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3D DIRECT • July 10, 2001

Macs in 3D

by Abby Albrecht

Caligari Presents Web-based Training

Caligari released the first in its Web-based streaming video training courses ($79) for trueSpace5.1. Caligari has matched each teacher's skills with a particular trueSpace area for highly focused tutorials, and these artists are sharing their techniques for creating 3D models, renders, and animations. Each course includes an accompanying downloadable project, syllabus, and a private forum where students can collaborate as well as interact with the authors of the courses. Each project includes all the objects, scenes, animations, and materials used in the course.

The NURBS course by Mike Harris explains the basic NURBS tools and then combines them in complex, task-oriented scenarios, creating simple but meaningful and very usable techniques for professional use.

Kevin Barnett's KFE Animation course explains the basic tools and steps in the animation process using keyframes, and then proceeds to explain more complicated tasks such as walk cycles. The course ends with a real animation project, "Groover escapes."

In the following weeks, more courses will be coming online, as well as additional professional services. If you purchase both courses within the next 14 days, and currently own trueSpace, you can have both the KFE Animation and the NURBS courses for $139. If you have a slow modem, you can download the course or purchase a CD. TrueSpace5.1 works on Windows systems.

Seek Systems Releases Mac Hard Drive

Seek Systems, Inc., provider of FasFile RAID and solid-state storage products, announced the availability of Seagate 180GB high-density drives for the Macintosh platform. The new drives provide over one terabyte of RAID-5 usable space in a single seven-inch drawer, and support all current versions of the Mac operating system, including Mac OS X.

Realviz Stitcher on the Mac

Realviz revealed Stitcher 3.0 ($800), now available for the Mac. Realviz Stitcher creates panoramic images up to 360 degrees. Stitcher can be used to create high-resolution panoramas for print, architectural visualization, feature film and television effects, and cylindrical and spherical panoramas for the Web. Stitcher 3.0 supports file export to QuickTime 5 and Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio, enabling Macromedia Director developers to deliver 3D models and panoramic experiences online. Stitcher currently supports Mac OS 9 and is in beta for Mac OS X. Customers who purchase the current version of Stitcher will be eligible for a free upgrade to the Mac OS X version when it becomes available in Q3 of 2001. All clients who purchase Realviz Stitcher software between now and the end of August 2001, will automatically qualify for the Special Launch Price of $495.

Lightcube GxSDK Available

Lightcube GmbH announced gxSDK, a free software package for the development of realtime 3D applications on standard PCs. Different from existing solutions, GX consists of a full-featured operating system for dynamic, multithreaded 3D applications. It enables programmers to build any kind of 3D application, from interactive games to 3D e-learning applications or walk-through experiences. The GX technology features realtime lighting, shadows, positional audio, particle system, inverse kinematics, procedural animation, procedural terrains, portal technology, and a 3D graphical user interface. The gxSDK package contains technical documentation, examples, and tutorials.

Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She spent way too much money buying Stargate's first season on DVD. You can reach her at [email protected].