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Tessellation Times - newsletter for AutoDesk 3-D Studio.

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Tessellation Times #524, Weekly Newsletter
covering 3D Topics from the Columbine Pub-
lising, publishers of 3D Artist Magazine.
Issue #24, Monday August 07, 1995.

File TESS524.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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T H E T E S S E L L A T I O N T I M E S #524
Issue #24 of 1995, for Friday, August 4th

*The Tessellation Times* (TESS) is Columbine, Inc.'s weekly electronic
publication normally posted Monday evenings as a supplement to 3D ARTIST

See Contacts at the end of this file for companies whose products are
mentioned here.
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or products are endorsed.

Published by and (c)Copyright 1995, all rights reserved:
Columbine, Inc.
P.O. Box 4787, Santa Fe, NM 87502 USA
505/982-3532 (voice); 505/820-6929 (fax)
505/820-6929x3 voice mail
E-mail: [email protected]
Alex Kiriako, Editor, TESS & Sysop,
Bill Allen, Publisher & Pres., Columbine, Inc.
Sally Beach, Vice Pres., Columbine, Inc.
Carol Williamson, Admin. Asst.
524.00 - Heads Up
524.00.00 - Siggraph Coverage
524.00.01 - The Fortnight in 3D
524.00.02 - Special Offers
524.00.03 - Upgrades
524.00.04 - Galleries and Exhibits
524.00.05 - Shows and Exhibitions
524.01 - Autodesk Offers Model Libraries
524.02 - Schreiber Multimedia Becomes 4DVision
524.03 - Classes of Note
524.04 - News on High End
524.05 - News Wrap
524.06 - What's Up in Santa Fe
524.06.01 - TESS
524.06.02 - 3D ARTIST & Web Site
524.07 - Contacts


524.00 - Heads Up

Here's the stuff you need to know the soonest...

524.00.00 - Siggraph Coverage

If you have Web access, start keeping an eye on
Beginning Sunday 6 Aug., the TESS NewsRoom page will carry news items and
will anchor whole reports from Los Angeles that could appear at any odd
hour. We also will link in major portions of the most important 3D desktop
news releases as soon as we can get them to the Web after they become
un-embargoed. We also expect to be posting photos from the show.

524.00.01 - The Fortnight in 3D

August 6-11, Los Angeles, Calif.: Siggraph 95, L.A. Convention Ctr. Contact
ACM Siggraph, 401 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; 312/321-6830, -6786 fax.

August 8-11, Boston, Mass.: MacWorld Boston, at the World Trade Ctr., 164
Northern Ave. (617/439-5000), and the Bayside Expo Ctr., 200 Mt. Vernon St.
(617/265-5800). Registration for exhibits is $40 (cash only) at the door.
Conference and exhibit registration is $150.

August 14, Appleton, Wisc.: 1995 3D Artists Conference and Seminars will
feature a courtroom animation seminar by Paul Kakert of Fresh Look Design,
who is a forensic animation specialist. Michele Bousquet *3D Artist* writer
and globe trotting author will also be there teaching classes on 3D Studio.
Contact James Murphy Consulting 414/435-7345, -7395 fax; CIS 71165,1321.

August 16, Albuquerque, N.M.: D & H Information Services and Bell & Howell
will be holding a free seminar from 9am to 4pm at the Learning Lab covering
the conversion from microfiche, film, and paper to TIFF for archiving to
CD-ROM. RSVP to 505/298-0838 or 800/460-0388.

524.00.02 - Special Offers

Through 15 Aug., Vream, Inc. has lowered the ante for joining their VCreator
beta program to $795. VCreator is their next generation virtual reality
development package for Windows using Microsoft's Reality Lab engine.
Vream's beta program represents an opportunity to start incorporating
VCreator features into your applications now.
Another special offer through 15 Aug. saves you the $89 upgrade price from
Vream's DOS Virtual Reality Development System to its new Windows VCreator
program later this year if you buy the DOS version now at $495.

524.00.03 - Upgrades

Visual Software is about to ship Visual Reality 2.0 ($259) for Windows
3.1/95. Along with the four integrated applications you also get 2Gb of 3D
data including nine volumes from Simply Scenes, 1,500 seamless textures, 100
timelapse AVIs, backdrops, and a CD-ROM of over 500 3D business objects.
The four application modules include Renderize Live, Visual Model, Visual
Image, and Visual Font. A fifth module, Visual Catalog, helps you organize
and get at all the data.
Visual Model has 3D Booleans, organic deformations, 3D morphing, and a
variety of warping tools.
Renderize Live now has independent animation controls for all objects with
full hierarchical linking. Other features include the ability to use AVI
files as backgrounds, color textures, and projector lights, and also for
Visual Image can do multi-layered collages of photos and images with
different color depths and resolutions. It also provides image enhancement
in TGA, TIF, BMP, and JPG formats.
Visual Font works with TrueType fonts and has deformation capabilities, 20
bevel types, and path controls. Also included is 3DR support for fast font
See 524.05 below for more Visual Software news.

524.00.04 - Galleries and Exhibits

Philadelphia's Silicon Gallery is turning digital art, both virtual and
real, into an international activity. Open since last November and
consisting of a physically real art space (1,200 sq. ft. hanging space) and
a virtual gallery on the Internet, it is undertaking some ambitious 3D art
New openings occur every month to coincide with Philadelphia's First
Friday art walk. Silicon Gallery will be hosting the The Fractal Design Show
Online from 8 Aug. through 31 Sept. (This show will be at MacWorld Boston,
then goes to Silicon Gallery, and finally to the Seybold show 26-28 Sept. in
San Francisco, Calif.)
During October a unique event will be jointly hosted by the Gallerie
Graphe in Paris and Silicon Gallery using live satellite video linking to
simultaneosly create digital sculptures across the Atlantic. Visitors at the
live gallery also will be asked to have their hands scanned and digitized to
be milled on the spot using a 3D prototyping machine. To top it all off, the
casts will be sold at the end of the show to benefit Doctors Without Borders.
Silicon Gallery is at 139 N. 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106; 215/238-6063,
-6067 fax; , CIS 71233,1437, They also have a presence on CompuServe
with files in gallery libaries 19 and 20 ("go graphic").

524.00.05 - Shows and Exhibitions

Sept. 18-19, Bryn Mawr, Penn.: Autodesk Mid-Atlanic Expo co-sponsored by
Synergis will be offering AutoCAD-based solutions for the mechanical design
marketplace. This expo includes workshops, showcases, and panels.
Registration is $45 per day per person if paid before Sept. 11 and $55
afterwards, lunch included. Autodesk Mid-Atlanic Expo, Gregg Conference
Center at the American College, 270 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010;
215/529-9900 x114, 536-9249 fax.

524.01 - Autodesk Offers Model Libraries

Autodesk, Inc. announced 1 Aug. that they are shipping 3D Props, their new
collection of quality royalty-free 3D models in 3DS format. The first two
offerings, each containing over 300 models, are the 3D Props Residential and
3D Props Commercial CD-ROMS.
Autodesk calls these "Smart" Models since they come render-ready with
adjustable defaults for smoothing, texture mapping, lights, and cameras. A
number of the models have movable parts and are capable of being animated.
Each collection also comes bundled with a Windows 3.1 based browser and a 3D
Studio plug-in browser for viewing and managing 3DS formated files.
The 3D Props Residential collection includes ready-to-use items in
categories like appliances, living room, kitchen, outdoor, etc. The 3D Props
Commercial set contains item categories like fitness, high tech, industry,
office, transportation, and workshop. Each collection is $199, but is
offered at an introductory price of $149 ($249 for both) until Oct. 31, 1995.

524.02 - Schreiber Multimedia Becomes 4DVision

4DVision is the new name for Schreiber Multimedia, Inc. It will continue to
sell Schreiber's 3D graphics and 3D Studio IPAS products, and next week will
introduce new ones. Its first new product announcement, however, is in the
2D realm. Digital Fusion does professional digital film manipulation with
features such as camera steady, automatic tracking, CCIR 601 YUV in/out, and
direct SCSI to Abekas Diskus DDR and others. Some features come as add-on
Digital Fusion is procedural based and uses a flow-charting model to
organize function blocks for working with unlimited input streams,
functions, and layers.
Digital Fusion's base module ($2,995) has image manipulation with
interlacing and vectorscope, a variety of merging effects, numerous
filtering and color effects, several matte generators including soft edge
matting and Chroma reduction, image transformations between HLS & YUV color
spaces, and Boolean operations.
Independently priced modules offer warping effects ($495), Exabyte in/out
($195), direct SCSI to Abekas and others ($1,495), Steady module ($495), and
a film recorder module with output to 2K, 4K, and 8K ($3,995).
Digital Fusion requires a minimum of 8Mb RAM on a 386 with math
coprocessor and only works with an Adaptec 1542 SCSI card. 4DVision
recommends using, however, a top-of-the-line Pentium, 2Mb SVGA, 32Mb RAM,
17" monitor, 4Gb SCSI drive, and a video disc.
We're told that the product has already proven itself in Hollywood movie
Shipping starts during Siggraph and demos will be shown there in Schreiber
Booth #2378.

524.03 - Classes of Note

The Vanier CAD/CAM Institute in Montreal is an Autodesk Training Center for
multimedia with programs in Autodesk 3D Studio, Animator Studio, and
Animator Pro. Six-week intensives will be offered in mid-October for a total
of 60 hours of classroom instruction and unlimited free practice time.
Pricing is us$1,200 (Can$1,595). Contact Roger Cusson at Vanier CAD/CAM
Institute 425 DeMaisonneuve W. # 1100, Montreal, PQ, Canada; 514/281-9807,
845-1077; CIS 73260.644.

524.04 - News on High End

Move over Pink Floyd and Hindenburg. Floating 3D sculptures from the Id will
be overseeing Siggraph this year courtesy of Dimensional Media Associates
(DMA). The 3D projections will consist of a cow, a Porsche, a bust of
Beethoven, and shoes "floating mid-air in the aisles." All of these will be
emanating from the SGI Booth (#2004) using an SGI Onyx via DMA's newly
patented 3D High Definition Volumetric Display system (HDVD).

SGI made a number of announcements on July 31, 1995 for price decreases and
performance increases in selected workstations, including a new 250MHz MIPS
R4400 chip for use in upper-level machines.
Price decreases include a 175MHz Indy system for $15,995--down $2,000 and
now using a 200MHz R4400. SGI stated that the 200MHz R4400 was previously
only available in systems at the $26,000 price point. Another price
reduction is for the Challenge S file and World Wide Web server down to
$9,900. More fully configured, a 200MHz Challenge S server with 64Mb of RAM
and a 2Gb drive starts at $15,900.
Other price breaks/performance improvements were also announced for
Indigo2 250 MHz systems with XZ graphics, the new Indigo2 High Impact
graphics systems, and the Indigo2 product line which got a performance boost
from 133MHz to 175Mhz without price changes.

524.05 - News Wrap

Autodessys, Inc. quietly announced in a press release received Aug. 1, 1995
that it is porting its Mac-only professional modeling and rendering
application Form-Z to Windows NT for Fall release. They will be showing an
alpha version of Form-Z Windows NT at Siggraph in Booth #1255. They will
also be demonstrating Form-Z 2.8 Mac with its new full-featured renderer
Form-Z RenderZone and support for QuickDraw3D hardware boards with realtime
colored-solids rendering.

Martin Hash Animation (MHA) is the new $199 CD-ROM package for spline-based
modeling and animation from Hash, Inc. Appearing in a new blister pack at a
reduced price, it seems to be promoting 3D populism with this major subset
of the coming Animation Master 3.0 program.
Aside from an installation guide and a brief intro booklet, all
documentation and tutorials reside on the CD-ROM and its accompanying VHS
"Video Manual" (with a table of contents card containing topic times and a
video index on the back). Context-sensitive help is also available in the
application, as well as a tutorial help file which can be accessed from the
MHA sports a cleaner design than its precursors by using floating tool
palettes and by regrouping menu options. The application is locked to the
CD-ROM on startup and will run on Windows 3.1/3.11/95. The CD-ROM also
contains lots of choreographies, objects, and images to get you going.

On 31 July Visual Software announced Double Vision ($39) for easily creating
full color stereo 3D images. It outputs images to file or print that can be
viewed with blue/red glasses. It also includes tools and directions for
adding to an illusion of depth to "flat" media.
Also announced was the Simply 3D SuperPack ($99) containing Simply 3D,
Double Vision, WinBlob, Starter Pack (pre-defined scenes), and 3D Virtual
Worlds, comprised of Northern Castle and Jurassic Adventure. (See 524.00.03
above about Visual Reality 2.0)
Visual Reality now has its own forum on CompuServe: "go vissoft".

StereoCam and Interlve ($295 for both) are two new 3DS IPAS routines from
BlackBox designed to work together to give you stereoscopic results from
your 3D Studio scenes.
The StereoCam KXP offers "all the tools you need to produce true 3D stereo
amimations." It translates your single camera positioning in 3DS to right-
and left-eye views for proper stereopsis and offers easy adjustment for
depth of stereo effect.
After your stereo pairs are created, you use the Interlve IXP to format
them for viewing on a stereo display devices such as VictorMaxx,
CrystalEyes, Virtual i-glasses, and CyberMaxx.
A special Interlve feature allows you to directly render and merge the
left-eye view to the already rendered right-eye view, thereby saving time
and disk space.
StereoCam and Interlve are available now from Northwest Tech.

QFX, the digital painting and image composition program from Ron Scott, Inc.
is now available for Windows 3.1/95/NT at $795. QFX has most of the features
you would expect in a contemporary digital paint program and some unusual
ones as well. Command Queing, for example, offers unlimited batch control
and a programming language. Bitmap Objects allows for realtime composition
of objects without special file formats or lots of RAM. Warp offers
interactive gridpoint meshes for creating a variety of distortions, while
shading applies Gouraud, Phong, or flat lighting for 3D effects. QFX also
has support for the new Wacom erasing pen.
You can see QFX at Siggraph in the Wacom Technologies Booth #2439.

CadWorks, Inc. reports it is shipping Drawbase 2.0 ($600) for Windows.
Drawbase includes features like 3D rendering, hidden line removal, 3D
Booleans, and shading options for flat, Phong, and Gouraud. Other features
are object instancing, DDE, assigning info to objects, global text editing
and a Drawbase programming language.

Digital Equipment Corp. is trumpeting the performance of their Alpha
processors in running animation and imaging applications under Windows NT.
With growing demand for faster image processing, software vendors are
recognizing the value of compiling for Alpha NT.
DEC points to current Alpha heavy hitters, many familiar to our readers
(NewTek, Hash, In:sync, Realsoft, Visual Software and others), claiming
performance factors two to six times greater than competitors' machines in
running the same software.
Digital will be demonstrating some of these applications on the Alpha at
Siggraph Booth #2079.

Accelerated Performance, Inc. says you don't need a faster processor as much
as faster RAM, and will be showing a system with just that in Daewoo's
Siggraph Booth #2605. They claim to have the first 16Mb of their 32Mb AP-4
acting like an L2 cache, running at the same speed as the machine's AMD
100MHz 486DX4 clone CPU, and reducing memory fetches to 0 wait states. A
complete system including a 4Mb video card, 15" monitor, and 1.2Gb hard
drive, comes in well under $4,000. Future machines reportedly are planned to
have Pentium CPUs and larger RAM segments. Meanwhile, TESS was told that 3D
Studio, Corel Draw, and other graphics applications have been found to run
without problems at this higher memory speed--as much as four times as fast
as on comparable DX4 systems.--B.A.

Mark Brown at Daewoo told TESS today 4 Aug. that an Autodesk dealer just
reported to him that the 3D Studio ADI driver that comes with Daewoo's Mars
MPEG board (TESS#502.03.02) turns out to work also with AutoVision. That
means you can record walk-throughs and fly-throughs to disk right from
AutoCAD with AutoVision rather than having to go to 3D Studio.
A new $1,450 Mars II board is in the works for late August, by the way,
with higher resolution recording and an IPAS program that allows you to play
back recordings from inside 3D Studio. Stop by Daewoo Booths #s 2605 and
2607 to find out more.--B.A.

524.06 - What's Up in Santa Fe

524.06.01 - TESS

The next TESS will be full of Siggraph news, but some time-critical news
might squeeze in if received by 1pm MDT on 14 Aug.

524.06.02 - 3D ARTIST & Web Site

We're running a special offer through 17 Aug. for Help Wanted ads: $25
(regular $48) for a six-line ad that will go up onto the Web immediately at
and also will go into 3D ARTIST magazine issue #21. (Classified ads average
38 characters per line.)

524.07 - Contacts

Please mention TESS when contacting companies about products reported here!

> 4DVision; 4800 Happy Canyon Rd. #250, Denver, CO 80237; 800/252-1024;
303/759-1024, -0928 fax, -3598 BBS;
> Accelerated Peformance, Inc.; 32432 Alipaz St. #K, San Juan Capistrano, CA
92675; 714/496-7031, -7928 fax
> Autodesk, Inc.; 111 McInnis Pkwy., San Rafael, CA 94903; 800/879-4233;
415/507-5000, 491-8311 fax;
> Autodessys, Inc.; 2011 Riverside Dr., Columbus, OH 43221; 614/488-8838,
-0848 fax
> CADworks, Inc.; 222 - 3rd St., Cambridge, MA 02142-1159; 800/545-4223;
617/868-6003, 354-3057 fax
> Daewoo International America Corp.; 1055 W. Victoria St., Compton, CA
90220; 800/432-8905; 310/609-2296;
> Hash, Inc.; 2800 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661; 360/750-0042,
-0451 fax; ;
> Northwest Tech Systems; 13256 N.E. 20th #5; 206/641-3282, -3665 fax;
; CIS 102063,2103
> Ron Scott, Inc.; 1000 Jackson Blvd., Houston, TX 77006; 713/529-5868,
-9370 fax
> Silicon Graphics, Inc.; 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043;
> Valis Group; P.O. Box 831, Tiburon, CA 94920; 415/435-5404, -9862 fax;

> Visual Software, Inc.; 21731 Ventura Blvd., #310, Woodland Hills, CA
91364; 800/669-7318; 818/883-7900, 593-3737 fax
3D ARTIST magazine - 3D How-To's & News
Founded 1991. Completely written by real users. Covers PC, Mac, and Amiga 3D
software, and topics of interest to freelance artists.
If you haven't seen and can't find 3D ARTIST, E-mail your snail mail
address to [email protected] for a sample issue (North America) or an
info kit with sample pages (elsewhere). Sample issue arrival may take 6-8
weeks by third class mail. Purchased issues ($4 each, postpaid surface mail
worldwide) are sent immediately (fax Visa/MC orders to 505/820-6929 or call
12-issue surface subscription (*through August 1995) is $29 U.S., us$41
Canada/Mexico, $46 elsewhere. 6-issue, first class, and airmail
subscriptions also available. *Rates increase September 1, 1995.


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