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3ds max 7 to Integrate ATI Pixel Shader

Discreet 3ds max 7 will utilize ATI shader technology to provide impressive realtime hardware accelerated rendering in the 3ds max viewport. Created for game developers, 3D visual effects artists and artists creating 3D cinematics, the co-developed technology by Discreet and ATI will make a realtime 3D image rendered in the 3ds max viewport appear close in appearance to the final offline rendered 3D image or animation. This will enable 3ds max 7 software to have access to virtually unlimited shader instructions on the visual processing unit (VPU), improving animation workflow and decreasing trial and error sessions.

The ATI shader technology called Ashli will also enable 3ds max software artists to standardize on High Level Shading Language (HLSL) shading language and the .FX file format from Microsoft by providing multipass shader support for HLSL language. The net result is that 3D artists will be able to render very complex and shader-rich environments in realtime inside the 3ds max viewport, not possible on earlier VPUs.

"The ability to create realtime previews with Discreet 3ds max software standard materials is a breakthrough that will enable a new level of creativity from artists and designers," said Dinesh Sharma, director, Workstation Products, ATI. "Our close technology co-development partnership with Discreet is now delivering real performance and feature advantages for game developers, artists and content-creators worldwide."

Some of the benefits include:

* ATI FireGL graphics cards are at the heart of a new workflow for 3ds max 7 artists* The realtime viewport is fully DirectX based* Ashli technology enables seamless use of realtime shaders in 3ds max 7* Enables users of OpenGL renderer access to realtime shading technology* Ashli technology is also a critical enabler for the new Normal Map authoring framework in 3ds max 7 software. Ashli technology allows realtime preview of the normal maps generated in 3ds max 7.

Discreet plans on shipping 3ds max 7 in the fall.

Discreet's award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, color grading and editing to animation, game development, Web/interactive and design visualization. Discreet (www.discreet.com) is based in Montreal, Quebec, and is a division of Autodesk Inc, the leading design and digital media creation, management and distribution company.

Ontario, Canada-based ATI Technologies Inc. (www.ati.com) is a leader in the design and manufacture of innovative 3D graphics and digital media silicon solutions. An industry pioneer since 1985, ATI is a foremost visual processor unit (VPU) provider and is dedicated to deliver leading-edge performance solutions for the full range of PC and Mac desktop and notebook platforms, workstation, set-top and digital television, game console and handheld markets.