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3D DIRECT • March 13, 2001

Hazy Shaders of Winter

by Abby Albrecht

DOT-S and Dashes

Fusioneers announced DOT-s v1.01 ($250), a particle engine for eyeon software Digital Fusion and Alias|Wavefront Maya Fusion. The particle system allows artists to use custom particles, define their lifetime behavior, add various modifiers, and adjust different forces. Features include the ability to use any picture or sequence as a particle, fade in/out, grow in/out, blur in/out, size and rotation variations, two bounce lines with elasticity and roughness, two black holes, and an overall SloMo slider. DOT-s v2.0 ($488) will be available after NAB. Qualify for a free upgrade to version 2.0 by purchasing DOT-s v1.01 by April 26, 2001.

Moving with Life

Credo Interactive unleashed its March special, a Life Forms/MeGa MoCap Bundle ($599). Life Forms 3.9 brings character animation to users of all major 3D modelling and animation software. Combines with Discreet 3D Studio MAX, NewTek LightWave, Maxon Cinema 4D, Electric Image, Curious Labs Poser, and more. MeGa MoCap is from the motion masters at Credo Interactive. Originally captured at Pepper's Ghost Studios in the UK, this mocap library of 500 motions has been optimized for users of Poser, LightWave, and Life Forms.

Exploring the Hemisphere

Right Hemisphere has acquired the Russian company, X-Dimension Software. X-Dimension designed 3D Exploration, which lets the user view popular 3D file formats as well as common 2D file types. The engineering and design group previously located in Perm, Russia have relocated to Right Hemisphere's International Office in New Zealand. The 3D Exploration product will now be available in two new versions. 3D Exploration - Discovery Edition ($39) will load and view 2D or 3D file formats. It will also render 3D objects using raytrace or scanline rendering technology. It supports animation and scene attributes such as lighting and camera definitions for 3D files in an easy-to-use Windows Explorer-type interface. The software is also available in the 3D Exploration - Enterprise Edition ($199), which includes all the features of the Discovery Edition, but also allows translation between different 3D file formats including animation support between many formats. Existing 3D Exploration customers will receive a full upgrade to the Enterprise version. A software development kit (SDK) which enables other developers to add new 3D file format support and integrate 3D Exploration features into third-party software is also available on a limited license basis.

Immersing in 3D

NDL announces NetImmerse v4.0, the latest version of its 3D game-development toolkit, with support for Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube. The following features and enhancements are new in NetImmerse v4.0: AnImmerse keyframe manager tool, which allows artists to preview and prototype keyframe animations within Discreet 3ds max and Alias|Wavefront Maya, Multigen-Paradigm Creator; DirectX 8.0-based renderer and texture compression; animation, particle, character skinning, and collision systems enhancements; and MAXImmerse for 3ds max, MyImmerse for Maya, andMultImmerse for Creator plug-in enhancemens. NetImmerse v4.0 will be available April 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].