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Kid-Mesh
09-29-2006, 09:22 PM
Currently considering purchasing XSI Foundation for character animation. I've searched the forums but couldnt find any definitive answers for what I'm looking for.

Basically, what I would like to know is how fast could one expect to get up to speed with animating in XSI especially if your already familar with working in other apps. My background is mainly Lightwave and Messiah:AM.

Right now I'm really comfortable doing organic modeling in Lightwave but would love to see if the ease of doing organic's translates well into XSI too.

Bonus Question: Can you access toon shading materials in foundation?


Thanks,

tuna
09-29-2006, 09:47 PM
I guess it depends on how fast you are at learning :shrug:. Foundation has all the toonshading stuff, yeah.

Tak Tak
09-29-2006, 09:51 PM
If you know basics how to animate there is no problem with XSI. Nothing at all. Animating with XSI is easy, fun and also fast! I know nothing about LW and Messiah, but if I compare to max, XSI is much better... for me of course.

And yes, you get toons with foundation.

toonafish
09-29-2006, 09:54 PM
Why don't you download the 30 day trail and give it a shot.

Kid-Mesh
09-29-2006, 09:59 PM
Hmmm....well I guess it was kinda an open ended question. More or less from what I've heard about XSI is that the learning curve is very steep. Messiah has some very advance and powerful tools built in. I wont go into them because it would be irrelevant if I couldnt say that x in Messiah is sort of like x in XSI.

I guess what I'm looking for is how fast can one get up to speed building custom rigs that have advanced features, facial setups etc. One would assume that if you have experience with IK, bones etc already then that of course is no brainer.

Then there is the transistion from coming from LW/Messiah to XSI. Again like I said, from what I've heard it's a steep learning curve. :shrug:

But I do appreciate the replies though...:thumbsup:

Kid-Mesh
09-29-2006, 10:01 PM
Why don't you download the 30 day trail and give it a shot.

I plan on it....I just dont have the time this week to work on anything due to personal reasons. That's why I'm throwing questions at the fourms as a secondary option for getting another perspective on things. :)

mocaw
09-29-2006, 10:19 PM
Well Messiah is nice, but there is just no comparison between LW and XSI for animation. Even the default rigs in XSI are better than most things I've seen in LW- and very flexably in comparision as well. The best part is that XSI is so DEEP when it comes to this part...you'll just keep faling in love with over and over again as you dig further and further in.

I love XSI, but you might want to check out Houdini as well- it has some amazing rigging options as well from what I've heard and you can also try it for free.

I'm not a TD though...but I'm an ex-LW user who was sick and tired of dealing with LW's hacks to get basic things working (like constraints etc.). XSI really liberated me on the animation front!

spj
09-29-2006, 10:54 PM
I used LW at work for about four years, and I did a lot of character rigging with it. It took me about 2-3 weeks to go through the bundle of four ACR modules from 3dtutorial. After that time I was able to create a rig that was far more powerful and flexible than anything I could have done in LW. The learning curve wasn't bad but if you want to get up to speed fast you need to get some sort of training.
XSI is deeper that LW but if you compare the steps required to do something in XSI to having to hack through LW, XSI ends up being heaps easier for rigging.
Sam

Kid-Mesh
09-29-2006, 11:04 PM
mocaw - Thanks for the reply

spj - This was the type of reply I was looking for. I was hoping that I wasnt going to have to start completely over.

Until I can really spend some quality time with it I'll start looking over tutorials and other materials as well. Thanks again.

Sbowling
09-30-2006, 01:32 AM
Rigging and animating in XSI kicks the crap out of both Lightwave (but what doesn't) and Messiah.

Key things:

No real need to deal with IK. Basically, it's automatically set up when you draw out your bones.
The interface doesn't suck like it does with lighwave and messiah.
Not only is the interface is very customizable, but it's very easy to do it.
It's stable and actively being developed.
It's very flexible and doesn't rely on canned solutions that are really only good for one thing.
It has an integrated modeling system (This is very important even for animation).
XSI supports several well documented scripting languages from VBscript (for those of us who aren't programmers) to Jscript and python for the ore advanced. The scripting really blew me away and has made a huge difference in the way I work.

The most important things when working with XSI are:

Don't try to make it work like Messiah or Lightwave. that would be like trying to make a Ferrari work like an old VB bus.

Buy the "getting started with XSI" video set from 3dtutorial.com to shave a lot of time off of the learning curve. XSI is very different internally from both Messiah and lightwave and understanding how it works really helps.

Buy the ACR (advanced characer animation) set from 3dtutorial.com or if you cant afford the complete bundle at least get the second one (but I highly recommend the complete set).

Once you have a decent understanding of how the rigging system works in XSI I would recommend getting the "rigging pro" training series from 3dquakers.com for some really great ideas that you will probably want to integrate into your own rigs.

T4D
09-30-2006, 01:58 AM
if your learning XSI as you do a project
2 week tops would have you running as fast a LW

in those 2 weeks you fall in love with XSI :D
But afew months after that you'll really find the reason you switched :bounce:

Kid-Mesh
09-30-2006, 02:13 AM
Interesting...I really need to give the 30 day demo a solid looking over. What sucks is that that a CG artist is about the equivalent of being a coke head :sad:. Once you start your hooked and it's an expensive recreation to keep up with.

grafikdon
09-30-2006, 02:14 AM
Currently considering purchasing XSI Foundation for character animation. I've searched the forums but couldnt find any definitive answers for what I'm looking for.

Basically, what I would like to know is how fast could one expect to get up to speed with animating in XSI especially if your already familar with working in other apps. My background is mainly Lightwave and Messiah:AM.

Right now I'm really comfortable doing organic modeling in Lightwave but would love to see if the ease of doing organic's translates well into XSI too.

Bonus Question: Can you access toon shading materials in foundation?


Thanks,

Finally!

Hehehehe...

You've read it all! XSI rocks and this is not a fan boy rant. I must say the interface is similar to lightwave (text and all) and the transition won't be as tough as you imagine. took me about three weeks to get the hang of it and ever since then, I never used lightwave for character animation. The toon shader is available in Foundation and it kicks Lw toonshader including unreal and everything else. trust me, I tried this and wished I hadn't ignored XSI when I had the chance to use it.

I only animate and sometimes render in XSI. I heard that XSI modeling tools are unique but heck, you mayt not need to worry about that. I still model with lightwave and modo and import to XSI with all the morph targets intact and then rig, animate and sometimes texture and render in XSI.

There's so much to tell about XSI but that will take a whole book. You know what they say...once you go XSI, there's no going back...especially when it can handle dense mesh that will make EVERY OTHER FRIGGIN' APP (Including but not limited to the good ol LW) CHOKE TO DEATH WETHER YOU HAVE NVIDIA QUATRO ONE BILLION INSTALLED... and if you suddenly upgrade to Essential...oh boy!

nuff said.

You gotta try it man and if you don't like it...I will eat Honey Bunch of Oots soaked in a bowl of Mountain Dew everyday for three weeks...

Oh...did I forget to mention the toonshader gives you better line definition and control...I was just messing with that and got a lot of incredible results using only the infite light...sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Kid-Mesh
09-30-2006, 02:38 AM
LOL what an endorsement bro especially coming from you :)

Yeah, I just finishing talking to the wife seeing if I can get out of this commitment I made and it looks like I'm going to have some free time. So I'm in the process right now of getting the demo.

Oh and you know I'm going to be bugging the heck out of you now too :twisted:

One of my biggest concerns next to the animation tools that had me worried was organic modeling. Right now I'm just so fast in LW but since it supports catmul clark then I should be ok importing then. Modeling in LW for now shouldnt be so bad while attempting to learn/do everything else in XSI.

Heck who knows over time maybe I'll be just as good in XSI modeling as I am with LW.

Thanks for replying.

grafikdon
09-30-2006, 02:53 AM
LOL what an endorsement bro especially coming from you :)

Yeah, I just finishing talking to the wife seeing if I can get out of this commitment I made and it looks like I'm going to have some free time. So I'm in the process right now of getting the demo.

Oh and you know I'm going to be bugging the heck out of you now too :twisted:

One of my biggest concerns next to the animation tools that had me worried was organic modeling. Right now I'm just so fast in LW but since it supports catmul clark then I should be ok importing then. Modeling in LW for now shouldnt be so bad while attempting to learn/do everything else in XSI.

Heck who knows over time maybe I'll be just as good in XSI modeling as I am with LW.

Thanks for replying.

Yup... you can't possibly regret the move. Besides you won't encounter much learning curve anyway heck you can continue modeling in lightwave while you learn to do everything in XSI. I am a bit lazy and unmotivated to learn modeling in a new app so I refused to model anything in XSI...I import everything from Lihghtwave and Modo (Waiting for the day I will ditch Lightwave completely). maybe when I have enough courage i will try doing everything in XSI but you know what they say...if it ain't broke...don't fix it. I have absolutely no problem with my current work flow so I will be sticking with that for a very loooooong time.

Still waiting for "Ice" if ya catch my drift...

mocaw
09-30-2006, 02:55 AM
Heck who knows over time maybe I'll be just as good in XSI modeling as I am with LW.


That's what many of us have found...

ColinCohen
09-30-2006, 03:09 AM
I only animate and sometimes render in XSI. I heard that XSI modeling tools are unique but heck, you mayt not need to worry about that. I still model with lightwave and modo and import to XSI with all the morph targets intact and then rig, animate and sometimes texture and render in XSI.


I'm curious about your workflow. My understanding is that XSI embeds objects in the scene file. So, after you've imported and then gone back to LW for further modeling, do you re-import the object back into the scene? Wouldn't the morph and surfacing animation be overwritten?

T4D
09-30-2006, 04:51 AM
ColinCohen you can reference items in XSI Ess & ADV
in these versions, you can work the same a LW and Much MUCH More

in XSI you can reference Rigs with animation data and connect as many XSI scene together as you brain can handle.




There's so much to tell about XSI but that will take a whole book. You know what they say...once you go XSI, there's no going back...especially when it can handle dense mesh that will make EVERY OTHER FRIGGIN' APP (Including but not limited to the good ol LW) CHOKE TO DEATH WETHER YOU HAVE NVIDIA QUATRO ONE BILLION INSTALLED... and if you suddenly upgrade to Essential...oh boy!



Man I have to add my story here afew months back I done afew toons in Modo
Needed to do a robot, Thinking this may be right up XSI alley so had a go a doing him in XSI

WOW after afew hours i lost all fear of XSI and was modeling like a demon
Still Modo is better for organic for me, But hard surfaces XSI ROCKS !!
BUT i wanted the Edge slice and mesh paint in Modo so saved it out load it up in Modo

well let's say i had simply NO speed at all !!
it took 10 second to show the selection !!
loaded it up in LW ( in some case LW is alittle faster them Modo )
and same thing SLOOOOWWWWW..
( Yes i could have split it up into Different layer to get speed up But seeing i don;t have to in XSI why should i anywhere else ? )

SO I jumped straight back into XSI ( this is where i noticed that it had over 60 000 polygons ) and well never moved the robot again, & modeled, rigged and animated the robot in XSI without a speed issue at all :D

I imagen Maya would the same.. I guess.

Mechis
09-30-2006, 05:50 AM
Check out the rigging tute at 3dquakers.com. I got them and really really like them.

~Mechis

Sbowling
09-30-2006, 07:51 AM
One of my biggest concerns next to the animation tools that had me worried was organic modeling. Right now I'm just so fast in LW but since it supports catmul clark then I should be ok importing then. Modeling in LW for now shouldnt be so bad while attempting to learn/do everything else in XSI.

IMO, XSI's organic modeling tools kick the crap out of lightwave's modeling tools, but they can be intimidating to start out with because they work very differently from what you have in lightwave. In fact, I even prefer to model in XSI over Modo, which is supposed to be "the worlds best modeler". :rolleyes: The modeling history in XSI is extremely usefull and can be used to easily do things that would be a royal PITA in Lightwave.

The one shortcoming XSI currently has is that there is no real unit system. 1 grid unit = 10 cm and that's that. you don't have to stick to that rule, but it's what the dynamics and physics, etc. are set up for. I've posted a script in the script thread that can be used to toggle the grid size to be 1 foot or 1 inch and it can easily be customized to make the grid 1 meter if you want, but 1 XSI unit will still be 10 cm. For me the scale thing has never been an issue, the grid size script I wrote was more of a scripting test which turne dout to be much easier than I thought is would be. BTW, scripting in XSI rocks!

grafikdon
09-30-2006, 10:25 AM
I'm curious about your workflow. My understanding is that XSI embeds objects in the scene file. So, after you've imported and then gone back to LW for further modeling, do you re-import the object back into the scene? Wouldn't the morph and surfacing animation be overwritten?

Oh that's the tricky part. Basically I make sure my model is 'good to go' with everything intact before importing to XSI, that way I won't have to worry about the back and forth issue. However (as it often happens) if by any chance there is a problem after enveloping and rigging, I simply save the envelope preset, fix the original model in Modo, re import, apply the envelope and slap the envelope preset and then delete the old model. Works like a charm for me. I know it sounds like too much hassle but it helps me focus on XSI animation and doesn't really slow the workflow.

grafikdon
09-30-2006, 10:34 AM
ColinCohen you can reference items in XSI Ess & ADV
in these versions, you can work the same a LW and Much MUCH More

in XSI you can reference Rigs with animation data and connect as many XSI scene together as you brain can handle.






Man I have to add my story here afew months back I done afew toons in Modo
Needed to do a robot, Thinking this may be right up XSI alley so had a go a doing him in XSI

WOW after afew hours i lost all fear of XSI and was modeling like a demon
Still Modo is better for organic for me, But hard surfaces XSI ROCKS !!
BUT i wanted the Edge slice and mesh paint in Modo so saved it out load it up in Modo

well let's say i had simply NO speed at all !!
it took 10 second to show the selection !!
loaded it up in LW ( in some case LW is alittle faster them Modo )
and same thing SLOOOOWWWWW..
( Yes i could have split it up into Different layer to get speed up But seeing i don;t have to in XSI why should i anywhere else ? )

SO I jumped straight back into XSI ( this is where i noticed that it had over 60 000 polygons ) and well never moved the robot again, & modeled, rigged and animated the robot in XSI without a speed issue at all :D

I imagen Maya would the same.. I guess.


I am not sure there's is any app out there that could handle the polys like XSI....not really sure. I am gonna have to hear it from those who have used the app to believe...and so far nobody's ever come forward to 'testify'.

The only downside to XSI is that it sticks the 's' button in my brain...imagine opening Modo and holding down the 's' key while hitting the three buttons of the mouse...man, I do this all the time includoing in After Effects and Lightwave...I even got carried away inside photoshop and actually cursed when the 's' button didn't work before I realised I was in friggin' Photoshop...

mocaw
09-30-2006, 05:49 PM
I am not sure there's is any app out there that could handle the polys like XSI....not really sure. I am gonna have to hear it from those who have used the app to believe...and so far nobody's ever come forward to 'testify'.

The only downside to XSI is that it sticks the 's' button in my brain...imagine opening Modo and holding down the 's' key while hitting the three buttons of the mouse...man, I do this all the time includoing in After Effects and Lightwave...I even got carried away inside photoshop and actually cursed when the 's' button didn't work before I realised I was in friggin' Photoshop...

So far it seems that only some new MAX users have a hatred for the "s" key and three button orientation. I find that it, in conjunction with the new tweak tool ("m") has me manipulating my models much faster than in LW. I know that LW as similar keys too...but they just don't work as well. In XSI I find myself doing 90% of my modeling in the user window which really helps you see the flow of your model better.

And the N-Gon support, edge support, etc. in LW is no where near as well done as it is, and has been for some time, in XSI. No contest there. You'll find your old anti-Ngon rules of LW flying out the door once you get used to good CC- and that too speeds up the modeling process.

XSI does have its issues- but many of them are being addressed, still if the over all work flow suits you, you'll find it hard to go back to using other applications very quickly.

Gwot
09-30-2006, 08:26 PM
I just set the navigation preference to 'alt' key in preferences. 'S' is just odd no matter what package you come from previously. Thankfully Softimage added this as an option in version 5. I'd been using XSI since 3.5 and never did like the default.

T4D
10-01-2006, 05:21 AM
XSI does have its issues- but many of them are being addressed, still if the over all work flow suits you, you'll find it hard to go back to using other applications very quickly.

very true XSI Has bugs, it crashes , sometimes your ???? at what is happening
( just likeall software really )

but there's no bad design, it gives you a strong feeling that alot of people worked on the Whole frame work and design of the work flow ( no Zbrush logic, it's all Standard & logicly in Avid land)

I hate bugs or any software screw ups as i work
but compaired to what's out there thatI have used,XSI is a very nice place to be :thumbsup:

Sbowling
10-01-2006, 12:09 PM
maybe when I have enough courage i will try doing everything in XSI but you know what they say...if it ain't broke...don't fix it. I have absolutely no problem with my current work flow so I will be sticking with that for a very loooooong time.


You are really missing out if you're still modeling in lightwave. (organic) Modeling in XSI is a beautiful thing. Take some time to get familiar with the modeling tools in XSI, they will also come in handy when animating.

Sbowling
10-01-2006, 12:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid-Mesh

Heck who knows over time maybe I'll be just as good in XSI modeling as I am with LW.


That's what many of us have found...

Or even better. In my case much, much better. Lightwave's modeler is EXTREMELY out dated and very klunky.

Sbowling
10-01-2006, 12:18 PM
I just set the navigation preference to 'alt' key in preferences. 'S' is just odd no matter what package you come from previously. Thankfully Softimage added this as an option in version 5. I'd been using XSI since 3.5 and never did like the default.

The S key is the only way to go. (Edited to prevent Forum fires.) :D

Edit: Oops, I was quoted. Oh, well. :shrug:

ThE_JacO
10-01-2006, 06:48 PM
The S key is the only way to go. The ALT key is for crappy, outdated programs with bad interfaces like lightwave. :D

ok, it's an XSI forum, and there's a fair few threads mostly populated by "converts" who've seen the light and all that, which means this isn't an unpopular opinion; BUT...
regardless, please leave the software bashing out of this forum (and this goes for a fair few people).
It's fantastic that people are so enthusiastic about XSI and all that, and it surely makes my life a lot easier then that of mods who deal with a userbase that's disgruntled toward the software vendor, but it's still rather counter-productive, and even when meant for fun, slightly immature.

remember, only you can prevent forum fires.

thanks

AnonyMouse
10-01-2006, 07:03 PM
Just to mention that I have 3 keyboard layouts installed (and can't remove none of them because I am using them nonstop) and no matter what I do working with software that using Alt is a real disaster for me - for example in 3ds max this with combinations with shift and control buttons is causing changing the keyboard and I am receiveng unexpected results - in Photoshop pressing some keys makes the program closing immediately :eek: with no save; in max I have to change the layout almost each 5 seconds. This is a very, very big misery :argh: :cry: but there is no other way.
But in XSI :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: I have no such problems :thumbsup:
XSI is using Alt too but there is not such probability with combinations with shift and control in almost each seconds.

toonafish
10-02-2006, 08:04 AM
for example in 3ds max this with combinations with shift and control buttons is causing changing the keyboard and I am receiveng unexpected results .


You can change or disable the keyboard change hotkeys in Windows somewhere.

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