Issue: Day 3 - SIGGRAPH 2007


SAN DIEGO - Avid's Softimage subsidiary introduced the latest versions of its 3D animation software packages - XSI 6.5 and Face Robot 1.8 - at the SIGGRAPH show. The company also announced plans to repackage its Essentials and Advanced versions of XSI 6.5 software to meet the needs of artists and studios, respectively. The latest version of Face Robot will offer enhancements for game development pipelines, along with hours of new training material. Both XSI 6.5 and Face Robot 1.8 are expected to be available in the fall of 2007.

Both XSI 6.5 Essentials and Advanced software will include more than 30 enhancements that were developed for customers such as Lionhead Studios, Valve, EA and Animal Logic. Some of the new enhancements include HDR (high dynamic range) rendermap support; additional SDK  APIs; UV editing enhancements (2D image data on a 3D model); and enhanced audio support.

Essentials equips artists with the features they need to create 3D characters and content for games, film and television. The Essentials version now includes Hair & Fur, and Syflex Cloth capabilities. The price for Essentials will increase to $2,995. Maintenance remains $799, and upgrades remain $999.

Advanced includes everything in the Essentials package, plus Behavior, a crowd and behavioral simulation system, as well as five additional XSI Batch rendering licenses. The price for Advanced will decrease to $4,995 and maintenance will decrease to $1,333.

Face Robot, the software package for delivering life-like 3D character facial animation, contains new features that focus on game development pipeline efficiencies. Crosswalk, Motor (motion transfer), Delta Referencing and Animation Layers are all built on the XSI 6 core. A new shape rig export system allows users to export entire head blend shapes for use in XSI and Autodesk Maya. Enhanced training materials include seven ready-to-use preset head models and a 23-part training video covering the Face Robot tuning process.