Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., today announced support for Microsofts Xbox 360 next-generation game system with the release of the .FX plug-in, a free effects creation tool for SOFTIMAGE|XSI 3D animation software. The new plug-in for XSI allows developers to create high-definition characters, props and elements for their Xbox 360 titles designed for HD television resolutions (720p and 1080i) in 16:9 widescreen.
"The features found in XSI, including the advanced character tools, make the software an ideal choice to harness the creative possibilities now being offered with the Xbox 360 platform," says Tracey Frankcom, program manager for Xbox Tools and Middleware. "Softimage has also long been a valued Xbox development partner, from native DirectX viewing to support for the .X file format in the software. Todays availability of the .FX plug-in is a testament to Softimages focus on the future for next-gen game development."
"XSI delivers a unique combination of the industrys most advanced 3D character animation system, integrated support for the latest realtime effects and the extreme scalability that teams need to meet next generation production requirements," adds Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage.
The .FX plug-in for XSI, which includes support for sophisticated DirectX real-time shaders, allows the use of third party shader/development tools for applying those effects to XSI models and taking full advantage of XSIs normal mapping and animation tools. Imported effects can be refined and animated with real-time visual feedback.
Softimage has also taken steps to help game development studios manage larger teams as the staff up to produce next-gen titles. Earlier this year, the company announced support for Microsofts XNA software architecture, which is designed to enable enhanced collaboration between content creators, programmers, management and quality-assurance staff to speed the game production process.