Discreet has announced the worldwide shipment of character studio 4, the character animation software that offers game developers and effects artists new breakthroughs in creating complex, realistic animated characters. Announced at SIGGRAPH 2002, character studio 4 includes significant enhancements designed to provide animators an easy-to-use system. Major enhancements in version 4 include dynamics-based mixing, which provides propagation of dynamic balancing from the upper body to the lower body, critical for making body part mixes look natural and coherent. The software also includes constraint-based mixdowns, allowing animators to mix down non-linear sequences into a single clip while satisfying feet IK and knee joint motion constraints, allowing for the smooth blending of multiple files, as well as the blending of motion-capture with key-framed data. Finally, character studio 4 offers intuitive quaternion function curves, giving users a more exact method of controlling character joint rotation. Used as a companion software extension to Discreet's 3ds max version 4 and version 5, character studio software has a suggested retail price in North America of US$995. Visit www.discreet.com for more information.