Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 9 (September 2000)

Products - 9/00

Win/Mac ArchiFM 2000 from Graphisoft is a computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) program for companies with more than 100,000 square feet of space. The 3D architectural design software allows designers to plan changes to facilities and lets tenants make Web-based change requests or access reports. It is based on intelligent 3D object technology and SQL-based information systems. The price is unavailable. (San Francisco; 800-344-3468;

Design Engineering

Win The Parametrics module from CADKey Corp. allows users to convert existing or imported wireframe data into sketches and automatically constrain them. Features such as water lines dependent on a cavity will update automatically as parameters are changed, or provide feedback if a conflict arises. The software allows creation of a set or prints and provides special sketching tools. The price is $1195. (Marlborough, MA; 800-372-3872;

Win VersaCAD 2000 from Archway Systems is an update of the company's computer-aided design software available on CD-ROM. It includes a two-way translator to convert from any release of AutoCAD into or out of VersaCAD. It works with Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and is compatible with all Windows input, output, and screen devices. The price is $895 per seat. (Huntington Beach, CA; 714-374-0440;

Win/Mac Vellum Solids 2000 from Ashlar has faster modeling of complex shapes than previous versions, as well as improved file translators and product stability. It adds continuous surface matching, elevation, control point manipulation and insertion, an untrim feature, and unlimited guide curves. New translators import directly from Pro/Engineer and full ACIS STEP AP203 and AP214. New rendering, animation, filleting, blending, and chamfering tools are included. The price is unavailable. (Austin, TX; 800-877-2745;

Unix Classic Jack 2.2i from Engineering Animation is an international version of the company's human modeling and ergonomic analysis software. It includes a GUI localized for Japanese and internationalized for any language. It supports the Hewlett-Packard HP-UX platform, and improves handling of joint adjustment and texture mapping. The price is unavailable. (Ames, IA; 515-296-9908;

Win Mastercam Mill V. 8 from CNC Software adds full toolpath/geometry associativity, enhanced surface and solid machining, and specialty utilities designed for the wood and furniture industries. Users can drag and drop parameters, toolpaths, and tool definitions from one operation to another and create a library of common operations. A two-axis subprogram simplifies programming, and new five-axis features have been added. The price is unavailable. (Tolland, CT; 800-228-2877;

Win AutoSolids, an Object ARX solid modeling application from Varimetric Solutions, runs with AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Mechanical Desktop in both Release 14 and 2000-based versions. It provides 3D solid modeling and allows for automatic creation of 2D drawings from 3D models. The software allows for parametric editing of solid models in standard AutoCAD. The price is $995. (Pace, FL; 800-255-5130;

Win 3D Lightyear 1.1 from 3D Systems Corp. converts three-dimensional digital designs into operating commands for the company's SLA systems, which use a laser to harden liquid resin layer by layer, forming a solid object. It features thin latticework support structures that can be easily removed, and includes surface-finishing algorithms. 3D Lightyear is accompanied by Buildstation 5.1 software. The price is unavailable. (Valencia, CA; 888-337-9786;

Win The Mechanical Desktop Converter from SolidWorks Corp. is a conversion utility plug-in that translates files created with Autodesk Mechanical Desktop into the SolidWorks 2000 solid modeling software environment, with feature information, eliminating the need to export data into a neutral file and then import it. The plug-in is free. (Concord, MA; 800-693-9000; www.solid

Modeling and Animation

Win GrafiCalc from Geomate Corp. is a behavior modeling software package that allows users to tackle geometry-based design problems. A single integrated package allows associative geometry and calculations. Changing geometric and numeric design parameters causes the entire model to be automatically updated, delivering design-decision support information. The price is $129. (San Jose, CA;

Win RenderVision 1.0 from Criterion Software is a plug-in for 3D modeling programs that allows game artists to visualize artwork on their target development platform as polygonal playback in real time, and at the touch of a button. It is available as a plug-in for 3D Studio Max 3.1 for PCs and PlayStation2, with versions for Maya and Softimage 3D scheduled. The price is $995. (Guildford, England; 512-322-3986;


Win/Mac Deneba Internet Graphics Server (DIGS) V. 2.0 from Deneba Software allows users to retrieve and view Canvas graphics assets stored in DIGS-managed directories using a Web browser. The User can view contents of the file at full resolution, scroll and change pages, switch layers, and change magnification without downloading the file, installing browser plug-ins, or enabling Java. The server performs all zooming, processing, and navigation calculations, then uses compression and optimization algorithms to send small GIF and JPEG files to the web client. The price is $995.95. (Miami, FL; 305-596-5644;

Mac ACDSee from ACD Systems International is the Macintosh version of the digital imaging software. It allows high-speed, high-resolution management of images, movies, and sound clip files. It allows users to save to GIF, JPG, TGA, TIF, PSPS, Photoshop, SGI, Macpaint, QuickTime, and BMP formats. It plays QuickTime movies, MPEGs, and MP3s. The price is $29.95. (Victoria, BC, Canada; 250-544-6700;

Win FotoG-III from Vexcel uses high-level image processing to automatically perform tie point collection and feature extraction. Images are loaded with the automation and target recognition, and the measurement and collection process can be run directly into the CAD/modeling system the user chooses. The system supports multiple cameras, which can be digital, video, or film. Image sizes are up to 2 megapixels with 50 images per block. The price is $6000. (Boulder, CO; 303-444-0094;


Win/Unix The Rayz 2D compositor from Silicon Grail provides 2D compositing abilities to traditional visual effects artists and general 3D animators. Its GUI is customizable, scriptable, and extensible, including dockable windows, drag and drop, and customizable menu, status, and tool bars. It includes an infinite workspace to move images out of frame and bring them back later, and allows the compositing of images of different size and bit depths. The price is unavailable. (Hollywood, CA; 323-871-9100;

Win/Unix A software plug-in from Ultimatte Corp. allows users to integrate the company's blue- and green-screen software with the Shake compositing platform from Nothing Real. The software allows users to create composites that preserve fine details such as hair, smoke, mist, motion blur, and shadows while automatically suppressing spill in the foreground subject. It is designed for feature films, music videos, and game development. The price is $1950. (Chatsworth, CA; 818-993-8007;

Web Authoring

Win/Unix/Solaris Instant Community from Blaxxun Interactive is an off-the-shelf 3D media-rich software package that allows companies to extend their Web sites into virtual communities. Users can offer 2D and 3D chat simultaneously. A template-based structure allows the program to be integrated with an existing site. The package contains authoring tools such as Place Builder and Avatar Studio. The price is $7500. (San Francisco; 415-437-6160;

Win iSpace from Caligari Corp. is a 3D Web graphics and animation authoring package that uses a drop-and-drag interface to create Web pages. It can be used alone or with HTML editors. Objects can be manipulated in full 3D perspective or in a 2D window. Existing 2D HTML pages can be imported. The software supports Intel's PIII instruction set, AMD's K7 CPU, and 3Dnow technology, as well as most popular 3D accelerator cards. The price is $99. (Mountain View, CA; 800-351-7620;


Win The Gladiac 3D gaming accelerator from Elsa has 64MB of DDR SGRAM supported by the Nvidia GeForce2 GTS processor to allow video games to operate at higher resolutions. The Gladiac MX is a PC graphics card with a built-in gaming engine. Both come with stereo 3D and a suite of software for monitor and application control. The price for the 64MB Gladiac is $429. The price for the MX is unavailable. (San Jose, CA; 800-272-3572;


Win/Unix The Passive Stereo WorkWall from Fakespace Systems is a high-brightness flat wall display system for large-scale computer-generated models and visual simulations. The rear-projected display measures 6 by 7.5 ft and gives an appearance of depth when viewed with the company's polarized glasses. It has 1280- by 1024-pixel resolution and greater than 1000 ASNI lumens per eye. It mounts 17 inches above the floor and is slightly angled to minimize reflection from overhead lighting. The price is $117,000. (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; 519-749-3339;

Win/Unix The Clarity 3G and Clarity 3C 3 megapixel flat-panel display systems from Dome Imaging Systems come in gray-scale (3G) or color (3C) versions. They are available in portrait or landscape modes and offer contrast ratios of 300:1, luminance of 150 foot Lamberts, and a viewing angle of 160 degrees. They are based on active-matrix liquid-crystal display technology. The light source should run approximately 30,000 hours. They weigh under 15 pounds, have resolutions of 2560 by 2048 pixels, and support Windows NT and Solaris operating systems. The price is unavailable. (Waltham, MA; 781-895-1155;

Input/Output Devices

Win The CADJet 3D wide-format inkjet printer from EnCAD uses the company's MicroBurstä technology to print line drawings and full-color 3D images, renderings, and maps on bond and photo-gloss media. The 36-inch printer can operate at faster than 200 square feet per hour with resolutions of 600 by 300 dpi. At other speeds, it has 600- by 600-dpi resolution. It comes with a choice of inks and cartridges and can print from most Windows applications. The price is $7499. (San Diego, CA; 800-453-6223;

Win The Nav3D from Digital Immersion Software Corp. and LogiCad3D is a real-time 3D motion controller optimized to run in conjunction with Merlin 3D, Digital Immersion's modeling and rendering environment for Windows. The input device offers six degrees of freedom with adjustable sensitivity and programmable buttons. The price is unavailable. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 877-272-0804;

Win/Mac The ScanJet 5370C from Hewlett-Packard is designed for small- and home-office users. It has 42-bit color depth and 1200-dpi resolution and features four front-panel buttons. It comes with optical character reader software. The ScanJet has options for USB and parallel port connectivity for PC users and USB for Mac users. A lighted transparency adapter allows scanning of negatives, slides, and transparencies. A 25-page automatic document feeder is optional. The price is $299. (Palo Alto, CA; 800-722-6538;

Win/Mac The Graphire USB cordless pen-and-mouse system from Wacom Technology Corp. is bundled with six software applications: Painter Classic, Adobe Photoshop 5.0LE, Sensiva, Paragraph PenOffice 2000 SE, Adobe Active Share, and Wacom PenTools. It com bines a cordless, scrolling mouse with a cordless, pressure-sensitive pen that can sense 512 levels of pressure. It has a resolution of 1015 lines per inch and a built-in eraser on the pen. The price is $99.95. (Vancouver, WA; 800-922-6613;

Win The WingMan Force 3D from Logitech is a force feedback joystick with a lockable twist handle function for accurate rudder control, seven programmable buttons, an 8-way hat (POV) switch, and a high-precision throttle. It has a USB interface for plug-and-play performance with Windows/2000 and works with all PC games written to support force feedback. The price is $59.95. (Fremont, CA; 800-231-7717;