Issue: Volume 37 Issue 1: (Jan/Feb 2014)




Taking Root

Interactive Data Visualization (IDV) has released Version 7 of SpeedTree Cinema and SpeedTree Studio, which sport new features and workflow improvements to deliver a significant leap in photorealism and time savings. Among the enhancements are support for subdivision surfaces, animated simulated growth of trees and plants, and Alembic exportation.


Engineered for Success

Ansys has updated its leading engineering simulation solution, Ansys 15.0, providing new, unique capabilities and enhancements across the entire portfolio, including structures, fluids, and electromagnetics. In addition, the new version enables complete multi-physics workflows for leading simulation practices. Highlights for structures in this release give users greater insight into simulating composites. It also enhances the software's pre-processing capabilities, enabling users to quickly and accurately mesh the widest range of model size and complexity, regardless of the type of physics simulated. Moreover, V15 builds on high-performance computing (HPC), speeding up performance by a factor of five. 


Painting with Particles

Allegorithmic has introduced Substance Painter, a patented, next-gen painting application that accurately replicates the look of age, decay, and fractures virtually via a new particle-based painting system. Substance Painter's multi-channel particle brushes follow physical laws and come with presets that mimic aging processes like decay, cracks, dust accumulation, and stains. Next-gen quality details are easily achievable through controls that naturally follow the artist's hand movements. The beta version of Substance Painter is available on both the Mac OS X and PC platforms. During the open beta (January 2014), special pre-purchasing discounts will apply.


Solid Thinking

Dassault Systèmes has introduced SolidWorks 2014, a 3D software portfolio delivering a rich array of product offerings including 3D CAD, simulation, PDM, technical communication, and electrical design. The new release delivers major productivity and usability gains. Productivity boosters, workflow, and mobility enhancements enable users to re-use data more dynamically, expediting the sharing of design data to help accelerate collaboration within product development. There is also mobility support for Android and iOS devices. The integrated SolidWorks 2014 product portfolio includes new tools and enhancements to shorten the design process, enhance collaboration, and increase productivity across four key areas: design tools, integrated workflows, performance increases, and enhanced visualization for improved collaboration.


Seeing the Light

Autodesk has introduced Autodesk Maya LT 2014, a new 3D modeling and animation tool tailored for independent and mobile game developers. Available immediately and compatible with certain industry-standard game engines, Maya LT draws inspiration from its Maya software to bring an intuitive, affordable new tool set for the creation of professional-grade 3D mobile, PC, and Web-based game assets. Maya LT debuts with an easy-to-navigate UI and 3D modeling and animation tools that enable independent game developers to rapidly deliver 3D assets into game engines. Maya LT 2014 is available for Mac and Windows at a starting price of $795 per perpetual license.



Thinking Hard

Lenovo has revealed the ThinkStation E32, an entry-level workstation for professionals in CAD, product development, and architecture. The ThinkStation E32 is available with Intel Xeon E3 and 4th-generation Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors and comes in tower or small form factor (SFF) versions. Both ThinkStation E32 models offer professional graphics capabilities with the option of Nvidia's latest Quadro graphics cards (up to K4000 in the tower and K600 in the SFF) as well as Intel P4600 HD graphics. The E32 easily supports users' large memory needs with up to 32gb in both models and sports six USB 3.0 ports, which provide 10x faster transfer rates over USB 2.0. Pricing for the tower model and SFF starts at approximately $729.



Nvidia is offering designers and engineers, including those working remotely, cost-effective, secure, graphics-intensive applications using Nvidia GRID vGPU (virtual GPU) technology Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 and Citrix XenServer 6.2. Employees can use essentially any computing device, including their own notebooks and portable devices, to access all their office productivity and design applications virtually from anywhere, without relying on CPU-based graphics to scale on servers. Now, customers can quickly share access on one GPU to many end users, not just one, and reallocate access depending on changing project needs.

Mobile Workstation

In the Boxx

Boxx Technologies has debuted the new GoBoxx 1920 mobile workstation. The new, portable, and lightweight GoBoxx 1920 features a 4th generation (Haswell) Intel Core i7 mobile processor (up to 3.9 GHz in turbo mode) as well as Nvidia Quadro K2100M workstation graphics and up to 32GB of 1600 DDR3 MHz memory for 64-bit applications, resulting in professional-grade performance for CAD, animation, motion media, and rendering applications.


4K Viewing

Panasonic is shipping the new BT-4LH310, a 31-inch 4,096-by-2,160-resolution LCD monitor that's designed for 4K/2K monitoring. Priced at $28,000, the BT-4LH310 can be used in a video village for live viewing of 4K cameras and graphic devices, as well as for viewing 4K or HD dailies. The IPS LCD panel provides native viewing of 4K DCI content, as well as UHD/QFHD 3,840-by-2,160, by means of a slight matte crop. In both DCI 4K and UHD/QFHD, the image is displayed in its original native resolution and aspect ratio. Features include a wide viewing angle, and faithful reproduction of up to 1.07 billion colors.