Autodesk HumanIK Middleware Helps Assassin¡¦s Creed II Characters to Soar

16 December 2009— Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has announced that Autodesk HumanIK character animation middleware was tightly integrated into Ubisoft’s proprietary game engine for the development of Assassin’s Creed II. Released on 17 November, the title sold over 1.6 million units worldwide in its first week on the shelf.

HumanIK animation middleware is a runtime solution for creating believable, interactive character animation for games. Ubisoft first used the software on the original Assassin’s Creed title. As an integrated part of Ubisoft’s game engine on Assassin’s Creed II, HumanIK contributed to the realisation of enticing game-play innovations such as climbing, flying and interactions with dynamic non-player characters (NPCs).

“One of the most important aspects of the Assassin’s Creed II game play is the ability for characters to climb. HumanIK allowed us to build new climbing moves into the game and iterate them very quickly without ever having to worry about the quality of the IK solving,” explained James Therien, lead programmer, Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft.“Having a package like HumanIK allowed us to address our IK problems quickly without sacrificing results or performance.”

In creating a sequel to its award-winning Assassin’s Creed franchise, Ubisoft sought unique ways to improve and build upon the original. Having more interesting and diverse characters, greater interaction with NPCs and a broader range of moves, including flying and complex climbing for NPCs were core differentiators facilitated in part by the integration of HumanIK middleware.

Ubisoft has been a long-time user of Autodesk solutions, tapping Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk MotionBuilder software, in addition to HumanIK, as key creative tools for its titles.“3ds Max is our main content creation package. MotionBuilder was used to clean up all of the motion-capture performance data that was used extensively in cut scenes and fight sequences,” said Therien.

About Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin’s Creed II invites players to become Ezio, a privileged young noble in Renaissance Italy who’s been betrayed by the rival ruling families of Italy. Ezio’s quest for vengeance plunges players into a captivating and epic story that offers more variety in missions, surprising and engaging new game play elements, diverse weapons, incredible depth and a profound character progression that appeals to fans of the original game and entices players new to the brand.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software to help customers experience their ideas digitally before they are built. Fortune 100 companies„o as well as the last 14 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects„o use Autodesk software tools to design, visualise and simulate their ideas to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation for competitive advantage. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, HumanIK, MotionBuilder and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

# # #

Contact: Kim Willsher or Louise Wells, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, T: +44 (0) 20 7403 8878

Email: kimw@rlyl.com or louisew@rlyl.com


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.