Alias’ 64-bit mental ray Standalone for Linux Part of Larger Product Plans

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Alias’ 64-bit mental ray Standalone Part of Larger Product Plans

Now shipping on Linux to provide dramatic performance increases and greater creative freedom

Toronto, Canada – June 30, 2005 – As the initial part of its greater 64-bit plan, Alias is shipping mental ray Standalone 3.4 64-bit, which is fully compatible with the Maya 6.5 software. The 64-bit software offers faster processing times, and the ability to create and accurately render more complex scenes and images for film, games, broadcast, digital publishing and design visualisation.

“This is an important first step in our plans to deliver a new Maya-based product that taps the power of 64-bit hardware; an alpha version is currently being evaluated at several leading studios,” said Kevin Tureski, director of engineering for Maya at Alias.

The mental ray Standalone product and the adapting of Maya software to run optimally in 64-bit mode have been the focus of extensive customer-driven development efforts at Alias in cooperation with industry leaders, such as HP, Microsoft, Red Hat, Intel and AMD.

“Maya is a key element of our 3D pipeline so we jumped on the opportunity to evaluate a 64-bit version,” said Nick Cannon, head of technology, film at The Moving Picture Company. “So far, we've been really impressed with what we've been able to do with it and we are excited about this quantum leap forward in performance and model detail.”

mental ray Standalone from Alias leverages the expanded capabilities of 64-bit hardware.

Rolf Herken, CEO and CTO of mental images, says the additional addressable memory space dramatically improves performance for large scenes. “This can lead to speed improvements of up to two orders of magnitude (100x) over 32-bit machines and absolute execution times in the order of minutes rather than days for global illumination rendering of scenes with several hundred million triangles on dual and quad processor machines with 8GB to 16GB of physical memory. We expect this to finally make virtual cinematography a practical reality.”

"We're very pleased to see the 64-bit version of mental ray Standalone and the corresponding shader libraries being made available by Alias to the Maya community," added Herken.

In addition to the ability to render massive scenes, the 64-bit version of mental ray Standalone offers quality and control. Production facilities can take advantage of its complete programmability to create custom shaders and produce any desired rendering effect. Physically accurate lighting through global illumination means that advanced lighting effects, indirect lighting, light focusing, translucency, glossy reflectors and radiosity can be achieved and combined automatically.

Hardware & OS combinations supported by 64-bit mental ray Standalone
Enterprise Linux WS 3 (x86_64) and SUSE 9.1 (x86_64), running on Intel EM64T, AMD Opteron, or AMD Athlon 64 processors. Support for the Windows XP operating platform is expected.

About Alias
As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets.

On March 1, 2003, for the awards year 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Alias|Wavefront an Oscar for scientific and technical achievement for the development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package.

Alias also offers a powerful range of services for new to advanced users in the most demanding environments. Learning Tools and training, support, and professional services help meet rigorous production deadlines. Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Centre in Santa Barbara.

Please visit the Alias website at http://www.alias.com for more information.