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Softimage XSI 3.0 Unveiled

Softimage announced version 3.0 of Softimage XSI, the company's 3D nonlinear production environment for modeling, animating, rendering and compositing. The company says...
Softimage announced version 3.0 of Softimage XSI, the company's 3D nonlinear production environment for modeling, animating, rendering and compositing. The company says that the new version, which will ship in October, lets users work with much larger data sets -- like the ability to work with more complex characters in larger numbers, to work with more static scene elements of greater detail, and generate more effects of greater complexity. Of note is a new crowd simulation toolkit lets animators automates the behavior of interactive objects, to simulate flocking, swarming, and characters in a crowd. Other new features include:
  • New tools for working with high dynamic range images and the integration of Mental Ray 3.1 technology, which offer better image quality and faster rendering speed.
  • Enhancements to the hair/fur dynamics tools and the particle system.
  • Fully integrated compositing, with features such as animatable rotosplines, Cineon format support, film grain tools and retiming tools.
  • New game development tools, including enhancements to the real-time shader tools, support for programmable DirectX real-time shading effects, a DirectX CustomView, and Platform Development Kits for the Xbox and the PS2.
  • New versions of the XSI Viewer, the Viewer SDK, the XSI File Tool Kit (FTK), the dotXSI file format, a new C++ API for the XSI SDK, and tighter interoperability with Avid products. Pricing information was not provided, but the company said that customers who purchase a new license or trade up to Softimage XSI between now and the ship date will be given a free upgrade to version 3.0 when it's released.
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