Softimage Enters Technology Alliance With Imageware
MONTREAL, Jan. 21, 1998 — Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced a strategic agreement to license the industry-leading modeling technology developed by Imageware. The incorporation of Imageware’s technology into Softimage’s next-generation animation system, code-named “Sumatra , ” will extend the cutting-edge modeling capabilities under development at Softimage. This alliance solidifies Softimage’s commitment to deliver the most compelling end-to-end solution for 3-D content production, encompassing best-of-breed capabilities in modeling, animation and rendering.
The standard for professional computer animation, SOFTIMAGE® |3D today provides industry-leading power and flexibility to 3-D digital artists. While the benchmarks for modeling tools have traditionally been set by CAD products, Softimage is breaking new ground by pairing the Imageware modeling engine with its hallmark workflow and interface. The modeling tools in “Sumatra” will help digital artists create seamless, detailed characters much more simply than is currently possible, combining an animation-oriented interface and workflow with an advanced suite of surface construction, modification and continuity tools. Artists using “Sumatra” will find that this tool set helps them surmount what have traditionally been the most challenging factors in creating realistic digital characters.
“This agreement strengthens Softimage’s position as the leading provider of cutting-edge animation, modeling and rendering solutions for the most demanding users in the industry,” said Moshe Lichtman, president of Softimage. “After careful evaluation and research of kernel modeling systems, Softimage has determined that Imageware offers the most advanced modeling technology on the market today, and we are confident in our ability to deliver the finest tools through this alliance.”
“There is a tremendous synergy and proven history between Softimage and Imageware,” said Larry Mueller, CEO of Imageware. “Along the way, we have established a proven relationship with Softimage by developing plug-ins for SOFTIMAGE|3D through the Softimage Partners Program. Moving forward, the inclusion of our modeling architecture into ‘Sumatra’ will take this alliance to a new level – which translates to superior modeling capabilities for end users of forthcoming Softimage products.”
Proven Technology in Real-World Production Environments
Over the last year, the special projects division at Softimage has been working closely with Imageware and key Softimage customers to fulfill the advanced modeling requirements of the digital authoring industry. According to David Morin, director of special projects and content group, “Our team focuses on custom development for Softimage users. Recent Hollywood projects have demonstrated clearly that digital characters are better built as a network of NURBS, often derived from scanned data.. The Imageware modeling engine offers a complete array of functions that are just perfect for all that.”
“Sumatra” is Softimage’s next-generation 3-D animation system. It is the world’s first nonlinear animation system extending the current workflow for 3-D animation more fluidly into
the overall production process. With a revolutionary new tool set, interactive feedback and fully scalable animation control, “Sumatra” will significantly change the animation paradigm, simplifying the workload for digital artists. “Sumatra” is due to ship later this year.
Founded in 1986, Softimage develops software for media-rich applications including video, film, interactive games and CD-ROM applications. Products include SOFTIMAGE|DS (video production); SOFTIMAGE|3D (3-D animation); SOFTIMAGE|EDDIE (compositing) and Toonz (2-D cel animation). The company was acquired in 1994 by Microsoft. Additional information about Softimage and Microsoft can be found via the Internet at (http://www.softimage.com/) and http://www.microsoft.com/ , respectively.
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