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3DS Max Animates Super Bowl Opener

The animated opening sequence for the February 3, 2002 broadcast of Super Bowl XXXVI on FOX Sports was created in Discreets 3ds max 4. The FOX network set the tone for the big game with a CG flythrough of a futuristic, stylized New Orleans scene and ended with a visualization of the Lombardi trophy during the beginning moments of the telecast. 3ds max software was used to model and animate low-polygonal CG characters creating a bustling atmosphere within the Mardi Gras setting. Working under tight deadlines, the team of animators at FOX Sports were challenged with creating a complex and detailed cityscape that looked as though a camera was panning through it. With the help of Discreet's 3ds max "X-referencing" feature, artists were able to work simultaneously on different segments of the animation. "The collaborative work environment was key," said Dave Thompson, lead animator for FOX Sports. "One artist would be working on building A and another on building B, and at the end of the day 3ds max would render all of the changes together in one master file allowing the team to operate much more quickly and efficiently." The network will incorporate some of the imagery from Super Bowl XXXVI into the 2002 regular season graphics.