September 25, 2006

Softimage Unveils CAT Version 2.5 Plug-in to Autodesk 3ds Max

Montreal, Québec - Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., has announced the worldwide availability of Softimage|CAT Version 2.5, the plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software.
The Softimage|Cat software is a character animation system with a toolset that enables artists to animate quickly in a flexible environment. Part of Avid’s recent asset acquisition of Character Animation Technologies Ltd., Softimage|CAT Version 2.5 is the latest update to the newest member of the Softimage suite of character production tools, and is currently deployed in the game development, film, and postproduction industries.
Features new to Softimage|CAT Version 2.5 include:
-- New system for manipulating CATRigs. CAT now includes gizmos to manipulate CATRigs faster and easier. With one click, a gizmo can be added to a CAT bone to give a rig a streamlined set of controls.
-- Copy and paste layers for keyframe animation. Artists can now copy and paste poses and animation for hubs limbs, hands, feet, and tails, speeding the key-framing of CAT characters.
-- Procedural walk-cycle system. New walk modes in CATMotion include Walk on spot, Walk on Line, and Path node. CATMotion also includes controls for gradient and direction and tools for previewing a larger range of motion.
-- Pose mixer for bone-based facial animation. The new pose mixer tool provides a fast, intuitive workflow that allows artists to animate characters’ faces in the same way they would using morph targets. Poses can be loaded, mirrored, and blended onto the facial bone hierarchy.
Softimage|CAT 2.5 also includes updates to CAT’s capture animation tool to provide a faster, more responsive workflow. New pipeline tools include a batch importer to import data into CAT, and a new easily customizable script-based batch exporter. A new Wiki for CAT documentation is also now available at http://cat.wiki.avid.com.

2.5 is a free upgrade for customers who have purchased CAT 2.0 and above. The upgrade to Version 2.5 can be downloaded from http://www.catoolkit.com/
Customers with a license of CAT 1.0 can purchase an upgrade for $295 from the CAT Web site at http://www.catoolkit.com/purchase/ or from authorized resellers.
New customers can purchase Softimage|CAT 2.5 for $995 from the CAT website at http://www.catoolkit.com/purchase/ or from authorized resellers.