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Maya Unlimited for Mac OS X Announced

Alias recently announced the impending availability of Maya Unlimited for the Mac OS X operating system at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). Responding to increasing customer demand from the Mac community, Alias is porting the entire Maya Unlimited feature set for Mac OS X with all tools that are available to artists with Maya Unlimited 6. Maya 6 is the latest version of the award-winning Maya software. Maya Unlimited 6 for Mac OS X will be available to purchase later this summer.

"Due to overwhelming, consistent demand from the Mac community we're thrilled to announce Maya Unlimited will soon be available for Mac OS X," says Bob Bennett, general manager, product management at Alias. "Combining Maya's most sophisticated 3D and special effects tools with Apple's advanced technology will allow Mac artists to integrate Maya Unlimited into their pipelines for endless creative possibilities."

"Our customers and Apple are thrilled about this widely anticipated release of Maya Unlimited for Mac OS X," says Ron Okamoto, Apple's vp of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Alias is bringing advanced 3D graphic tools to creative professionals, who rely on the stability, high performance and graphics engine of Mac OS X."

Since Maya Complete was released for Mac OS X in 2001, the enthusiasm of the Mac community for 3D software, and its potential for their workflow, has continued to grow. Sales figures for Maya consistently show approximately 29% of Maya Complete sales in North America on the Mac platform and approximately 20% globally (quarterly figures vary).

Alias continues to provide updated versions of Maya Personal Learning Edition for the Mac platform and in early June another Alias product debuted on the Mac platform - Alias SketchBook Pro. Alias SketchBook Pro is a consumer priced sketching, presenting and annotation software that is now available for both Mac OS X and Windows platforms.

"Maya Unlimited 6 for Mac OS X now literally puts all my tools right at my fingertips. The integration of Maya 6's ability to read layered Photoshop files has to be seen to be believed and is already bringing about a paradigm shift to my workflow," says Rob Magiera, founder of Noumena Digital. "Maya Unlimited's Hair, Cloth and Fluid Effects features add the last missing tools to my graphics arsenal, so now I'll be able to handle every part of a project without having to jump to another machine."

Maya Unlimited leverages Apple advanced technology to take full advantage of the benefits found with the latest Apple offerings. Features of Maya for Mac OS X include recent conversion of Maya to a Mach-O application, allowing plug-in developers to use Xcode from the Apple Developers Tools, AppleScript support for Maya Embedded Language (MEL - the Maya scripting language), Quartz rendering for marking menus and hotbox and QuickTime implementation throughout the entire package, from file reading to direct output from Maya renders to QuickTime and QuickTime output for Maya's playblast command.

The availability of Maya Unlimited for the Mac offers unlimited opportunity for artists. Maya Unlimited presents special effects features not found in Maya Complete, including: Maya Hair, Maya Cloth, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Fur and Maya Live.

* Maya HairThe Maya innovative Hair toolset features a dynamic curve simulation engine designed to enable long hair to be added to characters. The ability to braid, curl and style hair is perfectly integrated with the Maya dynamics engine, allowing for strikingly realistic hair movement with accurate collisions. In addition to long hair effects, the Maya Hair dynamic curves represent a major new entity that can be used anywhere NURBS curves are currently used, as well as lending themselves to other hair-like objects such as ropes, chains and wires. This allows such advanced animation effects as dynamic character rigs and surfaces to be easily achieved.

* Maya Cloth and Maya FurMaya Cloth allows animators to equip digital clothing to characters and Maya Fur provides creatures with realistic fur. Visual feedback of Cloth stress, stitching options, easy manipulation of Cloth Objects based on geometry, plus extensive caching functionality speed the creation and manipulation of realistic clothing and cloth effects. Artists using Maya Fur have the option to render Fur in mental ray for Maya - allowing them to achieve effects involving reflections, refractions, global illumination and caustics.

* Maya Fluid EffectsMaya Fluid Effects includes a true 3D solver and a highly interactive 2D solver that allows 2D fluid motion to be simulated in near realtime. In addition to creating natural phenomena, artists can use the fluids as an animated texture to give a unique look to a logo and many other typical studio projects. The effects that can be achieved include clouds, smoke, steam, fog, open water, fire, explosions, space effects, viscous liquids, molten solids and many more.

* Maya LiveMaya Live provides sophisticated matchmoving combining 2D live action with 3D elements. It provides greater flexibility, a fast, integrated 2D tracker and an interactive root frame solver. Maya Live also allows users to reconstruct live-action elements as 3D geometry plus output to external applications.

Maya Unlimited 6 for all platforms is priced at $6,999 and includes modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects, mental ray for Maya, MEL, along with Maya Unlimited specific features; Maya Hair, Maya Fluid Effects, Maya Fur, Maya Cloth and Maya Live. Maya Unlimited is also available for the Windows, Linux and IRIX operating systems. Maya Unlimited for Mac OS X will begin shipping in late summer 2004.

Maya Complete 6 for the Windows, IRIX, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems, is priced at $1,999 and is available to purchase through the Alias network of authorized resellers or online at: www.alias.com.

As a leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias (www.alias.com) develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, Web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara. Alias was recently purchased by Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

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