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Sarford
07-17-2007, 08:30 AM
Hi All,

I'm a LightWave user and I've a character animation project comming up. Since LW's CA tools didn't leave me impressed I'm looking into XSI (foundation) to add for character animation. Modeling and rendering will still be done in LW.

I'm trying out the demo of XSI but have some problems. One of them is selecting hiearchies. The help file sais you can node-select an object and tree-select a hiearchy. This works but while I can transpose, rotate and scale the node-selected object, I can't do this with the tree-selected hierachy. What am I doing wrong? I tried this on the dog-model wich comes with the demo. This model has its hiearchies already set-up, yet when I tree-select a hiearchy, or a part of a hierachy, I can't do anything with it.

Also, when I buy foundation, is it comming with manuals? And are they any good (with tutorials etc) or are they the same as the help file?

Are there some books on XSI that are good to learn the programe? Especialy on rigging and animation?

Thanks for the help.

JDex
07-17-2007, 08:44 AM
If you wish to transform a hierarchy (Scale, Rotate, Translate), just simply select the object in the hierarchy that you wish to begin the translation - all of the children will automatically follow - with one conditional caveat. In the Constrain section of the MCP, there is a button labelled ChldComp... if this is activated, the children will not follow. Also, you can also branch select or tree select objects and translate them (at least in 5.11)... I'm not sure why it's not working for you.

I'm not sure that there is a printed manual with Foundation... there is however the XSIGuides that are much more extensive than a simple help file. They may have come in the trial installer that you downloaded, or may be a separate download. If you press F1, and they don't come up, see if you can download them from the page you got the trial at.

As for info/training on rigging/animation... check out 3dtutorial.com and 3dquakers.com video tutorials. Both companies have fairly priced, information packed titles on these subjects. If you poke around the forum here or at XSIbase.com, you'll see many great customer comments.

Strang
07-17-2007, 06:21 PM
yeah just transform the object your branch selecting. the hierarchy will follow..

if you ever want to convert a branch selection into an individual node selection. use mcp>select>select child nodes

Sarford
07-17-2007, 07:23 PM
Thanks for the reply guys.

I found out that the problem was that the hiearchies of the dog were somewhat incomplete. I made new ones and now things work like they should.

When I hunted for tutorial material on the net I noticed that there isn't much available for XSI 6. Is 6 so new? And when I buy stuff for 5, does it also aply for 6?

mocaw
07-17-2007, 09:43 PM
Often the changes in XSI from version to version aren't so radical that good information from 2-5.x are deemed useless. My version of FND 4.2 came with the production series of DVDs and I've found very little if any of that isn't still absolutely relevant to 5-6 and probably the future.

Even the tutorials on Ed Harris's site from 2.x are more than applicable still (at least to me).

It's not that the program doesn't get updated...its just that most of the basics work so well and are solid enough that there are very few major changes. The also don't kill off tools very often- so even if there is a new way of doing something chances are the old tools can still be found and used along side the new ones.

Middle mouse button will select everything in that branch BTW- not that you need it for what you're doing.

Have fun- there are a lot of ex and augmented LW users here to ease your transition.

Here are some good pay tutorials-

http://www.3dtutorial.com/xsi.php

Good basic ones-

http://www.digitaltutors.com/store/home.php?cat=32

Sarford
07-18-2007, 06:04 PM
Hi Wacom, haven't seen you on the LW forums for a long time!

Thanks for the reply. Do you guys know of any sites with free tutorials? It's not that I don't wanna pay for tutorials but free ones can give me a fast overview on the strongpoints and weeknesses of the program.

dwigfor
07-18-2007, 07:58 PM
Originally I was in your situation - bought XSI to animate, was still gonna use LW for Modelling.. Well, after learning the modelling tools in XSI, I quickly ditched LW for good and now do everything in XSI. It's a true joy.

mocaw
07-18-2007, 08:07 PM
Hi Wacom, haven't seen you on the LW forums for a long time!

Thanks for the reply. Do you guys know of any sites with free tutorials? It's not that I don't wanna pay for tutorials but free ones can give me a fast overview on the strongpoints and weeknesses of the program.

Well, a fast overview really isn't what sells XSI- aka it isn't the bullet point list in my mind. Really XSI's strong points over the software you're familiar with (and its few of its meeknesses) are revealed as you work on real projects.

That's not to say there aren't videos out there of people showing you how cool it is to animate things etc. in XSI that would make a LW persons head spin...just that the real meat of the program that makes me love it are at the ground/roots level day to day stuff.

OK- one of the biggest things is simply doing stuff in a procedural manner. Here are some using some newer weight map tools on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=weight+map+XSI&search=

Look in the sticky thread too on this XSI forum:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=24&t=125263

Some of those are older but still useful.

There also was a DVD that came with my version of FND 4.2 that was kind of a general overview of the "power" of XSI at the time. Some of the stuff on that was a real eye opener for a LW user! Does soft still give out such DVDs with FND?

PS- XSI is a very deep program...so it's normal for many to have their brain hurt from the constant learning of "new to me and you" things. Have fun and dive in!

PPS- OK I just noticed your a designer who might be doing print resolution type work. While material setup can sometimes be a tad slower in XSI than LW, in most ways you'll find XSI superior. The main part for me is that I'm able to render very large images in XSI with very few resources. Where the scene simply wouldn't render in LW in XSI it WILL render with the correct settings. This is important once you start doing 5k images etc. The nice render pass and partitioning system is another boon to productivity in this department.

As for the materials issue there are some free shaders that can speed things up for simple setups like the tek2shoot one(s):

http://www.tek2shoot.com/index.php

Be sure to gobble up and play with any ctrl.studios shaders you come across too...like ctrl.buffers and ctrl.occlusion!

Sarford
07-20-2007, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the links Wacom!

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