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SOFTIMAGE|XSI Helps Visualize Plans for World Trade Center Site

Softimage Co. announced that Archimation, one of Germany's leading architectural presentation firms, used SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to create 3D renderings for two of the architectural firms designing the buildings to be constructed on the World Trade Center site in New York City. Archimation used the advanced modeling capabilities of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to generate multiple 3D perspectives for the original Ground Zero proposal - which included the Freedom Tower design - and the final presentation visuals of 7 World Trade Center, the first mid-rise building to be reconstructed on the World Trade Center site.

"These designs were some of our most challenging ever because we were creating the first public glimpse into the future of the World Trade Center site. We knew the buildings would be carefully scrutinized both for design and safety, so the renderings had to be 100% accurate," said Alexander Ware, owner and company director of Archimation. "We chose SOFTIMAGE|XSI because it is the only product on the market that delivered the level of precision that we needed for a project requiring such a quick turnaround time. The product's extensive 3D and effects capabilities ensured not only that the images of the buildings were photorealistic, but also that the most minute details, such as doorways, pedestrian walkways and even long-distance views from different city locations, were spatially accurate."

One of the few firms to combine architecture with digital media, Archimation has clients worldwide and has been involved in the presentation of other New York landmarks, including the Time Warner Center, and the renowned Lever House on Park Avenue. Just days before the deadline for the final round of the Ground Zero competition, the Daniel Libeskind Studio approached Archimation to create three different 3D perspectives of their proposal - two from the air and one from the viewing platform overlooking Ground Zero. Although the design parameters for the images changed frequently during the seven-day period, Archimation's artists were able to quickly make adjustments using SOFTIMAGE|XSI software.

"Artists around the world have successfully used SOFTIMAGE|XSI for a wide range of applications - from generating life-like animated characters for video games to pre-visualizing stunts for feature films. Archimation's use of the product for one of the world's most complex architectural design projects is just another testament to the software's flexibility, as well as its ability to deliver compelling, high-quality renderings in a short amount of time," said Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage. "SOFTIMAGE|XSI has an entire palette of lighting and material effects, making it particularly conducive to architectural work. Designers also value the software's unmatched workflow capabilities, which allow them to easily input and output elements from a variety of sources."

To create the renderings of 7 World Trade Center at various stages of the reconstruction process, Archimation digital artists worked with the design team from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Renowned building developer and World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein also contributed to the 7 World Trade Center design. Construction of the state-of-the-art Freedom Tower - which will be the world's tallest building - is slated to begin in late 2004.

Softimage Co. (, a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., 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. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media strategy, is the flagship product offering from Softimage. It is the industry's first 3D nonlinear production environment providing animators and digital artists the freedom to make professional animation, visual effects and games - from major motion pictures, to cartoons and commercials, to animated content for video games and Websites.