View Full Version : I want to play with the big boys too!

06 June 2002, 03:55 PM
I've been using Animation Master for the past year in an animation course that I've been taking.

Truth is, it's crap. So, I've decided to stop playing with this toy masquerading as a serious 3d app, and go for the big boys. Problem is now I can't decide which "Big boy" I want.

Anyway, my questions:

Should I go for Maya Complete or Softimage 3d 4.0? I hear they're now priced at about 2,000k, which is much better than the old 10k+ price they had (and which, really, is what kept me from even considering getting one).

My focus is to be able to do most of what the clients throw my way - char animation, logos, camera matching, even a personal short... etc.

Which one would work?

Thanks for the replies. For the rest of the year, and until my course ends, I'll continue with AM, but meanwhile I'll be evaluating my options.

06 June 2002, 11:08 PM
Softimage|3D is a truly awesome package, but may not do what you want, its a bit excentric, doesnt support any image formats except Softimage .pic for example but has a bunch of conversion plugins for other formats. It has good NURBS support, less good polygon tools, but flying logos isnt a problem. ;) Animation tools are top notch, world class, the interface is very open etc, it's been around for ages this app. I loved it when I started using 3.7 in '99, kicked some major asses then, now it's being kicked by its successor, Softimage|XSI, and that's what I really recommend. However considering your budget issues I don't know if it's a choice for you. You could buy Softimage|3D and use it as an upgrade path toward XSI though, or look at the essentials version, it's cheaper, and you can even rent XSI for $320 / month I think ;)

06 June 2002, 03:56 AM
I might get flamed or called a traitor for what I'm about to say, but it is as objective as I can.

If was in your situation, I would go with Maya. Don't get me wrong, I really like SI3D, it's an awesome tool. But the thing with SI3D is that it's not a "modern" software. Unless there are big improvements in version 4, SI3D lack many tools that are common in modern packages. Like lists, a history, scripting, interactive tools, subdivision modeling, and the like. The list could go on.

Also, as XSI is evolving there are less and less people that uses SI3D, so resouces will become even harder to find than now.

However, if your ultimage goal is to do animation, go with SI3D. But if you want a more polyvalent software, go with Maya.

If XSI and Maya were the same price, without hesitation I would go with XSI.

Salutations - Cheers
Bernard Lebel

orion 77
06 June 2002, 11:58 AM
I have been using lightwave at uni. I am looking to learn something more powerful and i can learn xsi 2 or maya 4. I got the experience cd and xsi kicks butt. I have used maya too. Xsi has a faster workflow but seems a bit limited in selections.

I would buy maya cos its cheaper. Although it depends what you want to do career wise! Is it true softimage is king of films and then maya is jack of all trades?:hmm: :rolleyes:

06 June 2002, 04:42 PM
Its what your end results will be.
I am evaluating XSI and Maya to see if there something i can truly do that I was unable to do in Lightwave/Messiah in terms of client work. I haven't yet. So far, Nurbs modeling is a great advantage as with having an subdivisions with no point count is great. But to get clients, you wanan try LW or max. Lw and XSI have similar global illumination while Maya have none (without buying mental ray).
LW and Messiah have NLA far I am liking Messiahs. But Lw is nothing to sneeze at wespecially on small projects.

I would get LW for price..use and abuse it and then trade it in for XSI later thru an avid deal. At least you won't be in the past.

06 June 2002, 03:46 AM
Same here, after using and learning XSI for the Past month ( and being a waver for 6 years) I am ready to make the trade in very soon. Softimage also has a new Customer program that you can add on to the trade in as well... Think of what your strengh are coming from Animation Master I would think that you like Character Animation, right now LW has improve alot toward that field but no where near Soft3D, XSI and maya.

06 June 2002, 05:37 AM
My opinion-- if you want a fast output then go Max or LW. These two are easy to use and in my experience, it saved me a lot of time including reputation as animator. I don't use LW but my colleague does and he delivers as well.

Now if you have more time or if the production period is not that tight. Go Softimage 3D/XSI, or Maya. For quality rendering go for SI3d/XSI using Mental Ray (fast raytracer imho). For Character animation and particles go for Maya.

If by chances that you land up in a company that uses multiple apps them by all means study all them and you'd know their strength and weaknesses so you have better approach on how to solve a particular problem in your parojects.

06 June 2002, 10:17 PM
I'm current;y using XSI and Maya. I am a long time Maya user, so picking up SI3D wasn't all that easy for me. If your goal is NURBS based animation, SI3D is the way to go. There's a reason Yoda was still animated on it for AOTC. But if you want to do particles and visual effects, Maya is the better choice. It has, to me anyway, unparalleled scripting capabilities.

You're kind of comparing apples to oranges since these 2 programs don't do exactly the same thing. It will ultimately depend on what you're end goal is.

06 June 2002, 05:09 PM
I have used 3d studio max, Maya, and am now using XSI... from what I know XSI is the leader of the bunch, instead of having to think about what you want to do.. you just do it in xsi, the tool are where you expect them to be and it is a more animator's package then anything else, but the modeling is excellent as well... I find navigating the interface and moving your models and such are 10X easier then in maya and especially easier then max. I would never go back to either of them... Maya does however hold up to the quality and work flow environment that I like but XSI beats them all...

you should go to the softimage website and get a free trial version of xsi... you won't be disapointed

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