First Look: Deep Exploration 4.0

14 Jun, 2006 By: Ron LaFon

Use this Right Hemisphere tool and plugins to translate, author and publish graphics information to communicate designs, procedures and more

Highly Recommended Right Hemisphere has released its new Deep Exploration 4.0 in two versions -- Standard Edition ($149) and CAD Edition ($1,495), which includes eight CAD-related modules that were previously available separately. Deep Exploration CAD Edition translates CAD models into lightweight 2D and 3D graphics, such
Right Hemisphere Deep Exploration 4.0
Pros: Lots of capability and CAD file support; clean interface; fast.
Cons: None significant.
Price: $149 Standard Edition; $1,495 CAD Edition

Right Hemisphere
877.309.3204, 800.720.9809

as technical drawings or animations, for reuse in downstream product communications. We took a hands-on look at the CAD Edition for this review, plus two new plugins, the PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) and PDF Publishing Modules.

Deep Exploration 4.0 CAD Edition
Deep Exploration 4.0 CAD Edition bundles Right Hemisphere's previously available CADTools, Illustration, CoreCAD and other modules into a cohesive and tightly integrated new version that also adds a number of new features, while building on its already considerable strengths. In addition to transforming CAD models into lightweight graphics, users can publish finished graphics and documents, augment high-volume 2D and 3D graphics processes, or use Deep Exploration in conjunction with Right Hemisphere's Deep Server product for expansive enterprisewide publication of design data, incorporating additional security measures.

Deep Exploration 4.0, showing some of the variety available in Render mode.

Among the new features in this release are multiple viewport configurations and flexible toolbars that, along with improvements to the user interface, facilitate the translation, authoring and publishing of graphics information. Using Deep Exploration 4.0, users can more quickly communicate interactive assembly and disassembly procedures using Steps and Model views. Published graphics can be enhanced with advanced lighting, UV mapping, shadows and material palette extensions. Updates to Deep Exploration can be received automatically or on demand from the Internet.

Deep Exploration's performance is enhanced in a number of areas, as are workflow operations. The files it creates are even more compact than those of previous releases. Users can extend the functionality of Deep Exploration 4.0 CAD Edition with the plugins.

Deep Exploration Standard Edition is designed for digital content creation professionals whose work does not include CAD data, but it offers many of the same features found in Deep Exploration CAD Edition, such as multiple viewports, steps, model views and advanced material capabilities.

Right Hemisphere has collaborated extensively in a number of areas with Adobe Systems, and a modified version of Deep Exploration 4.0 is a separate but integrated part of Adobe Acrobat 3D, called the Adobe Acrobat 3D Toolkit. The two applications are quite different in their intent and capabilities and use slightly different plugin technology.

With its extensive capabilities, excellent CAD file support, speedy operation and clean, easy-to-use interface, Right Hemisphere's Deep Exploration 4.0 earns Cadalyst's Highly Recommended rating. If you haven't had a look at Deep Exploration for some time, check out this enhanced release. Highly Recommended.

Plug In to DE 4.0
Along with Deep Exploration 4.0, Right Hemisphere released two new plugin modules, PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) Module and PDF Publishing Module. Both are available in separately licensed versions for Deep Exploration 4.0 and Adobe Acrobat 3D.

These two new modules support enterprisewide collaboration and communication using interactive 3D and PDF files, providing automated, out-of-the-box tools for training, technical publications, marketing, purchasing and support departments that need to publish product data and interactive 3D PDFs.

PMI Module. The PMI Module ($595) lets users access and display JT or CATIA v5 PMI model views and data, then publish them in PDF and other publishing formats such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Product manufacturing information such as geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, model views, functional tolerancing and annotation, dimensions, data, text, and rich text and data can be viewed for collaboration purposes to facilitate more efficient turnaround on engineering design changes and replace 2D paper drawings with a more useful 3D PDF file. Users can create multilayered, interactive 3D documentation without knowing or writing custom JavaScript code to provide this interactive environment.

PMI model views and associated data can be published directly into PDF templates using the Right Hemisphere PMI Module and the PDF Publishing Module.

PDF Publishing Module. The PDF Publishing Module ($295) helps users create and deliver interactive 3D PDFs for collaboration, training, technical publications and support documents. Users can create interactive 3D PDF documents using included intelligent PDF templates, or they can design their own PDF templates using Adobe LiveCycle Designer, which ships with Adobe Acrobat Professional and Adobe Acrobat 3D. It includes a number of templates, along with a library of smart objects with attached JavaScript code for use in the PDF templates. The attached JavaScript removes the barrier of requiring trained programmers to create highly interactive documents. These 3D PDF documents can include animations, text and metadata and can be viewed within the free Adobe Reader. The PDF Publishing Module is relatively easy to use and extremely powerful, extending and enhancing in numerous ways the 3D capabilities of both Acrobat 3D and Deep Exploration.

Users can control 3D scenes within a PDF using preprogrammed buttons and control objects from an extensive 2D/3D object library found in the PDF Publishing Module.

Discounts are available through June 30, 2006, for Deep Exploration 4.0 CAD Edition and the PMI and PDF Publishing Modules. Introductory upgrade pricing is available for Deep Exploration 3.5 users, with other upgrade options available.

Both modules are available in trial versions or for purchase from the Right Hemisphere e-Store or from the Adobe Store. If you have both Deep Exploration 4.0 and Adobe Acrobat 3D, you'll need to license separate versions for each host application, as their functionality does differ somewhat.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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