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SOFTIMAGE|CAT v.2.5 Now Available

Softimage Co. announced the worldwide availability of SOFTIMAGE|CAT v. 2.5, the popular plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software. The SOFTIMAGE|CAT software is a complete character animation system with a unique toolset allows artists to animate quickly in a flexible environment. Part of Avids recent asset acquisition of Character Animation Technologies Ltd., SOFTIMAGE|CAT version 2.5 is the latest update to the newest member of the Softimage suite of character production tools, and is currently deployed in the game development, film and post industries.

We are very excited to release the latest update to CAT shortly after becoming part of the Softimage family. We remain committed to supporting our customers and developing the technology they have counted on to produce high quality character animation in their Max-based pipelines, said Philip R. Taylor, CAT product designer for Softimage. With this release, our customers will also benefit from the knowledgeable support teams at Softimage, and have access to richer documentation resources on the new CAT Wiki.

New features include:

* New system for manipulating CATRigs. CAT now includes gizmos to manipulate CATRigs faster and easier. With one click a gizmo can be added to a CAT bone to give a rig a clear, streamlined set of controls.

* Copy and paste layers for key frame animation. Artists can now quickly copy and paste poses and animation for hubs limbs, hands, feet, and tails, further speeding up the keyframing of CAT characters.

* Unique procedural walk-cycle system. New walk modes in CATMotion include: Walk on spot, Walk on Line and Path node. CATMotion also includes controls for gradient and direction, allowing artists to design a broader range of cycles, and additional tools for previewing a larger range of motion.

* Pose mixer for bone-based facial animation. The new pose mixer tool provides a fast, intuitive workflow that allows artists to animate their characters faces in the same way they would using morph targets. Poses can be loaded, mirrored and blended onto the facial bone hierarchy.

SOFTIMAGE|CAT V.2.5 also includes updates to CATs capture animation tool to provide a faster, more responsive workflow. New pipeline tools include a batch importer to import data into CAT, and a new easily customizable script-based batch exporter. A new Wiki for CAT documentation is also now available at http://cat.wiki.avid.com.

SOFTIMAGE|CAT v.2.5 is a free upgrade for customers who have purchased CAT v.2.0 and above. The upgrade to v.2.5 can be immediately downloaded at www.catoolkit.com/.

Customers with a license of CAT v.1.0 can purchase an upgrade for $295 from the CAT website or from authorized resellers.

New customers can purchase SOFTIMAGE|CAT v.2.5 for $995 from the CAT website or from authorized resellers.

Softimage Co. (www.softimage.com), a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., provides intuitive, production proven tools for 3D artists to create characters in the film, broadcast, post-production and games industries. Its flagship product, SOFTIMAGE|XSI is a complete and intuitive character animation solution. Easily integrated into any CG production pipeline, XSI software enables 3D artists to create the most lifelike character performances. SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT is the first commercial toolset that accelerates facial animation that empowers 3D artists to create, refine and repurpose high-quality, lifelike facial animation in less time than traditional solutions.

Avid Technology Inc. (www.avid.com) is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions for film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals.

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