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Carm3D
03-31-2008, 05:25 PM
I just bought Foundation. And I haven't a clue how to use this.. Weeee!

If I like this I'll upgrade to Essentials. I'm a long-time Lightwave user. Hoping the rigging tools are greener on this side of the fence.

Werner
03-31-2008, 05:45 PM
Hey buddy! Good to see you here.

Man! - you are going to love XSI. Believe me, the grass is much greener over in XSI land.

check out http://community.softimage.com/ for lots of free training tips. That will get you up to speed in no time.

nemac4
03-31-2008, 06:15 PM
Hey Carm3d, I'm a new Ess user after buying Foundation a while back. It took me a while to decide to learn it but it's going well for me so far. the softimage community web site is a good place to start. Lots of video tutorials there. Also check out xsibase. It is xsi's flay. :)

Sil3
03-31-2008, 06:19 PM
Finally you have made up your mind hehehe :bounce: :bounce: :applause: :applause:


You have me on msn so bug me at will, worst thing it can happen is me not knowing or be too busy to reply :D

Go grab this one so you can feel a bit more at ease on the rendertree:

http://kim-aldis.co.uk/drupal-6.1/node/36

pooby
03-31-2008, 07:37 PM
I was wondering when you'd give in and step into the light. A very wise move indeed.

Any questions, feel free to ask, theres plenty of us ex-LW XSI users in here and XSI base.

Best thing to do first is just get to spend time getting to grips with selection and navigation.

3DDave
03-31-2008, 07:55 PM
Rigging is really fun in XSI.

Try 3Dtutorial.com and 3Dquakers.com for excellent learning material.

mocaw
03-31-2008, 09:12 PM
Just remember to treat XSI like a different animal and you'll do all right (esp. with modeling). I took to it fairly quickly in terms of the UI etc., but there is a lot of meat on them there XSI bones, even in FND.

We're all here and will be quick to help out, and while the old XSI/soft users might seem a little harsh in a RTFM kind of way, you'll find they are also an endless well of deeper knowledge and are more than willing to share it in the end.

A lot of those free softimage tutorials are from v.4, but don't let that dissuade you from looking at them as a lot of XSI's base features have been in there since 1.5 and seem to be going strong today (even if they get updated).

Be sure to check out Poopy's face rigging technique too once you get comfortable! It's a great demonstration of how powerful XSI for making your own "tools" even if you don't script (If you do...well then it's even more powerful!).

Carm3D
04-01-2008, 01:32 AM
Thanks everybody! :) :)

Sarford
04-01-2008, 01:46 AM
Welcome Charm3D, it feel just like home here with all those old LWers. Rigging is so much easier then lightwave, well.. I at least could never get my head around it... Good luck, and enjoy yourself :)

xtrm3d
04-01-2008, 04:22 PM
hahaha .. one more ,,one more .. a lot more to go ..
congratulation on your purchase ... you would not be disapointed

T4D
04-02-2008, 07:17 PM
there is a learning curve but it's more a enjoyment ride coming from LW =)

Many Lw'er here ask all the questions you want, many here can and will help you :thumbsup:

adrencg
04-04-2008, 03:12 PM
You will like it, but....

You will miss Fprime in a BIG way. I'm not even kidding. There are times when I almost switched back to LW just because I hate Mental Ray so much. This is a passionate hate of which the human intellect could never fathom.

The lighting and render workflow of Fprime just cannot be beat.

3dtutorial
04-04-2008, 03:27 PM
...The lighting and render workflow of Fprime just cannot be beat.

Well, that's really a matter of your personal opinion.

I say this respectfully, but I don't agree at all.

J

Carm3D
04-04-2008, 03:38 PM
You will like it, but....

You will miss Fprime in a BIG way. I'm not even kidding. There are times when I almost switched back to LW just because I hate Mental Ray so much. This is a passionate hate of which the human intellect could never fathom.

The lighting and render workflow of Fprime just cannot be beat.

Actually, I never purchased FPrime. :) However, my intention is to continue to render in Lightwave. If I understand correctly, XSI Foundation will only let me render of two of my four cores anyway. I will move XSI's animation data over to LW via PointOven. I also recently purchased LWPassport. I'll probably continue to model in LW as well.

ThE_JacO
04-04-2008, 03:40 PM
The lighting and render workflow of Fprime just cannot be beat.

That's a highly opinionated personal statement to be honest :)
It depends from the individual using the tool and the project the tool is used for.

IE: what I'm working on right now would make fprime utterly useless, and mray and 3delight are the only engines that can cope with what we're doing. If I was doing a single anime character on top of a gray shaded lambert background I'm sure I couldn't live without fprime though :)

Until when it will support some shading language, instancing and archives, a decent sdk, and see more frequent updates, only a small loyal userbase will find it as determinant in platform choice as you seem to do. Until then we'll enjoy rendering engines like MRay and 3DL actually integrated seamlessly (for mray) or nearly so (for 3DL) in the application.

Welcome to the xsi forums Carm.

adrencg
04-04-2008, 03:57 PM
Actually, I never purchased FPrime. :) However, my intention is to continue to render in Lightwave. If I understand correctly, XSI Foundation will only let me render of two of my four cores anyway. I will move XSI's animation data over to LW via PointOven. I also recently purchased LWPassport. I'll probably continue to model in LW as well.

I've gone down that road, but eventually I learned to live with Mental. You'll see for yourself that it adds too many wrinkles to your workflow and becomes more trouble than its worth to transfer everything. There's always that one thing you didn't catch that makes you go back to XSI, fix it, re-export, re-import back to LW, blah blah. It gets old.

I'd highly recommend mdoeling in XSi, though. It's miles better, and you'll pick it up quickly coming from LW.

Carm3D
04-04-2008, 04:30 PM
I've gone down that road, but eventually I learned to live with Mental. You'll see for yourself that it adds too many wrinkles to your workflow and becomes more trouble than its worth to transfer everything. There's always that one thing you didn't catch that makes you go back to XSI, fix it, re-export, re-import back to LW, blah blah. It gets old.

I'd highly recommend mdoeling in XSi, though. It's miles better, and you'll pick it up quickly coming from LW.

Well I've done it before, back when I was using Messiah Animate. Wasn't such a big deal but we'll see. I'll play with modeling in XSI if you say it's good.. In time. There's so much to learn! Right now I'm learning the XSI way of constraints.

T4D
04-04-2008, 05:13 PM
Well, that's really a matter of your personal opinion.

I say this respectfully, but I don't agree at all.

J

agree MR has ALOT to offer, feature wise it is the steepest learning curve in XSI
but you get more from it then learning XSI Rigging and Animation OVER LW..

Fprime is atoy compaired to MR ,..I'm still amazed at Fprime it is FAST ,.. really FAST !!
YES usefull for some jobs,...

BUT it doesn't do anything I personally want anymore, and is missing SO MUCH now now i know MR !
and it's connect to that Terrible system !!...

the last point is by far the biggest,.. because i do miss a Super fast render preview and Look forward to Vray for XSI ( options are good ) and hope that new Vray previewer comes over to XSi too..

super fast render previewing is something i do miss in XSI But workflow wise XSI has far more useful stuff working right now and short cuts and workflow options to get around that missing Fprime issue to go back to a broken system..

ThirdEye
04-04-2008, 05:37 PM
Fprime is atoy compaired to MR

Is it? What MR features are there that you can't live without? I'm actually asking, not joking, i'm just curious when it comes to renderers, can't help.

mocaw
04-04-2008, 06:44 PM
I highly recommend this new book on mr

http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9780470008546-0

I've read it and found it very enlighting as to how not only mr works, but how many raytrace engines work. While I must admit I didn't understand every single word, I still have learned, and continue to learn quite a bit from this book. HIGHLY recommended.

Saying Fprime is a toy is kind of odd IMHO. Comparing mr and Fprime is "bad" in my mind, they are so different, and have different reasons for being. In terms of being a full fledged, mature and robust render engine there is no comparision though between the two- mr wins hands down.

For instance- MR supports many forms of caching for different kinds of data- where are these in Fprime? This is a major feature that can't be over looked. In mr you can append to FG and photon maps like you do in Kray- and with a lot of manual control. Just one example.

I think its important to start learning these things ASAP for most 3D users so as to "free" them from thinking in the relative terms setup by a specific render engine. What happens if your render engine company folds, or is bought up by someone else? If you knowledge is so focused on a strictly UI way of seeing rendering then your transition to other render engines will be far more painful. I think understanding "how" things work, even just a little bit, helps you sort fact from fiction, marketing from usablity and make more informed choices.

BTW- the book will expose you to the fact that there are a lot of powerful mr opperations/functions/shaders etc. that the hosts don't provide direct acess to, but command line mr does. This is one of the reasons also a command line version is so coveted. Still, mr in the hosts (esp XSI) is very powerful.

T4D
04-05-2008, 06:22 AM
Is it? What MR features are there that you can't live without? I'm actually asking, not joking, i'm just curious when it comes to renderers, can't help.


Render Passes by FAR the the thing that has change the way i render Fprime/LW has not got as good as XSI ( the way i read it no other package has it as good as XSI in this area ) ..

you may uses render passes little at first but after awhile it will be EVERYTHING
the speed you can fine tune a render in a composer AFTER the rendering is done ( be it the one in XSI or after effects etc ) is just the BEST !! and makes Fprime look like a toy.

( and i say toy because some say something like Daz studio is a toy but I still use it,. if a job is quicker to do with a Toy then the "Pro" way,. I'll do it ,..render passes are good but sometimes you don't need them for making Web interface button etc =) )

you can render a final AVI of 30 seconds of animation in a Composer in afew mins make afew different version if you need.

YOU still can't get a 30 seconds animation from Fprime without waiting afew hours....

-also the polygon handling of XSi and Mental ray is just freaking AMAZING !! MR does need alittle fine tune to get it up there but it is truly limitless in what it can render.

-I could add final gathering and Ambient Occlusion, etc etc but these are in LW but are much more usefull in XSI due to the Render pass system.

-nodes yeah LW has them,. but well XSI does it better

-Lighting well xsi handles data groups ( all data is handle much better in XSI ) and you can edit and setup lighting rigs in a much more powerful and workable level, and using your render region and focusing on what your working on,. you can get it pretty fast also.

pooby
04-05-2008, 11:03 AM
I can't argue against render passes, but dismissing Fprime as a toy doesn't really do it justice.

I've been using Fprime to render for 3 years and Its the main reason I've been able to do 3 bounce rock solid GI on character animation requiring no setup tweaking time.
Because I can reference all the XSI animation, in multiple LW scenes I can easily generate all the passes I need. It's very easy to set up and requires no manual fiddling for animation changes after setting up.

So, whilst you may well have used it as a toy, it doesn't then follow that it it can't be used as a very competant production renderer if you know what you're doing with it.

I wouldn't call MR a toy for the fact that it can't refine frames progressively, which is something I find hard to do without as I means I have a whole sequence ready to comp in about 20 mins, even if each frame eventually takes an hour. This kind of thing saves days of production time. I know for a fact, as I've been making Commercials for about 14 years, and as soon as we started using Fprime, the process speeded up immensely.

Not trying for a moment to say it's better, or even equal when all things considered, but its certainly more than a toy.

Werner
04-05-2008, 11:14 AM
Actually, I never purchased FPrime. :) However, my intention is to continue to render in Lightwave. If I understand correctly, XSI Foundation will only let me render of two of my four cores anyway. I will move XSI's animation data over to LW via PointOven. I also recently purchased LWPassport. I'll probably continue to model in LW as well.

You sound just like me about a year ago. :D I used point oven for the first couple of months to render in Lightwave, but soon relised how awesome Mentel Ray is. Even modeling in XSI is faster then LW.
Once you get into it, you will see what I mean.

T4D
04-05-2008, 12:38 PM
I can't argue against render passes, but dismissing Fprime as a toy doesn't really do it justice.

yes true this is art and artist use whatever they want and well art is art.

I just found MR and XSI pass workflow gave ALOT of freedom but there was alot of learning in it to get the most out of it. Once learnt I never went back to LW render,

I too spent the first 6 to 9 months baking everything back to LW to render but I don't now.

pooby
04-05-2008, 01:30 PM
I'm sure I wont be with the LW and Fprime combo in the long term either as I can only imagine there to be more and more breakages to come between the two as LW develops and Worley struggles to keep up or gives in entirely. But, up until now it's worked out great for us.
The irony is that I have a decent sized Mental ray renderfarm set up.

mocaw
04-07-2008, 12:14 AM
Let's keep in mind we're talking about an out of the box, main host supported render engine (mr) vs. a plugin renderer that costs almost the same amount as the base of XSI.

If we through in the future addtion of Vray, Final render and currently 3Delight...well things are a bit more complicated, and Fprime or not, I'd argue there are a lot of reasons to do more and more in XSI depending on your needs...

Plus...what's wrong with using smaller proxy renders instead of relying on bias refinement?

Ethangar
04-11-2008, 12:27 AM
You sound just like me about a year ago. :D I used point oven for the first couple of months to render in Lightwave, but soon relised how awesome Mentel Ray is. Even modeling in XSI is faster then LW.
Once you get into it, you will see what I mean.

There is 1 upside to going back to LW from XSI.

I have never saved my model so much as I do for the first hour or so :)

Carm3D
04-11-2008, 07:01 AM
There is 1 upside to going back to LW from XSI.

I have never saved my model so much as I do for the first hour or so :)

What do you mean?

Carm3D
04-11-2008, 07:19 AM
I looked at 3D Quakers. Are there any good rigging tuts out there that do not use node-lock protection? I don't want to support companies that treat their customers like criminals.

Ethangar
04-11-2008, 09:58 AM
In XSI you use the s key and the mouse to manipulate the views In lightwave the s key is to save. :)

mocaw
04-11-2008, 10:01 AM
I don't think 3D Quakers is being outrageous given the amount of rampant pirating of tutorials. Besides, they're really good!

That said there are also the good ones at 3D tutorial http://www.3dtutorial.com/xsi.php and the "from lame to fairly good info" Digital Tutors.

Don't pass over all that free "training" from softimage either- if you're fairly familiar with 1 or two other 3D packages, then watching those should get you up to moderate speed fairly quickly- plus they show off some of the nifty features that have been in XSI since the dinosaurs ruled the roost. Just cause they're old, doesn't mean they're out dated for use.

madheavy
04-11-2008, 10:24 AM
I looked at 3D Quakers. Are there any good rigging tuts out there that do not use node-lock protection? I don't want to support companies that treat their customers like criminals.

Unfortunately many people choose to be criminals instead of customers. Charbel from 3d quakers is a good man. He treats his customers fairly and will help you quickly with whatever you reasonably need. I have changed PCs a few times and he sent me the necessary codes to get it up in going within hours and sometimes minutes.

Get used to node locking. Microsoft something similar. So does Valve with their STEAM. With Bit Torrent and Pirate Bay becoming the preferred way to get things, this is the only way an honest software programmer can make a buck. :hmm:

Carm3D
04-11-2008, 05:25 PM
So does Valve with their STEAM.

And does it work? Is there no piracy of HalfLife? I doubt it.. All it does is penalize the people who actually pay for the product.

DMNY
04-11-2008, 06:15 PM
If you want to get into rigging fast with XSI, here's a head's up. I purchased the rigging/animating DVD from www.3dmastermind.com (http://www.3dmastermind.com) I'm about Half way through. Pretty much everything related to rigging and animation is covered.

The author starts with small exercises before jumping into making complete characters.
I really like this approach and he really takes the time to explain everything and why he choses to do things in particular ways.

Also, I must say it's one of the best and most complete DVD I've purchased because it covers both character rigging and animation and it's actually 11 hours!. It's node-locked also but the author, Manny seems to be very responsive and sent another key with no questions asked for my laptop and also helped me figure out a problem I had with my scene.

To think I have another 5 1/2 hours left... It's a really good deal imo.

Gene Williams
04-11-2008, 07:00 PM
Have to echo those setiments on the 3DMastermind Set. Has to be one of the most comprehensive and well presented series I have seen. Just finished the sections on rigging,
adding deformers to and weighting the human jaw and was incredible. Do believe everything to get you started in character rigging and animating is covered, quite a resource. Also, Manny is very responsive and one heck of a good instructor.

Gene

Werner
04-11-2008, 07:11 PM
In XSI you use the s key and the mouse to manipulate the views In lightwave the s key is to save. :)

Ha-ha true! :D

3dtutorial
04-11-2008, 07:19 PM
Have to echo those setiments on the 3DMastermind Set. Has to be one of the most comprehensive and well presented series I have seen. Just finished the sections on rigging,
adding deformers to and weighting the human jaw and was incredible. Do believe everything to get you started in character rigging and animating is covered, quite a resource. Also, Manny is very responsive and one heck of a good instructor.

Gene


Manny knows his stuff (and he's a good guy too).

Manny is the real deal...He's been with Softimage for ages and he's got a lot of top tricks and tips.

I would feel confident in recommending anything that he produces, it's sure to represent a good value for money.

Cheers,

Joe

3dtutorial
04-11-2008, 07:29 PM
Oh... and while I am on the subject :-)

Charbel they guy who runs 3DQUAKERS is also very knowledgeable and produces excellent training materials so you might want to think twice before blowing them off.

I know that a lot of people hate node locking ( I’ve got first hand experience with that) but that said I can fully appreciate why a publisher would choose to do this – trust me, it’s nearly impossible to survive in this hostile market… but I digress.

How you decide to spend your money is up to you of course, but I can tell you from first hand experience that Charbel at 3DQUAKERS is a very reasonable guy who will bend over backwards to help a customer who has a problem.

I think a lot of people have an instantaneous negative knee jerk reaction to the idea of any type of protection or node locking (and again I fully appreciate the reasons why) but I can assure you that these guys care about and look after their customers.

Regards,

Joe

Mechis
04-11-2008, 08:40 PM
3dmastermind is good, but that's nodelocked too (fyi)
3dquakers is good. I own both and they're a good investment.

3dtutorial's stuff is good... although I never saw their rigging vids b/c they aren't available anymore.

digital tutors is ok for beginner stuff (modelling, render techniques, uv's). I wouldn't get their rigging videos though.

~Mechis

3dtutorial
04-11-2008, 09:01 PM
3dtutorial's stuff is good... although I never saw their rigging vids b/c they aren't available anymore.

~Mechis


Yes, that is correct, our rigging tutorials are no longer available... sorry about that.

Why?

Well, they were getting a bit dated and had become obsolete so they are now discontinued.

Cheers,

Joe

mocaw
04-11-2008, 09:03 PM
I think the rendering arch viz in XSI from digital tutors is fairly good if you're wanting to get up to speed quickly with mr as an ex lw user (meaning the way a LW user views the use of raytracing etc.). It's still not replacement for that book I recommended though!

Almost all of their other dvds seem a little "fluffy" IMHO.

As far as the node lock thing goes- what do you guys think? These people aren't "mega corp" who can factor in the cost of piracy to their business model- every little copy truly hurts them immediately and directly. These videos are not in the same public realm as music and movies- its a small, ugly, and hardworking niche.

Trust is a wonderful thing, but I can say as a person who has been ripped off buy people stealing my work that it is VERY necessary in this day in age of the high speed net to put as many "user friendly" barriers on creative assets as you can. I don't really see why it's so painful to have a node locked tutorial set anyway? If you're an educator many of these places will give you a break on nodes or negotiate a network based license instead.

Look at it his way- if you want two copies of a book- one for home and the office, would you write random house and complain that they don't give you two copies for the price of one? Why is this so different?

alvin-cgi
04-11-2008, 09:33 PM
Hi... I am actually interested 3dtutorial GET MOVING! Tanning, but it’s designed for 5, how much does it apply to 6.5? And does it cover any facial expression?

:D

Thanks

3dtutorial
04-11-2008, 09:48 PM
Hi... I am actually interested 3dtutorial GET MOVING! Tanning, but it’s designed for 5, how much does it apply to 6.5? And does it cover any facial expression?

:D

Thanks


Hi,

Sure, no problem the stuff still applies to 6.5.

And yes, it does cover lipsync too :-)

Have a good weekend.

Cheers,

Joe

3DQUAKERS
04-12-2008, 10:51 AM
I looked at 3D Quakers. Are there any good rigging tuts out there that do not use node-lock protection? I don't want to support companies that treat their customers like criminals.

Carmen,

We are not treating our customes as criminals. We have always supplied extra keys for using the DVDs on multiple machines, free of charge.
Node locking is just an attempt to limit illegal distribution, but I assure you that none of our customers suffer from it.

ThE_JacO
04-12-2008, 04:09 PM
I looked at 3D Quakers. Are there any good rigging tuts out there that do not use node-lock protection? I don't want to support companies that treat their customers like criminals.

Hey Carm,
I appreciate not everybody feels the same towards IP protection, and I can understand your "moral" position, which I know many to share (nothing new).
I have to ask you, however, that if you decide to state who you want or don't want to support you do so a bit more neutrally, and avoid insulting somebody by saying their attempts to make a honest buck, while also supporting a community that had years of growing pains before it got where it is, are treating people like criminals.

Joe, Charbel, Manny and other training material producers have a presence here at user level, and they've done as much for this community as anybody, often so even if their products or the possibility to sell them wasn't even remotely involved. I sincerely think all of them deserve their professional ethic not to be questioned before you've had a chance to interact with it :)

I'd appreciate if you could first think of them as peer forum users, and only second like the evil, money-draining megacorporations owners they are ;) so feel free to disagree and not support their choices by not buying, but please don't be too judgamental of their choices. None of them cruises around in a Bugatti to my knowledge.

Sarford
04-12-2008, 11:37 PM
Look at it his way- if you want two copies of a book- one for home and the office, would you write random house and complain that they don't give you two copies for the price of one? Why is this so different?

Bad example Mocaw, If I buy a book, I can use it in the office AND at home, I don't need two books for that. If I buy a node locked product I can use it ONLY at the office OR at home.

My main problem with this node-locked stuff (appart from the inflexability it imposes) is that it only runs on a PC. I do understand why they would wanna use this node-lock aproach (and I have purchased a node-locked training, which is a very good training) but I hate it non the less. Anyhow, I'm glad that there is training available by these guys :)

mocaw
04-13-2008, 12:20 AM
Bad example Mocaw, If I buy a book, I can use it in the office AND at home, I don't need two books for that. If I buy a node locked product I can use it ONLY at the office OR at home.

My main problem with this node-locked stuff (appart from the inflexability it imposes) is that it only runs on a PC. I do understand why they would wanna use this node-lock aproach (and I have purchased a node-locked training, which is a very good training) but I hate it non the less. Anyhow, I'm glad that there is training available by these guys :)

"Solution"- Buy a note book and put it on that.

Yes it wasn't the 110% best solution, but you have to take the book with you- you don't get two. We can argue the semantics of it but I think you understand my basic underlying point. Nothing is stopping you from taking your program and uninstalling it on one computer and then putting it on another, and as many have stated, most of these companies will give you more than one node if you ask or let you re-register the node.

If people weren't jerks, and DVDs and CD so easy to crack we could live in the fairy tale land free of dongles, serial numbers, node locking, money, war, and hate. Do we live in such a world? It's not like you're forced to buy these things like they're you're only source of water.

While I agree that node locking might be a problem for many other tutorials, is that if you're running XSI and using these tutorials, chances are that you're using windows. So there is little point in them making it compatible with Amigas, OSX, Atari ST, OS/2 etc. since most of the time you want to be running the application while you're using the tutorial set.

While I agree this is not a perfect solution for users in anyway- if someone would like to come up with a better, cheaper, and easier solution to keeping these guys stuff off of Pirate Bay please chime in and let everyone know.

A dongle? A login to view it online? Node locking that can be transfered from one computer to the other by net login and re-establishing the node id? These all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

And while we're here to knock on people "treating us like criminals" I was very miffed by Worley Inc. when I went to sell Fprime, only to find out that it was irrevocably locked to my dongle! This isn't stated upfront in clear language. So I had to sell my whole copy of LW with it. How hard is it to remove my server login and license from his system and transfer it to another dongle? Didn't mean to take time out of his busy schedule...

Now that is poor customer service that felt draconian to me- I expected better from him and for the money I spent. The people doing these tutorials are a he|| of a lot more flexible than that!

Carm3D
04-13-2008, 12:26 AM
while also supporting a community that had years of growing pains before it got where it is, are treating people like criminals.

I'm not insulting the guy... I'm not saying he's ugly and stupid. But look at what node-locking implies: "We know you are going to break copyright laws and make copies of this for all of your friends, so it's node-locked."

Sorry, but that is treating me like a criminal. If I can find tuts out there without node locking, they will be getting my money.. In fact, they already have.

mocaw
04-13-2008, 12:37 AM
This is turning into the "Fountain Head" of software rights discussion.

I argue all the time with cops that the stop signs the city puts up on corners in my town are just treating me like I'm going to not stop and look both ways at an intersection. They act like I'm going to disobey the law and run through the intersection. I can't believe the police state I live in!

I think there are a lot of other things in life that you might want to look to first to vent your frustrations about being "treated like a criminal". Public surveillance cameras, and wire tapping are a few that come to mind.

You know, in some countries there isn't even the illusion of free speech or even a non filtered version of the internet. Yeah those people stay awake all night though worried about their node locked software...not their uncle who was mugged off the street and taken to a prison for no apparent reason to be beaten and interrogated...

I guess you can relate though with all this node locked software...maybe if you keep it up you can be the Rossa Parks of node locked software?

Carm3D
04-13-2008, 12:40 AM
Yeah that stuff is bad too.

cresshead
04-13-2008, 10:31 PM
I'm not insulting the guy... I'm not saying he's ugly and stupid. But look at what node-locking implies: "We know you are going to break copyright laws and make copies of this for all of your friends, so it's node-locked."

Sorry, but that is treating me like a criminal. If I can find tuts out there without node locking, they will be getting my money.. In fact, they already have.

i can see their point of view but there are better ways to combat theft of their hard work.

there's lynda.com approach where you buy a licence to watch via the net or you can buy physical disc based media at a higher price.

3dbuzz put a watermark on the video with YOUR name and address on it

digital tutors just let you either buy a download video or a physical disc...no node rubbish!

gnomon either offer a per chapter download via the net on some of their videos or you buy a physical media [dvd]

splinegod delivers cdroms burn with the vids on it...no node locking.

so it seems to be the exception rather than the rule to node lock....'ive bought 1 node locked xsi trainign disc ages back...found the flash video interface utterly rubbish for locating a video segment and uninstalled it...and dropped xsi for the time being even though i bought xsi foundation 4.0 back then..

i'm curtrently assessing xsi essentials demo 6.5 but i'm having problems with their extended licence for the cgtalk comp.

seems xsi on most fronts such as getting it to work or training makes it more difficult than 3dsmax, lightwave or zbrush.

i'd say if your really trying to learn xsi go for digital tutors training at least they don't
make you jump thru hoop to learn their software,....i ususally move/tranlate their vids down to my psp so i can watch on the bus whilst travelling to work..watching some of the maya and zbrush videos...

try that with a node lock!....yeah righ i'll just bring my desktop pc on the bus and my 24" monitor


plus node locking is not going to work anyhow...when i had that flash based u.i. for the
xsi training video i just 'video'd the screen with my camcorder and then burnt out a quicktime video from i movie....it worked just fine and i could put chapters in my imovie
...after a while i just quit the training is it annoyed me having to do this just to be able to watch it how i liked and with a proper timeline, pause, rewind etc...seemed i was doing their work for them!

yeah node locking...utter rubbish!

Carm3D
04-13-2008, 10:43 PM
Yeah I bought a Digital Tutors DVD. The quakers training may very well be a better product, but I'll never know because I elect not to play their game. I am voting with my wallet against node locking nonsense. I wonder how many other sales he has lost out on because of this choice.

cresshead
04-13-2008, 11:00 PM
well if i ever looked again at node locked videos i'd have to factor in the transfer of the video via my camcorder and imovie so i could get the product 'i want to use'...how and where i want.

triztan
04-13-2008, 11:05 PM
i have bought video tutorials from 3dquakers, 3dmastermind, 3dtutorial and digital tutors, in case of node locking i always have got a second license to run non my laptop for free, just ask kindly. the people behind most of the xsi tutorials do it with a low return of investment, a lot are xsi users as you. sure they do not want their product be released in all downloadforums for free. bigger companies produce more and do not node lock at first.

dan

cresshead
04-14-2008, 01:46 AM
node locking is crippleware and just smacks of sony's antics in my book.

there are better ways to do this....watermarked vids for 1.

jgj
04-14-2008, 06:06 AM
I've purchased products from Digital-Tutors, 3DQuakers, 3DTutorial and 3DMastermind, and I did so because of the quality of instruction (especially so for the latter three -- well worth the $$). Seems to me that if I objected to some particular type of copy-protection, that would be a _very_ minor consideration compared to the content of the training.

-Jim

mocaw
04-14-2008, 07:36 AM
Carm3D you just did the equivalent of buying X car over Y car because of the size of the cup holders- regardless of car Ys better attributes!

Let's be clear- if you bought digital tutors over the "other guys" you just also "voted" for A) paying more for less in terms of training quality AND quantity and B) helped support a large business who is slowly monopolizing this niche with mediocre content over a diverse group of individuals who don't really do it so much for the money as for a love of sharing their knowledge and comparatively excellent content. The "money" part seems secondary to them.

Many of the digital tutors DVDs I've seen make me question often just how long these "experts" have used XSI. In all the others it's evident that the people doing the tutorials are XSI experts- often in more than one area, with extensive knowledge of how XSI works. Hell some of them even work for softimage.

I'm also concerned that you went out and bought any DVD without first looking over the FREE training material posted by softimage and/or Vast that is very relevant to understanding how XSI differs and works compared to many other programs. You might not have even needed to buy anything for some time.

Let's also be clear that the market share of XSI in terms of seats is no where near that of MAX of LW where it is far easier to make quite a bit of money doing tutorials. Larry Shultz probably makes a killing compared to the people/person at 3Dquakers, 3DTutorial, and Mastermind.

BTW- spending is not the same as voting unless you consider your self a consumer and not a citizen.

cresshead- Your a great guy and do good work and are a good teacher as far as I know, but I have to question just about anything you complain about not working right for you as you seem to be plagued buy such issues with software. User error? I remember some of your complaints about XSI 4...and many of them showed you weren't ever cracking open the manual. Sorry.

First rule of "XSI club" is RTFM.

Carm3D
04-14-2008, 08:00 AM
Carm3D you just did the equivalent of buying X car over Y car because of the size of the cup holders- regardless of car Ys better attributes!

I don't think that analogy is good... How about a trolley car vs. a regular car. Trolley cars are fun, but they can only ride on rails. While a regular car can drive on any road.

Mechis
04-14-2008, 10:24 AM
Why are people ok with purchasing node locked software and not ok with node locked tutorials? XSI is locked to your computer....
~Mechis

Sil3
04-14-2008, 10:58 AM
Why are people ok with purchasing node locked software and not ok with node locked tutorials? XSI is locked to your computer....
~Mechis

I can have 5 or 500 Mod (free xsi version) tools instaled in 5 or 500 diferent PCs and being able to watch what I already payed (I payed not my machine so it should be licensed to ME) to follow the tuts on whatever PC I choose to or have acess at some point is something I considered to be the right way, if its node locked it prevent me from watching what I have bought and it gets annoying, so annoying that I also stoped buying Node Locked tutorials... and im extremly interested on a new one that came out recently about Rigging and yes Im really interested on it...but like Carm im also voting with my wallet... I buy a book I take it anywhere and read it whenever I want, same with a CD or DVD movie... so why does a CG Tutorial should be diferent?

Who does win with this situation?

- I dont since its valuable information that will take me loads of time on my own to get, but I refuse to pay for a node locked tutorial.

- The provider wont get my money.. so its at least one sale less

So who did win on all of this?

Its a damned if you do and damned if you dont situation... if I have to see the other side and understand it, the other side that DEPENDS on my wallet needs to see my pov and understand it also.

my 2 unlocked euro cents :D

Mechis
04-14-2008, 11:07 AM
I can have 5 or 500 Mod (free xsi version) tools instaled in 5 or 500 diferent PCs

That's great for you... but what about people who purchased xsi? I have an academic version, which I purchased and is node-locked and I'm pretty sure all the other versions that you pay for are node locked as well.

And for what it's worth, I completely understand your guys' points... However, if I had to choose between node locked training or no training at all (while DT is ok, there's no comparison between them and something like 3dquakers or 3dtutorial), then I will pick node locked training.

~Mechis

cresshead
04-14-2008, 11:30 AM
so would you be fine with node locked movie dvd's?

where you could only watch them on your main tv...and when the kids want to watch them in their bedroom...they can't and where you couldn't take them round to a friends or even watch them on the tv in the kitchen or your own bedroom?

ThE_JacO
04-14-2008, 11:43 AM
so would you be fine with node locked movie dvd's?

where you could only watch them on your main tv...and when the kids want to watch them in their bedroom...they can't and where you couldn't take them round to a friends or even watch them on the tv in the kitchen or your own bedroom?

That's a pretty bad example that puts a tv and dvd set on the same plane as the workstation you use to produce/learn 3D, and helpful people who treat customers like individuals on the same level of walden media or fox.

Had Charbel or Joe refused additional nodes to any client in the past I'd understand, but to my knowledge everybody who asked to be able to use the material on additional boxes, with a simple mail, always received additional nodes.

Sorry but if the argument is already pretty weak when you put in the context of the companies we're talking about, it hasn't got a leg to stand on when compared to dvds.

Sil3
04-14-2008, 11:47 AM
That's great for you... but what about people who purchased xsi? I have an academic version, which I purchased and is node-locked and I'm pretty sure all the other versions that you pay for are node locked as well. Is that worse than node locked training material?
Mechis

No it not... but the main diference in here is that I CAN choose not to support it... with XSi I have to "bend" to Softimage rules or look for another software vendor (Luxology doesnt have Node locked software), with Tutorials I dont have to "bend" at all and choosed not to... me thinks enough is enough and I simply got fed up with node locked tutorials, even though I know im "wasting" value information on those, but it is my choice as node locking it is the Vendors choice... and we have to live with the choices we make in life.

3dtutorial
04-14-2008, 12:45 PM
I've posted a few personal thoughts on this subject on my blog.

Cheers,

Joe

cresshead
04-14-2008, 01:11 PM
my main gripe was from buying a node locked video and the playback controls were flash based and the video was wrapped in a flash package that made finding a video and specifically pauseing and rewinding SUCH a pain that put me off these types of video based training...


i'd like to hear from those who produce or have bought how their training videos are played/stored/controlled and if they too are cripped with poor flash based control system...often you'd want to pause and rewind and maybe even step thu frame by frame if the trainer did someting but didn't say what they were doing in that part of the training.

Sarford
04-14-2008, 02:04 PM
That's great for you... but what about people who purchased xsi? I have an academic version, which I purchased and is node-locked and I'm pretty sure all the other versions that you pay for are node locked as well.

And for what it's worth, I completely understand your guys' points... However, if I had to choose between node locked training or no training at all (while DT is ok, there's no comparison between them and something like 3dquakers or 3dtutorial), then I will pick node locked training.

~Mechis


Hmm... I don't know which version everybody is using but my version of XSI is node FREE. I can (and may) install it on whichever machine I want and use it there, thanks to the dongle.

tuna
04-14-2008, 02:14 PM
Hmm... I don't know which version everybody is using but my version of XSI is node FREE. I can (and may) install it on whichever machine I want and use it there, thanks to the dongle.

Educational and Foundation versions of XSI don't use dongles, they use a key tied to the hardware signature of the machine. Although I was thinking about this earlier (and I haven't touched XSI licensing in a while), but isn't it possible for FND/EDU users to "deactivate" their license from their machine and then import it onto another one? Or am I just imagining this? I swear it could do this, and I'm not going crazy, but I could be!! AHAHA I COULD BE!!!

ndog
04-14-2008, 05:18 PM
I've posted a few personal thoughts on this subject on my blog.

Cheers,

Joe

Well worth reading, thanks for your input Joe.

3DQUAKERS
04-14-2008, 06:45 PM
Tell you what guys, the next 3DQUAKERS title will NOT be node-locked!
I will give it a test and see how it goes.

Rigging for Technical Directors is a new scripting DVD series from 3DQUAKERS.com focused on developing new rigging and animation tools to enhance the XSI toolset. The series will cover Expressions, Scripted Operators, Plugin development using Jscript, Python, and finally C++.

Rigging will never be the same again! Well, it will, but you get the idea ;)

A demo wil be posted soon.

Just as a side note, how many of you guys are interested in C++ development training, as opposed to using scripting languages?

edited for spelling

mocaw
04-14-2008, 06:59 PM
Educational and Foundation versions of XSI don't use dongles, they use a key tied to the hardware signature of the machine. Although I was thinking about this earlier (and I haven't touched XSI licensing in a while), but isn't it possible for FND/EDU users to "deactivate" their license from their machine and then import it onto another one? Or am I just imagining this? I swear it could do this, and I'm not going crazy, but I could be!! AHAHA I COULD BE!!!

It is true, I run a copy of XSI 4.X FND on another machine- you also now get two "nodes" per license with the new 6.X versions. No dongle needed for each one- which is pretty cool if you ask me.

This argument against these specific tutorials that are node locked it being taken out of context of A- the market they are for B- the people who are providing them C- the fact that if you need a few more nodes they will be provided to you free of charge.

So could you all please step of your altruistic high horses and look at the reality of this instead of thumping your evangelistic anit-anit-piracy measures?

Sil3- do you really mean to tell me you need to watch a tutorial on any machine in your renderfarm? If you're a company that has the resources to have that many machines, maybe it's time you thought of getting a laptop for tutorials or something or get an educational node license based on the number of employees you have and not machines. I doubt the 500 machines are all work stations.

mocaw
04-14-2008, 07:03 PM
Tell you what guys, the next 3DQUAKERS title will NOT be node-locked!
I will give it a test and see how it goes....

Well, I was going to buy them regardless of node locking, finger printing etc. since there isn't really an equivalent tutorial set.

I'd like you to have two versions- cheaper node locked and a non node locked one that is priced at least 50% higher to help recover some of the money you'll loose from people mis-using the licensing agreement.

Better yet- why not just have a base price, then a smaller per node additional price? Say $80 for the first two nodes, and $20 for each additional?

BTW- you're talking to a lot of LW people who are often lazy and the thought of code or scripting sends shivers up their spine. I'm over that hump though- the one of depending directly on the developer for every single tweak and tool so I say bring on as much scripting and programing training as you can! Keep in mind though that the individuals who would buy such material are "hard core" and/or professional enough in terms of wanting to learn it that I think they'd buy it node-locked or not.

3DDave
04-14-2008, 07:23 PM
I own both 3Dtutorial and 3DQuakers training materials and have not had any issues getting new codes if needed due to motherboard/processor upgrades or XP re-installs.

sacslacker
04-14-2008, 07:54 PM
I see both sides of the deal but it always feels that the software security only punishes the people who buy the software/training as the hackers who don't pay can usually, if not always, remove the protection and use the training unhampered. That's the only frustrating part. However, I do like the tutorials you guys make so I'm more than happy to deal with it. It's definitely worth it.

On a funny side note, I heard there are a few cities where they put up a bunch of camera's for traffic lights to catch red light runners. These camera's are so successful in stopping people from running red lights that it's now affecting the cities budget. Ironically they are now considering removing the camera's so the fines can continue to generate revenue. Completely stupid and irrelevant to this discussion but it reminded me of that story! =)

Maph
04-15-2008, 06:40 AM
I own both 3Dtutorial and 3DQuakers training materials and have not had any issues getting new codes if needed due to motherboard/processor upgrades or XP re-installs.

Ditto. Never had a problem with neither Joe or Charbel. Nor with node locked training content for that matter.

@Charbel: I for one am very interested in C++ training! :wavey::beer:
Scripting can do only so much.

@mocaw: great tip on the Mental Ray book btw, I bought it right away. :cool:

Carm3D
04-15-2008, 07:17 AM
I look forward to the new DVD, Quaker!

In response to the post earlier about "node locked" movie DVDs that you could only play on your main DVD player.. Maybe you don't recall a short-lived DVD format called DiVX? It was a DVD player with a modem that called DiVX HQ every time you watched a DiVX movie and charged you another $2.50 to "rent" the movie for a 48 hour period. Of course these DiVX rental discs could only play on a DiVX-capable DVD Player. A few of the studios LOVED it! Namely Disney. But the people did not warm up to it and the format died quickly. DiVX is now an AVI codec, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the reviled format.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX_%28Digital_Video_Express%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divx

Sil3
04-15-2008, 09:20 AM
Sil3- do you really mean to tell me you need to watch a tutorial on any machine in your renderfarm? If you're a company that has the resources to have that many machines, maybe it's time you thought of getting a laptop for tutorials or something or get an educational node license based on the number of employees you have and not machines. I doubt the 500 machines are all work stations.

Wanna a REAL WORLD experience on Node Locked tuts? Ok:

- What about me being able to see it on a Laptop that is not mine on a long BUS trip?

- What about me being able to watch it during those "long" 3 day Family Holidays like Christmas ?

- What about me being able to watch it WHENEVER I choose too without being of no one business except my own?

With node locked this scenarios are not possible or extremly limited...

Anyway... Im and not the one that needs to give explanations on where I choose to watch my BOUGHT and PAYED Tutorials... remember that ;)

Just to finish I also want to say that I never had any troubles with node locked tut vendors in fact quit opposite as in recently, but the thing is... me having to ask again and again whenever I need a new Key to watch somewthing I payed sometimes feels almost like an insult... sorry to those that still do node lock tutorials, its my POV.

Tell you what guys, the next 3DQUAKERS title will NOT be node-locked!
I will give it a test and see how it goes.


You probably just won another costumer :D

ThE_JacO
04-15-2008, 09:40 AM
I look forward to the new DVD, Quaker!

In response to the post earlier about "node locked" movie DVDs that you could only play on your main DVD player.. Maybe you don't recall a short-lived DVD format called DiVX? It was a DVD player with a modem that called DiVX HQ every time you watched a DiVX movie and charged you another $2.50 to "rent" the movie for a 48 hour period. Of course these DiVX rental discs could only play on a DiVX-capable DVD Player. A few of the studios LOVED it! Namely Disney. But the people did not warm up to it and the format died quickly. DiVX is now an AVI codec, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the reviled format.

Charging per use and limiting the number of platforms are exactly the same thing right? :)
Disney video was retarded because it forced you to pay for physical media, stock it around AND also pay for each use in their execs' minds, no wonders people were pissed :)

Carm3D
04-15-2008, 07:05 PM
Charging per use and limiting the number of platforms are exactly the same thing right? :)
Disney video was retarded because it forced you to pay for physical media, stock it around AND also pay for each use in their execs' minds, no wonders people were pissed :)

Well it was a business model invented by attorneys.

mocaw
04-15-2008, 07:34 PM
So just where do you guys draw the line on creative and intellectual property?

Should you be able to edit and see all the code of a program right off the bat?

Should there be no serial numbers, no dongles?

Should you go to pay for a program and just get sent an IOU?

Do you lock your doors and treat everyone in your neighborhood like a criminal just because there are a few bad apples that show up on the 9 o'clock news?

Just wondering where on this gradient you guys stand since you seem to know where the line really is.

Please answer these honestly, because frankly I see some of your arguments as being just as relevant to "reallity". While I agree that people are going to crack things anyway, I think saying that producers are treating you like a criminal by putting in any form of saftey messures is a little rediculouse.

BTW- most good training material DOES encourage you to do along side what they do- and that requires a legit copy of XYZ. I can't seem to find a halfway decent program of anything buy open office that lets you install on every dang machine you wish for free, or without contacting the manufacture in some way. So what does that do to your on the bus and friends house analogies?

revert
04-15-2008, 08:32 PM
I have to admit, i'm not a big fan of node locked training. I have no issue with an author taking measures to protect his product from theft. If training is node locked but this protection is being broken and the training made available to download for free from some bit torrent website, then only the genuine customers are being hurt.

Now saying this, if node locking was so secure, it couldn't be broken then i'd have no complaints with this method being used. This isn't the case though. Saying that, i still respect the authors right to use whatever means they think fit to protect thier investment. I've purchased node locked training from both Joe and Charbel because at the end of the day my primary interest is the quality of the training and these two guys provide some of the best training you'll find for any application.

Sil3
04-16-2008, 08:54 AM
mocaw:

Are you happy and have no problems whatsoever with node lock Tutorials? Cool man, im happy for you really...

I hate those and I choosed to not support them anymore... here it is simple as that, you see no problems you support it, I see a load of annoyance I wont suppor them, how simple can it be?

If it really helped ok I could even start to try to understand, but it doesnt prevent sh*t and it only annoys people like me that buys them...

It all comes down to preferences really... anyway im repeating myself in here and I dont even have to be justifying myself for not getting along with something that only punishes me for being honest or simply wanting to support...so...


:wavey:

colkai
04-16-2008, 10:02 AM
When it comes to training, I expect to be able to watch it when I want, where I want.

I have access to 3 different computers, my tutorial DVD's travel with me so I can watch 'em on my lunch break regardless of where I am.

Now if I was forced to only watch from one PC onto which they were locked, that'd really tick me off.
Now locking programs with nodes or dongles I can see, heck LW is dongle tied but I can still run it from a USB drive from any PC providing I have my dongle.
Videos though? Can you imagine if you had to "re-authorise" all your DVD's if you changed your DVD player?

I've downloaded my videos from here http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=57
allowing me to watch them at leisure, which is great. I also tend to visit digital tutors, for sure, if I do plonk down for XSI Foundation over the next year, I'm very likely to use these guys to buy my training from simply because they do the nice thing of making some stuff free to get to grips with before you cough up the cash.

Luckily there is enough material out there not forcing you to use node locked tutes these days, it's not a big issue unless you want something specifically from a company which node locks. Then, you have to take the hit or simply not buy the stuff.

T4D
04-16-2008, 04:38 PM
boring ,..you guys are boring and full of BS

I've purchased tutorials from all of them and over the last 2 years I've changed computers 4 times

NONE and I repeat NONE !

have had any problems giving me new serials to the new machines for the tutorials new and old..

NO questions NO problems Just a 12 to 24 hour wait for the reply email .

move on guys,. this is a waste of time and full of opinion with no experience about the subject,..

if any on you purchases node lock tutorials you would NOT be posting such BS on the subject..

cresshead
04-16-2008, 04:59 PM
boring ,..you guys are boring and full of BS

I've purchased tutorials from all of them and over the last 2 years I've changed computers 4 times

NONE and I repeat NONE !

have had any problems giving me new serials to the new machines for the tutorials new and old..

NO questions NO problems Just a 12 to 24 hour wait for the reply email .

move on guys,. this is a waste of time and full of opinion with no experience about the subject,..

if any on you purchases node lock tutorials you would NOT be posting such BS on the subject..

ohh...talk about coming out swinging!

my beef with the purchase of a node locked video tutorial set is TOTALLY valid and is so light on BS as to be just a trace element ...

with node locking the video set they wrapped it up in a flash based interface that could afford them to be pretty sure that you couln't move it or edit it...but also in doing so made watching it and finding parts of the video near impossible...if you missed a bit you had to RELOAD it and play it again...there was NO FAST FORWARD, NO REWIND, just play, pause, stop...and NO play head top drag thru the video to the bit you missed either.

this was the first and last node ,locked video i bought...never ever again.

ZERO BS btw....bought it when xsi 4 came out.

Sil3
04-16-2008, 05:04 PM
if any on you purchases node lock tutorials you would NOT be posting such BS on the subject..


please be carefull on your acusations... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

3dtutorial
04-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Hi guys...

Hey let’s keep the debate cool and friendly… ok?

Listen, this is a subject that stirs up a lot of passionate feelings on both sides of the issue.

No matter what side of the issue you come down on it’s important to at least understand and respect everyone’s viewpoint, even if it’s one that runs counter to your own.

I for one have made my feelings about this pretty clear. I’ve listened to my customers and as a result I’ve altered my policies node-locking and copy protection.

Perhaps others will follow... but if they don't that is entirely up to them. You have the freedom of choice to purchase or not.... that's democracy.

But in any case let’s try and deal with this things like professionals and keep a cool head with each other.

Cheers,


Joe

jamination
04-16-2008, 06:01 PM
Put yourself in the shoes of the people who make the content for 1 minute. You have to know they are being ripped off like crazy. If this was happening in your line of work, would you not try to protect yourself. I hate node-locked stuff, but I deal with it, every provider I have dealt with has been very helpful with providing additional keys. A couple of years ago, we had a flash animation up on our site, and the next thing you know we saw it in a pop up ad, for something or another, we found out the company bought the animation from someone (not us), It wasn't a huge deal as it only happened once, however, if that was our bread and butter, we would be put out of business by that type of antics. If everytime you made and animation 1 person bought it and 4 got it free would you not try to find a way to protect your work.

Phil

Mechis
04-16-2008, 06:07 PM
with node locking the video set they wrapped it up in a flash based interface that could afford them to be pretty sure that you couln't move it or edit it...but also in doing so made watching it and finding parts of the video near impossible...if you missed a bit you had to RELOAD it and play it again...there was NO FAST FORWARD, NO REWIND, just play, pause, stop...and NO play head top drag thru the video to the bit you missed either.


I think in the past it may have been this way, but Joe created a new player for his videos and you can scrub through them fine. 3d quakers and 3d mastermind also have video you can scrub through.

Also... think about how long these videos are. It's not like a gnomon video where you get 2 hours of video for $60... these are hours and hours of video. For example, the 3dmastermind video is $60 and it's 11 hours of content--- 663 minutes to be exact. If it weren't flash video, the file sizes would be many times the size what they are now. 3d tutorial and 3dquakers also give you a ton of training for very little cost.

For me, personally, I'm very thankful that people are creating training like this for us. I'm just a hobbiest and if I hadn't purchased tutorial videos from Joe, Charbel and Manny, there's no way that I would have reached any level or proficiency in xsi at all. I support their efforts whole heartedly.

I think this argument is something that isn't really going to be resolved b/c both sides think they are right. Can we just agree to disagree and leave it at that?........ anyone want to argue macs vs pc's? ;)

~Mechis

mocaw
04-16-2008, 07:10 PM
I'm "nearly" perfectly fine with people buying lack luster training and getting ripped off just because they hate the very idea of protected software. Fine- go and buy Digital Tutors and support the mediocre monster based simply on node locking. Apparently you could have bought some non-locked and upgraded training from 3DTutorial if you calmed down and listened first. It would have better but that's beside the point...

The part that gets me going is the whining about A- being treated like a "criminal" and B- waving their cheap ass dollar bill around while crying poor mouth to try and sway the people manufacturing item XYZ.

To me point A is ridiculous- no one is forcing you to buy it, you agree to those "criminal treatment" terms if you buy it.

Point B reminds me of two things- people who probably are too cheap to leave a good tip if any and treat wait staff like crap AND/OR the kind of people that walk into a store, and hold up a line b*tching and moaning like little brats until they get their way- regardless and oblivious to its over all effect on those also in line, the business and its employees.

In addition it reminds me of all the cheap a$s bastards who almost caused the demise of NewTek software over feature lust and constant complaining about price point. To anyone coming from Lightwave over to here just know this- it will be almost my personal crusade to nip any of that kind of talk in the butt when ever and how ever I can when it comes to any other 3D software I use. I'm not alone in that sentiment BTW. If you're here from LW, using or evaluating softimage products, then you SHOULD understand this already esp since NewTek is having to re-nig on those "freebies" in the future just to make up and catch up.

Do you like it when people come into NewTeks neck of the woods and start drawing all sorts of un-informed conclusions and make "suggestions"? NO. So don't come in here and start doing the same thing. Get some training material, become part of THIS community and then maybe see how you feel.

If you're a hobbiest then suck it up. Sorry, I make money with softimage products, and softimage has even stated time and again that FND IS NOT where they get their funding. So enjoy the ride and be glad it's even here. Honest!

mocaw
04-16-2008, 07:26 PM
I've downloaded my videos from here http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=57
allowing me to watch them at leisure, which is great. I also tend to visit digital tutors, for sure, if I do plonk down for XSI Foundation over the next year, I'm very likely to use these guys to buy my training from simply because they do the nice thing of making some stuff free to get to grips with before you cough up the cash.


Digital Tutors is NOT you're only solution- thank god it's far from it!

I'm glad you found that free training- it surprises me how many people DON'T view it- everyone who is new to XSI would do themselves a favor by doing so.

Well, uh, maybe you just didn't look around, but almost all of the other people who provide XSI training give you VERY good and ample clips to view and make an informed decision on. Some you can even watch either on their site or on youtube. 3Dtutorials stuff is no longer node locked BTW- and if you hate node locked software, but want good training you should look there first.

T4D
04-17-2008, 05:46 AM
hey IMO node locked 3D software OR training IS not an issue, a simple email to support will help everytime with every issues i have ever had ( be it Software OR training )

YES not node locking stuff is best for the end users, anyone who has my LW plugins knows how i run it ,.

BUT just becasue i do it one way, does not mean every one else is wrong .

Sure if we're talking about Sony dvd's or whatever,.. Maybe is sucks out right ??
But this is the XSI forum and we are talking about XSI issues aren't we ?

Sarford
04-17-2008, 08:22 AM
I'm "nearly" perfectly fine with people buying lack luster training and getting ripped off just because they hate the very idea of protected software. Fine- go and buy Digital Tutors and support the mediocre monster based simply on node locking. Apparently you could have bought some non-locked and upgraded training from 3DTutorial if you calmed down and listened first. It would have better but that's beside the point...

The part that gets me going is the whining about A- being treated like a "criminal" and B- waving their cheap ass dollar bill around while crying poor mouth to try and sway the people manufacturing item XYZ.

To me point A is ridiculous- no one is forcing you to buy it, you agree to those "criminal treatment" terms if you buy it.

Point B reminds me of two things- people who probably are too cheap to leave a good tip if any and treat wait staff like crap AND/OR the kind of people that walk into a store, and hold up a line b*tching and moaning like little brats until they get their way- regardless and oblivious to its over all effect on those also in line, the business and its employees.

In addition it reminds me of all the cheap a$s bastards who almost caused the demise of NewTek software over feature lust and constant complaining about price point. To anyone coming from Lightwave over to here just know this- it will be almost my personal crusade to nip any of that kind of talk in the butt when ever and how ever I can when it comes to any other 3D software I use. I'm not alone in that sentiment BTW. If you're here from LW, using or evaluating softimage products, then you SHOULD understand this already esp since NewTek is having to re-nig on those "freebies" in the future just to make up and catch up.

Do you like it when people come into NewTeks neck of the woods and start drawing all sorts of un-informed conclusions and make "suggestions"? NO. So don't come in here and start doing the same thing. Get some training material, become part of THIS community and then maybe see how you feel.

If you're a hobbiest then suck it up. Sorry, I make money with softimage products, and softimage has even stated time and again that FND IS NOT where they get their funding. So enjoy the ride and be glad it's even here. Honest!

So what now? You start insulting people who don't don't wanna buy node-lock training?
Realy nice behaviour Mocaw, realy nice...

ThE_JacO
04-17-2008, 12:46 PM
Stop hurling shit across this unsourmontable barrier separating those fine with IP owners doing what they want with distribution, and those that feel they have a higher moral ground of crusading for consumer rights.

Both sides are now calling out BS on the other, resorting to name calling, questioning content based on presentation, and not really trying to make much sense of posts before they reply to one, all of which spirals down in nothing brought to the table but grief and insults.
Crusading for these things will not be tolerated, no matter what side it comes from or what moderators' feelings are about the subject. Not in this thread, not in the whole forum.

Step the dialogue back down to civil tones and try to understand each other, or if the emotional involvment in this thread is so big you can't refrain from insulting others, please stop reading it.

I hardly ever lock threads, and even less often delete them unless they're duplicates, throwing off the search engine etc, and I'd like not to have to start doing it now.
Take a deep breath, re-read your posts, and try to figure out if you stepped over the line of professional courtesy and made it into futile hostility. If you feel this post is addressing you in particular (despite it's generic intents), chances are you've been acting like an asshat to somebody when seen from an objective and uninvolved (and I consider mine to be so) perspective.

xtrm3d
04-17-2008, 07:11 PM
interesting to see how this thread started with a Lw user stating that he was going deeper into xsi ..
then degenerated into a training dvd company bashing ...


also very interesting to realise that most of teh negativ post have been done by people that are mostly active in the lw forum .. ;):surprised

mocaw
04-17-2008, 07:22 PM
If you feel this post is addressing you in particular (despite it's generic intents), chances are you've been acting like an asshat to somebody when seen from an objective and uninvolved (and I consider mine to be so) perspective.

I don't even want to know what an ass hat is, but I'm afraid if I look into the cgtalk mirror I've got one on.

Sorry if my attacks seemed personal- they were in a way focused on a special segment of the LW userbase, and while I feel my views are correct within their stated context, I could have chosen better, less flame starting words, to illustrate my points. Years of frustration on dealing with the topic of using a "general consumer mentality" with 3D applications purchases have come to a head and so I over reacted.

Keep in mind however, that some of you here, have not been exposed to the literal YEARS of this kind of "debate" on the NewTek forums that many of us feel it actually crippled that application for at least two cycles. Why else would all of these people be here, including myself if it were not for this fact? Yes there are many other reasons, but this is one of them.

Just to be clear here are my arguments:

It takes money or hopefully equal trade of goods or services to make anything.

We should not view our lives in the frame of consumers and producers, but as a cyclical continuum. There is no "top down" linear purchase or support. Your purchases and support for anything, do not stop at you, but ripple and reverberate back and fourth, and all around you, so it is important to make informed decisions and not just those based on reactions.

Cutting all the hippydippy sounding stuff I'm just saying THINK about what you buy on a item by item basis as if they were the first purchase you'd ever made.

That being said, context though is important. For example: one should not ignore the differences between a small independent entity and that of a large corporation when making choices based on supporting one entity over the other. Context should help us view things on a gradient scale, not in black an white.

OK- so it's obvious from my comments that on this topic I'll continue to wear a stinking ass hat no mater how hard I try. So I'll bow out of any further discussion on these matters in this thread.

I would like to thank everyone at 3Dtutorial, 3DQuakers, and 3Dmastermind for their support with such great products. It's really hard to find such good training material, on any subject, and these are exceptional!

colkai
04-17-2008, 07:53 PM
interesting to see how this thread started with a Lw user stating that he was going deeper into xsi ..
then degenerated into a training dvd company bashing ...


also very interesting to realise that most of teh negativ post have been done by people that are mostly active in the lw forum .. ;):surprised

Your point there would be what exactly?

cresshead
04-17-2008, 08:20 PM
thing is the chap wanted to learn more..which then brings up training books/websites and dvd's and he's coming from lightwave....and a quite few lwavers have added xsi fundamentals as it'sa similar price point to lw...so naturally there's a corrolation there.

not sure what your trying to imply but i think your logic may be off kilter a bit...

on a lighter note .
...how about we start a camp fire, gather round and sing a few songs?...[aliens]

Sarford
04-17-2008, 10:01 PM
chapeau Mocaw.

(means I tip my hat at you for your nice mea culpa, it is not an insult... just to be clear)

colkai
04-18-2008, 07:46 AM
thing is the chap wanted to learn more..which then brings up training books/websites and dvd's and he's coming from lightwave....and a quite few lwavers have added xsi fundamentals as it'sa similar price point to lw...so naturally there's a corrolation there.

What is attracting me is XSI Foundations is almost of a similar price to a LW upgrade, in UK terms, it works out, based on prev upgrades, around only 50 quid more. Certainly I'm thinking it could well be my next software purchase over a LW10 upgrade.

Carm3D
04-20-2008, 07:06 AM
Weee! I have successfully create my first expression in XSI. :) I have a mid forearm bone twisting half as much as the wrist does. This is so cool because this was not so easy in Lightwave.. I'd have to use the alternate Motion Modifier expressions or baking because normal expressions don't "see" IK. THIS is why I bought Foundation!

I went through the Digital Tutors training video. I noticed something interesting in using shapes (morphs). It seems you must create a "base" shape that you do not modify, then clone it and make your changes on the clone. Then using a controller, he would auto blend between the two morphs. This seems kinda redundant. Is it really necessary to always create a "from" morph shape?

mocaw
04-20-2008, 07:53 AM
....delete please

comanche
04-20-2008, 09:21 AM
It seems you must create a "base" shape that you do not modify, then clone it and make your changes on the clone. Then using a controller, he would auto blend between the two morphs. This seems kinda redundant. Is it really necessary to always create a "from" morph shape?

It's not necessary. The base shape is already there. Have a look:

http://www.digitaltutors.com/digital_tutors/video.php?v=676

I remember seeing a DT video where this "redundant" copy was made first, but you really don't have to.

Carm3D
04-20-2008, 09:45 AM
That's what I figured.. Thanks.

pooby
04-20-2008, 02:40 PM
Thats good for making shapes if you're just modelling and making shapes before enveloping.

The only thing to be aware of is that if you duplicate the RESULT once you are animating because you want to make a new one, yet you have been animating the sliders and still have some morphs that are not set to zero, then it will add the result of those blended ones into the new one.

This can be handy to make a new morph from mixed ones, etc, but it can also be annoying if you're not aware of it or if you've overlooked re-setting the sliders.

So, I would still say its best (If you think you might want to make new shapes after starting a shot) to make a 'SAFE' morph that you know is identical to the base and duplicate that instead. It means that you can never go wrong and it's not like it makes it any more difficult.

Carm3D
04-20-2008, 07:47 PM
I understand what you're saying.. But without a safety net it works just like Lightwave, and I've created all my morphs in the past with the additive morph system in mind so that's not a big issue with me. :) Say, what does XSI call "Master Channels" ? Or does it have them?

By the way, I was thinking about what I saw in another post of yours on 'another forum.' About how XSI cannot do displacements based on keyed values like Lightwave can in the node editor. Well I was thinking of a way to make it work. If I make a little string of geometry and bring it into my XSI scene, I can animate the points along one axis to represent various displacement values. Then .MDD it and bring it into Lightwave.. MakePath on the important points and presto.. XSI-animated values for controlling displacements in Lightwave. :)

Stoehr
04-20-2008, 08:36 PM
Master channel in LW is the same as a Custom Parameter Set in XSI.

hrgiger
04-20-2008, 11:08 PM
Hey guys, I see there are a lot of other LW users here so I thought it'd be a good place to ask about XSI.
I'm also thinking of buying into Foundation because I'm really interested in XSI's animation capabilities. I like the idea of things being integrated in a way they aren't in LW. Being able to sculpt joints in association with bone rotation is almost worth the $500 alone after dealing with deformations in LW. I gotta tell you too, the gigapolygon core and the seemingly ease of import of Zbrush objects gives me the warm and fuzzies as well.
I hope you'll indulge me by answering some of my questions before I buy.

1. I am still interested in using LW's renderer, at least for now. I have heard of using point oven to sync up animations in XSI to LW. Point oven, does that come with XSI foundation?

2. What is upgrading like with foundation? I guess a lot of you know point upgrades with LW have been free, how does it work with upgrades/licensing with XSI? Also, if I decide I need essentials later, how much would it be to upgrade?

3. My girlfriend is a teacher and I suppose I could have her buy Advanced for $300 or so. Can you upgrade an educational license (I mean to a new version of XSI Advanced Ed., not to a regular non-ed). Do you think that's a good option?

4. I see that Essentials and Advanced are native 64-bit. Does that mean there is no 64-bit version of Foundation?

Thanks for taking the time.

HR

Carm3D
04-20-2008, 11:36 PM
1. I am still interested in using LW's renderer, at least for now. I have heard of using point oven to sync up animations in XSI to LW. Point oven, does that come with XSI foundation?

I haven't found it yet, but Foundation has PointOven.. Export only, which is all you need to get from XSI to Lightwave.

2. What is upgrading like with foundation?
I was told if I upgrade to Essentials, the price of Foundation will be deducted from the price. I dunno about new versions of the same platform.

4. I see that Essentials and Advanced are native 64-bit. Does that mean there is no 64-bit version of Foundation?

Doubt it. But do you need it if you're doing your rendering in LW? I think Foundation only allows you to render on two CPUs... So if you have a quad-core machine, you'll only get to use two of the cores. Definently a good argument for rendering in LW. :)

pooby
04-21-2008, 08:25 AM
I understand what you're saying.. But without a safety net it works just like Lightwave, and I've created all my morphs in the past with the additive morph system in mind so that's not a big issue with me.
I'm not sure I explained it well enough.
Say whilst you were animating, you made a morph (shape) to raise the eyebrows, but some mouth sliders were not set to zero. Your raised eyebrow morph would also have the result of the mouth sliders baked in.
So it would mean that your morph would move the mouth everytime you wanted to move the eyebrow. And there is no native way of selecting vertices and 'clearing the map' in XSI. (although there is a plugin to do it)

That is why i always start from a safe shape. But as I said, its not necessary if you're methodical or dont make shapes when animating.

by using a safe shape it is no less like LW endomorphs in the creation of the morphs. I maybe misinterpreting what you are on about. -There is a different way of using shapes in XSI by having duplicate meshes that your target uses as morph targets. I wonder if you were referring to that? I've never tried that method.

All I'm doing is making a duplicate shape in the shape manager that I never alter and just use it to copy a blank shape from.

pooby
04-21-2008, 08:35 AM
Hr Giger,

I have never used Foundation, but I believe that Point oven is implemented the same as ESS and ADV.

-It can import LW objects with all morphs and maps and UVs.

-It can Import Point Oven scene files (.PSC) (So if you bought the full PO then you could Export baked scenes from LW and import them into XSI) You might not need or want to do this though.

More importantly You can export null objects, cameras and Objects motion files, and Mdd files for deformed meshes and even a LW scene file containing it - all in one panel.
It might sound complex, but in reality It's actually very easy and straightforward.

Think of it exactly like making models in modeller, then saving them to a file, then importing that file into Layout. This is what you'll be doing with XSI, but for animations. The files you'll be saving are .mdd's and .mot's instead of .lwo's.

comanche
04-21-2008, 12:51 PM
I'm not sure I explained it well enough.
Say whilst you were animating, you made a morph (shape) to raise the eyebrows, but some mouth sliders were not set to zero. Your raised eyebrow morph would also have the result of the mouth sliders baked in.
So it would mean that your morph would move the mouth everytime you wanted to move the eyebrow. And there is no native way of selecting vertices and 'clearing the map' in XSI. (although there is a plugin to do it)

That is why i always start from a safe shape. But as I said, its not necessary if you're methodical or dont make shapes when animating.

...

All I'm doing is making a duplicate shape in the shape manager that I never alter and just use it to copy a blank shape from.

I'm not sure I understand you correct. There's a "BaseShape" and a "Result" Shape in the Shape Manager. Isn't the BaseShape always the "safe" unaltered shape?

Cheers,
Andreas

pooby
04-21-2008, 01:49 PM
After having a look I think you're absolutely right. I think I just got into the habit of making safe shapes when I started using XSI after having it screw up on me a couple of times, so I 'solved' the issue and since then just carried on without thinking about it again.
I'm still going to carry on making a 'safe' shape though - just to be doubly super-safe.

mattmos
04-21-2008, 03:56 PM
If you're sticking to making shapes in the shape manager then there's no need to make extra heads, but I usually do the same as pooby as well, as I work outside the shape manager quite a lot, and its good to duplicate a base head that doesn't have loads of extra stuff with it, like texture projections, shape information, enveloping, clusters etc.

Noratio
04-21-2008, 07:28 PM
And there is no native way of selecting vertices and 'clearing the map' in XSI.
Hello. Modulate shape with weight map and replace shape key. Very powerful approach for many things. Didn't read the thread through, so don't know all being said, just skimmed, as a matter of fact got frustrated in the lament. Don't use shapemanager that much either, but have unalike undisclosed approach.

Carm3D
04-21-2008, 09:27 PM
had to animate in Lightwave today and found myself hitting v for move. :)

mocaw
04-21-2008, 10:02 PM
I know I said I wouldn't post again in this thread, but it looks like we've moved on to a more productive thread again, which is good.

Might I suggest that you read over the newcomers "sticky" thread where there is a lot of good information, and also look at the free training on softimage net:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=24&t=382788

http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=57

It may seem dry and like pain at times, but you'll have a much better fundamental understanding of XSI if you go over most of it, and you'll pick up a lot of cool little tips along the way. Just because it's often using V.4 means little since 99% still is more than applicable.

Also- don't fear the manual in XSI- it's very extensive and thorough and can often clear things up quickly for you, OR point you in the right direction for further research and questioning.

bobakabob
04-23-2008, 08:21 PM
3. My girlfriend is a teacher and I suppose I could have her buy Advanced for $300 or so. Can you upgrade an educational license (I mean to a new version of XSI Advanced Ed., not to a regular non-ed). Do you think that's a good option?


HR

It may be dfferent in the US but here in the UK it appears a permanent educational copy of Advanced is "institution only" - the student/teacher license is for 1 year. Presumably this is renewable... not such a great option perhaps... glorified learning edition?

Still Foundation is pretty damn good value for a LW animation plugin ;)

3DDave
04-24-2008, 12:06 AM
The upgrade price is still the same as a new educational copy ($250 - $300). A steal if you ask me if you qualify for it.

hrgiger
04-24-2008, 01:59 AM
The upgrade price is still the same as a new educational copy ($250 - $300). A steal if you ask me if you qualify for it.

So you basically just buy another copy of it I guess. Makes sense and yes, I think for XSI advanced, it is a steal.

tuna
04-24-2008, 06:47 AM
It may be dfferent in the US but here in the UK it appears a permanent educational copy of Advanced is "institution only" - the student/teacher license is for 1 year. Presumably this is renewable... not such a great option perhaps... glorified learning edition?

Still Foundation is pretty damn good value for a LW animation plugin ;)


No the student/teacher edition has the option of 1 year or permanent. It's right there on the same page :surprised http://store.softimage.com/store/products/welcome/default_presentation.asp?URL=XSI_Academic_Students.asp

stblair
04-24-2008, 03:42 PM
Doubt it. But do you need it if you're doing your rendering in LW? I think Foundation only allows you to render on two CPUs... So if you have a quad-core machine, you'll only get to use two of the cores. Definently a good argument for rendering in LW. :)


There is no 64-bit version of Foundation, although you can run 32-bit Foundation on a 64-bit system.

For rendering, Foundation will use all CPUs and all cores on the computer.

Carm3D
04-24-2008, 10:03 PM
Hey... I just discovered the PhysX card and I was very impressed with the games I saw on it... And then I learned that XSI Essentials and Advanced (but not Foundation) support this $100 card. I was going to upgrade to Essentials later when I learned more, but now I'm not so sure..

What is it like using XSI with the PhysX card? Crazy-fast?

Does it give you hard body dynamics?

Does SyFlex tap into the PhysX card or just the standard XSI dynamics?

3dtutorial
04-24-2008, 11:00 PM
Hey... I just discovered the PhysX card and I was very impressed with the games I saw on it... And then I learned that XSI Essentials and Advanced (but not Foundation) support this $100 card. I was going to upgrade to Essentials later when I learned more, but now I'm not so sure..

What is it like using XSI with the PhysX card? Crazy-fast?

Does it give you hard body dynamics?

Does SyFlex tap into the PhysX card or just the standard XSI dynamics?


Forget about it.

AFAIK the PhysX card is not supported.

I was supposed to be at one time.... but it never happened.

Sorry.

J

Carm3D
04-24-2008, 11:24 PM
Bummer....

mocaw
04-24-2008, 11:52 PM
Well it still uses the engine, which of coarse would be greatly accelerated in most cases by the board, but at least it's in there.

I'm fairly certain that SyFlex is a whole other system and it specializes in cloth deformations while PhysX is more geared towards hard body dynamics and simulations...

Carm3D
04-25-2008, 12:20 AM
So would it be safe to say that XSI utilitzes the card to a small degree but if I upgraded to Essentials just to play with the PhysX card I will be disappointed?

3dtutorial
04-25-2008, 12:52 AM
So would it be safe to say that XSI utilitzes the card to a small degree but if I upgraded to Essentials just to play with the PhysX card I will be disappointed?


AFAIK this is totally false and misinformation. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong but I believe that card makes no difference with XSI whatsoever.

Sorry.

J

ThE_JacO
04-25-2008, 12:55 AM
a physx card will do absolutely nothing, not even to a small degree. For that to happen the libraries and their implementation need to explicitly make use of it, and that's currently not the case.
syflex is a different beast altogether and has got nothing to do with ageia.

3dtutorial
04-25-2008, 12:55 AM
a physx card will do absolutely nothing, not even to a small degree. For that to happen the libraries and their implementation need to explicitly make use of it, and that's currently not the case.
syflex is a different beast altogether and has got nothing to do with ageia.


Just as I thought :-)

J

LemonNado
04-26-2008, 03:01 PM
Because of the lack of linux drivers for the hardware acceleration the solution is not supported. It was promised and I even bought that card, then all about it was erased from the softimage webpages. I'm open to any offers on the card. It's unused. Only tried it once just to find it's not running with the XSI version it should have worked with.
Rainer

Sarford
04-27-2008, 11:14 AM
He Charm,

I just bought a new training video about rigging in XSI. He uses Foundation throughout the whole course. I watched a demo and it seemed pretty thourough, but more importantly, very understandable. Starting with 'simple' things and moving into more complex things. This guy knows what he is talking about because he is the 'rigging-troubleshooter' at Softimage.

The downside is that it is node locked, and you know I HATE that. But it seemed good valeu for money, maybe you could check it out....

Link to the website (http://www.3dmastermind.com/)

An interview with the guy on CGchannel (http://www.cgchannel.com/news/viewfeature.jsp?newsid=7266)

cresshead
04-27-2008, 11:20 AM
is there such a thing as export selected or save selected in xsi?
i can't seem to find any option to do that in the demo of xsi essential 32bit

is this a restriction of the demo version of xsi?

Maph
04-27-2008, 11:53 AM
For some weird reason it depends on the file format you're exporting to. Obj exports selections if there are any, if not it exports the scene. FBX just exports the entire scene, not all that sure about .xsi, collada and point oven.
Although I think for the latter you actually need to have something selected or it won't work. Correct me if I'm wrong here people. :)

Carm3D
04-27-2008, 07:30 PM
The downside is that it is node locked, and you know I HATE that. But it seemed good valeu for money, maybe you could check it out....

Thanks for the heads-up but I'll pass.. I think I saw this guy's site before. I'll support people who make tutorials that don't treat me like a thief.

mocaw
04-28-2008, 03:27 AM
He Charm,

I just bought a new training video about rigging in XSI. He uses Foundation throughout the whole course. I watched a demo and it seemed pretty thourough, but more importantly, very understandable. Starting with 'simple' things and moving into more complex things. This guy knows what he is talking about because he is the 'rigging-troubleshooter' at Softimage.


I'm going through Manny's set as well, and while I'm not an XSI noob, there are quite a few things in it that are more than worth looking into it for. In fact almost all of the XSI newcomer questions asked here are answered in the first three videos (of 47)! And asnwered in a powerful and elegant fashion. Takes a real expert too, who knows the software inside and out, to give you all those simple, easy, smart, and effective ways to do things.

I plan on giving it a "real" write up review when I'm finished with it just to give my 2 cents worth on my experience.

Maph
04-28-2008, 06:00 AM
That good huh? maybe I'll look into it as well. :)

mocaw
04-28-2008, 07:23 AM
While the 3Dmastermind videos on YouTube are a small sample of what to expect, they will give you an rough idea of Manny's video series. I think they are actually a little more basic than many of the videos I've seen on the disc so far...

http://www.youtube.com/user/3DMastermind

Give them a look over before you buy. These aren't the ultra polished Digital Tutor sytle videos, but that doesn't mean the information isn't as good or better in many instances (and the value is by far better).

These are supposed to be targeted at new XSI users (note that doesn't mean total 3D new comers) to intermidiate users- and so far it seems to fit that XSI demographic well.

If you hate node locking though you should pass- these are all node locked.

Sil3
04-28-2008, 08:19 AM
is there such a thing as export selected or save selected in xsi?
i can't seem to find any option to do that in the demo of xsi essential 32bit



Use Models.

Models are like Scenes inside Scenes, for example... you have a nice Character Animated and you want it to be opened in another scene with everything like it is, simply make a MODEL out of it and Export it, then simply Import it into the Scene you want/need and everything that is inside that MODEL will be there, Animation, Textures, Materials etc.

In LW terms Importing a MODEL is somehow similar to a Load from Scene.

Maph
04-28-2008, 08:44 AM
I'm not a newcomer to XSI, nor to CGI for that matter but I'm always on the lookout for new training material.
Especially on the field of rigging. Plus, you never know what neat little tips & tricks one might find watching these.

As for node locking: I own several of Joe's and Charbel's DVD's and CMIVFX, and I couldn't care less if they're node locked or not. Or in CMI-VFX's case tied to a streaming player.
They offer great training content and I refuse to buy Digital Tutors because I'd rather be treated (and I quote) as a "criminal" than as an idiot.

Anyhoot, I watched the samples and it looks mighty fine to me. :wise::)

While the 3Dmastermind videos on YouTube are a small sample of what to expect, they will give you an rough idea of Manny's video series. I think they are actually a little more basic than many of the videos I've seen on the disc so far...

http://www.youtube.com/user/3DMastermind

Give them a look over before you buy. These aren't the ultra polished Digital Tutor sytle videos, but that doesn't mean the information isn't as good or better in many instances (and the value is by far better).

These are supposed to be targeted at new XSI users (note that doesn't mean total 3D new comers) to intermidiate users- and so far it seems to fit that XSI demographic well.

If you hate node locking though you should pass- these are all node locked.

freeschwag
04-28-2008, 03:08 PM
... I'd rather be treated (and I quote) as a "criminal" than as an idiot ...

:applause:

ditto :D

mocaw
04-28-2008, 04:09 PM
Can we keep all opinions thus forward, about node locking, in this thread out of it? There are quite a few people here that are passionate about the subject (me included) who will derail this thread again into chaos, and de-constructive tit-for-tat bitching if we don't.

In other words- if you don't want this thread closed, then keep the opinions of software protection out of it!

Maph
04-28-2008, 04:52 PM
Sure, I don't wish for anything of the sort to happen and my sincere apologies if that particular part of my post stirred anything up. :)

dotTom
05-04-2008, 07:54 AM
While the 3Dmastermind videos on YouTube are a small sample of what to expect, they will give you an rough idea of Manny's video series. I think they are actually a little more basic than many of the videos I've seen on the disc so far...

http://www.youtube.com/user/3DMastermind

Give them a look over before you buy. These aren't the ultra polished Digital Tutor sytle videos, but that doesn't mean the information isn't as good or better in many instances (and the value is by far better).

These are supposed to be targeted at new XSI users (note that doesn't mean total 3D new comers) to intermidiate users- and so far it seems to fit that XSI demographic well.

If you hate node locking though you should pass- these are all node locked.

I'm working through the 3DMastermind "Character In Motion" disk right now and would whole heartedly recommend it. Great stuff. Yes it might not have the packaging gloss that DT titles have (and the 3DMM video is node locked - Grrr) but the content and pacing is spot on!

Carm3D
05-04-2008, 09:48 PM
I just upgraded to Essentials.. What can I say.. I wanted to play with SyFlex. :) I think it's going to take a week to get here.

Carm3D
05-06-2008, 06:10 AM
So what's the deal with pole vectors? I can't use them on nulls? Only IK Bone chains?

ThE_JacO
05-06-2008, 09:31 AM
what's a pole vector? an up-vector?
if it is then those can be used on anything that needs one, including a null if it has a constraint or some other derivated kine that can be up vectored.

mocaw
05-06-2008, 05:08 PM
You've gotta A- dive into the manual a bit more and B- get some better training material.

Did you watch ANY of those free videos on the softimage community site? I STRONGLY suggest you go through almost all of them and stop wasting your time "fiddling" around. Also look at the XSI newcomers sticky thread- lots of good info there. Otherwise it's going to take you months, or even years, to get around to even half of what XSI has to offer you- even at the FND level. This before you even start dealing with mr.

Plus, while there might be a lot of helpful people here- XSI has a good manual, and the community is much more hell bent IMHO on RTFM before asking questions that the LW community.

If nothing else look to the manual so that you start knowing things by their XSI terms (which are more universal than LWs). It makes asking questions all the easier for people to answer.

Carm3D
05-07-2008, 02:08 AM
Alright I will elaborate further.. What I was looking for is a way to have a single axis, any axis, of a null point at a target. So basically it would rotate/swivel on it's Z axis while the X axis points at a control object. Technically not an up/pole vector (Maya term, not LW.. LW doesn't have x_vectors).

I did get it working by adding a single bone bone-chain and telling the upvector to do it. But it seems inefficient to have to make a root, bone and effector object just to do that. Is there a better way?

mocaw
05-07-2008, 03:54 AM
For the love of any god(s) please watch those free vids!

http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=57

Look it up in that there manual too!

Or, accept that you are a "criminal" and get some other rigging tutorials! Everything you've asked and a heck of a lot more is contained in them...

hint: what about a chain up vector constraint?

Also- you haven't told us what you're trying to do with said constraining...there may very well be a better or different way than your currently using...

T4D
05-07-2008, 04:47 AM
Alright I will elaborate further.. What I was looking for is a way to have a single axis, any axis, of a null point at a target. So basically it would rotate/swivel on it's Z axis while the X axis points at a control object. Technically not an up/pole vector (Maya term, not LW.. LW doesn't have x_vectors).

I did get it working by adding a single bone bone-chain and telling the upvector to do it. But it seems inefficient to have to make a root, bone and effector object just to do that. Is there a better way?

you can stack you operators Alot more in XSI,. so break you LW thinking

Have one null getting you Z channel or the value you want,
have another null getting you X channel

then on you main Animation item link the channels to the channels you want

You'll find stacking you operators work and don;t break so Go HARD !!!

Carm3D
05-07-2008, 06:03 AM
You'll find stacking you operators work and don;t break so Go HARD !!!

Yeah that's what I've been doing. I've been using technniques that would have required keyframe baking in my previous Lightwave rigs, and XSI just smiles at them and does them all in real-time.. I love it.

In this particular scenario I should hope I don't have to do anything to Z.. Only to tell X to point at something.

For the love of any god(s) please watch those free vids!

okay I will my man! Yowzers. Take it easy.. There are only so many hours in a day. I am resolved not to learn EVERYTHING there is to know for this first project. Just want to get this guy rigged and animated. There's plenty of time to learn yet. 2012 isn't here for what, 3.5 years?

hint: what about a chain up vector constraint?

Yeah I tried that.. It didn't allow me. Not on a null.

accept that you are a "criminal" and get some other rigging tutorials!

Big Brother will not succeed unless we let him.

zzenn
05-08-2008, 11:20 AM
Thanks to this thread I now know about 3dmastermind and will definitely be purchasing his training kit. The other two (3dtutorial and 3dquakers) seem to be very good as well, so perhaps next time. I also need to figure out how to get it shipped to Philippines without having it stolen on the way by our corrupt postal system :)

I wanted to add that while the nodelocking seems a bit bothersome, there are some pretty easy workarounds to make it much more managable.

I've been "toying" with XSI for a while now and it just keeps getting easier. Most of my training has come from DT and it's been OK, but I feel it's mostly scratching the surface without giving truly indepth information. I hope the training recommended in this thread is really as good as people say.

Sarford
05-09-2008, 09:59 PM
Hi Zzenn, it is. The 3DMM training is VERY good. You'll learn loads of stuff, Manny realy shows you how stuff works. He even shows you the 'backstage' of the Synoptic view, how it works, what it does and how to adjust it.

Nothing wrong with DT, I have loads of their videos and still find them very handy from time to time. But, like you said, if you want to go deeper, 3DMM is a very good option.

calilifestyle
05-10-2008, 02:59 AM
i didnt buy it but im playing with the modtool... but i cant find all those video tuts i read about can anyone show me the link.

Sarford
05-10-2008, 01:06 PM
There is a wealth of stuff at the softimage site, take a look around. Here is some link to beginners training:

http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=58


Here are some downloadable content (post 26)
http://community.softimage.com/showthread.php?t=1037&page=3

And here are all the training video's that were bundled with XSI 4. Though the site doesn't seem to work if you are outside of the US (it used to but propably they blocked it)
http://www.vast.ws/resources/xsi/tutorials/tutorials.html

Carm3D
05-12-2008, 09:05 AM
I've been digging through the various training materials online.. Tell me if this is true or not: There is no XSI equivalent to Lightwave's "Match Goal Orientation"

I am aware of the Orientation constraint, but it's not behaving like LW's Match Goal Orientation. Thanks.

I'm thinking I could emulate it via the Direction constraint coupled with an up-vector.

Sil3
05-12-2008, 09:30 AM
Care to enlight those that dont have a clue what Match Goal Orientation is or cant remember because LW was so looooong ago? :)

Anyway you have various types of Constraints in XSI... play with them all... I suspect that what you need/want is the Direction Constraint... or maybe not.

mocaw
05-12-2008, 04:38 PM
I've been digging through the various training materials online.. Tell me if this is true or not: There is no XSI equivalent to Lightwave's "Match Goal Orientation"

I am aware of the Orientation constraint, but it's not behaving like LW's Match Goal Orientation. Thanks.

I'm thinking I could emulate it via the Direction constraint coupled with an up-vector.

For the love of god- ditch everything you do in LW for rigging in XSI and just learn how it's done in XSI! You're in a new program- don't try and make it LW or you'll miss out on what makes it great.

You're also still not telling us exactly what you're trying to do- like have the knee joint rotate independently etc. Share so we can help you better.

Carm3D
05-12-2008, 11:15 PM
I'll do it the XSI way in time.. When I learn the program more & find more non node-locked training.. For now I just want to finish this project as soon as I can so I am sticking with what I know.

Sil3, Match Goal Orientation was a tool to make something oriented the same as something else. The XSI Orientation constraint isn't working like this because if I use constrain compensation and constrain it to something that isn't initially aligned like the other, it causes an effect where rotating the controller on the X makes the other rotate on Z. Very undesirable.

Carm3D
05-13-2008, 02:23 AM
Okay I've been making progress here.. This is my XSI lesson for the day:

If you don't need your bone to be in a chain, then DON'T USE BONES!!

Nothing more irritating than trying to rotate a hand bone but seeing the values keep snapping back because it needs to point at it's effector. So for hands, heads and feet, use nulls, implicit objects or objects. Is that "the XSI way" ? It seems to make thinks many times easier... And scenes that are less cluttered with roots and effectors that I don't need.

I solved my other issue with the constraints. This time I made a disc object and picked the points and rotated them so I could have the ring oriented 90 degrees off, but the pivot's data is unchanged. Now when I orient-constrain it to the disc, everything behaves as it should. It's like a good massage parlor. It has a happy ending.

Carm3D
05-13-2008, 03:38 AM
Painful XSI Lesson of the day #2: Null objects cannot do chain up vectors or up vectors. To get something to have it's X axis pointing at something you need to make a single bone chain.

The good news is, my arm is fully rigged now and the forearm twists as it should. I couldn't get anything to respond properly except using a null attached (and offset) to the back of the hand that the wrist uses as an up-vector.

calilifestyle
05-13-2008, 07:51 AM
BTW anyknow if could fully follow this dvd with xsimodtool

i been trying to follow some of the free ones but there not well rounded.

http://www.digitaltutors.com/store/product.php?productid=2567&cat=65&page=1

ThE_JacO
05-13-2008, 08:27 AM
Bones can work in FK Carm, there's a blending between FK/IK in the chain's properties. You can have them working both ways and interpolate between the two, but you need to set that parameter.

As for not being able to upvector a null, of course you can, but upvectoring is supposed to stabilize the solving of derivative rotations, without something to derivate rotations from (like a direction constraint) it won't give you much love.

It's also mathematically not possible to constrain just one axis to a direction as what you're really constraining is a plane, so a second axis is always affected, and for anything but rolls the third also will be although often unpredictably or not the way you'd want it (heuristics based on interaction or animation velocity can only go that far).
Up-vectoring needs the other two axis solved and provides a boolean Up or Down result to avoid flips.
The reason why it gives you single axis options or bias even on directional constraints is because you're really solving the plane that axis is perpendicular to.

In general you're always better off splitting these things, for the sake of creating a gimbal lock free system too. Have a null direction constrained and up-vectored to create a stable framework, and another null parented underneath to provide the third axis/roll. Make sure your order of rotations are also safe, long term it pays in spades.

Sil3
05-13-2008, 03:44 PM
I'll do it the XSI way in time.. When I learn the program more & find more non node-locked training.. For now I just want to finish this project as soon as I can so I am sticking with what I know.


I understand what you are saying... its very easy to say:

- Forget what you have learned and the way you worked for the past 10 years.

But its a LOT HARD to really do it, specially when all our reference to something is our own experience.


Sil3, Match Goal Orientation was a tool to make something oriented the same as something else. The XSI Orientation constraint isn't working like this because if I use constrain compensation and constrain it to something that isn't initially aligned like the other, it causes an effect where rotating the controller on the X makes the other rotate on Z. Very undesirable.

I see... well what about the old trick/workflow of parenting the item you need to be Oriented and use that Parent to put the "bastard" aligned or in place? ;)

This way your "Need to be Oriented Object" will haver the correct alignement :scream:


If you don't need your bone to be in a chain, then DON'T USE BONES!!

Nothing more irritating than trying to rotate a hand bone but seeing the values keep snapping back because it needs to point at it's effector. So for hands, heads and feet, use nulls, implicit objects or objects. Is that "the XSI way" ? It seems to make thinks many times easier... And scenes that are less cluttered with roots and effectors that I don't need.


Like Jaco already stated, every IK Chain in XSi is IK/FK automatically, as long as you never KEYFRAME the IK effector you can Rotate the Bones at will and keyframe those, or simply make the IK Chain FK only (CTRL+R to open the IK Chain PPG)

Yes because of all Bone being automatically IK/FK its becomes a bit clutered, but you will get used to it, or if you dont need IK use whatever object suits you. In case you dont know you are not forced to have the IK Effector inside the hierarchy or be Child of the last bone, you can put it anywhere you want it and still behaves correctly.

Another thing, NEVER put a Translation keyframe on any BONE or else the IK will act stupid, if you happen to drag an IK Effector and some Bones wont rotate now you know the reason... why this happens I have no clue, ask Softimage developers they made it:D

Can you post a small animated gif of what your Arm Rig looks like? Made me curious thats all ;)

mocaw
05-13-2008, 04:17 PM
Yes- please post a picture of your rig or animation and maybe an expanded view of the rig in explorer etc.

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but in this instance it's worth a lot of your time too. Make that ours as well.

And while every rigging possibility hasn't been already found in XSI, unlike LW there are a ton of stable, tried and true ways to make rigs for every situation. No LW hacking needed. So the next time you say XSI can't do LW's XYZ, it's most likely because it's not needed, done differently and in a better way, or it ws a bad hackish practice to begin with.

Take it from another LW user- XSI is just too deep to get a full appreciation from by using the brute force, clickable playground, method of app learning.

Sarford
05-13-2008, 07:04 PM
...Of course, because you refuse to go over the free training, reading the manual, or getting over the node locking issue, we now get to act like parents and waste time trying to guide you though the program. You're very lucky there are a bunch of ex-wavers here who are willing to entertain your hap hazard way of learning. I beg you to add up the hours spent on people posting here to you, your posts, and the time you've spent messing around and see if it still looks like looking at the free training and reading the manual more are too much for you busy schedule....

Tone it down a bit Mocaw. I think you are the one behaving like a teenager here. If you are to busy to help Charm3D then don't post here. You are the only one complaining so far. Keep it civilised.

mocaw
05-13-2008, 08:00 PM
Tone it down a bit Mocaw. I think you are the one behaving like a teenager here. If you are to busy to help Charm3D then don't post here. You are the only one complaining so far. Keep it civilised.

True enough! I've edited my post to try and take out the pissy parts and leave it at a bare bones level.

Sorry- just coming off a long work week(s) and my frustration boiled over into this thread!

I'm not too busy to help Charm3D (well technically I'm to busy to ever read/post but...), just wishing/hope'n/praying he'll heed some of our advice and save himself a lot of frustration.

Charm3D- at least give us some pictures of your setup including an explorer and schematic view. That will go a long way towards us all helping you.

Carm3D
05-13-2008, 11:08 PM
Woah.. Well here is a view of the schematic and the rig:

http://carm3d.net/Rig.GIF

No point in showing the explorer view.. it got hosed somehow. It's not showing everything like it used to.

So let me tell you what's going on in the image.. There is the IK chain for the arms, and the up vectors are aiming at the red diamonds.

His hand bones were replaced with nulls. I didn't know I could switch the bones to FK mode at that point but they work so I'm not complaining.

The rings around his wrist spin his hands/forearms and those are reoriented via the dark red boxes, which are parented to the red boxes.. I'll eventually hide the dark red boxes as I won't need to animate them.. they just re-orient the rings.

the little circles above his hands are upvectors for the green chain at the end of his forearms. Then the pink nulls on his forearm uses that as a reference in varying amounts for nice twisting action. The dark green chain at the top of his arms are also doing the upvector thing..

To clarify from earlier.. When I tried upvectors on nulls, I first gave them a direcion constraint. that part worked, but adding an upvector or chainupvector was not allowed. Only on bone chains as far as I can observe.


Anyway.. Everything so far works as I want it to so everything is groovy. Next I will rig his legs. Thanks for all your input everyone.

Edit: I just noticed.. The black object on the far right of the schematic view is a trapezoid!

grahamef
05-13-2008, 11:43 PM
Edit: I just noticed.. The black object on the far right of the schematic view is a trapezoid!

That plus the "Cl" above it means that it is a clone.

Carm3D
05-14-2008, 04:38 AM
That plus the "Cl" above it means that it is a clone.

Oh... Maybe I should have used "Duplicate" instead of "Clone."

TylerAZambori
05-25-2008, 06:42 PM
agree MR has ALOT to offer, feature wise it is the steepest learning curve in XSI
but you get more from it then learning XSI Rigging and Animation OVER LW..

Fprime is atoy compaired to MR ,..I'm still amazed at Fprime it is FAST ,.. really FAST !!
YES usefull for some jobs,...

BUT it doesn't do anything I personally want anymore, and is missing SO MUCH now now i know MR !
and it's connect to that Terrible system !!...

the last point is by far the biggest,.. because i do miss a Super fast render preview and Look forward to Vray for XSI ( options are good ) and hope that new Vray previewer comes over to XSi too..

super fast render previewing is something i do miss in XSI But workflow wise XSI has far more useful stuff working right now and short cuts and workflow options to get around that missing Fprime issue to go back to a broken system..

hi,

There is something I don't understand here: If xsi doesn't have a super-fast
render preview, then why does the softimage site state:

" Real-time playback means you can see what you’re doing without waiting for animation previews. "

from:
http://www.softimage.com/products/xsi/

in the "animate" section:

Animate
Fast, flexible animation is the heart of XSI. Streamlined workflows make it easy to pose and keyframe highly detailed characters. You get more keying done while watching your character in the viewports, without having to open another editor. Real-time playback means you can see what you’re doing without waiting for animation previews. A clean, responsive curve editor and dopesheet make it easy to manipulate animation. Easy animation layering and mixing simplify the process of breaking animation into parts and moving it around.

So if I understand correctly, that should mean you don't even have to do any
previews at all, right? Or is this just some kind of marketing hype?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

Tyler

edit: Oh never mind, I'm told that softimage was doing some marketing hype.
I hate lies! At least I know.

tuna
05-25-2008, 06:55 PM
hi,

There is something I don't understand here: If xsi doesn't have a super-fast
render preview, then why does the softimage site state:

" Real-time playback means you can see what you’re doing without waiting for animation previews. "

You seem to be mixing up rendering and animating. The real time playback you have quoted means that animation can be played back in the openGL viewport in realtime. Although probably obvious by today's standards, XSI still has some of the fastest enveloping and constraints of any package. Viewport capturing isn't entirely eliminated though.

Rendering on the other hand is obviously a lot slower, and a completely seperate process from realtime playback.

TylerAZambori
05-25-2008, 08:45 PM
You seem to be mixing up rendering and animating. The real time playback you have quoted means that animation can be played back in the openGL viewport in realtime. Although probably obvious by today's standards, XSI still has some of the fastest enveloping and constraints of any package. Viewport capturing isn't entirely eliminated though.

Rendering on the other hand is obviously a lot slower, and a completely seperate process from realtime playback.

hi,

well, I don't think I was getting it mixed up. I was not talking about final
rendering time, and the part I quoted from the xsi site was under the section
titled: animation.

According to what they said:

" Real-time playback means you can see what you’re doing without waiting for animation previews. "

that means they have gone one better than giving you real-time previews. You don't
even have to do a real-time preview, because whatyou see is what you get, right
there in the viewport.

They said it very clearly: no waiting for animation previews (meaning it is even
better than getting a real time preview). Is this really true, or not true?
If it is true, there would be no conversation such as this one about missing
the Fprime plugin fronm Lightwave. If it is not true, then softimage lied.
oh, I'm sick of marketing hype.

ThE_JacO
05-25-2008, 10:06 PM
Animation hasn't got anything to do with rendering.

What they are promoting is the speed of their deformers, IK etc which means faster playback, which means ANIMATION previews in real time, not rendering previews.

That you ARE confused is made pretty obvious by your mentioning of FPrime, FPrime is purely rendering related, and that's not what the site or their brochure is talking about.

You might be confusing preview as in some other software's particularity (tied to rendering) with the actual english meaning of the word and how it's used in this context.

TylerAZambori
05-25-2008, 10:43 PM
Animation hasn't got anything to do with rendering.

What they are promoting is the speed of their deformers, IK etc which means faster playback, which means ANIMATION previews in real time, not rendering previews.

That you ARE confused is made pretty obvious by your mentioning of FPrime, FPrime is purely rendering related, and that's not what the site or their brochure is talking about.

You might be confusing preview as in some other software's particularity (tied to rendering) with the actual english meaning of the word and how it's used in this context.

please totally forget I even mentioned Fprime.

YES I understand we are talking about animation previews in real time, ok?

That is what I care about. Now, let's go back to what softimage said yet again:

" Real-time playback means you can see what you’re doing without waiting for animation previews. "

To me, this means that, in softImage xsi, you don't even need realtime previews,
because they have done even better. It means that you see what you get
right there in the viewport as you work. Is that not what it means?

Please tell me, yes or no.

It means that it is better because you don't have to wait for animation previews,
you can see what you are doing as you work.

I am tearing my hair out here.

Is this true or not true? Does softimage lie or not lie?

ThE_JacO
05-25-2008, 11:13 PM
Depends from what you're dealing with.
It is a performing package, but if you throw a hard core rig with a ton of expressions at it of course it will never play in realtime, in which case you might get away with fast playback (so you won't render images to disk but just deal with a buffer), or if it's too much even for fast playback than you will at some point have to fall back on flipping a capture.

The fact it has a solid engine dealing with geometry means if you have geometry caching it can normally display a fair amount of it in real time, and real-time playback will run the buffer through once and play it realtime afterwards.

Said that of course you'll never get completely rid of flipping your animations, no architecture out there can efficiently deal with anything and everything the user might throw at it, especially if it contains a lot of customization Soft has no control over, or expensive elements like lots of expressions and scops.

You need to be a bit less dramatic though.
Is this true or not true? Does softimage lie or not lie?
No, they don't lie, they get sued out of their pants if they do, but of course there are logical limits to anything "realtime" that any company promises.

T4D
05-26-2008, 04:36 AM
marketing wise compaired to LW,... XSI handles play back ALOT ALOT better then Lightwave.
ALOT More ploygons, hundreds more operators all at very workiable preview levels
( LW 9.3 can only handle 4-6 IK chains before you start seeing slow down XSI can handle Hundreds !! )

simple stuff does play at 24 fps on a good graphic card , but you don't get real time when you start throwing bigger jobs at it, but it's plays at very good working speed.

XSI marketing has it right for real world attuides
( I don;t think any one takes that as real time 24 fps preview on EVERYTHING !! some things yes,. but when you start to get complex NO system can handle it that's why you get complex to push the levels of the system ,. as long as it's still workiable I'm happy :)

and as far as Fprime goes well I don't miss it any more, ( it;s still may be the quickest render around,. but it's missing so much compaired to MR )
MR workflow and has many MANY more options in it's workflow and features..

try it,.. it's has a steep learning curve but you get alot more out of each day learning it then trying to find workarounds in LW..

cgswami
05-29-2008, 04:48 AM
Tyler, The animation preview is like what we use in LW to get a realtime playback i(n the selected frame per sec rate) to preview animations at the final rate. In XSI there is now need for using such a tool since you animate and playback is what you would get in the final animation sequence. It is even better than Messiah.


... and yes I am making that jump also to XSI ;) and loving it so far .. thanks for the info guys ... and my god I never knew so many LWers had done so, thought it was just T4D and Pooby a couple years back, Carm, you too man .. wow!!!
Well I am greatly happy with my decision ... as i become more proficient in it as a professional i will change our LW training to XSI ......

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 06:39 AM
Speaking of which... I am now running XSI Essentials (Woohoo). I was down for about 5 days while trying to get the new dongle / license issues resolved (pththtf). Now I'm gonna go play with SyFlex (Weee).

ThE_JacO
05-29-2008, 07:09 AM
Speaking of which... I am now running XSI Essentials (Woohoo). I was down for about 5 days while trying to get the new dongle / license issues resolved (pththtf). Now I'm gonna go play with SyFlex (Weee).

Well, that didn't take long :)
I hope you got it under maintenance too, with siggraph around the corner it's usually a smart move :)

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 07:20 AM
No I didn't.. It was another $700. :/

ThE_JacO
05-29-2008, 07:30 AM
you're probably still in time to, personally I would.

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 07:39 AM
According to this page:
http://www.softimage.com/products/xsi/videos.aspx?video_id=30

The zipper force is only in XSI Advanced. This is out of date since the 6.5 repackaging, right? Do I have this in Essentials?

ThE_JacO
05-29-2008, 07:44 AM
Since the 6.5 repackaging the difference became MRay licenses and behavior (crowd sim app).
Features wise within the xsi client essentials is as complete (no pun intended) as it gets

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 08:05 AM
I just followed along with his video and made the bad-ass zipper effect.. Totally friggin' real time! Holy crap this is cool!!

mocaw
05-29-2008, 02:32 PM
I've been using XSI sans LW now since the 4 cycle (which really doesn't seem that long ago). Even then there were LW users, and ex-LW users using XSI well before me (with a much higher price point). It seemed there was a constant drip of LW users converting/augmenting. Now though... while I have no statistics or marketing data to back it up... now there seems to be a flood is developing!

There are a few things to miss from LW, but there is a lot more to love with XSI.

As far as Fprime goes... well it was and is handy... but once you get used to constructing render passes in XSI etc. it's kind of hard to go back to either the single pass method, the save a scene pass method, or the everything shares the same buffer way of rendering. I'm not saying it doesn't work... just that its lack of flexibility in many situations leaves something to be desired. I say this before even getting into any of the details for the render engines in XSI.

Riffing off that- some of you who are new should follow the development of 3Delight for XSI closely. If you've ever wanted a reyes rendering solution, but thought you'd have to code your own shaders to use it, this is your reyes render engine!

http://www.3delight.com/en/

TylerAZambori
05-29-2008, 03:04 PM
Tyler, The animation preview is like what we use in LW to get a realtime playback i(n the selected frame per sec rate) to preview animations at the final rate. In XSI there is now need for using such a tool since you animate and playback is what you would get in the final animation sequence. It is even better than Messiah.


cgswami,

is there a need to preview or playback, or do you see what you get as you work?
Sorry if I'm dense about this, but it seems to me like there is no real clear definition,
especially as the meaning changes depending on what you are doing.

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 03:16 PM
Just before I bought XSI, I bought LWPassPort (http://www.lwpassport.com) for Lightwave. I expect to be rendering my XSI animations in Lightwave for a while. Can't beat the unlimited network nodes.

mocaw
05-29-2008, 03:27 PM
More proof that LW is only economical if you don't have a plugin addiction. Nine hundred bucks for something that is standard in XSI! The way XSI handles is also more flexible...

I've found that a lot of things render faster in XSI...and I don't own a farm...so if it renders 2X-4X faster in mr...the price difference in most farms is moot.

Plus...you bought essentials...what about the compositor in XSI? You'll miss some shnazzy stuff by not making use of it...

I'm sure you'll all be singing a different tune when Vray comes out for XSI...you might want to save you pennies for things like that and 3Delight instead IMHO

Oh well...

Carm3D
05-29-2008, 04:53 PM
I already own a compositor; Eyeon's Vision. I haven't looked at XSI's compositor yet.

cgswami
05-29-2008, 05:42 PM
cgswami,

is there a need to preview or playback, or do you see what you get as you work?
Sorry if I'm dense about this, but it seems to me like there is no real clear definition,
especially as the meaning changes depending on what you are doing.

Hi,
When you animate in LW and use the normal play button, you usually never get the realtime playback or the actual fps (that you set NTSC/PAL) in the the openGL viewport, what you usually have to do is " bake the animation" or render a preview to see th actual playback you would get in the final render. These controls are found next to the playback controls in the lower right side of layout.

The meaning never really changes
Render preview or realtime RENDERER is what LW FPRIME, or C4D SNIPER does or attempts to do

Animation preview or the lack of the need of it or real time animation preview is where the actual fps is shown in the viewport as you animate and playback or scrub the timeline (no openGL lags)


Remember Render previews do not only include animations but stills which many artist use Fprime for. So no lies by Avid. Do think they have too :D They are well aware of the shortcomings of XSI as it is

Cheers !!

cgswami
05-29-2008, 05:44 PM
OT: is it just me or does that grin smiley looks like its taking a dunk -> :D

mocaw
05-29-2008, 06:17 PM
OT: is it just me or does that grin smiley looks like its taking a dunk -> :D

So if I mis-translate it would be garbage dunk? I don't know what face people make when taking a dunk- I also eat enough fiber and don't have a mirror in front of the place where I take a "dunk".

In addition- you could argue the otherway- Fprime and the others are supposed to be realtime...but at best during playback you see a pixelated mess unless you- tada- render!

Stop splitting hairs on the wrong head!

mocaw
05-29-2008, 06:20 PM
No I didn't.. It was another $700. :/

Uh...well since XSI 7 is rummored to be right around the corner...and all indications are that it will be a MUST HAVE release...that $700 is going to do you well if put towards matience...or else you're going to pony up a lot more cash come the release of 7.

Trust us- get the contract and actually save money AND get great support.

Also when you upgraded to ess you should have had $500 knocked off for having FND- that money should go towards a contract!

wonderpup
05-29-2008, 08:49 PM
Uh...well since XSI 7 is rummored to be right around the corner...and all indications are that it will be a MUST HAVE release...that $700 is going to do you well if put towards matience...or else you're going to pony up a lot more cash come the release of 7.

As a lightwave user I have developed an irrational fear of upgrading sight unseen- I have no idea why.:D

So about how much more expensive is it likely to be to upgrade without a contract?

(Perhaps I can beat my inner demon into submission with the difference.)

cgswami
05-29-2008, 09:03 PM
So if I mis-translate it would be garbage dunk? I don't know what face people make when taking a dunk- I also eat enough fiber and don't have a mirror in front of the place where I take a "dunk".

In addition- you could argue the otherway- Fprime and the others are supposed to be realtime...but at best during playback you see a pixelated mess unless you- tada- render!

Stop splitting hairs on the wrong head!

Lol Mocaw, well i should of said constipated smiley ... lighten up :p

And all i was trying to do was explain to Tyler what is the animation preview, as we all know Fprime is not an animation renderer, but a realtime preview which extensively aids in setup for lighting, texturing and some placement situations; a realtime animation player is simply IMHO a well written openGL implentation ... nada mucho pero bueno/excellente tener

no hairs split in the first place ... just sharing ... ease up ;):shrug:

ThE_JacO
05-29-2008, 09:15 PM
As a lightwave user I have developed an irrational fear of upgrading sight unseen- I have no idea why.:D

So about how much more expensive is it likely to be to upgrade without a contract?

(Perhaps I can beat my inner demon into submission with the difference.)

not terribly more expensive, since I last saw a quote prices changed, but it used to be the difference between 500 and 800, so I'd guess it increased proportionally to current pricelists.
The thing though is that if you're under maintenance you get the next release and anything during the year in case an early .5 is releases, not to mention full support, if you upgrade you get the new release but you're still outside maintenance.

I suggest contacting sales -[at]- softimage.com if you need a quote, it will come pretty quickly.

mocaw
05-29-2008, 10:21 PM
I don't think that many LW folks understand the difference between softimage extensive support and calling a call center for a dongle or serial number issue kind of support.

Softimage support goes way beyond simple setup issues and lost dongles...

It's not a scam in any way esp. if you plan on using ess. or adv. for the next several years- then it makes more sense to get maintenance than play the upgrade game.

XSI upgrades thus far are not the same as LW upgrades. They don't promise the sky and not deliver it and the user base isn't driven as much by "wiz bang" feature lust, so there are no crap plugins for free included or software you don't want/need to try and lure you in.

Put it this way- if moondust/ICE were in the hands of NewTek marketing they'd be dangling it over our heads for years. Softimage hasn't even officially announced it yet, nor said when it will be released etc.

If you've had enough of the pure LW marketing upgrade fluff then XSI maintenance is the right stuff!

9192
05-29-2008, 11:08 PM
As former LWer, it is a great way to say that, Mocaw.
NT would talk about Moondust since last year and LWers will get Earthdust two years later.
I am sick of that marketing too, and that is the reason NT will not charge for point upgrade, because even full upgrade LW did not show much of promising.

9192

mocaw
05-30-2008, 12:39 AM
As former LWer, it is a great way to say that, Mocaw.
NT would talk about Moondust since last year and LWers will get Earthdust two years later.
I am sick of that marketing too, and that is the reason NT will not charge for point upgrade, because even full upgrade LW did not show much of promising.

9192

Actually...didn't Jay Roth say that there would probably be a fee of some kind for future point releases past 10.0?!?

ThE_JacO
05-30-2008, 12:40 AM
Softimage has a very strict policy of abiding to the law that prohibits to talk of a product that won't be release within the quarter.
With important events like siggraph and adapt being in the next quarter you can do the maths and come up with your own guesswork as to why they haven't made a lot of noise about ICE yet.

The magnitude and quality of the changes brought by something like that definitely qualify the release as a new product, and Soft has strong ethics in those regards.

btw Mocaw, I appreciate how enthusiastically you embraced xsi and your helping wavers to come across, but I'd also appreciate if you could maintain the same enthusiasm for xsi without being as aggressive towards newtek.
Given your intentions being obviously not malicious but rather altruistic you might also find it'd make it an easier job to help others if you don't stomp all over where they come from :)

bobakabob
05-30-2008, 09:59 AM
btw Mocaw, I appreciate how enthusiastically you embraced xsi and your helping wavers to come across, but I'd also appreciate if you could maintain the same enthusiasm for xsi without being as aggressive towards newtek.
Given your intentions being obviously not malicious but rather altruistic you might also find it'd make it an easier job to help others if you don't stomp all over where they come from :)

Agreed, this 'us' and 'them' attitude is getting silly. Many here enjoy using Lightwave and XSI. And it's interesting how XSI has made moves to integrate with Lightwave through PointOven and LWO support. He also gives a misleading impression of Newtek re tek support. If you ever have to call Newtek Europe, the team are professional, friendly and do their utmost to help out.

cgswami
05-30-2008, 11:05 AM
Agreed, this 'us' and 'them' attitude is getting silly. Many here enjoy using Lightwave and XSI. And it's interesting how XSI has made moves to integrate with Lightwave through PointOven and LWO support. He also gives a misleading impression of Newtek re tek support. If you ever have to call Newtek Europe, the team are professional, friendly and do their utmost to help out.

So true. I love LW, and support is prompt if ever needed.
Its just my needs right now as an artsit led/ is leeding me here with XSI

mocaw
05-30-2008, 01:50 PM
US vs. Them?

Uh, great so now I'm the scape goat? Give me a break- I never made it sound like LW, as a piece of software was a steaming pile of rubbish. I never even said that Newtek support was lacking- no, more of what I was saying is that you get what you pay for, and while I can't speak for NewTek support in Europe, yes, the US support is very good- but it's not the same kind or level of support. What is so wrong with that statement?

Softimage sells theirs as a payed feature at a certain level and with it you get a lot of expert help and knowledge. I see it more as a feature. Like how it's safe to say that nurbs are better in XSI (even though they suck) because LW simply does not have nurbs (trueart plugins aside). Or that the quick, pixel filter hair options are stronger in LW because, as far as I know, XSI doesn't have that option.

It should be stated that for the most part, the LW users group forums fill 80% of this gap and it's free. Still it's not a phone call away...

OK, so I took a knock at Newtek marketing, but truth be told I hate marketing (even though I'm in a way part of that industry). ThE_JacO- I'm a LW user too- when was the last time you used it? Did you closely follow the 7-8 cycles? NO, or at least I doubt it. It was almost as painful as what i've heard of the XSI 1-2 cycle. If you did use it during that time, you'd see why so many here, including myself, got fed up with the "cry wolf" marketing style of Newteks marketing department at the time.

Truth be told that now they are toning it down quite a bit, and are living up more and more to their promises, but many of us are left jaded. Many of us ponied up $ for "near future" releases that were drawn out over quite some time. I was trying to be clear that there are NO such practices with softimage that I'm aware of. AKA maintenance for softimage is not the same as pre-paying for a LW upgrade.

And no- I never make an us vs. them statement. That kind of thinking is reserved for people who lap up marketing hype and drive mini-coopers with bitten white fruit stickers in the rear window. I think if people followed my actions in threads here and on XSIbase and the newtek forums (aka dumb name wacom vs. mocaw here) you'd find I call a spade a spade more often then not with XSI AND LW.

I will tone down my apparently offensive remarks towards Newtek to keep the LW fan hords from filling up the cgtalk moderator pms from now on in this thread, but I'm not going to start patting LW on the back either if the fan base has a back slapping party.

I'm a user, not a fan, just like I would rather be a treated as a citizen than a consumer.

Sbowling
05-30-2008, 03:14 PM
As a lightwave user I have developed an irrational fear of upgrading sight unseen- I have no idea why.:D

So about how much more expensive is it likely to be to upgrade without a contract?

(Perhaps I can beat my inner demon into submission with the difference.)

You ever get your modeling tools integrated into layout? That was supposed to be one of the V9 features I believe.

As far as the upgrade VS Maintenance contract, I believe that the difference was about $100 when I got it. Personally, I'm going to wait until 7 is out, I can live without the support contract for a while and it will be easier for me to afford at a later date (lots of birthdays right now). I would also like to get a look at the real feature list before upgrading (yes, I'm also a former lightwave user) just to know what will be in it. So far all I've really heard is rumors and code names. It may not even have anything that I want in it (but I doubt that).

Besides, I don't feel I need the next version of XSI just to get my job done, it will most likely just make things a bit eaiser (or if you look at the last few upgrades, a lot easier).

ThE_JacO
05-30-2008, 03:55 PM
ThE_JacO- I'm a LW user too- when was the last time you used it? Did you closely follow the 7-8 cycles? NO, or at least I doubt it.
Actually I have, pretty closely too.
It was almost as painful as what i've heard of the XSI 1-2 cycle. If you did use it during that time, you'd see why so many here, including myself, got fed up with the "cry wolf" marketing style of Newteks marketing department at the time.
I can see the why, and it's not up to me to judge whether it's deserved or not.
All I'm saying is that a comparison is seldom, if ever, needed to discuss many of the topics at hand.
I understand that the concept of "migrating" apps benefits from some, but if it's unsolicited and key to each and every post it can be mis-interpreted, not to mention it obfuscates the other qualities of the post itself to the eyes of many readers.

I will tone down my apparently offensive remarks towards Newtek to keep the LW fan hords from filling up the cgtalk moderator pms from now on in this thread, but I'm not going to start patting LW on the back either if the fan base has a back slapping party.
For the record, nobody sent me any PM or complaints about the thread, and I don't think anything said in here was particularly flamable material, but a prod once in a while helps preventing forest fires, which is a good deal easier than putting them off.

At the end of the day this is an xsi forum, and the subjects should be largely xsi focused, with other apps entering the picture only when strictly necessary or addressed directly.
IE: To describe the quality of the support service there's no need to compare it to that of another company, the subject can live very well on its own :)

ndog
05-30-2008, 04:16 PM
What type of support does Softimage provide if you have a support contract? Is support only ment to deal with software bug type issues or does it extend into providing information about using XSI on difficult projects?

My contact with Softimage has been limited to licensing and install issues only so I always feel a little disappointed when that annual contract rolls around.

cgswami
05-30-2008, 04:21 PM
Exactly !!

Mocaw ... ease up again man :)

no LW butt slapping amongst any of here, just don't damn the bridge you crossed, others may need it.

The reason the most of us LWavers are here is because of those same things you are pointing out and we think that XSI will fill those gaps for us, at least i do. There are some things that i like in LW and and love in XSI. I am in the process of letting go of the LW thinking, easy enough since i also used 3ds max before.
The problem is when LW does catch up if i will ever want to go back :eek:

Werner
05-30-2008, 05:21 PM
XSI will fill more then gaps...I'm loving it more and more every day.
My work has changed over the last year, just because I can rig faster/better and render out passes without hitting myself in the face over and over again, out of frustration. I love the fact that XSI is good on the creative side as well as good on the technical side. That is one of the many reasons I will never allow Maya-Smaya on my pc :-)

It's good to see LW users here and I will always think highly of LW, so can't we please get along and share XSI ideas and workflows. There is enough shit going on in my country that I don’t want to see the same thing when I escape in here.

LW = Cool!
XSI = Cool!
Maya = Smaya

mocaw
05-30-2008, 07:24 PM
...There is enough shit going on in my country that I don’t want to see the same thing when I escape in here...

Point well taken- there are bigger, more important things to worry over and vent about. I, and others, often get worked up about things that in the larger scope (aka beyond our desktops and bank accounts) mean very little.

cgswami
05-30-2008, 07:38 PM
sweet !! :deal: :wise: :buttrock:


Werner, I know of your modeling skills (bank chicks, etc). In XSI is the modeling process for characters/people significantly faster to you !!

wonderpup
05-30-2008, 11:34 PM
Sorry my little joke backfired a bit. I've voluntarily banned myself from Newtek's forum because i was posting too much negative stuff and certainly don't want to start that here.

I'll probably wait untill the new version is out this time around, the economy here is turning ugly so I'll wait to see how things pan out before deciding.

yog
05-31-2008, 09:52 AM
What type of support does Softimage provide if you have a support contract? Is support only ment to deal with software bug type issues or does it extend into providing information about using XSI on difficult projects?
I'm not the type of person who goes running off and asking for support whenever I get stuck (wouldn't get far in life if I did), but I did e-mail Softimage support in the early days of my use of it, and it did turn out to be my misunderstanding and not the software's fault (no surprise there :blush: ). But the reply I got was so helpful and comprehensive I have been encouraged to contact them a couple times since, with the odd problem, bug report and suggestion for future features.
Every time, even on the suggested features posts, the feedback was excellent, from giving me a tracking number, to every time the person replying taking the time to discuss and explore the problem, bug or proposed feature, in depth, often suggesting a couple ways the workflow could be improved. Never once did I feel that any post I made was wasted, or worse feel like I was whispering into a tornado at midnight.

I still don't use support much (maybe only once a year), in fact my main reason for being on maintenance is for the upgrades, for which I have never felt let down (the inclusion of compositor and Syflex being two of the more welcome upgrades), but it is still nice to know that if I am ever stuck, there is a company behind me that has shown it is willing to help as much as possible :thumbsup:

cgswami
05-31-2008, 11:32 AM
wow ... that's really unheard of ... thanks for sharing

richcz3
06-03-2008, 02:52 AM
Having read a number of posts here since Carm posted, I'm seriously debating mixing it up with XSI now - Using LW and XSI together if thats realistic.

What is the overall learning curve people have experienced with XSI? Is there any learned conventions that will cut the time?
Is it really better to wait for 7?
Questions for ex or current LW'ers - XSI to LW comparisons

XSI - Modeler compared to LW Modeler
Ease of Render set up in XSI compared to LW

pooby
06-03-2008, 08:52 AM
I think in terms of learning XSI, coming from LW, the main thing I found confusing is getting your head around modelling in the animation environment. In modeller, if you make the object at the origin, then you know that, in Layout it's going to have it's pivot at the origin and that's it. In XSI, it's Centre dictates this, and it's actually very straightforward but the whole concept of having no object files that you load into a scene takes a little getting used to (although, of course, you could do that too, but it's not the golden rule as it is in LW)

The other thing is the operator stack. LW has nothing like this at all and its so useful that once learnt you wont want to do without it.
For example If you make a curve, you can use that to make the dictate the profile of a vase by using the revolution around AXIS operator.
So this generates a Polygon vase, But it's not a done deal like it is in LW. You can still fiddle about with the curve and change the profile of the vase at any time. Even animate it if you wish. This kind of thing can be utilised not only for modelmaking, but for rigging and effects work too.

Booleans, too or merges etc, they all work 'live' like this, so you can generate a boolean intersection from two other objects, and animate those source objects, which will generate the boolean on the fly. Ie, pull the source objects away from each other and there is no geometry, but move them together and the intersection appears over time..LW has no way of doing anything like this. Once an Object is in Layout, that's it.. you can deform it but you can't add or remove components.
The ability to do this in XSI is wonderful, but requires a little getting used to.

The best thing about XSI is that it's very consistant.. all the panels look similar, and work the same way. Learn the basics and the rest feels familiar. It's far more logical than LW, and 99.9% of the time, if something odd happens, its simply that you've done something odd, so you can learn from your mistake.
In LW, if something odd happens, half the time the answer is ' Oh, that's just the way that tool works, you can't use it with that. I know it's a bit silly and I dont know why they made it like that but a work around is....'

XSI gives the impression to me of being designed by a tight knit team of design geniuses that understand how to make their software as user-friendly as possible without losing any power or control to the app.
There came many moments when learning it when I just sat back and exclaimed ' WHAT???That's just brilliant!!' with a big grin on my face.


XSI - Modeler compared to LW Modeler

For me, my original intent was to use XSI solely for animation. I would model in LW and bring everything in to rig, then export the animation.
As I started using XSI, I, without really thinking about it, got into modelling in XSI, I started off just by tweaking vertices on the model if need be, then making extra morphs in XSI, then by realising I could use 'modelling tools' to help me rig. Within a short time I started objects from scratch in XSI.
I now never model in LW as I find my modelling workflow in XSI is much faster than I could achieve in LW, and it feels more immediate.
It's also simpler - In XSI there is one comprehensive version of each tool, rather than a whole variety of the same tool that do slightly different things. And you can use proportional (falloff) modelling mode with all the other appropriate tools, rather than having a separate tool like drag or magnet for this.
Also, the tweak tool is just great. no swapping between Point and Poly mode when transforming components.

Ease of Render set up in XSI compared to LW
I'm just about to wean myself off LW and Fprime, so I don't know about this yet.. Early days suggest that it's a lot more involved, but potentially a lot more rewarding to be able to set up passes etc.

Maph
06-03-2008, 10:21 AM
I think in terms of learning XSI, coming from LW, the main thing I found confusing is getting your head around modelling in the animation environment. In modeller, if you make the object at the origin, then you know that, in Layout it's going to have it's pivot at the origin and that's it. In XSI, it's Centre dictates this, and it's actually very straightforward but the whole concept of having no object files that you load into a scene takes a little getting used to (although, of course, you could do that too, but it's not the golden rule as it is in LW)

The other thing is the operator stack. LW has nothing like this at all and its so useful that once learnt you wont want to do without it.
For example If you make a curve, you can use that to make the dictate the profile of a vase by using the revolution around AXIS operator.
So this generates a Polygon vase, But it's not a done deal like it is in LW. You can still fiddle about with the curve and change the profile of the vase at any time. Even animate it if you wish. This kind of thing can be utilised not only for modelmaking, but for rigging and effects work too.

Booleans, too or merges etc, they all work 'live' like this, so you can generate a boolean intersection from two other objects, and animate those source objects, which will generate the boolean on the fly. Ie, pull the source objects away from each other and there is no geometry, but move them together and the intersection appears over time..LW has no way of doing anything like this. Once an Object is in Layout, that's it.. you can deform it but you can't add or remove components.
The ability to do this in XSI is wonderful, but requires a little getting used to.

The best thing about XSI is that it's very consistant.. all the panels look similar, and work the same way. Learn the basics and the rest feels familiar. It's far more logical than LW, and 99.9% of the time, if something odd happens, its simply that you've done something odd, so you can learn from your mistake.
In LW, if something odd happens, half the time the answer is ' Oh, that's just the way that tool works, you can't use it with that. I know it's a bit silly and I dont know why they made it like that but a work around is....'

XSI gives the impression to me of being designed by a tight knit team of design geniuses that understand how to make their software as user-friendly as possible without losing any power or control to the app.
There came many moments when learning it when I just sat back and exclaimed ' WHAT???That's just brilliant!!' with a big grin on my face.




For me, my original intent was to use XSI solely for animation. I would model in LW and bring everything in to rig, then export the animation.
As I started using XSI, I, without really thinking about it, got into modelling in XSI, I started off just by tweaking vertices on the model if need be, then making extra morphs in XSI, then by realising I could use 'modelling tools' to help me rig. Within a short time I started objects from scratch in XSI.
I now never model in LW as I find my modelling workflow in XSI is much faster than I could achieve in LW, and it feels more immediate.
It's also simpler - In XSI there is one comprehensive version of each tool, rather than a whole variety of the same tool that do slightly different things. And you can use proportional (falloff) modelling mode with all the other appropriate tools, rather than having a separate tool like drag or magnet for this.
Also, the tweak tool is just great. no swapping between Point and Poly mode when transforming components.


I'm just about to wean myself off LW and Fprime, so I don't know about this yet.. Early days suggest that it's a lot more involved, but potentially a lot more rewarding to be able to set up passes etc.

That basicly summed it up imho. :wise:

About rendering: XSI passes are bloody powerfull, and I couldn't live without them anymore. The only thing you will have to overcome when coming from Lightwave is Mental Ray. Since Mental Ray is huge and quite difficult to apprehend at first. But once you get to understand it, it's pretty straight forward. :) There's tons of resources available on the subject, physical and digital.

yog
06-03-2008, 12:40 PM
What is the overall learning curve people have experienced with XSI? Is there any learned conventions that will cut the time?
I personally found the learning curve between LW and XSI was very gentle, especially when compared to LW-MAX or LW-Maya. The biggest thing that helps when it come to learning XSI is everything is standardised, all the panels look and work the same and there is a high degree of commonality between the different section tabs (Modelling, rendering, hair, etc).
When I started learning XSI, Foundation was as much as Essentials is now, so to get the most out of the investment as quickly as possible I picked up a couple of tutorials from 3D Tutorial just before I ordered XSI, best money I ever spent.

Is it really better to wait for 7?
If you go for maintanence now, then there is absolutely no reason to wait as you will get XSI-7 when released.
If you don't go for mainanence then there "may" also be a case for not waiting until XSI-7. As I said Foundation was a lot more expensive when I purchased it, but then Softimage slashed the price of their entire range about six months later. Initially I thought "that's life", but then a couple days later I got an e-mail from my reseller saying that Softimage had decided that anyone who had purchased XSI Foundation in the last six months would get a free upgrade to Essentials.
****WARNING**** There is no known reason why Softimage may or may not do similar in the future, I'm just saying that they did do it once before.

Questions for ex or current LW'ers - XSI to LW comparisons[/b]
XSI - Modeler compared to LW Modeler
At first XSI may feel that it has far fewer tools than LW, but as I said XSI's tools are more streamlined and consistant. One of my gripes with LW was/is that it came bundled with dozens of former 3rd party plug-ins that all did very similar things but worked in different ways. XSI's tools are far less numerous, but have option switches that make them very flexible.
Initially I purchased Modo at the same time as XSI because I thought I might struggle with XSI for modelling. Soon I found that most of my modelling was done in XSI through choice. I still have Lightwave, and whilst I might render the odd thing with it, I honestly can't remember the last time I modelled anything with it.

[quoteEase of Render set up in XSI compared to LW[/QUOTE]
I would say that LW is quite a bit easier to set a render up in than XSI .... but XSI offeres far more power and options for rendering.
I never really used render passes or compositing when using LW because it was such a PITA, but as Maph says, I really couldn't live without XSI's render passes now. Also whilst LW now has nodes (didn't when I started using XSI), I just feel so much more comfortable with XSI's nodes, probably because It doesn't feel like I'm leaving the host application to use them, and because XSI's node editor doesn't just work for material shaders.

mocaw
06-03-2008, 02:39 PM
I'd also like to chime in on the modeling part and go with what pooby said- the op stack changes everything. Often if a tool doesn't exists in XSI, thanks to the op stack, you can string along a few and often get what you need. While it's a gradient between work-a-rounds and functionality I real enjoy that part of XSI- you rarely (sans particles) feel crippled by the program in terms of function. In other software I've used you're constantly waiting for a solution from the developer instead of being rewarded with this sandbox.

If and when ICE (aka moondust) makes it into XSI, that will be another leap forward in these terms.

I guess my only complaint with this is that sometimes I waste time trying to figure out which of the ten different ways to do something would be best! Experience will help on that front...but still it's so hard not to just try one more way and see how it performs!

LW render tree is much newer in functionality, and so in that sense has some newer spins on the wheel, but if you can use it in LW you should be fine with XSI and mr in that sense. I find a lot of the materials and nodes put out by 3rd parties more advanced/well crafted in XSI. The exception would be procedural textures- if you're a procedural junky then you'll have to go with enhance XSI. There is also a layer editor for materials in XSI that works more like what you might be used to in LW. I've never used it, but I've seen and read several tutorials that did, and it seemed fairly good and straight forward- still nodes are the way to go IMHO.

On an aside- I found after using LW for so long I was a radiosity junky. The main reason was that LWs light system didn't provide all the functionality that makes doing conventional lighting easier. If all you've ever done is simple 3 point conventional lighting, I think you'd do yourself a favor by looking at XSI's light features and conventional lighting with it before defaulting to FG etc. Shadow maps in XSI are amazing compared to LW. I know XSI doesn't have the best lights in this sense, but I find they are very robust when compared to LW. The pass system just builds magnitudes of power for working with conventional lighting techniques. And the 1st and 3rd party AO solutions (ctrl.studios ctrl.occlusion is amazing) a great additions to this list...

The new lights in LW are very cool though, but still don't address some key features that are essential to conventional lighting.

bobakabob
06-03-2008, 04:56 PM
I'm a current Lightwave (former Max) user and have been working in XSI the past few months. It's been really enjoyable and I'm aiming to combine LW and XSI in a workflow. Here are some impressions (taking into account I'm feeling increasingly assured in XSI but still have much to learn):

Modelling - It's really robust though my first impressions were that it was a little 'clunky' like a strange hybrid of Max and Lightwave. In fact many of the tools seem LW inspired (was Modeler used as a blueprint in developing XSI's poly modelling toolkit?)

Organic modelling in sub ds is very similar between apps - press + or - to activate in XSI and the sphere of influence tool is like Lightwave's magnet with additional features. I haven't really taken to it though and have had trouble activating it though this might be a graphic card issue. This is my fave tool in LW for building characters so I'm sticking to Modeler for now.

However, seems I missed a few important features like the Tweak tool Pooby mentioned. The first task I set myself was basic poly modelling and this works like a charm with sound extension tools and an edge feature similar to bandsaw in LW. 'Point' 'poly' 'edge' and 'object' selection plus 'translate' and 'rotate' are all intuitive and I really like the sturdy accessible icon free look of the interface which doesn't look like an engineer's breakfast like Max. You can configure a LW style lasoo tool for selection to feel more at home, but the other options are useful here, especially for technical models. Still I can work more quickly in LW so you pays yer money...

Q: I'm aware of the importance of the Scene button in XSI to keep an overview of things but still haven't figured out how to make and select poly and vertex groups like you can do in LW's Stats panel. This is a fundamental gap in my knowledge so time to consult the manual - but any help here appreciated.:hmm:

Animation - like many users this is my real motivation for learning and a pleasant surprise is how well it integrates with LW, with Point Oven and LWO support. Good to see XSI acknowledging LW as an industry standard app. I'm a fan of recent rendering developments in LW so want to stick with that and buy into FPrime for previews.

I'm presently learning on an academic version of XSI 4.2 which lacks LW compliance but intend to buy into Foundation to use as a sophisticated animation plugin. The sophisticated pre built animation rigs which you easily adjust to fit your character are superb. You associate the bones with the model in a quick pain free way which takes minutes on a basic character. I sweated blood learning IK character rigging from scratch years back in Lightwave and once the pain was over it seemed purposeful and worked well but this is more like fun and no need for plugins. My first XSI rigged character also didn't seem to need weightmaps. Animation is via a Lightwave Graph Editor style interface and it's very quick to pick up. I'm no animation specialist but it's intuitive and appears to offer pros a considerable amount of scope for customisation. I'd like to test this on a faster machine though as it doesn't seem quite so responsive as Messiah.

Q: I've painted some basic weightmaps on objects to modify deformations in XSI but still have big gaps in my knowledge here... weightmaps don't seem to be directly associated with active bones in any of the panels. Can anyone explain the difference between LW and XSI here, I must be missing something?

Surfacing in XSI is similar to LW's nodal features and it's great fun trying out the exotic presets and customising them. The Render Region panel gives you a quick update of your work. But as a newbie I've not yet been able to set up a scene as quickly as I did in Lightwave. Maybe it's ensuing old age, a million different buttons to press in Mental Ray or the fact I still love the surfacing features in LW. But as Pooby has mentioned there's a sense of design genius and lots of potential with XSI's passes and a rich feature set.

I don't feel the need to 'migrate' as these days you don't have to sell your house to get into CGI. I'm staying with Lightwave and looking forward to 9.5 - it's damn good value for an intuitive out of the box solution with world class renderer. The new LW team have so far really impressed with their wise decision to focus on LW's rendering strengths. I've also really grown to like XSI and keep getting drawn back magnetically to the animation tools... My only downer is having to rebuy XSI Foundation every time you want to 'upgrade'. At least it's fairly cheap but there's still a psychological sense of the 'lite' about that compared to LW Complete. But then it's unfair to expect Avid to give this great package away.

tc
06-03-2008, 05:28 PM
hey guys,
my path was 3dMax > LW > XSI > Maya > XSI.

Then I think the best way to check how things are in another software is to look at the manual or something.
A quick look on this guide might give you an overview of the thing:
http://softimage.wiki.avid.com/xsibasics/xsibasics6x_en.pdf

As for how XSI compares to LW... Well Pooby said it all. :)

grahamef
06-03-2008, 05:32 PM
Q: I'm aware of the importance of the Scene button in XSI to keep an overview of things but still haven't figured out how to make and select poly and vertex groups like you can do in LW's Stats panel. This is a fundamental gap in my knowledge so time to consult the manual - but any help here appreciated.:hmm:

Look up "cluster" in the help.

Q: I've painted some basic weightmaps on objects to modify deformations in XSI but still have big gaps in my knowledge here... weightmaps don't seem to be directly associated with active bones in any of the panels. Can anyone explain the difference between LW and XSI here, I must be missing something?

You might be confusing two different things. There are "weight maps", which just store values per vertex and can be used to control the amplitude of deformations like Push, Bulge, etc. And then there are "envelope weights" which control how strongly a vertex is influenced by a bone or other deformer in an envelope (which I think is called a "skin" in Lightwave?).

mocaw
06-03-2008, 07:48 PM
bobakabob

4.x doesn't have the tweak tool- that was introduced in 5. You should download the latest version for assesment as several things have changed since 4 (nothing earth shattering, but there are changes).

Be sure to check out all the free training here too (and the manual is REALLY good IMHO):

http://community.softimage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=57

No excuse with all that sitting there to NOT get up to speed with XSI!

Also- I've found there are a lot of modeling practices that I've been able to change since certain things function differently. For organic modeling it's that XSI handles "N-gons" well, and allows you to just grab and edge and delete it, then re draw it where you want- very powerful!

bobakabob
06-03-2008, 11:00 PM
grahaneff,

Cheers, I need to lock myself in the attic and re-read the XSI manual. Not all the terminolgy directly corresponds to Lightwave.

mocaw,

"No excuse with all that sitting there to NOT get up to speed with XSI!"

Heh, you're right... I feel like one of those guys who buys a 1950s Strat and hangs it on the wall. Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly check out the new developments in XSI's modeller. I've had 4.2 for quite a while but a few weeks back I had to give it some real focus for an educational project. Of course the CA tools were a revelation. I downloaded a trial of Foundation recently to see what was new and first impressions are of a robust and powerful app which I'm looking forward to buying into as a complement to Lightwave and ZBrush. XSI's modelling toolset is difficult to resist - but IMHO LW's Modeler despite its age still appeals for its sheer speed and wealth of plugins (have you tried LW CAD?). It's all personal preference of course. Look at Taron's amazing creations, he uses about 3 or 4 basic tools in Lightwave. But it's intriguing to see such positive comments from experienced users here. XSI's interface like ZBrush, makes more sense with every project.

Btw Beware of mocking Mini Cooper drivers - your earlier comment was a hoot but as someone who's participated in the annual London to Brighton rally it's a strangely uplifting feeling being surrounded by thousands of Mini driving geeks paying homage to a class example of engineering genius. Not unlike a certain software application ;)

mocaw
06-03-2008, 11:46 PM
I've got nothing against the classic mini sans that it's still a gas powered vehicle (as most are). My issue was more a new one with a little bitten white fruit sticker in the back (as seen on many a prius). :)

The sticker is crutial to my argument...

Well, LW CAD IS great. If I need such tools I'd probably look outside XSI. Ditto for nurbs really.

As far as speed goes with modeling- a lot of it is personal experience and preference as you said. I have had a lot of projects though were the client wanted something seemingly "small" changed...and without the op stack with would have been a pain to rework the mesh.

The only real modeling plugin I miss is thickner in LW. There are work arounds and OK plugins in XSI, but they just don't all work as easily or well as that part of LW. If anyone knows of one that works almost identical to the LW version please let me know!

Sarford
06-04-2008, 12:23 AM
One of the things I like best about the XSI modeling part is how increadibly easy it is to totaly change your poly flow. There are almost no limits. You can add new edge rings with the click of the mouse, add edges anywhere you want, easely merge polys together etc.

And don't get me started on the rigging in LightWave. One of the reasons I came to XSI was that rigging in LW was a nightmare to me, so complex I never understood the concept behind it. In XSI it is a breaze. It is SO easy that at first you don't believe it can be true. Then you learn how powerfull it is and again you'll think that it can't be true. :love:

bobakabob
06-04-2008, 12:29 AM
mocaw,
Thanks for the link to the XSI training. There seems to be a lot more around than three years back when I first invested in 4.2 (hard to believe it was so long ago). It should hopefully fill some considerable knowledge gaps particularly regarding surfacing and rendering. And any further advice relating to character rigging, weighting and animation greatly appreciated. I ordered Manny Papamanos's tutorials which look superb.

Sarford,
Yep, CA in XSI is in a league of its own. Rigging in LW is unfortunately viewed by many as a black art. A shame because it's a myth you can't do character animation in LW. IMO Newtek could do more to demystify the process by including a built in autorigger. I learned to build basic IK LW character rigs and once it clicked it seemed pretty logical - but only after a lot of hard graft. I'm not sure these days how productive that approach is. I must say I've enjoyed animating in LW overall but then I'm not an advanced animator who has felt held back by the limitations. A big issue is joint deformation and point manipulation in Layout which should hopefully appear with the fusion of Modeler and Layout.

ActionArt
06-06-2008, 01:40 PM
Looks like all the old crew from LW is here! I'm seriously thinking of giving it a go too.

I have one big question, I'm sure it's been answered before but I'm too lazy to look :)

What is the state of volume rendering in XSI? I use hypervoxels a LOT in LW, not because they're all that great anymore but because there seems to be few options. I also use dynamite a bit which has some nice features but no support.

Can someone tell me what XSI offers either internally or as a plugin?

ActionArt
06-06-2008, 01:43 PM
Well, LW CAD IS great. If I need such tools I'd probably look outside XSI. Ditto for nurbs really.



I needed a good nurbs modeler and ended up with MoI. I love it. I should work very nicely with XSI as well I would think.

www.moi3d.com (http://www.moi3d.com)

ThE_JacO
06-06-2008, 05:52 PM
Looks like all the old crew from LW is here! I'm seriously thinking of giving it a go too.

I have one big question, I'm sure it's been answered before but I'm too lazy to look :)

What is the state of volume rendering in XSI? I use hypervoxels a LOT in LW, not because they're all that great anymore but because there seems to be few options. I also use dynamite a bit which has some nice features but no support.

Can someone tell me what XSI offers either internally or as a plugin?

XSI has a very nice plugin from binary alchemy for volumetric rendering of particle clouds, and there were bits and bobs here and there of next version demos with new volumetric shaders included.
It holds up pretty well with 6.5 and BA and will hold its ground even better next release.

mocaw
06-06-2008, 07:50 PM
If I read the tea leafs in your post The_Jaco, then the future is looking very good for XSI 7. Can't wait!

ThE_JacO
06-06-2008, 07:53 PM
If I read the tea leafs in your post The_Jaco, then the future is looking very good for XSI 7. Can't wait!

Don't try to read between the lines, there's only the blanks :)
I'm just saying what has been shown at some of the public demos of it, you can probably find just as much browsing and searching around a bit.

mocaw
06-06-2008, 10:43 PM
Your days as a gossip columnist are over!

OK, well I pray it makes it into the next round, but if it's not ready...well then it's not ready and we'll have to wait. I have high hopes though since everyone who has seen it said that it seems fairly far along, but those demos might just be highlighting what's working so far.

Sbowling
06-08-2008, 02:00 AM
The only real modeling plugin I miss is thickner in LW. There are work arounds and OK plugins in XSI, but they just don't all work as easily or well as that part of LW. If anyone knows of one that works almost identical to the LW version please let me know!

Have you tried http://kim-aldis.co.uk/drupal-6.1/node/17

mocaw
06-08-2008, 03:29 AM
Have you tried http://kim-aldis.co.uk/drupal-6.1/node/17

Doesn't work quite the same from my experience. While it has some really great features, on its basic level it's more like using the push deformer and then bridging boundary edges.

ActionArt
06-10-2008, 01:03 PM
XSI has a very nice plugin from binary alchemy for volumetric rendering of particle clouds, and there were bits and bobs here and there of next version demos with new volumetric shaders included.
It holds up pretty well with 6.5 and BA and will hold its ground even better next release.

Thanks for the info, I'll keep my eye on it.

Carm3D
06-10-2008, 03:37 PM
Okay I need help. I´ve scoured TFM for a solution but I can´t find anything.

What is the XSI equivalent to Lightwave´s ´r´button to rest bones?

Some of my bones got spun around (I didn't touch them!) and one other was moved by me simply because I wanted to change the location of a jawbone. How do I tell the point weights to latch on / refresh to the new effector placements??

Thanks so much! I was banging on this all night last night trying to figure it out.

ThE_JacO
06-10-2008, 04:09 PM
Animate > envelope > store reference pose.

The property itself is dynamic, which is a very nifty quality to have for things such as spacer and bias rigs.

Any objects affecting a delta based deformer (like an envelope) will have a property added under it called "static kine state", so you can modify the default transform manually (and dynamically if needed) from that, or just use the command int he envelope menu if you want it to become the same of the current transform (which I assume to be the same of LW's rest bone)

I have to say though your manual reading skills are weak if you didn't find this much out :p

Carm3D
06-10-2008, 06:55 PM
Thank you so much Jaco!!

I have to say though your manual reading skills are weak if you didn't find this much out :p

It´s not nice to make fun of stupid people.

cgswami
06-10-2008, 08:28 PM
Haaaa !!!

You is not stoopid Karm ... stubborn mayb but certainly not stupid .. lol

cheers

ThE_JacO
06-10-2008, 10:53 PM
It´s not nice to make fun of stupid people.
while not exactly politically correct in nature, if I think somebody is stupid I normally don't even bother interacting ;)

mocaw
06-10-2008, 11:15 PM
Hence the lack of response to any thread I start!

Hey...wait a second...

ThE_JacO
06-10-2008, 11:48 PM
Hey, I even sent you a pm once, I remember that clearly.
Come on, I'm not THAT bad :p

Carm3D
07-12-2008, 01:56 PM
Hey all,

Thanks for your help.. Here's a first look at my first XSI rig. Still have to grab the eyebrow controls and put them into the mixer for easy animating. And the teeth penetrating the skin is still something I have to find a solution for.

LINK (http://www.carm3d.net/Media/Bloid)

SheepFactory
07-12-2008, 03:09 PM
Hey all,

Thanks for your help.. Here's a first look at my first XSI rig. Still have to grab the eyebrow controls and put them into the mixer for easy animating. And the teeth penetrating the skin is still something I have to find a solution for.

LINK (http://www.carm3d.net/Media/Bloid)


Is that how your viewport looks when you animate? Can you even see the model through all that mess man?

Bullit
07-12-2008, 03:46 PM
You have been for too much time counting Sheeps in the Factory! Redundantly i say she is a girl :twisted: :p

mocaw
07-12-2008, 08:46 PM
Charm you gotta break down and buy some good training- even if it treats you like a criminal. I'm a total animating noob...but that rig looks like poorly designed LW rig! I can tell from most of your posts that you over complicate things (I can only imagine what you'll do with ICE). I'm not trying to offend you, I'm sure you produce good animations...but those rigs...YIKES!

Why is you panel parented to the head BTW?

Hint: 3Dmastermind...

tc
07-12-2008, 09:00 PM
looks like you are in love with the control splines :)
XSI rigging tools are great, just start to setup groups to hide stuff.
I usually have groups for envelope, ctrls, hidden rig, geometry, etc...

so what gets visible when animating is just ctrls+geo.

Carm3D
07-13-2008, 12:57 AM
Ya I haven't hid anything yet. I'm not 100% done rigging yet. I do want to look closer at grouping and learn how that works. I'm guessing that's the only way for XSI to remember how you want various controls to be animated (weather it's rotation on the X only or whatever).

Why is you panel parented to the head BTW?

Eh.. So it's always facing the same way as the head. Might change that.. It's not critical.

Hint: 3Dmastermind...

I decided to give my training money to Digital Tutors. I've used them on 3 different computers so far as I've moved about and I didn't have to tell Big Brother I did so.