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SIGGRAPH attendees warm up to ICE

Audience lured by stunning presentations of XSI 7 By Ko Maruyama
The crowd crushed in close to see as much of the massive screen and strained to hear the presenters at the XSI booth.  Numbers of onlookers showed up for a lineup of artists show off their XSI projects.

It was a massive crowd every time I tried to get back to the booth to find a seat.  I wasn't surprised to see that people were lining up to catch a glimpse of the talented users that presented their amazing XSI productions, but I was surprised to see the implementation of ICE.

There are plenty of examples and a bunch of text that tries to describe how ICE behaves, and what it allows 3D artists to achieve, but you really need to see it in the capable hands of the demo artists to fully appreciate its potential.

The node based structure opens up SOFTIMAGE|XSI to a completely new level of control. 


Along with many substantial new features, SOFTIMAGE|XSI 7 is shipping with ICE, a transformative open platform designed to capture the infinitely creative vision of content producers. With a visual interface and an easy-to-use node-based programming model, users will be able to quickly create complex visual effects. ICE allows artists to explore, learn and modify the robust library of particle-based visual effects and deformation tools available in SOFTIMAGE|XSI 7 software, or simply build new ones from scratch. 

"The new features in XSI 7, along with the new ICE platform, represent a major leap for Softimage," said Aloys Baillet, Research and Development Lead, Animal Logic, Australia. "The new ICE platform allows our artists and TDs to maximize their creative endeavors on our latest projects with new ways to create complex deformations and character effects in this impressive node-based workflow, and because it's multi-threaded, we're seeing significant performance gains on our multi-core workstations."


SOFTIMAGE|XSI 7 software offers features developed for and inspired by its customers. Along with the new multi-threaded ICE platform, SOFTIMAGE|XSI 7 is shipping with pre-built, production-ready ICE 'compounds' for complex particle-based effects and deformations allowing artists and TDs to jump right into production. Additional features include: rendering support for mental ray v. 3.6; Delta II, an updated, lightweight referencing system; a new Real-Time Shading architecture; and a streamlined licensing process; User Interface & workflow improvements across several toolsets; and many other enhancements based on clients' requests. Digital Tutors also provides a FREE DVD with official Softimage training material, exclusively created for SOFTIMAGE|XSI 7.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:event, events, xsi, product review, 3D software, softImage, ICE, avid 3D software

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