Products - 6/06
Issue: Volume: 29 Issue: 6 (June 2006)

Products - 6/06


The Power of N
Win nPower rolled out Power Translators Pro, an extension to its Power Translators plugin for Autodesk’s 3ds Max, for importing large CAD models and assemblies into 3ds Max and Autodesk’s Viz software. The product offers improved productivity for professional design visualization engineers who need to render numerous large, complex CAD models accurately and efficiently. With Power Net, the product maximizes the design visualization throughout by leveraging distributed computing power and network optimization for the large models and large volumes of data typical of the CAD industry. Complex data translation processing, which used to take days or even weeks to accomplish, can now be done in a matter of hours. And Power Translators Pro maintains the high-quality surface definitions required to obtain the most accurate rendering. Instead of translating their high-quality surface models into imprecise polygonal models or intermediate formats and then generating high-quality renderings, design visualization professionals can transfer the precise surface definitions generated by the CAD designers. Power Translators Pro sells for $1995 and includes a free one-year subscription to Power Net.
Visual Effects
Jahshaka VFX
Win • Mac • Linux - The Jahshaka Project has released the Jahshaka 2.0 RC3, an open source, real-time editing and visual effects application. The tool is distributed under the GNU General Public License, and the software and its source code are available for public download at Designed for editors and other professionals involved in digital content creation, Jahshaka is a post production suite that will ultimately include modules for video and audio editing, compositing, animation, visual effects, graphics, and paint. Hardware-accelerated using OpenGL and built using cross-platform technology, the software runs equally well on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The Jahshaka 2.0 release also includes Jah Player, across-platform media player that eliminates the need to install multiple media player software. The tool supports 2K and 4K playback of media files to raw image sequences, and maintains the aspect ratio of the source Jahshaka Project;
Knoll Spark Pack Lights Up
SGI • Linux Digital Anarchy announced Version 3.0 of its Knoll Spark Pack, offering increased control over the look of hundreds of lighting effects and furthering the creative abilities of broadcast designers and visual effects artists to deliver innovative effects in 2D composites. The Knoll Spark Pack was originally written by John Knoll to create the Photon Torpedos in Star Trek: First Contact. The pack contains three filters, the centerpiece being Knoll Lens Flare Pro, designed to create lens fl ares and other lighting effects, including lasers, explosions, and suns. The other two filters are Knoll Unmult, for matte generation, and Knoll Min/Max, for matte adjustments. The pack supports64-bit SGI and 32/64-bit Linux, and has been updated to take advantage of Autodesk’s newest systems. Knoll Spark Pack 3.0 is priced at $1295; upgrades from 2.0 cost $249. Knoll Spark Pack works on Autodesk’s Inferno, Flame, Flint, Fire, and Smoke.
Digital Anarchy;

Edius Enhances its NLE Software
The Grass Valley business within Thomson announced Edius Pro Version 4.0, the latest in the company’s real-time, multi-format video editing solution. New features such as multicam support, nested sequence editing, improved trimming tools, and key frame support for color correction maximize the editing system's productivity. To meet the high standards and fast-paced environments of broadcast and post production facilities, including support for new tapeless acquisition and storage systems, the new features found in Edius Pro Version 4.0 will also be included in the company’s Edius Broadcast software solution.
The new multi-cam feature supports up to eight cameras and provides real-time monitor preview, as well as a master channel preview that displays all eight camera angles. The multi-cam feature provides users with the feel of alive switcher, but with the flexibility of a nonlinear editing environment.
Edius Pro Version 4.0 software is available this month for $699. Version 3 users can upgrade for $199. Edius Broadcast Version 4.0software will also be available at the end of June for $999, and $199 for upgrades.
Maestro VRX Plays to the Crowd
Orad Hi Tec Systems demonstrated for the first time its new Maestro VRX system designed to provide a high-resolution, multi-channel, scalable real-time graphics solution for backdrop rear-projection systems. Backdrop rear-projection systems are becoming more popular as a high-quality replacement for conventional video walls or bluescreens.

Maestro VRX merges between the VRX technology and the Maestro on-air graphics system. The Maestro VRX is a template-based 3Dand 2D real-time graphics system. The graphic templates are produced using Orad’s 3Designerauthoring software. During production, the templates are filled in with real-time information that can be typed in manually or alternately pumped from external databases. The MaestroVRX can work as a stand-alone system or as part of a larger setup with interfaces to all major newsroom and automation systems.
One of the unique features of the MaestroVRX is its ability to output graphics either by DVI or VGA with configurable resolution output. Furthermore, multiple Maestro VRX systems could be chained together to create a single output channel with enhanced graphics performance.
Pricing and availability were not announced.
Orad Hi Tec Systems;


64-bit on the Go
AMD introduced AMD Turion 64 X2 mobile technology, a family of 64-bit dual-core processors for thin and light notebook PCs that offers long battery life and outstanding performance, even when using multiple applications simultaneously, including demanding digital media applications. AMD also is bringing 64-bit computing to the Mobile AMD Sempron processor family. Now AMD delivers the only complete mobile product portfolio offering the ability to seamlessly transition between 32-and 64-bit computing. Moreover, the processor will be ready to run the upcoming 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows Vista.
The AMD Turion 64 X2 mobile technology is based on the same Direct Connect Architecture featured in the AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors, providing high speed links between cores, memory, and I/O for increased system performance. Notebooks based on AMD Turion 64 X2 mobile technology should be available in retail stores and through commercial distribution channels this quarter. AMD Turion 64 X2 models TL-50, TL-52, TL-56, and TL-60 are available now. Pricing for the family ranges from $184 to $354.
SLI-Powered Mobile Systems
Alienware has introduced two new ultra-powerful mobile systems loaded with dual Nvidia GeForce Go 7900 GPUs: the 17-inch Auroram9700 and the 19-inch Aurora mALX. As Alienware’s most powerful desktop replacements to date, the Aurora m9700 and Auroram ALX provide up to twice the graphics performance of a single-GPU mobile system and are the first to feature groundbreaking True MIMO wireless technology from Airgo Networks for faster, more reliable WiFi performance over greater distances. Pricing starts at $1999 for them9700 and $4499 for the mALX.
Editing System
RT.X2 Gets Premiere
Win • Mac Matrox Video Products Group announced Matrox RT.X2, a high-performance, real-time native HDV and DV editing platform bundled with Adobe’s Premiere Pro software. Matrox RT.X2 provides high-quality MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame codec so users can capture other HD and SD formats using the system's analog inputs, and mix all types of footage on the time line in real time. Priced at$1,995 and including Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0,Matrox RT.X2 will be available this month.
Matrox also unveiled Matrox Axio LE, a real-time HD/SD editing platform. It features no-render HD and SD finishing in compressed and uncompressed formats, real-time color-correction tools, advanced real-time effects, and a full complement of analog and digital video and audio inputs and outputs. It also lets users work seamlessly with the other Adobe Production Studio applications. It supports Adobe Dynamic Link and provides WYSIWYG video output support for Adobe After Effects and Photoshop CS2, as well as other animation and compositing packages. Matrox Axio is priced at $4495, and is available now.

Finally, Matrox unveiled its MXO, a DVI-to audio/video output adapter for the Mac that takes the DVI output from a Mac computer or laptop and converts it to broadcast-quality video. Users can preview Apple Final Cut Pro projects or the output of other QuickTime based applications such as Motion, Shake, or DVD Studio Pro from Apple, or Adobe Aftereffects, as they will actually appear on TV, and then record them, frame accurately, to tape. Matrox MXO can be used to provide a flicker free video output of the computer desktop with any application, allowing the user to record and display Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, Web browser sessions, and software application training.
Available in June, MXO will be priced at $995.