Softimage Releases SOFTIMAGE-GDK for SOFTIMAGE|3D v3.7SP1

Softimage Releases SOFTIMAGE|GDK for SOFTIMAGE|3D v3.7SP1

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 5, 1998 — At the Computer Game Developers Conference (CGDC) today, Softimage Inc. announced the release of the SOFTIMAGE® |GDK (Game Development Kit), an advanced, cross-platform, C++ developer kit that makes it simple to customize the import/export animation dataflow for SOFTIMAGE|3D. An extension to the existing SOFTIMAGE|SDK (Software Development Kit), the SOFTIMAGE|GDK is a high-level C++ API that automatically handles all the details of accessing and modifying SOFTIMAGE|3D data.

With the SOFTIMAGE|GDK, in-house games developers can quickly and easily create plug-ins to transfer data in and out of SOFTIMAGE|3D. By automatically handling all the low-level details of accessing and modifying SOFTIMAGE|3D plug-in data, the SOFTIMAGE|GDK eliminates the need for developers to learn a low-level API and frees them to focus on game content and optimization.

The SOFTIMAGE|GDK adds a powerful fourth element to the existing SOFTIMAGE|SDK, which already comprises robust tools including SAAPHIRE (Softimage Advanced API for Relations and Elements), the mental ray® Developer’s Kit and the Channels Developer’s Kit. The SOFTIMAGE|GDK, combined with the existing games-specific functionality found in SOFTIMAGE|3D, delivers the most complete and compelling solution specifically designed for games development.

“We’re dedicated to the needs of game developers, and we’ve designed the SOFTIMAGE|GDK to help accelerate development cycles,”
said Dan Kraus, SOFTIMAGE|3D technical product manager at Softimage.
“The SOFTIMAGE|GDK will make it far easier for interactive games developers to get data into and out of SOFTIMAGE|3D.”

“We have found that SOFTIMAGE|GDK lessens development time significantly,”
said Jeff Lander, co-founder of Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Darwin 3D.
“The GDK allows our programmers to extract information exactly as intended by our artists, reducing production pathway headaches. Where labor-intensive development tools were once needed, now a simple plug-in that can be easily created in a few hours usually does the trick.”

The SOFTIMAGE|GDK includes powerful automatic filtering features such as Smart Animation Compression and Key-Frame Filtering, which are crucial in preparing complex animations for download to target platforms. In addition, the SOFTIMAGE|GDK features a wealth of sample source code designed to be customized, allowing developers to take advantage of advanced features without requiring full knowledge of the API. Sample code includes the following:

  • ASCII Import/Export/Viewer – a viewer that converts a SOFTIMAGE|3D scene to an easily readable and parsable file format based on the Microsoft® DirectX®
    .X file format

  • GC_Merge – a tool that merges multiple mesh models into a single mesh while preserving mesh surface attributes

  • GC_Plugin – a generic template plug-in that can be used as a starting point for new plug-ins

SOFTIMAGE|GDK plug-ins can run seamlessly in the SOFTIMAGE|3D user interface or as standalone applications. In addition, all plug-ins developed with the SOFTIMAGE|GDK will be forward-compatible with future versions of both SOFTIMAGE|3D and
“Sumatra,”
the code name for Softimage’s next-generation 3-D animation system.

Price and Availability

SOFTIMAGE|GDK for SOFTIMAGE|3D version 3.7SP1 is compatible with the current shipping version of SOFTIMAGE|3D and requires that the current version of the SOFTIMAGE|SDK be installed before use. The SOFTIMAGE|GDK will be available to all developers free of charge during CGDC at Softimage’s 3D Suite, Technical Seminar and Sales Seminars. After the show, all registered SOFTIMAGE|SDK developers under maintenance but not attending CGDC will be shipped the SOFTIMAGE|GDK automatically. Future releases of the SOFTIMAGE|GDK will be incorporated in the SOFTIMAGE|SDK.

About Softimage

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 (high-end 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.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Softimage is a registered trademark of Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

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Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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