Softimage Announces New SOFTIMAGE-DS Version 2.0 SDK And Availability of SOFTIMAGE-SDK Version 1.8

ORLANDO, Fla., July 20, 1998 — Softimage Inc. announced today at SIGGRAPH 98 the release of the final beta of the SOFTIMAGE® |DS version 2.0 software developers kit (SDK), an advanced toolkit for building cutting-edge effects plug-ins for SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0.

Using the open, extensible architecture of SOFTIMAGE|DS, the SDK provides access to the interface and programming tools used by SOFTIMAGE|DS developers and allows third-party programmers to efficiently create plug-ins that integrate seamlessly into the SOFTIMAGE|DS environment.

In addition, the company announced the shipment of SOFTIMAGE|SDK 1.8, the SDK upgrade for SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8, which provides developers with deeper access into SOFTIMAGE|3D and programmatic control over custom shaders and channel drivers. A key new component to the SOFTIMAGE|SDK 1.8 is a powerful tool for game developers, the SOFTIMAGE|GDK (game development kit). The GDK is a high-level C++ API, covering the subset of the current SOFTIMAGE|SDK functionality most important to games developers. With this new API, developers will be able to quickly and efficiently design and implement custom conversion tools between SOFTIMAGE|3D and real-time engines.

SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK Now in Beta

With C++ base classes, wizards, utilities and sample code, the SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK is a comprehensive development environment that allows developers to quickly construct and modify data elements specifically for SOFTIMAGE|DS. The SDK allows third parties and SOFTIMAGE|DS customers to create customized effects including 2-D video and audio, 3-D digital video effects (DVEs), enhanced paint and keying features.

“The SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK continues our commitment to provide full support to the development community through SDKs, as well as ongoing technical and marketing support,”
said Rebecca Warner, third-party marketing manager at Softimage.
“We believe this SDK is an important contribution to the industry, since the resulting third-party plug-ins offer features that further strengthen the SOFTIMAGE|DS environment and allow digital artists and editors to create even more compelling content.”

Early adopters of the SOFTIMAGE|DS SDK betas include 5D Software, Artel, The Foundry, Photron USA, and Ultimatte Corp., which have all successfully created and shipped plug-ins that act as valuable enhancements to SOFTIMAGE|DS versions 1.0 and 2.0.

“Softimage SDKs are key tools in our efforts to reduce development time, allowing us to continue to deliver useful plug-ins in a timely manner,”
said Marc Dando, sales and marketing director, 5D Software.
“We plan to fully utilize the SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK beta to provide even more functionality in 5D Monsters for SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0.”

SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK effects can process multiple media types and be applied to clips, tracks, time lines, layers, paint strokes and audio strips. Capabilities include the following:

  • Image effects, including filters, DVEs, transitions, source generators, time-based effects and keyers

  • Graphic paint effects, allowing image effects to be applied to brush strokes for paint capabilities

  • Audio effects, including time-based effects and filters

In addition, the SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK delivers Microsoft® Visual C++® development system effect wizards to simplify development and boost productivity, as well as access to C++ base classes for effects, property pages and interactive tools.

SOFTIMAGE|SDK 1.8 Provides Improved Conduit With SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8

Already a venerable tool set for developers of professional-quality enhancements to the Softimage product line, the new SOFTIMAGE|SDK will provide even more powerful access to the industry-leading 3-D animation package, SOFTIMAGE|3D. The improved SDK will allow customers and members of the Softimage Partners Program to create increasingly diverse plug-in solutions to complement the more than 50 shipping products currently available to users of SOFTIMAGE|3D. Developers will be able to take advantage of a robust development environment that includes four components: SAAPHIRE (Softimage Advanced API for Relations and Elements), SOFTIMAGE|GDK, Channels and mental ray
™
development kits. Highlights of SOFTIMAGE|SDK 1.8 include the following:

  • More control of the SOFTIMAGE|3D user interface

  • Convenience functions to access scene animation data and actions

  • More low-level, detailed access to modeling data

  • Access to the new audio capabilities of SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8

  • The SOFTIMAGE|GDK, a new SOFTIMAGE|SDK conponent added specifically for game and real-time application developers, providing functions to quickly design and implement custom conversion tools between SOFTIMAGE|3D and real-time engines

Pricing and Availability

The SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK will be available early August 1998 to third-party developers through the Softimage Partners Program. The program provides Softimage software, SDKs, technical and marketing support to commercial developers interested in creating and marketing plug-in enhancements for Softimage products including SOFTIMAGE|3D and SOFTIMAGE|DS. Membership to the SOFTIMAGE|DS component requires successful application and $1,500 (U.S.) annually. In addition, the SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 SDK will be available to SOFTIMAGE|DS 2.0 customers via resellers for $1,000 (U.S.).

The SOFTIMAGE|SDK and Softimage Partners Program membership pricing remains unchanged with this release. Commercial developers of 3-D applications require successful application and an annual membership fee of $1,000 (U.S.) to join the Softimage Partners Program, and SOFTIMAGE|3D customers can purchase the SDK for $750 (U.S.) directly from resellers.

Commercial developers interested in joining the Softimage Partners Program may call (514) 634-7706 or e-mail a request to PartnersProgram@okeefeltd.com. A complete catalog of SOFTIMAGE|3D and SOFTIMAGE|DS plug-ins and enhancement products can be found on the Softimage Web site at http://softimage.com/3rdParty/ .

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.

Microsoft and Visual C++ are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images Gesellschaft fur Computerfilm und Maschinenintelligenz mbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany. All rights reserved.

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


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