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Massive Jet Launched

Massive Software announced Massive Jet, a new autonomous agent 3D animation application that enables the creation of large-scale, believable digital crowd shots "out of the box" with high quality and a low learning curve. A full-functioning package priced under $6,000, Massive Jet leverages the company's Academy Award-winning artificial life-based technology, pre-built Ready-to-Run Agent library and GPU-accelerated rendering support to allow animators and artists at any facility to quickly and easily produce highly realistic Massive scenes.

Massive Jet will be demonstrated this week at SIGGRAPH 2005 from booth #1346.

"We wanted to build a product everyone can use," said Stephen Regelous, founder and product manager, Massive Software. "Massive Jet offers a low learning curve and the power to produce Massive crowds at a cost within reach of all animation professionals. Using a single license of Massive Jet and agents from our Ready-to-Run Agent Library, you can easily fill a stadium, send a thousand people down the block or stage a huge medieval battle."

"Visual effects companies creating customized crowd behaviors outside those found in our agent library would still use our original flagship product,Massive 2.0," said Diane Holland, ceo, Massive Software. "For whole new groups of clients such as the smaller 3D shops, or post houses with limited3D capability that just need some crowds to comp into a shot, there's the more economical Massive Jet."

Massive Jet takes advantage of Ready-to-Run Agents, which Massive customers can use to short cut the pre-production process and create animation automatically for typical crowd scenarios in just a few steps. Each agent is pre-built with skeletons, geometry, cloth, rigid body dynamics, textures, shaders, controls and high-quality motion capture actions provided by industry leaders Giant Studios and House of Moves.

Users simply load terrain and camera from their 3D package, drop in aReady-to-Run Agent or a custom agent built with a license of Massive 2.0 then light the simulation and render the scene.

Ready-to-Run Agents are currently being rolled out for: Locomotion Extras for digital background characters that run, walk, stand and sit;Spectator Set for the actions and reactions of arena crowds; BackgroundExtras for low-key background activities such as milling around in a plaza or mall; and Combat for fight scenes with characters such as theMedieval Swordsman.

Turning around and fine-tuning finished scenes in either Massive product is now faster and easier. With GPU-accelerated rendering recently launched for the Massive product line, huge-scale shots can be rendered 30 times faster at film quality without a render farm or additional software.Massive Jet customers can use desktop-based OpenGL solutions, currently including NVIDIA's Quadro FX 3000 or higher, for a cost-effective crowd-creation pipeline from start to finish.

Massive Jet includes the same world-leading artificial life-based responsive agent technology in the company's original premier product, Massive 2.0. The full-featured Massive Jet includes Smart Stunts_ for responsive digital stunt moves, Massive's powerful Cloth tools, rigid body dynamics, terrain adaptation and high-level controls to create life-like animations. As in Massive 2.0, users can generate unlimited numbers of characters with virtually limitless variation and a wide range of human and non-human-specific skeletons, such as birds, insects, aliens, cars or fantasy creatures.

Massive 2.0, currently shipping, continues to bring top-end facilities the ability to create custom agents and edit their response systems ("brains"), motion trees, Smart Stunts, cloth simulations and dynamics from the ground up for highly customized agents and motion in an artist-friendly node-basedUI.

Massive Jet is expected to be available in Q4 2005 for $5,990 per license. Massive 2.0 is available now, with licenses priced at $18,000.

Massive Jet and Massive 2.0 both run on Red Hat 7.3, 9.0, Fedora Core 2. For optimum performance, a 2-3 GHz Pentium Processor, 1-2 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA Quadro Graphics Card are recommended.

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Massive Software (www.massivesoftware.com) is a leading developer of artificial intelligence-based 3D animation systems. Included in the software is its Smart Stunts feature, Ready-to-Run Agent Library and Massive Live realtime animation system. Massive is used by leading digital production and effects studios, including Weta Digital, The Mill, Animal Logic, Rhythm & Hues and Digital Domain. In 2004, Massive was honored with a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and with a Technical Innovation Award at the 3D Awards in Copenhagen.

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