View Full Version : XSI or CAT?
10-30-2004, 01:32 AM
Hey guys, I mentioned this in another thread but it died! Too off topic...
I've narrowed down my software choices to XSI and 3ds Max. As far as rendering goes, Vray looks awesome, and it seems to be much faster than Mental Ray, but I love how great the integration is with XSI and MR. So I could go either way with that. What I'm stuck on is animation...
How would you say XSI compares to the CAT plugin for 3ds Max? I downloaded the demo of CAT and was able to make a rig in a couple of minutes (and no, I'm not talking about the presets.) I've seen the rigging videos on 3dtutorial.com for XSI and they look SO complicated.
As far as the actual animation process goes I'm sure that XSI is awesome, but I'm worried about the rigging process. Is it basically a requirement to use scripts and expressions to make a good rig with XSI? I hate the idea of having to script at all, but if it's not as complicated as it seems... I guess I could deal with it.
So if any of you have used XSI and CAT, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know how they compare, or if they compare at all!
Thanks in advance!
10-30-2004, 05:24 AM
I can't speak about CAT, because I haven't tried it, but rigging isn't too bad in XSI when you find the right method. I have never been able to understand rigging in most apps, but following this tutorial, I got a working rig pretty fast that I've been using quite a bit over the past few days.
Doing the footroll rig in that video was scripting free, which is the reason I went for it.
I'm not sure how CAT integrates with max's NLA, but so far the NLA in XSI has been very handy. Mostly I've tested it out with the default rig, but I did try my own custom rig with it, and it seemed to work fine.
vRay is amazing. So far it's my only regret about leaving max behind.
10-30-2004, 05:38 AM
Thanks for the link, xzevlin. I'm gonna try to play around with this stuff in XSI a little more and see how I feel about the workflow. So far I definitely prefer modeling in XSI over Max. Texturing wise... Max is definitely easier to start with for a noob like me, but the render tree in XSI seems really powerful. Definitely trying to get my head around it.
Vray is definitely awesome. It's good to hear they're working on a standalone version. I would hope they'd have a connection for XSI though. I personally can't stand Maya, so I'm not really excited about Vray having connections for it.:)
I need to start learning how to work with render passes in XSI. I hear it makes things quite a bit faster, so maybe Vray wouldn't have that much over MR speed wise!
10-30-2004, 01:29 PM
I'll be amazed if you conclude that Max is better than XSI, after looking into both applications. I've used Max for many years, and just recently switched to XSI. I think XSI has a steeper learning curve, but once you learn it you will probably be quite happy with it. The fact that XSI foundation is now MUCH cheaper than Max instead of being much more expensive than Max doesn't hurt either. XSI foundation costs as much as many plugins for Max cost...I haven't done rigging in XSI yet, so I can't comment on that, other than to say I've heard nothing but great things about rigging and animation in XSI. I believe many professionals work with the default rigs that XSI ships with, since the default rigs are very well set-up.
10-30-2004, 02:28 PM
I don't know CAT so I can't tell about it, but it seems to be like Character Studio plugin isn't it ?
In XSI you have pre-made rigs which are great although I prefer to rig my characters myself. Constraints are so powerfull in xsi that you don't have to know about scripting or expressions, all the rigs I make only use constraints and sometimes very basic expressions.
In XSI you also have Isner Spine which is a great spine control, and in version 4 there is now a tail which is also awesome (it combines manual control and dynamics !)
Rigging is a very pleasant part of character creation according to me, that's why I don't like pre-made rigs like Character Studio. When you need a lot of control you are always stuck with such plugins... that's just my own opinion of course.
10-30-2004, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the replies!
kalbers: I have to say that hands down XSI is definitely the better app. Feels way more modern and powerful. The only reason I've been considering max is because of Vray and CAT, but honestly I love MR.
seb4d: Yes, CAT is an animation plugin like Character Studio. Not sure how CS works, but CAT seems really fast and easy. I actually wasn't aware that XSI came with some premade rigs! I've heard of the Isner Spine (which is supposed to be great!) I had no idea XSI had all this. No wonder the animation tools get such praise!
Definitely leaning more towards XSI now. (I was to begin with, but Vray is so tempting...) Thanks for the help so far, guys!
11-01-2004, 02:58 AM
I've been using XSI for a solid 4 months, coming from a 3dsmax background, I find XSI's subdivs to be the fastest I've played with.
I still find Mental Ray a pain in the bum, It takes so much longer to get nice images from it.
Vray is a dream to work with, its fast, its area lights are awesome. But in the next couple of months I'm sure there are going to be plenty of 3rd party renders for XSI. Maxwell mention theres going to be XSI version before the end of the year, which I believe, considering they wrote Realflow which is available for XSI. So if you can handle Mental Ray for couple of months maybe longer until an alternative arrives, XSI is the way to go and all the cash you will save buying foundations.
01-19-2006, 05:00 PM
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