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Free for All

You can't beat the price: Linker Systems (877/ 489-3525, ) has announced that it will offer a free, fully functioning version of Animation Stand, its $5,000 2-D animation software, for the Mac. Animation Stand Personal Edition is limited to a maximum resolution of 256 by 192 pixels, but otherwise provides all the features of its high-end sibling. Linker also offers a $495 version for multimedia production. The company also announced that Animation Stand 4.1, expected to ship later this year, will include features that take advantage of advanced graphics capabilities in Motorola's G4/AltiVec chip.

Catching a Lightwave

Time for an overhaul: Lightwave 3D 6.0, from Newtek (800/862-7837, ), features a completely reworked software architecture, along with new character-animation and rendering capabilities. The high-end 3-D-modeling, -rendering, and -animation software–available for Mac, Windows, and Unix--sells for $1,995.

Photo Gallery

Two-megapixel cameras keep rolling in. The $899 Samurai 2100DG, from Yashica (800/526-0266, ), features a maximum resolution of 1,632 by 1,232 pixels and 4[infinity] optical zoom. The $899 QV-2000UX, from Casio (973/ 361-5400, ), and the $799 PhotoPC 850Z, from Epson (800/463-7766, ), both feature 3 x optical zoom and a maximum resolution of 1,600 by 1,200 pixels. Epson also released a pair of USB flatbed scanners, the $149 Perfection 610 and the $249 Perfection 1200U. The 610 features 600-by-2,400-dpi hardware resolution; the 1200U increases the resolution to 1,200 by 2,400 dpi. Epson offers a SCSI version of the 1200U for $299.

Painter by Numbers

MetaCreations (800/846-0111, ) has taken the wraps off Painter 6, an upgrade of the popular natural-media painting software that features new brush controls, 3-D painting features, and a text-on-a-curve function.

A Kazoo for Adobe?

Adobe Systems (800/833-6687, ) has licensed Kazoo 3-D rendering technology from LightWork Design ( ). Kazoo, which LightWork sells to other software developers, allows users to manipulate and paint 3-D models in real time. Adobe says that it will use the software in future consumer products.

Video to Go

Now you can capture--and export--video with your PowerBook. The iRez CapSurePro, from Par Technologies (602/922-0044, ), is a $399 Type II PCMCIA Card that connects to camcorders, VCRs, and other video sources. It requires a PowerBook 3400 or later.

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