Aug 03 2005

Virtools™ Announces Availability of Virtools Software Suite 3.5

Press Conference to Be Held at SIGGRAPH Tradeshow

Paris, August 3, 2005 - Virtools™, a company recently acquired by Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), today announced the availability of Virtools Software Suite 3.5. A press conference to discuss Virtools Software Suite 3.5 will be held today at the SIGGRAPH tradeshow at 11am Pacific, in room 514 of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Virtools Software Suite 3.5, a set of comprehensive software development solutions for building highly interactive 3D content, is the result of extensive client and partner feedback. Virtools Software Suite 3.5 addresses development and production needs for Virtools’ target customers in the industrial, game development and multimedia markets.

Crucial enhancements and new functionalities for release 3.5, which will begin shipping in one month, were defined in conjunction with advanced customers, such as Honeywell and Procter & Gamble.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) will continue to build on the Virtools Dev application as an enabler within their innovation process toolbox. Virtools based applications enable P&G to simulate and experience important aspects of new product development. Those applications are widely deployed within PG.

"The flexibility and depth of Virtools Technology has been a key enabler in helping us to develop quickly a set of tools that are now being used by our different departments in support of their processes" Bernard Eloy - GBS IDS Section Manager Procter and Gamble.

"Honeywell FM&T turned to Virtools technology for an internal training project on its immersive system," said Bob Owens, a staff engineer at Honeywell FM&T, who previously used C-based immersion software on Unix clusters. "Virtools not only supports standard gaming devices, but also high end trackers, power walls and HMDs on PC clusters. Within the first week of receiving our software we had a cluster up and running on 4 displays and a HMD."

Virtools Dev 3.5 offers a broad spectrum of new features oriented towards better compatibility and optimized support for external technologies and formats, as well as enhanced control over the rendering pipeline.

The Virtools Software Suite release is comprised of Virtools Dev 3.5 and additional functionalities relevant for the entire Virtools product line.

Enhancements in Virtools Dev 3.5 include:

  • New Video Engine

The addition of a video engine will enable display of:

    • "Live" video feed from a video camera
    • Videos with soundtracks read from local hard drives
    • Videos with soundtracks streamed from a server

The new engine will make it possible to use video as textures or full screen, in today's standard formats: Windows Media, Mpeg, DivX.

  • Native VRML Import

The Virtools Software Suite will incorporate VRML import to load objects at runtime.

  • 5.1 Sound

With the new release, 5.1 sond effects will be supported thanks to the integration of the latest DirectSound3D engine.

  • Ready-to-Use Shaders Library

To make the most of Virtools programmable shaders, a library of ready-to-use shaders will be included. Apply effects to your objects with no programming necessary.

  • Support for OpenGL 1.5

Improved OpenGL performance - comparable to that of DirectX9 - will be possible thanks to a new OpenGL 1.5 rasterizer.

  • New VR-specific SDK: VRSDK

The VRSDK will give users access to specific VR Pack functions, to facilitate integration of external modules programmed in C++ (i.e. implementation of "warping" and "edge blending" algorithms).

  • Point Clouds

Thanks to point cloud integration, Virtools Dev 3.5 users will be able to use data derived from 3D laser scanning. Thus millions of points can be optimally stored and displayed with associated functionalities such as addition of attributes for each point, display of such points by shaders, collision management and level of detail.

  • 3D Textures

By supporting 3D textures, Virtools Dev 3.5 will enable easier creation of classic 3D visualization applications: interactive positioning of clipping planes, modification of look-up tables, as well as filtering and treatment by programmable shaders.

  • SDK to Visual

As of Virtools Dev 3.5, Visual 2003 will be the sole SDK development program. Visual Studio 6 will no longer be supported.

  • Resource Thumbnail Previews

Thanks to thumbnail previews, it will be possible to preview media assets and resources used in Virtools compositions. A "Thumbnail" mode will offer previews of various Virtools resource libraries (.cmo, .nmo) directly in Windows explorer, as well as media preview in the Resources window of Virtools Dev.