auto.des.sys Inc. on Wednesday announced the introduction of
form.Z 5.0, a major update to the developer’s 3D modeling application that incorporates the unreleased 4.5 upgrade and offers native Mac OS X support as well as several new features. Version 4.5, which was made available to Beta testers but not the general public, offers new API technology and a scripting language that allow users to develop their own plug-ins for the software. The API features more than 3,000 functions and supports nine extension types: custom attributes, file translators, object types, renderers, commands, palettes, RenderZone shaders, tools and utilities.
Some of form.Z 5.0’s new features — such as the Frame tool and functions that generate smooth screws, gears and bolts — are included as plug-ins. Other additions include: Doodle, which makes line-drawings look like hand-drawn sketches; an Extensions menu for accessing extensions and debugging scripts; four new parametric surfaces: paraboloid, single hyperboloid, double hyperboloid and hyperbolic paraboloid; a Formula Curve tool, which generates curves from preset or user-defined mathematical formulas; and more.
The developer also noted that form.Z RenderZone 5.0 is based on LightWorks 7.4, which adds such new rendering features as additional types of maps that can be used with spherical and cubic environments to create reflections; environmental light, which causes images mapped on an environment to behave realistically; two new image formats, HDRI and OpenEXP, are now supported as part of the environmental light feature; and new shaders have been implemented.
auto.des.sys expects to release form.Z 5.0 within a month. It’s a native Mac OS X application that requires Mac OS X v10.2. Other system requirements were not announced, nor was pricing.
Nov. 11, 12:18 PM EST: Fixed RenderZone information.