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Autodesk Media and Entertainment, Inc.
Type Subsidiary of Autodesk, Inc.
Founded Montreal, Quebec (1999)
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people Martin Vann, VP Worldwide Sales
Marc Petit, VP Product Development
Industry Computer software
Products 3ds Max

Autodesk Media and Entertainment, formerly Discreet, is based in Montreal, Quebec as the entertainment division of Autodesk. This division produces software used in feature films, television commercials and computer games. It also provides products for storage, management and distribution to complement its primary product line.



Autodesk's Yost Group initially developed 3D Studio and later 3D Studio MAX. Autodesk re-named their multimedia division, which included the Yost Group, as well as development teams for their other multimedia-oriented products such as Autodesk Animator Studio and their visual, object-oriented multimedia programming software called Hyperwire, as Kinetix and operated it as a subsidiary in 1996.

Toronto-based MGI Inc. was formed by a consortium of veteran Canadian computer industry professionals, from companies such as ATI, AST and Delrina. Its mandate was to develop the best graphics and video software on the PC market.

Montreal-based Discreet Logic (a maker of high-end UNIX and NT video and graphics software) made a $153 million bid in early 1999 to buy MGI. Upon review by the accountants, it was determined that certain facts about MGI had been misrepresented, and as such, the offer was withdrawn and the deal was never consummated.

In 1999, Autodesk acquired Discreet Logic and combined Kinetix with Discreet for several years. In 2005, Autodesk reorganized Discreet as Autodesk Media and Entertainment.

Current software

Software currently produced by this company include Maya, Softimage, 3ds Max, Inferno, Flame, Flare, Flint, Fire(discontinued), Smoke, Lustre, Backdraft, Combustion(discontinued), Cleaner(discontinued) and Toxik(part of Maya since version 2010). Autodesk Media and Entertainment's advanced compositing and editing product line, or "systems" line, is commonly referred to as IFFFS, which stands for Inferno/Flint/Fire/ Flame/Smoke. It is also sometimes referred to as FFI or FFFI (Flint, Fire, Flame, Inferno).


Inferno is a high-end system for visual effects creation, originally designed by Discreet before they were bought by Autodesk.

It is used primarily for high-speed compositing and effects on feature films and television commercials. In the past, Inferno has run on SGI workstations. Its fast performance means minimal rendering times, so artistic decisions can be made during a session with directors or clients. Inferno systems are priced in the range of half a million to a million dollars (USD).

When SGI supercomputers began to lag behind in performance compared to other emerging technologies, Autodesk moved the Inferno package to 64-bit Linux workstations which take advantage of GPU acceleration.


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