VISUALIZATION 2005: Virtual Visions Table

1 Aug, 2005 By: Cadalyst Staff Cadalyst

Untitled Document

VISUALIZATION 2005: Virtual Visions
Cadalyst August 2005

Autodesk, Inc.


Informatix Software International


NavisWorks Ltd.

Okino Computer Graphics

Robert McNeel & Associates

Robert McNeel & Associates

ProductVIZ 2006trueSpace6.6Piranesi 4modo 102NavisWorksNuGrafAccuRender 3.1Flamingo
$595 (list price)
$750 (US RRP)

The full solution AKA PRO
is $8,000
but for visualization Roamer + Presenter can be purchased for $1,900

$495 (NuGraf),
$395 (PolyTrans)
Operating systems
Windows 2000 Professional/XP
Professional SP2
Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP

Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP,
Mac OS X v10.3.4 or later

Windows 98 to XPWindowsSame as AutoCADSame as Rhinoceros
Operating system reviewedWindows XP Professional SP2Windows XP Professional SP2Windows XP Professional SP2Windows XP Professional SP2Windows XP Professional, SP2Windows XP Professiona,l SP2Windows XP Professional, SP2Windows XP Professional, SP2
ModelingYesPolygon, selective subdivision surfaces, NURBS, metaballsN/AYesNoNoAutoCADRhinoceros
NURBSYesYesNoNoNoFull support for import/export/display/conversion of trimmed NURBS; NURBS conversion between IGES, Softimage, Maya, XSI, Renderman RIB, OpenNURBS (Rhino-3D), etc. AutoCADYes
ReflectionYesYesYesNoYesPlanar/spherical/cubical reflection mapping and automatic reflection mapping (simulated ray tracing).YesYes
Anti-aliasingYesYes (draft, none, adaptive, 2x, 3x, and 4x)NoNoYesDone by oversampling with the scanline renderer and 25x25 sub-pixel ray shooting and ray averging in the ray tracer.YesYes
Rendering methods    Open GL or LightWorksMulti-threaded ray trace and oversampling scanline renderers  
RadiosityYesYesNoNoNoPhoton mapping, photon mapping + "Final Gather", hemispherical samplingYesYes
Ray-tracingYesYesNoNoYesMulti-thread ray tracer; planar/spherical/cubical reflection mapping and automatic reflection mapping (simulated ray tracing)YesYes
Shade/Render (Gouraud)YesNoNo (Piranesi is a rendering product, but uses painting effects)NoYesPhong/Gouraud/Flat shading modesYesYes
AnimationsYesYesNoNoYes; export to AVI [rendered Open GL or LightWorks]NoPlug-inPlug-in
PanoramasYesYes (Quicktime)YesNoQuick Time Panoramic MovieNoYesNo
Base file formats3ds MaxSCN, COBEpix LWO, MA, OBJNWD, NWF, NWCDWGRhinoceros
Import file formats:DWG, DXF, 3ds Max, othersSOB, WRL 1.0, GZ, WRZ, DXF, 3DS, ASC, PRJ, LWO, OBJ, LWB, IOB, GEO (others available via plug-ins)Epix, 3DS, DXF (others available via plug-ins)LWO, MA, OBJ

All popular 3D CAD (see

All AutoCAD imports
Export file formats3ds Max, ASCIICAN, WRL 1.0 & 2.0, DXF, ASC, 3DS, X (others available via plug-ins) BMP, Epix, JPG, Targa, TIFF, PNGLWO, MA, OBJNWD, NWF, NWCAll AutoCAD exports
Network renderingYesYes, via separate plug-in, tSNetN/ANoNoNoNoNo
OpenGL supportYesYes, and DirectXNoYesYesYesYesYes
Real-time previewYesYes: OpenGL and DirectX; wire, solid, transparent, solid with wire, transparent with wire, radiosity)N/ANoYesYes, OpenGL VisualizationsYesYes
Models includedYesYesYesYesExamples are includedYes, limitedNoNo
Materials includedYesYesYes, including an extensive library of "cut out" entourageYesYes extensive achivesYes5,000+5,000+
Extensible via plug-insYesYesNoYesYes, full APIExtensible via import, export and system-level plug-insYesYes
Hardware lock (dongle)NoNoNoNoNoNo, softwareNoNo

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn on Twitter

Which factor is most important in your selection of a mouse or other input device for CAD use?
Wireless connectivity
3D capability
Programmability/extra buttons
Size/portability/desktop footprint
I just use whatever came with my workstation/was provided by my employer
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst, Fall 2015

Get Your Free Issue of Cadalyst Magazine!