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DISCREET ADDS NEW FEATURES TO 3D ANIMATION SOFTWARE.

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), has launched the latest version of its professional 3D modeling, animation and rendering software package, 3ds max 7 software. This major release delivers significant advancements and optimizations to its core features that will greatly enhance the workflow for 3D artists and designers in film, television, games, and visualization. With by far the 3D industry's largest installed base of over 280,000 registered customers, many of whom are joining Discreet's subscription-based program, Discreet 3ds max 7 software continues to deliver one of the most productive 3D animation software solutions to artists and designers in all markets.

Discreet customers testing early 3ds max 7 beta software versions are united in reporting that it is the most stable and high performance version that Discreet has ever delivered. The many new features, major gains in productivity and impressive stability will undoubtedly assist in streamlining art production in today's ever-changing world of computer animation and graphics technology. 3ds max software is racking up huge successes across the professional 3D markets together with widespread demand from the educational community -- providing 3ds max software training for tomorrow's 3D animation artists.

"There isn't another piece of software that's been able to lure us away from 3ds max, or has presented us with a toolset we can't get within 3ds max software. With 3ds max we can tackle anything that comes our way," said Richard Rosenman, 3D animation director, Red Rover Animation Studios Ltd., Toronto.

Normal mapping is one of the most important technological advancements in video game technology this year -- with incredible crossover applicability for film and other markets -- and Discreet 3ds max 7 software introduces the most advanced and complete normal mapping workflow solution in a commercially available 3D animation software package. Many of the latest interactive PC and console games shipping for Christmas 2004 are using normal maps to increase the visual fidelity of their games. Discreet 3ds max 7 software's normal mapping helps game developers deliver these compelling titles to the consumer public.

Key new features in 3ds max 7 software include:

-- Normal Mapping -- revolutionary workflow developed for gaming adds extreme detail to low-polygon models with high resolution maps -- and with complete rendering support, normal mapping brings great time-saving benefits to film production and cinematic visualizations

-- mental ray 3.3 -- enhanced integration in 3ds max software with accelerated performance and better memory efficiency. Improved Global Illumination, new support for Render to Texture and Normal Mapping, and Sub-Surface Scattering that disperses light for amazingly realistic skin and dense translucent object rendering

-- character studio software -- integrated advanced character animation toolset into the core feature set of 3ds max 7 software. Adds industry leading price/performance capabilities to the existing 3ds max software character toolset.

-- Parameter Collector and Editor -- a new, unified interface that improves efficiency when animating multiple parameters for any character setup

-- Edit Poly Modifier -- significantly increases the speed and ease at which complex polygonal surfaces can be created, modified and then animated -- improving the creative process

-- Skin Wrap Deformer -- greatly improved character animation workflow with easy application of props and clothing to pre-skinned 3D models

-- Snapping Workflow -- improved accuracy and viewport feedback for the underlying snapping system in 3ds max software

-- Reaction Manager -- a new interface and workflow for managing reactions and animations between objects

-- Paint Selections -- an intuitive and interactive method for building selections with a brush-based interface

-- Enhanced Interactive Performance and Scalability -- an ongoing program to ensure that 3ds max software can scale to very large datasets including smart object culling for high performance manipulation of objects as well as turbosmooth, a highly optimized smoothing algorithm for increased performance of high resolution models

-- Mobile Gaming Development Tools -- native mobile 3D asset creation with new JSR 184 exporter

"We are thrilled with the vast adoption of 3ds max 7 software from positive beta testing feedback, early upgrades, aggressive subscription orders and new customers since its introduction at SIGGRAPH earlier this year," said Marc Petit, vice president of product development, Discreet. "3ds max software gives our customers unparalleled workflow and 'out-of-the-box' productivity that ultimately results in the lowest cost of ownership. We can not wait to see the amazing content our customers around the world will accomplish with this release," added Petit.

Discreet 3ds max software was used to generate 3D visual effects in motion pictures including Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (The Orphanage), The Day After Tomorrow (Dreamscape Imagery/ Uncharted Territory), Exorcist: The Beginning, Cellular, A Cinderella Story, The Last Samurai, and Elf (Digital Dimension), The Triplets of Belleville (Walking the Dog), X2: X-Men United, The Italian Job (Frantic Films); a majority of PC and console games including Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 The Game (Treyarch); Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire (BioWare); new, upcoming titles: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and Prince of Persia Warrior Within (Ubisoft); Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (Relic Entertainment), Fable (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft); Grand Theft Auto series (Rockstar); Halo and upcoming Halo 2 (Bungie); and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Electronic Arts). Discreet 3ds max software is used to create final design and cinematics in renowned architectural firms including HOK, KDLAB, Bombardier, OVI, and Urban Simulations.

Pricing and Availability

3ds max 7 software sells for US $3,495. Localized versions are planned to be available by end of year and early 2005. Upgrade pricing from 3ds max 6 is US $795; and 3ds max 5 US $1,295. Discreet's Subscription Program benefits customers with access to new software feature extensions, patches, upgrades, and e-learning content for an annual fee. For more information, visit http://www.discreet.com/subscription/ and resellers.

About Discreet

Discreet empowers media professionals to realize the visual experience and transform their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Discreet's solutions are designed for digital media creation, management, and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, color grading, and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive, and design visualization. Discreet is based in Montreal, Quebec, and is a division of Autodesk, Inc., a design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company.

Discreet can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.discreet.com.

For more information, call 415/547-2457.
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Date:Dec 1, 2004
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