Tactus Technologies, Inc. has announced several new features to its flagship software Protean™ clay. Following are some of the new additions to the software:
* Reference pictures can be loaded onto the faces of the workspace box to ease the process of complex shapes
* New "Import" option for importing a model file directly to a tool shape has been added to speedup design process
* Camera can be switched between perspective and orthogonal view
* "Cutaway" option that uses the grid plane to hide part of the clay model is now available
* Custom tool shapes and tool textures can be loaded automatically every time Protean starts up
* New hotkeys for moving the camera to a preset view have been added (using num pad 2,3,4 etc)
Protean Clay is an intuitive 3-D virtual clay sculpting and modeling software application that allows fast early-stage design for engineering, animation and other applications. Tactus Technologies engineers note that Protean simplifies the ability to do real-time 3-D volumetric modeling, resulting in highly efficient free form shape and model creation. Its easy-to-use tool-based modeling structure allows for rapid design and prototyping.
Its product developers point out that a key advantage of Protean over conventional clay modeling by hand is that it allows the review of a wider variety of candidate designs. Protean is meant to complement the existing arsenal of design and modeling capabilities of industrial designers, engineers, creative artists, sculptors, architects, animators, game designers, marketers, bioengineers and others.
As a creative tool, Protean emulates intuitive clay modeling operations and easily allows deforming – pushing, pulling, twisting and stretching of the virtual clay material. Its mimicking of physical clay lets users “feel” the material as they would in the real world using a Novint Falcon™ haptic device from Novint Technologies, Albuquerque, NM.
Tactus Technologies programmers add that the new software allows designers to create complex organic shapes more quickly than conventional modeling methods – and in a simpler manner, using just one clay manipulating mode to facilitate 3-D shaping ability inherent in the software. The company emphasizes that Protean is not a CAD system, yet permits the production of high-quality three-dimensional prints using rapid prototyping technology.
Protean-created 3-D models can also be conveniently imported into widely used commercial packages, such as 3-D Studio Max, to serve as an integral part of larger-scale animation or product design projects.
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