ORLANDO, Fla., July 20, 1998 — Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced at SIGGRAPH 98 the shipment of its end-to-end 3-D animation tool, SOFTIMAGE® |3D version 3.8 for the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system and SGI IRIX. SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8 builds on the Softimage tradition of developing cutting-edge animation software, providing an enhanced tool set designed for better management of complex character animation data and more efficient games production. In addition to a host of new features, SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8 introduces several new tools indicative of the forthcoming revolutionary product code-named “Sumatra” and provides an essential link to “Twister,” the next-generation rendering system from Softimage.
“The new tools in SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8 will significantly improve the character animation workflow for production users,” said David Miller, SOFTIMAGE|3D product manager. “SOFTIMAGE|3D remains an industry benchmark and the first choice of animators who require the highest-quality animation tool set for taking projects from start to finish.”
New features in version 3.8 provide better data management and more efficient game production. Feature highlights of the new version include the following:
Animation Sequencer. Implemented through the DopeSheet, the Animation Sequencer provides high-level animation control for rapid, intuitive animation of segmented characters. The Animation Sequencer also allows users to create and save “actions” for each character and to build libraries of actions.
Interactive Polygon Reduction. This tool allows animators to interactively control model polygon count by simply moving a slider. The tool also provides users with direct control over surface attributes, such as vertex colors, shading normals, etc.
Resolution-Independent Enveloping Tools. These tools allow animators to copy, paste and transfer weights between envelopes of different resolutions.
3-D Paint. With 3-D Paint, animators are now able to paint directly on all geometry types (NURBS, patches, polygons and MetaClay).
SOFTIMAGE|3D 3.8 at Work
“Centropolis could not have created the animation for ‘Godzilla’ without SOFTIMAGE|3D,” said Steven Puri, president of Centropolis Effects. “Several special features created for the ‘Godzilla’ production have been incorporated into version 3.8. Now, animators around the world have access to some of the same tools used by Centropolis to create the creature effects that we delivered for ‘Godzilla.'”
New Performance Breakthroughs
Softimage is dedicated to delivering the most powerful solution for 3-D production on the Windows NT and SGI IRIX platforms. With version 3.8, Softimage has furthered its commitment to take advantage of the developments that exploit SGI’s latest graphics capabilities, increasing textured-mode performance by up to 40 percent. Specifically, textured objects are updated much faster in the Shaded view and the 3-D and 2-D paint user interface. This comes as a result of SOFTIMAGE|3D optimizations that make optimum use of OpenGL.
SOFTIMAGE|3D is the most complete high-end 3-D animation suite available and provides tools that are critical for animation and effects in the film, broadcast and game industries. With a long history of high-profile successes, SOFTIMAGE|3D has the largest trained base of users of any high-end package, and for 10 years it has been the industry choice for character animation in the games, film and commercial animation markets. The advanced workflow and intuitive operation of SOFTIMAGE|3D are unparalleled in the industry and yield superior-quality results and return on investment. Softimage’s long-standing relationships with key players in the film, commercial and games industries have helped fuel its success.
Pricing and Availability
Version 3.8 is immediately available, free of charge, to all SOFTIMAGE|3D customers under a valid maintenance contract.
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.
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Softimage general information:
United States and Canada: (800) 576-3846
International: (818) 365-1359
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