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macman3d
08-24-2004, 11:08 PM
Hi Everyone,

I'm soon to become an XSI user.....planning to get XSI Foundation coming from Cinema 4D. Right now I am taking a class at SCAD for Maya. Asked my professor what he thought of the $495 deal from Softimage.....he told me it was probably Softimage's last desperate attempt at staying alive. This got me confused as I always thought Softimage was a healthy, popular, and obviously growing company, especially with the latest offer for $495.

I've downloaded the demo and love it. Much better interface and flow than Maya in my opinion. Anyone care to help me clear things up?

Much appreciated!
-Josh

JDex
08-25-2004, 01:30 AM
LOL!!! Sounds like your professor is worried that he's going to have to learn a new app to keep his job.

This is not the case. More major studios buy XSI every month.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!... I love your professor. He's such a trip.

RmachucaA
08-25-2004, 01:41 AM
hahahaha.... that quote just made my day :D.

Of course its a sound investment, its the best investment i ever made to be honest.

SevenString
08-25-2004, 01:43 AM
I have to agree with JDex

XSI is too much of an fx industry staple, especially in terms of character animation. They're not going anywhere anytime soon.

But I look at it this way: Even if they disappeared tomorrow? For my desired workflow, I feel like I now own the best integrated character animation oriented package on the planet, and all for a mere $495. Anything else is gonna be gravy.

Oh, and Softimage? Ignore that last sentence when you're considering promotional specials and upgrade pricing. :D


Now... if only the damned box would get here... :scream:

Per-Anders
08-25-2004, 01:44 AM
lol your professor is a funny guy. seriously. softimage isn't going anywhere. even if XSI made negative revenue (which it may well do on the new deal for a while) they're owned by Avid who are one of the largest players in editing and compositing, and they're not letting go of SI. rest easy XSI is a good investment at this time.

SevenString
08-25-2004, 01:49 AM
and i would even question the negative revenue thing.

Manufacturing costs on media (a box, a book, and some DVDs) is fairly negligable compared to the $495 end-user cost. Given the volume of sales that I'm guessing they're going through, SI could very well be enjoying a pretty good influx of profit at the moment.

Per-Anders
08-25-2004, 01:57 AM
the negative revenue i would work out from aside from logistics, and man hours put into development, advertising, technical support. mental ray (and other technology) licensing, and the training material cost of having that involved. the cost of printing any software and it's manuals is fairly insignifigant compared to the other costs involved in it's creation.

SevenString
08-25-2004, 02:05 AM
True, but given that the high volume sales can offset most of those costs (except for per-unit MR licensing), if they can sell half a dozen copies for every one that they might have sold at the old $2K price, then they should be ahead of the game.

also, they aren't really offering direct support with the Foundation version, so that's really not a per-unit factor.

and I'll bet that the've worked out a fairly sweet MR licensing deal for Foundation, considering that MR is embedded in that version.

This is all just speculation on my part, though.

GavinG
08-25-2004, 02:25 AM
Please...do every XSI user (and maybe even every sane 3d user) a favour and slap your Professor upside the head:P That's just hilarious, either your Professor is a moron or a really funny guy.

-Gav

runejw
08-25-2004, 11:44 AM
It depends, it could be a terrible investment if it steals time from a non-3D but otherwise money-making job, or makes you miss meeting your future love because you're doing 3D on a saturday night instead of partying or just plain meeting other people :deal:


Also the inclusion of XSI/Soft on www.highend3D.com (http://www.highend3D.com) together with only a handful other apps is probably just a freak coincidence or because the other apps need a boring app as a backdrop to contrast their stellar qualities... (is this too much irony...) :eek:


Just a Mental Ray single seat rendering license cost $499 some months ago. Now you get a feature-rich, production proven quality app + training DVD's on top. Must be a good deal. :thumbsup: (Come to think of it, Maya uses MR also, but then I like the interface much better in XSI.)

ThE_JacO
08-25-2004, 12:14 PM
Hi Everyone,

I'm soon to become an XSI user.....planning to get XSI Foundation coming from Cinema 4D. Right now I am taking a class at SCAD for Maya. Asked my professor what he thought of the $495 deal from Softimage.....he told me it was probably Softimage's last desperate attempt at staying alive. This got me confused as I always thought Softimage was a healthy, popular, and obviously growing company, especially with the latest offer for $495.

I've downloaded the demo and love it. Much better interface and flow than Maya in my opinion. Anyone care to help me clear things up?

Much appreciated!
-Josh last time I checked Softimage was hiring, not firing.
last desperate attempts are usually done after or during some firing, reorganizing, merging and so on. not after the release of one of the most significative updates in an app's history and company growth.

Softimage also recently finished packing up Avid3D, that was a brillant example by Avid of capitalizing on existing technologies (it's a simple superset of tools built on the XSIcore, most of which created using the very same SDK avaliable to users) to wedge them into a different market.

there have been lots of income streams for Soft over the past year, and it's very likely that, since the company is in good health and Avid is going through a good year itself, they decided to sacrifice immediate liquids to fix the biggest problems of XSI, lack of userbase to employ in large facilities and lack of training material.

your teacher is bound to be one of the least clued people I've ever heard of.

he could as well have said that google entering the stock market is a desperate search for funds or something like that ;) but hey... some people are just scared to learn a different clicking pattern.

StephanD
08-25-2004, 12:14 PM
Well from the words of wisdom your teacher gave you,it's obvious he's not qualified to answer the question.

Don't overlook a tool at such a deal because of a narrow minded teacher.

Most softwares out there have their particularities and workflow advantages/issues and in the end,only you can tell what's the best deal for yourself.

BTW:I was also very pleased with Xsi's ordered interface and how easy it was to get a hang of it.It's like the workflow is written all over it.

I come from a Max,Wings3D modeling bg but I did give a good try to most of them softwares and Xsi was the one that got me hooked right away.It really depends on the user and factors such as how thourough/pertinent was his evaluation according to his personal workflow.

macman3d
08-25-2004, 01:47 PM
Thanks guys for clearing that up for me. Guess I'll run over to Softimage's site and buy me XSI now :)

-Josh

Daolohua CnC
08-25-2004, 01:59 PM
Which Scad prof. said this?

take it from someone who's been through that system.
Chances are your professor doesn't even have the credentials to teach what he's teaching.
Look into it.

Sorry if this post was made in anger. I just have had it up to here with Scad "professors" misleading and not teaching their students.

macman3d
08-25-2004, 02:00 PM
I mean my prof is an awesome guy and great at what he does (Maya)....but that might also be why he doesn't really look or think too favorably on XSI. Anyway, again, glad you guys could help.

runejw...

It depends, it could be a terrible investment if it steals time from a non-3D but otherwise money-making job, or makes you miss meeting your future love because you're doing 3D on a saturday night instead of partying or just plain meeting other people :deal:I couldn't agree more :D

-Josh

swampthing
08-25-2004, 02:03 PM
What's that old saying again?

Those that can't, teach.

macman3d
08-25-2004, 02:07 PM
Which Scad prof. said this?

take it from someone who's been through that system.
Chances are your professor doesn't even have the credentials to teach what he's teaching.
Look into it.

Sorry if this post was made in anger. I just have had it up to here with Scad "professors" misleading and not teaching their students.
Daolohua CnC...I have the utmost respect for my professor. He's by far the best and most experienced professor I have ever had. No offense meant at all, but I'd like to keep him anonymous....since who he is is not really the point of this thread.:)

-Josh

Daolohua CnC
08-25-2004, 02:13 PM
Sometimes I want to explode on this subject but I must restrain myself.

The demo reels that come out of there speak for themselves.

macman3d
08-25-2004, 08:38 PM
Daolohua CnC....did you get my PM?

Elysian
08-25-2004, 09:01 PM
Great ! :)

JDex
08-25-2004, 09:17 PM
It's not a matter of being sensitive... it's a matter of comedy. To see such an uninformed, rediculous statement coming from a professor of higher learning (albeit hearsay) is preposturous and makes said professor appear completely out of touch with the industry and illequiped to educate.

But that's just my two Lincolns.

alexyork
08-25-2004, 10:29 PM
just had a read. pretty funny stuff. although worrying too, really.

i guess i'm very lucky, because at my university (Teesside Uni, in Middlesbrough, UK), XSI is the main animation tool being taught. There are Maya licenses here, and MAX and some others too, but not nearly as many as those of XSI afaik. Plus we have some great XSI tutors. Really really good tutors who have worked in the industry and know their stuff inside out. The sort of tutors you can throw just about any question at and who will have an answer for you maybe not the same second, but will make the effort to e-mail you back with one or point you in the right direction. I must admit some of our XSI lecturers are strongly verging on being like the professor mentioned at the start of this thread, though... But on the whole, I'm really pleased our uni has taken XSI up. It's been the main animation tool at the uni for years, as far as I know. and for many more years to come I hope!

And I've just heard rumours that the uni has upgraded to v4 over the summer! *immitates various dance moves with silly smile on face*

regards the prof in question:

if this guy were just another guy working in the industry, then fine. it's the fact that he's a teacher. a professor even. someone in a position of authority and someone who students should look up to for guidance and knowledge, both software-based and (if possible) industry-based. (not all tutors/lecturers have industry experience, which is quite a common thing, at least in the UK). Someone so biased to one piece of software is clearly a little misguided and narrow-minded. as anyone who has worked in the industry knows (i'm not one of them, but I have gathered from many people who are), software choice for freelancers is not a huge issue at all, because a lot of studios are willing to train their new employees to learn the packages the company already has, not to mention proprietory packages... look at Jeff Lew for proof of that. a great deal of the choice involved boils down to the price. that's one of the reasons XSI is selling so many more seats than say 3 years ago. it's just more feasible for studios to make that switch, purely on a monetory level.

but, sadly, there are and will always be teachers like that, worldwide. we've all had to put up with them, well most of us I'm sure. and all we can do is laugh at them and move on, and keep thinking to ourselves "one day, this guy will be working for me...."

there's me couple rusty pennies for ya.

On a side note. I'm popping into XTFX tomorrow with a strong will to get a copy of Foundation if the price is right. Tingling with anticipation! :)

Bring on the XSI revolution!

alexyork
08-25-2004, 10:40 PM
by the way, swampthing (http://member.php?u=7078), that saying, whilst being in jest, is pretty silly.... and a little insulting too I have to say.

"What's that old saying again?

Those that can't, teach."

both my parents are teachers and have a reputation for being not only talented as concert pianists, lecturers and teachers, but also inspirational mentors to their pupils. generalised sayings like this put down the incredible amount of stress and hard work that teachers have to put up with. there are a lot of teachers out there who really try hard but in the end just aren't very good teachers. and sure, the crap ones should be told they are crap, but just give a little thought to the ones that try their best day-to-day.

apart from anything, teaching is one of the (relatively) lowest paid jobs in the UK. my parents earn less than a train driver between them in a year. im not putting down train drivers by any means - merely using them as a comparison pay-wise.

one of my plans for the future involves teaching.

as far as I care to go with this:

"those that can, teach. those that can teach well, thank you"

anyway....

Edit: sorry to get so OT. Move along... :)

rock
08-25-2004, 10:46 PM
I just hope that since, if true, LW users are more inclined to move from LW to XSI in some form because of their similarities, that the LW culture of defending a piece of software, even if it is showing its age and stagnancy, to a point where passion overtakes both reason and fear, does not spread like wild fire into the XSI community. We wish for a more well-rounded views and opinions of XSI. :)

JDex
08-25-2004, 11:08 PM
I just hope that since, if true, LW users are more inclined to move from LW to XSI in some form because of their similarities, that the LW culture of defending a piece of software, even if it is showing its age and stagnancy, to a point where passion overtakes both reason and fear, does not spread like wild fire into the XSI community. We wish for a more well-rounded views and opinions of XSI. :)
I completely agree... If Avid or SI are in anyway behind the curve... I'm happy to point that out (ehem, hypervoxels)... if they were stagnant... I'd be worried and looking at other tool options. But this is so far from the truth it's scary.

XSI is a major player in making not only cool tools, but ones that work exceedingly well, and are innovative or current with the innovator. It is by no means a perfect app nor solution.... but come on, it's so far from breathing dying breaths (IMHO) that it is just scary to think that a professor could make claims of that sort. Eh, oh well. :shrug:

alexyork
08-25-2004, 11:29 PM
JDex: I agree totally.

I was working as a runner at a very small studio in Soho about 5 years ago and they had one seat of XSI 1.0. There was one guy using it - everyone else didn't go near it. The guy using it was literally raving about it the whole time I was there - couldn't stop talking about it (a bit like me, come to think of it!). He'd been using MAX up until he joined the studio a few months before me. He constantly had to ring tech support when it crashed or he came across a bug too. It was pretty much a beta version the state it was in! In those days there just wasn't the userbase there is now, so finding answers to questions was a real chore. But he loved it and was cranking out work like nobody's business. Can't for the life of me remember the guy's name though. Would love to contact him and find out if he's still using XSI and what he thinks of it.

And now look where we are with XSI.... it's truely a new generation of the software. It rivals most other packages and excells in many other areas too. To be fair, some features are lacking and some aren't as well integrated as they could be. But judging by Avid's rate of releases, XSI will be up there very soon, feature-for-feature, with any of the bigboys, Maya being the ultimate target, of course (based purely on seats in studios).

This is verging on cheesy, but it's true. Maya peaked a long time ago, and very deservedly so, but it's improvements are few and far between, not to mention slow, even if they are essential. It's just not growing any more really. Sad to see, but fair's fair. It's still the industry standard in film because the majority of artists/studio owners have Maya experience over any other package.

Here comes the controversial bit! :

I predict that within 2 years XSI will be almost, if not just as popular as Maya in film studios. (ducks and runs for shelter) And another year from that I recon it will be the standard tool, not only in film but TV/Advertising too, maybe even games. (although I would personally like to see some more competition from other packages - I wouldn't want to see any of them disintigrate by any means, that's the whole point - every one of the major packages deserves a place somewhere in the industry, whichever sector - it's just that currently XSI is not know as the standard in any of the sectors... yet).

Don't forget Houdini though. If you're talking scare-factor, that's one seriously scary sleeping beast waiting to pounce on the industry, and I'm sure we will all jump on that bandwagon when the time comes (and when we can actually get our heads round "procedural animation" erk!)

macman3d
08-25-2004, 11:38 PM
Just reading through the enormous response I got. Again, glad to hear that XSI is, indeed, alive and kickin. Placed an order today for XSI Foundtion. As for what my prof said....everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, even though it may be a bit unfounded. He's a Maya guy, been working in the 3D industry for 15+ years. Of course, he knows Maya, teaches Maya, and....uses Maya. Which is probably why he tends to not know much about Softimage and its financial status, as everyone here seems to. He knows his stuff and has ample industry contacts at several large 3D production studios. So let's cut him some slack:thumbsup:

mothermachine...cool to hear that your uni focuses on XSI. The Savannah College of Art and Design has roughly 600 computers in the main computer arts building, all equipped with seats of the latest versions of Maya, XSI, Houdini Master, 3dsMax, Renderman and about every other highend app one could ever need. But all of the profs only teach Maya or Max or Houdini....depending on your 3d class. XSI is provided, but not really taught (occassionally, maybe once a year they will offer an XSI class...maybe). And also cool to hear about the tutors available to you. That is what SCAD seems to be lacking. Most learning seems to happen outside of the classroom....whether it be on group independent projects or whathaveyou.

Just my thoughts:)

coryc
08-25-2004, 11:40 PM
I just hope that since, if true, LW users are more inclined to move from LW to XSI in some form because of their similarities, that the LW culture of defending a piece of software, even if it is showing its age and stagnancy, to a point where passion overtakes both reason and fear, does not spread like wild fire into the XSI community. We wish for a more well-rounded views and opinions of XSI. :)
I am one of those LW people that just bought XSI and I agree with this 100%. So far from what I have seen, The XSI boards are exactly what you would want in a forum. You don't see every other thread getting locked.

ThE_JacO
08-26-2004, 12:34 AM
I just hope that since, if true, LW users are more inclined to move from LW to XSI in some form because of their similarities, that the LW culture of defending a piece of software, even if it is showing its age and stagnancy, to a point where passion overtakes both reason and fear, does not spread like wild fire into the XSI community. We wish for a more well-rounded views and opinions of XSI. :)
any reasonable person will agree with that.
the point though is that arguing about SW superiority is about the same of arguing the sex of angels, but what was initially mentioned here wasn't XSI's situation, it was Softimage(Avid)'s health as a company, and that's factual.

presently it's in unarguably good health, without anybody particularly clued breaking NDAs or insider infos you can get it all the same from some very obvious signs (fast dev, growing userbase, technologies being sold in other markets, deals with partners, job posting announcing hirings and so on).

it would have been the same if the aforementioned ever-so-clued professor said maxon isn't developing C4D, or people arguing the stupid number of installed seats for max and maya, or XSI's market growth...

some things are plain dumb, and hearing them from a person who's supposed to provide young talents with the clues to face a market is twice as annoying.

RmachucaA
08-26-2004, 12:54 AM
Jaco hit the nail on the head.

I'm in a position to know the things going on... and can confidently say its growth is exponential within the CG industry.

GatorNic
08-26-2004, 03:16 PM
The Savannah College of Art and Design has roughly 600 computers in the main computer arts building, all equipped with seats of the latest versions of Maya, XSI, Houdini Master, 3dsMax, Renderman and about every other highend app one could ever need. But all of the profs only teach Maya or Max or Houdini....depending on your 3d class. XSI is provided, but not really taught (occassionally, maybe once a year they will offer an XSI class...maybe).

Just my thoughts:)

Actually your kind of wrong on this. The licenses for XSI are no longer working this summer. And even if they did they are for version 3. Hoping they upgrade them over the break and bring in XSI 4 with some syflex cloth. Hmmm..does syflex come with the institutional version? Doesn't matter, I bought a copy of foundation myself so can work on it at home, but it would be nice to do rendering on the machines at school.

macman3d
08-26-2004, 05:20 PM
Then I stand corrected. But as I have been told, SCAD is supposed to stay current with all of its software. Hoping they live up to their word and keep Softimage up to date. And yep, Syflex would be good. I take it you're going to SCAD. You know if they are offering any XSI classes any time soon?

GatorNic
08-26-2004, 06:21 PM
nope, no XSI classes. In fact I don't even know any professors that have even talked about using it. I was thinking of contacting Softimage in the possibility to come and demo xsi 4. Maybe try and get some people interested in using it as well as the school to renew the licenses. I mean heck its only $295 per seat, that's pocket change. I think seeing some syflex and behavior alone would get people interested.

macman3d
08-26-2004, 06:39 PM
I agree with you 100% and would be glad to get up with you to setup an XSI demo at SCAD. But are you suggesting that SCAD is not even going to renew their licenses!!?? I've just become familiar with XSI over the past two weeks....and already the interface, workflow, and features are much much better and more organized than Maya. I know Maya is important to know. But SCAD should also offer and teach XSI. Let me know what you are going to do.

Daolohua CnC
08-26-2004, 10:18 PM
Yes macman I got your PM... will respond to it shortly.
And I will also try not to flame SCAD on this post :)

As of right now there have been plans to upgrade XSI (its still at 3.0 here). But these plans have been in place for about a year. And the chair shows no interest in it...
Its the same with the classes. There are 0... ZERO... professors that are trained, qualified, whatever, to teach it. There was a week long seminar where a guy from Softimage came down and taught it over a year ago (which is awesome). This class was intended to teach the professors who were interested the program. I was a student at the time, I had to beg a bunch of people to get into the class. This was my intro to XSI, and it was great. However, NO professors showed up. Well ok... 1 did. But he left after 1 day.

As of a quarter ago (10 weeks, the last time I checked). There are 20 licences of XSI at SCAD. And a ton of Maya ones.
SCAD's big on teaching maya (kinda) and Houdini (kinda). LW is here but not taught. One of the professors I know well knows lightwave like the back of his hand but is not allowed to teach it.

So if you like maya, come on down. Houdini, I beleive (unconfirmed), is in a state of limbo at I thought I heard the main professor that teaches it is leaving. That was a rumor, probably wrong (at least I hope I am).

I'll respond to your PM soon as I can, Macman. If you or any other SCAD guy wants any help on XSI, I'm no expert but I'll try to help in any way I can.

Also forgive any typos that are in this post, I'm in kinda a rush.:D

Sbowling
08-31-2005, 07:26 AM
I just hope that since, if true, LW users are more inclined to move from LW to XSI in some form because of their similarities, that the LW culture of defending a piece of software, even if it is showing its age and stagnancy, to a point where passion overtakes both reason and fear, does not spread like wild fire into the XSI community. We wish for a more well-rounded views and opinions of XSI. :)

Newtek does not have a version of Lightwave that they could ever think of selling for $2,000 let alone $6,000. If they did have versions that would sell at that price, I would not be spending somuch time looking for a new 3d program. As Far as I'm concerned LightWave is quickly moving back into the realm of Hobbiest software. The time I have spent iwth the XSI demo has been really amazing. I think the people who blindly defend LightWave are either ignorant of the other software available or are trying to make money by selling training material.

runejw
08-31-2005, 11:58 AM
Newtek does not have a version of Lightwave that they could ever think of selling for $2,000 ...

Note that the thread you replied to was 1 year old.

Newtek's recent price-drop of course makes it more competitive and interesting again.


Cheers,
Rune

j3st3r
08-31-2005, 02:23 PM
I was a fanatic LW user some two years ago. Now I'm a happy, and satisfied XSI user. I think XSI gave me all the possibilities I wanted to have in LW, but in a so flexible way, I couldn't imagine. And v5 looks the 3d app of my dreams...

As a former LW user, my migration took about a week or so. One day I decided to test animation in XSI, and I fell in love with it. I thought, I'll model in LW and animate in XSI. After few days, I decided to give a test to modeling. Now I use only XSI, and I don't miss anything thta I had in LW.

So XSI is a good investment

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