Softimage Siggraph 2005 Press Releases
Softimage to Support AGEIA Physics Simulation

Upcoming version of SOFTIMAGE|XSI 3-D modeling and animation software to support hardware accelerated physics with AGEIA physX processor and AGEIA physics SDK


Los Angeles, Calif. – August 2, 2005 – At SIGGRAPH 2005, AGEIA™ Technologies, Inc., the pioneer in hardware-accelerated physics for games, today announced that Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc, will support the AGEIA physX™ SDK with the upcoming release of SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® version 5.0, Avid’s award-winning digital character and visual effects software.

Artists have created some of the most memorable game characters using SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, and their real-time interactivity will increase with XSI v.5.0 by taking advantage of AGEIA’s state-of-the-art physics simulation engine for rigid body dynamics and high-precision actual-shape collision handling. In addition, Softimage plans to offer support for hardware-accelerated simulation using the AGEIA physX processor.

“Gamers consistently demand ever-greater levels of realism in characters and environments, and AGEIA is meeting that demand by introducing a completely new category of hardware physics, which gives XSI as much as a 100x performance improvement in physics simulation,” said Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage. “AGEIA’s solution enhances the ability of artists using SOFTIMAGE|XSI to create next-generation titles that offer gamers a realistic, immersive, entertainment experience.”

“Artists using SOFTIMAGE|XSI for character creation have made their mark in all areas of the entertainment industry, from Hollywood blockbuster films to top TV commercials to best-selling game titles,” said Manju Hegde, CEO of AGEIA. “We are pleased that we can offer a solution worthy of their talents—one that provides Hollywood-style hyper-realism in interactive game environments.”




About SOFTIMAGE|XSI

About SOFTIMAGE|XSI SOFTIMAGE|XSI is a complete 3-D modeling and animation solution for the film, broadcast, post-production and interactive entertainment industries. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software is the creative engine behind the Avid Computer Graphics toolset, and an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media™ strategy. It is the industry's first 3-D nonlinear production environment providing artists the freedom to make professional computer graphics, 3-D animation, and visual effects – from major motion pictures to CG features and commercials, to video games. Softimage is proud to count amongst its customers: Lionhead Studios, Ubisoft, Capcom, Konami, SONY, Valve, Pandemic, Taito, Sega and Atari. For more information about SOFTIMAGE|XSI visit www.softimage.com.



About AGEIA

AGEIA™ Technologies, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company and the pioneer of hardware-accelerated physics for games. Its flagship product, the physX processor, is the world’s first dedicated physics processing unit – a completely new hardware category. The physX processor and supporting software deliver the processing horsepower to calculate real-time interactive worlds. Developers can define these worlds to obey the laws of classical physics, or create their own physical laws that make their game a unique, hyper-dimensional experience. AGEIA seeks to ignite innovation in the games industry by working with leading developers, publishers, add-in board vendors and console manufacturers to deliver the next generation of physically immersive entertainment. Consumer add-in boards and systems equipped with the AGEIA PhysX processor and games that take advantage of the technology will be available in late 2005. For more information visit www.ageia.com.


© 2005 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer and SOFTIMAGE|XSI are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH in the USA and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


Avid Previews Groundbreaking Facial Animation Technology: SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT

Company pioneers new approach to believable, emotional digital acting


SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles (Booth #1401) – August 1, 2005 – Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that it will preview SOFTIMAGE®|FACE ROBOT™– its revolutionary new facial animation technology. Face Robot software is the first technology that allows 3-D artists to achieve realistic, lifelike facial animation for high-end film, post and games projects. The technology is built on a groundbreaking new computer model of facial soft tissue that mimics the full range of emotions portrayed by the human face. SIGGRAPH attendees can experience the Face Robot system in the Avid® Computer Graphics booth and see how this new technology offers artists a very intuitive way to interact with CG characters while providing precise control over facial details, including wrinkles, frowns, flaring nostrils and bulging neck muscles.

“On our projects, digital acting is important and the face is the most critical piece,” said Tim Miller, creative director and co-founder of Blur Studio in Los Angeles. “There were no tools on the market that could get us close to the quality we wanted, so we began to work with Softimage on a solution. Face Robot has made a huge difference in the quality of the facial animation of our characters. For the first time, I look forward to the moment when the characters stop beating each other up and have a little chat!” Blur, an acclaimed animation studio recently nominated for an Academy Award® in the animated short category, is using the technology and will be showing work created with it at SIGGRAPH.

Adds Jeff Wilson, animation supervisor at Blur Studio, “Creating believable facial animation is very important because the face is fundamental in understanding emotion. It is also very difficult because facial expressions emerge primarily from deformations of the soft tissue on the face, which is nearly impossible to capture with existing 3-D software. Face Robot removes the cumbersome, repetitive work of legacy approaches and allows us to focus on bringing a character to life. Softimage is creating a truly incredible tool for facial animation.”

The Face Robot software supports both keyframe animation and motion capture, the primary techniques used for digital acting today. The soft tissue model at the core of the technology removes the need to manually create dozens or even hundreds of 3-D shapes for different facial expressions and allows animators to work with an optimal number of control points. Keyframe animators can gain very direct, intuitive access to facial expressions, while motion capture animators can work with fewer markers to reduce setup and cleanup time.



“We work closely with many of the world’s most renowned animation studios to understand their challenges in key areas like facial animation. This new technology is the culmination of years of research and development in support of ambitious animation and effects productions,” said Michael Isner, head of the special projects consulting group at Softimage. “Now, with innovative, dedicated facial animation technology, Softimage has created a new category for computer graphics. We are breaking down the barriers to believable digital acting to help the 3-D community fulfill their creative imagination.”


The technology preview will be shown publicly for the first time at SIGGRAPH. Videos and background information on the technology are available at www.softimage.com/facerobot.



About Softimage Co.
Softimage is a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc. focused on 3-D modeling and animation solution for the film, broadcast, post-production and interactive entertainment industries. Softimage is the creative engine behind the Avid Computer Graphics toolset, and an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media™ strategy. It’s SOFTIMAGE|XSI® system is the industry's first 3-D nonlinear production environment providing artists the freedom to make professional computer graphics, 3-D animation, and visual effects – from major motion pictures to CG features and commercials, to video games. Softimage is proud to count amongst its customers: Troublemaker Studios, CaféFX, Giant Killer Robots, R!OT, The Mill, Stan Winston Studios, Pixel Liberation Front, La Maison, Hybride, Janimation, Quiet Man, PSYOP, Cinepix and Nerd Corps. For more information about Softimage visit www.softimage.com.



About Avid Technology, Inc.
Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games, and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively, and creatively. For more information about the company’s Oscar®, Grammy®, and Emmy® award-winning products and services, please visit: www.avid.com.


© 2005 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer, Make, Manage and Move Media, FACE ROBOT, SOFTIMAGE and XSI are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH in the USA and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.



Avid Unveils SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0

New version of 3-D animation software delivers native 64-bit support with unparalleled modeling, animation, and rendering capabilities; new Maya migration features added


SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles (Booth #1401) – August 1, 2005 – Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today unveiled version 5.0 of the company’s flagship SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® 3-D animation software. This latest version includes new tools that set industry benchmarks for performance and creative flexibility. As a key component of Avid's integrated computer graphics solutions, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 introduces 3-D teams to innovative new features, like Ultimapper, a map generation tool for producing cinema-quality maps in a few clicks; and GATOR, a unique property transfer system for merging fully textured and animated 3-D models. In addition to running on standard 32-bit CPUs, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 will also be available in a native 64-bit configuration, allowing users to model, animate and render extremely complex scenes in their entirety with billions of polygons and layers of 3-D, film, and video content.

“This latest edition of XSI proves how Softimage is setting the standard for next-generation game development. Ultimapper blows away existing map generation tools with its ability to easily create multiple map types. Building the necessary high-detail run-time content for next-gen games is suddenly a lot easier,” said Steve Suhy, character modeling lead at FASA Studio, a division of Microsoft Game Studio. “Innovative additions like automatic property transfer and the highly intuitive and unique suite of organic modeling tools eliminate time-consuming, manual tasks and allow artists to concentrate on their creativity.”

Advanced Character Tools and Maya Migration Features Improve Ease of Use

Customers using SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 will discover that unique character rigs are easy to create and customize, streamlining the process for making modeling, texturing, and rigging changes to characters without re-constructing bones, bone weights or shape animation. SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 also includes a comprehensive set of migration tools for Maya users, such as a customizable user interface with new menu, keyboard and mouse navigation properties, all of which make it easy for Maya artists to use their current skill sets within the Softimage production environment.

64-bit Architecture Speeds Content Creation

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 has been re-architected to take full advantage of dual-core 64-bit CPUs, which can access large amounts of physical memory to effectively double production throughput during the CG content creation process. In addition, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 is tightly integrated with version 3.4 of the 64-bit industry-leading mental ray® rendering software. Now, users are no longer forced to reduce large scenes into smaller, individual pieces before rendering. Instead, they can create detailed environments with hundreds of lighting effects and shaders, as well as high resolution models with extensive hair and detailed skin textures and simply render the scenes in their entirety.



Nicholas Boughen, author and CG supervisor at Rainmaker Animation and Visual Effects, a Vancouver-based visual effects studio, added, “When creating visual effects and computer graphics for the film industry, every second is precious. Deadlines are tight, and artists are always looking to deliver a higher level of sophistication on each project. The power Softimage is bringing to the industry with a native 64-bit version that takes full advantage of the performance gains of today’s latest hardware, plus a tight integration with 64-bit mental ray, will allow studios to ‘turbo-charge’ their pipelines – and I’m ready for a powerful ride!”


Additional features in SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 include:

Native XSI Hair. XSI Advanced delivers a significant update to XSI Hair with a new grooming tool that gives artists precise creative control for creating and styling realistic content, such as hair, fur, grass and trees. A new instancing system allows users to quickly replicate this content throughout entire environments.
Syflex 3 advanced cloth simulation. XSI Advanced also offers the industry-leading technology of Syflex 3, which incorporates a fast, stable simulation engine that allows artists to create a broad range of cloth effects with ease.
High-performance rigid-body dynamics. With tight integration of the state-of-the-art Ageia™ physX™ physics simulation engine, XSI v.5.0 delivers high-performance simulation, including precise actual-shape collision handling.
New dotXSI™ v.5.0 export & import with full source code. Using XSI v.5.0, artists can easily import and export the dotXSI v.5.0 file format for XSI models, materials, shaders, animation, skeletons and envelopes. Version 5.0 also adds support for shape morphing, subdivision approximation, and blind user-data.


Pricing & Availability

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 is expected to be available in September 2005 for purchase in the following configurations:

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 Foundation for $495 (USMSRP) from the Softimage website at www.softimage.com/store.
SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 Essentials for $1,995 (USMSRP) from authorized Softimage resellers.
SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 Advanced for $ 6,995 (USMSRP) from authorized Softimage resellers.

About SOFTIMAGE|XSI

SOFTIMAGE|XSI is a complete 3-D modeling and animation solution for the film, broadcast, post-production and interactive entertainment industries. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software is the creative engine behind the Avid Computer Graphics toolset, and an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media™ strategy. It is the industry's first 3-D nonlinear production environment providing artists the freedom to make professional computer graphics, 3-D animation, and visual effects – from major motion pictures to CG features and commercials, to video games. Softimage is proud to count amongst its customers: Troublemaker Studios, CaféFX, Giant Killer Robots, R!OT, The Mill, Stan Winston Studios, Pixel Liberation Front, La Maison, Hybride, Janimation, Quiet Man, PSYOP, Cinepix and Nerd Corps. For more information about SOFTIMAGE|XSI visit www.softimage.com.



About Avid Technology, Inc.
Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games, and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively, and creatively. For more information about the company’s Oscar® , Grammy® , and Emmy® award-winning products and services, please visit: www.avid.com.


© 2005 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. All prices are USMSRP for the U.S. and Canada only and are subject to change without notice. Contact your local Avid office or reseller for prices outside the U.S. and Canada. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer, SOFTIMAGE, dotXSI, Make, Manage and Move Media and XSI are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH in the USA and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Press Contacts

Softimage: Jennifer Goldfinch, Avid Technology., 514-840-0387




Printer-friendly format



Login and voice your opinion!
Powered by Bondware
Newspaper Software | Email Marketing Tools | E-Commerce Marketplace