SOFTIMAGE|XSI 4.2 Now Available

Avid Technology Inc. announced version 4.2 of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, offering a series of enhancements designed to streamline the creative process for professionals working on complex CG productions including games, films, broadcast and post-production projects. Now, advanced features, such as crowd simulation and compositing and paint capabilities, are included with different versions of SOFTIMAGE|XSI 4.2 software. These enhancements significantly extend the performance of the Avid Computer Graphics production pipeline the premiere CG content creation environment to include 3D animation, digital asset management and nonlinear editing tools.

"This new version of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software offers a more robust production pipeline, enabling 3D artists and technical directors to work with greater ease to deliver the outstanding CG content that consumers have come to expect from the entertainment industry," said Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for SoftimageThese additional tools empower our customers to push new creative boundaries when producing CG content."

Version 4.2 of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software offers new features that accelerate workflow and increase the value of the 3D content creation environment. XSI Essentials now comes with the resolution-independent professional compositing and paint features, previously only included in the XSI Advanced package. In addition, XSI Advanced is now bundled with version 2.0 of SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR, the company's behavioral crowd simulation software, which offers tight integration with SOFTIMAGE|XSI software and mental ray rendering as well as an integrated development environment (IDE) with debugging functionalities. Users can now build CG crowd scenes with SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR software and independently control any of the characters created in SOFTIMAGE|XSI software as part of a complex crowd consisting of more than 100,000 characters. Other highlights include terrain following, obstacle avoidance, dynamic path-planning, automatic motion blending, character rag doll and stunt force creation.

"At PSYOP, we use SOFTIMAGE|XSI as part of our pipeline to give us the advanced tools we need to deliver high end, high quality designs for our commercial and video projects," said Todd Akita, technical director for PSYOP Inc., a New York-based design and production house that has created Nike, Fox Sports and Air Canada commercials. "With SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR and all the latest features added to the software, we now have even more creative control and can deliver the sophisticated, advanced animation projects that our clients demand."

SOFTIMAGE|XSI 4.2 software also offers increased support for games, film and broadcast pipelines. For game developers, XSI 4.2 features robust normal map generation, which simplifies the process for creating sophisticated effects in realtime. In addition, version 4.2 introduces new film and broadcast enhancements that streamline the workflow between editing and compositing tools. These enhancements include support for industry-standard file formats such as 10-bit and HD Material Exchange Format (MXF), which facilitate metadata and media exchange between products, and OpenEXR, the open-source extended dynamic range image file format developed by Industrial Light & Magic. Enhancements to XSI Foundation include a new Linux version and increased rendering capabilities.

Softimage customers who purchased any of the three packages of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 software Foundation, Essentials and Advanced can immediately download the upgrade to v.4.2 at www.softimage.com/download.

New customers can purchase SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 in the following configurations:

* SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Foundation is available for $495 from the Softimage Website (www.softimage.com/store) or from authorized Softimage resellers.

* SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Essentials is available for $1,995 from authorized Softimage resellers.

* SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Advanced + SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.2.0 is now available for $6,995 from authorized Softimage resellers.

Softimage Co., (www.softimage.com) a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc. (www.avid.com), 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.

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