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Category: Technology

Headline News HP To Ship Itanium 2-based Workstations Running 64-Bit Microsoft Windows XP

HP has announced the availability of its Itanium 2-based workstations running with the new Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003. This is expected to lead to the development of a large number of 64-bit applications for areas such as 3D animation, CAD/CAM and imagery analysis.

Headline News Houdini 6 Features Digital Assets Management

Side Effects Software has released Houdini 6, the latest version of the procedural modeling and animation software that garnered a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. Houdini Apprentice users can also download a free non-commercial version of Houdini 6, including all-new training materials at www.sidefx.com.

Headline News Sony Pictures Digital Buys Sonic Foundry Assets For $18 Million

Sony Pictures Digital has purchased all of the desktop software products and related assets of Sonic Foundry, Inc. for $18 million cash and assumption of certain trade payables, accrued liabilities and capital leases associated with the desktop software business.

Headline News GenArts Offers Discount on Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid Xpress DV

GenArts, Inc., a leading provider of digital visual effects plug-ins, is offering a $1,000 discount for Sapphire Plug-ins on Avid Xpress DV. Throughout the month of May 2003, the price tag for the entire package of Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid Xpress DV has been reduced to $1,800 when ordered by May 31, 2003. To find out more about this special offer, please visit the GenArts Website at web.genarts.com.

Headline News Alias|Wavefront Expands Third Party Developer Program

Alias|Wavefront, an SGI company, has started a third party developer program the Conductors Program - offering three levels of participation, to help what the company sees is a strong surge in developers seeking to create plug-ins and other complementary add-ons for Maya and StudioTools software.

Headline News RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases RE:Fill

San Francisco-based RE:Vision Effects recently released RE:Fill, a plug-in set that mends holes in image sequences by intelligently filling user-specified regions. RE:Fill was designed to replace missing pixels automatically in numerous ways such as by selecting the nearest "good" pixel and mirroring pixels about a hole's edge, or cloning from another "good" region. The good region can even come from other times in the production or from another sequence altogether.

RE:Fill addresses many different production problems:

Headline News Spiral Graphics Holds Seamless Texture Beta Test

Spiral Graphics has begun beta testing its upcoming seamless textures application, Genetica (formerly known as Organica). The software company claims Genetica is the world's first seamless textures generator to be built around a node-based engine to automate seamless texture creation, promising to expedite the workflow of game artists, 3D designers and others using tiling textures or repeating backgrounds.

Headline News BOXX Technologies Supports AMD Opteron Processing Power

BOXX Technologies, a leading developer of XXTreme award-winning digital content creation systems for the design, entertainment and digital film industries, has announced support for AMD Opteron processors in its 3DBOXX workstations, RenderBOXX rendering nodes and ServerBOXX servers.

Headline News Maya 5 Now Available

Alias|Wavefront has announced its new Maya 5 can be downloaded immediately by customers on full annual maintenance and registered for eSupport via www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/support, a week before its due to ship, May 1, 2003, for new and upgrading customers. Maya 5 offers enhancements especially helpful for character animation, dynamics and polygonal modeling, and has become more applicable to 2D artists, Web developers and technical illustrators.

Headline News NVIDIA Extends NForce3 Into Pro Workstation Market

NVIDIA recently introduced its NForce3 Pro, a motherboard chipset that is compatible with the new Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Opteron 64-bit processor. The Opteron processor is significant for AMD because it challenges existing 64-bit CPUs such as the Intel Itanium, especially for the lucrative server market.

Headline News Wildcat Adds Drive To Sun Accelerators

3Dlabs' Wildcat technology is pushing the power of the Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator, which is available for Sun Blade 2000 workstations and Sun Fire 6800 servers from Sun Microsystems, Inc. Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, a leading market research firm in graphics, said this combination "exemplifies the most outstanding technological innovation we've seen from this dynamic duo to date, which is in a segment we are forecasting to be worth $500 million in 2003 and growing to $700 million by 2005."

Headline News HP Introduces Affordable, Entry-Level Workstation

Hewlett-Packard Co. is rolling out an entry-level workstation based on Intel Corp.'s new 3GHz Pentium 4 microprocessor and accompanying 875P chip set for an industry standard low retail price of $799. The HP Workstation xw4100 enhanced system offers performance acceleration, due to reduced memory access latencies, and hyperthreading technology to efficiently run multiple applications simultaneously and to speed processor-intensive tasks.

Headline News 2D3 Makes boujou Mac-Friendly At NAB 2003

2d3 has made its Professional 3D camera matchmoving software boujou available now for Mac artists and is demonstrating it at the NAB 2003 convention in Las Vegas. boujou for Mac OSX will ship soon with the powerful feature set of boujou 2.1, also available for Windows and Linux operating systems.

Headline News Sofitimage Puts More In New SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.1.1

Montreal-based Sofitimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology, is beta testing its next version of its animation tool, SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.1.1, and demoing it at NAB 2003 in Las Vegas. The tool is used primarily to create intelligent characters and realistic 3D animated crowds that behave in a natural and believable way. The new version, scheduled for release in June 2003, features support for Linux and many enhancements to the API, making integration with a wide variety of 3D production pipelines easier.

Headline News Fox News Offers 3D Graphic Look At War

Animated 3D graphics continues to be an important part of how news organizations are explaining events of the war in Iraq. Recently AWN offered a look at how CNN uses animation (Animation Goes To War, March 27, 2003) and the tools its graphics team uses. Fox News Channel also extensively uses 3D animation with a different toolset. Animator Michael Galbavy said they create terrain starting with Curious Software. This data is outputted in two ways:1) as a polygonal mesh with a high resolution texture map.

Headline News Boris FX Unveils RED 3GL at NAB 2003

Boris FX, a leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, will be showing the next version of its award-winning application, Boris RED at the NAB 2003 convention in Las Vegas. Boris RED 3GL, an integrated 3D compositing, titling and effects application now implements OpenGL, delivering unprecedented performance at an affordable price to more than 20 nonlinear editing applications, according to Boris Yamnitsky, founder/president of Boris FX. The new compositing software also features more than 30 dynamic new filters, tools and technologies.

Headline News IBM Takes NVIDIA Business From Taiwan

IBM will manufacture next-generation graphics chips for NVIDIA, winning business away from NVIDIA's long-time partner, Taiwan's TSMC. IBM Corp. and NVIDIA have formed a multi-year strategic alliance, giving NVIDIA access to IBM's comprehensive suite of foundry services and manufacturing technologies, all the tools to help advance its graphics processor units. IBM will begin producing the next generation GeForce graphics processor this summer at IB in at its plant in East Fishkill, New York. The $2.5 billion chip-making facility combines IBM breakthroughs such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and low-k dielectric insulation 300mm wafers. Some industry observers suggest that IBM may be using in-house know-how to edge out subcontractors that do not design products of their own. For more on IBM go to www.ibm.com/chips and for info. On NVIDIA's visit www.nvidia.com.

Headline News Animation Goes To War

Noticed those amazing 3D graphics and animation CNN has been using in its coverage of the war in Iraq? AWN was able to get some questions answered about how they're done from Mike Kraft, director of graphics at CNN USA and his beleaguered department pounding out the images round the clock, seven days a week.

AWN: How do you create the terrain do you do it in-house, with what tools?

Headline News Toon Boom Launches USAnimation OPUS

Toon Boom released its latest version of USAnimation with improved features and a new name to distinguish one of the most widely used 2D animation softwares in the world. USAnimation OPUS features a new user interface for users to configure layouts to suit their own workflow preferences. Camera, Xsheet, Paint and Scene Planning functions have been merged into one Universal Stage Module. "Our next generation of vector technology allows more functionality and increases quality of the work," said Joan Vogelesang, Toom Boon Technologies' COO.

Headline News Eovia Releases Amapi Designer 7

Eovia Corporation (www.eovia.com) has released Amapi Designer 7, a completely new version of its popular 3D modeling tool. Whats newsworthy is the availability in native versions for both for Mac (OS 9 and OS X) and Windows (2000 and XP), a new real-time 3D display engine, unlimited dynamic geometry, and a cool new clone modeling tool useful for creating crowds of critters.

Headline News Maxon Releases Cinema 4D R8.1 With Free Update

Maxon has released Cinema 4D R8.1, an update of its modeling, rendering and animation software, which is free to download for all owners of Cinema 4D R8. New features include HDRI and new particle effects. Full support for HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imagery) is an eagerly awaited improvement to the Advanced Render module, according to Paul Babb, Maxon CEO. This new feature enables users to take full advantage of special 96-bit HDRI photographs, which represent the complete brightness range of the environment they were taken in.

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