Form.Z 5 Adds Features, Mac OS X Support

Columbis, Ohio based Auto-des-sys, Inc. has introduced form.Z 5.0 with a variety of new features including native Mac OS X support.

New features like the Frame tool and functions that generate smooth screws, gears and bolts, are included as plug-ins. Other features include Doodle, which makes line-drawings look like hand-drawn sketches; an Extensions menu for accessing extensions and debugging scripts; four new parametric surfaces: paraboloid, single hyperboloid, double hyperboloid and hyperbolic paraboloid; a Formula Curve tool, which generates curves from preset or user-defined mathematical formulas.

The new version is based on NewTekis LightWave 3D 7.4, which adds such new rendering features as additional types of maps that can be used with spherical and cubic environments to create reflections; environmental light, which causes images mapped on an environment to behave realistically; two new image formats, HDRI and OpenEXP, are now supported as part of the environmental light feature; and new shaders have been implemented.

Version 4.5, which was made available to Beta testers but not the general public, offered new API technology and a scripting language that allow users to develop their own plug-ins for the software. During the beta testing effort, many features initially planned for v. 5.0 were also completed. This development led to the release of version 5.0 simultaneously with version 4.5, the company said.

The company will release version 5.0 within a month. Pricing was not announced.