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Vital Idea to Release Crowd! in November

Crowd!, a behavioral animation system built on a realtime engine called Neuro!Machine, will be released to the general consumer in November by Vital Idea. Retailing for $9,995, Crowd! 1.0 Suite -- Windows may be pre-ordered at http://store.vitalidea.com. With Crowd! digital artists can integrate SynThespians into shots. These 3D performers follow rules for behavioral animation and can be directed to simulate any number of real world applications, including: Battle Sequences, Filling Stadiums, Filling Open Spaces, the Dynamic of City Streets.

Originally conceived in 2001 with the internal development name Doppleganger, Crowd! has been in development for more than two years. It began as a plug-in to extend the power of an existing package; however, it rapidly "took on a life of its own."

Neuro!Machine may be integrated into an existing realtime gaming engine or be accessed via Crowd!Serve servers for realtime simulation over a network. Crowd! is an artificial intelligence-based standalone animation system for film, broadcast, simulation and electronic gaming.

Features include:* Distributed Neural Interactive Simulation Engine: using Crowd!Serve, multiple machines across a network can offload the artificial intelligence computation for virtual performers in a sequence.

* Intuitive, Extensible, Artist Friendly Interface: instead of having to be a programmer to use Crowd!, a node-based interface allows artists to visually develop complex behaviors for each digital performer.

* Frame-based Animation System: trigger events can be keyframed within the system to ensure maximum control. Performers within the scene listen for a trigger (for example, "Open Door") and respond at the given frame.

* Parallel State Machines: multiple state machines may be linked to a performer, based on priority, to drive complex behaviors.

*Non-linear Animation: by animating, or motion capturing, a set of animation cycles, performers within the scene can use non-linear animation to generate a number of unique movements.

* Scripting Language: using the Crowd!Script Language (CSL), the system may be extended to support your specific needs.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Vital Idea Inc. (www.vitalidea.com) is a software development and professional services firm. Since 2001, Vital Idea has provided technical services to such clients as Barbed Wire FX, Click 3x, Method Studios, Playground, and many others.

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