Word to Your Motherboard
by Abby Albrecht
A New Cult
A Magical New Class
Side Effects Software revealed a new "Waterfall" training course ($300) for March, 2001. This course will take students through the setup and render of a complete waterfall scene. The topics covered include integration of still imagery, compositing, particle systems, modeling, materials, and rendering. The goal of this class is to use several of the Side Effects Software Houdini editors in conjunction with each other. Students must first take a free Houdini introductory workshop and have a working knowledge of Houdini.
The introductory workshop is a guide to understanding the Houdini interface, including essential tips, shortcuts, and keyboard techniques. This class includes an introduction to the Object, SOP, Material, Composite, and Output editors.
Blaxxun interactive introduced its new 3D client, blaxxun Contact v5.0. The free browser/plug-in enables the visualization of 3D objects as well as navigation in 3D virtual worlds. The new version of blaxxun Contact allows drag and drop movement for objects in virtual worlds as well as the ability to import objects into the 3D world. Surface effects like reflection or metallic surfaces have also been improved. Now with particle systems; fog, snow, and rain can be produced. Layering techniques allow explanation features with pointers, which can be directed independently from the object that is being demonstrated. The same technology can be used to create an instrument panel for a flight simulator. During installation, existing components are recognized, so only new components are downloaded. The new client gives 3D Web site designers additional ways to define navigation and types of movement. For Windows 95/98/2000/ME/NT.
Immersing in the Web
Immersion Corp., announced the release of several new software tools including Immersion Studio v4.0. Immersion Studio v4.0 allows developers to conceive, design, and implement touch sensations that correspond to onscreen events within their Web pages and software programs. Version 4.0 adds advanced support for sound synchronization and new tactile feedback mouse products such as the Logitech iFeel Mouse and iFeel MouseMan.
Other new software tool releases include: a clip art effects library, loaded with hundreds of unique tactile sensations for touch-enabled mice, joysticks, wheels and gamepads; a Visual Basic tutorial that allows developers to add Immersion TouchSense technology to their Microsoft Visual Basic applications using the Immersion Web ActiveX Control; a Macromedia Shockwave kit for Web pages that use Macromedia Shockwave; and a Macromedia Dreamweaver extension suite to implement tactile feedback effects into Web pages. Immersion's TouchSense Developer Toolkit is currently available at no charge on Immersion's Web site.
Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She's been listening to "Ice, Ice Baby." She needs help. You can reach her at [email protected].