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

Product VIZ 2006 trueSpace6.6 Piranesi 4 modo 102 NavisWorks NuGraf AccuRender 3.1 Flamingo
E-mail N/A
Web site
$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 XP Windows Same as AutoCAD Same as Rhinoceros
Operating system reviewed Windows XP Professional SP2 Windows XP Professional SP2 Windows XP Professional SP2 Windows XP Professional SP2 Windows XP Professional, SP2 Windows XP Professiona,l SP2 Windows XP Professional, SP2 Windows XP Professional, SP2
Modeling Yes Polygon, selective subdivision surfaces, NURBS, metaballs N/A Yes No No AutoCAD Rhinoceros
NURBS Yes Yes No No No Full support for import/export/display/conversion of trimmed NURBS; NURBS conversion between IGES, Softimage, Maya, XSI, Renderman RIB, OpenNURBS (Rhino-3D), etc. AutoCAD Yes
Refraction Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Reflection Yes Yes Yes No Yes Planar/spherical/cubical reflection mapping and automatic reflection mapping (simulated ray tracing). Yes Yes
Anti-aliasing Yes Yes (draft, none, adaptive, 2x, 3x, and 4x) No No Yes Done by oversampling with the scanline renderer and 25x25 sub-pixel ray shooting and ray averging in the ray tracer. Yes Yes
Rendering methods         Open GL or LightWorks Multi-threaded ray trace and oversampling scanline renderers    
Radiosity Yes Yes No No No Photon mapping, photon mapping + "Final Gather", hemispherical sampling Yes Yes
Ray-tracing Yes Yes No No Yes Multi-thread ray tracer; planar/spherical/cubical reflection mapping and automatic reflection mapping (simulated ray tracing) Yes Yes
Shade/Render (Gouraud) Yes No No (Piranesi is a rendering product, but uses painting effects) No Yes Phong/Gouraud/Flat shading modes Yes Yes
Animations Yes Yes No No Yes; export to AVI [rendered Open GL or LightWorks] No Plug-in Plug-in
Panoramas Yes Yes (Quicktime) Yes No Quick Time Panoramic Movie No Yes No
Base file formats 3ds Max SCN, COB Epix LWO, MA, OBJ NWD, NWF, NWC DWG Rhinoceros
Import file formats: DWG, DXF, 3ds Max, others SOB, 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 formats 3ds Max, ASCII CAN, WRL 1.0 & 2.0, DXF, ASC, 3DS, X (others available via plug-ins) BMP, Epix, JPG, Targa, TIFF, PNG LWO, MA, OBJ NWD, NWF, NWC All AutoCAD exports
Network rendering Yes Yes, via separate plug-in, tSNet N/A No No No No No
OpenGL support Yes Yes, and DirectX No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Real-time preview Yes Yes: OpenGL and DirectX; wire, solid, transparent, solid with wire, transparent with wire, radiosity) N/A No Yes Yes, OpenGL Visualizations Yes Yes
Models included Yes Yes Yes Yes Examples are included Yes, limited No No
Materials included Yes Yes Yes, including an extensive library of "cut out" entourage Yes Yes extensive achives Yes 5,000+ 5,000+
Extensible via plug-ins Yes Yes No Yes Yes, full API Extensible via import, export and system-level plug-ins Yes Yes
Hardware lock (dongle) No No No No No No, software No No

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

At your company, who has the most say in CAD-related software purchasing?
CAD manager
CAD users
IT personnel
vice-president/department manager
CEO/company owner
Submit Vote