Softimage has entered into a 'strategic development relationship' with Exocortex Technologies, a graphics technology company led by ex-Frantic Films development architect Ben Houston.

Houston has numerous patents in the physical simulation field and Softimage says that he will focus his development on next-generation interactive fluid simulation solutions that utilize the new Softimage ICE platform -- a visual, multi-threaded, node-based programming model, designed for high-performance 3D effects and deformations. Ben and his team will develop and introduce new techniques for solving interaction between fluids and objects in a 3D environment built on the Softimage ICE platform.

The company notes that simulation of liquids and gases is one of the most compute intensive processes in 3D production today, and requires massive computation resources to achieve high-quality results in a reasonable amount of time.

“The Softimage ICE platform offers a development environment ideal for next-generation fluid simulation. Combined with the Gigacore 2 interactive processing power in Softimage|XSI 7, we believe we will be able to reach new levels for real-time fluid interactivity,” said Houston.

Being in a 'technology development relationship', Softimage hasn't released any details about when and in what form Exocortex's fluid simulation system will appear in XSI.