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ClayTools System v1.0 for Maya to Ship in Third Quarter

Virtual clay modeling for high-detail organic models (July 19, 2005)

SensAble Technologies, Inc. announced today that version 1.0 of the ClayTools system for Maya® software will be shipping in Q3 2005. Alias® is the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology. The ClayTools system for Maya delivers unconstrained modeling for high-detail, organic models; incredibly fast texture baking; and integrated and extensible touch interactions within Maya.

The ClayTools system uses a virtual clay metaphor that removes the constraints of technical modeling, and offers unparalleled creative expression. The system includes the PHANTOM® Omni device, a true 3D interface with force feedback. Users work faster than ever before because they use their sense of touch to model virtual clay just like real clay. The system is easy to use by accomplished Maya software artists, and cinematic and fine artists. Users can carve, smudge, and tug at models to rapidly create characters, creatures, terrain, and props in a way that is fast, direct, and logical. The system also includes special tools to speed the creation of large areas of surface detail on models such as reptilian scales, skin pores, or patterned textures.

With the ClayTools system, users can quickly create 3D concept models and high-resolution, detailed models. Additionally, users can import a low-resolution Maya model and then use the ClayTools application to create a detailed, high-resolution version of the model. Using the ClayTools TextureKiln functionality, the detail from ClayTools models can be quickly transformed into a pre-calculated set of lighting values for normal maps and ambient occlusion maps or as height values for displacement or bump maps.

"As a Technical Art Director with Electronic Arts for over 2 years, I am always interested in faster ways of creating high-quality digital content that leverage Maya," said Shinichiro Hara. "I teach Maya MasterClasses, and I've been involved in the beta testing of the ClayTools system for Maya. I see tremendous potential in the combination of these two tools, especially for next-generation games. The ClayTools combination of virtual clay modeling, detailing tools, and TextureKiln, which is the fastest normal map generation tool I have ever seen, allows me to express my creativity and still meet deadlines."

The ClayTools system also includes the HapticExtender/MY plug-in which, along with the PHANTOM Omni device, enables users to interact with 3D scenes in Maya. It adds the sense of touch with 3D navigation to the tools within Maya, and enables users to touch and manipulate objects, components, skeletons, and deformers, and to create and edit geometry. Additionally, the PHANTOM Omni input to Maya (values of translation and rotation) as well as a variety of touch related attributes, can be accessed through MEL to enable the creation of custom tools for modeling, animation, and rendering.

"The ClayTools system for Maya extends the functionality of Maya software with the sense of touch and true 3D navigation in a way that's never been done before," said Craig Dean, Conductors Program Manager for Alias. "Our customers in the entertainment industry do some of the most innovative and award-winning work in the world, and they turn to Maya for its rich feature set and extensibility with MEL. We see the ClayTools system for Maya as a complementary tool that will give our customers fast, high-detail organic modeling that fits within their existing production pipelines, and the capability to create new customized tools that leverage the PHANTOM Omni device though MEL."

See the ClayTools system for Maya at SIGGRAPH®, August 2-4, 2005
SensAble will be demonstrating the ClayTools system for Maya at SIGGRAPH, August 2-4, 2005, Booth #1360 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Additionally, Maya users can see the ClayTools system at the Alias 2005 Global Users Association (AGUA) event to be held on Sunday July 31 at 3 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Availability and Pricing
Version 1.0 of the ClayTools system for Maya supports version 6.5 and higher of Maya software, and will begin shipping in Q3 2005. The ClayTools system for Maya is priced at $2,795 (Americas), 2,795 (EMEA), and ¥498,000 (Asia Pacific). SensAble customers who own a PHANTOM Omni device may purchase the software-only version of the ClayTools system for Maya priced at $1,995 (Americas), 1,995 (EMEA), and ¥356,000 (Asia Pacific). For more information or to purchase the ClayTools system or Maya, please contact or +1-781-937-8315 or contact an authorized ClayTools Reseller listed at

About SensAble Technologies
With over 3,000 systems worldwide, SensAble Technologies, Inc.® is a leading provider of 3D touch-enabled digital solutions for product design, digital content creation, commercial software development, and academic and commercial research. At the core of SensAble products is the PHANTOM® line of haptic devices, which makes it possible for users to touch and manipulate virtual objects. Along with the ClayTools system for Maya, 3ds Max®, and Rhino, SensAble offers the FreeForm® systems for product design, and haptic devices and toolkits for software application development. SensAble maintains headquarters in the United States and sales offices in Europe, Japan, and China. SensAble products are available through direct and reseller channels. Product and corporate information:

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Related Keywords:SensAble, ClayTools, Maya, 3D graphics, modeling, organic models, texture baking

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