Avid Announces SOFTIMAGE|XSI 4.2

Avid Technology Inc. today announced version 4.2 of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software for professionals working on complex CG productions including games, films, broadcast and postproduction projects. The new version adds such advanced features as crowd simulation and compositing with XSI Advanced and paint capabilities with XSI Essentials.

XSI Essentials now comes with the resolution-independent professional compositing and paint features previously only included in the XSI Advanced package. In addition, XSI Advanced is now bundled with version 2.0 of SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR, the company’s behavioral crowd simulation software, which offers tight integration with SOFTIMAGE|XSI software and mental ray rendering, as well as an integrated development environment (IDE) with debugging functionalities. Users can now build CG crowd scenes and independently control any of the characters created in SOFTIMAGE|XSI software as part of a complex crowd consisting of more than 100,000 characters. Other highlights include terrain following, obstacle avoidance, dynamic path-planning, automatic motion blending, character rag doll and stunt force creation.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI 4.2 also offers increased support for games, film and broadcast pipelines. For game developers, it features robust normal map generation, designed to simplify the process for creating sophisticated effects in real time. In addition, version 4.2 introduces new film and broadcast enhancements that streamline the workflow between editing and compositing tools. These additions include support for industry-standard file formats such as 10-bit and HD Material Exchange Format (MXF), which facilitate metadata and media exchange between products, and OpenEXR, the open-source extended dynamic range image file format developed by Industrial Light & Magic. Enhancements to XSI Foundation include a new Linux version and increased rendering capabilities.

Softimage customers who purchased any of the three packages of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 software–Foundation, Essentials and Advanced–can immediately download the upgrade to v.4.2 at www.softimage.com/download.

New customers can download SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Foundation for $495, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Essentials for $1,995 and SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.2 Advanced with SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIOR v.2.0 for $6,995. The various packages are also available at authorized Softimage resellers.