Press Release

ThinkingParticles 2 Announced as New DCP

(New Orleans – August 9, 2004) - Turbo Squid™, home of the world’s largest collection of royalty-free 3D products and worldwide publisher for the Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-in Program, commends Digital Dimension for creating complex realistic effects for “Blade: Trinity” with the latest Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-in, ThinkingParticles 2.0, from cebas Computer GmbH.

ThinkingParticles 2.0 has now been certified as a DCP and begins shipping to customers around the world today.

Since 1996 Digital Dimension, the Burbank, California based visual effects studio, has made its mark within the visual effects world and delivered memorable shots for over four dozen motion pictures including “Elf”, “The Last Samurai”, and “Scooby Doo 2” just to name a few. Their client list reads like a who’s who of major studios and includes Warner Brothers, New line Cinema, and Sony. With a reputation built upon delivering amazing visuals, Ben Girard’s team was given the nod on effects for “Blade: Trinity” starring Wesley Snipes.

While excited by the project, CG Supervisor Jason Crosby described it as “massive”. “The majority of the 153 shots we got centered on the ‘ashing’ shots where the vampires are destroyed”, noted Crosby. “We tried other solutions, but discovered that as soon as we needed true rigid body dynamics for the particles and precise map-based controls, everything failed.”

Their search led them to cebas’ rule-based ThinkingParticles 2.0. “The biggest benefit was how the plug-in allowed us to create new tools within it. It’s rare that a tool does exactly what we need out of the box for any given shot so its usefulness ends up being based on how customizable it is,” explained Crosby. “Since TP2 uses small building blocks instead of large canned effects, it made it possible to design custom tests for our specific production needs.”

ThinkingParticles 2 is the next generation of rule-based particle systems for Discreet’s 3ds Max© professional 3D modeling, rendering and animation software. When compared to an event-based particle system, which works on triggers and time dependent events, a rule-based system is free from constraints and instead applies simple behaviors. These behaviors govern all aspects of a particle’s motion, life, death, and collisions in a true non-linear fashion.

ThinkingParticles 2 offers its particle system functionality through a “programmatic” approach. This approach lets artists use ThinkingParticles 2’s powerful visual Wire Setup Interface to procedurally build the rules and conditions that control the particle behavior. Because of this technology, artists become the ultimate master of particle mayhem.

ThinkingParicles 2 offers artists these benefits:

  • Newly designed and color coded Wire Setup View for easier behavior setup
  • MatterWaves as a set of rule-based operators
  • Advanced "Blurp" operator to handle complex particle morph effects
  • One or many particles can be accessed at any time
  • Full support for character studio bipeds to do crowd control
  • Advanced object tracking features to handle mesh animation
  • Multi purpose complex operators for creative control
  • Full support of particle/object interaction
  • Rule based shatter simulation allows complex effects
  • Real time dynamic system that allows artists to interact with simulation
  • Full baking of complex dynamic particle simulations for faster playback and rendering
  • Any 3ds Max mesh can be turned into a real particle with full control
  • ThinkingParicles 2 controls 3ds Max meshes, shape, size, and animation
  • Texture based breaking and shattering
  • Full non-linear animation, including operators and whole dynamic sets
  • Includes multiple dynamics engines
  • True face/shape collision and advanced real time particle collision
  • All new highly optimized 3D particle draw function with recording and playback of the painted particles on a surface
  • Freely adjustable sub-frame sampling for the most accurate collision results
  • "Particle Impact Paint" feature, surface accurate color/texture change on impact of particles
  • Particles can be exported to standard 3ds Max object removing the need of having TP in the scene to render
  • Unique trackable Particle ID for selective removal of individual particles
  • Advanced Particle Follow and Surface Placement rules

Dan Prochazka, 3ds Max Product Manager for Discreet saw the evolution of the product. “ThinkingParticles 2 offers 3ds Max users a new and revolutionary non-linear approach to particle creation,” said Prochazka.

Pricing and availability

ThinkingParticles 2 has a suggested retail price of US$1295. Existing users of ThinkingParticles may upgrade to ThinkingParticles 2 for $495.

All Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-ins may be purchased from Turbo Squid at http://www.turbosquid.com/dcpstore, from Discreet at http://www.discreet.com/products/3dsmax/dcp, or from authorized Resellers around the world. For a Reseller near you, contact sales@turbosquid.com.

Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-in Program

Working together, Discreet and Turbo Squid are carefully selecting third party solutions that bring compelling value to 3ds Max artists. These plug-ins are subjected to stringent testing procedures defined by Discreet to ensure each plug-in works well with 3ds Max software and other Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-ins.

Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-ins are backed up by an online support system implemented by Turbo Squid including developer-moderated forums, FAQs, tutorials, demos, and the latest product information for Discreet 3ds Max artists.

For more information on Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-ins visit: http://www.turbosquid.com.

About TurboSquid

Founded in 2000, Turbo Squid is dedicated to the management and distribution of digital products and other relevant content for 3D and 2D designers and creative professionals. Turbo Squid provides a global market for digital products by enabling individual and corporate users to list, promote and sell their content to users around the world. In 2003 Turbo Squid was named as the exclusive publisher and worldwide distributor for the Discreet Certified 3ds Max Plug-in Program. Turbo Squid is a privately held and venture-backed company. More information can be found at the company's web site: www.turbosquid.com.

About Discreet

Discreet empowers moving media professionals to realize the visual experience, transforming their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Its range of award-winning systems and software is developed for digital media creation, management and delivery—across all disciplines from visual effects and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive design, and design visualization. Discreet is based in Montreal, Quebec and is a division of Autodesk, Inc., the world's leading design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company. Product and corporate information is located on the Internet at http://www.discreet.com.

About cebas Computer GmbH

cebas Computer GmbH is a German developer of advanced 3D software for 3ds Max and other 3D applications, based near Heidelberg. With 14 years of experience in software development for the 3D market, cebas has become renowned for its quality and unique software products serving graphics and animation studios around the world. More info is available at http://www.cebas.com.

Contact:
Dan Lion
VP Sales and Marketing
TurboSquid, Inc.
Tel: (504) 680-4402

Discreet Public Relations
Kevin G Clark, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications
Tel:(415) 547-2457
Kevin.g.clark@autodesk.com

cebas Computer GmbH
Edwin Braun
info@cebas.com

Discreet is a division of Autodesk, Inc. Autodesk, Discreet and 3ds Max are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk Inc./Autodesk Canada Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. ©Copyright 2003 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.