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Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Autodesk's 3D Software Drives Next-Generation Gaming Graphics


A number of this season's most anticipated games have been created with Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya 3D animation, modeling and rendering software products from Autodesk

Insomniac Games Resistance: Fall of Man and Monolith Productions F.E.A.R. were created with Autodesk software and are expected to become blockbuster games for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3).

"New generation hardware is soon to be delivered and this autumn's titles are starting to show us the staggering new levels of visual quality and game play we can now expect," said Marc Petit, Autodesk's Media & Entertainment vice president. "Insomniac Games and Monolith Productions are leading the way and bringing us photorealistic yet stylized immersive interactive experiences and pushing gaming to a whole a new level."

Using Maya, Insomniac Games developed Resistance: Fall of Man for the PS3. The game is a blend of military action and horror, in which U.S. and British forces battle an alien species that has taken over Europe. To deliver the highly detailed gaming environments required of next-gen titles, Insomniac created dense models, crisp textures, believable surfaces and real-world lighting, all based on real locations in Great Britain. The studio also focused on immersive game play by developing a variety of frightening creatures, physics-based weaponry, playable vehicles and smart enemies. The game is expected to ship on November 17.

"As always, Autodesk Maya proved to be an infinitely expandable production tool," said Chad Dezern, Resistance: Fall of Man art director. "We used the Maya suite of polygon modeling and UV mapping tools to create meshes for Resistance that are more detailed than any we've created before. To add more realism to the game, we were faced with the challenge of animating many small parts for exploding objects. The Maya dynamics module allowed us to simulate accurate physics for improved effects."

The success of Monolith Productions award-winning F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault and Recon) franchise on the PC drove demand for the game to become available on next-generation consoles. It is intended to release on the Xbox 360 on November 14 and PS3 on November 21. The game focuses heavily on close-quarters combat, challenging players to contain a crisis unfolding on an aerospace compound. Monolith has created a near-cinematic experience in the next-generation game. Made with 3ds Max and Maya, F.E.A.R. features a slow-motion function to manipulate time, as well as artificial intelligence and advanced special effects physics.

"We use both Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya because each has its strengths. Both products are stellar applications for different areas of game development," said William Westwater, Monolith Productions director of development. "We also use Autodesk's FBX file format, which lets our artists transfer data smoothly from one application to the other. What these tools allow us to do now is amazing."

Autodesk's 3D software has also been used to create other hot gaming titles shipping this fall, including: Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Epic Games Gears of War and Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes.


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