Visual Software Inc, Los Angeles, California is branching out into the world of on-line three dimensional graphics. The company’s initial foray into this market came when it set up a subsidiary called Worlds Development Inc, to develop libraries of three-dimensional scenes. It is staffed by a clutch of graphic artists, and the first product to […]
Visual Software Inc, Los Angeles, California is branching out into the world of on-line three dimensional graphics. The company’s initial foray into this market came when it set up a subsidiary called Worlds Development Inc, to develop libraries of three-dimensional scenes. It is staffed by a clutch of graphic artists, and the first product to come out of the Portland, Oregon subsidiary has been virtual world a series of nine fully rendered three-dimensional scenes that will ship as part of the latest release of its Visual Reality 2.0 toolkit for Windows. The company will issue upgrades to version 2.0 by the end of the year enabling these virtual worlds to be used to create World Wide Web pages with three-dimensional graphics. In the next six months all our tools will be designed for the Internet, said the company’s managing director, Doug Richards. For the moment the company’s core product is Visual Reality 2.0, a Windows graphics software package for iAPX-86 personal computers that enables the creation of three-dimensional effects using drawings created in two dimensions.
Richards likened the product to Microsoft Corp’s SoftImage and said it provides similiar functions and performance to the Unix software but that it has an easier to use interface, more pre-drawn models, and will run under Windows on an 80486 machine rather than needing a Unix workstation. Version 2.0 enables artists to animate each object within a scene fully rather than create the more simple walk-through effects in still scenes posssible with the previous version; it includes functions within the rendering option that enable a three-dimensional object to be melted, twisted, stretched and bent; increased options within the Visual Font software to create bevelled, bent, compressed and generally strangely-shaped three dimensional words and an expanded library of three-dimensional objects that can be dragged and dropped into one of the nine virtual world scenes within the package and then manipulated accordingly. Visual Reality currently runs under Windows 3.1 but Richards said it is developing a version of Visual Reality and Simple 3D, its three-dimensional rendering and animation tool kit, for Windows 95 as it will significantly increase the software’s performance. The minimum requirements for Visual Reality 2.0 are a 33MHz 80486 with a CD-ROM drive, 12Mb RAM, 40Mb hard disk space, 800 by 600 Super VGA screen with 256 colours. The company hopes to sell 30,000 units in the first 12 months. The product will begin shipping in August and will cost ú260.