Multimedia: Hash to roll out update to 3-D app – Hash’s Martin Hash’s Animation Master 98 animation software – Product Announcement

Multimedia: Hash to roll out update to 3-D app – Hash’s Martin Hash’s Animation Master 98 animation software – Product Announcement – Brief Article

Rebecca Gulick

Hash Inc. is warming up Martin Hash’s Animation Master 98, a major upgrade to the company’s flagship 3-D animation software.

The update of the $199 character animation tool is in beta testing and due to ship in April, Hash said. It will feature a particle generator that offers directional controls and collision detection, and it supports force objects, such as wind and gravity.

Hash said the upgrade will mark the debut of Action Objects, a feature that embeds temporary objects within actions that are then applied to characters. For example, stars briefly circling an injured character’s head can be controlled by this feature, said Ken Baer, Hash director of Mac product development.

The upgrade will feature a glow function and volumetric effects such as steam and smoke, Hash said. In addition, users will be able to apply animated Materials, or surfaces, to create effects such as waves and ripples. The new version will also support plug-in Materials.

Animation Master 98 will include a faster renderer and offer improved motion blur, soft shadows and texture mapping.

The CD will include hundreds of objects and characters, as well as a number of actions that can be used with characters.

In September 1997 the company released Animation Master 5.0, which replaced the ray tracing renderer with hybrid ray tracing and z-buffer rendering. It also added single-model bone animation and constraints. Real-time shading via Conix Enterprises Inc.’s Mac implementation of OpenGL was also introduced with Version 5.0.

Animation Master, originally known as Playmation, is available for Power Macs and Windows 95 and NT machines. Upgrades from Version 5.0 will be $99 or free to those who purchased it since January.

Hash Inc. of Vancouver, Wash., can be reached at (360) 750-0042; fax (360) 750-0451; http://www.hash.com.

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