Expo: CrystlaMaker adds animation features in version 8

Scientists, educators, and students looking to better understand the structure of crystals and molecules: prepare to don your 3-D glasses. The latest version of CrystalMaker, released this week at Macworld Expo, moves beyond 3-D, though essentially static pictures by adding some animation features.

A crystal built with the CrystalMaker visualization software.

CrystalMaker is a tool for visualizing crystalline and molecular structures, developed by U.K.-based CrystalMaker Software.

The latest version lets you animate changes in a crystal or molecule, which means you can, for example, put together a set of images to demonstrate how a molecule transforms during a chemical reaction. To make it easier to create these animations, the program includes a new Synchronize command, which automatically applies changes in model type, bonding, colors and plot range across a group of images.

CrystalMaker 8.0 also includes a streamlined interface and full support for a number of Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 features. Quickly flip through your images using the Coverflow view or use Spotlight to search by chemical composition, density, cell parameters, volume, notes, and more.

A single-user copy of CrystalMaker costs $775; the education version costs $479.

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