PowerAnimator and Animator, also referred to simply as "Alias", the precursor to what is now Maya and StudioTools, was a highly integrated industrial 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects suite. It had a long track record, starting with Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 and ending in Pokémon: The Movie 2000 in 1999. PowerAnimator ran natively on MIPS-based SGI IRIX and IBM AIX systems.

Alias Research (Software)
Developer(s)Alias Systems Corporation
Initial release1990[1]
Stable release
9.0.2 / July 22, 1999
Operating systemIRIX, AIX
TypeComputer graphics


PowerAnimator was launched in 1990.[1]

In 1997, John Gibson, Rob Krieger, Milan Novacek, Glen Ozymok, and Dave Springer were presented with the Scientific and Engineering Award for their contributions to the geometric modeling component of the PowerAnimator system. The citation was:

"The Alias PowerAnimator system is widely regarded in the computer animation field as one of the best commercially available software packages for digital geometric modeling. Used by many motion picture visual effects houses, it has been a benchmark for comparison of modeling tools and has had a major influence on visual effects and animation." [2]

Alias PowerAnimator 9.0 documentation

  • Animating in Alias 9.0 (436 pages) - Provides information to help creators create basic animations, build skeletons, bring creatures to life using Inverse Kinematics, produce particles and special effects, and deform time using time warps.
  • Basic Tools in Alias 9.0 (610 pages) - General tools that creators will use throughout modeling, animating, or rendering workflows.
  • Data Transfer for CAD and Solid imaging in Alias 9.0 (212 pages) - Explains how to exchange 3D model data between Alias 9.0 and CAD packages.
  • Games Data transfer in Alias 9.0 (130 pages) - Explains how to translate Alias files to games platforms such as Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn.
  • Learning Alias 9.0 (674 pages) - A thorough course in teaching creators how to use the Alias design and animation software.
  • NURBS Modeling in Alias 9.0 (554 pages) - Tools to create and modify NURBS curves and surfaces, as well as construction and evaluation tools.
  • Polygonal Modeling in Alias 9.0 (120 pages) - Tools to create and modify polygons and polysets.
  • Rendering in Alias 9.0 (562 pages) - Tools to define the look of the scenes, creating special effects, define how the scene will render, and creating final rendered images and animations.
  • Global Index for Alias 9.0 (97 pages)

Television and film

Alias PowerAnimator 9.0 scene showing dynamic attributes used in VFX.

The software's more notable contributions to the entertainment industry can be found in films like The Abyss, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

PowerAnimator was used to create the water creature in the 1989 film The Abyss, as well as the T-1000 character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, at a cost of $460,000 per minute. It was also used heavily for the many visual effects of the 1996 film Independence Day. PowerAnimator also served as the solution used to produce South Park episodes digitally before production was moved to Maya. The title sequence of Disney's One Saturday Morning was created using Alias Wavefront Power Animator.

Game development

PowerAnimator was also used in game development, in particular as a part of Nintendo 64's SGI-based developers kit. It saw some use for modeling, texturing, animation and realtime effects for other titles and platforms as well.

Notable titles:


  1. ^ a b "History of Alias".
  2. ^ http://www.virtualcinematography.org/SciTech/SciTechHistory.html
  3. ^ Gavin, Andy. "Making Crash Bandicoot – part 3".
  4. ^ "Interplay to "Spook" Platform Gamers". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (71): 30. June 1995.
  5. ^ https://www.artstation.com/maximusolivia/profile
  6. ^ https://www.scribd.com/document/133225106/PowerAnimator-8-Games-Flyer


  1. ^ Please review this entry, Travellers Talles used Wavefront's "PreView" software for 3D moddeling and pre-rendered it for a Isometric game for Sega's Saturn and Mega Drive/Genesis.

External links

688(I) Hunter/Killer

Jane's 688(i) Hunter/Killer is a 1997 submarine simulator video game, developed by Sonalysts Inc. and published by Electronic Arts and more recently by Strategy First for Windows 95 compatible operating systems. It is named after the 688 (Improved) Los Angeles class of United States (SSN) submarine, and was a successor to the earlier game 688 Attack Sub. It's part of the Jane's Combat Simulations series. It is was released on Valve's Steam content delivery service as well as DotEmu.


Alias or aliasing may refer to:

Alias name, a pseudonym

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya, commonly shortened to Maya ( MY-ə), is a 3D computer graphics application that runs on Windows, macOS and Linux, originally developed by Alias Systems Corporation (formerly Alias|Wavefront) and currently owned and developed by Autodesk, Inc. It is used to create interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, TV series, or visual effects.

Battletoads Arcade

Battletoads Arcade, also known as Super Battletoads or just Battletoads, is a 1994 scrolling beat 'em up arcade game in the Battletoads series developed by Rare and published by Electronic Arts. Up to three players, as the Battletoads, brawl aliens and mutant rodents through six levels to save the universe from the Dark Queen. The game also includes vertical and bonus levels. Each Toad has its own signature attack, and as customary for the series, players can knock enemies towards the screen, breaking the fourth wall.

Rare took greater liberties with violence and gore in Battletoads Arcade since the product was not destined for home consoles. It was Rare's first game to use the 3D graphics technology later popularized in Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct. Although the game playtested well and appeared to be financially viable, the publisher hesitated to release it. The game proved unsuccessful in the arcades and its in-production Super NES and Game Boy ports were canceled despite the latter being reportedly completed [1]. They were going to be rebranded as Super Battletoads [2]. Retrospective reviews were more positive--Retro Gamer even declared it the best of the series. Battletoads Arcade received its console debut when it was emulated in the 2015 Rare Replay, a compilation of games from Rare's history for the Xbox One. Rare Replay reviewers were surprised by the quality of the arcade game and some considered it a highlight of the package. Battletoads Arcade currently remains the last released entry in the Battletoads series.

Comparison of OpenGL and Direct3D

Direct3D and OpenGL are competing application programming interfaces (APIs) which can be used in applications to render 2D and 3D computer graphics. Hardware acceleration of this process has been commonplace since approximately 1999. As of 2005, graphics processing units (GPUs) almost always implement one version of both of these APIs. Examples include: DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2 circa 2004; DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3 circa 2008; and most recently, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4 circa 2011. GPUs that support more recent versions of the standards are backward-compatible with applications that use the older standards; for example, one can run older DirectX 9 games on a more recent DirectX 11-certified GPU.

Crash Bandicoot (video game)

Crash Bandicoot is a platform video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game was released in North America in September 1996, and in Europe in November 1996.

Crash Bandicoot is the first installment in the Crash Bandicoot series, chronicling the creation of the title character at the hands of series antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex and henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio. The story follows Crash as he aims to prevent Brio and Cortex's plans for world domination, and rescue his girlfriend Tawna, a female bandicoot also evolved by Brio and Cortex.

Crash Bandicoot received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the game's graphics and unique visual style, but criticized its controls and lack of innovation as a platform game. The game went on to sell over 6 million units, making it the eighth best-selling PlayStation game of all time, and the highest selling ranked on sales in the United States. A remastered version, included in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collection, was released for the PlayStation 4 in June 2017, and ported to other platforms in June 2018.

Cutout animation

Cutout animation is a form of stop-motion animation using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. The world's earliest known animated feature films were cutout animations (made in Argentina by Quirino Cristiani), as is the world's earliest surviving animated feature.Today, cutout-style animation is frequently produced using computers, with scanned images or vector graphics taking the place of physically cut materials. South Park is a notable example of the transition since its pilot episode was made with paper cutouts before switching to computer software.

More complex figures depicted in cutout animation, such as in silhouette animation, often have joints made with a rivet or pin or, when they are made on a computer, an anchor. These connections act as mechanical linkage, which have the effect of a specific, fixed motion.

Other notable examples include Blue's Clues, Angela Anaconda and, more recently, Charlie and Lola. One of the most famous animators still using traditional cutout animation today is Yuri Norstein.


FBX (Filmbox) is a proprietary file format (.fbx) developed by Kaydara and owned by Autodesk since 2006. It is used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications. FBX is also part of Autodesk Gameware, a series of video game middleware.

Hulk (film)

Hulk is a 2003 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name directed by Ang Lee which stars Eric Bana as the title character, Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross, Sam Elliott as General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, Josh Lucas, and Nick Nolte as Bruce's father. The film explores the origins of Bruce Banner, who after a lab accident involving gamma radiation finds himself able to turn into a huge green-skinned monster whenever he is emotionally provoked or stressed, while he is pursued by the United States military and comes into a conflict with his biological father, who has his own dark agenda for his son.

Development for the film started as far back as 1990. The film was at one point to be directed by Joe Johnston and then Jonathan Hensleigh. More scripts had been written by Hensleigh, John Turman, Michael France, Zak Penn (who would go on to write The Incredible Hulk), J. J. Abrams, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Michael Tolkin, and David Hayter before Ang Lee and James Schamus' involvement. Hulk was shot mostly in California, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hulk was a commercial success, grossing over $245 million worldwide, higher than its $137 million budget. However, it received mixed reviews from critics and audiences with criticism for its CGI aspects, pacing, bleak tone and lack of action though it was praised for its ambition, performances and complexity (especially compared to other superhero films at the time). A reboot, titled The Incredible Hulk, was released on June 13, 2008 as the second film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


IrisVision was an expansion card developed by Silicon Graphics for IBM compatible PCs in 1991 and was one of the first 3D accelerator cards available for the high-end PC market. IrisVision was actually an adaptation of the graphics pipeline found in the Personal IRIS workstation to the Micro Channel architecture and consumer ISA buses found on most modern PCs of the day. It is also notable for being the first time that any variant of IRIS GL was ever ported to the PC (an experience that subsequently led to the creation of the OpenGL API).

Jos Stam

Jos Stam (born 28 December 1965 in The Hague, Netherlands) is a researcher in the field of computer graphics, focusing on the simulation of natural physical phenomena for 3D-computer animation. He achieved technical breakthroughs with the simulation of fluids and gases, new rendering algorithms and subdivision surfaces, which are a mix between two previously incompatible worlds of Nurbs- and polygon-modeling in 3D.

List of 3D computer graphics software

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"Mecha-Streisand" is the twelfth and penultimate episode of the first season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on February 18, 1998. In the episode, Barbra Streisand obtains the Diamond of Panthios from Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Kenny, and transforms into a giant mechanical dinosaur called Mecha-Streisand. She is ultimately defeated by The Cure frontman Robert Smith, who himself transforms into a giant moth monster.

The episode was written by series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with writer Philip Stark, and was directed by Parker. "Mecha-Streisand" parodies numerous popular Kaiju films and features portrayals of actor Sidney Poitier and film critic Leonard Maltin.

According to Nielsen ratings, "Mecha-Streisand" was seen by 5.4 million viewers, a record high viewership for a South Park episode at the time. Streisand herself was critical of the series and her role in "Mecha-Streisand", although Leonard Maltin was complimentary about his portrayal.

Pie menu

In user interface design, a pie menu (also known as a radial menu) is a circular context menu where selection depends on direction. It is a graphical control element. A pie menu is made of several "pie slices" around an inactive center and works best with stylus input, and well with a mouse. Pie slices are drawn with a hole in the middle for an easy way to exit the menu.

Pie menus work well with keyboard acceleration, particularly four and eight item menus, on the cursor keys and the number pad. A goal of pie menus is to provide a smooth, reliable gestural style of interaction for novices and experts. A slice can lead to another pie menu; selecting this may center the pointer in the new menu.

A marking menu is a variant of this technique that makes the menu less sensitive to variance in gesture size.As a kind of context menu, pie menus are often context-sensitive, showing different options depending on what the pointer was pointing at when the menu was requested.

Scott Tenorman Must Die

"Scott Tenorman Must Die" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 69th episode of the series overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on July 11, 2001. In the episode, 9th-grader Scott Tenorman makes Cartman believe that buying pubic hair from him will make Cartman reach puberty. Realizing that he had been tricked, an angry Cartman arranges for Scott's parents to be murdered and feeds them to him.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone point to this episode as a milestone in the series. The episode introduced significant changes in the characterisation of Cartman (like setting the standard for his cynical antics in following seasons), and it also prompted the creators to only focus on one plot within an episode, as opposed to the show's earlier episodes, which involved several loosely related subplots. "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was written by Parker, and directed by animation director Eric Stough.

English rock band Radiohead guest star in the episode as themselves. Parker and Stone listed the episode as one of their favorites on multiple occasions, and it is considered by fans and critics to be one of the best episodes of the entire series.

South Park

South Park is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for the Comedy Central television network. The show revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their bizarre adventures in and around the titular Colorado town. Much like The Simpsons, South Park uses a very large ensemble cast of recurring characters. It became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience.

Parker and Stone developed the show from The Spirit of Christmas, two consecutive animated shorts created in 1992 and 1995. The latter became one of the first Internet viral videos, ultimately leading to South Park's production. It debuted in August 1997 with great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program. Subsequent ratings have varied but it remains one of Comedy Central's highest rated shows, and is slated to air in new episodes through 2019.The pilot episode was produced using cutout animation, leading to all subsequent episodes being produced with computer animation that emulated the cutout technique. Parker and Stone perform most of the voice acting for the show's male characters. Since 2000, each episode has typically been written and produced in the week preceding its broadcast, with Parker serving as the primary writer and director. There have been a total of 297 episodes over the course of the show's 22 seasons. The show's twenty-second season premiered on September 26, 2018.

South Park has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and numerous inclusions in various publications' lists of greatest television shows. The show's popularity resulted in a feature-length theatrical film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut which was released in June 1999, less than two years after the show's premiere, and became a commercial and critical success, even garnering a nomination for an Academy Award. In 2013, TV Guide ranked South Park the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.

Weight Gain 4000

"Weight Gain 4000" is the third episode of the first season of the American animated television series South Park. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on August 27, 1997. In the episode, the residents of South Park excitedly prepare for a visit by celebrity Kathie Lee Gifford, whom the boys' third-grade teacher Mr. Garrison plans to assassinate because of a childhood grudge. In the meantime, Cartman becomes extremely obese after constantly eating a bodybuilding supplement called Weight Gain 4000.

The episode was written and directed by series co-founders Trey Parker and Matt Stone. After the South Park pilot episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", drew poor test audience results, Comedy Central requested a script for one more new episode before deciding whether or not to commit to a full series. The resulting script for "Weight Gain 4000" helped the network decide to pick up the show. Although the second episode to be produced, it was originally broadcast as the third episode. It was also the first South Park episode created completely using computers rather than construction paper.

Although some reviewers criticized the episode for its profanity and other material deemed offensive at the time of its original broadcast, several others felt "Weight Gain 4000" was a significant improvement over the pilot, particularly for its satirical element regarding American consumerism. The episode introduced such recurring characters as Jimbo Kern, Mayor McDaniels, Bebe Stevens and Clyde Donovan. The show's portrayal of Kathie Lee Gifford was the first time a celebrity was spoofed in South Park.

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