'And at London's Solutions With Workstations exhibition on May 11th, the Reality Engine version known as Onyx was shown to similar plaudits from the professionals. The Reality Engine subsystem is claimed to provide 10 times the pixel shifting power of any of its previous offerings. The system supports up to 256MB of memory and over 100GB of hard-disk storage, using Intel i860XP floating point microprocessors which offer a rating of 800M floating point operations per second (MFLOPS). This is enough horsepower to "walk through a molecule, animate complex shapes, or explore the surface of a distant plane - all in three dimensions, in full colour, and in real-time". Systems start at 80,000 UKP.
The Reality Engine is a three-board set comprising a Geometry Engine, a Raster Manager with 160MB of screen memory, and a Display Generator. The first performs geometric transformations using up to eight parallel RISC processors; the Raster Manager effects scan conversions and pixel processing; and the Display Generator converts raster information to displayable output.
Applications in the broadcast graphics and video post-production market include video editing and compositing, real-time video effects, and 3-D animation. Features include support for two HDTV scan rates (1125/60 and 1250/50) along with standard PAL and NTSC display. Picture quality is improved with 12-bits-per-component colour accuracy and real-time multi-sampled anti-aliasing, where each pixel is sampled 64 times (8 times on each axis), offering smoother and more natural colour transitions.
According to the company. The Reality Engine will run over 1,400 software packages, including those from Softimage, Wavefront, Alias and Xaos.
Options for video applications include VideoLab/2, which performs real-time single-frame input, output and throughput special effects, like keying and blending, warping and texturing. Another program, VideoFramer, does single-frame input and output for animation while VideoCreator is a real-time scan conversion and single-frame output device. VideoSplitter/2 provides multiple RGB outputs from a single Reality Engine.