Softimage Co. has announced the release of SOFTIMAGE|3D v4.0 and SOFTIMAGE|XSI 2.0. "SOFTIMAGE|3D, an industry-standard for more than 10 years, has been used extensively by more than 13,000 customers in the animation, special effects and games development industry. The product's great success is a direct result of our long history of listening and responding to our customers' needs," said Michael Stojda, managing director, Softimage. "While the majority of our development efforts continue to focus on our flagship SOFTIMAGE|XSI product family, with v4.0, we have added a number of new features and enhancements to meet the specific needs of our SOFTIMAGE|3D customers, particularly those who are mid-project or in the midst of transitioning their production pipelines over to XSI. In addition, we have priced SOFTIMAGE|3D v4.0 to make this classic product more accessible to segments of the market which do not require the continuous stream of new ground-breaking and innovative features found within our XSI product family." Key new features and enhancements to SOFTIMAGE|3D v4.0 include: Multiple UV Texturing - enabling designers to assign multiple UV mapped textures on polygon mesh domains, using a UV domain of their choice; Dopesheet Control for Shader and Custom Fcurve - providing increased control over animation function curves for plug-ins and mental ray shaders; Interactive Normal Editing - allowing designers to interactively edit selected shading normals on polygon mesh models, thus providing instant feedback on the shading modifications; Enhanced Vertex Color Shading - providing more flexibility for controlling use of vertex colors, especially for developers of next-generation console games; Polygon Hide / Unhide - adding the ability to hide and unhide selected polygons. SOFTIMAGE|XSI 2.0 software users will be able to create effects by directly manipulating the actual real-time rendering capabilities of the target platform, whatever rendering engine is used. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI viewports (using the OpenGL API), through which artists interact with their 3D scenes, support real-time shaders directly, providing instant feedback of shader effects. DotXSI, Softimage's extendable template-based file transfer format for 3D media, has been extended with support for all shader information held in the Render Tree. The new dotXSI v3.5 file format allows artists to export real-time shaders to proprietary game engines, licensed middleware solutions or other 3D tools. The SOFTIMAGE | FTK (File Tool Kit), which is available for free from the Softimage Website, allows developers to easily incorporate support for dotXSI files in their own applications using a robust, standardized library. SOFTIMAGE|3D v4.0 and XSI 2.0 are scheduled to be released in Fall 2001.