SOFTIMAGE|Avid's Sumatra, which is set to redefine computer animation, hasrecently been used in a UK production for the BBC called "Everyman." Theanimation system, which is currently in beta, was used by Aldis Animationto create the 20 second title sequence of the show. Kim Aldis, the founderof Aldis Animation said that Sumatra increased the company's productivity,while at the same time giving them "more flexibility to experimentcreatively." Sumatra is due to be released at the end of the first quarter,2000. It is the first truly non-linear 3D animation system and includessome very advanced features. As well as a whole set of powerful animationfeatures (which allow users to animate by hand, hiding away all of thetechnical information, or vice-versa), Sumatra also boasts multi-threadedinteractive rendering - all rendering properties (textures, materials, evenmotion blur and caustics), update instantly at any size or resolution. Thenew animation system also features an integrated post-production solution,providing a path for end-to-end 3D/2D integration. Concepts like RenderPasses allow animators to render elements of their animation seperately,and those layers can be used in compositing. To top it all off, Sumatralets animators and programmers customize the software using the ActiveXprogramming language. Sumatra is set to have a huge impact on the 3Danimation and visual effects industry, and with the recent sucess of itsuse in production, the tool has, before its release, proved itself. Formore information visit www.softimage.com.