At SIGGRAPH 2002, Softimage announced version 3.0 of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. This latest version of the 3-D nonlinear production environment is already receiving praise from beta testers for its performance, workflow and feature enhancements across the complete range of integrated modeling, animation, simulation, rendering and compositing toolsets.
Coinciding with the release of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 software, is a new crowd simulation toolkit that introduces digital character choreography and direction to the 3-D effects industry. The toolkit is a sophisticated behavioral animation and crowd simulation system that incorporates full-featured behavioral scripting, visual state-graph editing and dynamic motion synthesis.
The new crowd simulation subsystem, already used by top animation and effects companies in the industry on films like ‘The One’, ‘Napoleon’, and ‘The Scorpion King’, offers a production-proven, high-performance and interactive simulation pipeline for automating behavior for interactive objects, such as flocking, swarming, or 3-D characters in a crowd. With these new features, users can quickly build simple to highly sophisticated multi-object animations involving up to thousands of characters for pre-production visualization and direction to final production, while maintaining the ability to tweak and perfect the results at any time.
Highlights of the many new features of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 system include:
Interactive rendering in the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software has taken another leap forward with new features including tools for working with HDR (High Dynamic Range) images and the integration of mental ray v.3.1 technology. Dramatic improvements in quality and speed, combined with the overall quality and integration of the rendering toolset, maintain the XSI software rendering as the market leader for the intuitive, interactive creation of images of unsurpassed realism.
The fully integrated dynamics simulation environment in the XSI v.3.0 product includes multiple enhancements to its industry-leading hair and fur dynamics tools, as well as groundbreaking enhancements to the ‘Advanced Particles’ system.
Fully integrated compositing allows artists to save more time than ever before. New features such as animatable rotosplines, Cineon format support, film grain tools and retiming tools continue to broaden the number of applications that can benefit from the ability to complete compositing functions effortlessly directly within the XSI software.
New tools for games artists include enhancements to the industry-leading real-time shader tools, support for programmable MicrosoftÒ DirectXÒ real-time shading effects, a DirectX CustomView, and Platform Development Kits (PDKs) for Microsoft XBox platform and for Sony’s PlayStationÒ 2.
The SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 software also includes 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, making it more accessible to a wider range of users and production pipelines.
The SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 system is scheduled for release in October 2002. Customers purchasing a new license or trading up to SOFTIMAGE|XSI on or after July 15, 2002 will be provided with a no charge upgrade to version 3.0 when it releases.