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sadkkf
10-14-2008, 09:06 PM
So I'm a LW user looking for something new and better and really the only alternatives I'd consider are Max and XSI.

What I love about Max (and what really turns me off about LW) is the support. Tutorials, books, plugins whatever are all abundant for Max. What about XSI? I don't see much in the way for tutorials or books anywhere.

I realize XSI 7 is pretty new, but I don't see a lot of tutorials or plugins available.

What I really want are dynamics: fur, fire, fluid, cloth. I make very short anims and stills so there needs to be a big and immediate wow factor. Can XSI do all of these things photorealistically? Even if I need to buy plugs, what's available?

Thanks!

DecWest
10-14-2008, 10:15 PM
XSI is very cool - ICE cool *groan*

I have used all the main 3D apps over the course of the years and they all do the same job, it's a question of workflow. XSI is a nice, cleanly presented well thought out package with good tools, a sensible approach to project structure and data management and terrific presentation (UI to node based graphs)

The best way to decide what you want to use is to demo them both and see what cap fits

sacslacker
10-15-2008, 01:17 AM
As a fairly new XSI user I'd have to say that XSI is really starting to shine. This is my opinion of course but for $2999 you get great hair/fur and cloth, an outstanding new particle system with ICE. Great modeling tools with a terrific subd implementation. Very nice utilities that make those "Oh No" moments much easier to deal with. Gator, Animation Mixer, etc... it's just great to work with. There may not be as much training available but I really wouldn't buy a package based on training. Once you learn how to use the app, it's all about what XSI does for you. For me, it's the app to own.

tfortier
10-15-2008, 11:19 AM
Im a lightwave user too and XSI is the best software out there! I tried maya for 1 year before migrating to XSI in a new departement and the interface is way better. Everything stable and easy! I keep going back to maya and lightwave for some stuff (modeling and paintfx mostly) cause I still newbie in XSI but believe me, XSI is a big step up!

I think XSI foundation is nicely cheap... not at all 3000$, more like 500$, and you get everything except advanced stuff like hairs...

I recommand Digital-tutors for learn XSI the easy way! really great.

good luck
t

comanche
10-15-2008, 12:41 PM
I think XSI foundation is nicely cheap... not at all 3000$, more like 500$, and you get everything except advanced stuff like hairs...

There's no Foundation any more, only Essentials and Advanced.

sadkkf
10-15-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

I've installed the demo of XSI but ran out time before really having time to use it. I fear the same would be true for Max so I bought academic versions of both just to learn.

Since I really don't have a lot of time to learn, I need to accelerate the process with any training I can get.

There may not be as much training available but I really wouldn't buy a package based on training. Once you learn how to use the app, it's all about what XSI does for you.

I agree to a point. Learning the basics is one thing, but I'm always wanting to know how to create one effect or another so there's always something to learn. The LW forums have been pretty good about that, but the amount of actual professional training materials is shockingly absent. I see some of that with XSI, too.

Don't get me wrong, the vids I've seen on the Softimage site are amazing and almost enough by themselves to make me want to buy the software. :D

ICE really is a different approach to animation. Does anyone have stories to share about node-based animating? Good? Bad? Easy? Hard?

Baltazaar
10-16-2008, 11:24 PM
The node-based approach has been around for years. Just head over to SideFX.com and Houdini...
Differences in ICE, as I see it is that it's a lot easier to grasp, still not limited. This makes it a great tool for any "solo artist", Tech D or FX team.

Comparing packages isn't really my thing, so you won't get any app vs. app.

I just bought the XSI 7 Adv. and I certainly have a lot of ground to cover before I feel "at home", but for every day passing, I'm feeling more comfortable in this new home of mine. Don't think I'm gonna settle for anything less any time soon.

I've purchased several titles from Digital Tutors, and they're great (especially the intro to ICE). Not so much printed materials out there as of yet, but plenty of video based training.

My 2 cents, anyway...

techmage
10-18-2008, 02:58 AM
XSI is the coolest one, just load up XSI trial and diddle around in it for a couple hours, you'll see what I mean. It's incredibly obvious that XSI is very thought out in every aspect. They didn't just throw on a bunch of new features in a fidgity UI system like maya. They didn't tack on new functionality to archaic backbones like Max. They didn't cut corners on things like Modo. There not trying to compensate for lack of quality application with a plethora of presets and pre-made content. It's just XSI, right there, clean, simple, obvious and well thought out for the individual end user.

I really haven't been as impressed with the slickness of an app since I switched from max 4 to maya 4.5. Really, XSI just being cool is why I'm going with it. Theres features in the new maya that kind of lean me that way, but then when I think about just how slick XSI is in comparison, it's really no question to me XSI is the way to go.

Zbrush is a little cooler than XSI though.

mocaw
10-18-2008, 11:07 PM
I see highschool kids selling their cars here and saving up for XSI. They go cruse the strip with a laptop running XSI. Only nerds use other applications...

They've taken sports away here and replaced it with modeling and lighting challenges...the varsity has its own 3D letterman jacket.

There is a new spy movie coming out where not only are all the FX rendered in XSI, but they beat the bad guys and defuse the bomb using XSI in the end by modeling and simulating what the terrorists think and how they act using ICE.

We're a little worried though because our kids are now dressing like the XSI hoodie thug and listening to hardcore rap and hip hop with 3D lyrics and explicit references to certain "taboo" ICE nodes. I think some kind of gang is forming...

How is that for cool?

tachy0n
10-19-2008, 05:34 AM
You forgot the part where XSI was voted, '3D app most likely to get you laid... with twins.'

sadkkf
10-19-2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks again for all the input. While I'm waiting for both Max and XSI to arrive, I'm still plundering the 'net for info on XSI.

I hear digital tutors mentioned a lot, but who else? Desktop Images and Lynda have nothing. Kurv Studios have a few titles, but even though the material from Kurv is nice, I've had numerous problems with the support there.

I have to say looking at the vids on the softimage site were mouthwatering. A few quick examples of particle and cloth effects with ICE were tantalizing to say the least!

bravmm
10-19-2008, 08:26 PM
3dquackers.com, www.trinity3d.com, http://www.i3dtutorials.com and 3dmastermind.com will keep you busy for a while. Also keep an eye out on XSIBase, as all the previous training material of 3DTutorial.com will come available as a free download.

rob

EternalArt
10-19-2008, 11:08 PM
Check out the XSI Education Guide on our site ..
http://xsiarabia.com/vb/showthread.php?t=65
each training box has link for his detail .

NickCaligo42
10-22-2008, 07:45 AM
I started on Max and I gotta say I much prefer the trial of XSI that I'm running. I have yet to get very deep into ICE, but the rigging system is incredibly nice once you understand that "skin" is called "envelope."

If you want to know how cool XSI REALLY is, take a look at this:
http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4735

Metal Gear Solid 4... almost entirely done in XSI. The same goes for Devil May Cry 4, among many other titles.

Take my advice: Get the free trial and see it for yourself. :) Tutorials are a little difficult to come by just now, but Digital-Tutors has some nice ones if you've got the money for it (aside: Jesus this program makes good geometry so much faster than Maya) and the documentation covers most "how-to" questions you could ask.

ubermensch76
10-22-2008, 10:52 AM
but the rigging system is incredibly nice once you understand that "skin" is called "envelope."

Hahah . I had the same issue when I started fiddling with XSI sometime back. But once I read the help manual, it was incredible how, out of the box, the character creation process in XSi felt very intutive.

It is indeed a very well though out app. In large scenes, finding relevant data/nodes is very easy via the XSI explorer. Does a much better job than Maya's outliner.

sadkkf, You will find XSI to be an incredible app that does the job on almost all ocassions out of the box with little to no plugins required. With version 7 and inclusion of ICE the only chink in the armor has been adressed ( and how ?! ) and you will find it can do anything that max can do and perhaps more.

What I like best about it is that it doesn't feel scattered like maya or max and I have used both in places I have worked.

It is not perfect but comes damn close.

only the shape manager modeling workflow is a little confusing at the start and I hate using the mixer though it has lot of power under rhe hood but if you like hands on approach then you can do without ever feeling the need to go into the mixer.

Modeling rocks but need a a little brush up in that dept but you won't miss muchif at all. Its polygon handling capabilities is superb.

Dynamics , fur fire and cloth are supported very well and what i like best is how every thing works well with each other unlike Maya or Max where the 'plugin' system really hurts interaction between various modules where something doesn't work with something else.

In XSI that is usually not a worry.

Sbowling
10-24-2008, 06:56 AM
. What about XSI? I don't see much in the way for tutorials or books anywhere.

There are several companies that are making video tutorials for XSI, but not a whole lot of books. The XSI manuals really cover most of what's needed for reference, and the video tutrials far surpass anything you can get in a book.

Unlike Lightwave, which requires a ton of 3rd party plugins to be functional, XSI does 99% of what you need right out of the box. There are a good amout of free plugins that cover most of the shortcomings. On top of that, Scripting in XSI is great, even if you are not a programmer and supports a variety of STANDARD scripting languages, so it's pretty easy to find reference material for help.

i found XSI to be everything lightwave wasn't and had completely switched over in about a month or two and have never looked back.

You should really download the trial version and give it a shot. The one thing you need to remeber is that this is NOT Lightwave. Much of what people do in lightwave is based aroung lightwave's shortcomings (no edges tools, etc.) so it will seem odd that some things that were required to model anything in lightewave are not a standard part of XSI (spinquads for example) because they really aren't needed.

As far as animation goes, XSI is years ahead and it will really blow your mind, once you realize allthe things you can easily do that were not possible without a ton of workarounds in LW.

Again, I recomend downloading the demo version and going through the tutorials. If you hit a problem, don't freak out, come back here and ask about any problems. There are a lot of ex lightwave users here and most of the problems you may run into have already been sorted out here. =)

BTW, there is a spinquad type of script floating around, if you absolutely can't live without it.

husainsheraif
10-31-2008, 09:04 PM
i can't live without xsi and ----> maya

a_joke
10-31-2008, 10:41 PM
xsi are traitors to the faith....they sold out to the "man".

techmage
10-31-2008, 10:48 PM
XSI is atleast like 30% less cool now that autodesk owns them.

sacslacker
10-31-2008, 10:51 PM
Avid sold XSI to the man, the XSI team are along for the ride. Oh and they've kinda been working for "the man" since like forever.

Gehenna
11-01-2008, 07:01 AM
so who's next houdini? cinema 4d? animation master? lw? that's it right? anyways it's just a program a_joke. it's what you do with it and how it works for you.

a_joke
11-01-2008, 07:04 AM
true, but i keep grudges. autodesk and their cs almost cost me my portfolio years ago when it was discreet. since then i vowed never to return. hahahahha! (evil maniacal laugh) seriously they did.

Spin99
11-01-2008, 03:06 PM
Hope it's OK to crosslink
>> LINK (http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/News/compare/compare.htm) <<

nielsss
11-03-2008, 06:53 AM
xsi are traitors to the faith....they sold out to the "man".

>>"The giant Head"?

Sbowling
11-03-2008, 08:03 AM
so who's next houdini? cinema 4d? animation master? lw? that's it right? anyways it's just a program a_joke. it's what you do with it and how it works for you.

Autodesk would never buy Lightwave, they only buy programs that have market value.

madheavy
11-04-2008, 12:39 PM
so who's next houdini? cinema 4d? animation master? lw? that's it right? anyways it's just a program a_joke. it's what you do with it and how it works for you.

No company would bother buying Animation Master. They couldn't sell that program to Autodesk for a $1!;)

With that said. XSI is the coolest thing on earth next to Michael Jackson's White Glove.

XSI is like that wonderful girl worth dropping out of college to work at Burger King for so that you can buy her an engagement ring! Yes! It is that cool.:applause:

Spin99
11-04-2008, 07:37 PM
XSI is like that wonderful girl worth dropping out of college to work at Burger King for so that you can buy her an engagement ring! Yes! It is that cool.Was it really worth it in the long run. Was it.

I think there's people sitting at Pixar that started out with Animation Master.
Not sure sitting in front of a computer will ever be as cool as your first love. Not ever.
And a lot of people prefer Maya to XSI. Just so you know.

On the other hand, are Japanese schoolgirls really half as bad as they're made out to be I wonder :buttrock:

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