Discreet has announced two new directions for its 3D Studio MAX modelling and animation application. The technology behind MAX will be worked on to create a 3D Web site authoring system, and some of it made available as open source code.
The company is working with Pulse Entertainment, creators of the Virtual Bill Clinton on MTV and the animated Marvin the Martian on Time Warner’s Entertaindom.com, to create what it calls a "turnkey 3D Web content authoring and distribution" solution. This application will combine MAX’s 3D system with the Pulse interactive animation technology to provide 3D character animation over the Internet. As this is just an initial agreement, no more details are known at present.
Also, some of MAX’s source code will made available, mainly for games developers who want to integrate their 3D authoring further with their game engine. Features that have been ‘open sourced" include the Flex modifier (for soft body dynamics), the Bezier patch technology (tessellation code), Skin modifier (for mesh-to-bone binding), and ASCII "ASC" Export and Import. This has been done in full compliance with the terms and policies of the Open Source group.