Ready steady: Adobe says its cross-platform ImageReady streamlines Web graphics production by making it easy to see how different browsers and computers cope with your shiny new site design. You can use a batch processing tool to apply the same optimisations to a bunch of downloads. It’s in the stores now at an introductory price of 80 plus.

Heavy duty: All of a sudden there’s Kinetix’s 3D Studio VIZ release 2. It combines the rendering and animation features of 3D Studio Max with added tools for architects, interior designers and other design professionals which enable it to work as a visualisation partner for AutoCad applications. And it can read Intergraph and Microstation files. There’s a new DWG linking feature which allows you to simultaneously test the 2D and 3D implications of your design. Price is 1500, upgrade from release 1 375. Just as well it’s not for the Mac.

High form: Now that product designers are, according to Design Week trend watchers, about to be in incredible demand, news comes of an alternative to injection moulding for low volume production. The process has been devised by Northamptonshire-based Bafbox and named Hiform. What you do is transfer your 3D information about, say, a mobile telephone casing, to a CNC router to produce the moulds – following a patent aluminium deposition process to smarten up the mould surface. You use this mould to produce the raw part which is post machined and given any additional parts. Bafbox then applies the colouring and shielding, after screen printing text. There is your casing ready to stick in the electronic gubbins. Bafbox claims prototypes can be ready in four weeks, six weeks for production quantities. For further and better particulars ring Bafbox on 01280 705 777.

Elmo fire: It used to be a carousel with slides falling out and hoping against hope there would be a white wall to project your presentation work on to. Now it’s just the white wall and whether your batteries are running down – and whether lcd projectors really need to cost three times the price of your laptop. Still, the latest projector offering is from Vivitar – the lugubriously named Elmo EDP-5200. It will accept computer and television data. Price is more than 5500 and, importantly, weight is less than 7kg.

Messing about: Kai Kraus’s MetaCreations brought you the very useful ability to smear your boss’s mugshot into recognisable but unpleasant distortions with PowerGOO. Now with the 50 SuperGOO you can use stock body parts la Mr Potato Head (and Identikit) and distort them after you have added them to a basic head shape. Price is around 50 and Computers Unlimited are the dealers.

Six more: The royalty-free stock photography supplier PhotoDisc has brought out six more CD-ROM collections covering subjects which range from x-rays to hi-tech; black and white post-war America to contemporary eccentrics. Ring them on 0181-255 2900.

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