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3D DIRECT • February 12, 2001

Renderer 8 Take a Break

by Abby Albrecht

NewTek Offers Game Awards

NewTek, Inc. announced a call for entries for games content created using their LightWave 3D. Content is currently being accepted, with a deadline slated for March 9, 2001. A grand prize of a full copy of LightWave v6.5 and NewTek Aura v2, with a retail value of more than $3300, will be awarded for best overall submission, with prizes awarded to runners-up as well. NewTek is looking for content from realtime gameplay as well as full-motion video cut scenes. Still images, movie files, LightWave objects, textures, and LightWave scenes may also be submitted. Interested entrants should submit content on CD-ROM or via email (if less than 5 megabytes) to NewTek.

Electronic submissions should be sent to [email protected] and CD-ROM entries should be sent to NewTek, attn: Games Content, 149 Fell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. The company is using this contest to reward companies using LightWave v6.5, which has new game development tools, for the development of next generation games.

Now Showing at New York

The Association of 3D MacOS Artists in New York will showcase Alias|Wavefront Maya and Electric Image Universe at their Feb. 28, 2000 meeting at Apple Marketing Center in NYC. Electric Image will show Electric Image Universe's new interface, and the new feature set that includes many modeling enhancements, a Raytracing engine, OpenGL support, new inverse kinematic controls, and multi-platform support. The Alias|Wavefront team will give a demo of Maya 3.0. The meeting is free and open to 3D artists on all levels. Pre-Registration is required and available at the group's Web site.

Benchmarking MAX

The SPEC/GPC Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group released the first standardized benchmark for evaluating performance of systems running Discreet 3D Studio MAX 3.1 and is working on a 3ds max 4 implementation. SPECapc for 3D Studio MAX 3.1 is the first digital content creation benchmark in SPECapc's suite. It was developed exclusively for SPECapc by CAT Production, a German computer animation and special effects studio. The benchmark contains four scenes reflecting typical uses of 3D Studio MAX 3.1. The scenes include an architectural visualization containing more than a million polygons, with multiple objects and light sources, glass walls for refraction and opacity tests, and multiple textures. Another has two particle-system animations with multiple light sources. The third comprises a character animation using NURBS surfaces, inverse kinematics, multiple light sources and a moving camera. And the final one is a landscape with multiple textures and texture blends.

The SPECapc group plans to continue updating its benchmarks in concert with new application versions, including 3ds max 4. It is also looking to develop additional benchmarks based on other popular DCC, CAD/CAM, and visualization applications. The benchmark is available for free downloading on SPEC/GPC's Web site. Initial performance results are scheduled for posting on February 14, 2000.

Activeworlds Allies with BetaSphere

Activeworlds.com, Inc. announced they are entering into a strategic alliance with BetaSphere, a provider of Web-based customer feedback solutions for marketers and developers. Through this relationship, Activeworlds.com will incorporate beta testing as part of its product offering. The affiliation will allow Activeworlds.com customers to submit newly developed 3D Web sites to BetaSphere evaluators, who in turn will provide feedback to help site developers improve ease of use, performance, and site navigation.

This Pulse is for You

Anheuser-Busch unveiled its new advertising campaigns for 2001, including a new "Whassup?!" alien spot with a new interactive, 3D online virtual component. Budweiser and Pulse have teamed up to create a 3D interactive version of their new alien star, first seen in the Super Bowl "Whassup?!" spot. The alien character debuted on Budweiser and Pulse's site following the game in the form of customizable digital greeting cards with five versions of interchangeable (whassup speech in english or alien), intergalactic text and audio samples that can be chosen by the sender and emailed to friends.

Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She's looking forward to the day it's called 4Dgate. You can reach her at [email protected].