Avid Technology subsidiary Softimage has announced the latest version of its 3D animation software with Softimage XSI 7, with a "transformative open platform" called ICE, so called for its ability to capture 'infinitely creative vision.'
Softimage says the platform will "allow artists to explore, learn and modify the robust library of particle-based visual effects and deformation tools that will ship in Softimage XSI 7 software, or simply build new ones from scratch."
The update is based on Softimage's GigaCore II multi-core based engine which will scale the ICE platform with the number and speed of processors available.
The ICE platform will also ship with "pre-built, production-ready ICE ‘compounds’ for particle-based effects and deformations," which, in keeping with its open philosophy will "allow users to examine and learn how they work—and even modify them."
Finally, Softimage says the new update will add support for mental ray v3.6, add updates to its Delta IIa referencing system with better support for clusters, and will include a new real time shading architecture that will allow "fragment and vertex shaders to exist in one node, and will be programmable and controllable from any ICE attribute."
Said Avid VP and Softimage general manager Marc Stevens, “Until today, trade-offs had to be made between fulfilling all creative intent and the cost of extending existing 3D packages via scripting and plug-in tools. The Softimage ICE platform will allow content producers to easily create, modify and deploy complex tools and effects more efficiently than ever before. Powered by our Gigacore II engine, ICE will utilize all the available processing power on today’s multi-core workstations for ultimate scalability—maximizing the return on hardware investment.”