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Siggraph Highlights for Mac Users – Part 4

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Pixar and Siggraph

Pixar has been at Siggraph for years now both showcasing its technology and providing a point of contact for those interested in joining Pixar Animation Studios as an employee. The latest advancements in RenderMan Artist tools including RenderMan for Maya, RenderMan Studio and RenderMan Pro Server are generally showcased. All three products, including RenderMan Pro Server 13.5 run on the Mac.

Pixologic at Siggraph

Pixologic recently released ZBrush 3.1 days before the Siggraph 2008 show opened. The latest version intros new brush palettes and new brush features including Color Mask and Back-Face Masking. There is new support for square alphas, new user-assigned hotkeys and a refined user interface.

ZBrush 3.1 sells for 595.USD and is available for both Windows and Macintosh and there is a downloadable 30-day trial version. The company has a new gallery online which is worth taking a serious look at.

T-Splines at Siggraph

T-Splines was at Siggraph to demo the latest version of T-Splines surface modeling application plugin for Rhino. Readers may be familiar with our past discussion of what t-splines actually are relative to NURBS grids and recall that T-Spline’s technology enables a simplification of NURBS sub-division geometry. There is also a T-Splines plugin for Maya and the T-Tools development library. Additionally, aT-Splines research paper was presented at the Siggraph 2008 conference. The paper was titled “Watertight Trimmed NURBS” and was co-authored by Dr. Thomas W. Sederberg, co-founder of T-Splines.

SmithMicro (Poser) at Siggraph

Readers may recall the new owners of Poser and Amapi Pro are SmithMicro and they also publish the Japanese 3D program Shade Professional. Additionally, they publish Morpheus Photo Animation Suite and Manga Studio and Anime Studio products. With this new range of pro-sumer oriented 3D and graphics products the company was at Siggraph 2008 to show them. The latest version of Poser is version 7. The latest version of Shade is version 8. And Amapi Pro is still at version 7.5. Typically Poser is a big draw at Siggraph as the leading and most well-known 3D character software application. Poser Pro goes for 499.USD, while Poser 7 is 249.USD. Poser Figure Artist is aimed at traditional figure artists in need of human form for their art work. It sells for 99.USD. All of these programs having shipping or downloadable native Mac versions (usually requiring Mac OS X 10.2, 10.3 or higher.). Manga Studio 4, coming in the Fall, has only been announced for Windows.

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