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Urban Video Game Academy Expands with SOFTIMAGE|XSI v. 5.0

Avid Technology Inc. announced its support for the Atlanta chapter of the Urban Video Game Academy (UVGA), a program created to enable high school students to enhance their math, science and art skills by learning the principles of game development and design. Students enrolled in the program will use SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 to create 3D art for videogames, and Avid Xpress Pro Academic for editing cut scenes and game trailers. An open house is being held today to launch the Atlanta chapter at the American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, Georgia.

The UVGA was established to encourage students to turn their passion for video games into a potential career by working on projects that are exciting, interactive and educational. In addition to a potential career in game development, the programs also helps students prepare for higher education in engineering, computer science and digital media, said Joseph Saulter, chair of game design at the American Intercontinental University and co-founder of the UVGA. "When it came down to choosing a 3D software for the Atlanta chapter, SOFTIMAGE|XSI was my first choice. Its a complete package that will inspire these budding game designers to freely create without any limitations.

Added Genevieve Laberge, training and education manager at Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, The UVGA is an inspiring program that supports a key educational principle: that learning is fun. Much of 3D design is based on geometry and physics, making game development both artistic and technical. At Softimage, our customers have used our software to create some of the worlds top videogame titles, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to show students how they can do the same thing one day.

During the Aug. 30 event, Softimage 3D Evangelist Mark Schoennagel showed students how to create game art using XSI; Atlanta-based 3D artist and instructor Bill Blakesley presented an overall introduction to the game design and development curriculum from the Entertainment Arts Research Game Development program; and NPR radio and technology TV host and co-founder of UVGA Mario Armstrong described the UVGA mission and philosophy.

Launched earlier this year, the UVGA (www.UVGA.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing students in disadvantaged areas for post-secondary education and technology careers. In addition to teaching technology skills, the UVGA is committed to promoting culture and gender diversity in videogame design by encouraging the development of African-American, Hispanic and female hero characters. In addition to the Atlanta chapter, UVGA sites are also located in Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI (www.softimage.com) is a complete 3D modeling and animation solution for the film, broadcast, post-production and interactive entertainment industries. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software is the creative engine behind the Avid Computer Graphics toolset, and an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media strategy. It is the industry's first 3D nonlinear production environment providing artists the freedom to make professional computer graphics, 3D animation and vfx.

Avid Technology (www.avid.com), headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, 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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