Montreal-based Sofitimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology, is beta testing its next version of its animation tool, SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.1.1, and demoing it at NAB 2003 in Las Vegas. The tool is used primarily to create intelligent characters and realistic 3D animated crowds that behave in a natural and believable way. The new version, scheduled for release in June 2003, features support for Linux and many enhancements to the API, making integration with a wide variety of 3D production pipelines easier.
SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR has been used in the TV series NAPOLEON and high profile commercial work where users needed to efficiently create characters and choreograph realistic 3D animated crowds with a multitude of people, animals or objects that are capable of responding intuitively to objects, other characters or changes in their environment. The system is also generating interest in pre-visualization and simulation for emergency response, urban planning, defense, training and factory layout.
The SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.1.1 system now has a direct pipeline to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI application, which is also available on Linux. Animated characters created in SOFTIMAGE|XSI can be exported into the SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR crowd simulation engine, then final simulations can be rendered using all the features of SOFTIMAGE|XSI and mental ray technology. Customers purchasing the SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.1.0 system between now and the release in June will receive an upgrade to version 1.1 at no additional charge. The purchase price is $14,995; for more details, please visit www.softimage.com.