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View Full Version : Character animation in SI vs. Lightwave?


panadar
11-22-2004, 03:28 PM
I'm interested in learning character animation. This is for me, a huge step up. I've been using Lighwave for the past few years for spaceship work. Earlier this past year, I upgraded to Lightwave v8 because they said that the character animation features had been updated and upgraded. However, by the comments I've seen on this and other websites, it seems that while Lightwave can handle character animation work as well as any other software,(end result) the question is not if it can do the work, but more of "how you get there". As I am a beginner in character animation, "how you get there" is now become very important to me. I want the next software I purchase to be able to handle character animation work w/o making it harder than it needs to be. Does Softimage fulfil that task?



I realize that Softimage is considered to be the best animation package out there. Especially when it comes to character animation. My question is this case is this: What makes it the best character animation software out there? Will transitioning to Softimage make my life easier when it comes to learning character animation? If so, how? Finally, does the training dvd that come with 3d Democarcy cover character animation? If so, how complete is that course? Finally, has any one out there used both Lightwave and Softimage in a production pipeline before? If so, how did it work out? Even though I would like to use Softimage, I'm not sure that I want to dump Lightwave, as I do have alot of money and time invested in the software. I think what I'm trying to get at is, should I make the investment into Softimage now to learn character animation, or should I use Lightwave to learn basic character animation, then use transition to Softimage to get better at it. Any comments w/o flaming anybody elses opinion are welcome. I'm trying to get more information. Jumping into a new software package can be a expensive and time-consuming task. While I would like to get Softimage, I need to justify the purchase of this software and the time spent in learning it, as the end goal would be to purchase Softimage advanced. If I invest in this software the 3D Democracy version would be just the initial step. Again, thank you all very much for answering my questions w/o flaming anybody.

Ablefish
11-22-2004, 04:14 PM
Heh, the only experience I have in combining LW and XSI in a pipeline is spaceship work, so I wouldn't be much help there. I did want to mention that you can download a 1-month limited copy of XSI for free which you could use to try your hand (the basic tutorial books have a few character animation and mixer tutorials for sure). Also read the "Tools for Character Animation" in the online help - this might be something you can compare to features of LW's workflow.

Personally, I don't think you'd regret switching - Soft does everything it can to make the workflow as easy as possible, but Advanced in no small sum of money.

Cheers,

zaam
11-22-2004, 09:55 PM
Panadar,

I've used LW for years, XSI for a relatively short time. LW is a capable app, but XSI's character tools are in a different class, IMO. The toolset is simply far deeper and better implemented. Weight mapping, for example, drives me nuts in LW; XSI seems waaaay easier and offers more control. Ditto for UV mapping. Nonlinear animation works far better in XSI, and seamlessly integrates into the workflow. Constraints in XSI are far more advanced, and are easy to use. Skin sliding and muscle bulging are easier to set up and control. In XSI you can attach splines to your mesh to control surface features for facial animation, for example. You can also link attributes easily to have one parameter drive another. IK chains are a breeze to set up in XSI, and you can blend IK and FK for added control. You can also easily save elements to apply to characters later ó rigs, poses, actions, etc . . . Those are just a few things.

As for the DVDs, yes they cover character tools quite well. Documentation and tutorials are well written and easy to follow. If there is one thing about XSI that challenges me right now, it's that there are so many tools and so many ways to do things. The learning curve is not too steep if you come from a LW background, but be prepared to take in a lot of information.

You should download the demo and give it a try. I use Advanced, but I think most of the character tools are available in Foundation, except for the character development toolkit.
Good luck. You'll have a great time once you get started.

raffael3d
11-22-2004, 11:30 PM
I am a former Lightwave user that switched to XSI. XSI is much deeper and much smoother.
In XSI almost everything is animatable! if you are using Lightwave you don't even know what this really means, because most things imply arent'. Once you use XSI it feels like a bunch of pretty smart people sat down for quite some time and thought how to do it all in a very nice and not confusing way. Lightwave is a great app, but I would rather see it's strenght in modeling and rendering and not in animation.
I would use XSI for animation any day.

Facial Deluxe
11-22-2004, 11:33 PM
I've produced a lot of character animation work with LW. It's real good at it.

Therefore XSI is better....

panadar
11-23-2004, 12:40 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++ You wrote +++++++++++++++++
I've produced a lot of character animation work with LW. It's real good at it.

Therefore XSI is better....
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


MY RESPONSE:


No offense meant, but saying that Softimage is better than Lightwave for character animation doesn't really answer my question. I know that doing character aniamtion in Softimage is better than in Lightwave. That was never my question. What I'm trying to find out is for a person who has never done any character animation, which tool would be the better tool to learn character animation with? I ask thse questions because some tools are great to learn with, but are to simplified for any really production use, therefore, taking a very highly skilled person to get the most out of that tool. Then, you have other tools, which simply because of the depth of the tool, learning is alittle harder, but you don't have to be a zen master cg artist to get good results with the software. But most importantly, what I need to know is what is better about it? Which program would be less frustrating to learn the essentials of character animation, get good to very good results and what is it about the software that makes it that way? You seem like a really good resource to answer this question since you've used both apps for character animation. Thanks again

raffael3d
11-23-2004, 12:43 AM
if you want to seriously learn animation the software package doesn't matter at all. you can use animation master, they all have a dopehseet, f-curve editor etc.
much more important that the software is to understand the principles of animation.
forget about software, learn what animation is all about and do it with the software you are the most confortable with at this moment.

TiSOy
11-23-2004, 02:49 AM
I agree with u there rafael...........I started learning XSI because of its animation toolsets.....Its pretty awesome I have to say...But I animate faster and better with LW, Maybe because Im already familiar with the software, and damn xsi is a system hugger.....to get the good outcome of xsi u must have a good system with a very good video card or maybe I just did not set my hardware right.....OH by the way,,,dont say XSI is the best animation out there...... Lots of people will not agree with u there....and why would u give ur favor to XSI that its the best? then if thats ur verdict then why ask there differences, seems like u already know ur answer.......http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

raffael3d
11-23-2004, 03:02 AM
look, I can only answer for ME, I can only tell you my preference, somebody else might totally disagree, every artists has to find it's own preference nad produce good results with it, that's all what matters: the result.

xsi suits me best in my way of thinking and it has lots of straightforward tools for animation, but there are also several things that should be improved.

anyway, animation is about animation, not about software, if you can animate really well, you can do it in any software. so start learning the principles.

TiSOy
11-23-2004, 03:11 AM
look, I can only answer for ME, I can only tell you my preference, somebody else might totally disagree, every artists has to find it's own preference nad produce good results with it, that's all what matters: the result.

xsi suits me best in my way of thinking and it has lots of straightforward tools for animation, but there are also several things that should be improved.

anyway, animation is about animation, not about software, if you can animate really well, you can do it in any software. so start learning the principles.
Rafael, are these lovely words of urs for me? My post earlier is for panda just incase u misunderstood my post......Not trying to start an argument, its just my personal opinion so dont hate me http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon10.gif.......Or maybe I misunderstood u....http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon11.gif Anyways I like ur portfolio rafael, Good experience u have there with XSI.......

peanuckle
11-23-2004, 05:13 AM
I think that you can get the same result done with either of them. I have used both of them and I personally prefer XSI over Lightwave for animation. On the otherhand I prefer Lightwave over XSI for otherthings such as modelling. What you should do is play with both of them and see which feels more natural to you. How you select things and set keyframes. How the animation editors feell to you. Really they do the same thing. There is no make great animation button in either. So figure out which one you feel the most comfortable with. Don't consider price or who uses it because that isnt going to make you create good animation.


Tanner

j3st3r
11-23-2004, 05:56 AM
Why XSI is better for CA than LW?

1. XSI gives you instant feedback of your changes in weights, not like LW (no switching, etc)

2. XSI supports all kind of contraints LW does, but they are much more interactive, and they work each other also without affecting the performance

3. XSI skin weighting is the best around, you can paint your skin weigths even if the character is posed, not as in LW, where you paint in modeller

4. XSI supports the best corrective morphing I`ve seen. And all is simply. Pose character, make your morph, and key it. That`s all

5. Animation Mixer is far more capable than Motion Mixer, because it`s much faster to create clips (you really don`t need to define characters, actors, etc), and you can make clips of any parts of the character. Each clip can be parametrized, offsetted, etc.

6. In XSI any 3D Object can be deformer (or bone). Therefore it`s easy to build up "muscle systems, etc.

There are many other things.

What is different (and not necessarily good) in XSI, that it doesn`t allow you to delete a bone from the chain. You have to delete the branch, where the bone is located, and rebuild the chain. It`s not a big deal, you only have to learn to live with it. That`s my only problem.

T4D
11-24-2004, 03:14 PM
j3st3r pretty much covers it

But i have to add OpenGL is faster no need to preview unlike LW

character rigs are far more powerful and as you add more contraints ( motion plugins expressions ) the rig never slows down and you can do some amazing stuff in XSI

BUT on the other hand Lightwave is simpler which makes it faster to just throw in a character and animate basic stuff Tho if your going to sit down and do major character animation the setup options in XSI really helps in the long term

To be honest i'm just finishing a CA job in LW 8 and XSI is better if you got the time
but there's nothing wrong with LW 8 at all ( it still has it's advanages. )

Remember Character animation is just a good character rig, alot of keys, editing curves and your talent. So really it's what you feel comfortable with to get that talent out:)

j3st3r
11-24-2004, 04:07 PM
Honestly, I don`t think that LW can be faster in any aspect, even if you think of a simple rig...That`s why I migrated to XSI. And foundation is much cheaper than LW :thumbsup:

What I did like in LW, and I haven`t found nothing similar in XSI, is the hybrid IK system LW has. That`s cool!

T4D
11-24-2004, 04:37 PM
Honestly, I don`t think that LW can be faster in any aspect, even if you think of a simple rig...That`s why I migrated to XSI. And foundation is much cheaper than LW :thumbsup:

What I did like in LW, and I haven`t found nothing similar in XSI, is the hybrid IK system LW has. That`s cool!

I still like Lightwave I find the new Lightwave 8 dope sheet, time line and spreadsheet to be Excellent for character animation and the graph edit is excellent, XSI has alot of good things but to control all that power takes takes time to setup IMO XSi is better but LW isn't that far behide for Cartoon style Animation

if i was doing a Real CG human i would have to go for XSI for sure
but for Toon style i have to think about it abit longer....... but again i personally might go for XSI but if the job needed to uses one of Lightwave's strength i could end up using Lightwave:shrug:

mind you If you uses Lightwave you need to buy a Character rigger for it LOL hint hint :D

j3st3r
11-24-2004, 04:46 PM
I think it`s mostly personal preference. With XSI I never had trouble with character animation, but in LW i had a lot. That`s MY preference. I know a guy, who was born with LW manual in his hand, and he never could do anything in XSI. It`s his personal preference.

ThirdEye
11-24-2004, 05:41 PM
The fact that XSI isn't split in half should alone make you go for it. A lot of things aren't even possible in animation with 2 separated apps.

T4D
11-24-2004, 05:49 PM
Person preference !!! that it !! :thumbsup:
XSI is good but Lightwave isn't that far behide
Personal Preference is everything in a artist industry :buttrock:
uses what feels right to get the job done
even if it means doing a test animation in each package do it
if you have both check out which feels right for that project :)

SheepFactory
11-24-2004, 06:16 PM
there is not a single area where LW is better or close to XSI when it comes to animation.


XSI has the best f-curve editor and dopesheet and isolation tools i have ever used , and those are the 3 things you use day in and day out when you are animating.

Sil3
11-24-2004, 07:20 PM
Not even mentioning the AMAZING Animation Mixer, and that "split" workflow REALLY has to leave LW, a couple days ago i had to weight some characters in LW...and man...what a F****** PAIN! :argh:

But LWīs Endomorphs (Shapes in XSI) kick XSI butt in simplicty IMO

NanoGator
11-24-2004, 08:38 PM
"6. In XSI any 3D Object can be deformer (or bone). Therefore it`s easy to build up "muscle systems, etc."

Could somebody describe this in a little more detail please? Really curious!

Now that XSI Foundation is $500, I'm seriously considering adding it to my toolbox. So if anybody'd like to be super specific/detailed about its various superiorities, well you've got an audience! :)

Sil3
11-24-2004, 08:51 PM
"6. In XSI any 3D Object can be deformer (or bone). Therefore it`s easy to build up "muscle systems, etc."

Could somebody describe this in a little more detail please? Really curious!


A simple example:

In LW u usually use to split the ForeArm bones to compensate for distortion when u rotate the hand, in XSI u can have only the ForeArm Bone, add 2 or 3 nulls, parented to the ForeArm and make then part of the Weighting, with a simple point and click u can "say" to XSI that when Hand Bone rotates "X" the Nulls rotate "Y", simple :scream:

Download the demo and take a look at the Default Biped Rig, when u build it check the Arm Rools and see what im saying.

NanoGator
11-24-2004, 10:23 PM
Ah, so items can move weight maps and the interface makes this real easy? So if I had a bunch of nulls tied together, I could sort of perform a muscular approach?

(for the record, I'll be downloading the demo in the next couple of weeks, problem is work is keeping me away from it. So best I can do is ask questions. :))

FunBucket
11-24-2004, 10:51 PM
You definitely won't regret adding XSI to your toolbox. I tried out all the demos for the different apps, and I kept coming back to XSI. It's so much more logical then the others.

I was a BIG sceptic of animation in XSI for a while, specifically the whole rigging process. After looking at the built in rig guides, and some of the tutorials, I realize it's not near as complicated as some people make it out to be.

When you first start out with it, it can be intimidating, but after you go through some tutorials and understand the logic behind it all, it's an amazing program. :thumbsup:

Sil3
11-25-2004, 12:59 AM
Ah, so items can move weight maps and the interface makes this real easy? So if I had a bunch of nulls tied together, I could sort of perform a muscular approach?


Take a look at this site:

http://www.starlitestudios.net/


Have fun :)

skello
11-25-2004, 06:02 PM
no one in their right senses will pitch lightwave's animation against xsi's......WTF???
its like comparing a nissan's engine to a ferrari

TiSOy
11-25-2004, 07:00 PM
Honestly, I don`t think that LW can be faster in any aspect, even if you think of a simple rig...That`s why I migrated to XSI. And foundation is much cheaper than LW :thumbsup:

What I did like in LW, and I haven`t found nothing similar in XSI, is the hybrid IK system LW has. That`s cool!
Your judgement shows that ur not very profecient in LW,,,,,,,,Yes XSI FND is cheaper, but obviosly u dont know what they took out.....Read theres specs.....And contact XSI itself as they contacted me to see if Im going to buy and I ask them can I use FND for production? they said it YES AND NO.......hmmm.......and read the artical from 3dworld. it says that FND is a learning step to get u into XSI and not for production. Maybe u can use it for production but with problems because of missing tools that u need.........Even in essential is not complete and more expensive than LW already.......LW is the most robust and complete apps u can find for a cheaper price....and as for LW being split,,,,As myself like working on a less cluttered screen.......U can say all the specs and popular specs in XSI but no matter what u use, u can always do it in LW in some other ways ,that I guarantee u...........http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

yog
11-25-2004, 08:40 PM
Your judgement shows that ur not very profecient in LW,,,,,,,,Yes XSI FND is cheaper, but obviosly u dont know what they took out.....Read theres specs.....And contact XSI itself as they contacted me to see if Im going to buy and I ask them can I use FND for production? they said it YES AND NO.......hmmm.......and read the artical from 3dworld. it says that FND is a learning step to get u into XSI and not for production. Maybe u can use it for production but with problems because of missing tools that u need.........Even in essential is not complete and more expensive than LW already.......LW is the most robust and complete apps u can find for a cheaper price....and as for LW being split,,,,As myself like working on a less cluttered screen.......U can say all the specs and popular specs in XSI but no matter what u use, u can always do it in LW in some other ways ,that I guarantee u...........http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

As a long term LW user (about 8/9 years) I find this post very very funny :D , wrong but funny ;)

Funk Ride
11-25-2004, 11:54 PM
Your judgement shows that ur not very profecient in LW,,,,,,,,Yes XSI FND is cheaper, but obviosly u dont know what they took out....[/img]


this post is so wrong, on so many levels.

As to animation in XSI; you can't really go wrong there, I also used LW, from version 3 right up to 7, but XSI is another world. Im not interested in just putting down another program, or fanboism, but I can't deny the sheer flexibility and power that XSI gives you, and comparing LW to it just seems so... strange? lol

RuiFeliciano
11-26-2004, 12:30 AM
TiSOy,

As a 10+ years user of LW up until now (since it first apeared on PC at version 4) I also find your remarks err..interesting. It is true that LW is a very robust package and that you can achieve just about everything with it if you are proeficient. But so Real 3D and Truspace users can say the same. Now, I'm not putting LW and those apps in the same league because I clearly favour LW but what makes people change to another app after so many years of using another (as is being the case with LW) is mainly about workflow. LW can achieve some things faster and better than XSI (heck, LW's HVs kick anything XSI can offer in that department) but XSI's workflow in 90% of the time is SO much better than LW's that after a month using it you can't stand LW's interface and workflow anymore.
In resume, XSI's animation workflow is better than LW's simply because 95% of the stuff works, and it works in a much better, integrated way than LW's where everything seems to be glued together and this doesn't work with that because this was made by Newtek and that was just bought from some guy and was poorly integrated, etc.
It's pretty simple, actually, unlike with Newtek, you can download a usable demo with which you can then follow the hundreds of tutorials that can be found on the internet and decide for yourself if you find XSI's workflow better. Simple.
If you have any *specific* question on how something in one package compares with another feel free to shoot as there's plenty of people that either use both or used to use LW not long ago.

T4D
11-26-2004, 06:28 AM
but obviosly u dont know what they took out.....Read theres specs.....And contact XSI itself as they contacted me to see if Im going to buy and I ask them can I use FND for production? they said it YES AND NO.......hmmm.......and read the artical from 3dworld. it says that FND is a learning step to get u into XSI and not for production. Maybe u can use it for production but with problems because of missing tools that u need.........Even in essential is not complete and more expensive than LW already.......please give details TiSOy I''ve got Lw 8 ( I know it inside Out and back to front & I've been making money from it for 4 years EG the reason i still think LW is a good character animation package ) and been using XSi for 2 months All i feel i'm missing in Foundation is HV and Hardbody's what else is missing ???
when i asked the dealer here in Australia they said YES it can be used for production and i have yet to see a reason why it can't ??

I'm just about to start a personal learning project in XSI & would really like to know what problems I'm going to run into, I tested the auto rigger / Fnd workaround script and it works great so the missing auto rigger isn't a problem the characters i've rigged, animated and rendered so far have worked great, mental ray is more work then Lightwave but there's heaps more power there, i would like the mesh relax tool & polygon reduction would be cool too but i havn't got that in LW ?:rolleyes:

please Give Details TiSOy of what you've found missing
Because I havn't found a thing ??.... yet :shrug:

young_927
11-26-2004, 08:44 AM
I have been using Lightwave for about 3yrs I would say...
and then I had to use XSI for my new job about 2 yrs ago..
I have to say from my experience once I got used to XSI for 2 weeks or so.. I was really amazed how advanced it was.. setting up ik and fk.. setting a good rig, weighting the character.. I thought Lightwave was way behind in that area, and I remember Lightwave's graph editor was really slow compared to XSI animation editor,, and XSI's animation mixer its just a pleasure to work with..

I am just really glad that I got to work with XSI, since for me animating characters in Lightwave was really difficult,, XSI makes it so much easier~

Well this is just my opinion~
I still remember I was so suprised of how easy it was to set-up a good Rig in XSi!
couldn't believe it~ :P

troyer
11-26-2004, 09:25 AM
please give details TiSOy I''ve got Lw 8 and been using XSi for 2 months
All i feel i'm missing in Foundation is HV and Hardbody's what else is missing ???


Can you or anyone else tell me what I'm missing with Smooth\Relax and the Texture Layer Editor in XSI Foundation. I'm considering to buy XSI FND but I'm not really sure if there's something that I would be missing. Mainly I'm interested in modeling and texturing, I've tested LW before but XSI looked to me to be more sophisticated, and now it's even available at a moderate price. So if anyone can point out how important smooth / relax and the texture layer editor are I would be thankful.

Thanks
neostar

ThE_JacO
11-26-2004, 12:51 PM
Your judgement shows that ur not very profecient in LW,,,,,,,,Yes XSI FND is cheaper, but obviosly u dont know what they took out.....Read theres specs.....And contact XSI itself as they contacted me to see if Im going to buy and I ask them can I use FND for production? they said it YES AND NO.......hmmm.......and read the artical from 3dworld. it says that FND is a learning step to get u into XSI and not for production. Maybe u can use it for production but with problems because of missing tools that u need.........Even in essential is not complete and more expensive than LW already.......LW is the most robust and complete apps u can find for a cheaper price....and as for LW being split,,,,As myself like working on a less cluttered screen.......U can say all the specs and popular specs in XSI but no matter what u use, u can always do it in LW in some other ways ,that I guarantee u...........http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
so you DO NOT have XSI and neither used it in production right? and yet you are passing a quite definitive judgment on a number of factors you don't really have ground to stand on about...

I used LW a long time ago now, and I moved away from it (actually I moved to SOFTIMAGE|3D at the times) and that's all I'm going to say.
I'm not interested in commenting further then that on the XSI vs LW pissing contest.

PLEASE keep flamebaits and app fanboyism out of here. Insofar this has been a fairly peaceful and mature forum, where both people who just switched from other apps and veterans managed to coexist and share in mutual respect, I have no intention to let is spiral down into the same circle of hell that some other forums have plunged in.

If you want to join a thread about comparisons you're better off doing it AFTER you got a clue about BOTH elements involved in the comparison.

T4D
11-26-2004, 01:31 PM
Can you or anyone else tell me what I'm missing with Smooth\Relax and the Texture Layer Editor in XSI Foundation. I'm considering to buy XSI FND but I'm not really sure if there's something that I would be missing. Mainly I'm interested in modeling and texturing, I've tested LW before but XSI looked to me to be more sophisticated, and now it's even available at a moderate price. So if anyone can point out how important smooth / relax and the texture layer editor are I would be thankful.

Thanks
neostar

smooth relex Would be handy in FND exsample of what it does ( I've only seen it in the DVD's ) say you have a sharp mesh ( upper arm ) select those polygons and hit relax and it will smooth the mesh out handy for alot of thing but not a must have

Texure layers on the other hand is a good feature i wish was in XSI Fnd
the node surface setup in XSI fnd is Really alot of work compared to LW
Lightwave surface and render is simple and wonderful interface you can get a handle of quickly 5 to 30 mins tops and get Great looking renders, you'll understand it and work fast but your uv creation is more work in Lightwave

XSI on the other hand has Great UV creation But the node surfacing is ALOT MORE WORK and it's connection to mental ray it powerfull BUT again ALOT OF WORK and alot to learn
and even with Texture Layers XSi surfacing is not as simple or easy as Lightwave

if your just starting out and modeler and surfacing is your thing Maybe go for Lightwave
But if you haven't got heaps of $$$ and want it all even tho it will take longer to learn get XSI & if you looking to do character animation and the rest GO FOR XSI it's worth it :thumbsup:

RuiFeliciano
11-26-2004, 01:50 PM
T4D,

It's great to also see you on this side of the fence :)

I agree with you that the rendertree is more complicated than LW's texture Editor. In LW it's easire/faster to get good results. But while I was also overwhelmed with XSI's rendertree on the beginning I find it a must to invest time on since it's such a cool and fun shader creation process once you start understanding what each "lego piece" can achieve. After a while of experimenting dragging and connecting nodes in the rendertree becomes second nature and is easily achieved and gives so much more freedom than LW's way. As to the Texture Layer Editor I almost never touch it.
Not a single week goes by that I don't stand in awe amazed by someone's post here or in XSIBase on what can be achieved with different combination's of the rendertree "ingredients" :)

troyer
11-26-2004, 01:57 PM
Thanks, that was helpful. Speaking of the price, I think it's unfortunate that Avid charges 499 EUR instead of letting europeans pay in $. Because 499 EUR are 660$ at the current exchange rate.

troyer
11-26-2004, 03:10 PM
I took a closer look at the softimage store, and it seems that most european countries can pay in $ except Germany and France as far as I tested it. Does anyone of you know if there's an activation process for XSI that requires an adress, if not I would like to send it to a friend of mine in switzerland, but if this adress will be the adress the software is registered for then this could be a problem.

T4D
11-26-2004, 03:10 PM
neostar http://www.xsibase.com is selling it for 449 EUR on the banner ad

RuiFeliciano Thanks :)
I agree like everything in XSI it's more complex more powerful
But takes longer to learn But well worth it :applause:

troyer
11-26-2004, 03:24 PM
neostar http://www.xsibase.com is selling it for 449 EUR on the banner ad

RuiFeliciano Thanks :)
I agree like everything in XSI it's more complex more powerful
But takes longer to learn But well worth it :applause:

T4D you're right, but it says 449EUR (excluding TAX), including tax this would even be 520EUR (16% tax rate in germany). 449$ are 338EUR. You see the difference that bugs me? :rolleyes:


For the complexity, I don't think that this will pose a problem for me, I'm willing to spend the time to learn a 3D package, I just want to make sure that it has all the options I want. Concerning the workflow XSI seems to me well thought out and suited to my style of thinking. I used LW 2 years ago and I liked it very much but I couldn't get used to the workflow.

Odrakir
11-26-2004, 04:22 PM
T4D you're right, but it says 449EUR (excluding TAX), including tax this would even be 520EUR (16% tax rate in germany). 449$ are 338EUR. You see the difference that bugs me? :rolleyes:


For the complexity, I don't think that this will pose a problem for me, I'm willing to spend the time to learn a 3D package, I just want to make sure that it has all the options I want. Concerning the workflow XSI seems to me well thought out and suited to my style of thinking. I used LW 2 years ago and I liked it very much but I couldn't get used to the workflow.
I don't see the problem. The price is 499 $ excluding taxes, where ever you are.

So, if you are in eurpe it'll be 449Ä (equals to 499 $) plus taxes. At least that's what I payed.

troyer
11-26-2004, 08:04 PM
I don't see the problem. The price is 499 $ excluding taxes, where ever you are.

So, if you are in eurpe it'll be 449€ (equals to 499 $) plus taxes. At least that's what I payed.

Well for example the current exchange rate at paypal from EUR to $ is 1,29. That's the exchange rate I had today. This means if I buy something at 499$ my credit card will be charged with 386,82 EUR. That's the usual way when you buy things in $ by credit card when you have a credit card in germany. If you want to calculate some other currencies you can look them up at http://www.oanda.com.

To make it worse, in Spain XSI costs 449 EUR, in the german store from Softimage I'll be charged 499 EUR. In Switzerland or Portugal I would only have to pay 449$ which are only 348 EUR. You can see that for yourself if you change the country at the homepage of the store. Even though Portugal is also a member of the European Monetary Union.

I don't want to bother you with exchange rates, it's just that it bugs me to see that there's an enormous difference in pricing even between european countries. And for Germany it looks like exchanging the rate 1=1 isn't enough, I also have to pay 50EUR extra. This makes me a little bit upset. Hope you don't mind, I did so many calculations, but I needed to make it clear.

rj0
11-27-2004, 02:35 AM
I don't know if this will help a bit, but I found that eCost.com has XSI Foundation 4.0 with the Production Series 5 DVD set at about 385 USD. Took mine almost a month to arrive in the US vis UPS ground though, apparently due to large backorders to Avid.

rj

wmendez
11-27-2004, 07:46 AM
as they contacted me to see if Im going to buy and I ask them can I use FND for production? they said it YES AND NO. I believe your producton question was in regard to using it for network rendering and the answer was no because Foundation does not provide you with Batch or satellite licenses. XSI foundation is quite capable for modelers and animators in your production environment while the FX and TD Artist can be on Essentials and Advance licenses.

Zendorf
11-27-2004, 08:21 AM
I tested the auto rigger / Fnd workaround script and it works great so the missing auto rigger isn't a problem


I am just getting my feet with Foundation and loving it! While still getting my head around the shading networks and animation mixer, I haven't really delved into rigging just yet. Can someone please elaborate on this auto rigging script? Is this a way for Foundation users to tap into features from the Advanced version...presumably more automated rigging than just using the premade Foundation rigs?

Cheers...

T4D
11-27-2004, 08:40 AM
here you go :thumbsup:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=170473

NanoGator
11-27-2004, 10:04 AM
Take a look at this site:

http://www.starlitestudios.net/


Have fun :)

Just wanted to say thanks for that link! :thumb:

troyer
11-27-2004, 02:25 PM
I don't know if this will help a bit, but I found that eCost.com has XSI Foundation 4.0 with the Production Series 5 DVD set at about 385 USD. Took mine almost a month to arrive in the US vis UPS ground though, apparently due to large backorders to Avid.

rj
Thanks rj for the link, the problem is that ecost doesn't do any international shipping. Are there any other online shops with XSI Foundation that do international shipping? I would be thankful for any information I can get.

Thanks

Odrakir
11-28-2004, 04:05 PM
To make it worse, in Spain XSI costs 449 EUR, in the german store from Softimage I'll be charged 499 EUR. In Switzerland or Portugal I would only have to pay 449$ which are only 348 EUR. You can see that for yourself if you change the country at the homepage of the store. Even though Portugal is also a member of the European Monetary Union.

Still don't know what you are talking about. If I go into softimage store and select any of those european countries you said (Portugal, Switzerland, Germany) the price is alway 449 Ä... at least that's what it says in my browser :eek:

raffael3d
11-28-2004, 04:53 PM
if you go to www.xsibase.com/getxsifoundation.php and you order via the form you can download I can guarantee you will not pay a dime more than anyone else.

troyer
11-28-2004, 04:58 PM
Still don't know what you are talking about. If I go into softimage store and select any of those european countries you said (Portugal, Switzerland, Germany) the price is alway 449 €... at least that's what it says in my browser :eek:

That's what I get in the german Softimage store:
http://www.royer-net.de/cgtalk/softimage_store.gif

Odrakir
11-28-2004, 05:17 PM
:eek: This is what I get in the softimage German store:
http://www.2bitmedia.com/ricardo/imagenes_foros/gestore.jpg

troyer
12-01-2004, 07:29 PM
if you go to www.xsibase.com/getxsifoundation.php and you order via the form you can download I can guarantee you will not pay a dime more than anyone else.

That's what I have done now. Let's see what the invoice will be.

Thanks for the hint!

NanoGator
12-05-2004, 06:25 AM
S'happenin, dudes?

I gotta q that's pretty much on topic, me thinks: In Lightwave, when you set up a character rig, LW pretty much assumes that you're only going to have that one character in the scene. (Well that's not entirely true, its bones and IK etc work independently like they should, but expressions do not.) So I wanted to ask: If you were to make a character in XSI, for example, that used XSI's version of an expression to center the hips, could you clone that character several times and have the expression work individually for each instance? I'm actually more curious about XSI's design philosophy than an answer to this specific question. (I found out that Santa Claus is bringing me XSI Foundation so now I'm all curious about what I'll find myself with. :) )

yog
12-05-2004, 12:35 PM
So I wanted to ask: If you were to make a character in XSI, for example, that used XSI's version of an expression to center the hips, could you clone that character several times and have the expression work individually for each instance? I'm actually more curious about XSI's design philosophy than an answer to this specific question.

It should be no problem.
Being primarily a modeller, I had to go away and try it just to confirm ;)
I set up three objects, hip, left leg, right leg, then added a 2 point constraint (pre-built expression) to the hips and selected each of the legs, then grouped it all as a model. From here I duplicated the model a few times, and each rig worked just fine. I even renamed the hips object on one of the models after applying the constraint, and it still worked fine with no other playing around or hesitation.

It works because each model is a self contained element in the scene, including expressions and constraints. In a number of the duplicates all the hips and legs had exactly the same names, yet I was able to go back into the constaints tab for one and alter it's setting (loads of keyframeable settings :applause: ) without effecting the parts in the other models.

Emiliano
12-28-2004, 11:27 AM
What I did like in LW, and I haven`t found nothing similar in XSI, is the hybrid IK system LW has. That`s cool!
I am sorry if I missed something but can you be specific on that ?
Despite some plugins that can do that (http://cohen-plugs.tripod.com/#nlm) (http://cohen-plugs.tripod.com/#nlm))as far as I know and in my experience if something is missing in LW is an hybrid IK system. :)


And about the initial topic, I can agree that any software is good for character animation if the user feels comfortable with it and can achieve the planned objectives without pain.

1. Animation Master is "THE" character animation software in ease of use and workflow
2. If you have the time and patience then go with XSI, itīs the best overall winner,
3. If you already know Lightwave a lot and then I suggest you to stay with it, it simply rocks !

Please note that I suggested having in mind only "Character Animation" as main use.
Not rendering, not fancy details, etc.

Emiliano

grafikdon
12-08-2005, 01:00 PM
Not even mentioning the AMAZING Animation Mixer, and that "split" workflow REALLY has to leave LW, a couple days ago i had to weight some characters in LW...and man...what a F****** PAIN! :argh:

But LWīs Endomorphs (Shapes in XSI) kick XSI butt in simplicty IMO

I agree with you 100%. What I do is model and apply the morphs in LW and then import the LWO into XSI with all the morphs intact. I never bother myself with the XSI Shapes.

Like a lot of people have said, personal preference plays the major role because to be honest, even though I discovered XSI has a lot of more(and better) character animation features, I still end up doing most my animation in LW... Learning curve isn't steep given that XSI almost feels like lightwave (at least that was my impression the first time a tried XSI).

ThE_JacO
12-08-2005, 01:13 PM
decided to resuscitate the thread for its first BDay? ;)

T4D
12-08-2005, 01:56 PM
Man this is a old one :argh:
I'm doing a 10 club animation using Both Lightwave and XSI ( point oven inbetween ) at the moment
( just me wasting time over the Xmas break and playing with different thing :D

This is the first pass after testing Point oven with XSI 5 ess
www.thomas4d.info/10SecondClub_V003.avi (http://www.thomas4d.info/10SecondClub_V003.avi)


the robot is a Modo model XSI custom rig and Animation
the other guy is a Lightwave rig and animation ( model by Pisong )

grafikdon,- the shape manager in 5.0 has me using XSI now for morphs
IT's a very good system Before 5.0, I was like you, using Modo, LW and importing into XSI

Rigging
XSI is lightyears aheads of LW in Speed and options
AND you can build Character animation workflow in XSI

In LW you can't even keep the selection sets and lock item setting when you import a rig into a scene it's stone age :banghead:

Character animation workflow
Again XSI is SO much more fun :bounce: and alot less clicky then LW :sad:

grafikdon
12-08-2005, 04:22 PM
grafikdon,- the shape manager in 5.0 has me using XSI now for morphs
IT's a very good system Before 5.0, I was like you, using Modo, LW and importing into XSI


Hehehe...I guess my mind has been overwhelmed by the simplicity of LW morph mixer to the extent that anything that doesn't work like it turns me off. I really have to take out a couple of days and deal with the XSI shape manager and figure out ways to make it work for me, instead of expecting it to work EXACTLY like LW morph. Kinda tired of doing stuff in multiple app.

I know I will stick with modeling in LW/Modo and animating in XSI. I can't even model a matchbox in XSI...or perhaps, I never tried modeling anything in XSI :shrug:

Sbowling
12-10-2005, 10:26 AM
Hehehe...I guess my mind has been overwhelmed by the simplicity of LW morph mixer to the extent that anything that doesn't work like it turns me off. I really have to take out a couple of days and deal with the XSI shape manager and figure out ways to make it work for me, instead of expecting it to work EXACTLY like LW morph. Kinda tired of doing stuff in multiple app.

I know I will stick with modeling in LW/Modo and animating in XSI. I can't even model a matchbox in XSI...or perhaps, I never tried modeling anything in XSI :shrug:

The new Morph/Shape tool in XSI5 is great. It's similar in it's workflow to what you would be usefull in LW/Modo, but it's all integrated into the animation workflow, so you can see your results instantly, unlike in LightWave or modo, you can easily tweak your shapes at any point during the animation to get them to match up exactly with what you want even if you have three morphs going at once.

As for modeling, the only thing I miss is the symmetry mode, but I'm pretty used to doing the simple clone workaround and it beats all the other workarounds needed in LightWave. Modo is a competenrt modeler, but since I've become used to working in XSI I rarely use modo, in fact, it's been several months since I've used it. The bioggest downside of using modo is you get insulted by the elitist mac group that havepretty much taken over the Luxology forums, and having spent the last three years dealing with macs, I just can't handle the BS any more.

As for the subject of this thread, LightWave had Character animation tacked on late in the game and it's never felt that good, but XSI is all about character animation. Once I downloaded the XSI4.2 demo I just couldn't get myself to go back to using LightWave. I've been using XSI ever since.

T4D
12-10-2005, 10:46 AM
As for modeling, the only thing I miss is the symmetry mode, but I'm pretty used to doing the simple clone workaround and it beats all the other workarounds needed in LightWave.

yeah there's so much that's Positive in XSI That the clone thing is the only thing that I can think of that isn't the best way to do it out there
Maybe in 6.0 or even 5.2 we may get it ???
( it's such a small thing tho I don't really see a major need for it )

But I still uses Modo sometimes Cause of it, But I still can and do model in XSi without a problem But Modo just feels little nicer, But I must say that I Don't do a huge amount of modeling in Modo, XSI or whatever

3D painting is the only thing i can think of that XSI could do with ??
( another reason have my foot in the Modo pond to see what they do )
But gator still come out of no where and is such a huge Feature I'm still totally blown out by it :bounce:

I don't see many Mac hero's in the modo forum, But I don't really look for it
Those guy miss out of so much good software and plugins
trading in XSI etc for a better OS and more costly hardware
just doesn't make scents to me ? :curious: Happy with my PC and XSI 5.0 for sure :bowdown:

MAFIA_
12-10-2005, 06:23 PM
Lightwave + MotionBuilder
is a good choice for character animation.

SheepFactory
12-10-2005, 09:13 PM
Lightwave + MotionBuilder
is a good choice for character animation.

Right , but why would i want to pay 8x as much and do three times the work to get stuff into motionbuilder when i can just use xsi again?

schuubars
12-11-2005, 12:37 AM
You don't need to ask this question, the answer is mostly the same.

Personal preferences.
And maybe enough money to do so. ;)

Right , but why would i want to pay 8x as much and do three times the work to get stuff into motionbuilder when i can just use xsi again?

mocaw
12-13-2005, 01:09 AM
All I know is that for $595 (XSI+PointOven) you can get one mean lean animating machine that ports back to LW, and it comes with almost every other feature you'd need in a 3D package. The new shapemanager is amazing- and the best thing since LW endomophs with sliders- way easy to control, duplicate, alter, and propigate to other models.

The animation tools are so great in XSI. The shape linked to oreintation is fab. The rig guides are amazing too and save so much time. When was the last time you built a four armed long necked monster rig with a huge tail in less than five min. and had it fully working on your mesh in less than 20 min in LW? Amazing. Heck, it's so much better than LW in animation that I only need to use 30% of what is there most of the time and it's already way beyond what LW8.5 does and "maybe" what 9 will do.

And while billboards don't look as "real" all the time as hypervoxels they render about 100times faster and are much easier to preview and animate.

Last night I showed the rigging tools off to a LW friend of mine and all he could keep saying was how amazing and cool everything was.

I'm still amazed that any LWer with $600 bucks to spend wouldn't jump in and buy XSI.

T4D
12-13-2005, 02:15 AM
I'm still amazed that any LWer with $600 bucks to spend wouldn't jump in and buy XSI.

That's the qoute of the year !! :D
there so much there in XSI and Newtek have already said Lw 9 is only half there, just look at the LW 9 feature list :cry:

I like LW's unlimited render nodes and all the worley stuff is great
But as i learn XSI more there are more reason NOT to use LW
PLus if you upgrade to XSI Ess Gator is simple shocking :eek:
No other 3D app can do that stuff

mlmiller1983
12-13-2005, 03:02 AM
I currently own Maya, Lightwave, Cinema4D, & Modo and saving up money to purchase XSI Essentials. What can I say about XSI, it has GATOR, physXô Rigid Body Dynamics, and some of the best Character Animation tools out there not to mention with XSI 5's new Gigapolygon Core it handle very complex scenes with ease. The only gripe I have is that you gottal pay $7000 for hair but no biggie(Hair for Cinema4D looks to be very good and there is always Shave for Maya). Might purchase MotionBuilder too I found that also a great tool for CA.


EDIT: Did I forget the killer compositing tools too. :thumbsup:

mocaw
12-13-2005, 06:47 AM
Yeah, if I didn't have Fprime and some scenes that have a lot of detailed procedural bumps w/ray traced reflections, and some really large radiosity renders for print (Fprime again), I'd most likely have to part ways with LW for good!

mdunakin
01-07-2006, 11:14 PM
So, basically,after reading all of this particular thread, it seems to me, that XSI's main thing,
is for CA, but is that it, or are there other things that it does well or better then LW or some other apps?

I'm just being curious, is all?

I mostly do medical work and really have no real need for CA,
but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to do more of it, if only just for fun.
But something that can cost a lot, that's just for fun isn't the best spent money all the time.

I think for me, I'd be happy just getting some kind, ANY kind of a program
that will do decent UV UnWrapping of meshes for texturing onto.

That and a better paint program for 3D objects.
Deep Paint 3D hasn't done anything new with their program for a VERY long time.
And I can't seem to run the demo of Body Paint, as it doesn't like my
mouse for some reason, which is a Wacom Mouse.
I always have to first RM-click on a button before it will let me use the L mouse.
Too wierd for me!

And I desperately want a new and more powerfull 3D Paint program,
like what I was hoping BP would be.

Umm.. back to XSI, what other things OTHER
then CA made you move from LW to that program?

And no, I'm not a "software brand worshiper" type person, as I don't
mind using what ever tool works best for the particular need at hand.

Thanx and only NON-worshipers need reply :)

.............md :)

.

T4D
01-08-2006, 02:35 AM
So, basically,after reading all of this particular thread, it seems to me, that XSI's main thing,
is for CA, but is that it, or are there other things that it does well or better then LW or some other apps?

IMO Character animation IS the One of the hardest and extreme things you can pretty much setup in 3D due to you using all of it- IK, Bones, Deformers, Contrains, Expression, Morphs, etc and then you have to put easy interface over all that
But Others would be particles, Hardbody, cloth, Rendering

Particles are far better in XSI then LW ( tho i hear other XSI users say Max and Maya are better )
Hardbody in XSI 4.2 & 5.0 ESS they are much MUCH Better ( tho 5,0 is just what HardBody should be )
Cloth well only done some small tests and it's not the greatest But still alot better then LW
Rendering well your talking Mental Ray is as good as it gets, take time to learn But makes LW look bad in all dept's

medical work well you have better morphs control cause there's no flipping back to modeler
Better weight painting again no flipping back to modeler,
the whole Deformation control is better
But LW no weight map bone thing is pretty cool for this type of work
So maybe try a demo and see for youself

But really XSI is JUST BETTER :thumbsup: and I'm no Fanboy
I used Messiah as well and that's much better then LW also

mdunakin
01-08-2006, 03:25 AM
medical work well you have better morphs control cause there's no flipping back to modeler
Better weight painting again no flipping back to modeler,
the whole Deformation control is better
But LW no weight map bone thing is pretty cool for this type of work
So maybe try a demo and see for youself
Thanx for this opinion.
And yes, I've just been spending some time over at the XSI site going over things and actually still am.
I'm going to go ahead and download the trial, which I guess is the lowest version they have,
as I was reviewing the comparison sheet they have there:
http://www.softimage.com/products/Xsi/v5/comparison/default.asp
And actually, was kinda amazed that with some of the totally cool advanced things
that come with even the lowest version there, that it doesn't give you some of the
basics that LW does that actually I would of expected to (by now) be a default standard
in ALL 3D apps by now, like polygon reduction and a few others, but those are minor
things and I guess you could always do work arounds for some of those things, like
export the object to some other program for those particular issues, but still I was
supprised they those whimpy things didn't come with the Foundation version.
And I was a bit dissapointed that you had to upgrade to the next version,
if you wanted to use 64bit native, which I am now running.

Technically, the best version they had, WAS the best and also cost a fortune.
But, I guess you get what you pay for.
Though I have to admit, while I was looking at a few of those features, like the
horses running past the barrels, I was imagining my own methods for ways
to achieve the same or similar results with LW.

But, I was glad to see you bring up the medical question I was curious about.
Because actually, I could see doing quite a few of those things with some of
the tools they had listed there, even with the FD version.
Like the Shape Manager and the Tweak Componant could come in VERY handy.
Trust me on this one if you don't already know, but some of this medical stuff
can truely test your patients and skill and tollerence to headaches LOL

Oh, and what you mentioned about the Morphing and such, YES, that IS exactly
what we spend practically most of our time on with these type jobs, that and texturing.
Which, after viewing (for the first time after all these years) mental Ray, I WAS impressed.

I of course still LOVE my LW and dought I would ever stop using it, as I just don't
beleave that ANY one, single package can do it all, but also think it might
be nice to add to my arsenal of grapics tools.

Ummm... also, after examining the overall layout of the interface,
it kinda felt familiar, for some odd reason?
Was it designed to help convert LW'ers over to that software or something?
I've heard others that used LW and then got into XSI and told me that I'd like it,
as a lot of it feels like LW does, at least in certain ways, is this sort of true for you?

Anyway, thanx for your opinion, and I think I'll download the demo and see how it feels.
If only just for kicks and curiosity :)

Thanx, and feel free to point me to any other
things that you think might be of extra interest to me?

...............md :)

.

MikeMD
01-08-2006, 07:15 PM
But, I guess you get what you pay for.

Not true. XSI Foundation is one of those apps where you get much, much more than what you pay for.

Max, Maya and XSI advanced are overpriced, no question about it and you only almost get what you pay for. Considering what you get in foundation, then applying that value across the board, no other 3D software should cost more than $800 - $900.

mdunakin
01-08-2006, 09:27 PM
Well, I personally dissagree, but to each their own.

7 grand is faarrrr toooo much for what they add to make that price go up like that.
And just going up from the low version to the next, they only add a couple of extra
items, yet charge you 4 times as much in one big jump from 500 bones to 2 grand!
Polygon Reduction is NOT a basic tool!???
I would of thought that ALLL 3D programs would have that by now.
Comes stock with LW.

I spent a lot of time looking into this last night, and at the end,
I just wasn't as impressed as I was expecting to be, from how people
seem to worship this app like it's the next best thing since sliced bread, as it were.
Although, I think what really bumbed me out, was with the site
itself not really demonstrating what their software can do.
There was the one animation of the horses, but I had a hard time finding anything else
that really let you SEE what the software does, other then to have to download the
demo and just try it, which isn't the same as giving people some good,
basic examples of what your software can do.
Maybe I was blind though and didn't see those examples? :)

But, with that said, it does have it's strong points and I still feel it's a
good choice for an addition to someone's toolset, but not a replacement.

..................md :)

.

SheepFactory
01-08-2006, 11:17 PM
Ahh yea , yet another "i fugured the app out without using it" post.

true most apps come with a poly reduction toolset nowadays , but how good is the implementation and does it do the job? XSI'd poly reduction is one of the if not the best poly reduction tools around. Hell we had a copy of xsi just to use its poly reduction tool and to UV.

" 7 grand is faarrrr toooo much for what they add to make that price go up like that."

says who? you used advanced before? so 8 processor render license , behaviour , hair , compositor , etc is not worth 7k? maybe not for you but sounds like you are not the target audience anyway. What do you do that requires the features in advanced?

" Maybe I was blind though and didn't see those examples? :)"

maybe..

http://www.softimage.com/Community/Xsi/Galleries/v3/Gal_Jan06/Gal_Jan06.asp

http://www.softimage.com/Community/Xsi/Mag/CS/default_v5.asp


Its ok if you feel xsi is not for you , but try not to make uninformed comments like your above post about a software you didnt even spent the time to play with its demo.

inneractive
01-08-2006, 11:29 PM
But, with that said, it does have it's strong points and I still feel it's a
good choice for an addition to someone's toolset, but not a replacement. -mdunakin

How could you give advice on usage of the product if you have never used it before? Also, I think you underestimate the cost of the additional 10 Mental Ray licenses included with Advanced along with Syflex 3.0, and Behavior is an amazing addition to that package. You also think 4 additional Mental Ray licenses, GATOR, physX, Distributed Rendering, Referenced Models, and Compositing are just a "couple of extra items" and not worth the extra cost? I just think you should actually try the product out before reviewing it.

For video examples:
http://www.softimage.com/products/xsi/v5/nfvt/default.asp

http://www.softimage.com/Community/Xsi/video_gallery/default_flash.asp

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 12:16 AM
Whoa, don't get all excited and start jumping down on me,
just because "you" feel it's the greatest thing on earth.
I SAID, that YES, I had downloaded it and also I AM actually quite interested in buying it.
THATS why I got into this thread in the first place.
I was NOT making "un-informed" statements, but to FORCE people to have to
download the thing and spend ages learning yet another program just to
decide if I want it, is NOT what people should be required to do!

EDIT: I meant, from when I first visited the site yesterday and half of last night,
I couldn't find any of those links you just posted, as they weren't
where I would expect to see them.
So, my appologies for not being able to find those links, is all I can say.

And NO, I don't NEED any of those advanced licences and extream render farm extras, but I was refering to the Behaviors and the Hair.
No way on earth are those two items making that thing worth that kind of money,
or at the very least, if they really are, then they should also have a
version for NON-studio types like myself.
What, ONLY studio houses with big bugets get to have hair and dynamics AI like the Behaviors?

No need to get defensive and accuse me of NOT being INFORMED,
just because I haven't spent time learning a complex program, (yet)
just to DECIDE IF??? I want to spend money on the thing.

That was why I requested ONLY NON-WORSHIPERS need reply to my quest for some info
on this product, because of this very reason of getting people that want to get all
defensive about the app in question that THEY feel is the greatest thing around.
Which you obviously fit into that catagory.

I'm getting paid from some jobs I've finished recently and was interested in looking into
some other programs out there that may??? help me with other areas that LW currently
doesn't fill, NOT as a replacement, which it sounds like the responce I'm getting here
from you and Mike are that it's for a replacement app or something.

Thanx for those links and I'll be checking them out.
I'm sorry that they felt the need to make them hard to find those when a new comer visits
the site, as when I clicked on the XSI link, I merely seen info in text form and struggled trying to find any actual video type samples, which I think they should of had right
there with the sotware you are looking at, readily available for people to find "easily".
Not sure where you managed to find those at, but thanx all the same.

I'll leave this thread though, since it looks like I'm going to upset,
what comes off as, an eletist group, if you aren't already a XSI convert.
I will hope that others here don't all have this, XSI is better,
and if you don't agree, then you're not informed, attitude.

I DO however, appreciate TD4's opinions and thoughts on the subject.
Thanx.

.....................md ;)
P.S. BTW, I DID download XSI when it was first released,
and used it for quite some time, enough to learn enough to
do some things with it, so YES, I HAVE tried it out in the past.
At that time though, my system struggled with some issues with the program,
such as that they FORCE you to have to use a much larger screen rez
then my card at that time could really deal with.
So I mostly had to put it on hold for some future date when I had a beter system,
which I do have that now, as well as it was still really expensive at that time.

.

SheepFactory
01-09-2006, 01:00 AM
haha this is good , now i am elitist , well thats fine with me


"And NO, I don't NEED any of those advanced licences and extream render farm extras, but I was refering to the Behaviors and the Hair.
No way on earth are those two items making that thing worth that kind of money,"

you know I very much doubt you will be able to use behavior even if you had access to it cause i think you are confusing it with some simple particle flocking or whatever it is you have in lw , i recommend you check out some of the behavior tutorials on the softimage website. Oh and for your info before Softimage decided to include it for free with advanced it retailed upwards of 10k.

"then they should also have a
version for NON-studio types like myself."

they do , its called foundation.

Honestly , I checked your gallery out and judging from the caliber of work there you dont need a complex software like XSI , LW should be more then enough for those type of things.

T4D
01-09-2006, 02:00 AM
@ mdunakin
if you look at the Lightwave website you can't even find where to download the Demo ??
anyway and the second best way to see XSI is try the demo
the best way for the XSI Newbie is to watch the Production dvd ( that still may but come Fnd But come my copy of XSI fnd 4.0 ) some may be on the website

XSI Fnd is a total Bargain think a pro version of Lightwave with all the worley, HD plugins and your half way there ( besides hair )

I updated to XSI ess 5.0 and I tell you again you get ALOT for your money well worth it
XSI updates a huge compaired to LW's 7 & 8 cycles And they come every YEAR !! :bounce:

the old prices make scent XSI fnd $2000, XSI ess $6000 But these new prices are a great thing for everyone, More people great a tool & XSI's user base is growing at a huge rate

Now the XSI Negative
The whole Hair solution is a Joke, having shave and hair cut ( an old LW plugin that was on LW FIRST and used to be $600 ) in the ADV release SUCK BIG TIME ! :sad:

Sure I can uses Point oven and export back to LW and uses SAS ( Ho mdunakin get point Oven too let's you transfer between LW and XSI and works Great ) But I just know XSI hair soultion would be Much MUCH Better to create, edit and render then SAS and LW
yet it's in the Super Pro $$$ version along with behavior & Syflex ?? That Does SUCK

But that is the only thing i can honestly say i dislike about XSI and Avid everything else is a total joy to uses and work with, and the support is top grade too. :beer:

Once you check it out you won't look back mdunakin. :thumbsup:

mlmiller1983
01-09-2006, 02:24 AM
Its $1500 right to upgrade foundation to essentials right.

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 02:44 AM
Thanx for that TD4, and yeah, those "were" the sticking points for me, was the
Hair and the Behaviors, but I like what you say about the Oven tool that lets you
go back and forth between the two programs, as that's what I was thinking I'd need
to do if I went with the XSI deal, which I seriously am leaning towards doing.
And I think they either have already came out with, or are going to come out with,
that xTream plugin (or whatever it exactly is) so that XSI and Vue can talk together?

And as for my skill level to Sheep Factory, yeah, my site doesn't even come close
to representing what my current abillities are, as the site was built back in `98
and I've just never updated it other then to add tutorials from time to time.

I just started with Vue5I (about 3months ago, on and off) and already
am creating award winning renders, meaning I've won awards for them already.
My point, is that I CAN learn programs, complex ones even, ;)
including XSI and advanced plugins and other tool sets.
I've really only posted up my works at sites that are appropriot for them,
so if you only hang out in this forum then you wouldn't have seen them.
But a lot of times, I only share my works with a few friends and that's about it.
Can't share any of the medical work I've done (yet) because of NDA's.
I "am" hoping to update my site sometime soon, but I'm just too busy lately.
Also, I don't really feel like dealing with it yet.
And, I've been currently learning three different programs, not counting
the XSI that I just downloaded and will test out as soon as possible.

Anyway, thanx for those "objective" opinions again TD4, and like I say,
I'll be trying out the XSI just as soon as I get a bit `O free time.
Hopefully this week :)
I've already asked them to give me a call when I signed up.
And I have already downloaded all the 400+megs of trainning materials
and other such things from their site, including of course the program.
I "have" had my eyes on this piece of software for some time,
so this isn't my first time look into it, just the first time I've really gotten
serious enough to start moving in that direction, as money was one issue and others.

I appreciate your input.............md :)

.

ThE_JacO
01-09-2006, 03:36 AM
I just started with Vue5I (about 3months ago, on and off) and already
am creating award winning renders, meaning I've won awards for them already.


we should probably make this a sticky, but it's worth re-iterating over it until we do...

your mom's fridge does NOT count as an award, honest :D

T4D
01-09-2006, 04:21 AM
your mom's fridge does NOT count as an award, honest :D

Take a step back ThE_JacO you making big assumptions about the guy AND there's just no need for that type of stuff man, he could be a future XSI user :wise:

T4D
01-09-2006, 04:21 AM
we should probably make this a sticky, but it's worth re-iterating over it until we do...

Better Not I'm an Ex Lightwave third Party developer and I've Already been struck Off Newtek Xmas list :D

ThE_JacO
01-09-2006, 04:37 AM
the sticky part was about the mom's fridge thing, worry not for the thread, I'd never stick something that is so face-off between two apps (I'm surprised it made it this far infact).

as for my comment, hopefully people don't leave their sense of humour at the door when they enter the forum, otherwise we DO have a problem ;)
I haven't even seen this "award winning" vue work (although the stuff on his site makes me think of mullets and lens flares :D), so the comment was tongue in cheek

Sbowling
01-09-2006, 08:14 AM
Not true. XSI Foundation is one of those apps where you get much, much more than what you pay for.

Max, Maya and XSI advanced are overpriced, no question about it and you only almost get what you pay for. Considering what you get in foundation, then applying that value across the board, no other 3D software should cost more than $800 - $900.

I 100% disagree with this. These programs are not overpriced or there wouldn't be anyone using them. If people are willing to buy and use your software at the price you are charging, then the price is right. Now, if you have to keep reducing the price of your software to get people to buy it (take lightwave for example) then it is overpriced. One of the great things about XSI is that there are several versions to choose from. Some people get by fine with Foundation, while others feel the need for Essentials, and some people need advanced. I'm sure most studios have several versions of XSI floating around because there's no need to buy Advanced if all you need to do is modelling.

Brad Peebler of Luxology has a good argument in an article (sorry, no link) about the price of software and how the lower price trend is actually hurting software companies, because they can't afford to spend as much on research and development (again, look at newtek, who hasn't done anything other than try (and fail) to play cath-up for the past several years).

Sbowling
01-09-2006, 08:39 AM
No need to get defensive and accuse me of NOT being INFORMED,
just because I haven't spent time learning a complex program, (yet)
just to DECIDE IF??? I want to spend money on the thing.


I don't understand why you feel someone shouldn't get defensive when someone makes a completely uninformed statement about something. The statements you made are VERY uninformed statements (by your own admission).

>>I was NOT making "un-informed" statements, but to FORCE people to have to
>>download the thing and spend ages learning yet another program just to
>>decide if I want it, is NOT what people should be required to do!

How else are you going to decide if you want to use a program?

>>I just started with Vue5I (about 3months ago, on and off) and already
>>am creating award winning renders, meaning I've won awards for them already.

Awards from who? You can bet if I won any awards worthy of mentioning they would be on my website and in my sig A.S.A.P., because that is very good business sense.

Sbowling
01-09-2006, 08:45 AM
Now the XSI Negative
The whole Hair solution is a Joke, having shave and hair cut ( an old LW plugin that was on LW FIRST and used to be $600 ) in the ADV release SUCK BIG TIME ! :sad:


I wouldn't say the hair solution is a joke. It beats the hell out of SAS. Having to buy Advanced to get it is a bit of an irritation. I would love to see an XSI version that is inbetween Esentials and Advanced that includes hair. I wouldn't say that $1,000 is too much for a good integrated hair solution.

BTW, this is not the same hair plugin that was available for lightwave many years ago. It's by the same guy and has the same name, but it's much different.:)

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 08:55 AM
Yeah, I realized later I probably shouldn't have said the award bit, as I could see
it being taken wrong, but more over, I don't need to prove myself to anyone.
Though the Mom Award does look pretty good on the fridge ;)

Actually, I haven't ever posted to any site up until just the past couple of months,
and those were all Vue scenes, which I won a couple of awards for, but no, nothing fancy.
But, it was fun to get reconised anyway, just because it's fun, even if it's not some big deal to others.

My first, also first real rendering after my experimental tests when I bought Vue,
was at the e-on web site, you can find it there and the second, for the same image is
over at Cornucopia, though I have other images since then that I personally like a lot better.
You can find all of them over at Renderosity under the Vue section, Landscape.
I have LW renderings, but never got around to ever posting any of them up to
any forums, but will some time when ever I feel like dealing with it, as
they always make you fill out forms which I totally hate doing.

And then a lot of WIPs that I slowly work on from time to time.
Just personal stuff to get away from the medical works.

If you guys have some works to show, I'd like to check them out.
I'll see if you all have site links and see what I see.
I really need to update my old lame site.
I mostly just like to create tutorials and post them up.
I have several up and scattered around at other sites, like NewTek's and
Swift 3D and a few other places I can't think of, as I like to help out others when I can.

Anyway, that's the short of it and no I'm not the best in town, but I'm always improving.

..........................md :)
P.S. As far as the business sense with reguards to my site,
I haven't used it for anything like that in several years.
And when I rebuild it, it will be dedicated to mostly tutorials and
I'll have a few of my fav renderings posted up and that'll be about it.


.

T4D
01-09-2006, 09:14 AM
I wouldn't say the hair solution is a joke. It beats the hell out of SAS. Having to buy Advanced to get it is a bit of an irritation. I would love to see an XSI version that is inbetween Esentials and Advanced that includes hair. I wouldn't say that $1,000 is too much for a good integrated hair solution.

BTW, this is not the same hair plugin that was available for lightwave many years ago. It's by the same guy and has the same name, but it's much different.:)

Yeah I know XSi hair is far more advanced then the old shave and hair cut was, But i was seaching for a negative on the XSI side and that's about the only thing i can think of that's not so good over here coming from LW.

I personally would love Hair to be a $1000 optionial extra for any XSI version I have XSI ess and Gator, hardbodies etc are just super, But i do miss hair and I would be first in line to buy it if I Could. and all i want in XSI ADV at the moment is Hair ....

WillBellJr
01-09-2006, 03:14 PM
^^ Hear, Hear!

Maybe we should all create and sign a petition or open letter for AVID to provide a reachable hair solution for XSI? :wip:

As most of us have stated, we'd be willing to pay >decent< money for it, maybe Avid will listen to its customer base and give us a hair solution...

And to mdunakin, most of us here are Lightwave owners so when you see us saying we love XSI, believe it, there's something in there that once you become familiar with the package, you'll probably be saying the same thing.

I understand your feelings about taking the time to learn yet another app; I purchased ZBrush2 AND XSI FND within months of each other - lawd, the backlog I had to swim though to get familiar with both of them! :argh:

But at least there is a demo to play with - try before you buy is always a good thing these days cause a lot of software companies don't practice quality software ethics IMO, so if you can use a package and actually experience a benefit to your toolset you're a leg up on the purchase instead of sitting with something that crashes and a unanswered tech support phone line.

-Will

byanfu
01-09-2006, 05:26 PM
For what its worth, I have been using Lightwave for the last 3 or 4 years but have been growing increasingly frustrate with it. Over Christmas I had some end of the year money to spend and decided to finally buy a copy of foundation, so for the last few weeks have been working the tutorials and reading the downloaded manuals (boxed version if suppose to arrive today). After spending some time working with XSI I really understand why people feel so passionate about this program, in fact I donít ever want to touch Lightwave again. Everything just works elegantly in XSI. Its hard to explain, but it is true that Lightwave feels like a toy compared to XSI (sorry Newtek, you guys are great but Lightwave is just not in the same league). There is not one area I have experience yet that does not best Lightwave mightily. I had a little initial trepidation buying XSI because of the seeming complexity of the render tree, but now that Iím getting the basics down Iím amazed, truly amazed at the depth of all the tools and Iím so glad I decided to buy the package. I will without a doubt upgrade to Essentials and get a few extra licenses when my next upgrade cycle comes along. This truly is what I always hope for out of a 3d package.

MikeMD
01-09-2006, 05:26 PM
I 100% disagree with this. These programs are not overpriced or there wouldn't be anyone using them. If people are willing to buy and use your software at the price you are charging, then the price is right. Now, if you have to keep reducing the price of your software to get people to buy it (take lightwave for example) then it is overpriced. One of the great things about XSI is that there are several versions to choose from

I was comparing it to Foundation which is $500. Advanced is what? $7000, so you are paying 14 times more for hair and a couple of other things.

Compare Maya, Max to foundation, you pay 4-8 times more, but do you get that much more?
Of course not. In some cases you get less or very little more.

Whether lower prices are hurting business is another matter, and I don't know whether this is true. Brad may be saying this, but how many copies of Modo would he sell if it cost $2000. I think it would hurt even more, because he wouldn't sell many. If higher prices are unsustainable ( that is after all why they have come down ), then it's irrelevant, because obviously higher prices were hurting business too. The right balance has to be found.

10 licenses sold at $500 is a lot more than one at $2000.

Of course since everything is relative, you could say foundation is seriously underpriced and everything else is just right, but I'm leaning more towrds the other.

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 05:45 PM
I think one thing that stunned me when I first started reading this thread, was that
someone mentioned that XSI won't let you delete a bone from a chain, as if you do,
then you delete the whole chain and have to completely rebuild it!?
If that is true, it's like, whoa, it does CA so well but you can't delete a bone without this issue?
I'm of course assuming that no one minds this for whatever reasons?

Anyway, today I get to install the trial and see what I see :)

Morphs will be my first things I will want to look into,
as that's what I mostly do these days.
In every medical job I've done so far, we always need morphs.
Though, who knows, maybe this thing you do the same effects some other way?
I'll see soon enough.

.............md :)

.

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 06:03 PM
Yeah, Will, I know you can appreciate where I'm coming from with the learning bit,
as you've seen how things went with Vue for me, at first all the crashes and torture
and yet I still stuck it out and the program problems were resolved, but I learned it in
a couple of three months and you've seen what I can do with it and you know the rest,
but I'm obviously still learning just like I'm still always finding new things still in LW I can do,
and for that matter, in most other programs, as you never really completely learn
everything in a program these days, as most are just sooo expansive in nature
you can go on forever and still find new things you din't know about them before.

I bought PS CS2 to finally upgrade my PS and I bought that thing months ago and
STILL haven't had enough time to really get into the thing and learn the new features
and all and I'm stuck just using the basic things I already know and learn more as I go,
and I have some other programs laying here that I use, but haven't had enough time
to get to "fully" learn all the things I can do with them yet either.

And, I'm busy learning some new training creation program that I
think I want to buy for creating my tutorials in, and it cost 500 bucks too!
And the other one only cost 200 to 300 bucks, so I'm having to make that decision.

I get to install the XSI trial today, so I'll see how that works out finally :)

...........md :)


.

Lyr
01-09-2006, 06:33 PM
^^ Hear, Hear!

Maybe we should all create and sign a petition or open letter for AVID to provide a reachable hair solution for XSI? :wip:



Not a bad idea. Softimage probably wouldn't have to do too much seeing as how Mental ray already has a hair primitive that takes care of the most difficult rendering tasks related to hair. They really just need to make some low cost styling and dynamics tools like Maxon did for C4D.

alona
01-09-2006, 08:56 PM
...but now that Iím getting the basics down Iím amazed, truly amazed at the depth of all the tools and Iím so glad I decided to buy the package. I will without a doubt upgrade to Essentials and get a few extra licenses when my next upgrade cycle comes along. This truly is what I always hope for out of a 3d package.

Welcome!! :) :) :) Enjoy the ride...

AA

byanfu
01-09-2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks Alona, very glad to be here :)

I just wanted to say one more quick thing. I am very impressed with the manuals that Avid provides. I have learned more about the technical aspects of 3d in the last 2 weeks reading the manuals then I have in the last 5 years. I feel like I am re-experiencing the joy of 3d all over again. Anyway enough of this giddy schoolgirl talk, I had better get back to work.

xtrm3d
01-09-2006, 09:43 PM
to mundakin ,

well .. i might not have so much award under my belt , but a quick google search about my name should give you better information to decide for yourself if my opinion is worth something ..


i am using lw since almost 7 year now , and i would like to see myself as a seasoned veterant with it ( have some of my stuff on the newtek content cd )

started with xsi last year at work ( mostly for modelling ) and at home ( for all the rest )
i feel that xsi is really ahead of the competion in item of workflow .. ,
like some of the other lw user , i still have my problem with the shading part , but i think that it have more to do , with a shortcoming on my side , as with mental ray ..

now for the riging aspect , i loooove it .. this is really easy to rig a charachter and the auto rigger ist symply amazing .. ( althoug i would advice to learn the bones system by yourself first befor using any automatised tools .. just in case )
and teh price tag , is really the best around imho ,
what are 500 bucks ? ..not even the price of a good graphic card

try it .. dont play with it ..
try to do a full project ..even a simple one .. from the begining to the end .. it should give you a good overview .. and you would be able to decide if the workflow and tools .. suite your need
then after that come back and tell us what you think ..

mdunakin
01-09-2006, 10:24 PM
Thanx for that, xtrm3d, and I've been slowly and patiently going through the online
videos showing some of the strengths of XSI right now, while also having the program
opened and the manual opened so I can kind of follow along and see what I see.
I must admit, I haven't even gotten into anything yet, but am already being impressed,
mainly just from the GigaCore thingy and the way you can work and render with it.
So, actually, right now, I'm busy figuring out an area of the program that I wasn't
expecting I'd be looking into first, and that's how to render, since I can't really tell
what's going on until I can actually SEE what is there and what I'm really looking at.
But this is fine with me, as the renderer was the worse part I was dreading,
so at least I'm getting that part out of the way first :)The other items, like keyframing
and caculating and moving, rotating and other such things of objects, are pretty much
self explaintory, at least for me they are right now, so I was able to load up a sample
scene and start changing it right away and watching the fun and I mean FUN!, as it
worked sooooooo smoothly and rapidly with what I'm working on, which is the
Pouring Liquid from one glass to another, that it was really a pure joy
just to see it work almost in real time like that.
I hit the render thingy and rendering out a basic animation of that scene and got
to see it do it's thing within a few seconds, not even a half a minute I don't think.

The areas of interest to me will be the types of rigging, that I can use for things that
"aren't" characters and also interested in the Morphing methods and Deformations
and such, since these are things that I have to work on a lot with clogged
blood viens and other artory type things and the likes.

I am curious to what you feel the overall learning curve is before you actually
"can" build your own scene from scratch to finished animations/renders?

Thanx, and I'm back to it again.....................md :)
Now I want to get paid pretty soon!
I have 500 to spend on some fun, somewhere with a program.
Oh, and do they give you a paper manual or PDF or
what is shipped with the Foundation version?
Any extras on CD/DVD or anything?

.

SheepFactory
01-09-2006, 11:47 PM
Foundation ships with getting started with xsi paper manual and the rest of the manuals are PDF. depending on when you buy it it might also ship with the training dvd's if they have a promo going on at the time.

mdunakin
01-10-2006, 02:17 AM
Sounds cool to me.
And I just made my first renderings and the fluid looks awesome!

And I'll take any suggestions from anybody on scenes they feel I might want to examine
first, that might relate to Blood Flow, Medical Stents, Morphing or Deformation scenes?
We do a lot of that sort of work of inserting tubes, wires and other things I can't
go into that you might see done on ER or something like that :)
We currently live a LOT on the use of SplineControls (LW) and Bone Paths inconjunction with
Morphs to make these sort of things happen and inflating tubes into balloons and like that.
Lots of transparencies and desolves as well.

I'm burnt for the day today, but I at least got my feet good and wet, so that was nice :)

I'm the type who likes to learn programs by first loading up scenes and seeing what
others have done, as that helps me to really get a better grasp on what they did to
get what they created and it realy speeds up the learning curve, at least it does for me.
THEN, when I'm trying out my own ideas, I have a better visual in my head already on
what a tool does and which ones I might want to use to get the desired affect I want.
And this along with mega tons of reading, makes the reading part more understandable :)

Thanx..............md :)

.

ngrava
01-10-2006, 05:43 AM
What makes it the best character animation software out there? This is a very difficult thing to answer. Of course itís not the best animation software out there but itís pretty darn good. I persoanlly like animating in it because it feels smooth and responcive compaired to other apps... Yes, even Maya. ;) I think itís not really a matter of being good at animation as much as the work you have to do to set up characters and what technologies it employs to allow you to easily set up your environment and to be as easy to get the work done. A lot of people have pointed out that itís not the software that makes good animation and I totally agree thereÖ But, you donít want the software to get in your way. In many cases I would have to say that LW gets in your way to often. Someone mentioned weight mapping and I think thatís one of the best examples too. Having to jump back and forth between apps and then having to manually associate the bone to the weight map is really a big pain in the ass and should never have been conceived this way. XSI has a really niftly little weight painting panel that actually tries to help you out and I like that a lot. It also handles the initial weighting more intelligently. XSI also allows you to drop down to the modeling mode and change the model after itís been rigged. You can kind of do this in LW right now simply by editing the model and reopening your rigging scene. XSI just lets you do it right there. In effect, XSIís modeling modes allow you to work in a more LW way in regards to separating the processes so that they donít adversely affect each other but it allows you to do this on the fly which is a huge time saver.

Now, as far as animation tools go, and applying the same idea that the software shouldnít get in your way, there are several places that LW getís in your way. Fist off, the IK in XSI is faster then in LW in orders of magnitude! With LW, you can build a nifty rig with heal-toe expressions and IK/FK switching but itís going to be DOG SLOW! Especially if you want to work in sub-patch mode. Not workable in my book. XSI has a highly optimized evaluation engine at itís core. What this means is that it only updates what needs to be updated and does it really fast. LW, has a simple list of objects and must evaluate everything in it as you move things around in it. Itís pretty fast for what it is but itís so much faster in XSI that you donít really feel the slowdown that can happen in LW when youíre using a lot of object and motion plug-ins.

Will transitioning to Softimage make my life easier when it comes to learning character animation? If so, how?

Again, thatís a difficult question to answer. XSI has some very well thought out graphs like the dope sheet, action editor and the F-curve window. Itís funny because if youíve spent any time in LWís curve editor, you will be surprised with what you can do in XSIís F-curve window. They are totally dissimilar so in that way, XSI could be said to help you out quite a bit better the LW which could equate to making better animation because doing things that are difficult will be easier.

Finally, does the training dvd that come with 3d Democarcy cover character animation? Sorry, I donít know because I donít have it.

Finally, has any one out there used both Lightwave and Softimage in a production pipeline before? If so, how did it work out?

I havenít used them together in a professional project. I have done this a lot on my own personal projects though and thatís mainly how I work at home. I model in LW (because Iím faster at it) and animate and render in XSI (because itís more fun there). One thing I donít really like in XSI is the UV mapping. We use Max at work and its pelt mapping is way better in my opinion. Many people may disagree but what can I say, it just works better for me. That being said, XSI is still light years ahead of LW which has no real UV mapping tools like XSI has. :P

I feel that Metal Ray is a lot better then LWís built in renderer but not as nice as Vray in my eyes. Again, a matter of opinion and I seem to get in a lot of arguments about it lately anyway so take that with a grain of salt. But letís face it folks, LW is DOG SLOW at ray tracing. Iím not saying itís to slow to use in production, just with ray tracing itís not workable to me and my schedules. XSI is just fine for rendering so there is no need to re-import my animation into LW. But, of you did need to do that for some reason, Point Oven seems to work with XSI now so I bet that wouldnít be an issue.

Even though I would like to use Softimage, I'm not sure that I want to dump Lightwave, as I do have alot of money and time invested in the software. I think what I'm trying to get at is, should I make the investment into Softimage now to learn character animation, or should I use Lightwave to learn basic character animation, then use transition to Softimage to get better at it.

I would say, stay with Lightwave till it drives you crazy and switch to XSI and breath a sigh of relief. :D

T4D
01-10-2006, 06:08 AM
I would say, stay with Lightwave till it drives you crazy and switch to XSI and breath a sigh of relief. :D

yeah I have to agree & if Lightwave is doing everything you want??,
then stay with it and keep your clients happy.

If you want to switch without hassles and with no learning curve to XSI Don't switch to XSI

If you want Lightwave but better, without lossing anything wait 2 or 3 years for Newtek to catch up to what XSI is now AND Don't switch
( but think about it , in 2 - 3 years XSI will have even more )

IF your hitting issues inside Lightwave and you would like better & more solid workflow that doesn't break, less workarounds, better features, faster interface, powerful render and the most well thought out 3D app out there,.. Get XSI !.

If you think XSI can't do what your doing in LW right now,
GET THE DEMO and see for yourself

LW is way behide XSI, enough EX-lightwaver's here have already told you XSI is better
there's no point in asking question about SplineControls, Bone Paths & morphs Following bones ok

XSI has alot more options, features and workflow you could be asking questions for years SO Just get into XSI and see for yourself, if you really are busy doing 3D work you should have no problem buying XSI fnd and seeing for yourself after hours.

mdunakin
01-10-2006, 09:54 AM
Sorry TD4, but you took my question, COMPLETELY wrong with this:
there's no point in asking question about SplineControls, Bone Paths & morphs Following bones ok
I wasn't saying that those things are BETTER or not then XSI, I was asking
about what tools would do what I'm currently having to do with these LW tools I listed.

My point was, that I was looking for better methods and was merely asking for
suggestions on scenes to check out in XSI that would accomplish what I was
after and I only mentioned those tools and methods that I'm currently using, as
a guiding point to help you all to make suggestions for scenes that you all think
might help me in these areas, NOT trying to ask if XSI HAS these tools,
as that's TOTALLY NOT what I was asking at all!

Please don't missread what my request were.
Thanx :)
I'm on a limited amount of time for each thing I have to get done each day,
and don't want to waste all my time searching around for what I'm looking for
to accomplish these types of jobs, which I also listed but got this reply instead.
I wasn't asking about if XSI has the same tools as LW, otherwise I'd just use LW.
I was asking what sample scenes would people suggest to me that I look at first
that might work to get those types of jobs done, NOT the same tools.

Thanx, and I hope that someone will still try and suggest some scenes they
think I should check out first over others, as I spend like a couple of
few hours just on one scene figuring all the little in's and out's.
And I'm busy learning enough programs right now as it is.
So time isn't on my side.

So, my questions were legit, even if they seem anoying to you all.

Thanx..............md :)


.

DimitrisLiatsos
01-10-2006, 01:12 PM
....Please don't missread what my request were.
Thanx :)
I'm on a limited amount of time for each thing I have to get done each day,
and don't want to waste all my time searching around for what I'm looking for
to accomplish these types of jobs, which I also listed but got this reply instead.
I wasn't asking about if XSI has the same tools as LW, otherwise I'd just use LW.
I was asking what sample scenes would people suggest to me that I look at first
that might work to get those types of jobs done, NOT the same tools.

Thanx, and I hope that someone will still try and suggest some scenes they
think I should check out first over others, as I spend like a couple of
few hours just on one scene figuring all the little in's and out's.
And I'm busy learning enough programs right now as it is.
So time isn't on my side.

So, my questions were legit, even if they seem anoying to you all.

Thanx..............md :)


.



Hello....well...my humble suggestion (at least what i did to learn XSI fast)...is take an everyday project u already have done in LW and ...do it in XSI...this way u will have to go through XSI's tools and find what u need to get the job done, and of course in the way u will find tools u never thought that they are there to make your life easier. Since also u come from LW (and this also helps to the question that the thread starter had) XSI has HISTORY...something that LW doesn't have...and History Is a Good thing to exist..cuase of the numerous times u will use it in animations and even if u need after u have done hundreds of things u wanna change something.

- Dope Sheet, Animation editor and mixer, Render Tree and some more is a big difference in XSI ..at least in my opinion again.

Except all this...to the thread starter. The best thing to do is what it was suggested by many ...take a spin with the TRial for 30 days....u will solve your questions easily.

Personal Opinion... XSI is modern ..writen fresh and well thought...and from what i have seen from friends who used LW big time ..once they learned their way through XSI ...never gone back to LW....The only thing that remains is to see if it fits to your needs and style to work.


- For some who wrote about the big price of Advanced. YIKES...guys it's not expensive ...at least please don't compare it with Foundation (which i own too)...Foundation was a way for XSI to expand to 3d artists world.....Foundation is very cheap ...Advanced is not very expensive. One Character animation work IS more that the money to buy Advanced...isn't it?...


my two cents.


p.s:...although a basic hair solution for Foundation would be most welcomed even if it goes a bit up in price.


:bounce:

WillBellJr
01-10-2006, 03:02 PM
Yeah, Will, I know you can appreciate where I'm coming from with the learning bit,
as you've seen how things went with Vue for me, at first all the crashes and torture
and yet I still stuck it out and the program problems were resolved, but I learned it in
a couple of three months and you've seen what I can do with it and you know the rest,
but I'm obviously still learning just like I'm still always finding new things still in LW I can do,
and for that matter, in most other programs, as you never really completely learn
everything in a program these days, as most are just sooo expansive in nature
you can go on forever and still find new things you din't know about them before.

...........md :)

.

Hi, glad to see you've started working with XSI now - one thing to try out - the deformation toolset! - you're going to love having >lattices< and being able to deform your points and polys with simple curves! :scream:

I've always wished LW had lattices (something I missed from my trueSpace days) and XSI has that and more, NURBS even - the previous post mentioned that XSI was fresh - I like to call it SEXY - XSI is a damn sexy app about right now - enjoy your play time!

-Will

nixx
01-10-2006, 04:14 PM
Hello....well...my humble suggestion (at least what i did to learn XSI fast)...is take an everyday project u already have done in LW and ...do it in XSI...

Or, possibly even better, take a whole new project, a commercial one, preferably with a strict deadline :p and do it in XSI... You 'll be amazed at what you can do and how fast you learn, when you don't have the luxury of going back !

I actually did this - not with a big project, but with a relatively simple one - and only after I had already aquired a basic understanding of the oh-so-different-and-so-much-more-powerful logic behind the app.

But joking aside, the point is that "playing" with a new tool is not the best way to learn it. Start working on a pre-determined project where you know exactly what you 're setting out to do. It will probably take you many times longer than it would on your previously chosen tool, but it will be worth it.

And, to cut down on the OT factor, a note on the thread's title : Character animation was... ahem... not exactly my forte, ever :blush:. A while ago, I was able to finish a CA job - granted, a relatively simple one - in XSI, being practically new to both CA and XSI itself. The tools just felt right, and everything functioned as I imagined or expected it to.

Incoherent babbling over, I see your 2 cents and raise ya ! :D

PS - Happy & successful new year Dimitri ! (you never did ride up to our neck of the woods... maybe next summer eh ? :))

nick

ngrava
01-10-2006, 05:23 PM
Hey Mark,

I see my last post was a bit late. Sounds like you're already messing around in XSI. ;)

About the spline control and bone paths and that sort of stuff. If you go to Animation>Create>deform> you'll see a bunch of tools at the top. "By spline" is one of them and that's what you want. Just draw a spline, make an object that you want to bent along it and select this command. It's supper simple.

As far as the inflation of the vains; there are a number of ways to do this. You could use the standard "Bulge" deformer on a selection of points. Also, "Shrink wrap" can do this to with another object that represents the inflation.

I'm sorry, I don't know any scenes but I think you can find some tutorials at http://www.EdHarris.com

Morphing: in version 5, morphing changed a lot in XSI. It's called "Shape animation" and now there is a thing called the shape manager. It's basically the same thing as making endomorphs in LW except it happens in a little window instead. Disregard some of the older tutorials that deal with the animation mixer. The new way is way better and works just like LW.

again sorry, I can't think of any scenes off the top of my head but all of this is pretty simple stuff and I don't think you'll have any problems figuring it out. if you do, just ask here and someone will help you out.

mdunakin
01-10-2006, 11:08 PM
Thanx guys!
Hi, glad to see you've started working with XSI now - one thing to try out - the deformation toolset! - you're going to love having >lattices< and being able to deform your points and polys with simple curves!
And yes, I'm looking forward to trying these tools out.
Actually, they used to have this for LW, though probably not as advanced as what can
be done now a days, but they had MacroForm which let you do these sorts of things
way back in the olden days, but then that never kept up with the times and just
vanished into hystery, which I was always sad about, especially since I have
those awesome plugins, but they don't work on any modern LW version :(

And to ngrava, thanx for that and the link.
I appreciate it and will be checking back here to look at that link later.
I've been busy trying to get some LW and Vue tutorials that some people have
requested, put out and posted up, so I have to get back to the fun with XSI later.
I NEEED to get my site updated, especially when I had to hear how lame my artworks
were at my site from this forum, which they ARE lame, but it just reminded me of how
really, REALLY old and out of date my site is, and I can't keep staring at that thing anymore.
Time for a new look at my site!

To tell ya the truth, I've already pretty much made up my mind anyway,
so I don't need to be spending too much more time with "trying" this thing out.
I like it, I want it, I'll be getting it.
I still love my LW and will still be using it for years to come.
I see nothing wrong with using more then one 3D app :)
I already have more then one and have for years.
Each one does what they do best and I'm also really comfortable
with LW and have been working with it for 11 years now, since v4.0.
Later I may change my mind, and may want to use one more
then the other, but I'm in no hurry to find that out any time soon.

My animation partner uses LW and he won't be changing any time soon, so I'll be
with LW for a long time down the road and personally will be just happy that way :)

Umm... anyway, I do want to try a project that I've already done in LW,
as has been suggested, so I can get better into things and get a better feel for it.
This will also help me to determine which apps I would use for what.
I mean, I bought Vue, simply because I got tired of NOT being able to create
awesome landscapes that I wanted that were extreamly poly intensive as well
as all the great tools to make it all easier for ya in Vue to do these things with.

Thanx guys, and I'll be checking in, later in towards the end of the
week or later with any updates, if I have something I want to share or ask.

...............md :)
BTW, it took about this same amount of time for me to decide
if I wanted Vue or not also, and I've never regretted it ever since!
I can tell pretty soon if I'm going to like a program or not, just by how it feels.


.

norvman
01-10-2006, 11:18 PM
Thought I might add a 'me2' post to this...

I to have been a long time Lightwave user... and have over the past 3 or 4 years struggled with the Character Animation in Lightwave... it would seem that right about the time I think it's working something else would break ... or I would have to do some kind of work around... none of what I was doing was done without 3rd party plugin's some of them
(becoming broken everytime there was an update to Lightwave.... )

I love Lightwave... I have purchased the LW9 update...
(and we will see how it turns out...)

XSI's Character Animation tools are solid...
(read..... they work...)
(every time...)
at least I haven't run into any of the problems I had trying to do the same exact things in Lightwave...

I also have Point Oven to bounce me back and forth from XSI to LW and that all has worked out great so far...

so if all your doing is just Chacter Animation or Morph Type animation in XSI and then doing everthing else in Wave for a while then I think your better off...

I know however that the more I work in XSI the less I like Wave... but I still go back to it to get stuff done that I have yet to learn in XSI... plus... there are simply a lot of places around here that know and use Lightwave so I have to still have my hand in it ...

But don't take my word for it ....

Try it out for yourself and see...
That is what I did...

I have to disagree with the idea that having a demo version is a waste of time...
Being able to get in and use a program shows you weither that software fits what you need it to do for you...

I have been a Photoshop user for years.... I have tried the "Painter" Demos on more than one occation only to decide that everything Painter was doing in the demo I could do in Photoshop... so I don't own a copy of Painter as a result... otherwise I might have just purchased it out of ignorance....

I for one was heavily swayed by T4Ds opinions.... (I know T4D from reading his tutorials on how to setup Character animation for Lightwave...) his opinion carried alot of weight with me once he decided to drop Lightwave for XSI .... but I still DLed the Demo and tried it out myself first...

Finally on the issue of better learning matterial in XSI ...

I have to say I think the learning matterial at least for the Character Animation end of things is Way better for XSI....
I think there is simply a larger Character Animation community using XSI than Wave.
The knowledge base is just simply larger....

mdunakin
01-10-2006, 11:57 PM
I have to disagree with the idea that having a demo version is a waste of time...
Being able to get in and use a program shows you weither that software fits what you need it to do for you...
Just so you know, when I said "waste of time" I was refering to (at the time I wrote that)
to NOT wanting to be forced to have to spend a lot of time examining AND learning a demo,
i.e. new program, thus huge learning curve, just to see if it works the way "I" would like it to work.

Then......
Once I was pointed to the sample demostrations/tutorials that are posted up at the XSI
site, I was able to learn JUST FROM THOSE ALONE that I already was liking with what I
was seeing, as far as how you create and get things done, where it would have taken
me a whole lot longer to figure out any of those things working on my own without
any clue as to what I was doing or attempting to do.

The Community type artworks and animations, I didn't bother looking at, as those
sorts of things never interest me, (as much, that is) since anyone can create 3D
and great artwork in pretty much any app.
It's getting there that makes all the difference in the world.
Which of course, is pretty much the main purpose of this thread, I thought?

These are my opinions, so others can dissagree if they want to with my
methods on deciding what makes me like a program or not, as to each their own.
But, demostrations, REAL visuals of the product in question, working, for me is what sells it.
It's like having a personal trainer right there to show you "quickly" how to use and get the
most from the app right away and if you have the program opened you can sort of follow along.

Worked for me ;)

Thanx.............................md :)


.

norvman
01-11-2006, 12:24 AM
It's getting there that makes all the difference in the world.

I agree 100%

When it comes to looking at others works and artworks... really what your doing is giving back to those who have given to you in times past...

I owe many people a great deal for helping me along the way I will never be able to give them back what they gave me... but what I can do is try to help those who need what I know now...

but I understand your point mdunakin.... when it comes to shoping for new tools... WIP post aren't much help with that...

Thus the need for a thread like this one...

:beer:

mdunakin
01-11-2006, 12:37 AM
Thanx norvman, and I totally didn't mean any dissrespect towards people's artworks
or anything remotely like that, and I still intend on checking out what others have done,
just for me I needed to see the program in action more then what could be created with it.

I sure hope I get paid soon, but there isn't much I can do about it :( LOL

Anyway, back to my project I'm working on.

Oh, one more thing, I do want to see pretty soon that link and what's there,
and other good links, as I am hoping to find tutorials and similar things like that?
Hopefully towards the latter part of this week.

Sheesh, I'm still dieing to get back into Vue again!
No time though, oh well........md :)
P.S. Does anyone already know if they came out with the XSI xTream thingy that lets
you work back and forth with Vue and XSI or are they going to be making such a thing?
I know the LW version is in the process of being worked on and I've already pre-ordered
my LW9, so I'm still looking forward to when that comes out... some age.
Thanx!


.

mdunakin
01-11-2006, 03:22 AM
I just now went to mess with XSI some more, before I hit the hay,
and was told that my 30 day trial period is OVER!
How can it be over, since I've only had it for a few days?

Oh well, it was, well, I can't say FUN while it lasted, since it didn't last,
but it was fun checking out all the info and those online demos and such.
I did have some fun though playing with that one scene with the liquid,
which was the only scene I had time to get to check out.

......................md :(

.

Sbowling
01-11-2006, 08:26 AM
Are you sure your clock didn't get changed somehow? I discovered over the weekend that the clock on one of my computers got switched to a different time zone some how. Maybe uninstaling and reinstalling will fix the problem?

ThE_JacO
01-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Maybe uninstaling and reinstalling will fix the problem?

no, when a SW timebomb goes off, a windows comodity that writes a hidden key in the registry is used to make sure people don't just fiddle with their clocks to get licenses going on for longer then they're entitlted to.

that is how most shareware software works around clock tweaking and re-installation tricks, and XSI probably uses a similar scheme; which also presents the problem of other softwares tampering with the registry or system files triggering these things (happened in the past that some OS fix would screw up some sharewares and/or XSI).

you can, however, shoot an email to soft and tell them that you're a potential customer and that you need to evaluate the product for another two weeks to make an informed decision (possibly also mentioning that the timer went off unexpectedly), and there are chances that they will issue a new temporary key for you.

mdunakin
01-11-2006, 06:27 PM
Yeah, I looked at the clock first, cuz that was also my first thought, but that was a no go there.
So, yes, I was already thinking that maybe I could do what ThE_JacO had
just suggested and shoot them an email and let them know what happened.
I DID post that I wanted them to give me a call, but haven't gotten one yet,
so I'll ask about that too.
As they have that as an option when you first sign up at the site to download the thing.
Cuz I did want to hear from them if I had that option to, and a call was better then an email,
but right now, I'll take what ever I can get and an email will be just fine with me.

Thanx guys, I'm sure that the timer was probably set from December or something, but who knows?

Anyway...............md :)


.

mdunakin
01-16-2006, 07:24 PM
Just thought I'd update this, if anyone cared, that is? :)

Anyway, I finally (today) got a call from the XSI people and the guy was
very helpfull in answering my questions and disscused with me what I am
looking for and also said he will be seeing what he can do to fix the 30 day
deal that ran out on me before I had any chance to really get to test it out.
Also, he said he'll be emailling me not only with that info, but some good links
for me to check out and some other fun stuff I can look into reguarding XSI.
He was very helpfull and I appreciated the call.
I look forward to getting his email and getting back to the trial.

We also talked about LW and how this will be a great addition to my 3D toolset.
It was good to hear him NOT belittle LW and how he still works with it and was able
to understand my needs and where I "personally" am coming from and want to go.
And he will be sending me some links for some medical samples as well as
including a link to some cool new plugin that I might be interested in.
It was a very good talk.

Thanx! XSI guy, Will :)

.........md :)

.

norvman
01-17-2006, 01:21 AM
Great news! mdunakin....

I have also found the XSI people to be very helpfull and open to understanding my point of veiw... at least better some other folks...

Glad it's all worked out:thumbsup:

mdunakin
01-17-2006, 03:43 AM
Yeah, norvman, that was pretty cool.
The stuff we disscussed about doing medical works was good.
I haven't gotten over to the XSI site today yet, but am gonna try to before the night ends.
I want to check out a couple of the things we talked about over there.
I'm still waiting for the email from hium, but wasn't really expecting things to
move too quickly, since my trial ran out and they need to fix that some how,
but I can look on my own in the mean time at those things he mentioned.

Was funny though, because I might have missed the call altogether from him,
as he called at like 7:30am MY time, which, you know, an animator doesn't
come to life till noon or abouts there, or no earlier the 10am LOL
But today, I couldn't sleep and just happened to get up at 6am today.
He forgot about the 3 hour time difference from the east coast to San Diego.

Hey, anyway, I'm on my way over there, as I really want to see that stuff.
If I can remember what it was and where to find them, I'll be back with my findings :)

Sure sounded cool......................md :)

.

grafikdon
09-17-2006, 09:03 PM
I have only one sentence...

" I wish I had paid attention to XSI back in 2003 when I got into 3D animation"

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