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Discreet Software Animates Super Bowl Opening

The animated opening sequence of Super Bowl XXXVI, broadcast by Fox Sports, was created with Discreet's 3ds max 4 animation software package.

The sequence showed a computer graphics flythrough of a futuristic New Orleans scene and ended with a visualization of the Lombardi trophy at the beginning of the telecast. 3ds max was also used to model and animate low-polygonal CG characters to create a bustling, Mardi Gras atmosphere.

Fox Sports animators created a detailed cityscape that looked as though a camera was panning through it. Using 3ds max's "X referencing" feature, the artists were able to work on different segments of the animation simultaneously. Fox cited this collaborative work environment and the ability to render changes from different users into a master file as one the software's most useful features. Fox plans to incorporate some of the imagery from the Super Bowl into the 2002 regular season graphics.