Right Hemisphere is zeroing in on interface improvements and workflow enhancements to help a wider range of users take part in what it calls the "visual enterprise," the notion of leveraging 2-D and 3-D visualization tools and collaboration technology to optimize product development.
Version 6 of Deep Exploration, Right Hemisphere's client application, ushers in a number of new features, including a role-based, configurable user interface, an improved ability to view, select and navigate complex 3-D models, a new XML file format for facilitating integration with enterprise systems and a new photorealistic rendering engine. The software is designed to help different constituencies in an organization navigate, author and repurpose complex product information for a variety of purposes â from creating technical drawings to performing design reviews on complex models.
The user interface redesign was crucial to making Deep Exploration accessible to a broad audience, according to Bob Merlo, director of marketing for Right Hemisphere. "With our old user interface, you had to deal with about 140 different tool applications â it was pretty messy for people to look at and use," Merlo says. At the heart of Deep Exploration Version 6 is the Layout Manager, which manages the visibility and order of the application's tool tabs, enabling it to be configured for specific workflows depending on the user's role. With this feature, for example, the software can be configured to guide the user through all the necessary steps related to creating a 2-D technical illustration or a set of manufacturing work instructions. Deep Exploration 6 comes standard with a number of predefined layouts, but it will also allow users to create their own department-specific workflows.
"The workflow-oriented tabs are not only tailored to the end user in terms of that functional role, but are tailored to the workflow of that user, whether they're creating a technical drawing or a rendered image," Merlo says. There is also the ability to dock application panels on top of one another to free up more real estate for viewing 3-D models.
Deep Exploration Version 6 also delivers functions for engineers and users working with large, complex 3-D models. The upgrade supports the viewing of large CAD assemblies (of up to 500 million polygons and 200,000 unique parts) that have been converted by Right Hemisphere's other visualization and collaboration offering, Deep Server. The new navigation feature, along with the new Volume Select tool, lets users zoom and navigate model views and save out the geometry for further work. Volume Select, for example, lets users choose an area in the model by defining a geometric space without having to locate the assembly or part numbers in the bill of materials. "This is a nice way to take large models and have them be navigable and share information for design reviews without pulling up different pieces of the model," Merlo says.
Other new features of the upgrade include support for XML for integration with enterprise applications along with a new rendering engine that employs high dynamic range (HDR) imaging technology to support a wider range of luminance in a 3-D scene, from direct sunlight to subtle shadows. Deep Exploration 6 will ship in August.