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adrencg
07-20-2006, 02:39 PM
Spinquad apart, could you list some useful plugins for XSI 5.0 ?
i've seen lots of them for previous versions and saw some great ones on the related thread here in CGtalk, but a list made from a more experienced user would make my life easier. thanx in advance!

http://www.cmtools.fr.vu/

There is an awesome spring plugin on this page which is super easy to use and IMHO gives better results than the SpringOp. He also has a great rope animation plugin.

Sbowling
07-22-2006, 05:34 AM
Spinquad apart, could you list some useful plugins for XSI 5.0 ?
i've seen lots of them for previous versions and saw some great ones on the related thread here in CGtalk, but a list made from a more experienced user would make my life easier. thanx in advance!

This is a very vague question. It really depends on what you want. I generally don't use any plug-ins as far as modelling goes. Spinquad was useful in programs like lightwave where you don't have any edges, but in XSI I find it easier to just delete ( ; ) the edge and then draw (\) in a new one. This doesn't require much more time than hitting the spinquad key several times to get the edges into the right position and it doesn't even require two quads on either side of the edge. One of the best things you can do when you start modeling in XSI is to throw out everything you are used to doing in lightwave, because its modeling techniques require a lot of steps that are pointless in XSI and generally add excessive amount of unneeded polygons.

Nemoid
07-22-2006, 09:41 AM
well, no problem, that's what i made when modelling my first head in XSI. :)

i simply deleted edges, then reconstructed topology by hand.

lemme say tho, that i don't agree about completely throwing spinquad. i find faster to hit that command several times to change model's topology.
however this is me, and since there's a spinquad plug there's no great problem. :)

ok since my question was indeed vague, let's categorize things a little bit :

1) modelling :

spinquad apart are there other plugins or scripts to help user to model even faster ?
example : virtual mirror plugin

my technique is box modelling technique, similar to Taron's one or if you know that better, spinshift one. i usually model in Lw with simmetry modelling and tools like spinquad, bandsaw, bandglue, weld, merge, drag.
now, i found that in XSI most of this toolset is actually present, so no great problem,but what i'd like to know from former lightwavers is if someone has found some cool plugin which made his modelling even faster/easier.

MikeMD
07-22-2006, 06:09 PM
it doesn't take long to see the Avid Logic if your stuck with Newtek logic

I just have to mention this. It's Softimage logic, and thank god for that. Avid from my experiences with their video editing software has no logic. They just bought XSI and I just pray they let Softimage do whatever they do and Avid sticks only to distribution and giving them money for R&D.

So far it seems like they have stuck to that.

Sbowling
07-23-2006, 07:17 AM
lemme say tho, that i don't agree about completely throwing spinquad. i find faster to hit that command several times to change model's topology.
however this is me, and since there's a spinquad plug there's no great problem. :)


I remember that in lightwave (or maybe it was modo) I had several occasions where the edges would not actually rotate to where I wanted them when using the spinquad tool. For whatever reason, they would skip one area, so I could not get the topology I wanted.



spinquad apart are there other plugins or scripts to help user to model even faster ?
example : virtual mirror plugin


Throw out the old techniques from lightwave. :) That's what I did when I bought XSI and I feel it's made me a much faster and better modeller. In lightwave it was always, bevel this and then spend a bunch of time trying to fix all that extra geometry you created by beveling. In XSI just grab the add edge tool and add the geometry where you need it. Very little cleanup is needed.


my technique is box modelling technique, similar to Taron's one or if you know that better, spinshift one. i usually model in Lw with symmetry modelling and tools like spinquad, bandsaw, bandglue, weld, merge, drag.


Much of the modeling tutorials in lightwave are designed to work around the relatively weak modeling system in lightwave. Working like this in XSI is really a waste of the great modeling tools and workflow XSI has.


what i'd like to know from former lightwavers is if someone has found some cool plugin which made his modelling even faster/easier.

The thing that will make the biggest difference is practice. Learn to use XSI the way it was designed to be used.

Don't remap all the keys to match what you are used to in lightwave, because the keys in XSI are actually in a pretty good place as they are (unlike lightwave) and you will get really confused if you are trying to do a tutorial and the keys they say to push don't do what you expect them to do.

Learn to use the s key and the L,M,R mouse buttons to navigate. It's much faster than the left hand gymnastics needed to navigate in lightwave. When working get into the habit of holding down the S button to do your navigation instead of just hitting it. This will put you into a temporary navigation mode and when you let go of the S button, you are still in the modeling tool you where in before you hit the S button. Most modeling tools in XSI work this way and I find it a huge timesaver.

For example, working with the tweak tool I can hold down ; to add an edge, then release it to continue manipulating it, then hold down j to do an edge/point slide, then release it to go back to the normal tweak mode, then hold down l to weld vertices, etc. Also, a lot of these tools have alternate functions when you hold down other keys like ALT, or shift, or both at the same time.

I remember reading on one of the lightwave newsgroups or messageboards where someone was making a big deal about XSI just getting a tweak tool in 5.0, which lightwave has had for years. The thing is that the tweak tool in lightwave is more like the move tool in older versions of XSI. Lightwave doesn't have anything that compares with the tweak tool in XSI.

IMO, Lightwave required a small army of plugins to make it productive, but XSI is great on it's own. I remember my first week of modeling in XSI was a bit scary, because it is very different from modeling in lightwave/modo. After a week of using XSI I couldn't get myself to go back to working with those programs.

I highly suggest watching every XSI tutorial video you can find (lots of free ones on the XSI website) and if you can afford it pick up as many videos as you can from places like 3dtutorial.com (I highly recommend getting started with XSI for any lightwave users), because there are tons of very useful things in XSI that you may not even know you need. I can't count how many times I've seen someone use a feature in a video that I would have never even thought to look for.

I would also highly recommend you get familiar with the basics of scripting in XSI. VBscript is very easy (even for a non programmer such as myself), and you can easily create scripts to automate some of the more tedious tasks with very little work.

Also, if you take some time to get to know the SDK you can find some nice little gems.


SelectAllUsingFilter, siCheckComponentVisibility


This is a direct copy and paste from the SDK that will select all visible polygons, edges or points, depending on which mode you are in when you run it. I'm not sure why there is no interface button for this function (as far as I could find), but it's easy enough to fix.

Anyway, getting back on subject, one of the reasons (IMO) you will not find a lot of modeling plugins for XSI is because they really aren't needed. Take some time and learn to use what's already in XSI and this will become fairly apparent. I think working in XSI really takes a different mindset than Lightwave. Where lightwave has a separate tool or plugin for each function, XSi is much more fluid and a single tool (CTRL D for example) can have many, many functions.


EDIT: I forgot to mention XSIBase.com. They have a lot of links to scripts, plugins and tutorials (along with a fair amound of dead links) that you may want to take a look at. There is also a lot of usefull information in their forums.

Nemoid
07-23-2006, 09:05 AM
I remember that in lightwave (or maybe it was modo) I had several occasions where the edges would not actually rotate to where I wanted them when using the spinquad tool. For whatever reason, they would skip one area, so I could not get the topology I wanted.




Throw out the old techniques from lightwave. :) That's what I did when I bought XSI and I feel it's made me a much faster and better modeller. In lightwave it was always, bevel this and then spend a bunch of time trying to fix all that extra geometry you created by beveling. In XSI just grab the add edge tool and add the geometry where you need it. Very little cleanup is needed.



Much of the modeling tutorials in lightwave are designed to work around the relatively weak modeling system in lightwave. Working like this in XSI is really a waste of the great modeling tools and workflow XSI has.



The thing that will make the biggest difference is practice. Learn to use XSI the way it was designed to be used.

Don't remap all the keys to match what you are used to in lightwave, because the keys in XSI are actually in a pretty good place as they are (unlike lightwave) and you will get really confused if you are trying to do a tutorial and the keys they say to push don't do what you expect them to do.

Learn to use the s key and the L,M,R mouse buttons to navigate. It's much faster than the left hand gymnastics needed to navigate in lightwave. When working get into the habit of holding down the S button to do your navigation instead of just hitting it. This will put you into a temporary navigation mode and when you let go of the S button, you are still in the modeling tool you where in before you hit the S button. Most modeling tools in XSI work this way and I find it a huge timesaver.

For example, working with the tweak tool I can hold down ; to add an edge, then release it to continue manipulating it, then hold down j to do an edge/point slide, then release it to go back to the normal tweak mode, then hold down l to weld vertices, etc. Also, a lot of these tools have alternate functions when you hold down other keys like ALT, or shift, or both at the same time.

I remember reading on one of the lightwave newsgroups or messageboards where someone was making a big deal about XSI just getting a tweak tool in 5.0, which lightwave has had for years. The thing is that the tweak tool in lightwave is more like the move tool in older versions of XSI. Lightwave doesn't have anything that compares with the tweak tool in XSI.

IMO, Lightwave required a small army of plugins to make it productive, but XSI is great on it's own. I remember my first week of modeling in XSI was a bit scary, because it is very different from modeling in lightwave/modo. After a week of using XSI I couldn't get myself to go back to working with those programs.

I highly suggest watching every XSI tutorial video you can find (lots of free ones on the XSI website) and if you can afford it pick up as many videos as you can from places like 3dtutorial.com (I highly recommend getting started with XSI for any lightwave users), because there are tons of very useful things in XSI that you may not even know you need. I can't count how many times I've seen someone use a feature in a video that I would have never even thought to look for.

I would also highly recommend you get familiar with the basics of scripting in XSI. VBscript is very easy (even for a non programmer such as myself), and you can easily create scripts to automate some of the more tedious tasks with very little work.

Also, if you take some time to get to know the SDK you can find some nice little gems.


SelectAllUsingFilter, siCheckComponentVisibility


This is a direct copy and paste from the SDK that will select all visible polygons, edges or points, depending on which mode you are in when you run it. I'm not sure why there is no interface button for this function (as far as I could find), but it's easy enough to fix.

Anyway, getting back on subject, one of the reasons (IMO) you will not find a lot of modeling plugins for XSI is because they really aren't needed. Take some time and learn to use what's already in XSI and this will become fairly apparent. I think working in XSI really takes a different mindset than Lightwave. Where lightwave has a separate tool or plugin for each function, XSi is much more fluid and a single tool (CTRL D for example) can have many, many functions.


EDIT: I forgot to mention XSIBase.com. They have a lot of links to scripts, plugins and tutorials (along with a fair amound of dead links) that you may want to take a look at. There is also a lot of usefull information in their forums.

Hey Sbowling thanx for your very informative reply.

i do agree with it mostly: let's say i'm on the first week like you was time ago.

i really have yet to dig into all modelling tools, learn them and know every aspect of them. i'll surely do what you suggest.
just yesterday i also downloaded all tons of softimage tutorials about XSI in documentation, plus i watched some great video tutorial, and will follow them. it will take me some time to change mindset in some thing, but i have to say that modelling even in my first attempt turned out to be quite logic and fast (this why i was also used to some Maya workflow LOL)

about spinquad : in Lw spinquad is only possible with quads.but there's a plug to do even with quads tris. its not a spin edge tool, btw (just because: edges are in Lw only now with 9.0 )
That's why it didn't worked for you, maybe.
honestly, the main thing i love about the spinshift technique , its that with simmetry modelling i can work with an object, even without centerline ,and model it quite fast. i then insert a centerline when required.
u nailed the problems of that techniques tho, and that's why XSI workflow will just fit in this subject.

about virtual mirror: this is a feature that is in discussion even related to XSI i saw this also in other threads both here in CGtalk and it even rised in Luxology forum too (Modo has the same Lw simmetry problems)

however, lemme say this is a relatively minor problem. it really depends from modelling techniques you adopt.

i agree about the s key to navigate. actually i found it very very powerful, both as a supra key and as a hold down key. i used both techniques BTW.

tweak tool makes great sense: i'll try that workflow. i think its cool and thanx for the tips. :)


cool infos to know. i'll found my way.

about scripting : coolness :
since i think its possible : is there a script to automatically setup the simmetrical instance way to model ? basically it should delete half of your cube and create an instance on negative x axis ? can i create a button the same way as maya , using script editor?

archiea
08-11-2006, 11:55 AM
Ok, yeah this is a bit OT, but considering how folks here were venting a bit about their LW woes.. i just had to vent a little myself...

I use maya at work, plus a ton of proprietary stuff (unfortunately), but I'm curious about XSI.... and this thread has been wonderful, thank you.. But since Lw 9 came out, a few of us old 'Wavers looked at it.. then we looked at the market and thought, hey, how about Newtek do an advanced version of LW, you know.. pick up the pace, even at a price hike, and leave the regular LW development cycle at its current pace so folks who like the $795 price aren't displaced.

Oh..lordy... was posting that at the NT forum ever a mistake... I mean to even suggest an advanced version.. it was so.. elitist of me..

I thought you guys would like to see for yourself what it has become.

first post pitching a LW extreme
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55056

Lw user posting a poll:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55179

my counter poll, elaborating on what LW current development means in relation otthe 3D market..
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55273

For giggles, I put one up here on cgtalk...
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=391268

I mean, i dig what NT did in 9: focus on the shader model limitation, then later on the motion blur issue... it kinda takes care of two big deficencies in LW that relate to quality and output.. however, as you XSI users probably know..there is a long road ahead.. Some of us old 'Wavers thought we we could take that momentum and push it a bit.. and boy..I'll never try that again..

Being former 'wavers, some of you at least, can you tell me what the BLEEP happened to the community over there? Its like the Manson Ranch now!!

yog
08-11-2006, 12:53 PM
Oh..lordy... was posting that at the NT forum ever a mistake... I mean to even suggest an advanced version.. it was so.. elitist of me.. I've noticed that the cheeper a piece of software retails for, the more pathalogically loyal it's community base is to the "brand". Try telling a Blender, Hash, or Gimp loyalist that what they use isn't as good as what the "big boys" use. The truth is they are all very capable apps, but I'd be surprised if you got a reasoned argument.
I think the problem is that the cheeper an app is, the more likely it will be a persons first "serious" app, and in all likelyhood they would have paid a tremendous amount of $$$ for it (relatively speaking), and who wants to hear that the software they have just spent hundreds of dollars on isn't as good as what "real profesionals" use, especially when you get some local software deity telling them there is a global conspiracy against the software they have choosen to use :rolleyes:
From here you get a dislike of two tier software. If you are at a stage where you believe that it is the tools that make the person, you would see yourself at a serious disadvantage if someone could afford more tools than you. How often have you seen on LW boards people demanding that NT include every new tool known to man, including buying up every 3rd party plug-in ever written, and still charging no more than their normal upgrade fee ? :shrug:

Being former 'wavers, some of you at least, can you tell me what the BLEEP happened to the community over there? Its like the Manson Ranch now!!Mostly for the reasons listed above. LW has become a lot cheeper over recient years, and so has attracted a lot more first timers/hobbiests, who unfortunately are more prone to believe the paranoid/malicious screetchings of a couple bad apples. There are still a lot of professional users (both in the work and attitude sense), that visit/post on the boards, but a lot fewer than there were 4 or 5 years ago.

When I started using LW many, many years ago, the community on the forums and news lists were without doubt it's greatest asset. These days I consider the outspokenness of some of it's members makes it a hinderance at best.

leigh
08-11-2006, 03:50 PM
Being former 'wavers, some of you at least, can you tell me what the BLEEP happened to the community over there? Its like the Manson Ranch now!!

Don't even get me started on that... :argh: Email me sometime (leigh @ cgcommunity.com) and I'll let you know my thoughts.

ScottC
08-11-2006, 04:10 PM
I've noticed that the cheeper a piece of software retails for, the more pathalogically loyal it's community base is to the "brand". Try telling a Blender, Hash, or Gimp loyalist that what they use isn't as good as what the "big boys" use. The truth is they are all very capable apps, but I'd be surprised if you got a reasoned argument.
I think the problem is that the cheeper an app is, the more likely it will be a persons first "serious" app, and in all likelyhood they would have paid a tremendous amount of $$$ for it (relatively speaking), and who wants to hear that the software they have just spent hundreds of dollars on isn't as good as what "real profesionals" use, especially when you get some local software deity telling them there is a global conspiracy against the software they have choosen to use ...*snip*


I'm recent LW to XSI convert myself, and while Im thrilled with XSI ( the time put in to learning how it works and WHY its laid out the way it is instead of trying to change it to be like x aplication have paid off bigger dividends that I could have hoped and really opened my eyes), in all fairness to LW, couldnt the same "cheaper=fanatical loyalty" argument apply to XSI FND as well?


I mean, I'm sure thats Avid's intention with the bargain pricepoint. In a couple years when SI begins really reaping the benefits of sowing the FND seed, might we not see the same sort of enthusiast-driven loyalty from the XSI community? It already seems as if FND-level user made plug-in and scripting has started to grow with some significant additions.


I dont know...Im just wary to go throwing around the "cheap soft makes fanboys" theory, because it might apply to me as well ;). Besides, I would cite Modo as an exception to that theory. Its biggest knock is that it certainly isnt cheap for what it is, but it seems theres a distinctly rabid loyal fanbase for it.


I think its just human nature to feel (literally) "invested" in any toolset you make a conscious decision to spend money on, and sometimes get carried away engaging in arguments you see as "protecting" or defending that investment. Now in my case, the reverse of your argument is true...Im much more likely to feel rabidly loyal to software I spend thousands on, because well, if I could have had any of the top tier toolsets out there, and I chose one that was measurably "inferior" to the others, Id feel quite the ninny, wouldnt I?

RobertoOrtiz
08-11-2006, 04:28 PM
I am from the school that talent is more important that toolsets.

But I do have to admit that talent is greatly helped by better tools & workflow.
And of course top of the shelf apps do have the best toys to play with.

That is why I call the the "Porshes" of the cg world.

But on the other hand I would never knock the work done on smaller apps like Blender, Cinema 4d, Modo , Lightwave & Animation Master because amazing professional material is being done on all of them daily.

To say that their work is somewhat inferior because the user worked with the wrong application is very pretentious & arrogant. This kind of community mentality is more fit cg world to the mid 90's (I call it the Silicon Graphics days) than today. In my opinion it is like saying that Durer drawing is inferior to the one done by one of his contemporaries because Durer used the WRONG paper.

(Of course there are a few exceptions where an app brings a quantum leap in the development of the toolsets. But you tend to see usually in dedicated apps like Zbrush or MotionBuilder (poor Montion Builder) come to mid)

Of course doing character animation in certain high end apps is a superior experience. Duh.
Honestly they way I see It, it is like comparing the performance of a Porshe to a Toyota. At the end of the day there no competition at all.

The questions for what are you going to use your tools? Can you afford them?
Can an animator in LA tell an animator in Kansas working in a TV station that his work is less worthy because of this tools?

And if the animator in Kansas will rarely do big projects and does not have the heft to have awful pipeline does he really need the Porshe?

Adding to that there are also a lot of factors as of why people refuse to change their tools of the trade. Money, education, & time are a big investment to these people. What a lot of people fail to see is that there are people who cant afford to change their toolsets. Plain as that. It might be because they don't have the time to learn new workflows from scratch, or don't have the monetary capability.

So in my book all apps, no mater the price, deserve a fair shake. Arbitrary definitions like (Maya user, Soft user, Lightwave user, Autodesk User, Modo User, Hakuna Matatta user) mean squat at the end of the day, when talent is on the line. It might be easier to do certain things in certain apps, not it is not impossible to the smaller apps & smaller studios to do top of the shelf work.

In my view, pissing contest are just a couple of fellows holding their privates and looking for rulers.
-R

PS Besides this is all academic after all. Honestly I believe that Machimina is going to hit all the CGworld with the strength of a tidal wave.

ScottC
08-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Pissing contest are just that, two guys holding their privates and looking for rulers.
-R

I believe the term is "e-Wang". :)

yog
08-11-2006, 05:56 PM
......and who wants to hear that the software they have just spent hundreds of dollars on isn't as good as what "real profesionals" use.....Just to clarify. I was refering to the "perception" of not being as good. Anyone who has seen Battlestar Galactica or Firefly can't deny it's not a truely "professional app".

Emmanuel
08-11-2006, 05:57 PM
I dont think it makes any sense to discuss future LW versions here in the XSI forum.
I also think, and this is really my personal opinion, that XSI Fnd was a bold step to get more marketshare, not a real "we are so nice"-thing.
I think that Avid doesn't earn a penny with the FND and it basically is a workable, unlimited yet paid demo for the more expensive variations.
They once had an unlimited demo, with XSI Exp 3.0, why did they change that to 30-day-trial ?
I am neither for or against a LW Extreme or whatever, but having been a LWer since '97, I dont see a need for it nor do I think that NT has the ressources to cope with Softimage or Autodesk.
I am so tired of these pissing contests, really, which dont serve any useful purpose and end in a war every time.

yog
08-11-2006, 06:06 PM
In a couple years when SI begins really reaping the benefits of sowing the FND seed, might we not see the same sort of enthusiast-driven loyalty from the XSI community? It already seems as if FND-level user made plug-in and scripting has started to grow with some significant additions.I too can see it happening, and it may take some readjusting on some of the XSI forums.

I'm not saying long term XSI/SI users are snobs (I may want some help in the future :D), more that they have developed in an era of "if they are going to spend $20k-$30k on a program, they better be b****y committed to sorting out problems and making it work", even if it meant investing some serious money on R&D and/or professional training. It may take some time for these users to get used to people asking "How do I make a box ?" for the forty billionth time :scream:

archiea
08-11-2006, 07:19 PM
well at leat the foundationusers can upgrade to an intermediate or an andvanced.. A Lw user just hwas whatever plugins may be up to date. the point is that Softimage, and maya, at least provide an elegant means to scale up. If I were a foundationuser, I would see that as a tremendous opportunity. the folks at the NT site sees that as elitists. I just cannot fathom what the reasoning is for that, any moreso than someone with Sasquatch, Fprime, etc is an elitist compared to a vanilla LW users...

I mean 10, 15 years ago, you had to hustle to learn an app.. usually intern at a studio... today thee are so many resource online alone, let alone in schools and professional training.. so these great apps are within reach to anyone who makes the effort. yeah learning a new app is daunting..I had to learn over 7 compositing systems over the years... most on the job. But you are not alonein the training..nmot like years ago...

thanks for listening...

Perhaps you folks can come up with XSI tutorials for forner LW users.. from that perspective, to help teach the xsi workflow.. just a thought..

mocaw
08-12-2006, 12:20 AM
It may take some time for these users to get used to people asking "How do I make a box ?" for the forty billionth time :scream:

XSI is a fairly complex program...but people really ask some of the most basic questions with ANY application. I think the same people who ask these questions though, are likely to be the ones in the future who will help answer them (the basic ones). So in a way the FND users might fill their own gap.

FND shouldn't be taken lightly by LW users lurking here- it's very powerful. I only do minor work, no ILM here, but I'm using it for payed work now. I'm getting paid (peanuts) to do a 28min animated short- and I bought XSI just to do the animation. Now I find that I'm doing EVERYTHING in it. I thought I'd use PO...but no real need right now.

Thanks to BHairy I just finished a design for a CD cover with a bird and jellyfish like creature on it. That's one flexable piece of $50 software. So I'd say it's $550 well spent.

Does XSI have it's issues? Yes it does. But does it excell at what it's supposed to be good for? For this user the answer is an resounding YES!

I wouldn't blink at paying $1,000 or more for just FND.

chikega
08-12-2006, 01:04 AM
Thanks to BHairy I just finished a design for a CD cover with a bird and jellyfish like creature on it. That's one flexable piece of $50 software. So I'd say it's $550 well spent.

Maybe closer to $420 ... :D

$369 competitive upgrade (http://www.sharbor.com/products/SOFN0300012.html) from Safe Harbor ..... what a deal! :deal:

Sbowling
08-12-2006, 01:17 AM
When I started using LW many, many years ago, the community on the forums and news lists were without doubt it's greatest asset. These days I consider the outspokenness of some of it's members makes it a hinderance at best.

I was shocked by the "cold shoulder" I got from many of the LW users I thought of as friends when I told them I was moving to XSI. It was like I ran over their dog or slept with their wife or something. Most of them never replied to my emails and some of them told me I was being stupid.

But since Lw 9 came out, a few of us old 'Wavers looked at it.. then we looked at the market and thought, hey, how about Newtek do an advanced version of LW, you know.. pick up the pace, even at a price hike[...]

This is assuming that something like this is even possible. I'm going to guess that LW sales have tanked recently (remember how they extended their special because of the"massive" response. I'm going to assume massive really meant almost nonexistent) and their development staff is either under staffed or under talented, because they missed their release date by close to a year (again) and still did not add all the promised features.

mocaw
08-12-2006, 01:44 AM
Maybe closer to $420 ... :D

$369 competitive upgrade (http://www.sharbor.com/products/SOFN0300012.html) from Safe Harbor ..... what a deal! :deal:

I'll be stoked if that deal is around come v6...and if not I'll still be stoked!

ScottC
08-12-2006, 01:47 AM
$369 competitive upgrade (http://www.sharbor.com/products/SOFN0300012.html) from Safe Harbor ..... what a deal! :deal:

The competitive upgrade deal for FND + the 80 bucks or whatever BHairy is now, is indeed the most outrageously good deal in the market. Though really, its just 30 bucks off what youd have without the competing serial #...still a great deal.

Sbowling
08-12-2006, 02:08 AM
Of course doing character animation in certain high end apps is a superior experience. Duh. Honestly they way I see It, it is like comparing the performance of a Porshe to a Toyota. At the end of the day there no competition at all.

So, you're comparing an $800 toyota to a $500 porsche? At $500 XSI foundation stomps all over the $800 Lightwave, not only in Character animation, but in just about everything else.

The questions for what are you going to use your tools? Can you afford them?
Can an animator in LA tell an animator in Kansas working in a TV station that his work is less worthy because of this tools?

No, but he can tell him he's wasting valuable time by using inferior tools.

And if the animator in Kansas will rarely do big projects and does not have the heft to have awful pipeline does he really need the Porshe?

If the Porsche is cheaper than the Toyota and requires less maintinence and has less down time, I don't see why not.

Adding to that there are also a lot of factors as of why people refuse to change their tools of the trade. Money, education, & time are a big investment to these people. What a lot of people fail to see is that there are people who cant afford to change their toolsets. Plain as that. It might be because they don't have the time to learn new workflows from scratch, or don't have the monetary capability.

There's an old saying "It takes money to make money" and I find that usually to be true to a point. Before I bought XSI foundation, I bought some video tutorials to learn on the Demo version. After a weekend with the demo version and these tutorials I knew that paying the $500 for the foundation version of XSI was a no brainer, because it out performed Lightwave in so many ways. After getting foundation I proceeded to buy several more training videos which I went though over the next week. After that week, I started using XSI for animation and within another month I was doing all my modelling and animation in XSI. After a few months of using foundation I moved to Essentials and with the improvement in speed and quality over my work with lightwave, it was very easy to get my boss to buy me a copy of essentials for use at work.

Now, at the end of the day, my biggest problems come from my lack of inspiration on a project, not an inability to get the software to do what I want. This was definietely not the case when Using lightwave. Of course, lightwavers rarely understand this, because the one's who have taken the time to learn the "professional apps" rarely want to use lightwave afterwards.

So in my book all apps, no mater the price, deserve a fair shake.

I agree, and the ones that fail miserably should be tossed aside and replaced with something that works better.

Arbitrary definitions like (Maya user, Soft user, Lightwave user, Autodesk User, Modo User, Hakuna Matatta user) mean squat at the end of the day, when talent is on the line.

That's only true if you ignore the arguments above.

It might be easier to do certain things in certain apps, not it is not impossible to the smaller apps & smaller studios to do top of the shelf work.

I'd be interesting in hearing you make these same statements after you learn a program like XSI. You see, there was I time when I felt the same way about lightwave as you do.

RobertoOrtiz
08-12-2006, 02:21 AM
Actually I am quite aware of the capabilities of most 3d programs. It is part of what I am supposed to be doing here.

Trust me, I have been at this game for a long time, and quite aware of what most 3d aps can and cannot do. Again we go back to the issue of needs.


The reason I go out of my way in this issue, is that I consider this a litmus test for our community in general. Once we start treating a section of our community like second class citizens, because of their selection of tools, we lose the soul of the community. We are not here to bully people becuase of their tools.

Ill be the first one to say that if an app, like Lightwtave, Cinema 4d or even Animation Master were to fall to the way side, it would be VERY bad development overall for our community and our industry. There is too much consolidation going on right now, and we certanly dont need to go back to the attitudes of the mid 90's in the cg field.



-R

Sbowling
08-12-2006, 02:31 AM
it basically is a workable, unlimited yet paid demo for the more expensive variations.


Wow, that doesn't make any sense in so many ways, it's beyond funny. Foundation is the same as the more expensive versions, except that it's lacking Rigid body dynamics, poly reduction and a few other features, hair/fur, scripted operators stuff and network rendering. Even though I have Essentials, I find myself mainly using the Foundation features for 90% of my work. If you want to complain about Demo versions of software, you might want to talk to newtek.

Oh, speaking of demo/learning versions of software There is a learning version of Houdini called Apprentice freely available. :thumbsup:

Edit: I actually forgot to mention the Compositor in XSI essentials which I do use quite often.

Sbowling
08-12-2006, 02:46 AM
We are not here to bully people becuase of their tools.


You say Bully, I say Inform. I wish I had been informed about these other programs years ago, instead of constantly being told that lightwave is just as good as MAX/MAYA/XSI, because the truth is that it's NOT. My opinions are not just made up, I was a lightwave user for the better part of 10 years and while the free render nodes may sound great, I've found they really don't help much if you can't get the aimation done in the first place. There is the possibility that newtek can turn things around for lightwave in the future, but from past experiences I'm not going to hold my breath. From the way they have been in the past, the planned updates will be outdated by time they get them in and in a usable state.

RobertoOrtiz
08-12-2006, 04:29 AM
I know you mean well, but honestly, just let it be. We are debating the merits of a another application in the Softimage forum, the very thing we actively discourage in the forum. And we discourage this for the reason I mentioned before in the thread.

Soft is an awesome app, no doubt about it, and you did a good buy, but lets not make CGTALK into an app battleground.We are not here for that.

Let the artwork do the talking
-R

Sbowling
08-12-2006, 06:11 AM
I know you mean well, but honestly, just let it be. We are debating the merits of a another application in the Softimage forum, the very thing we actively discourage in the forum.

Well, I guess this thread should probably be locked then, because the whole point of it was to compare XSI, LightWave and Messiah to help the original poster and other prospective buyers make an informed decision. I know in some forums these kinds of threads tend to get out of hand, but this thread has been around here for quite a while and I think everyone has handled themselves quite well.

BTW, I'm not trying to start a battle, just give my informed opinion on the subject.

NRG-Alpha
08-12-2006, 06:35 AM
If I was a moderator, threads like this would be either *heavily* moderated, or shut down completely, simply due to the fact that they seem to always gravitate towards app wars, which we have seen all too often in the past. It starts out well behaved and well intentioned.. but then emotions seem to ultimately run rampant, and its downhill from there..

My suggestion to people asking about whether they should switch to XSI (or any other app for that matter) should download the respective trial versions, and any tutorial material and make judgements from there.

I am personally with Roberto on this.. The community should be unified in working alongside with their own apps of choice. Fostering such a community reduces any hostility, guilt and anger, all of which I am sure people do not join these communities for.

As for the (app a is better than app b), let's face it.. Sure, workflow and toolsets among other things make life perhaps a little easier, but in this day and age, pure talent prevails in the long run (in my opinion anyway)

It's like the old debate in photography goes.. You can hand an amateur a top end professional SLR, and his/her skill sets will restrict the quality of pictures taken, yet hand a strong experienced veteran professional an entry level SLR , and he / she will take great photographs (not necessarily from a lens image quality standpoint, but from choice of composition. lighting, form, etc).

Each app has its strengths and weaknesses. Everyone should be able to choose without guilt or remorse from what others say. Yes, its good to seek out information to be better informed, but this can quickly become a double edged sword if not handled with care.

Just my $0.02

Cheers,

NRG

JDex
08-12-2006, 06:50 AM
It's been closely watched... and for the most part it has remained thoughtful and responsible. Keep it like that and I can't see a reason to close it... perhaps other mods will disagree.

digital verve
08-12-2006, 10:49 AM
I am learning XSI Foundation and have found it so far very impressive, plus the manuals and tutorials are excellent to get you going. You almost don't need other training material, it's that good. I use a number off apps and used LW professionally since Ver 6. All apps have their merits and who knows where LW will be by version 9.5 and 10. At the moment, I could see XSI becoming a major part of my workflow (had considered Maya or Cinema but nope). LW still does some things better IMHO, but that's why it's best to have a number of apps at your disposal (budget allowing).

It's interesting to see a few of the same users that post here to be more reasoned than when they post on a LW related forum. Why do emotions run so high sometimes on LW forums? Anyway, I would recommend users of any 3D app to try out XSI as it can be a very complimentary tool.

Chris-TC
08-12-2006, 11:54 AM
It's like the old debate in photography goes.. You can hand an amateur a top end professional SLR, and his/her skill sets will restrict the quality of pictures taken, yet hand a strong experienced veteran professional an entry level SLR , and he / she will take great photographs (not necessarily from a lens image quality standpoint, but from choice of composition. lighting, form, etc).


Very true, and this point comes up again and again in these types of threads.

But remember one thing: a professional photographer will be very restricted if he has to work with a camera that doesn't include certain features.
I don't know a whole lot about photography, but professionals will certainly want to manually set aperture, exposure etc. etc.

If this pro now finds himself having to use a normal consumer "snapshot style" camera that doesn't allow to set anything manually (that doesn't have the kinds of features he's looking for) then this pro will be severely limited in what he can achieve with the camera.

Singularity
08-12-2006, 05:51 PM
I'm still finding my feet with foundation. lol no shifting sands jokes.
The thing thats struck me the most is I'm learning and enjoying new methods. It's really refreshing to get outside mental boxes I really wasnt aware existed.
Somewhere 'workflow' and 'habit' merge and its easy to miss it happening.
Foundation required a rethink, long overdue. The rendertree pushed me to explore deeper than my previous app required, and repaid the effort in spades.
I 'get' how empowering this app is and love how it challenges me to develop. My work can only improve too.
This may have occured with any other app new to me but it was Foundation and its overall structure that triggered me. The whole app is the new tool to master, rather than a group of new micro tools. Its not its render or textures or modelling. Its getting above these boxes to a more functional overall blending.
I hope this makes some kind of sense, as a response to the artist and his tools exchange earlier.


re, the fanboy stuff on some sites.
I've wondered for some time how a generation of hobbyists used to ever better hard n soft will adjust to being told they cant have a toy they know exists. Aesop would suggest not very well.

mocaw
08-12-2006, 08:34 PM
The photography analogy is a good one, but it is limited. Why? Because 3D is about more than an image. It's more like a movie set- which even when doing a low budget video only project with highschool kids, can be come very complex. Actors, timing, lighting and on and on.

I find a lot of the LW crowd, or a number of them, do mainly print or still work (like much of the modo crowd). For this the camera analogy, or even the painting analogy work fairly well. Skills alone and artist ability can create even amazing things in Bryce and such programs. LW is well beyond in these programs. Often more complexity would get in the way.

But as the complexity in technicalities of a project increase, IE less is about just artistic ability, certain parts of a tool set become critical.

I started this thread (yes I started it) a bit ago to help me see if the reasons people from the LW scene took up XSI were for the same reasons I might. Most pointed to better animation tools and the main source or biggest difference, a history, and at the time a nodal shading system. LW is still lacking two of these major reasons. These too are the reasons I came over to XSI.

So this thread isn't intended to BASH LW, more see where XSI is stronger and if those strenghts are better for some people. Some people would like to frame it the other way and make this a bashing thread. Truth be told, this is an XSI part of CGtalk, and so it will be slanted towards XSI. IF this thread were in the LW part of CGtalk it would only cause problems. This thread is here for people from LW, that come here on their own, looking for a change. If you come here with the idea of defending LW in mind, then in essence you are causing the same provocation as if this post WERE on the LW part of the forum. Up until very reciently it has been very constructive and well monitored, but it seems several people have an agenda.

Let's not play to that agenda please!

Besides, most XSI users so far will be much more likely to tell you its faults than many other program users- often with little debate. This for me was a MAJOR reason to move over 90% of my work to XSI as I think it only will help the program in the long run- not hurt it. If you read through this thread you'll see many of those issues stated.

Sbowling
08-13-2006, 12:57 AM
My suggestion to people asking about whether they should switch to XSI (or any other app for that matter) should download the respective trial versions, and any tutorial material and make judgements from there.

Most people don't have the time to learn a new program just to see if it can do something better than their current package does and while there are a large number of free tutorials for XSI there are some areas that just aren't covered that well in the free tutorials.

For Example, Particles seem really confusing and difficult at first look, but if you get the training video from 3dtutorial you will see that they are easily as powerful as particles in Lightwave (if not more) and while XSI doesn't have Hypervoxels, there is a 3rd party plugin from Binary Alchemy that looks like it can do everything that hypervoxels can (and more) and seems to render much faster in many cases (although I haven't done a side by side comparison).

As for the (app a is better than app b), let's face it.. Sure, workflow and toolsets among other things make life perhaps a little easier, but in this day and age, pure talent prevails in the long run (in my opinion anyway)

I have to disagree with this. While Talent will always make things easier, some programs make things very difficult regardless of your talent. I recently had a problem with a character rig in XSI where I had set some things up wrong and I didn't notice it until I was about 99% done with the animation. In lightwave This would have beed a disaster, because i would have basically had to throw out all the animation to fix the rig. In XSI I replaced the bad part of the rig and continued on in about an hour or two.

There is much more to production work than just getting a job done. It also requires getting the job done on time and in budget. If time and budget were not a concern, I could make an argument that I could do character animation in POV-Ray with only a text editor. Sure it would take me most of my life for a short animation, but it could be done.

Everyone should be able to choose without guilt or remorse from what others say.

It has nothing to do with guilt or remorse, but everything to do with an informed decision. This almost sounds like you don't want someone to know they made a bad decision. I mean, why else would you have guilt or remorse about the program you bought?

As long as these discussions are kept civil I don't see any real reason why they should not be allowed.

Sbowling
08-13-2006, 01:00 AM
Besides, most XSI users so far will be much more likely to tell you its faults than many other program users- often with little debate. This for me was a MAJOR reason to move over 90% of my work to XSI as I think it only will help the program in the long run- not hurt it. If you read through this thread you'll see many of those issues stated.

This was one of the big surprises when moving to XSI. I mean, someone says something needs improvement and there aren't a hundred posts calling him an idiot and that everything is fine as it is. :eek: Inconceivable! :eek:

tfortier
08-13-2006, 02:13 AM
hey! I just wanna say hi cause right now im a lw guy totally alone in a company where 40 people use xsi... Im finishing a project right now where the lack of render passes almost get me burn out. I also notice if im breaking my leg or fall sick, nobody can continue the project...

with those arguments, im gonna start learning XSI next week with my boss benediction and im quite excited! cant wait to get the license and hope we will have some breaks between projects for let me learn it!

it was interresting. thanks to all the posters!

t

Sbowling
08-13-2006, 04:41 AM
hey! I just wanna say hi cause right now im a lw guy totally alone in a company where 40 people use xsi...

I know I've said this many times before, but 3dtutorial.com is the best place to start. I would get the getting started with XSI videos and start from there. Now, since you are working with 40 guys who already know XSI you probably won't need these videos quite as much as I did, but If you are learning on your own, this is a great place to start.

ScottC
08-13-2006, 04:35 PM
I decided to tackle learning XSI by immersion. Its tempting to go in with a mindset of "well, Im just going to use it for this, and for the rest I'll stay where I'm comfortable", but I dont really think you get the proper measure of XSI by doing that. So I've suspended use of every other tool and trying to learn the ins and outs of doing it in XSI, so I can better make an educated guess of when I might really want to go outside XSI.


What I found the most surprising, is all the areas it surpasses the tools I'm comfortable with which I wasnt expecting to consider working with on a regular basis. I mean, I bought it for superior render pass control, mental ray, top notch rigging tools...but I wasnt expecting to announce to myself after a day of getting the feel for the modeller that this is where I was going to be doing most of my modelling from now on.


I remember my first night with the modeller discovering the "operator stack" property editor. I say this only for point of reference, not to get into an x vs y discussion, but coming from LW you may know how sometimes relying on the native "Undos" can sometimes be a bit stressful. When the implications of the operator stack dawned on me, I noticed myself subconciously crowding the monitor and hunching over the keyboard, like I had been given something way better than I was supposed to have and if someone discovered it they would come take it away. Sort of like when you get free cable television by accident. I feel like this often with XSI.


This past weekend I finally got around to manipulating UV maps in the texture editor. I spent most of that time in a highly stimulated state I can only describe as sexual arousal. My roomate came in and I screamed at her to "get out, get out...dont you knock?!"


The point in all of this, it works for me, and thats great. Whatever works for anyone else is also great. But I find myself looking around for that more casual type of user community, where you can actually go with your noob "gee whiz" moments, and not get on everybody's nerves. As has been observed, that sort of thing doesnt seem to exist with XSI yet, or is only in early evolution.


Can anyone make any suggestions where I might find something like that, so I can forgo other posts like this one, and not risk simultaneosly annoying both the LW users, and the XSI users?

yog
08-13-2006, 05:10 PM
What I found the most surprising, is all the areas it surpasses the tools I'm comfortable with which I wasnt expecting to consider working with on a regular basis. I mean, I bought it for superior render pass control, mental ray, top notch rigging tools...but I wasnt expecting to announce to myself after a day of getting the feel for the modeller that this is where I was going to be doing most of my modelling from now on.I know what you mean. When I first start using XSI and found out most of the modelling tools were run through pop-up dialogue boxes rather than interactively in the viewport, I thought "Oh well, at least I have other modelling applications I can use". But then you get into the XSI way of doing things you realise that just a few very well integrated and flexible modelling tools are worth several dozen badly implemented tools that do very similar things.

mocaw
08-13-2006, 09:34 PM
Can anyone make any suggestions where I might find something like that, so I can forgo other posts like this one, and not risk simultaneosly annoying both the LW users, and the XSI users?

Arousal aside I think you'll find many of the video training materials via 3Dtutorial, Softimage, and others with in a round about way cover what you need. A tutorial might be about GI rendering, but often you'll find them doing something minor with lights, materials, modeling etc. that might seem mundane to them, but will give you a lot of information. I found the Softimage Foundation DVD and other training material to be this way...

Singularity
08-14-2006, 05:00 AM
I noticed myself subconciously crowding the monitor and hunching over the keyboard, like I had been given something way better than I was supposed to have and if someone discovered it they would come take it away. Sort of like when you get free cable television by accident. I feel like this often with XSI.

Hmm, its called 'mantling' when eagles and other birds of prey spread their wings and tail feathers, hunching over their prey and jealously hiding it from sight. lol



But I find myself looking around for that more casual type of user community, where you can actually go with your noob "gee whiz" moments, and not get on everybody's nerves. As has been observed, that sort of thing doesnt seem to exist with XSI yet, or is only in early evolution.


Can anyone make any suggestions where I might find something like that, so I can forgo other posts like this one, and not risk simultaneosly annoying both the LW users, and the XSI users?

Well there's the odd site where the sexual arrousal part wouldn't raise any eye-brows but their spell checker might re-arrange XSI in your posts possably.

Seriously though -
I've noticed that there's a couple of fora close to that mark but both are a bit short on numbers. The xsi area on buzz3D and 3D-Palace are contenders. Maybe, see you there?

Cheers

Singularity
08-14-2006, 01:06 PM
Sorry. I just checked.
Both of those fora have weeks go by postless.
Need to turn the lights off, its wasting electricity

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