Alias Press Releases Siggraph 2005
Alias Learning Tools Only a Free Download Away for Maya Silver Members

Los Angeles, California - SIGGRAPH® (Booth #1312) - August 3, 2005 - Alias has announced never-before-released downloadable Learning Tools DVDs now available free-of-charge as an addition to Alias' Maya® Silver Membership offering. A new DVD will be available monthly to Silver and Platinum members as a downloadable movie, providing new content to support ongoing learning on a variety of Maya software topics.

The Maya Silver Membership services program empowers artists, Maya Personal Learning Edition users, educators, students and 3D enthusiasts to learn more about Maya through access to online learning resources, Maya expert weblogs, discussion forums and more. The Maya Platinum Membership Services program includes all services offered through Silver Membership in addition to enhanced services, including priority access to all Maya software upgrades, world-class live and online technical support and unparalleled licensing flexibility.

Learning Maya | NURBS Modeling
The first DVD to be released to Maya Silver Membership members will be Learning Maya | NURBS Modeling. This DVD explores the concepts and tools at play when working with NURBS surfaces. Teaching valuable workflow tips and tricks that can apply directly to modeling projects, this DVD demonstrates how to build NURBS curves and understand how to create predictable surfaces. The tutorial focuses on building a hand using a variety of NURBS tools.

Alias Learning Tools books and DVDs are authored by Alias software experts and industry professionals who enhance learning by sharing their projects and experiences. Targeted at 3D professionals, students and enthusiasts, self-paced Learning Tools are sold at a variety of learning levels. Offerings include the Beginner's series for novices to beginners, the Discover series for novice to intermediate users, the Learning series for beginner to intermediate users, and the Techniques series for intermediate to advanced users. Learning Tools range in price from US $29.99* to US $69.99*. Additional information on Learning Tools can be found at www.alias.com/learningtools.

Offering the tools critical to advancing Maya skills and projects, Maya Silver Membership:

· Facilitates faster learning - Members have easy access to the resources necessary to grow Maya skills. All materials are efficiently organized on one website, making it easy to find necessary tools.

· Offers a competitive advantage - Maya Silver learning resources enhance professional development for members, helping Maya users to stay ahead of the competition. High quality resources, produced directly through Alias, are accurate and relevant to members.

· Connects members to the 3D community - Maya Silver members become part of a larger community of 3D software users.


Pricing and Availability

Maya Silver Membership is available for a fixed monthly, or cost-saving annual, subscription fee: US $19.99* per month or US $149* per year. For a full list of services for Memberships, please visit www.alias.com/membership.

* International pricing may vary

About Alias
As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. On March 1, 2003, for the awards year 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Alias|Wavefront(tm) an Oscar® for scientific and technical achievement for the development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package. Alias also offers a powerful range of services for new to advanced users in the most demanding environments. Learning Tools and training, support, and professional services help meet rigorous production deadlines.

Entertainment customers include: CNN, Digital Domain, Disney, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Factor 5 LLC, Midway Games, Nintendo, Pacific Data Images (PDI)/DreamWorks SKG, Sega, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Square Enix Co., Ltd., Warner Feature Animation and Weta Ltd. Design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Italdesign, Kodak, Kwikset, Mattel, Price Pfister, Renault, Rollerblade, Sharp, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex.

Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara and offices worldwide. Please visit the Alias website at http://www.alias.com or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America, 770 393 1881.
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Alias MotionBuilder 7 Tackles High-Volume, Demanding Animation

Real-time, character-centric animation tools make MotionBuilder a powerful addition to any existing 3D production pipeline

Los Angeles, California - SIGGRAPH® (Booth #1312) - July 31, 2005 - Alias® MotionBuilder® 7 software - with its newly extended character animation capabilities, improved interoperability with popular 3D packages and productivity enhancements - is the 3D character animation software of choice for artists needing to rapidly produce high-volumes of quality animated content. Powerful new product features and the expanded benefits of Alias MotionBuilder Pro Platinum Membership, including extended hotline access and improved response times, enable artists to generate professional-level character performance animation.

The new features of Alias MotionBuilder 7 complement the software's core technologies, including a unique, real-time architecture; non-linear, non-destructive animation layering; and Story Timeline performance environment. "MotionBuilder 7 provides animators with the best character performance tools and motion editing functionality - bar none," says Shai Hinitz, senior product manager for Alias MotionBuilder, mental ray® and Maya®. "With this release, we've continued our commitment to innovations in productivity and connectivity with the most popular 3D applications. MotionBuilder customers who also integrate our middleware solution - Alias HumanIK - into their pipeline, have the unique advantage of being able to create animation performances that are precisely matched in-game."

New and Enhanced Character Animation Functionality

New character extensions and visual feedback on rigs give animators greater control over their character setups. Character extensions allow artists to augment their character's control rig when objects such as tails, wings and props are required. Animators are now able to simultaneously pose or key a character as well as all attached extensions seamlessly. Visual feedback on the control rig offers cues that highlight keying, manipulation modes and rig selection, allowing animators to focus on the character in the viewer rather than checking controls on the side. In addition, there are a number of new character manipulation enhancements that ensure synchronization between characters and their controls, streamlining the animation workflow and shortening the learning curve for new users.

"With character extensions and a host of other features, MotionBuilder 7 not only answers the call, but adds solutions to issues I didn't know I would have," says Gavan Knowlton, lead animator at GlyphX Games. "Our industry thrives on innovation, it's nice to have Alias lead the way."



Productivity-Enhancing Tools

Alias MotionBuilder 7 offers many new productivity-enhancing features, in addition to existing optimized solving, blending, sequencing and retargeting tools for editing captured performances and simulated character animation. The new save and load character animation features let animators rapidly transfer, repurpose and reuse animation clips with any character. Improved workflow and UI features, such as save reminder and incremental versioning streamline the animation process and minimize user downtime.



Improved Pipeline Interoperability

MotionBuilder's native file format, Alias FBX®, allows for unparalleled interoperability between 3D content creation applications, making it a complementary solution that can enhance any existing 3D production pipeline. Alias MotionBuilder 7 contains new functionality that improves its ability to interact with other 3D applications. New constraints, for example, allow users to easily transfer animated character setups between Alias MotionBuilder and Maya.



Alias MotionBuilder Pro

Alias MotionBuilder Pro contains advanced productivity capabilities, including Live Device Support* for multi-stream motion capture devices, data mapping and asset management integration. Additional extensibility and customization tools include a real-time animation trigger system, Python® scripting capabilities and the Alias Open Reality® SDK - allowing the creation of pipeline automation and workflow tools that streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

* Availability on Mac OS® X is pending platform specific third party vendor drivers.



"MotionBuilder and Maya have become important tools in our animation pipeline," said Stephen White, co-president of Naughty Dog. "We are very excited to see continued investment in MotionBuilder and look forward to even greater compatibility between these two excellent products."



Alias MotionBuilder Pro Platinum Members Get the Most out of MotionBuilder

The features and services of the Alias MotionBuilder Pro Platinum Membership program help maximize an investment in MotionBuilder. Members will experience minimal downtime with the improved delivery of hotline support. Resources have now been dedicated solely to tracking hotline cases and ensuring quick response times. Through the months of September and October 2005, Platinum members can take advantage of an interactive Web-based MotionBuilder 7 training call. This is in addition to receiving early access to the MotionBuilder 7 upgrade - a distinctive competitive advantage.



Pricing and Availability

Alias MotionBuilder 7 is scheduled for release in August 2005 and pricing remains unchanged from MotionBuilder 6 - Alias MotionBuilder Pro 7 (node-locked) is US $4195** and Alias MotionBuilder Pro 7 (floating) is US $4795*. For new Alias MotionBuilder Pro customers, the cost includes a one-year Platinum Membership subscription. Alias MotionBuilder Pro is available in node-lock and floating configurations for the Windows® and Mac OS® X platforms.

** International pricing may vary.



About Alias

As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops software for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, industrial design, automotive, architecture and visualization markets. Alias has headquarters in Toronto and a custom development center in Santa Barbara with offices worldwide. Please visit the Alias web site at www.alias.com or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America, 770 393 1881.



© Copyright 2005 Alias Systems Corp. All rights reserved. Alias, the swirl logo, MotionBuilder, FBX, Open Reality and Maya are registered trademarks of Alias Systems Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Mac OS is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH & CO. KG. in the United States and/or other countries. Python is a registered trademark of the Python Software Foundation. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Alias, 210 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 1J7, Tel: 416-362-9181, Fax: 416-369-6140.

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Maya 7 Continues Alias' Tradition of 3D Innovation

Feature-packed release gives customers superior control, productivity, and creative flexibility



Los Angeles, California - SIGGRAPH® (Booth #1312) - July 31, 2005 - Maya® 7 software builds upon the architecture and performance enhancements in Maya 6.5 to deliver a feature-packed release offering new and improved tools for fast, realistic character animation, streamlined modeling and texturing, ground-breaking visual effects, and increased productivity. With the powerful new product features and the enhanced benefits of Maya Platinum Membership, including extended hotline access and improved response times, 3D professionals working in film, games, broadcast, digital publishing and design visualization are set to achieve more with the latest edition of this award-winning software.



"Maya 7 reflects our resolve to give artists the power to create ground-breaking computer graphics that tell better stories, enhance interactive experiences, and enable people to more accurately visualize products and designs," said Jill Ramsay, senior product manager for Maya. "We involved Maya users earlier and more extensively than ever before in our development process; the features and enhancements in this release have been guided by extensive feedback from leading studios and individuals worldwide. This is a must-have release."



Optimized Workflows for Rendering and Digital Publishing

One such customer-driven feature is a complete re-architecture of the Maya render layers functionality, which means that multiple versions of objects, including materials, lights and cameras, as well as post processes such as Maya Fur and Maya Paint Effects(tm), can now be managed in a single scene file.



"We have been an Alias customer for the past 13 years and in our opinion, Maya 7 is the biggest release we have ever seen," said Jonathan Brosseau, chief technology officer for Alpha Vision. "In the architectural visualization field, the 3D scenes tend to be very large and cumbersome, and we were truly blown away by the power and flexibility of the new Maya 7 render layer systems. Not only can we set specific attributes per layers on objects, shaders and lights, but we can also choose whatever renderer is required by a specific layer, all this within the same Maya scene. This makes it more convenient for us to use the power and continued integration of mental ray for Maya. Maya 7 is truly in another league."



Render layers can be rendered with any renderer integrated in Maya, including the latest mental ray® for Maya technology. This new workflow not only streamlines the rendering process, but it also prepares renders for optimal output to the artists' compositor of choice, or to Adobe® Photoshop® or Macromedia® Flash®. Maya 7 also boasts new functionality that streamlines the workflow between Maya and Photoshop - as well as Adobe Illustrator®, Alias MotionBuilder®, and popular CAD applications.



Animating Characters is Faster, Easier and More Accurate Than Ever
The integration of the industry-leading full-body IK solver from Alias MotionBuilder makes rigging and posing characters simpler and more precise, as do paintable Blend Shapes and Wire deformers. Maya 7 now also supports collaborative, parallel workflows through its ability to iteratively substitute geometry and allow modelers, animators and technical directors to work on the same character simultaneously in a non-destructive way that maximizes productivity.



New Tools Deliver Industry's Most Comprehensive Modeling and Texturing Feature Set
Maya 7 introduces RenderMan®compatible variable creasing on smoothly subdivided polygon meshes, allowing precise and intuitive control between smooth and hard edges. Portions of the subdivision surface implementation in Maya incorporate the use of Pixar Subdivision Surface Patents. "We are very pleased to see Maya 7 using Pixar's patented technology. This is very convenient for compatibility between Maya and our in-house tools, as well as a tremendous benefit for the many members of the Maya community who use Pixar's RenderMan®, MTOR(tm) and RenderMan® for Maya products," said Dana Batali, director of RenderMan product development at Pixar Animation Studios.



Features Requested and Refined by Leading Games Developers
A host of other enhancements specifically requested by the games-development community include Edge Loop and Edge Ring tools, UV unfolding, tri-planar and multi-mesh mapping, together with the inclusion of CgFX and ASHLI plug-ins, which allow hardware shaders for next-generation consoles to be previewed within Maya. Maya 7 also helps artists optimize scenes without loss of visible detail through a new Surface Sampler, which utilizes normal mapping and other data transfer methods between models of differing resolutions.



"The surface sampler in Maya 7 is a major tool for us in generating next-gen console assets and the results have been outstanding," said Simon Kirk, technical artist at Eurocom, a UK-based game developer. "Not only is it handling our next-gen console requirements for high-quality normal maps, it is a great tool for baking textures back to low poly current-gen assets. Rock solid, fast and easy to use: who can ask for more?"



Innovative Visual Effects and Illustration Tools Extend Maya's Leadership
Developed by Alias' principal scientist Duncan Brinsmead, an incredibly powerful new Toon Shader leverages Maya's unique Paint Effects to support a wide range of non-photorealistic rendering styles; it affords extensive control over line style, placement and width, and features interactive previews in near real-time of even the most complex scenes. Among the many enhancements in Maya Unlimited, Maya Hair can now be transplanted from one character to another, Maya Fur is now integrated with Maya's dynamic curve technology, and Maya Fluid Effects(tm) benefits from a new High Detail solve mode for dramatically increased realism.



Maya Platinum Members Get the Most out of Maya

The features and services of the Maya Platinum Membership program help maximize an investment in Maya. Members will experience minimal downtime with the improved delivery of hotline support. Resources have now been dedicated solely to tracking hotline cases and ensuring quick response times. Through the months of September and October 2005, Platinum members can take advantage of an interactive Web-based Maya 7 training call. This is in addition to receiving early access to the Maya 7 upgrade - a distinctive competitive advantage.



Pricing and Availability

Maya 7 is scheduled for release in August 2005 and pricing remains unchanged from Maya 6.5 - Maya Complete 7 is US $1999* and Maya Unlimited 7 is US $6999*. Upgrade pricing from 6.5 is US $899* for Maya Complete and US $1249* for Maya Unlimited. Both Maya Complete and Unlimited are available on the Windows®, Linux® and Mac OS® X platforms.

* International pricing may vary.



About Alias

As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops software for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, industrial design, automotive, architecture and visualization markets. Alias has headquarters in Toronto and a custom development center in Santa Barbara with offices worldwide. Please visit the Alias web site at www.alias.com or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America, 770 393 1881.



© Copyright 2005 Alias Systems Corp. All rights reserved. Alias, the swirl logo, Can You Imagine, MotionBuilder and Maya are registered trademarks, and Maya Paint Effects, Maya Fluid Effects and the Maya logo are trademarks of Alias Systems Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Adobe, Photoshop and Illustrator are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Macromedia and Flash are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc.Windows is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Mac OS is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH & CO. KG. in the United States and/or other countries. RenderMan is a registered trademark and MTOR is a trademark of Pixar Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned herein are trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Alias, 210 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 1J7, Tel: 416-362-9181, Fax: 416-369-6140.






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