Share your vision—CAD visualization tools31 Jul, 2003 By: Ron LaFon Cadalyst
Helping you take an image from your minds eye and expressing it for others to see is one of the most powerful achievements of modern computer systems and visualization software. Visualization was once the domain of high-end graphics studios, but today, even when you explore the Internet, you find numerous examples of 3D visualization and rendering. Renderings popularity has led to some fragmentation of the market, both in software and software/hardware combinations. The field is growing more diversified.
For this survey, Cadalyst Labs requested products that had been updated since last year's survey. This eliminated several popular applications that don't have significant updates.
This month we concentrate on visualization applications that either provide rendering and visualization capabilities only or combine such capabilities with the ability to create models. Both these approaches assume that you complete the final rendering on your normal hardware, although that is not the only option. "Processing power" (below) looks at online render farms and a hardware and software combination that could be the basis of your own in-house render farm.
"Other rendering options" (below) include rendering technology that's part of a broad spectrum of visualization software currently on the marked and a popular postrendering application designed to create the look of traditional media once you render the basic model.
With faster processors, high-capacity hard drives, speedy graphics cards,
and heavy doses of both system and video RAM, current computer systems are better
equipped than ever before to handle the demands of rendering and visualization.
Indeed, it seems that we're entering what may just turn out to be a golden age