San Francisco Ð NeXT-produced graphics will soon enter another dimension, thanks to several new 3-D modeling and rendering programs that build on the foundation laid by NeXTSTEP 3.0's 3DKit.
"The 3DKit provides a type of glue between the AppKit and RenderMan that really helped us to unleash its power," said Andrew Stone, founder of Stone Design, which planned to release 3D Reality in October. The program, to sell at an introductory price of $99, is an intuitive front end to Pixar's RenderMan.
Frontface, a $995 3-D modeler due by year's end, lets users drag and drop objects, cameras, colors, shaders, lights, 3-D text, or RenderMan RIB-formatted files directly into a scene, said nPoint President Kurt Stephens.
Italy's Gestel Italia has taken a modular approach to 3-D with solidThinking. Modules for modeling, rendering, and animating will form the basis for a complete 3-D environment that will eventually support output to video and 3-D scanning. It also offers advanced features, such as morphing and lofting, not found in other packages.
Appsoft also has announced a modeler called Perspective for general business users. In an unusual move, Appsoft opened up its beta-test program, providing free copies of the Perspective beta to anyone who e-mails the company. At press time, Cub'X Systemes announced one more entry, Intuitiv'3D.