package for 3D volume visualization, measurement, and manipulation. The VoxBlast rendering application accepts stacks of registered 2D images and creates 3D projections from any viewpoint using an alpha blending or surface rendering algorithm. It includes tools for pseudo-coloring, transparency, lighting, 2D and 3D measurements, 2D slice viewing, cropping, and more. The RealTime version works with a volume rendering accelerator card that processes 500 million voxels per second. Researchers can zoom in, rotate, and adjust the opacity in a region of interest in real time. (Fairfield, IA; 515-472-2227;

Win Intended for image processing and 3D rendering from CT, MRI, microscopy, and other volumetric images used by doctors and researchers, 3D-Doctor 2.1 from Able Software automatically segments images to extract object boundaries. 3D surface model and volume rendering are generated for 3D visualization and animation. Users can save 3D models to standard 3D formats such as DXF and STL for prototyping of an object. The price is $2400 per license. (Lexington, MA; 781-862-2804;

Mac e-Picture from BeatWare provides the seamless integration of bitmaps and vectors, so that original animations have the editable properties of vectors and the photographic properties of bitmaps simultaneously. Each element of an e-Picture animation is a standalone object, which can be edited independently. The software creates movement sequences all on a single layer, making it easy to make movement changes. By noting an object's initial and final positions, e-Picture can automatically generate the number of intermediate frames needed to create the desired movement. (San Jose, CA; 408-938-9050;

Win For distributing 3D models and environments on a Web site, RealityWave offers the VizStream WebKit. Users can display large, complex 3D models and environments on a Web site. Visitors to the site can interact with the 3D content by rotating, zooming in/out, and examining separate pieces. The designer uses the WebKit to select an XGL file and to place the 3D content on a VizStream server. The user then directs the VizStream ActiveX control, on the Web page, to the 3D model or environment. When a user visits the site, the ActiveX viewer automatically downloads, installs, and begins streaming 3D content. (Cambridge, MA; 978-889-1455;

Win With up to 64MB of graphics memory and a 350MHz RAMDAC, Gloria II from ELSA combines OpenGL technology and certified application-specific enhancements with the Quadro workstation GPU from Nvidia. The board enables 17 million triangles per second and a peak texture fill rate of 540 million pixels per second. Along with enhanced support for antialiased points and lines, the Gloria II board allows for two-sided lighting, full transform, front-buffer 3D clipping, and shared back-buffer support for 3D modeling, design, and drafting. The price for the card is less than $850. (San Jose, CA; 800-272-3572;

Win The hi-Res 800 headset from Cybermind UK offers SVGA resolution and matches it to the latest motion-tracking technology to minimize the lag time of the graphical image update. The headset connects to a desktop computer to provide super VGA resolution of 1.56 million pixels per eye. A user-friendly twist-action ratchet makes it multi-user, contouring to virtually any head size. The lightweight injection-molded shell enables user flexibility. Integrated stereo earphones provide quality sound, while the headset's recessed microphone allows for networked communications. (Leicestershire, UK; +44 0116 260 4310;