Issue No.01 - January/February (2008 vol.28)
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
David J. Kasik , The Boeing Company
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCG.2008.18
Department editor Dave Kasik highlights some of the new computer graphics tools and products on the market.
Add a Monitor
ByteRunner Technologies announced its USB 2.0 Display Adapter, which lets users connect an additional monitor or projector to any computer that has a USB 2.0 port. Desktop computer users will find that adding an extra monitor via their USB connection is far easier than opening the computer chassis to install an internal video card. The adapter is also useful for laptop users who don't have the option of changing video cards. Once the installation is complete, there's no need to deal with a function key to swap a second monitor, as with traditional video splitters.
A basic benefit to the adapter is additional desktop space, allowing additional applications to be visible all at once. In addition, the USB 2.0 Video Display Adapter is "hot pluggable." This means it can be unplugged any time the additional monitor isn't being used; rebooting the computer is unnecessary.
For more information on the adapter, visit http://www.byterunner.com.
See the Light
Microsemi announced that Cypress Semiconductor has selected Microsemi LX1972BC light sensor for the programmable system on chip (PSoC) FirstTouch Starter Kit. The FirstTouch kit provides a way to evaluate the integration, flexibility, and real mixed-signal programmability of PSoC mixed-signal arrays in several embedded applications.
The thumb drive kit, working with Cypress's PSoC Express visual embedded system design tool, lets designers evaluate the use of superior light-sensing capabilities, as well as other parameters such as temperature and proximity.
The Microsemi LX1972BC is an advanced light sensor with near-human-eye response. It has low infrared sensitivity, is stable across temperature variations, and doesn't require optical filters.
For more information on Microsemi LX1972BC, visit http://www.microsemi.com.
Desktop Storage Solution
Enhance Technology announced a new range of four-disc, FireWire800-based RAID solutions with quad-interface (connectivity and user-selectable data protection). Available in compact desktop models, the EnhanceRAID T4H CR series is specifically designed to address storage and reliability concerns of video surveillance projects, working with high-resolution digital media recording. The T4H CR combination RAID product line benefits the same RAID technology found in the company's storage arrays, providing greater reliability, data integrity, and performance.
The EnhanceRAID T4H CR is a standalone USB 2.0, FireWire 400/800 and eSATA combination desktop RAID storage array that provides instant connectivity to any Macintosh and PC workstation that targets various user levels, such as digital content creators, game designers, and server message block database managers.
It comes with an H-shaped handle for easy carrying and features a small-print aluminum subcompact tower design. It also comes with removable disc trays, individual disc key locks, front secured door, hot-swappable cooling fan, and user-selectable RAID settings.
The control panel provides real-time control over system parameters including RAID settings and disc status. FireWire RAID lets users get the most out of DVR, digital audio workstations, editing systems, or PC or Macintosh stations by offering capacity, performance, and redundancy options not available in standard FireWire drives.
For more information on the EnhanceRAID T4H CR series, visit http://www.enhance-tech.com.
Video Editor Improves Workflow
NewTek announced SpeedEDIT version 1.5, an upgrade to its resolution-independent video editor designed to give video producers more editing creativity and speed whether working in digital video, high-definition video, or uncompressed video formats. This version builds on workflow with new tools, improving file format support and improving integration with other video applications by letting SpeedEDIT projects be imported directly into almost any other application without time-consuming rendering.
SpeedEDIT 1.5 has an audio video interleave wrapper and Pegasys TMPGEnc plug-in so SpeedEDIT projects can be used within external applications without any rendering to intermediate files. It also has Microsoft Windows Media Video 11 file writing upgraded to support variable bit rate and multipass encoding.
SpeedEDIT 1.5 is available for $495; it is being offered as a free update to current SpeedEDIT owners. For more information visit http://www.newtek.com.
Adina R&D announced a direct interface to EnSight, extreme visualization software from Computational Engineering International. The interface lets Adina computational fluid dynamics (CFD) users import results directly into EnSight for high-end visualizations.
Adina CFD is a good fit for the visualization tool because of EnSight's ability to visualize complex fluid flow with structural interactions problems. EnSight is a tool widely used for postprocessing, particularly of very large computational fluid dynamic models.
For more information visit http://www.adina.com.
Fantasy Game Playing Comes Alive
Avatar Reality, a new development entity dedicated to the advancement of online community building, announced its massively multiplayer virtual world (MMVW) called Blue Mars.
Blue Mars, which will launch in beta version in late 2008, is set in "Terraformed Mars" and lets players live out their fantasies through personalized characters, or avatars. The MMVW boasts breathtaking graphics through the use of CryTek's e-middleware, CryEngine2, and aims at high-end machines with quad core CPUs and GeForce 8800 or equivalent.
CryEngine2 features a next-generation real-time renderer, multithreaded physics engine, character animation system, integrated WYSIWYP sandbox editor, sound editor with interactive dynamic sound system, advanced AI system, resource compiler, and a network client and server system. For more information visit http://www.avatar-reality.com.
3D Visualization Enhancement
Demicron announced WireFusion 5, an enhancement to its 3D visualization tool for industrial designers, architects, and CAD engineers engaged in interactive 3D visualization development.
The new version is focused on improved performance, memory management, and workflow. It also includes new features such as OpenGL hardware support, a software developer's kit, CPU and memory profiling tools, a 3D measurement tool, and bump mapping.
WireFusion 5 is typically used for creating interactive concept design visualizations, digital prototypes, interactive training, and sales and marketing presentations. It's available as a boxed version for the Windows platform in three editions: Enterprise ($2,995), Professional ($1,495), and Educational ($495). For more information visit http://www.demicron.com/wirefusion.
Toon Boom Animation Adds Features
Toon Boom Animation announced the release of Toon Boom Studio 4. This latest release increases users' ability to create a wider range of animation styles within a friendlier interface.
New features of Studio 4 include Photo Animation Made Easy to animate bitmap images like any vector drawing, Extended Line Styles to create numerous line styles including calligraphy, Feather Edges to create vector blur or glow effects, more Peg Functionalities to easily create improved motion effects, and advanced Web Publishing Options for seamless playback on the Web.
This version adds more than 30 new features and improvements. For more information visit http://www.toonboom.com/products/toonBoomStudio.