MONTREAL, May 21, 1998 — Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced that SOFTIMAGE® |3D was the exclusive animation tool used by Centropolis Effects (CFX) to animate Godzilla and other characters for
the much-anticipated feature film. Opening this week,
is the latest in a string of more than 30 major feature films in which SOFTIMAGE|3D has been used to deliver stunning character animation and computer graphics effects.
“To create a creature of this caliber and complexity, we needed a software package with the power, flexibility and speed to animate at a high level of quality in a very compressed time frame,”
said Steven Puri, president of Centropolis Effects.
“By choosing SOFTIMAGE|3D as our sole character animation platform, we were able to complete more than 220 creature shots in just 10 months with 15 animators. We could not have done this project without SOFTIMAGE|3D and the Special Projects Group.”
CFX used SOFTIMAGE|3D for character animation as well as for lighting and texturing of Godzilla. CFX also employed Softimage mental ray® for rendering of the creature.
The Softimage Special Projects Team, a group of highly trained Softimage product and technology experts based in the Softimage Los Angeles studio, worked closely with CFX to meet the unprecedented demands of the
production. These development efforts have been integrated into SOFTIMAGE|3D version 3.8, currently in beta release.
“The ‘Godzilla’ production is another example of how SOFTIMAGE|3D continues to evolve in the context of demanding production environments, thereby translating bleeding-edge technology into tools for our entire customer base,”
said John McQueen, director of marketing for Softimage.
Softimage was also used as the common denominator between all facilities that delivered digital imagery of the creatures for
Collaborators such as Vision Arts, Pixel Liberation Front and Sony Pictures Image Works also used SOFTIMAGE|3D for character animation.
Creating a Monster
The frighteningly realistic 900MB Godzilla character was brought to life on the big screen using the full complement of Softimage 3-D tools. The creature consisted of 200 NURBS surfaces, each containing up to six texture layers. In all, 329 Constraints and 459 Expressions were used, linking every aspect of Godzilla’s motion to easy-to-manipulate 3-D control objects.
In addition to animating the Godzilla character and its progeny, SOFTIMAGE|3D was used to animate the climactic scene in which Godzilla’s terror reigns on a computer graphics version of the Brooklyn Bridge. The animators created links to less than a dozen controls, allowing quick synchronization of the bridge’s motion with the Godzilla character. The result is an unbelievably realistic sequence in which Godzilla interacts seamlessly with the detailed features of the bridge, including the difficult-to-animate suspension cables. This technique gave
the animators greater creative freedom than would have been possible by matching live action or model shots.
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 on the Internet at http://www.softimage.com/ and http://www.microsoft.com/, respectively.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.
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