By J.R. Wilson
ORLANDO, Fla.-In keeping with the latest trend in simulation, Evans & Sutherland`s new Universal 3D Architecture will span the computational world from the most powerful Unix-based systems to the new generation of desktop Windows NT workstations.
"We`re reaching down to the lower end of the market and, for new products, moving to NT," says marketing vice president Greg Phipps.
Toward that end, E&S of Salt Lake City announced a series of new products at the Interservice/Industry Training Systems and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in December, including Harmony, a real-time image generator and Pentium Pro/NT workstation for creating high-level flight and ground vehicle simulation and scene realism. It is billed as the "high end" of the new product family.
New features include pixel-by-pixel texture sharpening (including photo images), pixel-rate lighting (or Phong shading) for defining light sources and reflections, pixel-by-pixel bump mapping for fast creation of complex 3-D surfaces, optimized depth buffering with properly portraying scene details even behind several overlaid transparent objects, and real-time generation of multiple video outputs - including high-definition TV.
The other I/ITSEC debut from E&S was Integrator NT, a synthetic environment construction and rendering system for any professional workstation supporting Windows NT and OpenGL acceleration. It allows the user to seamlessly combine popular software modeling tools with their own toolsets, reconcile and merge terrain and feature elements into a multiple-level-of-detail 3-D synthetic environment, and translate the master database into an optimized form for real-time scene rendering.
"Until now, sophisticated 3-D graphics were only available on proprietary Unix-based systems. Our new universal 3-D architecture decisively moves these capabilities to high-volume platforms running the Windows NT operating system," says E&S president Jim Oyler.