View Full Version : Student of C4D looking seriously at XSI

08 August 2004, 01:09 AM
Ok, here is my dilemma:

I have been working with C4D in my 3D animation classes for the past year, and have virtually no experience with other apps workflows (ok, so I have opened maya once, and modeled a cube in Max). I have not purchased a student license of it, however, but am seriously considering the plunge so that I can do my homework at home.

Anyway, the C4D XL bundle is $295 US (the basics), and then I decide to research the acclaimed XSI app (even though the only other app my UNI uses is Maya), and see that the advanced XSI education version is also only $295! So the features I get for the same price include hardbody dynamics, hair simulation, the paint engine, compositing software, UV editing (no UV editing within C4D without Bodypaint which costs and extra $295 for an education license), and the 5 DVD production bundle (among other things).

So with the weight of the features leaning toward XSI, I have a few questions before I make a purchase:

1) I have to begin work on my next animation project ASAP, so as far as learning curve... how much time will people usually be spinning their wheels inside the app before they get a decent grasp of what they need to do? (or is it even wise to switch apps when working on a short deadline for an animation?)

2) I know I can port to Maya, but is C4D out of the question? (showing meshes for critiques, ... pre-renders will do fine for the texturing)

3) Since the instructor will know next to nothing about XSI, will I have all I need for learning the app inside the box? (the review of the 5 DVD bundle has almost sold me, just want to know if that instruction is sufficient from other users).

I am excited about what I have heard about the character animation workflow (rigging, the NLA and such), and I guess by now you can tell what software I am sold on... I am just digging for more justification to get it. :)

08 August 2004, 02:05 AM
I'll second all of those questions. By the way, where are you taking classes that are teaching C4D??? And another thing to consider is that you are getting a COMMERCIAL license of XSI, not an educational one. I was debating myself about getting the edu version of C4d with Bodypaint (like you said...$295 x 2) which is more expensive than XSI Foundations...and only an edu license. I'm going with XSI:)

Edit: Reread your post. You can get the XSI Adv for $295....if you need the dynamics and hair and such. But Foundations is really good too, and as I said, is a commercial license for not much more.

08 August 2004, 02:09 AM
1. It took me about a week or so with the manuals and tutorials to understand xsi well but with that being said I don't think its a good idea to try and learn a new app when you have a project and deadline comeing up.

2. No idea.

3. Ofcourse, with the manual, tutorials, and the dvds you'll get along just fine and even if you have a question you can always ask here.

08 August 2004, 05:08 AM
I guess when I mean "short deadline" I should say until fall semester is over. The reason I say short is because of the limited time I will have to dedicate to that one class among the others I am taking (those pesky depth coarses that UNI's like to throw into the mix). I am working on a proposal at the moment that I hope will convince the department to give me more credit hours for the class so that I can drop some other classes that will free up more homework time.

If it only takes me a week or so to start to dig in to the app and get working, then I am not too worried.

This will be the most complex animation I have done to date (roughing out storyboards at the moment).

08 August 2004, 05:57 PM
I am also very interested in the XSI foundation License. But while I am a student and the essentials student license is even less expensive, that might a also a good solution for me.

I am doing graphic and webdesign for money, 3d is right now just to become a hobby (as grapihc and webdesign was a few years ago as well ....). That said I am sure, that I can use 3d in future for some work, as it offers a big plus to a great multimedia- and webexperience.

So the solution for me would be starting with the Student license and than buy foundation as soon as I need a comercian license. But what if I want to upgrade in future? Can I buy a normal upgrade with my Student license and use it as from than commercial?

thank you a lot.

08 August 2004, 06:08 PM
Well if you can dedicate a few solid hours a day to learning xsi then you should have a really good grasp in a week or two. I'm not sure that I would learn a new app with a project coming up added in with all of your other classes but thats just me. :)

norritt: the xsi edu version is actually xsi advanced.

08 August 2004, 07:05 PM
the xsi edu version is actually xsi advanced.
I am sorry, you are right. that is even better :thumbsup:

I will send my upgrade questions to softimage support, maybe it is too theoretical ;) I will post the answer, if you are insterested as well. even though I think that it is not possible to upgrade to commercial that way.

08 August 2004, 07:40 PM
i'm in the same boat.. I have V8.5 educational so If I want to upgrade to commercial version, it's $1295 or $1395 I think so why not just get XSI for $495, but XSI scares me.. it seems very complex ex:I have a hard time click selecting things like in C4D, can you put whatever shortcuts you want in the right click menu ? or at least in the cntr+rmb ? I have an mx500 mouse and I can configure a key to use control+ or alt+ etc; texturing seems very hard but I heard there are presets like in c4D. But you do get all these training dvd's.. i'm just scared once I buy it, I won't be able to model/texture anything because it will be so complex.. any opinions on this ? anyone who used c4d and now uses XSI here have any comments ?

Karma Mule
08 August 2004, 03:07 AM
Hello Bolek,

I have used C4D studio, and recently made the plunge for the XSI Foundation offer. Keep in mind that I wasn't an expert in C4D by any means, but my impression of the two tools was that it was easier to do simple things in C4D, but when it came to getting more elaborate I'm finding that XSI makes it easier in terms of modeling.

Similarly, with rendering, I found that it was easier to get nice looking results sooner with C4D, but after working through the XSI tutorials I'm finding it to be very powerful, and it feels like it gives better results when you put a little more effort in to it.

I haven't really got into animation yet, but my understanding is that this is where XSI really shines, so I'm looking forward to exploring that at some point. I just got the 'Experience XSI 4' book from Amazon, and am looking forward to going through it.

Whatever you decide, best of luck with it! :-)


p.s. When it comes to CG in general I'm quite the ignorant newbie, so if *I* can understand XSI and begin to figure it out, then I'm sure you can too!

08 August 2004, 07:22 PM
I have another question for those that are familiar with XSI's compositor:

What other mainstream software does it compare to with it's included features? When I think of a compositor, the first thing that comes to mind is Adobe After Effects... am I totally off base in assuming that the XSI compositor has similar features?

Will XSI advanced allow me to compress my rendered animations within the package so that I don't have to use some external application to do all of that?

09 September 2004, 12:14 AM
Well, XSI educational is on it's way. :)

I think with the features and the price, I am willing to risk the learning curve time (nod to the 5 DVDs).

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