Virtools™ Announces New Features for Upcoming Virtools Software Suite Release

Virtools™, the leading solutions provider for interactive 3D applications, announces new features for upcoming Virtools Software Suite release, available mid-2005.

The new release of Virtools Software Suite expands on the previous platform that was consolidated with the launch of Virtools Dev 3.0. By taking client and partner feedback into account, along with issues identified by Virtools Services and comprehensive analysis by Virtools' own R&D team, Virtools Software Suite promises to provide solid answers to current and future development and production needs.

The release will offer 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.

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.

SDK to Visual
As of Virtools Dev 3.5, the SDK development program moves up to Visual 03 (Visual Studio 6 will no longer be supported).

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 sound effects will be supported.

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
With the integration of the point clouds feature, 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.

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.

About Virtools™

Virtools launched its commercial activities in 1993 with consulting and services targeting the VR sector. With the needs of this and other key markets in mind, Virtools built the company's initial software solution, Virtools Dev. As an Independent Software Vendor since Q4 1999, Virtools has become the leading provider of comprehensive software development solutions for building highly interactive 3D content.

With several thousands of users throughout the world, the Virtools Software Suite enables prototyping, development and deployment of offline and online/networked video games, along with applications in the fields of industrial simulation/virtual reality and marketing/multimedia.

Virtools clients include industry leaders such as Procter & Gamble, EDF, EADS, CEA, PSA Peugeot Citroen, CNRS, France Telecom, Matsushita, American Department of Energy, Intel, Publicis Networks/Renault, Arte TV and L'Oréal, as well as major game studios such as Electronic Arts, Microïds, Sony Computer Entertainment, Microsoft, Warner Bros Online, Blue Fang Games and Ubisoft.

Virtools' strategic partners include Barco, Orad, HP, Nvidia, Intersense, Ascension Technologies, Advanced Realtime Tracking, Microsoft, Sony, Nvidia/ATI, Discreet, Alias, Newtek, Softimage, Havok and NxN.

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