Warp factor: Version 4.5 of MetaCreations’ 3D animation application Infini-D is out soon. It’s Mac and Windows based, though only Mac users can use a network to run large rendering jobs. A ‘substantially faster’ scanline rendering engine is promised, and new render management tools including a job queue and the ability to suspend and resume jobs. There are new particle effects such as warp, spawn and freeze and it supports image map and procedural texture co-ordinates. Plug-ins for Adobe After-Effects and Meta’s Final Effects can be used. Upgrade from version 4 is 80, from earlier versions 160, shrink-wrapped around 600.
Wide boys: Encad has brought out the NovaJet PRO 600e wide-format inkjet printer (110cm and 150cm). It has an extended ink system for long printouts and an automatic media handling system including a built-in dryer so printouts can be rolled out without smudges. Inkjets are monitored for clogging and print cartridges are prime-free types which mean fast changeovers. It allows printing on a whole lot of stuff from paper to vinyl and polyethylene. US price for the biggie is $22K (13 500) and $16.5K (10 100) for the 42-inch version.
Load and go: With lcd projectors you usually need to also lug around a laptop, but with Panasonic’s PT-L555E the presentation is loaded into a PCMCIA card, it’s plugged into the projector and off you go to your presentation with just the projector, card and a remote control. You can still plug in to a computer and, via a serial port, digital cameras. Price is around 5000. Call 0500 404041 or see www.Panasonic.co.uk
New directions: Following Quark’s ditching of up and-coming Director rival, mTropolis, Macromedia is about to release Director version 6.5. It integrates with Apple’s new and powerful QuickTime 3 and QTVR2, lets you output as Java applets even when you can’t write Java, and hooks up to corporate authoring software Power Point by the press of a button, rather than disassembling Power Point components and putting them together in Director.
The whole works: MetaCreations has combined bits from Final Effects and Studio Effects with some new additions for its Final Effects Complete – 60 plug-ins and transitions for Adobe’s After Effects moving image post-production package. For Windows users, hitherto excluded from the MetaCreations Effects apps, it’s all new. Shrink-wrapped 700, upgrade from Studio Effects or Final Effects 300 (130 if you own both).
Scan-do: Hi-Scan’s new desktop drum scanner is claimed to be as good as floor-standing scanners costing a lot more than the 25 000 for this 3PMT A4 (cheaper models are 12 000 and 16 000). It’s 10 000 dpi with 4.5D density range which explains the price. Contact Visualeyes (Brian Cook or Tony Maclean) on 0171 836 3004 or www.visualeyes.ltd.uk
Calendar girls: Adobe is running its fifth annual calendar competition, with first prize of a Concord trip for two to New York plus software. Entry forms and details from Grainne Reddell, Adobe Systems, 1 Roundwood Avenue, Stockley Park, Uxbridge, or by fax on 0181-606 4004 or see firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is 31 July.