View Full Version : XSI4.0 Foundations Official FAQ

08 August 2004, 05:51 PM

We’ve had an incredibly positive response to the new XSI v.4.0 Foundation pricing and announcements, and many questions are being asked. Answered here are the most frequently asked questions concerning pricing, upgrades, packaging and features in XSI v.4.0 Foundation and the XSI v.4.0 product line.

“3-Democracy” is the first initiative to come out of the Avid Computer Graphics production pipeline initiative. Avid Computer Graphics is bringing together the most advanced 3D, asset management and editing systems to create the world’s only complete production pipeline solution from a single vendor.

Thank you all for your support and interest,

The Softimage Team.

Pricing and upgrades

Q Is the current v.4.0 Foundation price a promo?
A No it is permanent pricing

Q Will I be able to upgrade to v.4.0 Essentials or v.4.0 Advanced?
A Yes – you will be able to trade in the value of v.4.0 Foundation

Q Will I be able to upgrade to future versions of XSI?
A Yes – for service packs it will be free. For other releases there will be an upgrade fee

Q Is there maintenance available?
A No, only for v.4.0 Essentials and v.4.0 Advanced

Q I have just bought v.4.0 Foundation at the old price of $1995 – what happens now?
A You will be given an upgrade to v.4.0 Essentials

Q I have bought v.4.0 Essentials and v.4.0 Advanced at the old price - what happens now?
A Because of the wide variety of configurations that were available, there is no single upgrade path. Please contact your reseller or sales rep. and we’ll do our best to make sure you are satisfied.

Q I don’t know who my reseller is, and I can’t reach anyone about my upgrade! – who do I contact?
A Contact

Q My country is not listed in the store – how can I get it?
A Contact you local reseller

Q Why is the price more than $495 when I order?
A There are shipping costs, taxes, and the price may be further affected by your local currency exchange rate.


Q Will Foundation be available on Linux?
A Yes – however the exact price and release date have not been set.

Q Will the DVDs always come with Foundation or is it a limited time offer?
A It is a promotion, which means that it is a limited time offer.

Q Is v.4.0 Foundation locked to a dongle?
A No, it requires a license key only.

Q Can I install v.4.0 Foundation on many machines?
A Only one copy per license is allowed.

Q How is this different from the Academic program version?
A v.4.0 Foundation is a full, commercial license. The v.4.0 Academic license is v.4.0 Advanced, but commercial use is not permitted.

Q What is the difference between the v.4.0 Foundation trial download and the XSI EXP?
A v.4.0 Foundation is a full commercial version that you can use for 30 days. XSI EXP is a non-commercial watermarked evaluation version of v.3.0 Advanced with restricted output and no SDK support.

Q What comes in the box?

Windows Application CD
Documentation CD
Media CD (all necessary files for included tutorials)
The Softimage Production Series 5 DVD-Rom set
The Principles of XSI DVD with over 150 video feature demonstrations and how-to’s
SOFTIMAGE|XSI Fundamentals Guide (approx. 600 pages)
SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Roadmap
Registration Card with Registration Key

Q Will the DVDs be included with the Linux version?
A Yes. As a standalone product they are currently available for Windows and Linux. Flash 7 is required for Linux.


Q Does v.4.0 Foundation have scripting and an SDK?
A Yes v.4.0 Foundation comes will full scripting and the SDK. Take a look at the high level feature list

Q Why are some tools grayed out?
A These are features found only in v.4.0 Essentials or v.4.0 Advanced. If a tool doesn’t work, you can check the script-log for an explanation.

Q How does v.4.0 Foundation compare to Maya Complete?
A Easily. V.4.0 Foundation has many tools, features and workflow not found in Maya Complete.

Some v.4.0 Foundation highlights include:

Construction modes that enable bi-directional non-destructive editing of enveloped and animated objects.
The only native mental ray v3.3 integration giving the fastest, most intuitive and memory efficient rendering in existence.
The fastest subdivision surface mesh modeler for the ultimate in intuitive, high-productivity modeling.
Non-linear high-level animation tools at the heart of the system – everything is animatable and mixable.
Industry-leading cloth, particles, soft body dynamics and fluids offering the complete range of simulation effects.
High-level character rigs and guides and tails (more in the local NetView too).
Full scripting with industry-standard scripting languages and a comprehensive SDK making a completely open, extensible 3D production environment that scales with your needs.
Scene native, fast, and completely customizable Render Passes giving great flexibility for output rendering.
Advanced UV texturing tools featuring smart UV Unwrapping, dramatically improving texturing workflow and productivity.

Q I still have some more questions, whom should I contact?
A Either your local reseller, or

08 August 2004, 07:08 PM

Everyone needs to read this

08 August 2004, 08:13 PM

i have a question...
related to this in theFAQ:
"Q Can I install v.4.0 Foundation on many machines?
A Only one copy per license is allowed."

can you MOVE your install to another machine, such as you wold need to if you want to move the install from your desktop to a laptop for on location freelance work...

do you export a "flex m leicence" soft ware based dongle or somthing similar
or when you install your LOCKED to that machine forever...

some insight would be good on this score.

if i want can i buy a dongle to facilite movement of a xsi foundation install at an additional cost?

08 August 2004, 08:26 PM
Cresshead, I've just installed XSI both my laptop and desktop using the same license #. No problems in doing this since there isn't a dongle or anything tied to a specific system. I'm not sure if this is okay ethically but I've personally vowed to run XSI only on one computer at a time.

08 August 2004, 08:31 PM
cool, that really does mean that i can replace 3dsmax as my "freelance" app once i get my head around it!

signal to noise>> what graphics card's in your laptop??...just looking into a new laptop myself so would like to hear what will "work" with xsi okay [if not uber fast]

..just installed the 30 day demo today and have been watching some 3dbuzz videos as well as some old xsi 2 and 1.5 cdrom looks good so far...though i expect a steep learning curve very soon!

my task this week is to see how rigging up a character compares to messiah animate which i'm also evaluating for a purchase...any links to a tutorial for using the biped rigs in xsi? topic....!

thanks for the info on the install etc.

steve g

08 August 2004, 08:50 PM
that's a great FAQ, JDex. Thanks!
however, i can't respond to cresshead because of a conflict of interest ;)

well, maybe i can: you can't really go wrong with the animation tools in messiah OR softimage

they're both fantastic.

08 August 2004, 09:25 PM

signal to noise>> what graphics card's in your laptop??...just looking into a new laptop myself so would like to hear what will "work" with xsi okay [if not uber fast]

I have an older Dell Inspiron 8200. It's a P4 1.6 GHz w/ 1 GB DDR RAM (max'ed out), and a lowly 64MB nVidia Geforce GO card. The laptop actually holds up very well for light to moderate CG work. I run both LightWave and XSI on it.

08 August 2004, 11:01 PM
I think I'm at home, if this is a dream don't wake me up. Just tried some modelling tools, who said LW was the best modelling app?? no more I guess.

08 August 2004, 12:10 AM
i see a long weekend ahead!
trying to get xsi AND messiah sorted for a quick rigging session in both and seeing what
look to be the best option for me and character rigging and animation

i've no idea as yet!

'scuse the possibly dumb questions below but if poss can you take a look...

FAQ addition [possibly!]
[trying to keep this on topic!] bones in XSI work in a similar fashion to that of 3dsmax where you have to edit envelopes before you get any decent deformation of of them or are they more similar to mesiah where you just draw bones "anyhow" and they deform 99% as you'd like them to...

Q.are the preset "rigs" in xsi foundation fairly simple to edit for use with most biped characters or are they there "just for show"....are they indeed a sort of auto rigger/biped preset rigger or just "sample rigs" to look at?


steve g

08 August 2004, 12:22 AM
A) the default bone weighting in XSI seems pretty good to me

B) the preset rigs in Foundation make a good starting point for your own, more complex rigs. There's enough variety, even in just the Foundation rigs to get you going. They seem to be "real" enough rigs, and not just for show.

oh, wait... i'm trying to sell you my copy of Messiah. Forget I said anything. ;)

08 August 2004, 12:37 AM
thanks for the info on bones in xsi

well i'm undecided as yet about messiah and xsi...both look to be pretty cool programs
and both are resonably priced...
i could get both if i feel i can get up n running in them without too much hassle..
at least xsi has a ton of learning dvd's to drink coffee whilst watching!

it's quite cool thinking that xsi's toolset could be next or messiah..or both!
just need to see what cool stuff they have and what annoys me in them..

xsi feels quite a bit like max and messiah feels sorta lightwavish so no huge leaning
gap for me as i use max 4 and lightwave 8.0

ideally i like to dump max so i don't have to spend £1200 just to keep it current. for a cuppa tea!

08 August 2004, 02:45 AM
Hey Cresshead, I think you'll find XSI a piece of cake since you have used(and use) LW. I used LW from 1.1 to 7.5, moved on to MAYA when the had their big price cut(XSI was too expensive at that point) ,and now am smiling big time with Foundation. If the prices were at this point back then, I would be working with the more advanced version and wouldn't have worked with MAYA. It has it's good points though. :-) I find that XSI is much more straightforward like LW and unlike MAYA. The modeling tools are very, very, VERY nice- much moreso than I even anticipated and greatly improved over an old XSI demo I tried a few years ago. You would find the nodes for materials quite different from LW, and this is probably where you would have to adjust the most, but it is a very powerful approach that is quite interesting to work with. Give the 30 day demo a try and try a few of the XSI tutorials- I think you'll like it. If not, no loss but some time. :-)

08 August 2004, 08:21 AM
I am really looking forward to the Linux version!

08 August 2004, 04:53 PM
I am really looking forward to the Linux version!
I wonder if you will be able to dl the Linux version if you've bought the windows version?

08 August 2004, 05:12 PM
Q. other than fbx [which i'm yet to try...] is there a workflow for animating in xsi and rendering out in lightwave?

08 August 2004, 10:46 PM
I don't think so... Lightwave's renderer is it's own "thing". I can't imagine a reasonable path to get softimage's animations into LW.

Are you thinking of the whole "renderfarm" thing? If that's really important to you, a LW/Messiah solution might be better "bang for the buck", what with LW unlimited render nodes.

That said, MentalRay's rendering is pretty darned sweet, if you don't want to pay extra for a renderfarm (although you could always upgrade later to Essentials to get more MR rendernodes).

08 August 2004, 11:39 PM
the guy from is thinking about porting his point oven plugin to xsi after he finishes up the max port. Send him a message to let him know you are interested and maybe he will get on it quicker :) for right now he has a free lw->xsi exporter that exports model,uv,texture and morphs.

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