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3D DIRECT • September 25, 2001

Thank You for the Graphics

by Abby Albrecht

Logitech Forms 3Dconnexion

Logitech formed a new company, 3Dconnexion, whose focus will be on developing and marketing input devices for the field of 3D motion control. The new company combines LogiCAD 3D and Labtec's 3D peripheral business. Combined, they represent more than twenty years of experience in 3D motion control technology. In addition, their 3D input devices are industry standards in the CAD/CAM sphere.

Logitech has held a 49 percent share of LogiCAD 3D since 1998 and recently acquired majority control of the company. The LogiCAD 3D Magellan controller, is used in fields such as automotive design and the aerospace industry. Labtec's 3D controller, Spaceball, has a history in space, having been used to remotely drive the Sojourner robot on Mars.

Softimage Animates Pinocchio

CineGroupe, an entertainment company based in Montreal, selected Softimage|XSI 2.0 software for the production of the 80 minute 3D animated feature-length film Pinocchio 3001. In a twist on a classic story, Pinocchio 3001 takes a futuristic look at the tale of Gepetto and his little robot, Pinocchio, who must learn the difference between right and wrong in order to become human.

"The product's trademark features of non-destructive animation mixing, interactive rendering, and Internet enabled workflow coupled with a fully integrated compositor, realtime shaders, and integrated hair and fur simulators made it an obvious choice for us. The responsiveness from Softimage in making enhancements to the software to meet our needs and exceptional support they have been providing has given us the confidence to produce Pinocchio 3001 entirely with Softimage|XSI," said Michel Poisson, director of CineGroupe's 3D studio.

EnSight Visualizes Air

The U.S. Air Force Academy has licensed EnSight software from CEI as one of the central visualization tools in its Advanced Applied Aerodynamics course.

"EnSight is effective because it produces top-quality animations that allow us to clearly show complex flow structures," says Maj. Doug Blake, assistant professor of aeronautics. "Students need to understand flow fields to build a solid working knowledge of aerodynamics."

Flow-feature extraction within EnSight allows engineers and scientists to automatically visualize computational fluid dynamics (CFD) interactions. It allows aerospace engineers to analyze high-speed airflow characteristics for aircraft, rotorcraft, and missiles. The Air Force Academy is primarily interested in isolating shock-wave interactions, but EnSight also extracts vortex core flow, boundary layer characteristics, and surface flow topology.

Scientists use EnSight and EnSight Gold software for visualization at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, NASA, Department of Energy, major national laboratories, and aerospace companies throughout the world.

Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She's heard a funny rumor that advertisers are the key to keeping Web sites open. You can reach her at [email protected].