Brad Parscale from ElectricImage Inc. (taken by e-mail at 10-11-2002)
Brad Parscale is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing. He has been working at Electric Image for 2 years now. Previously he worked for Play Inc. and NewTek. Brad has Bachelor of Science in Int'l Business and Economics from Trinity University.
Robert: Universe 5 is just been released. Some really great features have been added like Move Match, Radiosity, material and shader palets, and a more enhanced and sofisticated workflow. Is that what you exspected had to be done in version 5?
Brad: Many of our features come from customer requests, competitive forces, and developmental ideas. Universe 5 was planned months in advance and we met all of our goals.
Robert: In 3D Magazines Universe is nowadays considered to be a midrange 3D application. What do you think of that status and are you planning to be high-end again in the future?
Brad: I believe today that many publications base high-end applications off of their price tag and not the overall quality of the product. We have no plans to raise our price to previously inflated prices. We feel that the 1000 price range is appropriate for 3D programs of today and feel that this price point is effective in creating growth for our company and products. Electric Image Universe is a high-QUALITY product and I believe that we will continue to gain new customers with our excellent software.
Robert: What do you think what the strengh (the power) of Universe 5 and Modeler 5 is, compared to the early days of EI and other 3D applications nowadays?
In the earley days EI (2.9) could handle lots and lots of data without any problem slowingdown the interface. Will that be enhanced in the future?
Brad: Universe 5 is as fast or faster than version 2.9. Many customers have continued to use older hardware (video cards) with the new OpenGL features of Universe and conclude the software is slower. This however is just not true. Customers were demanding OpenGL for previews, but with this came the demand for better graphics card to push the OpenGL engine. Customers using version 5.0 with newer graphics cards are finding that 5.0 has amazing previews with redraw speeds faster than all previous versions.
Robert: You once said in the EI forum you are planning to expand PR to give Universe more popularity. How are you setting up this PR in Europe and how is it progressing till now?
Brad: We are currently working on several promotions to expand the Electric Imagename. We are also working with a German Company, Mediaphor, to expand our European customer base. We continue to develop relationships with European partners to expand the Electric Image name in Europe.
Robert: What are the future ideas with Universe and the Electric Image Company? What road are you and the EI company walking?
Brad: Next on our list is the release of Amorphium 3. This is a major upgrade for the Amorphium line and will be the first product we have significantly marketed in the European market. We are also working towards the next version of Universe. We hope to see another version of Universe in 9-10 months.
Robert: How do you see your position compared to other companies that develop 3D applications like Maya, Lightwave, 3D Max and Cinema 4D?
Brad: I believe we are in great position at the moment. We believe that our development is currently at a high pace and see our share of the Macintosh market increasing. With the release of new high-powered Macintosh systems next year we believe that Universe's overall market share will grow even further.
Robert: Can you give us a hint which new tools or features are will be implemented in Universe and Modeler in the near future?
Brad: Development of Modeler was slow in version 5.0 but I think we should see some new enhancements in the next version. I would like to see a new version of ACIS under the hood by the next major release.
Robert: This year there were two major upgrades: Universe 4 and Universe 5?
Will this year's Christmas be a quiet one or will there be more news from EI before the end of this year?
Brad: You will see the release of Amorphium 3 this Christmas season. But I wouldn't expect anything more than some incremental updates before next year with Universe.
Robert: The interface of Universe and Modeler are now more streamlined, will there be more GUI enhancements in the near future?
There is as the rumour of Modeler getting integrated in Animator? Is it possible that would be a realistic feature?
Brad: I don't believe we will see the complete integration of Modeler into Animator in the near future.
Robert: It is known Electric Image had underestimated the power of applications like Lightwave, Maya and SoftImage when version 3 came out. Now with Universe 5, do you think EI came alongside?
Brad: I don't think we ever underestimated our competition. Electric Image spent a considerable amount of time re-writing the application framework. This re-write has now given Electric Image the ability to add features at a blistering pace. This will allow us to be more competitive in the future. This was a necessary and time consuming step in the life of Electric Image Universe.
Robert: Last question: Once the rendering speed was one of the great power of EI, no other 3D application could beat.
Due to two developments the speed of universe has become questionable. One is that Discreet (3d max) has come up with two new render options which outperform EI.
The other one is that Radiosity and Raytrace, generally known as time-consuming features, has been implemented in Electric Image software. What will be done to enhance the speed of EI animator again and become worlds fastest render again?
Brad: I still have not seen any evidence that we are not still the fastest phong rendering system in the world. Many applications are competitive with us when using raytracing. I still believe that dollar for dollar we have the best rendering solution on the market.
Also, our new Radiosity system has the possibility of being extremely fast and will most likely grow into a very successful solution. We already begun to see some incredible work coming from the engine, and the product is only
a couple months old.
Robert: Thank you very much for this short interview and your time, Brad.
Robert Jan Kila - electro 303