Issue No.04 - July-Aug. (2012 vol.32)
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCG.2012.69
This article looks at new hardware and software products and tools related to computer graphics.
Toshiba bridges the gap between analog and IP network video surveillance systems with its EHV (Embedded Hybrid Video) recorders (see Figure 1). Used for surveillance systems running up to 16 cameras, the EHV series records analog cameras at 480 fps, as well as IP network cameras. Video compression maximizes network bandwidth efficiency, according to Toshiba, and the system lets users simultaneously record and remotely access live views and play back video. Toshiba's mobile apps permit remote access of video on Android devices, iPhones and iPads, and Blackberry devices. Toshiba claims the recorders' embedded CPU design assures a consistently higher level of security against network attacks along with lower maintenance requirements by eliminating the need to install software patches and antivirus updates.
For more information, visit www.toshibasecurity.com/products/recorders/prod_recorder_detail_ehv.jsp.
US-based RPA Electronic Solutions and Norway-based 3D Perception have combined to integrate RPA's automated-alignment scanner with 3D Perception's image processing to produce StarScan, a system that generates a screen image within one arc minute of accuracy. StarScan uses high-resolution optical sensors to perform 36-degree, 3D screen measurements resulting in a 3D map of the screen surface. This is live-linked to 3D Perception's nBox display processor, which processes the measurement data and applies geometric warping and blending to raw source visuals. The result is a precision-aligned, seamless image, projected onto any screen shape or size, claims 3D Perception.
The system can also act as an installation aid, providing real-time measurements of distance to various points on the screen to ensure accurate placement. Visual sensors include a high-resolution optics system that measures test points to better than one arc minute of accuracy and optional color-sensing devices to perform color matching across all display devices in the visual system. A visible-spectrum laser rangefinder provides screen surface scanning and measurement to produce 3D screen maps.
For more information, visit www.3d-perception.com/sider/3d-perception_news.asp?Action=Visnyhet&NodeID=1047&PlaID=1&ID=416.
Nvidia introduced its first Kepler-generation GPU for high-performance computing. The GPU can work on as many as 32 CPU-driven message-passing-interface tasks simultaneously. "Dynamic parallelism" lets the GPU do more processing independently of the CPU. The traditional model was for the CPU to send the GPU some work via a CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) call; afterward, the GPU would have to wait for more work from the host.
For more information, visit www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia-kepler.html.
3D Portable Measurement
FARO's Edge is a portable 3D measurement arm that lets manufacturers verify their product quality by performing inspections, tool certifications, CAD-to-part analysis, and reverse engineering. With a built-in touchscreen and onboard operating system, the Edge is the first smart measurement arm for high-precision 3D measurement, imaging, and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes, according to FARO.
For more information, visit www.faro.com/edge/us.
Create Handwritten Fonts
High-Logic's Scanahand 4 application creates custom, handwritten fonts for use in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Notepad, and any Windows program (see Figure 2). Users can create a font, install it in Windows, and use it immediately. They can type notes and cards in a word processor and print them in their own handwriting. Scanahand lets users create signature fonts and bold and italic styles, and it automatically includes diacritical marks. The product has full Unicode support.
New features include a character mapper that automatically links missing letters to their uppercase or lowercase counterpart and a new algorithm for calculating the best left and right bearings for the basic Latin character set. Also, High-Logic has improved Scanahand's tracing method to generate more appealing fonts.
For more information, visit www.high-logic.com/font-generator/scanahand.html.
3D PDF Converter
Tetra4D's 3D PDF Converter Version 3.4 adds localization support for Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese. Other languages available are English, German, French, and Japanese. As the only authorized 3D plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, 3D PDF Converter leverages the publishing features of Adobe Acrobat with the free Adobe Reader to enable enterprise-wide data exchange and collaboration in 3D. 3D PDF Converter provides updates for these CAD formats: Catia (Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application) V5 R21, SolidWorks 2012, NX 8, Solid Edge ST4, and the ISO STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data) Industry Foundation Classes 2x4. This release also supports reading compressed versions of STEP, converting 2D Catia V5 drawings to PDF, and 3D annotations in Catia V6 and V5 3DXML.
For more information, visit www.tetra4d.com/products.
The Bloom Unit plug-in for the SketchUp 3D modeling tool offers interactive photorealistic model rendering in real time using cloud computing. The rendering can be shared with any device on the Internet through a browser; a copy of SketchUp at the viewing end isn't required.
For example, a designer in his or her office can show an architectural model's latest version to a client at home with an iPad. The designer first sends an email to the client, providing a link that opens a viewing session. If the client suggests a change, such as a material or color, he or she can view the results as fast as the designer makes the change in SketchUp. The client can also mark up the rendering, which will display on the designer's screen.
For more information, visit www.bloomunit.com.
3D Visualization Tool for Architecture
Harris's RealSite is a 3D visualization and communication tool for architects, developers, and others involved in construction and architecture. RealSite models extract ground and urban digital elevation models from satellite and aerial imagery. For applications such as mission planning and rehearsal, RealSite can quickly generate accurate, photorealistic urban models useful for 3D visualization, says Harris.
For more information, visit www.govcomm.harris.com/realsite.