Live 3D Animation Featured in the Rush "Vapor Trails" Tour Advances the Art of Real-time Visual Performance
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TORONTO, CANADA-SEPTEMBER 23, 2002-Derivative Inc. today announced that it has teamed up with NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, to advance the art of real-time visual performance with an impressive display of 3D animation set to the music of legendary rock band Rush. As part of the band's North American, 40-city "Vapor Trails" concert tour, Derivative's Touch 012 visual performance tools and NVIDIA® GeForce?4 Go graphics processing units (GPUs) are being used to deliver on-the-fly improvisation of 3D animations projected over 11 songs, providing concert-goers with an exciting new way to experience live music.
Designed for creators of interactive artworks, the Touch tool set uses powerful Academy Award®-winning visual effects technology to enable digital artists to author, perform and share expressive interactive 3D visuals from their PCs. On the "Vapor Trails" tour, Touch artist James Ellis uses TouchMixer and TouchDesigner to create and perform real-time 3D animation sequences, which are projected onto a 40-foot by 15-foot LED screen. While some animations are structured to precisely match musical cues and particular sections of the music, others are designed to enable on-the-fly improvisation, providing visual variations from concert to concert.
"I'm in love with this concept," commented Geddy Lee from Rush. "Touch is an innovative new technology that allows us to create a visual environment for our music that evolves as the tour progresses. This means, the more the Touch operator understands the nuances of our music the more they can improvise and re-shape the visuals, both rhythmically and creatively, making the show different every night."
Rush approached Derivative to create the visuals for the "Vapor Trails" tour, the band's first in five years. "During the show, the live element makes the visuals more expressive and enhances the feeling of the band's music. The 3D animation keeps in step with the music each time a song is played," said Greg Hermanovic, founder of Derivative Inc. "Geddy was especially keen on the abstract visuals we'd been performing for the electronic music world, and was ready to channel them into the band's vision of their show."
Touch Kit on Tour
The Touch 012 road kit for the tour includes two Dell Inspiron 8200 notebook PCs featuring the NVIDIA GeForce4 Go GPUs. Both notebook PCs are loaded with the TouchMixer and TouchSynths, used by Touch VJ Ellis to control the movement of 3D characters, shapes and animation lighting. "While Rush are touring, the visuals continue to evolve under the band's creative direction. The power of NVIDIA's GeForce4 Go GPUs gives us more headroom to the amount of effects we can achieve in real-time," added Hermanovic.
Attached to each Touch notebook is the CM Labs MotorMix, a servo-driven slider-button controller. Its tight integration with Touch software keeps the servo-driven sliders perfectly in sync with the software's on-screen sliders. This enables the Touch artist to jump to pre-set cues and sequences, watch the controls move automatically, and then take over and improvise.
"I have discovered a new and refreshing process in integrating a vast array of imagery into an ever changing climate of visual intensity that can always change on command-and best of all, on-the-fly," said Howard Ungerleider, show director for the "Vapor Trails" tour. "This process will revolutionize visual performance as we know it."
Touch 012 will be released on October 1, 2002. To learn more about Rush and the current tour dates, visit http://www.rush.com/. For more information about Touch products please visit http://www.derivativeinc.com. For additional information on NVIDIA graphics processors, please visit http://www.nvidia.com.
About Touch 012 Tools
Derivative Inc. has created three products: TouchDesigner, TouchPlayer and TouchMixer. Together they provide streamlined access to powerful visual effects technology via easy-to-use interfaces and a smooth end-to-end, concept-to-experience workflow.
Touch is the first streamlined 3D product family to address the needs of music-oriented visual artists, and operates in the same intuitive way that musicians work when putting tracks together electronically. Touch artists can experiment with, compose and sequence visuals for live, real-time performance or for studio production.
TouchDesigner is a complete content-editing tool for the creation of ready-to-go synthesized artworks, or TouchSynths. Using TouchDesigner's procedural node-based architecture, artists can model, texture and light objects in 3D, create characters, motions and beat-matched behaviors, and build control panels which are wired up to any part of their 3D scenes. The resulting TouchSynths are played using TouchPlayer and TouchMixer.
TouchPlayer, provided free-of-charge, is the Web-based 3D player and image synthesizer for artworks created using TouchDesigner. It is a new medium for visual artists, which departs from video and film in that it generates live interactive 3D, thanks Touch's powerful 3D synthesis engine.
TouchMixer is designed for performing artists, and adds to TouchPlayer with enhancements that enable users to capture their gestures from MIDI, mouse and other devices into recorded sequences, edit multiple sequences into QuickTime movies, and customize downloaded artworks with new textures and movies.
About Derivative Inc.
Derivative is a collective of software engineers and artists with a love of electronic music and massive combined experience in feature film visual effects and live arts performance. Greg Hermanovic, Academy Award-winning co-founder of Side Effects Software, founded the company with a mission to serve artists who make real-time interactive artworks. Its products
facilitate the performance of creative artworks by the user and are derived from Houdini from Side Effects Software, the industry-leading special effects tool used in over 100 feature films, including Spiderman, The Matrix, X-Men, The Grinch, Titanic, Fantasia 2000 and Lord of the Rings.
NVIDIA Corporation is a market leader in visual computing technology dedicated to creating products that enhance the interactive experience on consumer and professional computing platforms. Its graphics and communications processors have broad market reach and are incorporated into a wide variety of computing platforms, including consumer digital-media PCs, enterprise PCs, professional workstations, digital content creation systems, notebook PCs, military navigation systems and video games consoles. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and employs more than 1,400 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.nvidia.com.
Certain statements in this press release, including the statements relating to the Company's performance expectations for NVIDIA's family of products and expectations of continued revenue growth, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, manufacturing and other delays relating to new products, difficulties in the fabrication process and dependence of the Company on third-party manufacturers, general industry trends including cyclical trends in the PC and semiconductor industries, the impact of competitive products and pricing alternatives, market acceptance of the Company's new products, and the Company's dependence on third-party developers and publishers. Investors are advised to read the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly those sections entitled "Certain Business Risks," for a fuller discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
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