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Discreet Acquires Unreal Pictures

Discreet has purchased Unreal Pictures, developers of the advanced, award-winning character animation tool, character studio. This transaction brings in patents and core character studio technology allowing Discreet to further advance the state-of-the-art in intuitive character animation.

Renowned Unreal Pictures' research software scientists Dr. Michael Girard and Susan Amkraut, along with developer Michael Zyracki, will join Discreet as a result of this transaction. This team of engineering veterans will continue to work together with Discreet's core animation development team -- located in San Francisco, California, and Montreal, Quebec -- to advance character animation to the next level benefiting Discreet's customers. character studio is already one of the most widely used character animation solutions in the world with more than 100,000 seats installed.

"Ground-breaking character animation technology is core to the future successes of stunning high-end 3D animations in films, games and even visualizations," said Paul Lypaczewski, gm of Discreet and evp of Autodesk. "This acquisition positions Discreet to deliver unmatched value to our customers with intuitive workflow, ease of use, and unmatched motion-picture quality. We are excited to build on the excellent track record between Discreet and Unreal Pictures, formally uniting the two."

"Together our two organizations are better positioned to fulfill our common vision of making character animation accessible to a far broader range of users," said Michael Girard, president of Unreal Pictures. "We are thrilled to join the Discreet team and to bring this exciting technology to its next frontier to the benefit of our customers."

Available as an extension to Discreet's professional 3D animation software, 3ds max, character studio allows artists to create advanced character animations, simplify complex animation tasks and seamlessly incorporate motion capture data into animation production workflows.

character studio 4 received the Computer Graphics World 2002 Innovation Award as the product that represents true innovation having significantly removed technical, aesthetic and process-intensive barriers for animators. Discreet character studio software is designed to simplify the character animation processes with highly specialized tools that streamline motion flow, blending and layering, motion capture data processing, footstep editing, gravitational vertical dynamics and crowd animation.

Discreet's ( award-winning systems and software are developed for digital media creation, management and delivery-across all disciplines from visual effects and editing to animation, game development, Web/interactive design and design visualization. Discreet is a division of Autodesk Inc., the leading design and digital media creation, management and distribution company.