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techmage
01-26-2011, 08:57 AM
Now that the acquisition has settled in and some of you licensees have been dealing with autodesk, and have seen some new releases. I'm just wondering, do you feel confident in Softimages future now that it is owned by Autodesk?

I ask because I was a long time Maya user and felt like after Autodesk's acquisition of alias the development took a radical decline. Going into details is really useless and I don't seek to argue or make any points about that.

But I'm now considering switching to softimage for a number of reasons, but worry that because of the autodesk acquisition, it's future releases are going to be dissapointing. So I just want to know, do all of you long time XSI users still feel confident in your apps future? Based on what you've seen so far, and what you know, do you feel like softimage is going to be developed at the level of innovation and quality it was previous to autodesk?

Also, on a side subject, anyone use softimage for architectural modelling?

RebelPixel
01-26-2011, 12:19 PM
The team who always worked and developed for Softimage is still there, and its still kicking, they are great people and talented developers.
Softimage is getting lots of attention and its development is going really good.
Lately we saw many ICE related stuff, and minor changes to other fields but thats probably because it takes time to develop lots of things at once.

I personally think Softimage is a great 3D package wich is mostly and widely understimated because of marketing.
Not gonna start a war between 3D apps, but in my opinion is the most modern, efficient package out there, core and architecture are amazing, gigapolygon core is great, interface and workflow are unique, it has way too many great stuff to be left in a corner.

ICE Itself will be used to create geometry in fully procedural way.
Developers are working hard, they are present in forums and you can get in touch with them easily.

http://www.xsibase.com
http://groups.google.com/group/xsi_list
www.si-community.com

Regarding Softimage for Archviz, i use it and i dont think it lacks anything, the modeling is even faster, and once you get used to some basic stuff your work will be really fast..
I dunno what you would like to know about Archviz with Soft, but feel free to ask.
The only thing it lacks is a unit system, its common to consider 1 Softimage unit = 10 cm in real world, and thats it.

There are some viz works you can check here:

http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=563
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=473
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=593
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=623
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=331
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=594
http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=514

im sure there are more but i'm lazy and gotta go out!
cheers!!

Rez007
01-26-2011, 03:02 PM
Regarding Softimage for Archviz, i use it and i dont think it lacks anything, the modeling is even faster, and once you get used to some basic stuff your work will be really fast..
I dunno what you would like to know about Archviz with Soft, but feel free to ask.
The only thing it lacks is a unit system, its common to consider 1 Softimage unit = 10 cm in real world, and thats it.




The unit scale that you mentioned I believe is only derived from the older physics system within XSI. A unit in Softimage can really be anything you want, however a base structure implemented within the software is greatly needed. As far as a real world scale goes ... I use 1 unit in Softimage = 1 inch. It is a perfect 1 to 1 ratio with Max. So, 1 unit in Softimage = 1 inch in Max, where as Max is used heavily in the Arch field, so that is what I use in case you need to switch between the software...

Other than that, I think Softimage's lighting systems needs to be tweaked for greater accuracy - as in, there seems to be too much guessing while using the photometric exposure control with interior lights, while using a Sun system.

Ohmanoggin
01-26-2011, 04:36 PM
I freaked out when Autodesk bought Softimage. I still don't like the idea that one company holds so many major players in the market. However, Softimage seems to be developing as well as ever.

Autodesk even added more developers to Softimage. If you are going to kill a product and cut up it's technology for use in your other products, you don't keep developing the product, you cut development and start trying to get the user base to migrate to your others.

While Autodesk marketing for Softimage has not been great, their primary focus has certainly been to get other users to try and incorporate Softimage into their pipelines. Why would they do this if they only intend to kill Softimage down the road? That wouldn't make any sense.

I would also like to point this issue out: Softimage is now part of the Autodesk family. That gets us into more places, just for that.

Just my two cents,
Ohmanoggin

PiotrekM
01-26-2011, 04:45 PM
max is king in arch viz mainly because of vray (and it's unlimited render nodes)
vray for si will be out this year so...

Rez007
01-26-2011, 04:46 PM
I agree. I fell more comfortable now with Softimage than I ever did in the past. I think it is going strong.

ShaderOp
01-26-2011, 08:54 PM
This subject has been discussed ad nauseam. Here's the summary:


Softimage is doing much better than Autodesk had anticipated, so it's getting more resources.
Autodesk's marketing strategy for Softimage is to get it into more studios through bundling it with Maya via the Entertainment Creation Suite. The community is miffed that Softimage isn't getting much else in terms of marketing. My guess is that the marketing department is yet to receive the memo regarding the acquisition.
ICE is getting better and better. Everything else is still pretty much the same, which means everything is still awesome.
Gutting ICE out of Softimage, integrating it into the other apps, and throwing away the carcass is not something that is going to happen any time soon.; the modifier stack in Max can only take so much.
Softimage now has a view cube. Rejoice!
My take? Even if development came to a complete halt at this very minute, Softimage would still have plenty of life in it for years to come.

HTH

P.S. Regarding this:

vray for si will be out this year so...
Things have been so quiet on the V-Ray for SI front that I thought the whole project was dead. Is it still alive and kicking?

dhath45
01-26-2011, 09:17 PM
I pulled this from the Softimage Mailing List Group from Google groups, it was posted Jan20th, 2011 and was written by Vladimar Koylazov, President of ChaosGroup. Quote:
"
> Do I understand you right: VRay for Softimage development slowed down
> because of SI render API weaknesses?


The new API changes caused us a lot of headaches as many things broke
and had to be fixed. But on the other hand, those changes were done to
make our job easier for the future, so I'm not complaining :-). Other
than that, integrating a renderer (to the extent that we want anyway) is
simply a tedious job and takes its time.
> So what's holding you up from making this fantastic renderer available
> for this fantastic host app?


Nothing much at this point, I guess. There are some little bits and
pieces that are still missing, but they will be done soon.
Best regards,
Vlado "



(http://groups.google.com/group/xsi_list/browse_thread/thread/69362d6c6de26daf/20badfc370748183?hide_quotes=no#msg_763551f58f773140)
Make your own interpretation.

PiotrekM
01-26-2011, 09:55 PM
beta is going well. I think I saw Vlado saying about open beta soon...

techmage
01-27-2011, 12:19 AM
Thank you for the comments.

Rebelpixel, I do too agree that softimage is the most efficient, modern app their is. Which is why I consider switching to it. I actually believe autodesk should be gutting max and maya and then integrating features onto the softimage backbone, because the softimage backbone is by far the best available.

I was actually all ready to purchase into softimage just a WEEK before autodesks acquisition. Really, just one week prior, I was ready to go ahead and make a full switch. But then autodesk bought it and I've been in limbo ever since on what to do. I think I will give it a go now.


Also, could any of you guys speak on the quality of integration of new features? And the bugginess of new features? One of the reasons I became so dissapointed to autodesks maya acquisition is because the new features they integrated were integrated in such a non-intuitive way, just didn't work, or introduced a whole new plethora of bugs that required you to wait for a service pack. Really innane things that should of never got past inital beta testers got into actual maya releases. Has anything like that been going on in softimage? If a new version comes out, is it actually usable, fully, for production? Have you ever had to wait for a service pack or update before you could fully switch to a new version of softimage? And do you feel like all the new features have been integrated as well and intuitively as they could have been?


And on the subject of archviz, I think the latest release of mental ray is amazing, I don't see why you'd even really need vray for archviz. One of the reasons softimage seems so great to me is because it's so well integrated with mental ray. I think chaosgroup has got a really hard task to do if it is going to try to compete with the level of integration between softimage and mental ray. If vray is not integrated as well into softimage as mental ray is, I would not even consider switching.

used2bgordy
01-27-2011, 12:30 AM
beta is going well. I think I saw Vlado saying about open beta soon...

Worked (ing) with vray a lot and then I got to use Arnold. I don't need vray any more. Thank you Vlado but it's toooo late. :wavey:

PiotrekM
01-27-2011, 01:32 AM
Depends on what you're doing. Vray with cached gi will be prefered for architectural people since arnold is brute force all around.

used2bgordy
01-27-2011, 07:34 AM
Depends on what you're doing. Vray with cached gi will be prefered for architectural people since arnold is brute force all around.

Yes it is but it's way faster and cleaner than any other renderer. I haven't used it for Archviz so I can't really tell, but for what I do which is animation it rocks.

Ohmanoggin
01-27-2011, 03:13 PM
Q: "Also, could any of you guys speak on the quality of integration of new features? And the bugginess of new features?"

My experience with new features has always been extremely positive. Things like Gator and Motor are absolute magic and worked from the start. ICE and the overhaul of the rendering API for other rendering engines required a lot of low level rewriting of the core. These changes could have made the entire platform act like a beta release with bugs everywhere, but they were implemented without any major problems at all.

With the implementation of ICE, we should be seeing lots of new features get added easily. It is trivial now to add things like a new hair engine or new fluid or cloth solver (like Logoa). Soon we are going to see powerful new rigging systems that incorporate muscles and skin automatically.

Ohmanoggin

ThE_JacO
01-28-2011, 04:36 AM
Also, could any of you guys speak on the quality of integration of new features? And the bugginess of new features? One of the reasons I became so dissapointed to autodesks maya acquisition is because the new features they integrated were integrated in such a non-intuitive way, just didn't work, or introduced a whole new plethora of bugs that required you to wait for a service pack. Really innane things that should of never got past inital beta testers got into actual maya releases. Has anything like that been going on in softimage? If a new version comes out, is it actually usable, fully, for production? Have you ever had to wait for a service pack or update before you could fully switch to a new version of softimage? And do you feel like all the new features have been integrated as well and intuitively as they could have been?
There have been a few WTF moments here and there, and some releases have been flakier or stronger than others, but that's inevitable.
I've moved versions in production or between productions in quite a few places, and to date I don't remember ever rolling back (something that happened in more than one instance with some of the big maya releases).

That's also down to some showstoppers not affecting us at the time though, and while I used XSI the majority of the time in the last 5 or 6 years, and have been using it since v1, I've been blissfully MRay free in that period, and some of the biggest gaps in the last few years have been rendering specific. Some other people I know have had a different experience, but even in those cases, not worse than competing softwares.

Also, while there has been the occasional "not this cycle it's too big a change", Soft has historically been very good with betas, occasionally delaying releases until showstoppers, even those reported late into RC cycles, were addressed.

I would give it an 8/10 for usability of new features, and a 9/10 for support. 2010 and 2011 have definitely been doing fine pretty early, even before SAPs/SPs.

It's not to say that it's perfect and every release has been equally solid, but bogus releases I found are few and far between compared to the absolute disasters of some other platforms.
Innovation, mostly (and thankfully) on the ICE and APIs fronts are also in a good place. It is true that some parts have been neglected because of that, but again, unlike some other softwares, there aren't parts of it that are completely and utter garbage to the point you simply stay away from them rather than losing too much hair.

As a package, it seems to be in better health than I expected it to be at this point when I got the call telling me AD had bought Soft from Avid. We can speculate all day whether it would have been in an even better place, or not, had it been bought by ds or adobe, but compared to where it would have been with Avid, it's probably above the old curve. The marketing focus and slant does suck moderate amount of gonads though, even if somebody seems to be making good sense of it post facto :p

ShaderOp
01-28-2011, 05:53 PM
I've been blissfully MRay free in that period.... I would give it an 8/10 for usability of new features, and a 9/10 for support.
Just out of curiosity, and hypothetically speaking, how would those scores change if you had to deal with MentalRay?

ThE_JacO
01-28-2011, 09:20 PM
Just out of curiosity, and hypothetically speaking, how would those scores change if you had to deal with MentalRay?
I wouldn't know, because I haven't had to :) Maybe it would have all been fine...

ShaderOp
01-29-2011, 06:22 AM
I wouldn't know, because I haven't had to :) Maybe it would have all been fine...
You're no fun at all, Raff ;)

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