Sun And Side Effects Software Unveil Houdini 3D For Solaris

August 17, 2001

NEWS BRIEFS

Palo Alto, CA — Sun Microsystems, Inc. bolsters its growing presence in the digital content creation market through its announcement with Side Effects Software that the award-winning Houdini 3D application will be made available on the Sun Solaris(TM) Operating Environment.

The announcement brings together one of the industry’s most powerful 3D animation and visual effects software products with the renowned scalability and price/performance of Sun’s Solaris platform and UltraSPARC(TM) architecture. Providing digital content creation (DCC) companies with a new robust, 64-bit alternative platform, the Sun-Side Effects announcement further enhances Sun’s end-to-end digital media partner solutions, from content creation to asset management and content distribution.

Based on its pioneering procedural approach, Houdini is used by leaders in the animation, media and entertainment markets, helping to create such highly regarded visual effects sequences as those found in blockbuster feature films, including The Matrix, The Mummy Returns, Hollow Man, X-Men, and soon-to-be-released Lord of the Rings. By porting Houdini to the Solaris platform, animators and other digital media customers have the benefit of vendor accountability and support from Side Effects Software and Sun Microsystems. In addition to the productivity benefits offered by Houdini’s animation software, customers also have access to more hardware options, including the sub-$1,000 entry level Sun(TM) Blade 100 workstation, the power graphics Sun Blade 1000 workstation, industry-leading Sun servers, and a wide range of Sun storage solutions.

“Sun is accelerating its momentum in the digital content creation market by working with the industry’s leading application providers and by delivering professional quality 3D graphics and computing solutions at extremely competitive price points,” said Robbie Turner, vice president of Client and Technical Market Products for Sun. “By working with Side Effects, an industry-recognized leader in 3D animation, Sun is able to bring the power of the Solaris platform and advanced 64-bit UltraSPARC architecture to top animation studios and convergence media companies around the world.”

“Our customers have been looking for more choices in their 3D animation hardware solutions, and porting Houdini to Sun’s Solaris Operating Environment makes this a reality for them,” said Paul Salvini, CTO of Side Effects Software. “It is our goal to continue making our software solutions more useful, efficient and powerful for our growing customer base. Having already added support for Linux and 64-bit processors in 1999, porting to the Solaris platform was very straightforward. The development tools on Sun are outstanding and they contributed significantly to our productivity during the porting effort.”

“We have been using Houdini in production as one of our primary visual effects tools for years,” said Scott Ross, Chairman/CEO of Digital Domain, an award-winning visual effects company for films, television and theme parks. “The Houdini port to Sun’s Solaris platform provides us with a very compelling alternative, particularly in terms of product support, price and performance. We’ve consistently received outstanding technical service from Side Effects and we are very familiar with Sun’s market strength and solid reputation for end-to-end system support, which makes for an extremely valuable proposition for us.”

Product Availability

A beta release of Houdini is expected to be available in the fall of 2001. Plans for the porting effort include availability on the Sun Blade and Sun(TM) Ultra workstations and will support a wide range of Sun’s graphics accelerator options, including Creator3D, Elite3D, and the high-end, professional-level graphics board, Sun(TM) Expert3D.

About Houdini

Houdini is an award-winning 3D animation software package that includes a comprehensive set of capabilities for digital content creation including modeling, animating, compositing, characters, textures, shading and rendering. Houdini is used for animation and visualization at a number of world-class facilities including TRW, Northrop, Boeing, Sydney VisLab, Primal Pictures and Doug Struthers Studio.

Houdini’s unique and award-winning Visual Procedural Network technology facilitates quick learning, rapid experimentation and the ultimate in production flexibility. Its revolutionary, fully non-linear architecture lets artists work the way they think. The powerful new customizable interface has been designed to handle the most sophisticated production environments with efficiency.

About Side Effects Software, Inc.

Established in 1987, Side Effects Software is a world leader in the development of advanced 3D graphics and special effects software for use in film, broadcast and game development. Today, Side Effects Software leads the field of non-linear animation with its unique, award-winning, Houdini technology. Houdini is used by numerous digital content creation leaders including Digital Domain, DreamWorks SKG, Electronic Arts, Namco, Nickelodeon, Rhythm & Hues, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, Walt Disney Feature Animation and Weta Digital Ltd.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — The Network Is The Computer(TM) — has propelled Sun Microsystems,Inc., to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth.

Web site: http://www.sidefx.com

Web site: http://sun.com

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