Softimage Goes 3D for Spy Kids, Announces XSI 3.5

For the next installment in the popular Spy Kids movie franchise, the pint-sized operatives are plunged into the world of a video game. Audiences will also be pulled into the action through the magic of stereoscopic 3D, thanks in part to Softimage products.

Softimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., announced at NAB that effects house Hybride Technologies has ramped up its XSI-based facility to handle the demands of the 650-shot project.

Hybride, which also provided effects for the first two Spy Kids features, is using Softimage XSI for modeling, textures, animation and rigging of all digital characters and vehicles in the movie.

To make the CG shots pop out at the audience, the team had to render each shot twice, once from the right eye perspective, and again from the left eye perspective. The stereoscopic effect happens when both perspectives are brought together with special viewing glasses.

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over is scheduled to hit North American theaters on July 25.

Softimage also announced the coming of XSI version 3.5. The update, which is currently in Beta testing, will be available in June. New features include a “stretchy” option for accurate hair generation from subdivision surfaces, automatic symmetrizing of polygons and normal mapping and shadow maps for real-time environments. It will also feature network-based productivity management capabilities and offer complete integration of the mental ray 3.2 rendering component.

Softimage XSI v.35 will retail starting at $6,750 USMSRP. Existing XSI users will be able to upgrade starting at $1,495. For more information, visit www.softimage.com.