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GenArts Releases Sapphire 4

GenArts Inc. announced the immediate availability of Sapphire Plug-ins version 4 for Autodesk compositing and editing systems.

Version 4 contains all of the visual effects and features that have established Sapphire Plug-ins as an indispensable part of the digital artist's toolkit, and introduces more than 45 innovative new effects, including: FilmDamage, FilmEffect, DeinterlaceAuto, ZDefocus, Cartoon, Light3D and TextureFlux. Many of the new plug-ins were designed to enhance the user's workflow.

"GenArts continues to set the high bar on clever, useful tools for our Autodesk systems. They've got some fun new sparks in v4 that make for interesting visual trickery, but my personal favorites are the utilities that make my compositing jobs easier and put order back in my life," said Dave Waller of Brickyard VFX.

Sapphire Plug-ins 4 also features new LensFlares and Glares, totally revamped RackDefocus, and enhanced performance. The user interface has been improved across the board including a new automatic down-sampling option for realtime interactivity.

"GenArts has once again proven that Sapphire is the most versatile and robust set of plug-ins available for the Autodesk platform today," added Jeroen Schulte of Condor Post Production in Amsterdam. "Unparalleled options and speed optimization -- with a healthy mix of new plug-ins and updated favorites -- will continue to keep Sapphire ahead of the pack. For us, it's the only plug-in suite we use when we're faced with the toughest creative challenges."

Anish Dhanda, managing director of GenArts, added, "Because our Autodesk customers continue to define the cutting edge in visual effects creation, we listened carefully to their feedback in the design and development stages of this new release. The input we received contributed greatly to version 4."

New features include:

* FilmDamage simulates aged film by adding scratches, dust, stains, grain, shake, flicker, etc.* FilmEffect models film exposure and processing to make your video footage look like it was shot on film.* DeinterlaceAuto detects the pulldown pattern in a clip and automatically deinterlaces or reinterlaces it.* ZDefocus defocuses areas of the source clip by different amounts using depth values from a z-buffer input.* Cartoon gives cartoon-like looks with exaggerated edges and flat areas of color.* Light3D performs 3D relighting of a clip using an input clip describing the surface normals.

Sapphire Plug-ins version 4 for Autodesk compositing and editing systems can be purchased directly from GenArts or through their worldwide channel of Autodesk authorized resellers. Pricing for Sapphire 4 is: $,6000 for Autodesk Flint SD and Smoke SD; $10,000 for Flame, Flint HD and Smoke HD; $14,000 for Inferno; and $900 for Burn. Existing version 3 customers qualify for special upgrade pricing of $1,800, $2,800, $3,800 and $250, respectively. For IRIX users, there is no additional charge to transfer version 4 to Linux. A free trial of the software is available online at the GenArts website.

Founded in 1996 in Cambridge, Mass., GenArts Inc. ( is the premier provider of digital visual effects plug-ins for the film, broadcast and video industries. Their product, Sapphire Plug-ins, equips digital artists with a collection of over 190 state-of-the-art image processing and synthesis effects such as: Glows, EdgeRays, LensFlare, Lightning, FilmEffect, Warps and Textures. The effects seamlessly integrate into a number of editing and compositing systems, including: Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro; Apple Final Cut Pro and Shake; Avid AVX Products; Autodesk Compositing & Editing Systems and Combustion; Eyeon Fusion; Sony XPRI; and Quantel generationQ products.