September 24, 2008

Massive Software Upgrades AI-driven Animation System

San Diego, Calif. - Massive Software announced Massive 3.5, a new upgrade to Massive, the artificialintelligence (AI) driven animation system. Massive 3.5 follows up onMassive 3.0 with new features, including Agent Fields and improvedintegration and hair and fur dynamics.

Massive allows artists to create and direct anything from CG humanoids to birds, animals, cars, and more to deliver realistic and emotive virtual performances. Massive "agents" are 3D characters that use sight, sound and touch to interpret and react autonomously to the world around them. Massive incorporates procedural animation and AI, and is used by professionals in animation, visual effects ,and design visualization.

New features include:
Agent Fields - Handle local interactions between large numbers of agents for such things as collision avoidance, pedestrian visualization and flocking. Users can define an area, or field, around an agent in which another agent's proximity, orientation, velocity, direction and color can be assessed. A new Viewport option allows for visualization of Agent Fields in 3D from within the Agent Fields editor.

Extended FBX Support - Massive 3.0 provided the facility to import skeletons and motion from a wide range of animation applications via the industry standard FBX file format. In 3.5 this support has been extended to cameras, lights, geometry and skeleton and motion export, providing comprehensive facilities for integration with other applications such as SoftImage XSI, Autodesk 3ds Max, Cinema4D and MotionBuilder.

Extended Python Support - As it becomes increasingly common for studios to implement integration of 3D applications using Python scripts, Massive 3.5 includes increased support for Python to make it easier to integrate Massive into custom studio production pipelines. Python scripting allows for action management and adds more functions for automating importing of motion.

Maya Particle File Support - Improved integration with better support for Maya particle files. Using Maya particle files, a Massive simulation can be imported into a Maya scene as simple particles for scene integration, lighting reference and real time playback.

Improved Dynamic Hair and Fur Support - Improved dynamics and increased control of hair with a guide hair shape constraint that can be used to get hair to keep to a user-defined shape or hairstyle. Mental Ray hair hader allows users to get high-quality hair and fur renderings without writing custom shaders.

The latest addition to the growing library of off-the-shelf Ready To Run agents is the Car Agent. Ready to be placed into cityscapes, architectural visualizations, and anywhere there's a need for realistic traffic animation. The car agent utilizes the Lanes feature, first released in Massive 3.0. The Ready To Run agents all come complete with animation, brain, geometry, textures and shaders, and include enough variation to populate large scenes.

Massive 3.5 is now available for Windows and Linux. Massive Jet 3.5, delivering out-of-the-box functionality, is available for $5999 per license. Massive 3.5 is priced at $17,999 per license.