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Spacelord
09-27-2006, 10:17 AM
Hi I'm wondering what tools in XSI
would you miss if you went back to 3dsmax ?
Keep in mind most of the work I do is Architectural Visualisation.
I know a few things that I'd miss, just like to know what other
people that have used both packages would miss.

cheers

yog
09-27-2006, 10:31 AM
The number one thing I would miss would be the supra.sticky key functions, I couldn't believe how my workflow improved when I was introduced to this. Aster working with XSI and Modo, I would say the selection/tool interaction is now my main complaint with MAX, that and p*** poor viewport speed.

I'm also not a great fan of general animating (and riggin in particular) in MAX, whereas XSI is about the best I've used.

I would also miss the Render Tree, as I have found I really like being able to see all a materials attributes in one go. I've never been a fan of MAX's Material Editor, where you can just see a small part at a time.

However if you are doing Arch-Viz, then it is hard to argue against using MAX. As much as I like working in XSI, I still keep a copy of MAX for architectural work.

mocaw
09-27-2006, 05:02 PM
If you do arch viz I don't see where the big arguments are really. I guess if XSI had better units support, and some of the other tools MAX modeling tools that make arch viz easier, and you were a mr master, the choice would be harder to decide.

I would miss the work flow- plain and simple. Nodes, sticky-keys, the unform look and use of things like ppgs, the great use/design of how history works in XSI, etc. and how it's all organized would have to be at the top of the list. I'm leaving out all of the animation tools for the sake of your argument.

I use XSI though mainly for animation and print work, so my needs are fairly different than yours. I can see why you need to go back to MAX though! It seems many XSI users would rather see closer ties of renderman compliant renderers before support for Vray- and that alone implies to me of how different the users and market for XSI and Max still are. Apples and oranges at times seem more similar by comparision.

In the end this is really a units, CAD importing, and Vray issue that is hard to argue against- no?

Mumle
09-27-2006, 07:38 PM
I really like working in xsi, but at my job I work with arch-viz, and there really are nothing better than max for that.

yourteenidol
09-27-2006, 07:57 PM
This makes workign in MAX a whole lot better...

http://draster.com/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,software-flypage/product_id,18/option,com_virtuemart/?scriptspot


Just a head's up.

Laterz,

Jay

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 12:41 AM
Thanks guys,


Aster working with XSI and Modo, I would say the selection/tool interaction is now my main complaint with MAX, that and p*** poor viewport speed.

Yog@ looks like Max9 has taking care of viewport speed :)
I would definitely miss the supra sticky key, I love being able to add an edge,
pan and zoom then cut into another edge without having to leave
add edge.



I use XSI though mainly for animation and print work, so my needs are fairly different than yours. I can see why you need to go back to MAX though! It seems many XSI users would rather see closer ties of renderman compliant renderers before support for Vray- and that alone implies to me of how different the users and market for XSI and Max still are. Apples and oranges at times seem more similar by comparision.

In the end this is really a units, CAD importing, and Vray issue that is hard to argue against- no?

Mocaw yep your pretty much right.
My major problem with XSI is the cost of Mental Ray lics,
3dsmax comes with unlimited render nodes and 8 satelite nodes.
The importanting of CAD files is missing in XSI and not to forget
all the plugins, landscaping, trees and furniture..
First impression of Max9 looks killer, the physical sky, arch shader,
the bevel shader, rendering large images in strips across
the network, etc...

And like you say,
XSI doesn't seem interested in the ARch Vis market
or they don't have the resources.



This makes workign in MAX a whole lot better...

http://draster.com/component/page,s...art/?scriptspot (http://draster.com/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,software-flypage/product_id,18/option,com_virtuemart/?scriptspot)


Just a head's up.

Laterz,

Jay



Thanks Jay,
I don't know how that would help me since I'm coming from XSI ?

3dtutorial
09-28-2006, 12:55 AM
Thanks guys,

And like you say,
XSI doesn't seem interested in the ARch Vis market
or they don't have the resources.





At SIGGRAPH this year Softimage made it pretty clear that they were staying focused on XSI being a "Character Creation" Application rather than a CAD/Archvis app - they said this directly. I think it would be fair to say that softimage understands what the strengths of their product is, and clearly that really does remain a character animation tool. Let's face it, MAX has a long history and relationship to/with autocad and that's not going to change, they own that market. I think that softimage knows that for them it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel and try to be all things to all people. Now, that is not to say that down the road we will not see more tools that are useful for archvis purposes, however, my understanding is that this is cearly not where the focus of XSI is. So while it perfectly possible to do good archvis work in XSI it may or may not be the way to go - based on what your needs and expectations are.

Cheers,

/joe

JDex
09-28-2006, 12:56 AM
I still find the bit about Max's Afterburn loophole for Mental Ray seriously questionable... I can't believe that Mental Images is letting them get away with that and letting the users of the apps that really support MR the shaft. I sincerely hope that MR comes down on autodesk (sorry max users) or evens things up by giving users of MR-->nApp pipelines the same deal.

3dtutorial
09-28-2006, 12:59 AM
I still find the bit about Max's Afterburn loophole for Mental Ray seriously questionable... I can't believe that Mental Images is letting them get away with that and letting the users of the apps that really support MR the shaft. I sincerely hope that MR comes down on autodesk (sorry max users) or evens things up by giving users of MR-->nApp pipelines the same deal.

Really?

I think it makes perfect sense. MR knows who butters their bread and these days it's autodesk, can you imagine the revenue that deal generates?

So, it makes sense that they would give cool deals to the people who earn them the most.

At least I should think so.

Cheers mate,

joe

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 01:18 AM
JDex
I know what afterburner is but what loop hole ?
Does Mental Ray work with Afterburner ?

Joe:
I do agree XSI is capable of doing Arch Vis, I've been using it for 3 years
and its coped, but I find myself spending to much time doing
things I know could be done quicker with the right app and cheaper
and faster in the long run.

I will miss XSI's workflow :)

Thank you guys for helping me with my decision.

JDex
09-28-2006, 01:29 AM
Really?

I think it makes perfect sense. MR knows who butters their bread and these days it's autodesk, can you imagine the revenue that deal generates?

So, it makes sense that they would give cool deals to the people who earn them the most.

At least I should think so.

Cheers mate,

joe

Well... I see the point. But if this is really the motivation, then Maya would now have it too IMHO. This release of Maya would be a "monster" if it had unlimited MR to boot. Not doing this makes it appear to me that it's a loop hole, and MR is choosing to just look the other way rather than address it. Frankly it pisses me off, and makes me a bit wary about investing in such a company (both from an investor standpoint, and a using/paying for their app).

With the current RM option in XSIman, and the possibly upcoming Pixar Renderman for XSI scenario... it certainly makes me look that way purely from a doing business with good people standpoint.

I'm now doing an assesment of a high-dollar pipeline in the near, mid and long-term, and looking at this kind of disparity in offerings between MR and the apps they support... it seriously makes me consider what options to act on in the near future.

JDex
09-28-2006, 01:34 AM
JDex
I know what afterburner is but what loop hole ?
Does Mental Ray work with Afterburner ?

Well that's how it's been explained (and briefly shown) to me. You do not have unlimited licenses with MAX... what you have is an app called Afterburn that let's you render on many computers using MR. If that is not explicitly the case, well then I'll need to look at it further... but that's a loophole if that's the way it is.

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 01:38 AM
Well that's how it's been explained (and briefly shown) to me. You do not have unlimited licenses with MAX... what you have is an app called Afterburn that let's you render on many computers using MR. If that is not explicitly the case, well then I'll need to look at it further... but that's a loophole if that's the way it is.

Aaah your confusing me, Afterburner is a smoke/volume/exposions plugin,
where I think your talking about Backburner ( 3dsmaxs Render manager ).
Which allows for unlimited MR rendering.
Now I'm following :)

3dtutorial
09-28-2006, 01:39 AM
Well, I do take your point but I don't agree.

Loophole -- I think not. These are very smart people and I find it very hard to believe that this is something that would just "slip" under the radar. No, I have to believe that this has been done for a good reason.

And who knows what the situation with maya is and what the will or will not do in the future. I seem to remember the gasps from people when MR started doing business with Alias -- how dare they people said, now look, everyone and his brother has MR.

From my point of view I think the backburner situation is fantastic. Why, because I own a max license as well and honestly it's one of the very reasons that I still hang on and pay my max support year after year. Simply because with max I've got a tonne more rendering options then I do currently with Softimage.

Again, I understand what you are saying about loyalty and I respect that....but, this is business after all.

Cheers mate,

/joe

JDex
09-28-2006, 01:43 AM
Aaah your confusing me, Afterburner is a smoke/volume/exposions plugin,
where I think your talking about Backburner ( 3dsmaxs Render manager ).
Which allows for unlimited MR rendering.
Now I'm following :)

Sorry Backburner.... frikken long week.

3dtutorial
09-28-2006, 01:43 AM
BTW....

My opinion is that the sooner that softimage implements other rendering options the better. My feeling is that at this point being so closely tied to mental ray is no longer a good thing for the company.

So bring on renderman... or whatever.

I'm up for it.

/joe

JDex
09-28-2006, 01:50 AM
Hey Joe...

I agree with you to a point... and of course business is business. Frankly though, turn-about is fair play, and this isn't some app-hate flame-bait whining about them working with another "competetor of my favorite app" situation... this is MR completely undermining their entire licensing structure which they have been in no insignificant way maintaining for several years. By giving one player a massive, almost nuclear licensing scheme (or if you prefer, nucular :D) as opposed to just a seriously good deal, like oh - say 5 times as many licenses.

For a business with a per seat based sales model to flat out say, you buy one seat of this app and you can use it on as many computers as you can put it on... and to restrain all it's other customers to $500+ per processor is bollocks plain and simple... and while they may be a smart bunch, even the smartest people have oversights and mistakes... the verocity of this "situation" tells me that some one mucked up really good.

yourteenidol
09-28-2006, 01:58 AM
Yeah, I hear you and I agree it's not fair.

But you know the old saying about that..... life ain't fair....he..he.. ;-)

Still, all of this is really speculation as I have no inside knowledge about this so I'm just talking out of my blowhole.

Still, whatever the reasons are I go back to what I said.... I hope that softimage will make it possible to have as many other rendering options as possible, I feel the more flexible they are in this area the better. Don't get me wrong I've got no axe to grind with MR or anyone else, I just do like the fact that with max I have lot's of possible options in terms of rendering and that's one of the reasons I still use max. So at least where I'm concerned if softimage wants to break my relationship with autodesk a good way to do it is to make it less attractive for me to want to use their application for whatever reason.

That's really my main point.

Cheers mate,

joe

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 02:06 AM
I think they did the unlimited MR lics to stop people going the VRAY route.
Well the 3rd party route, theres so many renderers to choose from for Max.

Its so much cheaper to go the Max route than XSI, having
to buy around 10 lics of MR is going to cost and arm and a leg.
Then having to upgrade that each year.
What pissing me off is XSI was giving away 10 mental RAy lics
but only to American and Canada, so I missed out.
They could of have me buying upgrades every year, oh well the missed out.

JDex
09-28-2006, 02:36 AM
Options will be a good thing... one thing I've been contemplating is seeing if I can get a programmer to look into dev'ing a Max plugin to read a .mi file and pass it to MR through MAX direct... if it's possible (and the logistics of addon shaders) isn't too great, just buy a seat of Max and put the new MR "favorites" licensing scheme to work. Doubtful that it would be successful, but theoretically possible (if not realistic). Worth investigating IMHO.

Looking forward to MR fixing this, or SI getting some quality connections to other options.

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 02:49 AM
Options will be a good thing... one thing I've been contemplating is seeing if I can get a programmer to look into dev'ing a Max plugin to read a .mi file and pass it to MR through MAX direct... if it's possible (and the logistics of addon shaders) isn't too great, just buy a seat of Max and put the new MR "favorites" licensing scheme to work. Doubtful that it would be successful, but theoretically possible (if not realistic). Worth investigating IMHO.

Looking forward to MR fixing this, or SI getting some quality connections to other options.

I like the idea, I was thinking something along the same lines,
but I think it would be illegal :) I was thinking if you could
use Foundation licenses, I know it doens't read MI files
but sure there could be some hack that would be able
to use Mental Ray.


I thought with the latest version of Maya they would of given extra
Mental Ray lics, but they didn't, considering Autodesk now own them,
strange, maybe in the future.

JDex
09-28-2006, 02:51 AM
I like the idea, I was thinking something along the same lines,
but I think it would be illegal :) I was thinking if you could
use Foundation licenses, I know it doens't read MI files
but sure there could be some hack that would be able
to use Mental Ray.


I thought with the latest version of Maya they would of given extra
Mental Ray lics, but they didn't, considering Autodesk now own them,
strange, maybe in the future.

Was looking over the Max/MR EULA the other day (on this very issue) and couldn't peg a clause that would cover me creating a import plugin... as I see it right now, it's no different than me having a .xsi importer developed for Max.

JDex
09-28-2006, 03:03 AM
I think they did the unlimited MR lics to stop people going the VRAY route.
Well the 3rd party route, theres so many renderers to choose from for Max.

Its so much cheaper to go the Max route than XSI, having
to buy around 10 lics of MR is going to cost and arm and a leg.
Then having to upgrade that each year.
What pissing me off is XSI was giving away 10 mental RAy lics
but only to American and Canada, so I missed out.
They could of have me buying upgrades every year, oh well the missed out.

Really?... Other than gaining non-paying users, how can this benefit Mental Images...

If I was going to buy, say one seat of XSI Essentials and MI was going to get the residual from the included MR licenses... and then I was going to buy 20 licenses of Batch with MI getting the residuals... but now I choose to buy Max only. I'll put that savings towards more rendernodes and crap, why not throw in a license of VRay... you know, so I can use whatever works best for the situation on my big ass renderfarm.

Edit: To clarify my point of view though... this is not meant to be a piss-fest about MI... I actually love the product, and have invested alot of education time into learning it, and occasionally advocating it. Just trying to come up with a reasonable/logical conclusion on how this new Max only licensing scheme is good for anyone but Autodesk. Near, Mid and Long-term it appears from my point of view to be a horrendous mistake.

mocaw
09-28-2006, 03:19 AM
Not to have this thread continue down that dark path of no return but...

So if the backburner deal is so good, why aren't more studios using MAX? I think it's because there is a lot more to a 3D program than just unlimted render nodes (I've used another program that has that too BTW). I'm not saying it's not a big deal (we're supporting THEIR use of mr) just that there is more to an app than that.

Heck, I'd even say there is more to it than having several render options- many studios seem to use either LW, mr, or renderman for broadcast or film rendering along side using either houdini, xsi, propritary tools, or Maya for the bulk of their base. Yes there are exceptions...but these names (mainly renderman compliant renderers) seem to come up more often than not.

Optimization, the ability to customize, and connectability with other applications seem to be a larger part of the issue for these areas than say something Vray support.

I still don't see the renderman crowd flocking to MAX for all their needs...but maybe it's just a mater of time?

But we're talking arch viz here right? That's kind of a differnet beast...

Spacelord
09-28-2006, 03:24 AM
Really?... Other than gaining non-paying users, how can this benefit Mental Images...

If I was going to buy, say one seat of XSI Essentials and MI was going to get the residual from the included MR licenses... and then I was going to buy 20 licenses of Batch with MI getting the residuals... but now I choose to buy Max only. I'll put that savings towards more rendernodes and crap, why not throw in a license of VRay... you know, so I can use whatever works best for the situation on my big ass renderfarm.

Mental Images still gets the chance to sell the standalone for Max too.
So its fine the way it is for most users but for the pro users they might need the Standalone.


Edit: To clarify my point of view though... this is not meant to be a piss-fest about MI... I actually love the product, and have invested alot of education time into learning it, and occasionally advocating it. Just trying to come up with a reasonable/logical conclusion on how this new Max only licensing scheme is good for anyone but Autodesk. Near, Mid and Long-term it appears from my point of view to be a horrendous mistake.



Yep I agree JDex, I like using Mental Ray, since I've finaly got my head around it
in XSI, I'm pretty happy with it.

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