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mental mill Artist Edition Offers Breakthrough for Hardware Shaders

mental images announced the upcoming availability of mental mill Artist Edition at the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco. mental images is known for providing artists and visual effects professionals with leading edge software tools to render their imagination visible such as mental ray and now mental mill, which is a breakthrough technology for the creation of hardware shaders in all popular formats.

The mental mill Artist Edition software enables artists and other professionals to develop, test and maintain shaders through an intuitive graphical user interface with realtime visual feedback -- without the need for programming skills. Complex cooperating shader networks for generating photorealistic effects can also be encapsulated together into Phenomena by artists without any programming knowledge.

Providing creative control to non-technical artists greatly reduces "look" turnaround time during high-pressure game development cycles and challenging visual effects and design visualization projects. It introduces a new level of photorealistic visualization for many users by eliminating the need for the hand-coding of shaders. The only way to previously achieve this level of photorealism was to employ dedicated shader programming experts. In addition to the need for this technology in the entertainment space, the mental mill Artist Edition will allow new users, including those in the engineering, product design or marketing space, to access the full power of NVIDIA hardware.

Because of the close cooperation between NVIDIA and mental images, this groundbreaking tool will be made available for free along with FX Composer 2.0.

"The mental mill Artist Edition complements our FX Composer 2 technology perfectly," said Sébastien Dominé, NVIDIA's director of Developer Technology Tools. "We have worked hard to make the interoperability between these two tools seamless and we look forward to opening up the creation of hardware shaders to an entirely new category of non-technical design professionals. We will ship the best of both worlds...more power for artists and additional optimization abilities for programmers and shader specialists."

"The industries we serve have an ever-growing need for a high degree of realism and realtime performance, which today are provided by NVIDIA's graphics processors," added Rolf Herken, ceo/cto of mental images. "Now we will enable artists and other content creators to be much more productive for projects ranging from CAD visualization to the creation of videogames and online virtual worlds."

mental images GmbH (www.mentalimages.com) is a privately held company based in Berlin, Germany, with a wholly owned subsidiary mental images Inc. in San Francisco, California, and an office in Stockholm, Sweden. mental images, founded in 1986, is a recognized international leader in providing rendering software to the entertainment, computer-aided design, scientific visualization, architecture and other industries that require sophisticated images. The company's main product is the Academy Award- winning photorealistic rendering software mental ray, which runs on a wide variety of platforms ranging from networks of workstations to parallel supercomputers, producing images of unsurpassed realism. mental ray was initially released in 1989 and has been used in the production of several hundred major movies. Leading visual effects companies and studios, such as Buf Compagnie, Digital Domain, DreamWorks Animation, Lucasfilm Animation, Industrial Light & Magic, The Mill, The Moving Picture Co., The Orphanage, ReelFX and Sony Pictures Imageworks are among mental images's largest customers.

NVIDIA Corp. (www.nvidia.com) is a worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies. The company creates innovative, industry-changing products for computing, consumer electronics and mobile devices. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has offices throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.

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