QuickDraw 3D for Mac and Windows Receives Best of COMDEX Award and is
Released for Both Platforms
Version 1.5 offers industry-first extensible 3D Architecture for Windows
95, NT and Mac OS; 21 Vendors ready to use QuickDraw 3D for Windows
Fall COMDEX 1996–November 22, 1996–Apple Computer, Inc today announced
that QuickDraw 3D (QD3D) – the Company’s premier 3D architecture for
enabling workstation-quality graphics on personal computers – has
received the prestigious COMDEX/Fall 96 Best of Show Award in the
multimedia software category. QD3D 1.5 is a significant update that
brings for the first time QD3D to both Mac OS and 32-bit Windows (95 and
NT) platforms to enable multi- platform development of 3D authoring
tools, games and other applications. QD3D has been available on the Mac
OS platform since August of 1995 and the 1.5 release is also a
simultaneous update for Mac OS computers.
QD3D 1.5 installers for Mac OS and 32-bit Windows will be available for
download beginning the week of November 25 from the following URL:
http://quickdraw3d.apple.com. QD3D can be installed on end-user
computers to provide excellent 3D performance and a separate SDK
(Software Development Kit) allows developers to incorporate QD3D for Mac
or Windows into their products. For more information on the SDK, visit
the QuickDraw 3D web site.
According to BYTE Magazine, co-sponsors of the award with COMDEX
organizer SOFTBANK, QD3D was selected over hundreds of other contenders
due to its cross-platform nature and open architecture, which enables
developers to extend QD3D through plug-in rendering engines and shaders.
The award follows a recent PC Graphics Report authored by Omid Rahmat of
Jon Peddie Associates (Tiburon, CA), one of the industry’s leading
graphics-specific analyst firms which noted that “QuickDraw 3D and RAVE
(the hardware abstraction layer used by QD3D) are better organized and
better implemented than anything Microsoft has to offer.”
Unlike competing alternatives, QD3D is a fully extensible, high-
performance architecture for 3D graphics, including:
— Multi-platform, workstation-quality 3D graphics on Macintosh and
Windows systems — Full extensibility, which allows developers to add
new features to QD3D through rendering plug-ins
— A standard
multi-platform 3D file format (3DMF) for seamless data exchange across
Windows, Mac and UNIX platforms
— A standard 3D viewer to view and manipulate 3DMF files
— Extensive 3D hardware acceleration capabilities through QuickDraw 3D
RAVE Major Cross-Platform Authoring Tools use QD3D
In support of this new cross-platform initiative, over 25 hardware and
software vendors have endorsed and plan to incorporate and support QD3D
for Windows in their upcoming products. Major software vendors intend
to use QD3D 1.5 for Windows include Specular, Strata and NewTek.
Macromedia is also supporting QD3D as an Xtra for Director 5.0, which is
available for download to all registered users. A number of leading
hardware vendors, including 3Dfx, 3Dlabs, ATI, S3, S-MOS and Cirrus
Logic also support QD3D with their 3D hardware boards and/or chips. A
testimony to the true portability of QD3D is that 99.9% of the function
calls are identical between the Mac and Windows versions. A total of six
calls differ between the two.
“Specular is pleased to be the first company shipping a 3D application
that supports QuickDraw 3D for Windows,” said Adam Lavine, president and
CEO of Specular International. “Infini-D 3.5 for Windows, shipping
November 15, will fully support Apple’s QuickDraw 3D API for Windows 95,
which will bring the amazing real-time 3D technology developed by Apple
to the Windows world.”
“QuickDraw 3D has always provided seamless support between the
application and the graphics accelerator, fully utilizing 3D
acceleration to increase an application’s power and graphics quality,”
said Henry Quan, vice president of marketing at ATI Technologies, Inc.
“QuickDraw 3D 1.5 will certainly boost the popularity of 3D acceleration
hardware, such as ATIs Xclaim VR and Xclaim 3D for the Mac market.”
“QuickDraw 3D is part of Apples ongoing strategy to provide the best
available multimedia technology on both Mac OS and Windows,” said Sean
Safreed, QuickDraw 3D Product Manager for Apple Computer, Inc. “QD3D
1.5 gives developers a common code base, high-performance, extensibility
and interoperability with other Apple multimedia technologies on both
Windows and Macintosh. We especially believe that Windows developers
who have never looked at Apple as offering a value proposition in the
past will be re- evaluating that perception once they begin evaluating
our code and features against the competition.”
QuickDraw 3D Unique Features:
QD3D 1.5 offers a fully extensible cross-platform architecture – a first
for any computer graphics API. Extensibility allows developers to
customize and extend the architecture to enhance the feature-set of QD3D
to meet the needs of their particular application. This allows unique
3D attribute customization for games and multimedia developers through
extensible rendering and shading options future version is expected to
allow extensible geometries and new interactive rendering options.
— Plug-in Renderers Applications can select new plug-in rendering
option with QD3D that go beyond simple gouraud shading, including
ray-tracing and radiosity plug-ins from companies such as LightWork
Design, Ltd. To demonstrate this capability, Apple plans to distribute a
sample ray-tracing plug-in on the QD3D homepage.
— New Geometry Types QD3D 1.5 currently supports over 24 geometry
types, a far cry from the standard polygon-specific APIs currently on
the market. In the 1.5 version, QD3D adds six new geometries beyond
basic polygons: ellipsoid, cone, cylinder, torus, trimesh and
polyhedron. The first four are primitives, and the new trimesh geometry
provides additional speed by supporting a uniform way of representing
objects. Trimeshes are being used internally as the standard format for
— 3D Painting Enhanced surface picking features allows any developer
that supports the QD3D interactive renderer to add real-time 3D painting
to their applications.
— Adaptive Tessellation Adaptive tessellation (subdivision) of all
surface primitives (quadrics and NURBS) significantly accelerates
viewing of these objects.
— User Interface QD3D provides a robust and easy-to-use interface for
end-user 3D interaction.
Enhanced Features in QD3D 1.5
— Windows 95/NT Support QD3D 1.5 fully supports 32-bit Windows
platforms, including NT (version 3.5 and later), Windows 95 as well as
Power Macintosh. Windows versions can utilize DirectDraw to accelerate
2D screen viewing.
— Enhanced Viewer Interface The standard 3D viewer has been revamped
with an enhanced user interface that is identical for Mac OS and
— File References QD3D 1.5 provides support for 3DMF file references
(i.e. a model can make a reference to other models in separate files).
Any attribute can be saved an referenced in a separate file including
geometry, textures, color, etc. This makes 3D object updates and
changes fast and flexible.
Industry Awards for QD3D
Since its introduction on the Macintosh in 1995, QD3D has won a number
of industry awards, including:
— COMDEX/Fall 96 Best of Show Award for Multimedia Software
— Discover Magazine 1996 Technology Awards Finalist
— Publish 1996 IMPACT Award
— BYTE Magazine 1995 Editors’ Choice Awards: Award of Distinction
— MacUser 1995 Editors Choice Award (Eddy): Breakthrough
Technology of the Year
— MacWorld World Class Awards 1995: Best New Technology
QuickDraw 3D RAVE QD3D RAVE is the hardware abstraction layer used by
QD3D to enable fast, seamless hardware acceleration of 3D graphics.
QD3D RAVE is designed for stand-alone use in a wide range of
applications that may not require the full feature set of QD3D,
including games. QD3D RAVE is also an excellent solution for developers
who already have their own customized rendering libraries, but seek
ubiquitous hardware acceleration without writing their own customized
drivers for every 3D chip or board.
3DMF Information 3DMF (3D Metafile) is a royalty-free file format for
Windows, Mac OS and UNIX that enables file exchange of 3D objects across
platforms. 3DMF finally provides a standard that has been sorely
lacking in the 3D area – a standardized format for displaying and saving
3D models that preserves not only the object’s geometry and color, but
also its shading, lighting, texture and relative position in 3D space.
Currently, without 3DMF the only alternative way to exchange 3D data is
to use the .DXF format, which exports models as wireframe data losing
all of the other information in the process. 3DMF is also the native 3D
file format used by QD3D 3DMF parser source code for Windows, Mac and
UNIX is currrently available royalty-free from
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