View Full Version : What made you choose Softimage?

02-24-2005, 07:39 AM
What gave you that final nudge to go with XSI? Was it the big price drop of foundation? Was it the workflow? Was it the animation mixer?Was it the recently implemented at your place of employment?

As for me, it was a gift from me ever-loving, ever-supportive fiance. She knows my love of 3D and saw me work with the various personal editions and trials. So earlier this year she got me XSI foundation! Imagine my delight when I saw a brand-spankin' new XSI box sitting by my computer! Oh yes baby - she does love me so! :thumbsup: So far I'm lovin' the ride in XSI!

Let us know what made you invest your time and effort into learning XSI! Would love to hear from all of you!

02-24-2005, 08:26 AM
All I can say is, you are one lucky man! :) For me, it was the price drop and my interest in character animation.

02-24-2005, 08:42 AM
For me it was the logical workflow, integration with Mental Ray and the fact that SI seemed to be the only developer that was pushing the envelope, instead of just trying to sell seats (this was back when it was much more expensive than it is now).

Indeed you are a lucky man... now don't neglect her by pushing polys all the time.

02-24-2005, 09:23 AM
It came to a point where I was looking for a new main 3D app.

Like all applications, my previous application of choice had been evolving over the last few years. Unfortunately it was evolving away from the reasons I purchased it in the first place, and it's workflow was becoming a serious quagmire, a workaround for this, a plugin for that, endlessly going around in circles when all that was required was a straight line from A to B.

The reasons I chose XSI was because it did the basics really well, the advanced features were carried out with the same methodology as the basic features, so were easy to learn. Where ever you are in XSI it all feels familar because of the unified styling of the property boxes. Also it is extremely easy to see where you have been and where you are going via the Explorer. Whilst parts of the Explorer may get frozen during modelling, the ability to see what deformer or constraint, or weight map, or cluster, or effect, or parent hirachy is present on the selected item is absolutely brilliant.

For me, XSI just feels right :shrug:

02-24-2005, 10:06 AM

i was looking at getting either maya complete or xsi foundation for my 3rd 3d app, i already use 3ds max and lightwave.

once the xsi price dropped i looked at either xsi F or messiah animate...i jumped for xsi and find it's modeling toolset is pretty good though xsi is not what i'd call an intuative 3d app...you really must read the documentation, you can't guess how to do some things in xsi as the creators seem to come from another angle and like to re-name typical things with odd labels..so coming from 3ds max and lightwave is somewhat painful in not being able to second guess how to use stuff as i can/do in lightwave or 3ds max.

in a way it's like starting to learn 3d all over again...fun...but it takes time.:thumbsup:

02-24-2005, 11:45 AM
in a way it's like starting to learn 3d all over again

sorry to hear that your having this trouble.

i have experienced quite the opposite. i can guess how to do something with out having to be infront of XSI. i am not always right. but not far from how it does end up working.

you can't guess how to do some things in xsi as the creators seem to come from another angle and like to re-name typical things with odd labels


i have found XSI's structure for naming things. very descriptive. straight forward. no icons to decifer. no feature with a hyped up name (turbo meshsmooth, hypershade, etc) the names are just what they are. envelopes, shape keys, deformer, subd, etc.

So for me.. workflow. speed. RELIABLITY(something max and maya couldn't do for me). perdictablity. community. features. and the company

02-24-2005, 12:27 PM
xsi IS a good app.
here's an example of odd labeling in xsi though...the viewport % count for particles...i can't even remember what they called it...it's buried in the tabed property page...it's name simply doesn't get remembered...why not call it viewport percentage?

a great addition to xsi's workflow would be to color code tabs/pages in property pages
such as the particle page so it's easy to remember where to find stuff.

also instansiate...what is that in english!...really some techies do love to give convaluted names to simple things...
okay here's the skinny on our friend:-
n programming, instantiation is the creation of a real instance or particular realization of an abstraction or template (http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci213117,00.html) such as a class (http://searchvb.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid8_gci211790,00.html) of object (http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci212680,00.html)s or a computer process (http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci212832,00.html). To instantiate is to create such an instance by, for example, defining one particular variation of object within a class, giving it a name, and locating it in some physical place.

so..instansicate is just "instance"...which is the "common" way to describe it in either 3ds max or lightwave...
a)an instance is a 2 way connection type of clone
b)a reference is a one way connection for a clone
c) and a copy has no connection with it's cloned brothers

so can xsi create reference objects..if so what "term" do xsi use for it?

and no i'm not "stupid"!!!.........just a lecturer who wants to "get on with stuff" rather than carry around a oxford english dictionary when using xsi!!!...

i've not used maya hardly at all but i'd suspect they too may suffer from .u.i. ergonimics in a similar way to xsi...as for gimicky nameing in other apps..well yeah they are gimicky but they also make perfect sense in that they relate to the common english language...for instance meshsmooth...just have a out there guess what it does....yeah it smooths a mesh!...

don't take offense...i still use xsi but look forward to some more meaningful text labels for us thickies!

02-24-2005, 01:14 PM
you can't guess how to do some things in xsi as the creators seem to come from another angle and like to re-name typical things with odd labels..
Heh, heh :cool:
As a LW user, I think you might be calling the kettle black.

Metanurbs, Skeligons, Powergons, Luxigons, Sockmonkey, Viper, IK-Booster, MD_Meta_Plug, Hypervoxels, etc.
I'd defy any non LW user to guess more than a few of these :twisted:

02-24-2005, 01:33 PM

Metanurbs, Skeligons, Powergons, Luxigons, Sockmonkey, Viper, IK-Booster, MD_Meta_Plug, Hypervoxels,

i'd hazard a gues that there are quite a few lightwave users that don't know what sockmonkey and powergons are!...i'll leave those for others to discover!

metanurbs has been re branded as sub patching [subdivisional surface patching]
skeligons are polygon skelegtons in modeler
lux igons are poly proxy items for lights [lux...re lighting]
viper is the versitile interactive preview renderer..
ik booster is a booster for ik!
hypervoxels are volumetric pixel rendering for volumetric, sprite based and blobby particles

so yeah they could be more descriptive possibly but they do have a nice "ring" about them that's easy to remember and they sound "cool"!!

still no app is perfect...


Rabid pitbull
02-24-2005, 01:49 PM
Really if you think lightwave(owner 7.5c) makes more sense than xsi than you have not tried long enough. Xsi foundation has made my journey int 3d creation much more pleasant. All apps have goodpoints, but to me the difficult hurdles in xsi are far fewer than in LW. Not as many workarounds, in contrast lw was a series of workarounds. I will not sell my lw license (7.5c , sas, fprime) but will also rarely use it either. The only reason I would use lw now is if I needed the extra function of hair. If I could buy a hair plugin or could get it in the essentials license I would be done with lw alltogether.

And to be clear I was definitly looking for a alternative to using LW. Maya was a strong contender, but its modeling tools were not up to my style. When the pricing of xsi became reasonable I downloaded the demo worked with it for a few weeks, became comfortable with it. Then I decided it had all the advantages of maya with a smoother interface and better modeling tools, at a fraction of the price. That is what did it for me.:)

02-24-2005, 02:13 PM
well i see your point...myself i come from 3dsmax..bought it in 1999 version 2.5 with character studio upto version 4.26 then added lightwave and lightscape..

currently i'm trying to get some fun out of xsi..it's modeling tools are as good as lightwave on the whole and some are better/worse...modeling isn't the problem for me...

i think i'll like the rigging and animation tools once i get used to them...rendering..well i'll need to devote some time to it by the looks of it.

currently i'm looking back toward max 7.5 with it's built in fur hair from joe alter...it woud only be a £1600 upgrade with subscription....somehting to think about for sure..but so is my xsi foundation and possibly a new seat of maya complete...

like what ron thrntnon say's...he chooses the software that gives him less headaches and screaming out loud in the studio.!

02-24-2005, 03:21 PM


02-24-2005, 03:38 PM
Hummm..well i always had that Softimage name inside my head since Jurassic Park came out, then it become XSI and later on it become affordable for me :)

Seriously now, i was getting a bit tired of the old software i was using, i was looking for a change, learn a new tool etc...i had the chance to get work at a company that only used XSI and BANG i was hooked...so many features that i asked for years to other software developers where already implemented in XSI and dam well implemented...then the price drop, i couldnīt be more happier :)

For some time i was going for Maya, but Maya was too "techy" for me and all those icons....i never liked "icon land" softwares, text baby, simply plain text that shows me right away what the tool is :thumbsup:

My main interest/area is modeling and C.A. animation, XSI modeling tools are great (only needs some minor polish in some areas) and the CA tools are unbeliavable amazing... to me this software is a bless, what more do i need o say :applause:

02-24-2005, 04:30 PM
For me, it was price drop, which caused the realization that XSI was a software option that I hadn't considered. It wasn't even on my radar because I perceived it as being too high-end (read expensive) for me to consider, so as a consequence, I never even read up on it. In my eyes, the 3Democracy marketing push not only dropped the prices to their current levels, but the shock of it all made XSI extremely visible to those of us who had no idea what XSI was in the first place.

Right now, I am a Foundation owner, but within the next 6 months, I'll probably move to Essentials as I start doing freelance (graphics) work. I would have never made it to this point if I hadn't of bought XSI. I don't know what it is about XSI, but it just feels like home...

02-24-2005, 05:45 PM
i think it was ed harriss who came in my dreams and pointed out a star like obj in the sky..at first i thought it was a benz logo..later i realized it was an x in a circle... hmm

well actully i got this real cool copy of advance "free" so got hooked never looked back...

p.s Mr. edd thts a compliment.. and it was becoz of edd i could stick wid xsi...
(jeezz i hope tht clarifys my statement)

02-24-2005, 08:48 PM
unlike most people on here, i come from a graphic design background. i do motion graphics, not vfx or character animation, and for years have been looking to learn some 3D to add to my toolbox. i tried c4D, max, maya and (shudder) form-z and they all felt clunky, obtuse, and just plain didnt make sense to me. i'm not slamming those packages, i know some people love them, but they didn't make sense to me. finally i tried XSI, since i had heard that Psyop used it and i love their work. i bought foundation a while ago, and am almost done working through the production series DVDs. the interface just clicks with me- obviously its a very deep, complex application and i have a lot to learn, but it "just makes sense" to me, you know?

the things i like the most are the render tree, because it lets you see all the different inputs to your shader all at once, and the animation mixer (which makes perfect sense to me, having done a ton of flash work). and as someone else said, NO ICONS! max's jungle of icons drives me insane! the tutorials on softimage.com and the production series DVDs are absolutely top notch. i was pretty much a 3D n00b before starting them, and while i am still new to the game, i'm 100% ahead of where i was- stuff like UV unwrapping global illumination and final gathering that sounded like black magic to me 6 months ago are familiar concepts to me now thanks to the DVDs, ed harriss, kim aldis, and other fine folks in the XSI world.

02-24-2005, 11:12 PM
Value is more likely the word, instead of price. For example, I just recently started 3D with trueSpace 5.2. The price was the reason I bought it. But to upgrade to their latest version would have only cost a hundred or so less than XSI Foundation. But look at XSIís features! Itís not just the price, but what youíre getting for the price: Value. And every penny was worth it.

02-25-2005, 01:08 AM
Price, long term survivability, and animation tools.
My main 3D app before this was Truespace, so I am loving the non crashing work sessions, I miss the ease of use of the TS interface, but I love the feel of XSI and the support here and on other sites is very good, plenty of video tuts all over the place too...


02-25-2005, 01:51 AM
I am a student, and have been taking 3D character animation classes. I started in Cinema 4D, and when I had money for a software package I went looking for a tool that would not be as big a pain in character rigging as cinema has been for me. I found softimage, and for the same academic price for Cinema's XL package, I could get XSI advanced academic, with a whole slew of extra features I could explore if I needed to (Plus decent UV tools for texturing, not as good as bodypaint, but I would have to pay $500 more for that in the EDU version.)

But most of all: the rigging tools are awesome.

02-25-2005, 01:58 AM
I miss the ease of use of the TS interface,

Just goes to show you get comfortable with what you learn on... not many people I have met would make this comment.

Welcome aboard folks... the ship just got built and it's leaving the harbor...

02-25-2005, 03:28 AM
Fellow XSI fans,

I got my start using POV-Ray with the Breeze designer freeware. Then I picked up a copy of 3D World with TrueSpace included on a CD and learned that. Then I saw a demo of Animation Master, so I bought that, thinking I'd use it to learn character animation, but my computer at the time sucked and it crashed every 10 minutes.

Lightwave was the first software that I actually used professionally. I learned Maya out of necessity, then I downloaded the XSI EXP and just fell in love with it. For me, XSI has the best of 2 great apps in one interface (Lightwave and Maya). Subsequently, I'm now doing my best work ever with XSI, probably cause it just feels "right".


02-25-2005, 04:32 AM
Well I started using XSI back in version 1.0 and I remember when version 1.5 came out that I was thinking eventhough its very rough around the edes this could someday be the best app I've ever used. I was right too. I can remember all the quirks of version 1.5 and all the people who started using it in my school because it was included with softimage 3d at the time. When 2.0 came out and I saw the FX tree I knew I was in love so that's when I had to get for myself. I can honestly say that with eaxh version of xsi you can see an actuall evolutionary progression, which sadly I must say I haven't really seen with other apps like Maya and Max. But xsi actually improves upon itself with each versio without these changes being seen sometimes, but they are certainly felt.

02-25-2005, 04:37 AM
My reasons for choosing (or buying) XSI was/is:

1. Price drop
2. Interface and workflow
3. Elitism*

*Let's face it. There has always been this certain stigma or elitist attitude if you will of being someone using Softimage products. At the time way back when I think it was attributed more to price and it's major unaffordability by most users. Now, with the drastic price drops, I'm not sure if that "elitism" will remain. But saying "Softimage" definitely sounds the coolest and most prestigious when talking about it with people. "I use Soft-im-aw-ge." Very classy! :cool:

02-25-2005, 07:04 AM
background: 3DsMax; Limited:Maya/Cinema4D. Solidworks,Rhino,StudioTools in CAD/surfacing

Price; Not too much obtuse like 3DSMax and in less way Maya. Some stuff still messes with my nerves ( why "extract polygons" instead of simple "detach" since XSi uses the detach in explorer it says "polymesh detached".... just want to be diferent !?)

If Cinema would have Nurbs and a comparable price i would probably have felt for it because the interface is more my way. I miss the Max plugins (Vray, Dreamscape), and serious Nurbs.

Still found every application i touched limited in modelling so much that i tought to write one.... fat chance :)

I learned to like Softimage.

02-25-2005, 12:29 PM
I started on Softimage 3D, so it was rather natural for me to swicth to XSI.

Workflow, character animation tools and easy of use.

Also, XSI is only and one of all 3D applications I had a chance to use which does not give me headaches after 12 hours of work. No icons, no silly names, and everything is gray. And should stay like that.

02-25-2005, 12:51 PM
...Also, XSI is only and one of all 3D applications I had a chance to use which does not give me headaches after 12 hours of work. No icons, no silly names, and everything is gray. And should stay like that.

The same can be said for LightWave.:thumbsup:

02-25-2005, 12:51 PM
I must admit that I was always in awe of Softimage 3D as a product. I remember the first trade show I went to when trying to decide what software to go with, Softimage were showing a demo of a spaceship where the deployment and subsequent follow through animation were controlled solely through expressions, and Alias Wavefront (as it was back then) were demonstrating walking robots with rigid body dynamics and real time particle effects. This was during the time that most other companies thought flying logos were the height of demo excellence :rolleyes: .

Unfortunately both Softimage and Alias Wavefront were almost the equivalent price of a small house, so well beyond my reach :sad: . Besides, at the time I thought flying logos were pretty cool as well :D .

02-25-2005, 02:37 PM
Workflow, simplicity, and most of it is logical, it almost feels like painting on a canvas.

02-25-2005, 04:51 PM
price and hype;

i was almost intend on getting LW, , used LW7 for a school project and was hooked, i hated max and the LW interface was exactly what i wanted. was just waiting for LW8 to come out when they launched 4.

i took a look at the price (academic), ran all over google reading opinions and flamethreads, made up my mind and just put the money down and bought it. i guess you could consider it an impulse buy.

i miss the simplicity of LW's interface, but XSI is just so much more fun to use.

03-04-2005, 02:49 PM
I basically have two reasons for getting into XSI, and I'm finding more reasons daily that should have made me want it more. Around the time I was getting ready to take a step up from blender and had a little extra money, I was talking to Ed Harriss on the phone and through email. I had emailed him for a paper that I did in an English class and I asked him about what 3D app he used and he told me that he'd been using it for a while. So I got the EXP and tried it out. It was so easy to use and I felt like the Softimage folks knew exactly how I think in 3D and made XSI according to that, cause it's just so intuitive for me. So Ed Harriss's recommendation and the intutive factors were what made me want it. Also, to add to that I think Valve had just released info that HL2 was being made with XSI, so that really made me want it.

Now that I'm using it I'm really glad I got started. I have yet to find some nice feature that you'd need plugins in 3DSMax that isn't already integrated in an awesome way to XSI. And beyond that, the workflow, the customizability, everything is great in XSI. I am thoroughly satisfied with it. So thanks Ed for recommending it to me!

03-04-2005, 05:23 PM
It's sexy! :love:

03-04-2005, 11:38 PM
i definitely love the lack of icons in the interface.

03-06-2005, 12:38 AM
As for me, it was a gift from me ever-loving, ever-supportive fiance. She knows my love of 3D and saw me work with the various personal editions and trials. So earlier this year she got me XSI foundation! Imagine my delight when I saw a brand-spankin' new XSI box sitting by my computer! Oh yes baby - she does love me so! :thumbsup: So far I'm lovin' the ride in XSI!

Exact same story here, bro. I've tried various 3D tools for the past 3 years. I've gone through Cinema4D Demo, Gmax, MayaPLE, Milkshape, POV-ray, even Blender. I even debated buying Lightwave because of the price. It wasn't until i found Wings3D, that I was finally able to start modeling. And now with programs like Silo, I'm comfortable with that area of 3D. But that still doesn't take care of mapping, animating, and rendering...etc.

When I first discovered XSI, it was $13,000. When I heard of the first price drop, I was thrilled. I gave XSI|EXP for HL2 a try. Loved it. It's like learning 3D all over again, but...it's fun. I even did a little animating with very little frustration at all. I've never played with animation before...successfully.

And then the price drop to $495. My fiancee, who has been with me and supportive during this whole experience, purchased XSI 4.2 Foundations along with the promotional DVD set the day before it ended. She used her credit, so the deal is I pay it off soon...no problem. For the past 2 months, I've been more than happy. After 3 years of frustration, I feel like I'm just now entering the world of 3D art. I have questions, but they're being answered. Instead of button pushing, I'm actually learning...and producing good results quickly. So, yeah...she's a keeper, and so is Foundations.

03-06-2005, 03:59 AM
I decided that I really needed to get a new primary app. At first I figured I'd learn Maya cause it seemed to be the biggest name and we use it at work. I worked on that for a few months and then downloaded xsi exp just for kicks. After 15 minutes in XSI exp I was more productive than after 2 months with maya. hehe. The interface just makes more sense to me. If I can think of a tool I need, for the most part, I can figure out where it will be and what the options will do. Once I saw the price (educational,) the decision was made. Haven't looked back once. :buttrock:

03-08-2005, 10:06 AM
Very sexy!

and has a nice ass to0!

03-08-2005, 08:17 PM
It is a really deep deep and quality-focused app!

With XSI you have the whole package and reliability to make virtual WORLDS!

The Foundation price really made the choice easy!

EXP exposed me to the UI, which I like (although there is room for improvement). Especially like the history stack and interactive dialogs when adjusting objects are a winner.


03-08-2005, 08:27 PM
XSI !!

1) Amazing NON LINEAR animation
2) Real cool layout and buttons
3) Quick Render in viewport
4) Real Fast modelling
5) the pre-made BIPED structure and its Synoptic and Sliders
6) Nice Hairs
7) M button
8) ......

03-08-2005, 08:53 PM
the proffesionality of the engineering i still admire..

03-09-2005, 10:10 AM
The best startup image from the others have...

03-09-2005, 11:44 AM
how it handles partitions and render passes

03-10-2005, 11:13 AM
-What made you choose Softimage?

Some kind of voodoo spell...nah the only reason is the program itself,is there any other? :)

03-10-2005, 06:55 PM
Logical Interface.

03-14-2005, 11:13 PM
Work made me choose. And now I like it. :shrug:



03-15-2005, 01:50 AM
Jaco made me do it..

03-15-2005, 09:47 AM
I started using it because it wasn't mainstream, and this meant that further down the road I would have had the chance to promote it to helpless victims like sheepfactory.

03-15-2005, 01:40 PM
love at first sight.

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