Here's a site that details out the entire lineup and history of the apps, text copied inline here for reference:
Alias|Wavefront Discontinued Products and Brands.
Here are just a few of the products Alias, Wavefront, and Alias|Wavefront have stopped developing and selling over the years. Check back here and you'll find information about these products when i get the chance to post it, and if you want, please send me any information you have and would like to contribute.
The companies: Alias, Wavefront, TDI, AIR, Full Color Publisher
A funny thing happened on June 15, 1995: three companies became one with a new name. Alias Research Inc., the business name of what we called Alias, was absorbed into Silicon Graphics Canada, Inc., and was called Silicon Graphics Canada Limited until it changed its name to Silicon Graphics Limited in November that year. Also on June 15, Wavefront, incorporated on June 4th, 1984, officially merged into Alias|Wavefront, the new division of Silicon Graphics Limited. TDI, Thomson Digital Image, got bought out by Wavefront in 1993, the same end for AIR, Able Image Research, in 1987. Alias bought out Full Color Publisher somewhere in the early 1990's.
Alias Eclipse / Alias|Wavefront Eclipse
Alias bought Full Color Publisher and marketed their SGI Irix-based image retouching program, Eclipse. It used a proxy mode and post render, similar to Live Picture, where the brush strokes are recorded during the interactive editing then rendered at high resolution on the full size image in a post process.
Version 3.0 was the first version released by Contex, a Xyvision company, when Xyvision bought Eclipse from Alias|Wavefront in summer 1997. Barco purchased Xyvision since, and Eclipse had been picked up by Formvision, who reported they plan on porting Eclipse to Windows NT on their web site at
. The site was down when I last checked.
A former A|W staffer writes that there was a version of Eclipse that ran on Sun Solaris. That version was built for Japanese reseller Konica, with a Japanese UI.
Upfront, purchased from another software developer in 1993, ran on Apple Macintosh and Windows/Intel and provided a mean for modelers to place objects in perspective over a still image, usually a photograph.
Ah, the most famous Alias product for personal computers. Sketch! ran only on the Macintosh, and still has many supporters and users, judging by the number of calls A|W sales offices get and from what people tell me they've seen on auction sites. The last version seems to be the most sought after, since it is PowerPC native.
An IRIX-based product that never got out the door for Alias, Sonata was an architectural / interior design and database management package for buildings. There was a follow up product called Pro-Reflect purchased by PTC, makers of Pro/Engineer.
A vector based paint package, it supposedly had some really cool tools. Alias never actually sold any but bought the software and shelved it.
TDI products - Explore, Media Studio, IPR
Never used any of it; if anyone wants to write about this stuff, send it to me. Please note that IPR was revived and is still alive inside Maya, but the product called IPR from TDI is no more.
Wavefront products - Data Visualizer, Advanced Visualizer, Dynamation, Kinemation, Personal Visualizer, Advanced Paint, data translators such as iges_to_obj, dxf_to_obj
Never used any of it; if anyone wants to write about this stuff, send it to me.
Alias Power Animator / Animator / WebAnimator
No, Power Animator isn't really dead; it lives on in disguise. The Studio line of products is just a different bundle of the same tools, albeit with further developments as new versions are released. Power Animator last shipped at version 9.0 on IRIX.
One of the more recently deceased packages, VizPaint still has advocates out there, but I think management saw enough alternatives for IRIX-based bitmap editing that they decided to save money and stop shipping this free add-on, hoping nobody would miss it much.
From what I've found and heard, Zap!iT was a Silicon Graphics software development that A|W picked up and shaped into the released product. Zap!iT used RAID hard drive arrays to stream video sequences for playback on an IRIX workstation or out to a video recording device such as a VTR (video tape recorder). It had some editing features as well, and at some point was one piece of a new product line including Animed!iT, Edit!iT, Paint!iT, and Compose!iT, though Compose!iT was probably just going to be a repackaged Composer. Zap!iT shipped versions 1.0 and 2.0.
Compositing tools for layering and manipulating image sequences of rendered characters, effects, and physical footage. Both packages had Lite and full versions (no add-on modules), and there were many plugins out there from other companies that complement each of these products. Fusion was, previous to the Maya connection, and is still available from Eyeon Software.
Maya Real Time SDK
A visual simulator that ran on Windows NT. It let game artists see what their scene would look like on a particular game platform such as Sony Playstation by simulating the display properties of that hardware. This was a joint venture with an outside company that soured due to different goals and politics.
Before Maya Complete repriced to US$2000 this package sold to artists, level designers, and programmers in game development. It's a subset of Maya Complete with all the polygon modeling tools, MEL scripting, and API support, but without Nurbs, Dynamics, Rendering, and limited animation.
Originally developed by AW at the behest of and with partial funding from Ford Motor Company, who asked for a 2d paint tool cheaper than the $500,000 Shima Seiki proprietary paint stations they currently lusted for. So AW cooked up a product that ran on the SGI Crimson Reality Engine with fast hardware texture airbrushes, unlimited undo, a big canvas, tablet and wide screen support. Later iterations added software brushes to run even on the lowly Indy, 3d paint capabilities, and texture transfer between Studio and later Maya. Studiopaint only runs on IRIX.
Previously Supported Platforms
Once upon a time Alias and Wavefront supported other platforms besides SGI IRIX. Here's a list cobbled together from a few sources, but please feel free to correct me or add on to this list.
IBM PowerPC workstations running AIX: Advanced Visualizer, Composer, Studio family, Explore
IBM Power Visualization System (PVS): Alias PowerRender/Raytrace
HP-UX (and Apollo before that, I think): Advanced Visualizer, Composer
Sony News: Advanced Visualizer
Dec (VAX; before Alpha, I think): Advanced Visualizer
Titan: Advanced Visualizer
Cray: Image (Wavefront's renderer) and Batch Composer (Composer's command line compositor)
A lot of people were pissed when Wavefront support for these other platforms was dropped, although I don't know if that was before or after the merger with Alias.
A long, long, long time ago there were these render engines named Celerity, big as an SGI Crimson, whose only function was to compute as a slave; I never got them hooked up to the old SGI IRIS 3000 (not Origin 3000) systems, so I don't know if they actually worked.