mental mill 1.0 Beta Release Now Available for Download

SAN FRANCISCO & BERLIN—(BUSINESS WIRE)—December 17, 2007— mental images(R), a global leader in rendering software and other tools for animators, visual effects artists and other high-end imagery and visualization professionals, today announced that mental mill(TM) 1.0 Beta is now available for download. This is an advanced full-featured, stand-alone version of the previously released mental mill Artist Edition which is bundled with Nvidia's FX Composer 2.

mental mill provides an innovative new approach to shader creation which enables artists of all levels of experience to develop, test and maintain shaders via an intuitive and visual user interface without previous programming experience. This streamlines the workflow and allows users to focus on realizing their conceived images without having to first interpret them to a shader programmer.

Additionally, shaders created with mental mill are platform and environment agnostic, so they can be built once to run on any configuration. Shaders need only be created once before being exported to Cg FX, HLSL, GLSL or other formats.

"By putting the creative control in the hands of non-technical individuals, and eliminating the need for hand coding and debugging of multiple source code variants of each shader, mental mill streamlines the entire workflow," said Rolf Herken, CEO and CTO of mental images. "The result is a vastly increased productivity and reusability of shader assets throughout the entire content creation process and product lifecycle."

mental mill's real-time feedback facilitates graphical debugging and optimization of shaders early in the process. By taking advantage of the dynamic hardware-rendered preview, the resulting nodes can be viewed at any point in the shader graph, making them fully interactive. For advanced shader developers, the graphical debugging interface allows for visualizing the surface normal or color while stepping through every line of code, permitting very rapid shader development.

Technical artists can also build Phenomena(TM), complex shader trees created from MetaNodes(TM), as pres-sets that can then be passed on to non-technical artists, ensuring consistency and providing a visual tool for teaching the fundamentals of shader creation.

mental mill supports MetaSL(TM), the universal meta shader language developed by mental images. Using MetaSL, shaders are only created once independent of the target platforms and then compiled into highly efficient code for execution on general purpose CPUs as well as on GPUs or custom processors. By using MetaSL, a superset of all shading languages, mental mill makes it possible to repurpose and reuse shaders, and reduces the need to rewrite them for future generations of hardware and software, thus eliminating some of the barriers to asset sharing across mediums.

"The cross-over in film, animation and interactive games combined with the diversity of available platforms, high costs and tight development schedules has fueled the need and desire to share assets across multiple forms of media and systems," said Gary Yost, mental images Executive Vice President. "With mental mill, we set out to solve many of the problems that our customers run into within their multi-platform development cycles. The result is a more efficient process and shaders that live everywhere for all time."

The benefits of this technology reach well beyond the visual effects and entertainment fields. Both the streamlined workflow and visual, interactive editing approach created by mental mill will also benefit a broad range of users such as those in engineering, product design, and marketing.

"Realism, performance and design excellence are paramount to both our core customers and today's consumers," said Jean-Luc Cuinier, CATIA R&D Manager for Advanced Rendering of Dassault Systemes. "The mental mill shader technology from mental images is a significant advancement in rendering technology, both in terms of quality and ease-of-use. It serves as the ideal complement to Dassault Systemes' PLM solution for digital products and 3D on-line applications."

To learn more about mental mill 1.0 beta visit: http://www.mentalimages.com/mentalmill

To download mental mill 1.0 Beta visit: http://www.mentalimages.com/2_4_2_downloads/

About mental images

mental images(R), founded in 1986, is the recognized international leader in providing rendering software to the entertainment, computer-aided design, scientific visualization, architecture, and other industries that require sophisticated images. The company's main product is the Academy Award(R) winning photorealistic rendering software mental ray(R) which runs on a wide variety of platforms, producing images of unsurpassed realism.

mental images GmbH based in Berlin, Germany, and has subsidiaries and offices in San Francisco, United States, Melbourne, Australia, and Uppsala, Sweden. For more information, visit www.mentalimages.com.
mental images
Contacts:

United States
          Elizabeth Olson              e-mail: eolson@double-forte.com
          Double Forte Marketing +
          Communications               Telephone: +1 (415) 848.8116

Other Areas
          Silvia Hanko                 e-mail: office@mental.com
          mental images GmbH           Telephone: +49 (30) 31 59 97-0
          Fasanenstrasse 81            Telefax:+49 (30) 31 59 97-33
          D 10623 Berlin, Germany


Trademarks: mental images(R), mental mill(R), MetaSL(TM) mental matter(TM), mental ray(R), and RealityServer(R) are trademarks or registered trademarks of mental images GmbH, Berlin, Germany. Other product and company names in this document may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact:

Double Forte Marketing + Communications
Elizabeth Olson, +1-415-848-8116 (United States)
Email Contact
or
mental images GmbH
Silvia Hanko, +49 (30) 31 59 97-0 (Other Areas)
Email Contact


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