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3D DIRECT • March 13, 2001

The Color of Red

by Abby Albrecht

Signing Deals with Microsoft

Alias|Wavefront has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to become an official tools and middleware developer for the Xbox Video Game System, Microsoft's future-generation game system. Alias|Wavefront Maya software, with its modeling and animation toolsets and its open, extensible API, is established in the game development market, with many of the top-selling next-generation games produced using the Maya software.

The Next Coming of Messiah

PmG, creators and distributors of Project:messiah, has debuted its completely revamped Web site, www.projectmessiah.com). One new highlight is the site's news component, which features a series of "Sightings," first person deconstructs from animators and technical directors, talking about how messiah helped them get through some of their toughest assignments.

Moving to a New Degree

Not that I'm focussing on USC or anything, but Vicon Motion Systems has installed a Vicon 8 realtime system at the new Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts at the USC School of Cinema-Television. Vicon will be installing an 8 M-Series Camera (Mcam) Vicon 8 realtime system in the center. The motion capture stage will serve as a training center for students at the USC School of Cinema-Television who aim to pursue a professional career in digital effects for feature film. Vicon 8 allows actors to move freely, unrestricted by wires, awkward suits, or large body markers. The system can capture multiple actors simultaneously.

An Eye on You

2ce Inc. announced that the CubicEye, a three-dimensional navigational tool, is now available as a free download for Microsoft Windows 98/2000. The CubicEye transforms a two-dimensional desktop and Internet environment into a three-dimensional medium. The CubicEye, resembling the inside walls of a cube or a room, presents six Web sites or desktop pages simultaneously. Each page can then be expanded into multiple cubes, eventually displaying hundreds of live Web pages at once. CubicEye and CubicEye PLUS will be available in May. The company will provide sneak previews of its Web tools for use in enterprise Web sites, Web portals, financial services, and CRM industries at Internet World Spring, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, March 14-16, 2001.

Plugging in, Coloring Out

Maxon announced a plug-in that integrates its BodyPaint 3D painting application with Discreet 3ds max 3 and 4. Developed in partnership with cebas Computer, a maker of plug-ins for Maxon and Discreet products, at the click of a button the BP<->MAX exchange plug-in will transfer entire scenes between running copies of BodyPaint 3D and 3ds max. Objects, hierarchies, lights, cameras, common material properties, and UV tags from 3ds max are all passed to BodyPaint 3D, and at the click of another button the results of painting and UV manipulation are passed back to 3ds max. Available in Q2 2001, the BP<->MAX plug-in will be a free download from plugincafe.com.

Competitions Around the World

3D'sense is this year's official host for Comgraph 2001, electronic art and animation competition. With the success of ComGraph2000 held in June 2000, SIGGRAPH Singapore announced that the competition would be back in June 2001. ComGraph 2001 Asia Pacific Computer Animation Competition will be held parallel with Electronic Art Competition from June 19-22, 2001. Submission deadline for Animation competition is April 14, 2001. Submission deadline for Electronic Art Competition is April 30, 2001.

Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She really wished she had Sci-Fi so she could see Friday's Farscape. You can reach her at [email protected].