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MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES VERSION 3.5 OF SOFTIMAGE TOONZ

Leading Cel-Animation Software Offers Improved Functionality
                      and Greater Ease of Use


REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT MSFT Microsoft (stock symbol)
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) today announced version 3.5 of SOFTIMAGE(R) TOONZ for the Silicon Graphics(R) platform. SOFTIMAGE TOONZ is the leading cel-animation software for traditional cel animators who create animation for film, video, interactive games and new media. This new release offers a powerful, comprehensive and fully featured environment that provides the experience of traditional animation Traditional animation, also referred to as classical animation, cel animation, or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular form of animation. In a traditionally-animated cartoon, each frame is drawn by hand.  tools.

SOFTIMAGE TOONZ includes a complete range of modules and capabilities that are based on the traditional cel-animation process, from audio input to scanning, pencil test, set palette, ink and paint, special effects, and compositing. SOFTIMAGE TOONZ can be customized for scanning, ink and paint, and rendering by adding separate modules.

"SOFTIMAGE TOONZ provides the best of both worlds. It preserves the integrity and personality of the original art, while automating the time- consuming and expensive steps of inking, compositing and adding special effects," said Leslie Evans, product manager for SOFTIMAGE TOONZ at Microsoft. "This new release extends the breakthrough capabilities of SOFTIMAGE TOONZ. It gives you complete, beginning-to-end quality control while enabling you to get your product to market quickly."

Microsoft renamed the product SOFTIMAGE TOONZ from Creative TOONZ. The new name enables Microsoft to feature the SOFTIMAGE brand name, which is recognized around the world for high-quality media-creation tools.

SOFTIMAGE TOONZ 3.5 provides substantial new modules and utilities, as well as new features that have been added to existing modules and utilities, and several major bug fixes. Product highlights include the following:

* Simple user interface. The user interface is icon-based for ease

of use and holds true to the traditional cel-animation process

while providing consistency throughout the application.

* X-Sheet. SOFTIMAGE TOONZ provides a version of the traditional

animators exposure sheet.

* Camera stand. The exposure sheet and camera stand are in one

interface. The camera stand adjusts cels and layers to size and

background.

* Resolution independence. The user can now select film, video or

HDTV (High Definition TV) A set of digital television (DTV) standards that offer the highest resolution and sharpest picture. Although some HDTV sets are available in standard (rather square) screen sizes, the overwhelming majority of sets are wide screen, which eliminates  output for decreased production costs and faster time to

market.

A complete list of new features is below.

Pricing and Availability

SOFTIMAGE TOONZ was previously available in a variety of configurations ranging from approximately $15,000 to $25,000 (U.S.). SOFTIMAGE TOONZ is available now for approximately $16,995 (U.S.). SOFTIMAGE TOONZ version 3.5 is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 1995 through Microsoft's direct SOFTIMAGE sales force and value-added resellers worldwide. Licensed users of versions 3.0 or 3.01 of SOFTIMAGE TOONZ with maintenance agreements will receive an upgrade to version 3.5 at no charge. SOFTIMAGE TOONZ can be customized by adding the following modules: Scanning for approximately $4,995 (U.S.), Inknpaint for approximately $6,995 (U.S.), and Rendering for approximately $6,995 (U.S.).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

NOTE: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. SOFTIMAGE is a registered trademark of SOFTIMAGE, a wholly owned subsidiary Wholly Owned Subsidiary

A subsidiary whose parent company owns 100% of its common stock.

Notes:
In other words, the parent company owns the company outright and there are no minority owners.
 of Microsoft Corp. Silicon Graphics is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc.
                  New Features in SOFTIMAGE TOONZ


Palette editor (PLTEDIT) allows preparation of color palettes for each level or color model.

Background tiler (BGTILER) allows the user to tile several images in a single unique, big-background image.

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 (CASM/NGCASM) allows optimization through a preparing of the casmfile tree, resulting in average performance increases of 40 percent.

Setup (SETUP) is a more structured approach that allows users to better identify the settings relevant to single modules only.

Batches (BATCHES) are enhanced versions of the COMPOSE and SHELLS features that provide better control.

Record (REC) is a redesigned interface.

TOONZ_INSTALL is a graphic interface now available for installation tool.

AUTOCLOSE now includes ability to set inks and transparency value, the search-for-leaks distance, and the angle to be used.

CONVERT2TZU converts one or more unpainted images in SOFTIMAGE TOONZ to one or more full-color images.

QUANTIZE To perform quantization. See quantization.  quantizes a full-color image, reducing the number of colors available in a palette.

FILL_TZU allows users to "autoclose" and fill an unpainted level.
    -0-                       1/6/95


/NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in receiving Microsoft press releases by fax, please call 800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201-333-0314 internationally./

/CONTACT: Press Only: Lisa MacKenzie of Waggener Edstrom, 503-699-0856/

(MSFT)

CO: Microsoft Corp. ST: Washington IN: CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Definition

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Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 6, 1995
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