Living, Breathing, Being... 3D
by Abby Albrecht and Matthew Hoover
Painting with Effect
The particle-painting power of Alias|Wavefront Maya Paint Effects ($499) is coming to Adobe After Effects 4.1 (www.adobe.com) and Maya Fusion 2.0 as plug-ins this summer. Maya Paint Effects lets motion-graphics artists quickly create and animate organic forms with masks, Bézier paths, or motion paths, for painterly effects or things such as plants, fibers, glows, water, and other natural media. The plug-in can share any brush presets created for any Paint Effects product, including Maya itself. The plug-in will work on both Mac and Windows. www.aliaswavefront.com
eBroadcast on the Net
Toronto-based Digital Processing Systems Inc. announced its eBroadcast initiativethe delivery of a new set of web video authoring tools. The initiative combines its new dpsNetStream technology with web codecs, including Ligos GoMotion-powered MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 (www.ligos.com), RealNetworks RealVideo (www.real.com), Microsoft AVI (www.microsoft.com), and Apple QuickTime (www.apple.com). With this, DPS has created a set of real-time authoring tools able to repurpose and deliver content across all major-media formats. DPS' eBroadcast initiative addresses the demand for professionally authored streaming video and includes the professional editing, compositing, and postproduction marketplaces. The initiative involves additions to dpsVelocity and dpsReality professional postproduction products. www.dps.com
Credo Creates Life Forms
Credo Interactive announced that Life Forms Studio 3.9 ($495) will be available in June. Life Forms Studio 3.9 brings to character animation new features including a model editor, rotoscoping, developments to the motion-editing tool set, mirroring location capabilities, snap-to-figure options, and superior preview modes. The package includes PowerMoves 1 & 2, a motion library of more than 600 keyframed and motion-captured moves. Life Forms Studio imports and exports to most 3D packages, including NewTek LightWave (www.newtek.com), Discreet 3D Studio MAX (www.discreet.com), MetaCreations Poser (www.metacreations.com), Play Electric Image (www.electricimage.com), Caligari trueSpace (www.caligari.com), and more. File format support extends to BVH, HTR, 3DS, LWS, SEQ, VRML 97, and others. A preview demonstration of Life Forms 3.9 will be held at NAB (www.nab.org) April 10 - 13. www.credo-interactive.com
It's in the Aire
Artbeats has released Digital Aire ($499) and Digital Aire HD ($799), new royalty-free stock footage products in the Artbeats Digital Film Library. Digital Aire offers 23 seamless-looping animated backgrounds in NTSC and PAL formats. The footage consists of computer-generated 2D and 3D renderings featuring floating circuits, futuristic lighting effects, digital readouts, animated molecules, cyber crystals, and other high-tech themes. Digital Aire HD contains eight of the clips from the first collection that were rendered in the High Definition standard of 1920x1080 (1080p) format. The imagery is royalty-free for all uses including broadcast, Internet, multimedia, and feature films. The Digital Aire files are delivered in Apple QuickTime format in D1 resolution (720x486 NTSC and 720x576 PAL) encoded with PhotoJPEG. Digital Aire HD is also encoded with PhotoJPEG at a high-quality setting. Both products are available directly from Artbeats and through various distributors. www.artbeats.com
3D in a Flash
Electric Rain Inc. unveiled Swift 3D 1.0 ($139), a new app for adding 3D models and scenes to Macromedia Flash (www.macromedia.com) animation, at the Flashforward2000 (www.flashforward2000.com) conference in San Francisco. You can design simple animations with primitives, materials, lights, and text within Swift 3D, but it also imports 3DS files (plus EPS and Adobe Illustrator vector files) and converts them to the vector-based Flash format. You can then open them with Macromedia Flash for further editing. Swift 3D is for Windows, with a Mac version to follow. www.swift3d.com
Abby Albrecht is the web editor for 3Dgate.com. She can be reached at [email protected].
Matthew Hoover is the news editor for 3D magazine and 3Dgate.com. Send news about technologies, products, and projects to [email protected].