Stranger than Dithers
by Abby Albrecht
InterSense Teams with InMotion
InterSense, Inc., a creator of motion tracking technology, has teamed with InMotion Systems, Inc., a reseller of motion capture systems; and Production Plant, a digital animation studio. This association aims to develop a motion capture system based on InterSense technology that provides game developers, animators, and content designers a high quality motion capture solution. By combining InterSense technology and Production Plant's proprietary P.A.S. (Pro-Act Animation System), InMotion has engineered a solution that enables animators to quickly create iterations of their characters' movements in realtime. This ability overcomes the extensive calibration process and painstaking key frame animation common in other motion capture systems. Comprised of the Production Plant P.A.S. production tool, InterSense InertialCube sensors with proprietary SensorFusion software, and the IS-300 Pro and IS-600 precision motion trackers, the system is completely modular and compatible with all the major animation software packages. Designed to capture a full 6DOF (degrees of freedom) of data for up to 400 sq feet, the InertialCube can sample frequencies up to 300Hz and is scaleable for up to eight users. Systems are currently available through InMotion Systems and are priced according to specific customer configurations. For more information, call InMotion Systems at 714-505-4574, or visit their Web site: www.inmotionsystems.com.
Realsoft Renames and Releases
Realsoft is releasing Realsoft 3D 4.0 ($700), a 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and simulation software tool. Formerly known as Real 3D, the new version has a redesigned user interface that evolves with use. Some new features include: a fully configurable user interface; subdivision surface modeling; SDS objects that support creases and non-rational (weighted) control points; NURBS modeling; metaball objects; keyframe animation; skeleton control and footprint animation; animation by physical simulation; 64-bit raytracing technology; a 3D painting system; Visual Shading Language that allows the user to define procedural materials and effects without writing a single line of code; a post-effects processor for creating various image effects such as lens flares and fog; support for realtime rendering through OpenGL. For Windows 95/98/NT/2000. Linux and SGI versions to follow.
The Writing is on the Walls
Boris FX, a developer of plug-in application technology delivering vector based 3D compositing and effects products, is offering a special upgrade to Graffiti for Pinnacle Systems TitleDeko customers until September 30, 2000 for $199. Boris Graffiti comes with a variety of text effects including particles, light sources, and motion blur. It also provides common text formatting options including kerning, tabs, and word wrap while adding 3D animation tools and filter effects. For Macintosh and Windows NT.
A Flash of Design
Macromedia, Inc. released Macromedia Flash 5.0 ($399), software that enables both designers and developers to create next-generation Web sites and applications. Macromedia Flash 5.0 scales for users and projects, with features like Smart Clips, which keeps commonly used building blocks that can be exchanged among users, and range from standard user interface elements to complex interactions, such as multiple choice questions with variable responses for training applications. The software ships with templates to author dynamic Macromedia Generator content. Macromedia Flash 5.0 is now available for download at their Web site, and will be available as boxed product in stores in early September. Localized versions in Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish are expected to ship within the next two months. The English product is also available as part of the Macromedia Flash 5.0 FreeHand 9.0 Studio ($599). Registered users of Macromedia Flash can upgrade for $149 or the Studio for $249. Professional developers who are registered users of Macromedia Flash can purchase the Macromedia Flash 5 Generator 2.0 Pro Developer Upgrade for $649, which includes Macromedia Generator 2.0 Developer Edition at half of its $999 price until December 29, 2000.
Majic in the Movements
Global Majic Software, Inc. introduces 3DLinX 1.5 ($895), a language-independent environment for creating realtime 3D applications. 3DLinX is a user-friendly simulation development tool for building interactive, dynamic, 3D Web-enabled Living Models. By combining 3D models and mathematics, Living Models live in the virtual 3D world while mirroring their real-world counterparts, because object oriented coding allows a Living Model to be programmed with all the characteristics and behaviors needed to produce realistic actions and natural interactions within an environment. For example, a bowling pin Living Model will act exactly like a bowling pin in the real world, because it knows its weight, center of gravity, and other physical characteristics. 3DLinX provides users with the ability to easily create Living Models that run on Web sites, and is designed to work with Visual Basic and Visual C++.
Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. Her office is moving this week. She isn't happy. You can reach her at [email protected].