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Discreet Releases combustion 4 Desktop Compositing Software

Discreet announced combustion 4 software, the highly anticipated upgrade to its visual effects desktop software solution. combustion software for Windows and Macintosh will feature a complete set of sophisticated tools for visual effects creation, including vector paint, particles, effects, animation and 3D compositing tools. Version 4 provides motion graphics and compositing artists new creative capabilities, interface improvements, new paint tools and enhanced interoperability with most 3D animation products, including Discreet's 3ds max animation software, its cleaner encoding software and such systems products as flint, flame, inferno, fire and smoke.

Chris Williamson, a combustion 4 beta tester at New Zealand effects facility Martin Square Prods., said, "The newest version of combustion will be the best yet in my opinion; there is something in it for every caliber of effects artist. It will include the kind of cool new features that make you go 'wow'. There are plenty of enhancements to make combustion work better within your pipeline-along with base level features making workflow throughput faster and more versatile"

"combustion 4 continues our mission to offer unparalleled creativity at affordable prices, addressing the needs of the independent artist and smaller boutique as much as those of the large, more specialized production facility, added Martin Vann, vp of worldwide sales and marketing, Discreet.

Key new features include:

* Discreet's Diamond Keyer-the second generation of sophisticated keying algorithms derived from flame, Discreet's Academy Award-winning online visual effects system. The Diamond Keyer adds a new level of advanced keying technology to the capabilities already available to combustion users via the Discreet Keyer.

* Time-Warp-a fully key-frameable, time-remapping operator for quickly creating slow motion and speed-up effects

* B-spline vector shapes and new point-grouping for faster, more efficient rotoscoping

* New optimized 'Fast Gaussian Blur'

* Custom capsules-create and save encapsulated single or grouped operator nodes

* Gbuffer builder-enables custom building of Discreet's Rich Pixel Format (RPF) data structures from bitmap files for more extensive use of combustion's RPF nodes

* Merge operator-new optimized operator to quickly merge 2 layers of the same size using any of combustion's transfer nodes

* Numerous UI enhancements including edit-operator, navigation, filtering and compare tool improvements

* New file import/export options-import of images into color mixer, import ASE (ASCII Scene Export) camera targets from 3ds max, import Windows Media, Open EXR compatible output

* Enhanced paint-new paint tools, grids & rulers, Bspline in paint and new customized brushes

* Ability to read media directly from Discreet stone file-systems for enhanced interoperability with Discreet's online systems: inferno, fire, smoke, flame, flint and backdraft

combustion 4 is expected to be available for Windows in March and for Macintosh in May. combustion 4 software will sell for $995; upgrade pricing from combustion 3 to combustion 4 software will be $249. Customers who purchase a full commercial or educational seat of combustion 3 software between the announcement date and the shipping date, can qualify for a free upgrade to combustion 4 software.

Discreet's 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 Montréal, Canada and is the media and entertainment division of Autodesk Inc. (www.autodesk.com), the leading design and digital media creation, management and distribution company.

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