Darwin Dimensions Introduces evolver Software Enabling Automated Creation of 3D Character Models
Set to Debut at SIGGRAPH 2006, evolver Delivers a Near-Infinite Variety of Character Models for Professional Animation Pipelines
CGIndia News

MONTREAL--(MARKET WIRE)--Jul 24, 2006 --Darwin Dimensions announced today the evolver family of software products, providing automated creation of unique 3D character models for use in games, film, television, multimedia, education, manufacturing and corporate markets. evolver introduces dramatic productivity increases to animation pipelines by saving hours over building character models manually from scratch. Darwin Dimensions will debut evolver at the SIGGRAPH 2006 conference in Boston, MA, at the Boston Convention Center from August 1-3 in booth #202. A free trial version of the software is currently available for download from www.darwindimensions.com.

A pre-release version of the software has been generating a lot of industry enthusiasm. "evolver is the best human character generator I've seen. It allows you to create a wide variety of highly realistic, production-ready characters complete with textures, skeletons, and skinning. It is going to save my studio a lot of production time," said George Maestri, Founder, RubberBug Animation and Author of the "Digital Character Animation" book series.

With evolver, a near-infinite assortment of characters can be created within minutes by combining and mixing physical attributes derived from a "virtual gene pool" of pre-built characters that live in the evolver ancestor library. The user can easily tweak, morph and customize facial features and body types from an easy-to-use desktop interface. Resulting character models, made available in several resolutions, are rigged for animation and ready for pipeline integration into FBX-compatible 3D animation workflows. All characters are humanoids, and final versions ship with 66 facial expressions, including 12 phonemes for realistic emotions and lip sync, color bump and specular map textures with a UV unfold, and balanced geometry for movement that is anatomically and kinetically accurate. evolver models are unclothed and hairless, ready to be customized by a trained 3D artist.

"Having spent many years as an animator for feature films on projects such as 'Shrek2', 'Madagascar' and 'Shrek3', and also having supervised character modeling and rigging for cinematics, I am intimately familiar with the process of building production-quality character models. evolver is remarkable in that in a few simple steps you can automatically generate a multitude of beautifully designed models that are indistinguishable from human-character models professionally built from scratch -- all ready with facial blendshapes," commented Emile Ghorayeb, Artistic Animation Director, Ubisoft Entertainment.

The evolver software family is comprised of: evolver BASIC, evolver PRO and evolver COMPLETE. Upon the release of version 1.0, evolver BASIC and evolver PRO will be available commercially.

-- evolver Basic includes evolver Character Builder(TM), a standalone software tool that allows end users to create proxy character models on their PCs. With evolver Basic, production-ready versions of the users' customized models can be purchased online on an as-needed basis at http://www.darwindimensions.com.

-- evolver PRO includes the evolver Character Builder and the evolver Output Generator(TM) -- allowing users to create proxy characters and generate humanoid models rigged for animation with blend shapes, expressions and textures. evolver Output Generator(TM) is the rendering engine that outputs final characters and works in conjunction with Autodesk Maya Complete.

-- evolver COMPLETE will be commercially available at a later date, and will allow customers to integrate proprietary, Maya-built 3D character models into the evolver Character Builder ancestor library.

"In the Pixel Corps, we have members ranging from new students to seasoned 3D professionals. evolver solves issues for all of them," explains Alex Lindsay, founder, Pixel Corps. "evolver provides folks new to 3D with a great way to generate realistic characters so that they can move on to animating. For the pros, it's a great way to populate scenes with large numbers of unique characters."

Pricing and availability
A trial version of evolver BASIC is available as a free download from www.darwindimensions.com, and is also provided on the cover-mount CD of the current issue of 3D World Magazine. Pricing for evolver BASIC is $39.00 (US Dollars) with final models available for purchase separately on an as-needed basis. Pricing for evolver PRO starts at $4,995.00 (US Dollars) with the capability to output three humanoid models complete with skeletal rigging, blendshapes, expressions and textures. Geometry-only versions of Darwin Dimensions' high-quality models start at $49.00 (US Dollars). Please visit the Darwin Dimensions website for detailed pricing and volume discounts. evolver Basic and evolver PRO are available now for purchase directly through Darwin Dimensions at www.darwindimensions.com.

About Darwin Dimensions
Darwin Dimensions is the developer of the evolver suite of automated character modeling tools. The Montreal, Canada-based company emerged out of the Darwin Research Project directed by Michel Fleury, PhD and associate professor at Université du Quebec a Montreal. The commercial viability of evolver software led entrepreneur and co-founder of LavaLife David Chamandy to join Fleury in the launch of Darwin Dimensions. Darwin Dimensions specializes in delivering time-saving production efficiencies to the character animation process via evolver software, and in-house professional 3D modeling capabilities. For more information please visit www.darwindimensions.com .


Source: Darwin Dimensions, Copyright ©2006

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