News Roundup: June 4

Electric Image Animation System 8 released, Adobe BrowserLab opens and immediately shuts doors, and P22 ships Caffe font.

Electric Image Animation System 8 Released
The Electric Image Animation System (EIAS) is a 3D animation and rendering package, available for the Mac and PC, that lets users texture, animate and render their 3D scenes, providing the unusual ability to network render to an unlimited number of computers across both platforms. The application is employed by professional studios worldwide to create world-class animations, motion graphics, architectural and product visualizations, 3D matte paintings and VFX, as well as print and environment renderings. New version 8 animation functionality includes function curves, which provide a precise way to animate objects naturally, as well as straightforward character animation. Key new rendering features include fast photon mapping, as well as HDRI and EXR input support throughout the application, and light graphs, which are said to provide an easy way to light complex scenes. On the interface side, contextual menus provide fast context-sensitive access to most dialogs and commands, while new project management tools allow users to maintain complex projects in a simple, color co-ordinated hierarchy. The Electric Image Animation System, for Mac and Windows, can be purchased on the EI Technology Group site for $895.

Adobe BrowserLab Opens and Immediately Shuts Doors
The good news is that Adobe has created an online service designed to help website designers resolve a long-standing issue: ensuring that their designs display correctly across platforms in current browsers. Yes, there are already several online services that offer such functionality. But when Adobe enters a market, everyone pays attention. The new service provides multiple viewing and comparison tools, as well as customizable preferences. Screenshots can be viewed in a single or side by side view, which is nice enough. But there is also an overlay view with variable transparency, which makes perfect sense. In addition, each viewing option features a zoom function. No surprise that Dreamweaver CS4 users are not forgotten, with BrowserLab adding such functionality such as the ability to test local content and different states of interactive pages. The bad news? Adobe is only allowing limited numbers of users to access the service at this point, so you'll probably have to wait your turn. Meanwhile, more information is available on the Adobe Labs site.

P22 Ships Caffe Font
Caffe was originally designed for the Artz Gallery Cafe in Budapest Hungary. The design is a contemporary handwriting style adapted from examples in lettering exercise books, that has been redrawn and expanded into six styles. The four weights were created by drawing the style using different mediums: Cappuccino in pen, Pastry in felt-tip, Lemonade in brush and Tobacco, the original, in pencil. Poster and Poster Inline are suited for display purposes and round out the family. This font family is said to be ideal for bistro menus or other European-flavored poster and print design. Provided in OpenType format, it can be purchased on the P22 site for $49.95 until the end of June, 2009 (regular $69.95).