Microsoft Corp. Announces License Of MetaStream 3-D Technology From MetaCreations
CARPINTERIA, Calif., June 2, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. and MetaCreations Corp. (Nasdaq
) today announced that Microsoft has licensed the recently introduced MetaCreations MetaStream
™3-D graphics file format and related run-time engine for incorporation into future versions of its operating systems. MetaStream technology will be integrated into the Microsoft® DirectX® APIs, Microsoft multimedia services found in the Windows® operating system, and as a file format in DirectX (.X files) that will be supported by Advanced Streaming Format (ASF), a feature in the Microsoft NetShow
MetaStream technology enables developers to author content once to deliver both high-quality graphics on desktop PCs and also allow a highly effective user experience when the content is viewed over the Web. MetaStream content scales and progressively streams over the Internet and in PC games, adjusting to the performance of a user’s particular computer system. MetaStream-enabled content also takes advantage of DirectX-based high-performance graphics-software services for multimedia and game developers.
“Scalability is possibly the most critical issue to the success of 3-D because of the wide variations in bandwidth and processor power out there. There is a tremendous need to have a method of authoring content once for the various playback platforms,”
said Eric Engstrom, general manager of multimedia at Microsoft.
“We look forward to working with MetaCreations in bringing scalable 3-D to developers for Windows.”
“To make a real difference for consumers, new technology such as MetaStream must be rapidly dispersed so that content creators know there is a critical mass of playback engines and users in place to make their efforts worthwhile,”
said Bob Rice, vice president of strategic affairs at MetaCreations.
“The great news for MetaStream and MetaCreations is that Microsoft will be performing this function for the computing community in a way that simply is not otherwise possible,”
The MetaStream technology carries the unique additional benefit of giving Web-page designers the ability to set minimum frame rates for display of 3-D objects, ensuring consistent, high-quality viewing by all users, regardless of differences in bandwidth and processing power.
In addition to games and Web sites, the MetaStream 3-D file format could be beneficial to electronic-commerce, medical, scientific and distance learning applications. A major use of the technology is expected to involve inspection of, and interaction with, products offered for sale online.
DirectX is a group of API technologies designed by Microsoft to make Windows operating system-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3-D animation and surround sound.
Designers wishing to develop MetaStream-compatible content now have three directly compatible software tools to choose from – MetaCreations Infini-D
4.5, Ray Dream Studio
5 and Ray Dream 3D
– as well as the option of creating photorealistic models by using a commercial-quality 3-D scanner camera from Real3D Corp. Designers working with other 3-D modeling packages that export OBJ, DXF, 3DS and 3DMF files also can convert existing models by importing them into Ray Dream Studio 5 and then exporting objects as .MTS files.
MetaCreations is offering a specialty toolkit known as the MetaStream Game Toolkit (MGT) to the game development community. The MGT tools permit advanced artistic control of the process by which MetaStream-compatible objects will scale during game play, adjusting the processing power of a given machine. This allows 3-D games developers to assure a high-quality game-play experience across broad user groups without sacrificing visual complexity at the high end.
To see MetaStream in action and download the free browser plug-in for Windows, visit http://www.microsoft.com/directx/ for a link to the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 version of the MetaStream browser plug-in and (http://www.metastream.com/) , hosted by MetaCreations (connect-time charges may apply). A Macintosh-compatible version of the free MetaStream plug-in is now in development.
MetaCreations Corp. (Nasdaq
), the visual computing software company, designs, develops, publishes, markets and supports software tools and enabling technologies for creating, editing and manipulating computer graphic images, digital art and Web content on the
desktop for both professionals and consumers. Working with distributors around the world, MetaCreations professional and consumer software is available in more than 70 countries. The company’s headquarters are located in Santa Barbara County at 6303 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, Calif. 93013; telephone: (805) 566-6200; fax: (805) 566-6385. The company also has significant operations in Scotts Valley, Calif., and Princeton, N.J. MetaCreations’ International Operation Center is located in Wilson House, Fenian Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; telephone: 353 (1) 662-9333; World Wide Web site: (http://www.metacreations.com/) .
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.
Microsoft, DirectX, Windows and NetShow are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
MetaCreations, MetaStream, Ray Dream Studio, Ray Dream 3D and Infini-D are either registered trademarks or trademarks of MetaCreations Corp.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.