Three Heads Are Better Than One

Softimage has announced that the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 software now supports the new Matrox Graphics Parhelia series of triple head graphics card. The combination of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software’s Custom Layout tool UI architecture and the immersive aspects of Matrox’s Parhelia graphics technology, allows for up to three configurable screen views for enhancing the use of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software.

Certifying the Matrox Parhelia adds a new level of productivity to the Softimage user experience without the burden associated with expensive hardware solutions. By combining Matrox Parhelia technology with the customizable UI of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, animators can redesign the software’s UI layout giving them instant additional on screen real-estate for customizing menus and commonly used menu selections, making for a more productive work environment.

Additionally, Softimage is releasing a sample real-time shader, to be made available as a free download for the recently released SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 environment, allowing users to configure the Parhelia graphics card to support live video output directly from a camera view of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. Using the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software’s powerful render tree module as a vehicle to deliver a TV-out shader will add enormous versatility to those needing video output for previsualization and architectural walkthroughs by allowing users needing video output to take material directly to tape or video display.

“At Softimage, we expect expanded display real-estate solutions to be rapidly adopted as a standard for animation ergonomics and have prepared for this in the original design of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. This includes the program’s advanced Custom Layout tool which reflects Softimage’s 16-year industry-leading history of innovation,” said Alan Waxenberg, third party business manager, Softimage. “Softimage views advances in Matrox Parhelia technology and SOFTIMAGE|XSI software as a significant step toward redefining the animators on-screen working environment making for a more efficient creation experience.”

“The SOFTIMAGE|XSI environment provides Matrox with an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the power of the Parhelia’s multi-head OpenGL enabled graphics technology,” said Dan Wood, VP of marketing, Matrox. “The creation of content in the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software will be made easier by allowing the user to have three times the on screen real-estate for viewing multiple layouts and customized menus, granting far more accessibility of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software’s powerful feature sets.”

The new Parhelia graphics card’s unified desktop and three headed-display ability is the first of its kind to take advantage of the ergonomic strategy of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI creative environment. With total control over specific tools for all aspects of the animation experience, the Custom Layout option lets users customize the software for specific tasks directing the user experience to dedicated tasks. Custom Layout is part of a suite of technology tools that lets users select only the assets from within the SOFTIMAGE|XSI program that they require and arrange them at will to create a fully customized software.

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