Craft Animations releases its first commercial plug-in suite for 3ds max, Craft Camera Tools, which will be publicly presented at the official release of 3ds max 7, Oct. 14, in Stockholm, Sweden. Craft Camera Tools is used by animators in realtime to steer cameras with a joystick or keyboard in the 3ds max viewport. Four types of cameras and two help tools, are available:
Digital Anarchy announced the availability of CHAOS STOCK VOLUME 1, a new concept in royalty-free background design. By including the Adobe After Effects project files along with pre-rendered footage, CHAOS STOCK gives users enormous creativity and flexibility to create a wide variety of custom designed stock backgrounds.
Electric Rain Inc. announced the upcoming release of Swift 3D Xpress for Mac OS X. Swift 3D Xpress is a 3D extension accessible directly from within the Macromedia Flash MX 2004 interface. Swift 3D Xpress allows Flash MX 2004 users to select any vector object on the stage in Flash, open it into the Xpress editing interface, customize their 3D scene by extruding, rotating, lighting and animating the vector object, and then render it out to a self-contained Movie Clip in either vector or raster form.
SGI workstations running ART VPS' accelerated ray tracing chip sets were demonstrated publicly for the first time at the SGI Technology Forum in Paris. The AR350 chips, configured in sets of eight and 16, are expected to be available in SGI workstations within the next two months.
Toon Boom Animation announced the release of Symphony. With features such as morphing, basic inverse kinematics and "glue" (automatic joint connecting) that enhance the paperless animation production process, Symphony enables studios to produce high quality digital animation. Advanced drawing and asset management tools combined with a seamless, integrated workflow saves significant overhead costs while adding value to their animations. Symphony also building on the advanced features provided by Opus and Concerto.
NewTek Inc. announced the release of VT LIVE!, an integrated production suite that provides a comprehensive toolset for all professional SD video production needs. VT LIVE! offers computer-based live production capabilities, able to handle anything from switching and titling for network broadcast to serverless Web streaming. VT LIVE!
Eden FX (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE) is integrating modo, the new subdivision surface and polygonal modeling platform, into its production pipeline. Eden FX chose modo for its speed, advanced toolset and intuitive workflow.
Thanks to a new strategic alliance between Softimage and gaming middleware provider Criterion Software, developers using Criterion's RenderWare solutions now have access to a suite of plug-ins and import/export tools designed to facilitate the integration of sophisticated 3D content created in SOFTIMAGE|XSI.
Di-O-Matic, a leading developer of character animation software, announced the upcoming release of Facial Studio for Windows, providing more than 500 controls over the 3D head creation process. This award-winning suite of plug-ins for 3ds max will now be available in a complete stand-alone Windows version, offering new features such as PhotoMatching that allows you to create heads based on photos or drawings in less than 10 minutes.
ArchVision Inc. announced the availability of the RPC Plug-In for Maxon's Cinema 4D 9 (PC only) for $99. Cinema 4D 9 offers customers enormous performance increase and simplifies the 3D learning curve. The RPC Plug-in for Cinema 4D 9 provides an easy to use interface for placing and editing RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) within Cinema 4D.
As game developers worldwide prepare themselves for the increased challenges associated with producing next-generation gaming content, many are choosing CAT 1.2 as the basis for their character animation pipelines. Developed by Character Animation Technologies, CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) is a fully integrated character animation plug-in for Discreet's 3ds max. Game studios that have already made the move to CAT include Relic Ent., Remedy Ent., Obsidian Ent., Relentless Software, GlyphX Games and Rainbow Studios.
Luxology Llc. announced the immediate availability of modo, its powerful new subdivision surface and polygonal modeling platform. Combining a realtime subdivision surface modeling engine with a user-centric, highly customizable interface that includes hundreds of production-oriented tools, modo is one of the fastest and most advanced 3D modeling systems currently available. To purchase modo and obtain immediate access via download visit Luxology's online store at www.luxology.com/store/.
Side Effects Software announced the release of Houdini 7, the formal launch of Houdini Escape, third party rendering support for Houdini Escape, a scripting product for rendering and free access to the Houdini Developers Kit for all Houdini customers, including Houdini Apprentice users.
NVIDIA Corp. unveiled the GoForce 3D 4500, the world's first 3D wireless media processor. The NVIDIA GoForce 3D 4500 WMP enables a whole new level of interactive content not previously possible on cell phones, PDAs or other handheld devices. For the first time, mobile content developers can harness a powerful 3D medium to create rich, dynamic, lifelike worlds and characters.
Avid Technology Inc. announced the worldwide availability of Avid Studio Tools, a fully integrated software package designed exclusively for customers using Media Composer Adrenaline, NewsCutter Adrenaline FX, and NewsCutter XP systems.
Wacom Technology Corp. introduced its new Intuos3 professional pen tablets offering an array of meaningful improvements that provide higher levels of productivity for digital photographers, designers and artists.
Continuing our Inspired excerpt series from the new book, 3D Short Film Production, authors Jeremy Cantor and Pepe Valencia move into character development and design.
Boris FX announced the upcoming release of Boris Blue. This standalone application renders broadcast-quality 3D compositions in realtime regardless of the complexity of the 3D scene or materials. Boris Blue allows users to create stunning looks by combining innovative "pixel shaders" to paint objects with bump maps, noise patterns or natural materials along with light reflections and 3D shadows.
Imagineer Systems announced that London-based film post-production company Cineimage has purchased one of the first monet systems - the product was launched in the U.K. in August. In addition to the monet start-to-finish solution for replacing elements in film and video, Cineimage has also purchased a mokey licence to complete its digital compositing workflow.
Karen Raugust investigates how comic publishers are using new technology to market their products to new audiences.
NewTek Inc. has reached an agreement with the software team of H2MW to collaborate in the management, further development and support of LScript, LightWave 3D's scripting language. LScript provides the ability for users to easily create scripts that automate all functionality of LightWave, ranging from simple and repetitive tasks to highly specific and complex applications.
NewTek has made available a downloadable update to its recent LightWave  software for Windows 2000/XP,and Mac OSX 10.3.3. Update 8.0.1 addresses numerous software functionality issues.
There is a new registration process that was implemented with LightWave . If you have registered LightWave , no further registration action is required. If not, you will need to register LightWave  to download the [8.0.1] update. NewTek has provided an easier system for online registration, and the ability to register over-the-phone with customer service.