Macworld Expo: Graphics tools for Mac unveiled

Numerous hardware and software graphics tools have been announced for the Macintosh at this week's Macworld Expo in Boston.

A slew of new graphics products has been unveiled at Macworld Expo this week. ATI Technologies has announced the XClaim 3D graphics accelerator, based on ATI's 3D Rage and mach64 2D accelerator technologies.

Xclaim 3D offers full-screen, full-motion QuickTime video playback, and comes in a 4Mb configuration, priced at US$349, and an 8Mb version, at US$499. The company has also announced Xclaim VR, a 3D graphics and multimedia accelerator for PCI-enabled Macintosh systems aimed at gamers, Internet-browsers and SOHO users. XclaimVR is priced at US$269. The Toronto-based company has also announced Xclaim TV, an external TV tuner that brings broadcast television to the Mac desktop. To be used with ATI's Xclaim VR, Xclaim TV is priced at US$99.

Lari Software and other software developers have announced Electrifier, an Internet graphics and animation initiative based on Apple's Mac OS 8 graphics technology. The playback software enables users to view large-scale vector graphics and animation in as little as 1Kb, allowing faster download over the Internet. Electrifier is available at http://www.electrifier.com.

Lari Software has also announced LightningDraw Electric, a content creation application for the Web based on the company's LightningDraw GX. LightningDraw Electric creates graphics and animation content that can be viewed using the Electrifier software, and allows users to import existing PICT and illustrator files and save them in the Electrifier format. LightningDraw prices have not been released.

PaceWorks has announced its flagship product, Dancer. The object-oriented, multimedia software helps users to create animated projects for CD titles, video clips or Web animation. PaceWork expects to ship Dancer by year's end, priced at US$445.

Quebec-based Matrox Graphics says it will become the first graphics board manufacturer to offer PC/Mac parity with its MGA Millenium for PCI PowerMac. The 4Mb board, which is upgradable to 8Mb, is available at US$449. The 8Mb board retails at US$748.

Kaetron Software of Woodlands, Texas, has announced the release of Stencil It!, which it claims will provide "artistically challenged" users with a way to produce graphics for stand-alone use or use with other software. Priced at around US$99, the program is loaded with predrawn templates and includes a graphics-to-Internet utility called Web It!, which can generate hyperlinked Web pages from Stencil It! drawings.

Wacom Technology has announced an update of its Silicon Graphics driver software for SGI applications, and has also unveiled a pressure-sensitive pen with integrated eraser. The SGI Driver Version 3.1 is available as a free upgrade on Wacom's home page (http://www.wacom.com). The DuoSwitch Erasing UltraPen will retail for US$89.99.

Deneba Software has announced the imminent release of Canvas 5, the latest version of its cross-platform graphics application for Macintosh, Power Macintosh, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Aimed at technical illustrators, designers, publishers and artists, Canvas 5 contains more than 20,000 vector clip-art images, the Artbeats WebTools Collection and the ASD technical symbol library. It is expected to retail for US$599.

Pictorius has announced that its Prograph CPX will support QuickDraw 3D in the upcoming product update release. OpenDoc Container support will be added by year's end, through the integration of the Claris' Container Library.

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