Sun Microsystems and Electric Image Announce Plans for First 3D Animation, 64-Bit Worksstation Promotional Offer For Less Than $3,000

Sun Blade™ 100 Workstations with Electric Image Universe Software Offer Workstation-Class Performance and Professional Quality 3D Graphics

Palo Alto, CA
February 27, 2001

Continuing its momentum in digital content creation markets, Sun Microsystems, Inc today announced its plans to offer a professional-level 3D animation promotional package that runs on the new Sun Blade[tm] 100 workstation and is powered by Electric Image’s new Universe 3D animation software.

The combined hardware and software promotional package will be available for a limited time for as low as $2,995, representing more than 30 percent in savings if purchased separately. I

The 3D animation promotion coincides with the announcements of the Sun Blade 100 workstation–the first 64-bit workstation priced under $1,000–and the Sun[tm] Expert3D-Lite graphics accelerator, a sub-$1,000 professional-level 3D graphics board (see related press releases issued today at Featuring Sun’s reliable and scalable Solaris[tm] Operating Environment and the new highly integrated UltraSPARC® IIe processor, the Sun Blade 100 workstation with Universe software provides a UNIX-based, 64-bit architecture with workstation-class features and professional-quality graphics at an unprecedented price point for customers in film, broadcast, game development and industrial design. The solution was also developed for users in a number of industries, such as MCAD and MCAE, in which rendering and animation are used during product development.

In addition to the Sun Blade 100 workstation, Electric Image’s Universe software package is also supported on Sun’s full range of 3D graphics workstations, including the Sun Blade 1000, Ultra[tm] 80, Ultra 60 and Ultra 10 systems, offering complete scalability and performance for the most demanding projects and production environments.

“Professionals in animation and digital content creation demand large memory capacity, 64-bit data addressability, and graphics that feature quality and flexibility without performance trade-offs,” said Robbie Turner, Vice President, Client and Technical Market Products, Sun Microsystems. “The Sun Blade 100 workstation with a Sun Expert3D-Lite graphics accelerator board and Electric Image Universe software deliver a high-quality 3D animation workstation at a PC price point.”

“Sun’s growing presence in the 3D marketplace is important to Electric Image and our customers. Sun’s powerful 64-bit UltraSPARC® architecture and highly scalable Solaris Operating Environment should provide big performance advantages to our customers,” said Dwight Parscale, CEO of Electric Image. “The Sun Blade 100 workstation is an excellent host for Universe and the bundle will provide digital content creators with a high-quality, high-performance solution at a very accessible price point.”

About Universe

Electric Image’s Universe 3D is one of the largest upgrades to the company’s Electric Image Animation System (EIAS) visual effects software in over a decade. The animation package is based on a new framework that provides powerful new modeling, animation and rendering capabilities, as well as support for multiple platforms.

Universe offers highly sophisticated modeling capabilities and the ability to create complex objects more efficiently with its hybrid surface/solids modeler. Artists can now create resolution independent shapes with solids, NURBS surfaces or UBER-NURBS (subdivision surface modeling). Its animation system has also been enhanced with deeper character animation tools, a new Inverse Kinematics system, and advanced camera projection mapping with real-time image previews.

Universe’s rendering system, Camera, features a new raytracing engine that produces extremely high image quality and offers network rendering, reflection maps with occlusion, and channel-based controls for optimized rendering times. Additionally, Universe continues the EIAS legacy of having one of the industry’s fastest renderers and the ability to handle enormous amounts of data.

Availability, Price, and SupportM

The $2,995 3D animation bundle is expected to be available for purchase beginning in April 2001. For more information about the promotional bundle and its availability, go to The limited time offer will include a Sun Blade 100 workstation with 512 MB memory, USB, IEEE 1394 port, DVD ROM drive, 15 GB hard drive, Sun Expert3D-Lite graphics board, and a full license of Electric Image Universe software. The Sun Blade 100 workstation also features Sun’s standard service and support with a one-year warranty.

Support for Universe on Sun’s Solaris Operating Environment is currently available through Electric Image. Electric Image training is available through live and DVD-based courses. Electric Image’s support group can be contacted at or 714-433-0400.

About Electric Image, Inc.

Originally founded in 1987, Electric Image has pushed the limits of computer-generated imagery for over a decade with its award-winning 3D animation systems. Its software provides world-class animation tools for artists across all industries and is consistently called upon for the creation of blockbuster motion pictures and network television programs. Recent examples include “Austin Powers II,” “Star Wars: Episode 1,” “Dinosaur,” “Mission to Mars,” “Space Cowboys” and “U-571” as well as “The West Wing,” “Extreme Australia,” “Dateline NBC,” and “Babylon 5.” For more information, visit

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision – The Network Is The Computer[tm] — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to dot-com their businesses. With $17.6 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at