Toon Boom Technologies, a leading supplier of 2D animation software, announced the commercial release of Toon Boom Studio v1.0 for Mac and PC. Toon Boom Studio increases productivity for digital animators with improved drawing accuracy, an automatic lip-sync feature, 3D scene planning and compact Flash-compatible file rendering for greater scene complexity. The software package also incorporates the feel of traditional animation with a rotating light table, "X" sheet visual representation of the work and a "flip-book" feature.
Caligari Corporation, a provider of 3D authoring technologies, has announced that its 3D modeling and animation package trueSpace 5.1 now supports Macromedia Flash. This is in addition to Caligari's existing support for Macromedia Shockwave3D, Director8.5 and Viewpoint Experience Technology. Web developers can now convert their trueSpace5.1 objects (including NURBS) and scenes to Flash format, including all trueSpace geometry, materials, lights, views and even advanced animation techniques such as script animations, bones and key-frame animations.
Macromedia, Inc. has teamed with Intel Corporation to optimize the Macromedia Flash Player for the Intel XScale microarchitecture utilizing the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP). As a result of this partnership, users will be able to experience high quality MP3 audio when playing Macromedia Flash content on devices built using Intel applications processors. The optimized code will be available to device manufacturers for use with the Macromedia Flash Player Software Development Kit (SDK) later this year.
Alias|Wavefront has shipped StudioTools 9.7, the company's latest upgrade to its CAID (computer-aided industrial design) family. Through a new filleting tool, StudioTools speeds the process and adds modeling power for rounding edges between adjoining surfaces in the model. By combining this function with StudioTools advanced evaluation tools, such as reflection maps, curvature maps, draft angle evaluation and cross-sections, designers can interactively manipulate the fillet and evaluate results immediately.
Discreet has posted a downloadable update to version 4.2 for 3ds max. This update includes enhancements across the entire product that will ensure quality, workflow, performance and stability. Some of these enhancements include overall memory efficiency; performance increases in TrackView, TrackBar, Particles, RPF and ActiveShade; workflow enhancements in Skin, Custom Attributes, Render Elements, Subdivision Surfaces (HSDS, Meshsmooth), Parameter Wiring, Groups, ActiveShade and PolyObjects. The 3ds max update is downloadable from the Discreet Web site at www.discreet.com.
Corel Corporation has announced Bryce 5, the latest version of its 3D landscape creation and animation application. Available for the Macintosh and Windows platforms, the program, part of Corels creative collection, is scheduled for shipment in July 2001. Bryce 5 is Corels first application designed specifically for Apples new Mac OS X platform. Corel plans to release a number of products for the new operating system over the coming months.
Eovia has announced the release of Carrara Studio, a re-branded and souped up version of MetaCreations Carrara, a 3D graphics application for the Macintosh and Windows platform. Billed as the successor to Ray Dream Studio and Infini-D, the new program includes numerous bug fixes, as well as Amapi 3D v5, a complete NURBS modeler, Smart Pack, a set of 25 new plug-ins and Carrara QuickTour, an interactive tutorial.
A leading professor of orthodontics has announced the development of a process for animating a patients planned orthodontic treatment. The process, called 3-D CIMAS, three-dimensional craniofacial imaging and motion animation system, allows both the patient and clinician to see the exact propsed treatment and outcome before work is ever begun. The brainchild of Dr. Orhan C.
Animation software developer DigiCel, Inc. has released FlipBook SE (Standard Edition), a 2D animation software program. The program give animators the ability to scan or shoot their drawings under a camera, in addition to drawing them on the computer itself using the programs built-in light table feature. As the drawings are captured, they are automatically positioned in a traditional style exposure and can be played back the moment capturing is completed. An editable exposure sheet lets animators experiment with timing changes while the scene is being played.
Artrack, 3DVF Studio and 3D Corum, three French CG companies, have entered into a partnership to create Showroom 3D, an all-inclusive solution for 3D content broadcasting on the Internet. Showroom 3D offers virtual presentations of client products and events, as well as rich media advertising. Artrack is a 3D animation, multimedia and video digital studio, while 3DVF Studio offers technology solutions for CG and Web projects. 3D Corum Studio is the 3D and multimedia department of IGTECH, a high-tech company. For more information on the solutions they provide visit www.showroom3d.com.
Electric Rain, Inc. announced the release of two new plug-ins for LightWave 3D and Discreet 3ds max users. The Swift 3D LW plug-in allows LightWave 3D users to render 3D scenes directly to a variety of vector-based file formats, including Flash (SWF), AI, EPS and the new XML-based SVG. Similarly, the Swift 3D MAX plug-in allows 3ds max users the ability to render 3D scenes directly from the 3ds max interface to the same set of vector-based file formats. Both plug-ins provide high accuracy 3D scene rendering, while staying true to colors, lighting schemes, camera views and animations.
Alias|Wavefront has begun shipping Maya 4, the latest release of the companys industry leading 3D animation and visual effects software suite. The new release boasts numerous enhancements and optimizations designed to improve the programs overall ease-of-use and efficiency, with particular focus on rendering, character animation, brush and paint tools and games related functionality. The new release includes enhanced functionality and usability in several key areas. Focused improvements have been made throughout Maya to upgrade the UI and streamline the production workflow.
Cambridge Animation Systems has announced Animo 4.0, the newest version of their flagship cartoon animation system. Available this month from Cambridge and their distributor network, the new version includes a number of new features, greater performance and the ability to output work in Flash format. Animo 4.0 users now can reduce their Flash file output size and optimize their content for the low bandwidth of the Internet through special controls such as disabling filter nodes and disabling animation of any bitmap image.
Phoenix Tools, an Italy-based computer graphics software developer, announced the release of Origami 2.0, a high-end set of modules and utilities for Softimage|3D, and a new Maya Shader plug-in. Origami 2.0 allows users to extract or reconstruct the lost 3D information from a set of photographs or a motion sequence. The new package is faster and easier, with greater reliability, giving the user a complete set of tools for all the steps that constitute the complex process of camera tracking and 3D reconstruction.
While you might not realize it, you've probably already seen some of Australia's top effects houses in action. Stephen Lynch explains.
Toon Boom Technologies has announced the release of ToonShader, the latest addition to the USAnimation system. ToonShader lets Alias|Wavefront's Maya users import their 3D models and motion capture data directly into USAnimation, giving animators the ability to bring a 3D flair to their 2D animation as well as ouput to all media platforms including the Internet. "Alias|Wavefront is very pleased to welcome USAnimation and ToonShader to the family of integrated plug-ins available for Maya," said Tom Reyburn, developer relations manager for Alias|Wavefront.
Cambridge Animation Systems has announced Animo for Mac OS X, Apple's next-generation operating system. Animo integrates 2D and 3D animation for development of feature films, animated television series, commercials, games and multimedia projects. "Mac OS X's UNIX-based foundation, advanced Internet features and stunning graphics capabilities make it an ideal platform for digital animation production," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations.
Italys Digital Video S.r.l., developers of the 2D animation package Toonz, has started shipping the new 4.5 release for the Windows NT/2000, Irix and Linux operating systems. The new version of Toonz provides a number of new features, including Flash support, a new palette extraction tool, native support for new scanners, DDR to VCR control, new effects, a new wizard button to make batches more efficient and others.
3D authoring technology vendor Caligari Corporation has released trueSpace 5.1, the newest version of its 3D modeling program that now features new support for Macromedia Shockwave3D and other web output capabilities. The company lowered the price for the stand-alone version of trueSpace, as well as launched a new paid subscription-based "proTeam" program of online tools, training programs, libraries and support services.
On Thursday, May 17, 2001, Discreet announced licensing deals with both Microsoft and Microids to include gmax consumer customization tools in each game developers upcoming game titles. This integration of gmax, a product derived from the same code base as the industry-leading 3ds max, means developers can offer customers a flexible, customizable environment within the game where they can create, modify and trade content with fellow players.
Digimation Inc. announced on May 18, 2001 the immediate availability of Bones Pro 3, the latest version of the popular skeletal deformation tool for character and creature animation inside of 3ds max. The new release lets users build a set of underlying bones to deform a mesh, assign the Bones Pro 3 modifier to the mesh and pick the bones that will drive the animation. The new toolkit includes MetaBones and ParaBones, advanced tools that allow users further control of character deformations through the use of simple primitive objects that act as constraints within the skeleton.
Alias|Wavefront announced on Friday, May 18, 2001, that its Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter plugin is now available as a free download from the Alias|Wavefront Website. The plugin can be used to transfer content directly from Maya into Macromedias Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio. A special Website has been set up within the Alias|Wavefront site where the plugin, technical information and examples are available.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has formed a strategic development relationship with Microsoft Corporation to provide professional 3D art tools for modeling and animation for the Xbox video game system. Through this agreement, SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and SOFTIMAGE|RTK character middleware will support the creation of Xbox-specific content. "The stunning graphics performance of Xbox is powered by the NVIDIA graphics processing unit (Xbox GPU).
NewTek Inc. announced the release of LightWave [ 6.5]b, a maintenance upgrade that enhances the speed and stability of LightWave [ 6.5 ], and also includes new features and functionality.
Northern Lights Productions and Arete Entertainment announced the release of Arete's award-winning Psunami version 2.0 for Electric Image's Universe. Psunami is a hybrid plug-in/shader that allows users to create photo-realistic oceans and skies. "It's fun to watch people do a double-take when they see a Psunami animation. They can't quite tell that it's not real and that's the goal," said Blair Burtan, founder of Northern Lights.