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Softimage Releases XSI V. 4.0

Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has released SOFTIMAGE|XSI4.0 - the latest version of the industry's leading nonlinear 3D production environment and has made it available in three distinct configurations at breakthrough prices: XSI Advanced, XSI Essentials, and the new entry-level XSI Foundation. Version 4.0 delivers advanced toolsets, dramatic performance enhancements, and advancements to the core architecture of the software, including new customization, project management and workgroup capabilities.

"With the rapid adoption of SOFTIMAGE|XSI as the primary tool for many major 3D productions, we've invested heavily to enhance version 4.0 with ground-breaking functionality that addresses the continuously changing demands of our customers," said Gareth Morgan, Softimage's senior product manager. "Our customers develop the most sophisticated 3D content out there - and they count on the flexible and open architecture of XSI to get the job done right. Whether it's the deep and intuitive implementation of the mental ray renderer, the nonlinear workflow tools, or the industry-standard scripting language support, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 makes the development of high-end 3D content easier and faster. And, with XSI Foundation, we've designed an extremely cost-effective package to place a professional Softimage solution within the reach of any artist or animator."

Using Reference Models and Reference Animation, animators and technical directors can create lightweight scenes, minimize memory usage, and share animation scenes by off-loading animations and partial animation sources to external files. New motion trails, ghosting, and advanced scene playback options also enhance the in-context visualization of animated content.

The software delivers up to eight free Satellite tile-based distributed rendering tokens per license, allowing artists to take advantage of accelerated render regions or multi-CPU renders of a single frame without purchasing additional rendering licenses. Further integration with the industry-leading content and asset management system, Alienbrain Studio, offers users greater control over large-scale productions as well as a more reliable and streamlined asset management framework.

In addition, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 offers tight integration with Avid editing and storage solutions, including new direct render-to-video output and previewing via the Avid Mojo hardware.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0 includes the following breakthrough components:

* The XML-based UI engine gives technical directors centralized per-scene control with scriptable Table of Contents, scenario-specific Relational Views, and configurable interface layouts.

*The character animation system provides new advanced biped, quadruped, and hybrid rig systems and a rich Character SDK for customizing character rig creation, animation, and editing.

* The professional FX Tree compositor, based on Eddie and Media Illusion(tm) technology, now features 2-D raster and vector based resolution-independent paint tools based on Matador technology.

* The advanced XSI RenderCore plug-in architecture allows for multiple rendering methods and can host custom plug-in renderers, views, and display engines.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Foundation (for 3D individual artists or large workgroups) is available for $1,995 USMSRP from the Softimage Website (www.softimage.com/store

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Essentials (artists and technical directors) is available for $3,995 USMSRP from authorized Softimage resellers.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Advanced (its premier VFX package) is available for $8,995 USMSRP from authorized Softimage resellers.

The Softimage Production Series, an entire suite of DVD training materials focused on real-world production situations, is available for version 4.0 customers from the Softimage Website.

Softimage Co.is an industry leader in 3D animation, 2D cel animation, compositing and special effects software, designed to address the demands of the film and commercial/broadcast and games/interactive industries. For more information, visit www.softimage.com. For more information about Avid, visit www.avid.com

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