SplutterFish Releases Brazil Rendering System 1.2 & Shave and a Haircut

At SIGGRAPH 2003, SplutterFish LLC announced the release of the newest version of its rendering software Brazil Rendering System and Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max. Brazil r/s v. 1.2 is an advanced, fully-integrated rendering suite for Discreet's 3ds max and Autodesk VIZ, Autodesk's visualization solution. Shave and a Haircut is an industry-standard hair-creation software program.

"Being able to render complex effects quickly and efficiently is the goal in today's sophisticated production environments. Brazil v.1.2 is a significant advancement Brazil r/s 1.2 demonstrates the next logical progression in the software by delivering productivity enhancements in several critical areas, including renderfarm management, advanced character shading capabilities and more sophisticated lighting enhancements that both our core film and architectural customers will be eager to add to their toolset," said Scott Kirvan, SplutterFish ceo.

"As a long-time Discreet 3ds max partner, SplutterFish has an exceptional reputation for developing rendering tools used by today's leading film and video effects artists," said Chris Ford, product line manager, animation products, Discreet. "We're confident that the new features in Brazil 1.2, combined with existing capabilities in 3ds max, will provide our customers with an incredibly flexible and creative toolset."

Brazil v. 1.2s improvements include:* Banshee Distributed Rendering Manager - offers customers an interactive graphical user interface for managing render nodes for tile-based distribution of rendering a single frame across multiple nodes.* Brazil Toon Shader - improvements provide new, finer control of inking parameters, giving a greater level of flexibility and control to the look of cartoon style ink lines. * New Skin Shader - incorporates multi-layered sub-surface scattering specifically designed for the complex look of skinned characters. Dermal, subdermal and deep scattering layers create an unprecedented level of depth and photo-realism, including fine details such as oily surface characteristics.* New Brazil Optimized Plug-in Shadow Types - for use with standard max or B-Lights: Soft directional shadows, area shadows and spherical shadows.* Brazil r/s support for photometric IES files - fully-integrated IES format support allows Brazil r/s photon mapping for fast and accurate lighting simulations. IES files are used by architectural customers, and increasingly by film clients, looking to recreate the lighting of a live-action scene in 3D by using a recognized format that translates real world lights into their visualization package.

Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max is a CG hair grooming, dynamics and rendering system originally developed to create photorealistic hair for characters, animals and people, but now includes texturing for leaves and grass. Shave and a Haircut makes extensive use of OpenGL in its own interface, to afford interactive styling and animation of hair. With the new brush and recomb features, this release makes it possible for 3ds max users to get hair flowing and behaving all over a CG model.

"SplutterFish has demonstrated exceptional attention to detail in overseeing the 3ds max integration of this professional-level hair creation plug-in project," said Joe Alter, ceo of Joe Alter, Inc. "For obvious reasons, SplutterFish is extremely well regarded in the 3ds max community, and a huge group of users will now benefit from this addition to their tool box - brought to them and supported by a group with stellar talent they already know and trust."

Shave and a Haircut features include:* Spline based method of creating hair - Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max incorporates a familiar spline-based method for creating hair, whereby guides are created to control the location and density of generated hair.* Embedded dynamics - The Shave dynamics engine is embedded in the Shave guides, which allows artists greater flexibility in controlling hair motion. Once a guide has been animated, the corresponding hairs react accordingly, removing the need for cumbersome transformations. Shave dynamics are extremely fast, with results displayed in real-time or near realtime in all but the most complex scenes.* Combing/styling interface - Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max features a dedicated Open GL-accelerated interface that is extremely fast and with unprecedented control for styling and cutting hair. The Shave combing/styling interface is best described as a grooming tool, as opposed to the mechanical interface found in other hair solutions on the market.* Displacement parameters - enable complex hair effects creation, so that the artist has the ability to simulate complex hair states that are typically very difficult to model, such as wetness and frizz.* Density equalizer - The Shave density equalizer balances hair population so that regardless of the density of the underlying surface or number of guides, a uniform distribution of hair as a base line results. Hair density is modified by assigning maps and shaders to the density channel. Unlike other solutions, Shave does a world-space barycentric lookup whereby Shave does not require special UV's and will work on polygons, nurbs or any other type of surface emitter.* Fully mappable - The parameters in Shave are mappable, allowing the artist to apply texture maps or procedural maps on nearly every parameter. This includes mapping to dynamics parameters, for instance, on parameters such as Stiffness or Dampening.

Brazil r/s Version 1.2 "Artist Bundle" includes licenses for three computers (one Brazil r/s workstation-node license and two render-node licenses), at a cost of $1,200. The "Renderfarm Bundle" includes licenses for four computers (four render-node licenses), at a cost of $750. Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max will be available to both individual artists and production facilities in bundles. Each bundle will include one workstation and eight render nodes with floating license capability, at a cost of $485.

Joe Alter, Inc. is a software and original content creation corporation located in Los Angeles. For more information visit www.joealter.com.

Formed in 2001 in Venice, California, SplutterFish LLC is a software provider of high-end, affordable 3D rendering tools. The company develops solutions focused towards the needs of production professionals working in the film, broadcast, architectural and product visualization, design engineering, 3D cartoon-style animation and CG research industries. Additional information can be found on the Internet at www.splutterfish.com.

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