View Full Version : Some concerns and regards about XSI of a Novice CG artist

03 March 2012, 04:51 AM
Hello people,
Sorry , this is a bit long...
I am a Novice CG Artist that just graduated recently.
My school has been teaching me how to use Maya for the past four years,
but I have always been attracted to Softimage XSI and wanted to learn it.
Before actually setting foot into the program, I have decided to do some research,
and to be honest, I am a bit intimidated not just by the program itself, but also how it is being treated by the industry.

I want to talk about the software first. Modeling in XSI seems to rely on curves a lot. (my tutorial sources: Experience in XSI 4, Digital Tutor's Introduction to Softimage 2012 and some other forum posts) As someone who barely uses curves(didn't mean NURBS, my bad), this frightens me a lot.
I understand that XSI is capable of mesh modeling like in Maya and 3ds Max, but it is not as fluent and effective in terms of modeling when in comparison, or so I have heard...

Another scary part of the software is probably the most popular ICE feature.
I have heard so many great things about it! But after doing much research, its seems to have a steep learning curve and takes a long time to actually enjoy using it. Some people do not even recommend switching to XSI just for ICE. But, I would like to hear from you all as well.

Now, to the industry aspect. After doing some career searches, most company seems to prefer using 3Ds MAX, Cinema 4D and Maya over XSI. And this does not really surprise me,
because I have already know that XSI has a smaller user community. But seeing how Autodesk treatment of Softimage, I am a bit concern now as well. (just read the other XSI concern thread in the board") Also, there are some posts in renown CG forum that talks about how Autodesk keeps strengthening ICE and disregard many of its bugs and other features/aspects. These are all from the XSI users themselves too.
I really wish to use XSI Softimage as a future career tool, but the situation XSI is in does not show a lot of promise.

Thank you all for your patient, this is a long post.
Also, I apologize if this post offended any of you, not trying to start a flame war.
Just trying to learn more about the program.
Thank you all again.

03 March 2012, 12:39 PM
I'm not sure where you got the idea that Softimage users work in NURBS. I've used Softimage since around version 4 (I think) and I've never used NURBS for modeling.

Softimage's modeling feature set is fairly complete. It's not going to probably compete with Max when it comes to hard-surface modeling, but I would venture a bet it's on par with Maya for sure.

Generally my workflow goes between Softimage and 3DCoat for modeling and texturing. There's a 3DCoat connector (?) that lets you seamlessly send objects back and forth. And the fact that 3DC is significantly less expensive than Mudbox is a big plus.

Cinema4D is a nifty program, but the vast majority of people I know who use it are After Effects motion graphics artists who want to throw 3D into the mix. So unless your aim is motion graphics, I wouldn't consider it an option.

ICE is a great feature of Softimage, and it's not nearly as complex as you might think. It's just a different way of doing things. But once you start to understand how ICE works, it really is fairly simple for a lot of tasks. I have absolutely no mathematical ability at all, but I can still use ICE for a lot of things.

But if you are simply looking for work in general, I think sticking to Maya is probably the best bet. In my opinion, Softimage is superior to Maya and Max, but from a sheer numbers point of view, Maya is the best option for finding a job quickly.

Softimage is sticking around despite Autodesk's major attempt to make it appear as though it's nothing more than a plug-in to Maya and Max. And, I think there are going to be quite a few cool additions to Softimage 2013. Hopefully it'll be around and eventually will stop being treated as the red-headed stepchild of the Autodesk family someday.


03 March 2012, 05:23 PM
Sorry no time to give you a detailed answer. Just to point out that already in 2012 Softimage got Vray render engine plugin.

Softimage How tos:

Some i3D Tutorials

Manny tut

There are many more tuts in Youtube

03 March 2012, 08:14 AM
have a look at si-community as well.

there are some dedicated threads on training, free and commercial:


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