Avid Announces SOFTIMAGE|XSI Challenge

Avid Technology kicks off the “SOFTIMAGE’|XSI’ Mod Tool Lock & Load” Challenge today. Sponsored in part by HP, NVIDIA and Gamedev.net, the challenge gives gamers the opportunity to take home $25,000US in prizes for developing “mods”‘modified content for popular video games’using the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool v4.2, the freely available version of the company’s professional 3D animation software.

The SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool extends the life of popular games by giving users the power to produce their own characters, props and environments for export directly into a game. Current game engines supported by the Mod Tool include Valve’s Source and Epic’s Unreal Engine.

Judges will be looking for original, compelling characters created with the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool and exported into supported games like Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source and Unreal Tournament 2004. Criteria will include visual excellence and quality of animation. Quality and efficiency of the geometry, texture maps and animations will be taken into consideration. Credit may be awarded for unusually creative or original character ideas, provided they work normally in multiplayer gaming scenarios.

The top three winners will receive an HP xw9300 Workstation with a professional license of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. The HP xw9300 Workstation provides customers with the company’s most powerful 64-bit personal workstation delivering advanced performance and visualization for compute intensive environments. Supporting, for the first time, dual PCI Express x16 graphics and dual AMD Opteron processors, the HP xw9300 meets the combined needs for computational and visualization power and I/O performance while helping to lower total cost of ownership.

Additional prizes will include NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 graphics cards, copies of XSI Foundation, Softimage training DVDs and books. Entries are due no later that 12 a.m. EST, July 1, 2005. Judging will take place between July 11-22 and winners will be announced on stage during the Softimage User Group meeting held during SIGGRAPH 2005. For more information and official contest rules, visit www.softimage.com/challenge

The Mod Tool and add-ons are available for download at www.softimage.com/products/Mod/v42/downloads/.