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SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Available Worldwide

Softimage Co. announced the worldwide availability of SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0 -- the latest release of its industry leading nonlinear 3D production environment. Starting on June 7, 2004, Softimage customers with maintenance contracts can download version 4.0 at www.softimage.com/download, and first-time orders are scheduled to start shipping next week. Introduced at NAB in April, the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 platform delivers advanced toolsets and dramatic performance enhancements for professional animators in the film, broadcast, post-production and interactive gaming markets. The new version also offers increased interoperability with Avid's line of nonlinear editing products.

"Our customers entrust us to do complex visual effects for a wide range of projects, and Softimage products have consistently helped us to deliver stunning results," said Louis Morin, producer/effects supervisor of Montreal-based Buzz Image Group. "To say that we are impressed with this new version of XSI would be an understatement. We were so confident with an early beta version that we used the new Rigid Body Dynamics feature for a pivotal scene in the movie ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. This enabled us to create the realistic demolition of a house with the same emotional impact as if we had destroyed the building in real life - but at a fraction of the cost. Features like this give us tremendous creative flexibility and deliver a compelling return on investment for our clients. Softimage truly understands the needs of its customers, and the proof is in the innovative features and performance enhancements in version 4.0."

With SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 software, Softimage has significantly evolved the system's core architecture to deliver enhancements to character animation and simulation effects. The software delivers improvements to workflow, including customization, project management and workgroup capabilities that are tightly integrated with mental ray 3.3. Customers using SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 will also experience increased interoperability with Avid editing and asset management solutions, including expanded AAF/MXF file format support as well as premier Alienbrain Studio integration -- for a more reliable and streamlined asset-management framework -- and Avid Mojo hardware, for direct render-to-video output and previewing.

Furthermore, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 introduces support for new technology developed by industry-leading third parties. Every copy of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Advanced package ships with leading cloth simulator Syflex. In addition, customers using any configuration of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 can access Digimation content libraries and import more than 30,000 models directly into the software.

"For nearly two decades, we've set ourselves apart in the industry by focusing exclusively on the needs of 3D professionals," said Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage. "Our customers want the high-end 3D capabilities for which Softimage is renowned, packaged and priced to fit their individual production needs. With SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0, we are now the price-performance leader in the 3D animation market, addressing the expanding range of users - from the individual vfx artist to large workgroups that require full-featured production seats."

SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 is available in the following configurations:* SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Foundation is available for $1,995 from the Softimage Website (www.softimage.com/store) or from authorized Softimage resellers.* SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Essentials is available for $3,995 from authorized Softimage resellers. * SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Advanced is now available for $8,995 from authorized Softimage resellers.

Also shipping now is the new Softimage Production Series, an entire suite of DVD training materials available for version 4.0 customers that focuses on real-world production situations.

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. 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 videogames and Websites.

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