Avid Kicks-Off ‘SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool Lock & Load’ Challenge

Avid Technology Inc. announced the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool Lock & Load Challenge. The challenge sponsored in part by HP, NVIDIA and Gamedev.net gives gamers the opportunity to win more than $25,000US in prizes for developing mods modified content for popular video games using the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool v4.2, the freely available version of the companys professional 3D animation software. Setting a new standard for gamers and modders alike, the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool extends the life of popular games by giving users the power to produce their own characters, props and environments for export directly into a game. Current game engines supported by the Mod Tool include Source by Valve and Epics Unreal Engine.

Judges will be looking for original, compelling characters created with the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool and exported into supported games such as HALF-LIFE 2, COUNTER-STRIKE: SOURCE and UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2004. Criteria will include visual excellence and quality of animation. Quality and efficiency of the geometry, texture maps and animations will also be taken into consideration. Credit may be awarded for unusually creative or original character ideas, provided they work normally in multiplayer gaming scenarios.

The top three winners will receive an HP xw9300 Workstation with a professional license of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. The HP xw9300 Workstation provides customers with the company's most powerful 64-bit personal workstation delivering advanced performance and visualization for compute intensive environments. Supporting, for the first time, dual PCI Express x16 graphics and dual AMD Opteron processors, the HP xw9300 meets the combined needs for computational and visualization power and I/O performance while helping to lower total cost of ownership.

Additional prizes will include NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 graphics cards, copies of XSI FOUNDATION, SOFTIMAGE training DVDs and books. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool Lock & Load Challenge begins April 4, and entries are due no later that 12:00 am EST, July 1, 2005. Judging will take place between July 11-22 and winners will be announced on stage during the Softimage User Group meeting held during SIGGRAPH 2005, and on Aug. 3 at www.softimage.com.

The panel of judges includes:

* Carey Chico, art director, Pandemic Studios* Paul Marino, executive director, Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences* Garry Newman, founder, Garrys Mod* James Rogers, games specialist, SOFTIMAGE* Ben Sawyer, founder, Digital Mill and Serious Games Summit* Mark Schoennagel, sr. demo artist, SOFTIMAGE* Danny Scot, Content Manager, Planet Half-Life* Tommy Tallarico, host, writer & co-producer, Electric Playground

For more information and official contest rules, please visit: www.softimage.com/challenge. The Mod Tool and add-ons are available for download at www.softimage.com/products/Mod/v42/downloads/.

Avid Technology (www.avid.com), headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is a world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively and creatively.

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