Artifice, Inc.
Press Release

DesignWorkshop 1.7 adds Walkthrough and Rendering Features

  For Immediate Release


  William D. Kyle
  V.P. Marketing and Sales
  Artifice, Inc.

  541-345-7421 voice
  541-345-7438 fax

Boston - August 6, 1997 - Artifice, Inc., a leading provider of creative 3D software, is now shipping a powerful new version of DesignWorkshop® for Power Macintosh. Building on the award-winning immersion modeling interface of the original DesignWorkshop, the new DesignWorkshop 1.7 provides a complete solution for spatial design and visualization. The new version adds a new live walkthrough interface for navigating 3D worlds, with the ultimate QuickDraw 3D real-time rendering performance, plus presentation-quality rendering of light and textures, and expanded file exchange functions, while maintaining the same affordable direct purchase price of $595.

DesignWorkshop 1.7 is a fast, easy, and affordable tool for creating architectural models, images, and walkthroughs, from initial sketches to polished presentations. It provides easy-to-use click-and-drag-style 3D modeling in a live immersion-3D modeling space.

DesignWorkshop presents a new kind of creative spatial design software. The unique live-3D user interface of DesignWorkshop combines advanced feature-based solid modeling technology with MacDraw-style click-and-drag editing to provide maximum modeling power with a minimum of complex commands. "DesignWorkshop presents the quickest and easiest interface for us to begin designing," says David Bailey, Senior Architect, State of California Department of Parks and Recreation. "I'm able to get a lot accomplished in a short time."

In DesignWorkshop, 3D solid objects and true openings in solids can be moved, resized, and reshaped all with the 3D crosshair, using just one automatic tool. This frees the designer to focus on creating form, rather than running the computer. Dr. Alec Goldenberg in New York City says, "DesignWorkshop is the best 3D design tool I've seen."

DesignWorkshop provides for seamless iterative refinement of a design project from rough initial concepts through to a polished, highly accurate final project model. Such progressive refinement-at the heart of the creative design process-is extremely difficult to achieve using either the very loose editing of general-purpose 3D rendering applications, or the strictly linear editing approach found in traditional CAD software.

The new trimesh QD3D geometry type is used internally in DesignWorkshop 1.7 for maximum QuickDraw 3D acceleration. The new Optimize Model command allows the same speed to be achieved with imported QuickDraw 3D models, using data streamlining and algorithmic conversion of meshes to trimeshes.

"The speed is amazing," says James J. O'Neill of O'Neill & Zimet, Architects. "I am blown away by the texturing capabilities."

In addition to raw performance, DesignWorkshop 1.7 provides the most complete QuickDraw 3D viewing support available. The new Look Tool provides exciting game-style live 3D walkthroughs. Up to 50 live 3D views can be saved within a DesignWorkshop QuickDraw 3D model. And comprehensive 2D and 3D view controls make it easy to achieve special presentation effects, such as off-center two-point perspectives, which traditionally require a complex tilting view plane approach.

For their recent press tour introducing the RAGE PRO chip and a new generation of 3D accelerator boards, ATI Technologies, Inc. chose DesignWorkshop software because of its great combination of pure rendering speed and complete QuickDraw 3D support.

"The latest features of Apple's QuickDraw 3D technology combine elegantly with the user-friendly live-3D design environment of DesignWorkshop," says Kevin Matthews, president of Artifice. "And with the amazing performance of the latest Power Macintosh® computers, boosted by available hardware acceleration from vendors like ATI, Apple provides an ideal platform for the continued growth of our innovative 3D design products."

In version 1.7, DesignWorkshop has been extended to integrate complete presentation rendering capabilities within the same accessible application. Automatic scaled texture-mapping, an extensive library of realistic architectural textures and light types, and plug-in renderers licensed from LightWork Design all work together transparently to make producing high-quality final renderings a snap. DesignWorkshop 1.7 supports full direct lighting effects, with shadow-casting, transparency, colored lighting effects with pixel-level interpolation, and anti-aliased rendering with unlimited resolution.

The combination of immersion modeling, experiential visualization, and presentation rendering, in one fast, easy and affordable package makes DesignWorkshop a great solution for architectural and interior design and rendering, for film, TV, and theatrical production design, lighting design, real estate marketing, plant design and layout, and for exhibit and package design. Full support for reading and writing the 3DMF file format is significantly enhanced in DesignWorkshop 1.7. New features for 3DMF files include saved view lists, so an entire live 3D presentation experience can be encapsulated in a single cross-platform QuickDraw 3D model. Refined DXF import and export with 3DFACE and POLYLINE support makes CAD-accurate drawing and model transfers more efficient and reliable. Expanded support for the Radiance lighting simulation system includes automatic translation of the DesignWorkshop scaled tiling textures into Radiance models, for a true ready-to-render connection.

DesignWorkshop 1.7 will officially ship on August 6, 1997 at the MacWorld Boston Exposition, including versions for the US, UK, and Japan (English/feet, English/meters and Japanese/meters). The upgrade to DesignWorkshop 1.7 is free to all purchasers of DesignWorkshop since October 1, 1995, and to all registered owners of DesignWorkshop 1.5. The upgrade price for other DesignWorkshop owners is $198. All registered owners of DesignWorkshop 1.7 will also receive additional free upgrades up to and including DesignWorkshop 2.0, scheduled for release around the end of 1997.

DesignWorkshop 1.7 Lite, a fully-functional freeware version of DesignWorkshop for Power Macintosh, is available now for downloading at the Artifice web site.

Keywords: architecture, architectural design, interior design, QuickDraw 3D, Power Macintosh, 3D computer graphics, 3D design, 3D CAD, 3D Rendering, 3D acceleration

DesignWorkshop 1.7 is fully compatible with Mac OS 8.0.

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Apple, Macintosh, and Power Macintosh are registered trademarks, and QuickDraw is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Artifice and DesignWorkshop® are registered trademarks, and the DesignWorkshop logo and "the virtual building toolkit" are trademarks of Artifice, Inc.

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