Alias/Wavefront Launches Award Winning Design Review and Presentation Tool to Design and Entertainment Industries

PortfolioWall v. 1.5 allows companies to bring products to market faster by dramatically reducing design review time

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2001-- Alias/Wavefront(TM), an SGI (NYSE: SGI - news) company and leader in 3D software for the entertainment and design markets, today announced the worldwide availability of PortfolioWall(TM) v. 1.5 -- the award winning software product that allows users to view, annotate, collaborate, manage and make decisions on visual digital data through a simple touchscreen interface.

First unveiled at Siggraph® 2001, PortfolioWall's innovative digital corkboard approach allows companies to bring products to market faster by revolutionizing the design and production review cycle. The product is compatible with Maya® and Studio(TM) databases, plus a variety of industry-standard data display formats.

"PortfolioWall provides a unique return on investment for companies," said Peter Mehlstaeubler, Vice-President, Product Development at Alias/Wavefront. "Our research shows that up to a third of the concept design and production cycle is spent waiting on the design review process and approvals. PortfolioWall addresses this issue by offering a completely new concept of dealing with digital visual data. By transforming a large plasma screen into a networked digital corkboard, PortfolioWall allows managers to instantly review and approve selected work in progress, thus shortening the review cycle and bringing products to market faster."

PortfolioWall's "gestural interface" promotes innovative thinking by allowing users to continually interact with their digital assets. This digital software replaces traditional visual communication methods by allowing users to walk up to a digital corkboard and inspect images, animations or 3D files -- all with a simple tap on the screen with a fingertip. The PortfolioWall exceptional technology changes the way people communicate in the workplace by inspiring new creative approaches to the design process. Managers and co-workers can easily inspect and compare designs in order to speed up consensus and promote creative thinking.

"During 2001, we began collaborating with Alias/Wavefront to explore how PortfolioWall could be used to support global design teams," said Pete Thomas, Design Systems Researcher, Global Design Centre, Unilever(TM). "We've prototyped a variety of different scenarios using PortfolioWall and are extremely encouraged by the results to date. PortfolioWall has offered us a real opportunity to leverage the most from our digital assets in an intuitive, enterprise friendly solution."

Key Features of PortfolioWall

  • Ease of use and simple workflow. The PortfolioWall product incorporates a touchscreen user interface that reduces user learning cycles down to minutes. Due to the simple and hands-on design of the software, 80% of its features can be learned in just a few minutes.
  • A unique presentation tool. PortfolioWall serves as a presentation tool for designers to display selected work in progress and allow entire design teams to see who is doing what. Designers and artists can walk up to it, quickly review the full collection of visual assets relevant to a project, and zoom into, rearrange, view at real-world scale, sketch, annotate, and compare the images. The PortfolioWall innovative technology also simplifies the process of creating presentations and makes them more dynamic by enthralling the audience with its interactive features.
  • An effective decision-making tool. PortfolioWall is a decision-making tool for managers to view daily work and to review a project's progress. It allows managers to interact with design teams, participate more fully in the design process, and obtain access to visual data more quickly.

In addition, PortfolioWall v.1.5 adds sketch and text annotation, the ability to launch third-party applications, and a Maya-based 3D viewing tool that uses a touchscreen interface for panning, rotating, zooming and viewing 3D models on a turntable. It also works on mouse-driven desktop computers as well as touchscreen systems.

System Requirements

Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0 with Service Pack 5 or higher or Windows® 2000, minimum of 256MB RAM. Users running other operating systems require Netscape Communicator® 4.5 or higher on their computer to submit files to the PortfolioWall server via the Apache® HTTP Server. The Apache HTTP Server, version 1.3 or higher, is required on the PortfolioWall repository computer system for this purpose. The PortfolioWall product uses node locked and floating licenses and supports a wide range of 2D image, 3D and movie file formats.

Pricing and Availability

PortfolioWall v.1.5 software is now available in two versions:

  • PortfolioWall Presenter -- A stand-alone application designed for individuals doing presentations and design reviews is priced at $3000 USD.
  • PortfolioWall Server -- A networked application designed for integrating design studios and entertainment centers is priced at $35,000 USD. It includes three PortfolioWall clients and unlimited web clients. For networked applications, PortfolioWall software can also be sold with consulting services to optimize workflow, to create optimal configurations and to provide comprehensive training.
  • The above-noted prices are for the US only and may vary outside the US.

About Alias/Wavefront

As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias/Wavefront develops software for the film and video, games, interactive media, industrial design, technical surfacing and visualization markets. Alias/Wavefront's film, video and games customers include Blue Sky, Cinesite, CNN, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Nihilistic, Nintendo, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Pixar, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Disney's The Secret Lab and Warner Feature Animation. The company's design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Ford, Honda, General Motors, Italdesign, Kodak, Mattel, Renault, Rollerblade, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex.

Alias/Wavefront is a wholly owned, independent software company of SGI(TM) with headquarters in Toronto and technical centers in Seattle and Santa Barbara. For more information, please visit the Alias/Wavefront website at or call 800/447-2542 in North America. Readers in Europe can call +800 4125 4125 or 800 791 174 in Italy; +353 1 890 2244 in the Middle East and Africa; 81 3 3470 8285 in Asia-Pacific; 0121 764 088 in Japan only for the nearest sales office or authorized reseller in their area.

Note to Editors: Download digital images at

Alias/Wavefront, PortfolioWall, Studio, the Alias/Wavefront logo and the PortfolioWall logo are trademarks of Alias/Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited. SGI is a trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Maya is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. exclusively used by Alias/Wavefront a division of Silicon Graphics Limited. SIGGRAPH is a registered trademark of The Association of Computing Machinery, Inc. Unilever is a trademark either owned or used under license by Unilever PLC/Unilever NV and affiliates. Microsoft, Windows NT and Windows 2000 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Netscape Communicator is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Apache is a registered trademark of Apache Digital Corporation. All other products or companies mentioned are trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Alias/Wavefront, 210 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 1J7, Tel: 416/362-9181, Fax: 416/369-6140.

     for Alias/Wavefront (Press)
     Donna Teggart, 416/874-8592
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