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SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 to Launch in December

Avid Technology Inc. announced that its Softimage subsidiary will unveil SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 by the end of December. XSI 6 software introduces new solutions for accelerated animation that simplify working with 3D characters and motion capture data. A new collaborative framework in XSI 6 software also allows 3D artists to work together non-destructively, in a studio environment that provides easy integration with other 3D applications.

SOFTIMAGE |XSI 6 will support the .NET framework and include integrated C#, an object-oriented programming language, popular with next-gen 3D game developers. The software also offers support for Python, a preferred scripting language used by technical directors for setting up film and visual effects pipelines. In addition, Softimage is working closely with its industry partners to offer XSI 6 support for the upcoming DirectX 10 hardware that will operate on Microsoft Windows Vista.

"This is a big version for us on a feature level and a solution level," special projects manager Michael Isner told VFXWORLD. "The bottom line is that this industry is about collaboration and addressing how long projects take -- and XSI 6 takes dead aim at this."

Additional highlights of XSI 6 software include:

* CROSSWALK a dedicated toolset that offers extensive asset transfer to and from other 3D software, such as 3ds Max and Maya, ideal for today's mixed pipelines.* MOTOR -- a streamlined way to transfer and move animation and motion capture data between arbitrary XSI rigs and other 3D software character rigs.* DELTA -- a new lightweight production-level referencing solution that streamlines the process of working with and making changes to 3D models and scene set-ups.* Elastic Reality Warper and Morpher -- built into the Illusion compositor in XSI 6 software, this intuitive solution allows artists to 'distort' and 'morph' images and sequences. * Quickshade -- a fast way to preview rendering elements with large scale materials management and support for mental ray 3.5 and a new open framework for integrating third-party renderers.

A full feature list for Softimage XSI 6 can be found at: www.softimage.com/xsi6.

"With a next-generation scalable architecture, and the ability to easily fit into existing 3D pipelines, XSI software offers a collaborative workflow environment that underlines our dedication and sole focus to offer the best 3D solutions for the entertainment market," added Marc Stevens, vp/gm for Softimage.

"At Blur, our animations and stories are becoming more epic and definitely more complex," suggested Tim Miller, president and founder of Oscar-nominated Blur Studio. "We chose to fold SOFTIMAGE|XSI software into our established 3D pipeline for our latest animated short film, A GENTLEMEN'S DUEL. We needed a very organized structure for the complex 3D character rigging and a solid animation package. By introducing XSI into our pipeline, our artists were able to bring our characters to life while effectively managing over 1,800 parts to each human rig. XSI performed like a champ."

Creating animated 3D visual effects, characters and 3D game titles for next-gen consoles--such as like the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 PLAYSTATION 3 -- is becoming increasingly complex. Because it is built on the newest code base of any comprehensive 3D application on the market, XSI software is best suited to operate with next-generation hardware and 3D game development and visual effects pipelines.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 is expected to contain the following configurations:

* SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Foundation will sell for $495 from the Softimage website or from authorized Softimage resellers.* SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Essentials will sell for $1,995 from authorized Softimage resellers. * SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Advanced will sell for $6,995 from authorized Softimage resellers.

Once shipping, all versions will be available for download for upgrades from existing licenses or first time 3D customers at www.softimage.com/download.

With the launch of XSI 6, Softimage is offering a special, limited time upgrade promotion. All registered XSI Foundation customers can upgrade to XSI 6 Foundation for $395 or XSI Essentials for $1,495 until Dec. 20, 2006.

Softimage Co. (www.softimage.com), a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., delivers innovative 3D character creation and effects tools to animators and digital artists in the film, broadcast, post-production and games industries. Its product line includes SOFTIMAGE|XSI and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT, the first production for lifelike facial animation, SOFTIMAGE|CAT, a complete character animation system plug-in and ALIENBRAIN, an industry leading production asset management solution for creative teams.

Avid Technology Inc. (www.avid.com) is a world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively and creatively.

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