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tryhard
05-20-2006, 06:07 PM
Hi all,

iīm currently using 3ds max and thinking about learning a second 3d software. XSI is one possibility. But befor i jump into it iīm interested in getting some insider information.

Thatīs why I ask you XSI users:
what do you like most in XSI and what are the advantages compared to the other packages in your opinion.

Do you think that there is a future for XSI?

Thankīs in advance

visualboo
05-20-2006, 07:02 PM
what do you like most in XSI and what are the advantages compared to the other packages in your opinion.
I like the fact that it makes me breakfast and gives me cold beer when I need them. It's cool dude, I don't even need to ask it. How SI programmed that I will never know.

Do you think that there is a future for XSI?

On a serious note... xsi IS the future. Max and Maya are bloated turds which are starting to dry up.

ThirdEye
05-20-2006, 07:45 PM
I like the fact that it makes me breakfast and gives me cold beer when I need them. It's cool dude, I don't even need to ask it. How SI programmed that I will never know.



On a serious note... xsi IS the future. Max and Maya are bloated turds which are starting to dry up.


I found the upper part of your msg the most serious one ;) Btw let's not derail this thread in a flame please. XSI is a nice app, it's got its ups and downs like all the others, it just depends on what you need to do with it.

tryhard
05-20-2006, 08:20 PM
I like the fact that it makes me breakfast and gives me cold beer when I need them. It's cool dude, I don't even need to ask it. How SI programmed that I will never know.



On a serious note... xsi IS the future. Max and Maya are bloated turds which are starting to dry up.

Hi Visualboo,
i stopped drinking beer for a while so that will be no reason to switch, the breakfast could be one :-)
any serious comments :-) ?
BTW i looked into your CG-Portfolio and didnt see XSI as one of your tools.

I had a first look at XSI and the performance of the viewport was surprising fast. I loaded this fruit scene from jeremy birn and i could use twice as much dublicates as in max ...

so what about modeling humans, you use max an maya ... ?

and what about photorealistic renderquality

visualboo
05-21-2006, 03:02 AM
ThirdEye: You deny it's futureness? the word "futureness" is copyright 2006 gene crucean

tryhard: I also didn't have photoshop on there and I've been using that since before it had layers. Honestly I don't know why my stupid portfolio thingy didn't have xsi on it. I'm positive I checked those when I first created that thing... including vray and others. Either way if I can remember correctly, I use xsi :P

It's hard to not be sarcastic (even if it's a little) to questions like this. They just pop up soo much. ThirdEye hit the nail on the head though because they do all have there strengths and weeknesses. I recommend downloading the foundation trial and testing it yourself. It's fully capable of any photorealistic task... that usually comes down to the artist. If you personally can't create gollum, don't blame the software. Not to mention, for 500 dollars IMO you will not even come close to finding anything that compares.

Btw, it sounded like you were searching for my credibility so here you go. I'm an open book. I really don't have time for personal work these days but here are a few of the last studies I've done.

Head study that I never finished:
http://www.genecrucean.com/samples/headStudyComp.jpg

Here was a quick 3 day test I did a few months ago. 3 days to create... 1 to drive into LA and take a picture I wanted to create, 1 day to model and 1 to texture everything, light and render.
http://www.genecrucean.com/samples/alley_final_comp.jpg

I've been working professionally for 6 years :)

I promise I'm not trying to be a jerk in anyway. I just got home from working about a thousand hours this week and am getting sick from lack of sleep. Welcome to my life.

bravmm
05-21-2006, 09:10 AM
Hi Tryhard,

I also recommend DL'ing the 30 day trial and make some time to sit down and run through some tuts and examples. Don't get discouraged by confusion as you try to learn a new app. XSI is a great piece of software, and stuff like workflow will be miles apart from 3DSMAX. I switched from Max to XSI in the past so I know what I'm talking about, even more so now I have to use Maya at work.....

Modeling wise you might make some adjustments, some of the smaller and neat options you got used too might not be there in XSI. But you will love the renderregion and rendertree, animation mixer and more.

But you'll have to find it out for yourself, it's all about preferences and the will to see beyond another app. Not just what's not in XSI regarding MAX, but what is there to make yourself more productive and create awesome stuff. I think you will be pleasantly suprised. If not, there's Maya, Lightwave, Cinema, Blender etc. to choose from as well :D

Enjoy the next 30 days,

rob

RenisanceX
05-21-2006, 10:53 AM
Lets see go get the trial as always

the reason why switch?.... ...i hate xsi as an ex-maya/lightwave user because it has made me so lazy lol. Its fast makes the jobs i have come across soo much easier.Gaotr hands down rocks. Its not great for nurbs imo...poly modeling is fast as well.Blows maya away hands down....however max does have some features to the poly tool set that are very powerfuland better thab in xsi.Also in mayas case paintfx rocks as well and also the pfx...Xsi lacks in this area . Its pfx can be powerfull but not that good imo. I use it for basic stuff but more so than often pop open maya or lightwave for such things.

But on a more over view i just decided to start back learning max the other day. Why? Yeah i know maya and lw and some other apps already but more becuase of these reasons

A) Autodesk maya.....maya going to integrated more with max.
B) The guys over at blur have started to make Max and xsi export to import somewhat seamless as you can export and import max scenes into xsi vice versa

Mic_Ma
05-21-2006, 10:57 AM
I had to switch from max to xsi because of a job. On the whole I think that Max has got more features. Sometimes you have a tricky job to do and there simply is a button or function in max that does what you need.

However, XSI features are far, far, faaaar better implemented. I think its workflow is pure joy. It is clever, fast, wonderful.

I particularly like the MR implementation and rendering. Rendering and post processing is really good, and timesaving.

The biggest drawback of XSI -if you are coming from Max-,is the lack of propper measuring and metric tools. It makes it frustrating when you model anything other than characters.


As for the future of XSI...who knows. It is very popular in Japan, but anywhere else...not so much. I cant really see why though, because I rate it quite highly.

AdrianLazar
05-21-2006, 11:18 AM
Hi tryhard,

2 years ago i was in a similar situation.
After using 3dsmax for more than 5 years I've started to have a doubt that is the best application FOR ME. First off all, as a modeler the crappy viewport performance was one of the main drawbacks. I mean it is impossible to edit a 300.000 poly object. The second reason was the lack off innovations that marked every release. And this fact made me think about the future of this software. And last but not least was the very poor stability of the software, especially when using different third party plug-ins combined together in a scene.
So, i started looking for other 3d packages. I had some experience with Lightwave and i didn't like it so it was out of the question, so basically i had to choose between Maya and XSI. With Maya I've worked at 2 little projects and i wasn't impressed. So i went to CGtalk forum in the "Application Specific" section and browsed the Maya and XSI sub forums to see what complaints the user had, and the general mood of the community. Also I’ve downloaded a learning edition of XSI, i think that back then was EXP. I've been very impressed with the interface and workflow.
They all fitted like a glove for me, so i decided to go with XSI. I've also liked how the developers kept in touch with the user base, answering on the public forums etc... and the community is grate too. For around a year i had to use both 3dsmax and XSI. The learning curve was very good, as i said before I’ve found the interface and workflow perfect for me. Going back to 3dsmax was becoming really a pain as i learned more about XSI. The scene management is light years away from 3dsmax and that really helped me as i work most of the time with heavy scenes.
The only concern about XSI was the lack of third party render engines and the fact that it`s using mental ray. Lot of people complaint about speed and the fact that was difficult to use. But that turn out to be false, the speed is ok and i found most answers on how to use it and how to optimize the render in these communities.
The only thing that i have to complain is the particle system and the shaders. I know that can be done a lot with them but personally i don't find the particle setup workflow very attractive, of course it's a personal taste.

Now, after almost 2 years of using XSI i don't regret at all making the switch and i don't look back. The future looks bright for XSI, and i can't say that for 3dsmax (again, that's my personal opinion).
So, for me, as a generalist with modeling being my main task the following advantages over 3dsmax made me make the switch:

- Interface and workflow
- Light years ahead in scene management.
- Viewport performance.
- Years ahead polygonal modeling tools
- Lighting fast subD modeling
- Render tree
- Render passes
- Future
- Community
- Attitude of the developers towards the users.

Hope that you make the right choice for you. :thumbsup:

Nii
05-21-2006, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the informative post =]

I see you mention XSI's modeling tools quite alot. I too am thinking about making the switch from Max to XSI. However I am also toying with the idea of modeling in a separate program, in this case Modo. Do you think this is worth doing? I really like Modo's workflow for modeling but I haven't even tried XSI's yet since it is currently a tad too confusing for me heheh. Are XSI's modeling tools really THAT accomplished? Should I just stick with XSI for modeling?

AdrianLazar
05-21-2006, 04:40 PM
I never used modo so i can't compare.
I'm not very comfortable going back and forward from several applications. I already use z-brush and bodypaint3d so adding modo to the workflow really doesn’t work for me. It would be an other interface to learn and become efficient with, other shortcuts, different workflow... Besides that, i have no complains about XSI poly modeling tools and the tweak tool it's really great so I have to wonder if the speed that i would gain using a software that has the main purpose modeling (as modo) is that big that would justify an other ~ 900$ + additional time learning the software + the time spend with the import/export process and other complications that using one more package may add.
So, as i said before i really can't compare, I'm sure that modo modeling tools are grate but i prefer a more complete package and i really don't have nothing to complain about XSI modeling tools.

Chris-TC
05-21-2006, 06:11 PM
Modo is a very elegant modeler but its poly modeling is not superior enough to justify bringing it into your XSI pipeline for modeling.

You really don't need to worry about XSI's poly modeling because it's great at that. If anything I'd recommend Rhino as a companion if you're into nurbs.

mocaw
05-21-2006, 06:26 PM
My strongest argument for XSI is how well intergrated everything is. Modeling is a mixed bag in XSI, but it becomes very powerful when looked at in conjunction with the rest of the package. When you look at XSI part by part it doesn't seem to always add up...but when you step away and look at it as a whole the application often goes beyond what you might expect. Many of the modeling tools that are used in other applications can be found as plugins for XSI- I will give MAX credit for having more plugin support- but there are negative reasons for that too. This will likely change as XSI gains popularity.

While some would look at the price structuring of XSI as a draw back I see it as a plus. If you run a small studio you don't need all of the modelers using an Adv. license- and can go with FND etc.

In the end, for me, it's all about the intergration though- and a fairly consistant work flow.

Sbowling
05-21-2006, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the informative post =]

I see you mention XSI's modeling tools quite alot. I too am thinking about making the switch from Max to XSI. However I am also toying with the idea of modeling in a separate program, in this case Modo. Do you think this is worth doing? I really like Modo's workflow for modeling but I haven't even tried XSI's yet since it is currently a tad too confusing for me heheh. Are XSI's modeling tools really THAT accomplished? Should I just stick with XSI for modeling?

I bought Modo back when I was still banging my head against the wall (ie: using lightwave), but since I've switched to XSI I haven't really found any reasons to use it. Modo does have a few better tools, such as the realtime previews of arrays, etc. but I found the task of importing models back and forth between modo and xsi to be too much of a hassle. I also think that XSIs organic modeling tools are some of the best. It's quick, easy and very powerful. I'm still watching Modo, but it's for the painting abilities, not the modeling abilities.

BTW, I can't give any reasons to switch from Max to XSI, but if you are coming from Lightwave, I can give you about a billion reasons!

mocaw
05-21-2006, 10:39 PM
Again- The fact that the modeling tools can also be animation tools etc. is one of the most powerful functions of XSI. It's really the magic of XSI's easy to use opp stack. You can build it, animate it, and edit the model while still seeing what it's doing to your deformed/animated version. This kind of functionality is what often keeps me in XSI VS. going out and using a program like MODO.

Nurbs are the weak link though when it comes to XSI modeling...but as it was said before there are great programs for that such as Rhino.

thomaspecht
05-21-2006, 10:56 PM
actually quite dissapointing to hear about the nurbs tools in XSI. i remember them as quite useable in softimage 3D, what happened?

as a max user i've been eyeing XSI since it became useable a few years back but i never had the impression that stability was one of it's strong points. whenever i evaluated a new XSI release, it was crashing high and low on me, what is there to look out for - are geforces a taboo for this puppy? the machines i used always ran max or maya very decently.

btw. any comments about the linux version? (microsoft) platform independence is important to me in my decision about the next app to go with. i remember the complaints about horrible IRIX XSI builds all too well - how about linux in this regard, any drawbacks compared to the windows versions?

NRG-Alpha
05-21-2006, 11:01 PM
TRYHARD,

I am also a 3DS Max user who made the jump to XSI here at home (I use Max at work though). Like everyone else, I recommend the download trial.

What got me about XSI is one word. Workflow. Although it isn't perfect (which app's actually is?), it is by far the sleekest (in my opinion). The modelling side of things is somewhat, how should I put it.. 'different', yet overall very solid. 3DS Max is overall more well rounded.. but there is something about the way XSI smoothly handles things that make is such a joy to work with. The integration of Mental Ray is bar none superior to anything out there. Viewport speeds blow Max out of the water, and the render tree (where you set up all your shaders through a node-based tree-like interface) is pretty powerful.

All the software out there these days are more or less powerful enough to do most tasks at hand. It is a matter of just sitting down and trying it out.

The biggest and most important peice of advice I can give you (I really mean this), is this:

*** Don't try to force XSI act or behave like Max *** This is the mistake I made while learning XSI. I wanted it to so badly work and function like Max did, as I was of course still accustomed to Max's way of doing things (although to this day, I still wish it did certain things like Max does). But as you learn not only XSI, but also learn to 'adapt' **very important here**, you will see just how powerful this beast of nn application this thing actually is. The workflow is very different than Max's, and at first, you may not agree or understand some of its workflow methods.. But if you give it a chance, man this thing can do wonders. So try to have an open mind when playing around with this thing for the first while..As the saying goes.. 'resistance is futile' :thumbsup: I think XSI is definately here for the long hull. and its future is in my opinion very bright indeed!

Cheers,

NRG

artistx
05-22-2006, 02:14 AM
I'm just echoing what everyone else here has said. It's the total package that want to consider. Nurbs is a weak spot, but I use Rhino as well and that pretty much fills that gap. Even if you're just working with Foundations, you can sometimes hack soft bodies to act like rigid bodies and it isn't a huge task to script a primitive hair planter. They did it with 3ds Max 4.0 and it can be done with XSI now. I really think the key is the non-linear animation and scripting. The dot xsi format is very well done. You shouldn't have any problems fitting this program into your pipeline.

Nii
05-22-2006, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the replies guys! I think I'm going to stick with XSI =]!


I also think that XSIs organic modeling tools are some of the best. It's quick, easy and very powerful. I'm still watching Modo, but it's for the painting abilities, not the modeling abilities.

However, you did not mention XSI's hard body modeling capabilities? Are those good as well?

JDex
05-22-2006, 02:25 AM
However, you did not mention XSI's hard body modeling capabilities? Are those good as well?

I use XSI almost exclusively for hard surface modeling... some think that the toolset is lacking, and in some respects it is (units, integrated measuring tools -- search a bit for arch-viz topics), but I love it... works great, the history stack makes things easy to modify/rework on the fly and the modeling tools are solid and logical (well - except the way that certain poly normals are determined for extrudes).

Bottom line... it isn't perfect, but it's close and comfortable.

Sbowling
05-22-2006, 04:56 AM
Thanks for the replies guys! I think I'm going to stick with XSI =]!




However, you did not mention XSI's hard body modeling capabilities? Are those good as well?

I don't do a whole lot of "hard body" modelling (cars, buildings, etc.), but so far I have not found any reason to use something else for modelling these on the rare occasion I do this kind of work. XSI does have much better snapping tools than modo (which are worthless for the most part). Modelling in XSI was a very odd experience at first (coming from modo/lightwave), but now that I have a handle on how it works, I love it.

tryhard
05-22-2006, 06:33 AM
Hi everybody,

I think itīs time to make a break and THANK YOU ALL for your information. Carefully reading all your comments I found a lot of answers to my questions. But that doesnīt mean that i want to stop this discussion. Noooooooooooooooo, please keep on :-)

there is one thing i would like to get more info about:

hardbody modeling, for example cars ... and if i talk about that, then rendering these objects in a photorealistic way is the next step. could not find many really good examples. softimage gallery is down. surprises me because mentalray is a superior renderer ... any links to artists, examples, ...

ThE_JacO
05-22-2006, 06:50 AM
before the chat goes on, why don't you provide some info about what you want to do now and what you want to do in the future as well.

I use regularly enough all three big packages, XSI, HDN and Maya, and I've used other packages in the past, and frankly, I could list you a solid 50 points against or in favour in any permutation of those comparisons.

if and how a package is strong depends strongly on what you want to do and HOW you want to do it.

IE: Houdini is an incredible package, but whether it's easy to use or not depends A LOT from your knowledge of the basics. I've met people who think HDN is the easiest and most logical package ever to learn, and I personally picked it up in very little time, but it's also true that a lot of people who liked it are into a very similar user-pool (very involved and technically open-minded); while some other people had a very different opinion, up to the point where I heard a very experienced animator saying "Houdini required a lobotomy and lots of alcohol to animate in".

the other thing is that you ask if it has a future, which reinforces the need to know what you want and WILL want to do.

the future of a package in a large feature film shop is determined by very, very different exigencies from those needed to estabilish future use in a small architectural firm.

Every fence has two sides, and there's lots of fences :)

Mic_Ma
05-22-2006, 09:55 AM
there is one thing i would like to get more info about:

hardbody modeling, for example cars ... and if i talk about that, then rendering these objects in a photorealistic way is the next step. could not find many really good examples. softimage gallery is down. surprises me because mentalray is a superior renderer ... any links to artists, examples, ...

Rendering -in principle- would be as good as any other software, because it is done with Mental Ray. It purely depends on the skill of the artist. The tools are essentially the same in Maya or Max, or any other app that connects to MR.

LemonNado
05-22-2006, 11:06 AM
'Switching' IMHO does not exist. You need a portfolio of apps. Let me see... I have Carrara 5 Pro because it can quickly load Poser stuff and has a great Flash Vector module better than any other product, the Renderer is surprisingly good, other areas are weak (not surprisingly). Then I have C4D with Hair, so I don't need Advanced for the stuff I do, and I have XSI Essentials for the serious stuff. And... I'm more than happy. All three apps are similar enough to work all of them pretty efficiently. And depth comes with experience. When I bang my head against something simple in XSI which takes ages, I pull out Carrara and use a known preset and am done in 5 minutes if I need a quick still etc. etc. etc. Not a single one of the three can provide what the combo does. However, if you can only manage o have one, XSI is the most complete of them all.
Rainer

tryhard
05-22-2006, 02:06 PM
... THANK YOU ALL

i didnīt expect such a lot of feedback. in my opinion itīs always good to hear from people that are using the software how they feel about it.

i fully agree with those of you telling me that it depends on what you want to do with an application and that no application can do it all and that it might be necessary to work with a combination of two or more products.

now itīs time for me to think about all the input given by you.

TRYHARD

Nii
05-22-2006, 02:20 PM
[QUOTE=tryhardBut that doesnīt mean that i want to stop this discussion. Noooooooooooooooo, please keep on :-)
[/QUOTE]

I too am loving this thread. Its much more interesting to see the opinions of those well versed in the programs, that can give specific feedback to the ups and downs of it =]. Right now XSI sounds pretty good in terms of ... well... anything.

Now for my next question. It seems XSI uses PhysX for its simulation! This is a pretty new engine I think, and I have only used Havok. Are they any different? Is PhysX faster/more realistic? Does XSI support Ageia's upcoming PPU?

Currently I am much liking 3ds Max's Brazil R/S to make my renders. A beautiful renderer, I am planning to do everything in XSI then port over to Max for my rendering. Or is Mental Ray good enough to do the job too? XSI's gigantic list of tabs and menus kind of put me off ='/

AdrianLazar
05-22-2006, 03:17 PM
"Right now XSI sounds pretty good in terms of ... well... anything."
One thing that almost all animators that i know and that are using XSI are complaining about it's the viewport PLAYBACK speed that is very poor to say at least. And if you turn on ghosting the playback speed it's near to 0. Good thing that a preview can be done quickly. Anyway, there where some rumors on an other forum saying that this problem will be addressed in the next release. I was hoping to be 5.1 but wasn't the case.

AdrianLazar
05-22-2006, 03:28 PM
ohh, and about mental ray being good enough, well, i think that is at least as good as any other major render, + it's been here long before brazil r/s and other render system from brazil generation so it's production proven quite hard. You can achive very photorealistic results if you have the knowledge and experience, as it's the case with all the major render systems. Anyway, you can check mental images gallery (http://www.mentalimages.com/4_1_motion_pictures/index.html) if you want to see some samples that where made using mental ray.

mocaw
05-22-2006, 08:45 PM
Render engines "power" is a bit realitive as far as I know. What works for a guy doing product illustration could be hell on earth for a film gig. For my little slice of the pie LW9 coupled with Fprime will still be a good render platform. This isn't work for a feature film though. While mentalray is very powerful and flexable I'm often rendering such low res (NTSC) things with fairly simply geometry, or very vew objects, that taking the time to tweak out the advantages for a mentalray render over and Fprime based one is so slight that I often stick with Fprime or even native LW. I will mention that if LW9 didn't have a render tree this wouldn't be the case though.

I do have several upcomming projects though that WILL require the mr flexability.

As far as mr being some kind of god there are plenty of MAX, XSI, LW, C4D, Houdini, etc. users that could find a number of reasons why that isn't always the case.

Also- making "real" pictures is the goal of many renderer makers and "artists", but that point is moot if you don't take into account what those renders need to do. Even if you are a radiosity monkey, different engines are going to give you different things. So yes you can get that XYZ realistic render out of MR, but is it the right one for you?

What things do you want to do with 3D and what are you currently doing?

dwigfor
05-22-2006, 09:22 PM
"XSI's gigantic list of tabs and menus kind of put me off ='/"


This is HUGE benefit to workflow. Basically, if you use something inside of the tabs on the side of the screen, you can Mdl click it to redo that same command at a later time. So, I use modify/polymesh/filter points a lot to merge points together. After I do that once, and keep working, next time I need to merge points, I only need to mdl click the "Polymesh" tab to redo it. Saves SO MUCH time. I wish all programs did that. My only complaint is that it doesn't work with the top menu bar...

I'd also second the playback speed critique. Usually, I just do a viewport camera capture.

ThirdEye
05-22-2006, 09:35 PM
"Right now XSI sounds pretty good in terms of ... well... anything."
One thing that almost all animators that i know and that are using XSI are complaining about it's the viewport PLAYBACK speed that is very poor to say at least. And if you turn on ghosting the playback speed it's near to 0. Good thing that a preview can be done quickly. Anyway, there where some rumors on an other forum saying that this problem will be addressed in the next release. I was hoping to be 5.1 but wasn't the case.

I thought XSI had the fastest OGL support there is... What was the gigapoly core about then? :curious:

AdrianLazar
05-22-2006, 09:55 PM
AFAIK the rendering will benefit the most from Gigapolygon core (http://www.softimage.com/downloadsrv/process.asp?file=/Videos/NFT50/01_Gigapolygon_Core.wmv). Also, i want to make clear that i was talking about playback animation speed and not about how the viewport responds when modeling (that's incredibly fast). So, if you animate a character and you want to see the animation real time in the viewport it will be trouble with the playback speed even with very low rez mesh. Turning on ghosting will slow down even more the playback speed.

And about the complexity of the menus i see that as an advantage.

Saturn
05-22-2006, 09:56 PM
I thought XSI had the fastest OGL support there is... What was the gigapoly core about then? :curious:

Playback speed have nothing to do with OGL. Otherwise even turning around your object will be slow. Playback and manipulation relie more on CPU. XSI still have for compatibility reasons dll compiled for P3 processors.

Search on xsibase, luc eric explain it very well.

ThE_JacO
05-23-2006, 12:00 AM
Now for my next question. It seems XSI uses PhysX for its simulation! This is a pretty new engine I think, and I have only used Havok. Are they any different? Is PhysX faster/more realistic? Does XSI support Ageia's upcoming PPU?

PhysX is hands down the best RBD system out there by a long shot, and it's well integrated in XSI.
I'm not normally prone to absolutes, but Ageia got pretty much everything right with their RBDS, from stability to speed. Haven't seen something that compares.

And it's not as new as some people think. It's been production tested in a few movies, with the peak probably being weta on Kong, that was pretty much OOTB PhysX.

MJV
05-23-2006, 01:22 AM
PhysX is hands down the best RBD system out there by a long shot, and it's well integrated in XSI.
I'm not normally prone to absolutes, but Ageia got pretty much everything right with their RBDS, from stability to speed. Haven't seen something that compares.

And it's not as new as some people think. It's been production tested in a few movies, with the peak probably being weta on Kong, that was pretty much OOTB PhysX.

I've been a little surprised to not hear people on this board raving more about PhysX. I find it insanely fast and accurate, and just about the most fun little 3D gadget ever.

ThE_JacO
05-23-2006, 01:43 AM
I've been a little surprised to not hear people on this board raving more about PhysX. I find it insanely fast and accurate, and just about the most fun little 3D gadget ever.

In my experience, people are more prone to make noise about something they're whinging or unhappy about, and I include myself in the "people" category, together with the large majority of the human race :)
PhysX only has one flaw, which is the mis-computation of hierarchies, but when you put it against all its power it's a minor flaw, and it's being addressed anyway.

visualboo
05-23-2006, 04:12 AM
PhysX only has one flaw, which is the mis-computation of hierarchies
Can you elab a bit Raff?

ThE_JacO
05-23-2006, 04:48 AM
Can you elab a bit Raff?

an example of that is if you have items in a hierarchy, logically you would also expect the solver to propagate motion as a form of initial state downward. that doesn't happen in the current version (not sure but I think ODE didn't have the issue) but it's being worked on.

Meteoro
05-23-2006, 01:20 PM
... I only need to mdl click the "Polymesh" tab to redo it. Saves SO MUCH time. I wish all programs did that. My only complaint is that it doesn't work with the top menu bar...


Well, good news for you then, it works in the top menu bar in 5.0.

raimZ
05-23-2006, 06:03 PM
WOOHOO my first post on cgtalk!!

Hey guys this is a great thread, i'm a student using lightwave in college, meaning using it at home as well. I'm still learning LW starting to get a handle on things (I'm not the fastest learner), and the only other software i use is MODO...very similar to LW's modeler, but I mush prefer the selections. Anyway i have this love/hate relationship with LW, i don't want to give it up, but would like to try and different package and have been eyeing XSI. I wanted to know that when i sit down and learn it i wouldn't be wasting my time. So far this thread has given me lots of insights and motivation to learn XSI.

Sbowling, you mentioned you came from LW. I was wondering if you (or anybody) could tell me some things that i should watch out for moving from LW to XSI. Like what are the obviously different things about the 2 packages, and what are the general advantages/disadvantages.

Great thread, great forum, and i'm no longer a lurker.:D

dwigfor
05-23-2006, 07:00 PM
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: You are correct, sir!

Sbowling
05-25-2006, 07:11 AM
Sbowling, you mentioned you came from LW. I was wondering if you (or anybody) could tell me some things that i should watch out for moving from LW to XSI. Like what are the obviously different things about the 2 packages, and what are the general advantages/disadvantages.

Great thread, great forum, and I'm no longer a lurker.:D

Forget everything you learned in LightWave! Ok, not everything, but if you try to make XSI work like lightwave you will be very disappointed. By time I moved to XSI I was so fed up with lightwave that I was more than willing to learn a new way of doing everything.

The XSI workflow completely blows away lightwave in every way, but it will take some time to get used to it. I highly recommend starting with the XSI tutorials, which are very well done. I was using lightwave for work at the time and wanted to switch to XSI ASAP, so I spent some money on the 3dtutorial.com training videos. Getting started with XSI is geared at teaching you the differences between maya and XSI, but I found it very useful for moving from Lightwave. Be sure to have a pen and note pad if you get this video, so you can mark down the names of features that interest you, so you can explore them more later. If you are really serious about learning XSI I highly recommend the 3dtutorial.com training videos. The other training videos from digital tutors and 3dquakers are also good, but I think that 3dtutorial gives the best general training.

One thing that is very different between XSI and LightWave are the names of things. I had trouble finding certain features because I was looking for the wrong name. For example, in lightwave you would FLIP a polygon, to invert the normal direction, in XSI you INVERT the polygon. Overall, I would say XSI used the more correct terminology for features, and is only confusing because newtek feels a need to make up new names for all of it's features (matanurbs instead of Subdivision surfaces).

Speaking of subdivision surfaces, there are several ways to create subdivision surfaces inn XSI. Coming from lightwave, you will probably be the most comfortable using the + and - keys on the numeric keypad to increase or decrease the SDS amount. I find this much more flexible than the on/off option in lightwave.

Speaking of options, I would highly recommend that you turn on the tab style property editors in the preferences (prefs/interaction/ in the Property Editors/views tab). By default all tabs are grouped into one view and this can make things quite confusing.


As for the obvious differences....

1) lightwave is broken up into two programs. XSI is one. This allows you to mix modeling and animating. For example, in lightwave you would need to build your muscle bulge shape in modeler, then go back to layout and test it, then go back to modeler and adjust it, go back into layout and test it again, and repeat until you get the result you want. In XSI, you rig you character, bend the arm and adjust your shape to how you like it. That's pretty much it.

2) character animaton in lightwave is an afterthought that was tacked on and updated with some buggy 3rd party plugins. XSI is designed around character animation. Many people consider it to be the holy grail of Character Animation and I don't think they are very far off.

3)Scripting in lightwave is for programmers. In XSI you can do a lot of scrpting, just by dragging and dropping. For example, if you drag and drop the intensity node from one light to another it will setup a simple expression that will link the light intensity of the second light to the first. It will also show you the expression when you do this, so that you can modify it to only use a percentage of the main lights intensity by adding something such as *.5. Very powerful, and very easy to do.

Also, almost every command you execute in the interface is shown in the script editor, so you could run a group of commands and then drag them to a custom toolbar to create a button for the command. Now all you have to do is click the button to run that sequence of commands again. You could also edit the commands to do more general things. For example, by creating an arm twist rig in XSI, then examining the script editor and making some fairly minor changes, I was able to create a script that would create the entire rig in a single click on any bone I choose. I am very impressed by the ease involved in setting this up. XSI defaults to VBscript, but you can also use Jscript if you prefer. VBscript is probably the best for non-programmers such as myself.

4)Constraints. I don't think lightwave really has anything like constraints other than using bones/ik. In XSI you can constrain an object to a path, constrain an objects rotation/direction to another object, and many other things. One example that comes to mind is a cartoon eye setup (or any eye setup for that matter) in lightwave, you would need to create a bone for the eye rotation and one for the eye stretching and use IK to get the Eyes to follow their target. In XSI you would use a lattice deformer to stretch the eye into the oval shape, and then use a direction constraint to point the eye at it's target. Where it gets really neat is that you could blend the constraint effects, so you could go from a manually targeted/animated eye and blend to a target controlled eye, and then you could even set up a constraint to blend from the initial target to a secondary target.

5) Bones in XSI are quite a bit different from lightwave. In XSI when you create a bone chain you are also setting up your IK. If you find setting up IK in lightwave confusing (like I did), then you will love this. I've found that the default IK setup is fine for what I need, but if you want you can go in and make changes. creating a character rig is basically, creating groups of two bone chains, and parenting them together. You are also not limited to using bones to deform you character. You can pretty much use any object as a bone in XSI. There is tons of information available on this subject available online Be sure to check out http://www.edharriss.com/ and http://www.xsibase.com/.

6) Deformers. This is an area where lightwave is extremely lacking. In XSI you can use prebuilt deformers, such as the lattice deformers or you could even use a polygonal object as a deformer.

Ok, since this seems to be turning into a feature comparison, I'll stop here. One of the big differences I noticed between lightwave and XSI is that in lightwave you have specific plugins or features that only do one thing but in XSI you have all the base features to create these features, so you are not locked into doing things how newtek thinks you should work. For example, lightwave has follower, XSI has constraints. You can do everything that follower does with constraints, but follower can not do everything constraints does. Actually, I seem to recall that follower never worked very well, so that was probably a bad comparison. :D

Modelling in XSI is very different from lightwave because you don't really have (or need) several tabs full of (nearly redundant) modeling tools. That said, my first experience in modelling with XSI was not that enthusiastic. I felt very lost for the first day or two before modelling started to sink in. I've now come to absolutely love modelling in XSI and don't use (or feel the need to use) any other modeling programs. Most of the modelling tools I use are either done with shortcut keys or through the context sensitive right click menu.

Another place where XSI is much different from Lightwave is scene management and property editing. Lightwave you have things like the Scene Editor (or the New Improved Scene Editor <shudder>) or the property editors, or the camera editor, or the various other editors that are scattered out through the lightwave interface to manage your scene. IN XSI the explorer is the main place for all the scene management. You can do things such as parenting, setting visibility properties, editing/arranging passes and materials and it can be set to filter out certain things. You also have the small selection button on the right pannel which allows you to quickly and easily get to the properties of the currently selected object instead of having to go through the main explorer.

Oh, almost forgot another big difference. In XSI you can have multiple property editors open so you can drag and drop properties from one light to another light or just have multiple light properties open at once when editing lighting. Of course you are not limited to light properties, you can even have multiple explorer windows open.

Finally, the interface is very customizable and you could pretty much set up xsi to work any way you want.

Loolarge
05-25-2006, 08:06 AM
Just wanted to throw this is in: I used to animate with maya for a couple years, then had to use XSI for one year at another studio. Now i got back to the old studio and i miss the XSI FCurve Editor alot. I kinda got hooked on XSI. (Got me the foundation version for my personal projects)

raimZ
05-25-2006, 08:19 AM
Sbowling, its people like you that make this community what it is and what it should be. the fullness and clarity your post can really help a semi-noob like myself. THANX! I have to check the 3dtutorials you mentioned. Ah so much to learn so little time. I was also really impressed that i could download like half a gig of tutorials directly from the softimage website! That is the way to get people into your software.

mocaw
05-25-2006, 12:44 PM
Just my 2 Cents on LW->XSI

-----

Unless you're using LW9 the rendertree is going to
throw you for a loop at first. Lucky for you doing
what LW's layer system does via nodes is, for the most
part, very easy. I'd say that's the first thing.

Next is the complexity of the render engine. LW is
fairly straight forward...and in many instances
slow...but mr can be hard for a LWer to get their head
around. I'm still getting my thick skull around it,
but what little parts I already understand I really
like. There are about 20X the "toys" to play with in
XSI.

Then there is the opp stack. Probably one of the first
things you should check out and try to understand.
It's like a history stack- but designed to be easier
to use etc. If you don't learn it ASAP you'll be
scratching your head and cursing at the screen- if you
learn it you'll feel a powerful rush of geek
endorphins rush through you- and you'll wonder why LW
never had anything like this. It's VERY powerful and
basicly, among other things, allows you to make your
own tools- things that you need to script in LW can be
done just with this stack. If you're used to LW you'll
need to learn what "freezing" is in all its forms.

There are a lot of other cool things to look out for
that you'll love though.

Nii
05-25-2006, 12:59 PM
You have probably seen people ranting about this already, but Modo 201 is out! Why is this post in this thread? Because from what I've heard its modeling workflow is similar to Lightwave, except much more intuitive.

Whats my point? Well, I've just been convinced in this thread that XSI is better than Modo 103. I'm not left scratching my head about the comparison between XSI and Modo 201's modeling capabilities.

fenixash
05-25-2006, 05:27 PM
Only a few points on XSI meditation, which are not seen for the first time observing and playing -
1. XSI is (quite) intelligent software - my day use experience over 3 years shows, that simple things can be solved simply and intuitive in XSI (one reason i left Max and Maya)
2. the control over every object is almost absolute and very well designed - in my experience XSI is really very work-lost safe software (i never had lost work due to XSI fault but my own, but very often in Max due Max)
3. It is an excellent example of the practical organised and solid coded software (other reason i left Max)
4. the interface is designed for professionals - clean, fast, intuitive and state of the art.
(reason i left Maya)
from these 4.points results all benefits and advantages mentioned here, but the most important is time - im sparing weeks now (months comparing to Max) and im not exagerating, really - and that is probably the reason Softimage has its good name and place in big studios (filmmaking mostly), and my personal feel - i really enjoy the work in XSI, because one can concentrate on work itself (and not on "how to.." finding and solving and remembering and ...).

mdee
05-25-2006, 08:04 PM
XSI doesn't get in your way while you are working in most cases. IMO other soft except Houdini does in most cases ;).

Seriosuly speaking this debate is bit pointless. Get the demo and try out for yourself.

mocaw
05-25-2006, 09:06 PM
You have probably seen people ranting about this already, but Modo 201 is out! Why is this post in this thread? Because from what I've heard its modeling workflow is similar to Lightwave, except much more intuitive.

Whats my point? Well, I've just been convinced in this thread that XSI is better than Modo 103. I'm not left scratching my head about the comparison between XSI and Modo 201's modeling capabilities.

The whole design of Modo emphises what is wrong with LW- and it makes sense since it was made by the same people. They seem to be into rendering and modeling...and animation is left as some last intergrated part. Well that is fine for turntable animations etc. and still rendering, but it just doesn't cut the mustard next to programs built from the ground up with animation in mind (like XSI). MODO for me will always be a very complex plugin. I'm not saying it isn't good at what it does, just that I'm sick of dead-end applications on essential features.

tredeger
05-25-2006, 09:25 PM
I have been a power maya user for about 6 years and migrated to XSI in Nov. This was a long and considered decision. I actually tried to migrate when xsi 4 was released but was unable to get my head around little interface differences- stuff like the right and middle mouse buttons being reversed in their version of the maya navigation or the lack of a channel box. When 5 came out, for all it's amazing features, the most important to me were the easy migration tools. I just set my interaction model to Maya and everything started to fall into place. I was in the middle of animation assignments and struggling mightily with numerous maya issues, yet universally advised that migration was such a painful process that the worst thing I could do was try to adopt a new app midstream.

Porting over to XSI was the best thing i ever did. After about 3 weeks, everything I already knew how to do in Maya I could do at least as easily in XSI and often more easily and much faster. As far as learning to do something new in either app is concerned, I certain I could master a new aspect/skill in XSI far more quickly despite many more years with Maya.

All of this is to say that I think the strongest thing going for XSI is the way it's been thought out and designed philosophically. Whenever I've struggled with something in XSI and then solved the issue I look at it and go, Ah, so that's the logic of the implementers! that makes sense and now that I get it I can do everything much faster. With Maya, when I've figured out how to do something I am often left wondering why anyone would implement that particular workflow. Logic and a coherent workflow philosophy make XSI extremely powerful once you pass a certain learning threshold. Everything starts to open up for you. Maya has always struck me as a capricious mistress.

XSI has lots of little workflow enhancements that are like powerlocks on a car. You can totally survive without them but once you have them you can't go back. Things like the operator stack of course but also little things like transform setups. Vive le differance!

Someone mentioned playback speeds. Captures are so fast, they really are a better way to go in most cases. But I have to say my experience with ghosting has been really positive. I don't use it in timeline playback so much as to visualize the rest of the timeline from a single frame. In this respect, it blows Maya away. Maya's ghosting performance is poor to the point of unusable and you have to scrub to update. XSI's is lightening fast relative to Maya, it only seems slightly sluggish relative to the blindingly fast performance of the viewport with respect to things like giant meshes. Also, once again, implementation of the tool is really nice in addition to it's technical functionality. You can manage your ghosting on a per object, per viewport, per layer basis quickly and easily which is just nice.

Another example is shaderballs. XSI only added them to accomodate people who were accustomed to building textures this way. The "native" XSI philosophy is that you can get better results faster by eschewing shaderballs and using true MR previews in the viewports. An example of how implementation of tech is used to yield a superior workflow and usability experience.

Another example is how the multiple PPG's make tons of things easier. When I first migrated I was thrilled that XSI finally implemented a channel box (they call it a keying panel). I spent most of my animation time in Maya in the channel box. Now that I have it in XSI but am used to the XSI way of working, I almost never touch it.

The first time I wanted to wire together some parameters in XSI I went hunting for a workflow equivalent to Maya's hypershade. Got really frustrated not to find an exact analog. But then someone here on the forum pointed out that I could just drag one parameter onto another parameter to get my wiring. Absolutely the simplest solution possible in the interface and something I wouldn't ever have dreamed of under the Maya mindset. Incredibly elegant. But in addition, the implementation is really world class. You can pretty much drag from anywhere to anywhere- you can find the parameter in a ppg or an explorer and it works consistently. If you need to make the connection more elaborate than just a direct connection just open it up and start editing it. (Expression management in Maya is a chore unto itself, really hard to keep track of everything) In XSI, it's always where you expect it to be.

This is also a great example of how the program communicates with you. There are subtle cues all over the place to help you understand immediately the complex state of your scene. The program changes icons all the time to reflect whether a parameter is keyed, keyed at that frame, changed but as yet unkeyed etc. It also has nice cues to tell you if that parameter is driven by another parameter and whether the relationship is direct (an EQUALS sign) or an expression, etc. These touches are all over the place and I dare say that many users don't even realize what a huge impact this can have overall. Change your main left side menu from model to render and there is a subtle color change in the background menu bars. Nice.

Honestly, I've never thought XSI was the most aethestically pleasing interface but it's incredibly well thought out despite all the rounded off buttons. Which you learn to love btw.

Oh, that's another example of XSI getting it right. I use to code up fancy Maya interfaces in MEL. The only thing more convoluted that MEL itself is the subset of MEL that comprises their UI system. It's sensible enough, considering it's unneccessary, but the whole thing becomes a nightmare if you want to put your custom UI in the main window. It's possible but you have to learn their window management system in addition to all the MEL. This is implemented across some dozen or so interconnected interdependant mel scripts buried all over the place and you have to work your way through all of them (some are quite extensive) and the only documentation are the comments in the scripts themselves. It's pretty cool when you first put your own UI elements inthe main window. It's cool in the same way that hand coding up a website is cool. Impressive but totally inefficent and unnecessary.
XSI's solution? View> Layouts >New Layout From...
Just design your window the way you want VISUALLY. Do in 10 minutes intuitively what takes weeks to months in Maya with a considerable investment in learning code. These opinions are all just based on my personal experience and particular needs vis a vis the program but I can honestly say that relative to everything else I've ever tried, XSI is just a joy.

(Max definitely has superior measurement and array tools- I remember tools in 2.5 that I wish XSI would implement today. This is entirely attributable to MAX autocad origins and the whole architectural/CAD legacy)

None of this is to say that XSI is a perfect program for every need. But I do feel very comfortable with the program as a whole and as a platform for future development. My investment in learning the ins and outs of the XSI way will be rewarded in a compounded fashion as the program grows and is further developed.


As far as modeling goes, XSI is a solid poly modeller in my experience. Modo is superior, but i think if you learn the Modo way, it is a superior modeller to absolutely everything else out there. But you can definitely get it done in XSI and without to much pain. A production example:

I can't draw and I'm a poor modeller in the computer, so for me the only way to get a character design I really like is to sculpt it in clay. The really works for me. I could take pictures and use them as references in my orthographic views but I'm a really terrible modeller and it never works out well.

I recently got access to an older scanner and got scans of my maquettes in OBJ format. They are about 10MB in size and on the order of 100-200k triangles. So the job is to bebuild the topology from the scan reference. Wanted to try Silo's draw topology tool but Silo wouldn't open the files at all. Wanted to try using all of Modo's great tools as well. Modo could open the file but viewport performance under 103 was sluggish. Imported the file into XSI and it's butter smooth.

The viewport performance for my heavy reference mesh is absolutely realtime with no issues. So I'm building a low res poly mesh using the modeling tools and planned on using shrinkwrap to get it to match the reference scan. It turns out it's just simpler to turn on snapping (which has both great options and great performance) and use the tweak tool to snap my verts to the surface of the scan as I go.

This ends up being a workflow that doesn't work in any other app I've tried both from the standpoint of interface and performance. In XSI it's a dream. Snapping to faces lets me slide my points across the surface of the scan as I please in essentially real time.

I scanned on monday and Modo 201 was released on wed. I was really excited to see if I could use it instead of XSI. I tried out the pen tool with surface snapping and "make quads" turned on and the tool is indeed a superior option to the XSI tools, really innovative. 201 will both open my heavy mesh and handle it in the viewport quickly. UNFORTUNATELY, the performance of the tool when snapping to the mesh is delayed to the point of unuability. Click, wait 5 seconds, see the result. So, for now at least, for this particular workflow, it's back to XSI, currently the only program that will let me work this way. I'm actually contemplating scripting up a Modo style pen tool in XSI for the performance. (Btw, if you're using reasonable sized meshes, the Modo version is terribly exciting, as is all of 201. I hope they can address perforrmance right away).


So in summary, XSI has some great features and they are implemented well from both a performance and an interface standpoint. The best feature is that, like Modo, everything is built around a very consistent logical philosophy.

Oh, and the XSI people are great. Helpful, passionate, innovative chaps and lasses. This is a bigger deal than people tend to realize.




Sorry such a long post. Hope some of it is helpful.

Sbowling
05-25-2006, 10:56 PM
You have probably seen people ranting about this already, but Modo 201 is out! Why is this post in this thread? Because from what I've heard its modeling workflow is similar to Lightwave, except much more intuitive.

Whats my point? Well, I've just been convinced in this thread that XSI is better than Modo 103. I'm not left scratching my head about the comparison between XSI and Modo 201's modeling capabilities.

Honestly, if you have XSI, you don't need modo for modelling. It's painting features are interesting though. I wonder if they have fixed the problems with the views and backdrop images. Last I used it, the backdrop imaged would get switched around the views would not remember what their settings were when switching from quad to full screen (it would treat the full screen view as a new view, instead of just enlarging the original view). You also have the issues of moving data back and forth, and (in the last version anyway) lots of crashes.

Edit: I forgot to mention that modo is fairly slow with openGL. OpenGL problems are also fairly common, because they seem to find it necessary to use every opengl feature in the book, which aren't always well supported by consumer cards. Hopefully 201 is better.

Sbowling
05-25-2006, 11:12 PM
Sbowling, its people like you that make this community what it is and what it should be. the fullness and clarity your post can really help a semi-noob like myself.

Thanks. I'm glad you could make sense of it, I'm not always known for my clarity. :)

vmpre
05-26-2006, 03:08 AM
Nice post Tredeger. Its always nice to see other people's insights on how someone new sees a few of the benefits

The viewport performance for my heavy reference mesh is absolutely realtime with no issues. So I'm building a low res poly mesh using the modeling tools and planned on using shrinkwrap to get it to match the reference scan. It turns out it's just simpler to turn on snapping (which has both great options and great performance) and use the tweak tool to snap my verts to the surface of the scan as I go.

This ends up being a workflow that doesn't work in any other app I've tried both from the standpoint of interface and performance. In XSI it's a dream. Snapping to faces lets me slide my points across the surface of the scan as I please in essentially real time.

Try this on for size. Its not lighting fast, but goes to show you that the construction history can be used in ways that a lot of people have not thought of.

When you apply a shrink wrap to your scanned mesh, apply the shrink wrap at the animation level in the construction history.

Then set your construction mode back to Modeling and start moving points. Because of the evaluation order of the construction history it will be constantly evaluating the point as it moves and it will keep your points always stuck to the surface.

When dealing with heavy data sets like scanned objects you can even use the poly reduction tool to "lighten" up the data making shrink wrap a lot faster when moving points that are shrink wrapped to scans. And since its non destructive, once you are done you can mute the reduction and see the results.

Oh and even using a weight map tied to the Shrink wrap. Prevents parts of the mesh from shrink wrapping or even with the fall off you can control just much mush a point tries to stick to the surface.


Anyways, workflows are interesting to me and I thought I would share.

Cheers!

wurp
05-26-2006, 10:51 AM
The gigapolygon core is simply marketing bs, there are some new tools like the mesh splitting which can help rendering heavy scenes but sofimage sais "if it will load it will render"

that statement is BS and they should be sued for saying that...

as an example if you have a grid and subdivide it so it becomes a billion polys or more it will render without any problems, but in a real world case its not true at all

I recently had a scene with 7 mil polys and had some serious trouble rendering it at all, and this was without raytracing.... it was like having a glass of water filled up to the top, add one more drop and it would flood over, I had to get rid of a lot of geometry to try and get it to render..

XSI can handle a lot of geometry, more than most packages but to say it can render anything you can load is simply not true


I thought XSI had the fastest OGL support there is... What was the gigapoly core about then? :curious:

elvis75k
05-26-2006, 11:16 AM
tredeger: what a wonderfull words over here.
Thanks to share your experiences (but i can't migrate :rolleyes: ).

-e

ThomasLC
05-26-2006, 05:59 PM
I recently had a scene with 7 mil polys and had some serious trouble rendering it at all, and this was without raytracing....


was it XSI 32 or 64 bit ?

LemonNado
05-26-2006, 06:12 PM
I have loaded and rendered that indian mega poly statue. You know the one from Stanford or so. Where the statues are standing on the elephants... Forgot the name of the file.
I made 8 copies so I had more than 20 Mio Poly's. So that worked after having 2.5GB Memory free. Once MR starts rendering all was smooth sailing... I could load more polygons then I will need for now (ever is such a harsh word...). BUT the major problem I am having is the fact that I am unable to load/create a larger amount of objects. A few hundred objects with low low poly counts and the gig's are melting... I don't know what happens to all that memory but it's often a problem for me. While knowingly comparing apples with oranges... I can load larger scenes (more objects) in Carrara 5 then in XSI. Maybe XSI attaches a ton of data to each vertex... I don't know... The amount of objects is bugging me more than the polygon count.
R

ThirdEye
05-27-2006, 09:22 AM
I have loaded and rendered that indian mega poly statue. You know the one from Stanford or so. Where the statues are standing on the elephants... Forgot the name of the file.
I made 8 copies so I had more than 20 Mio Poly's. So that worked after having 2.5GB Memory free. Once MR starts rendering all was smooth sailing... I could load more polygons then I will need for now (ever is such a harsh word...). BUT the major problem I am having is the fact that I am unable to load/create a larger amount of objects. A few hundred objects with low low poly counts and the gig's are melting... I don't know what happens to all that memory but it's often a problem for me. While knowingly comparing apples with oranges... I can load larger scenes (more objects) in Carrara 5 then in XSI. Maybe XSI attaches a ton of data to each vertex... I don't know... The amount of objects is bugging me more than the polygon count.
R

I don't know that well how XSI works, so i might be saying bs at will now, but i guess that it has to compute a much larger number of attributes than Carrara if the objects are not instances. I don't know what kind of properties you can assign per object in Carrara, but XSI has to check a load of stuff like primary rays visibility, secondary rays, ambience, kinematics for both local and global transforms, history, clusters, geometry approximation, parenting, layer properties, ghosting...

LemonNado
05-27-2006, 02:07 PM
Yup, but rendering is really not the challenge. Objects are. And yes, XSI does animate everything and thus has to keep a ton load of things in mind per object. I just ave not found infirmation which enables me to estimate if something I wish to try out will work or fail. It is usually found out after a day of experiments.... And that's not so cool... However, not any different to other packages.
Lemo

doca
05-28-2006, 12:25 AM
Hi, friends. I'm mostly Max user, but long time thinking bout moving to XSI. This thread partly confirms my decision. So, I'd like if someone can do a brief comparation between Max and XSI cos it is mostly in this thread compared to Maya and Lightwave. Thanks in advance.

ThE_JacO
05-28-2006, 08:13 AM
there's been already other threads extensively comparing it to max, and as usual half the statements are very personal opinions and don't necessarily apply to everybody.

we've let this thread go because the comparisons were quite mild and civilized and the focus was on what XSI does well, not on pitching it against another app (it's incidental that LW was so often mentioned, it just happens a lot because it's the app hemorraging the most users to other apps).

Said that, I'd like to remind everybody that they aren't usually welcome on the boards as they are too flame prone.

if you really want to know if an app is good for you you should ask what it's good at and why, try the demo, and make a call. Direct comparisons mean bugger-all to be honest.

thatoneguy
05-28-2006, 11:11 AM
As a max and XSI user I think I can in all honestly answer this. This is all however incredibly subjective.

I love low poly modelling in max.
I love mid poly modelling in XSI.
I love high poly modelling in max.

I like traditional low poly UVW mapping in XSI.
I like high poly UVW mapping in Max.

I like animating in XSI.
I like Pre-viz animating in Max.

I hate making complex materials in Max.
I hate making simple materials in XSI.

I love using "S" in XSI instead of "Alt" in Max for viewport navigation (it just makes so much more sense).

I love Max's built in batch renderer/Backburn/Vault. It makes back end management possible in a small studio without any investment in a render manger etc..

I love XSI's Sub-D + and - features for quickly previewing what my model will look like smoothed.

I love XSI's split edges tool.

I've got a really great way for you to find out why you should switch to XSI. Try it. Find an XSI class in the area, and give it a real honest try. Then you can market yourself for both!

LemonNado
05-30-2006, 03:27 PM
I started out with XSI. And in the meantime I have C4D as well as XSI. Can't live without either of them. And a few other helper apps... Having started out with XSI it is really easy to get into the groove of the other apps. XSI is deeeeeep and that's a good thing.
Rainer

mocaw
05-30-2006, 03:37 PM
I started out with XSI. And in the meantime I have C4D as well as XSI. Can't live without either of them. And a few other helper apps... Having started out with XSI it is really easy to get into the groove of the other apps. XSI is deeeeeep and that's a good thing.
Rainer

You bring up a good point. I don't even think for freelance or contract work you can expect to use only one 3D application for everything these days. It's so competitive out there with software, and so many apps have their little quirks and specialties.

elfdestruct
05-30-2006, 11:30 PM
Also, almost every command you execute in the interface is shown in the script editor, so you could run a group of commands and then drag them to a custom toolbar to create a button for the command. Now all you have to do is click the button to run that sequence of commands again. You could also edit the commands to do more general things. For example, by creating an arm twist rig in XSI, then examining the script editor and making some fairly minor changes, I was able to create a script that would create the entire rig in a single click on any bone I choose. I am very impressed by the ease involved in setting this up. XSI defaults to VBscript, but you can also use Jscript if you prefer. VBscript is probably the best for non-programmers such as myself.Just curious, is any of this sort of functionality available in FND? Or does this all fall under the label of Scripted Operators?

It's been about 6 months since I tried XSI & I keep wanting to get back in there. :D

dwigfor
05-31-2006, 12:54 AM
Yes you can do all the scripting in Fnd, just not creating ScriptedOps.


I was really hoping AfterEffects7 added a command logger like XSI with their new ScriptEditor, but was sadly disappointed.

elfdestruct
05-31-2006, 01:03 AM
Lovely, that's a considerable amount of control to have in that small package.

Thanks for the clarification. :thumbsup:

ThE_JacO
05-31-2006, 03:33 AM
Lovely, that's a considerable amount of control to have in that small package.

Thanks for the clarification. :thumbsup:

it should be noted that the only custom dev limitation is the scop interface, which means you can't open one to create and connect ports, groups and type the global and update code in dynamically, but even FND doesn't prevent you from using scops already in a scene or creating them through other means, and there's no limitation whatsoever on API access for either the scripting or the cpp APIs.

it's pretty much uncrippled for anything but the experimentation side, the only time the scop editor is convenient (but not necessary).

tryhard
06-01-2006, 09:14 AM
... thank you all for your input. thatīs a good start for a decission iīll make during summertime.

so iīll have a look at this thread from time to time ...

thanks

Klaus

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