View Full Version : Messiah as central part in a one man pipeline?

03 March 2006, 08:41 AM
Hi all,

I just sold my lightwave copy and think about using Messiah as main application in my pipeline. Or is it to early for Messiah doing all the rendering in character animation?

My first idea was to buy XSI fnd and do everything in there. But with the "upcoming" release Messiah may become an application to do almost everything one needs (after modelling). I now can imagine just buying Silo or ZBrush for modelling purposes and use M:S for the rest.

Does anyone use just a modeler and messiah right now? what do the pros think about ZBrush+Messiah vs. XSI?

Any feedback would be welcome.

03 March 2006, 04:40 PM
Hate to say it but currently, the way it is. i wouldnt trust only messiah. the renderer has a few issues that TO ME would make it unacceptable. you are also very limited to render farms and that is critical for any kind of animation. and i tried high res stuff and LW is actually better for high res renders, messiah just bombed on me.

for a one man pipeline? stick to LW + messiah.

xsi is better for larger studios with more people, but even there LW can hold its own.

LW is a bit behind for modeling though, basically, wait for the next update of messiah and LW then make your decision. seems like alot of stuff is slated to be updated soon... modo 201 as well. personally im most excited with the next modo then anything out there. but i have a very specific set of requirements. really this question can have so many answers that you are the best person to decide, see what works best for you i guess.

03 March 2006, 04:49 PM
My main tools are Wings3D and Messiah. My renderfarm (15+ machines) works with Messiah very well. . . I just finished a shot for a 2k res movie so I'm not quite sure what stooch is talking about.

03 March 2006, 04:55 PM
like i said it might work for some and not others, its not a decision that you should be making on heresay alone. and one could say wegg is a bit biased too :) but who isnt right?

03 March 2006, 05:22 PM
You know stooch it would probably be a bit more constructive if you were to post the issues your having like you did with the Cornell box. That was VERY cool. The pmG guys saw clearly what the issues were and apparently have fixed a lot of them already. To just dismiss Messiah's renderer off hand to new interested users without showing us/them the problems your having with it. . I think is a little rude and helps no one.

03 March 2006, 08:02 PM
Wegg. i clearly stated that AS IS i wouldnt trust it and suggested to wait for the next update. now if they fixed the issues i saw, GREAT! i cant wait to see the fixes and play with them! until then, my decision stands, but again, he shouldnt be basing his decisions on mine thats all i want to stress.

03 March 2006, 08:02 PM
Well, ask a vague question...

I feel that the rigging and animation environment in messiah is much more accessible and forgiving than other packages. Forgiving is the big word for me: other software likes to punish mistakes. "haha! Start over, you noob!" Messiah just lets you experiment. Very welcome!(occassional crashes when loading new scenes, but other than that...)
I feel that the renderer is that way too, but I haven't got there with it yet.

03 March 2006, 08:19 PM
i am new to messiah and have been a softimage user since before it became xsi.

i think i can give u a pretty honest and helpful insight.

basically if u want to get your characters moving real fast and rendered real nice without wasting a lot of time i would say u need messiah. the fact is that it is easy to use and renders right out of the box seem much better than softimage.

i will say i use xsi to get all my zbrush stuff positioned right and then export into messiah. get the cosman cd's to get u started. it might seem a bit much of set up and so on but once u learn smething once it seems to always work. it has been my experience with xsi that u have to go way to far into alot of technical stuff to get certain things done. this is very frustrating for a new user. i have worked on major motion pictures with xsi and alot of time was spent on some jobs figuring out ways to work around things. granted that was way back with 1.5, 2 and 3 . xsi is up to 5 but i am very hesitant about upgrading from my 4.2 license to 5.

why? because messiah is so much more easier to set up ur character and get to animating once u know how it works. also as i put in the displacement thread the GI is very nice without alot of hassle.

there are things lacking in messiah. i don t think it can compare to xsi#s dynamics simulation (yet) but i am not at that point of really putting it throught the paces. also xsi does let u knock out a quicck auto rig(which at least in version 4.2 always had problems) messiah does not have this feature right now. for those of us that really are more animators it wouild be nice to combine all the rigging possibilities that messiah offers with a quick rig that can be modified to our liking. however, once u get ur first couple of rigs done the way u want u can just keep reusing them and reformating them for different characters.

iI HATE WEIGHT PAINTING and in xsi it can get to be a real drag. use messiah once and the fact that enveloping a character is so easy is reason alone to go the messiah route.

i have not tried to render really really large as of yet but i got no problems so far.

lastly in xsi's favor. it really has very powerful modelling tools that are NOT complicated to use. i use those all the time for mechanical stuff as zbrush seems not to want to update it's multi marker tool.(whole other topic) also modelling has the whole 'all u have do is' secret search the forums type vibe. or u can make mech stuff with stencils and so on but to me u do not have enough control on putting together mutli mesh models.

bottom line i would go for using messiah with zbrush but have something like xsi availiable for things messiah cannot do right now. if u are animating characters this approch will make ur whole life a lot easier


03 March 2006, 09:22 PM
Hi Lex1342,

I totally agree with what vjholofx has said especially this part from the post above (I've got XSI 5); experience with xsi that u have to go way to far into alot of technical stuff to get certain things done. this is very frustrating for a new user..

But its your call at the end of the day.


03 March 2006, 10:54 AM
Didnīt think Iīd get so much helpful feedback so fast.
Thanks for all the insights and personal experiences.

Now I am really confused - but in a good way! I thought most of you would tend to lean towards XSI...
I really like what I know about Messiah! The workflow, the easy and precise rigging, the animation tools (as far as I have used them) and the feeling one has while working with the UI. Even though I have "used" it for about a year I feel still like a newbie, since I only have very little time to experiment.
I have always thought about using just Wings3D (or another modeller) and Messiah, but I find the way of the "In-line documentation" does not get to me... I like to have a book or guide to read while working or even learn/study without sitting in front of the PC. Call me old fashioned, I just canīt help it. So I guess thats why I still donīt know much about the render engine, although I already upgraded my M:A to Studio Wks half a year ago...

Joe Cosmans CDs really got me started with rigging; those tutorials are well structured and clean - they even get you into the "Messiah flow" and that is where the fun really starts. So I will go over his CDs for animation next and hopefully Tarons tutorial(s) for rendering soon, to actually see what I do... ;)

vjholofx and rush123: thank you for the insight from an XSI-users point of view. As I tested XSI a few weeks ago, I had just the same impression, although I liked the way the user moves around in the program, I felt that it is so huge and complex that it almost repelled me. So I guess I will postpone my decicion concerning what pipeline I will setup and stick with Messiah for now.

Wegg: I imagined that you were using just Messiah, and I really like your work. You (and your work) are actually the reason for thinking about using Messiah only. I printed out the chm-manual and actually learned way faster than before, reading it while using M. The only drawback now is, that it is really hard to find specific topics.

I believe that Messiah could actually get a lot more attention from 3D-users everywhere, if the documentation was available as a well structured PDF/printed manual. The writing style in the chm is quite enjoyable, but sometimes the structure in chapters gets the reader confused. Iīd really like to offer PMG to work on a concept/layout for their manual for free, if the timeframe is loose enough. I do quite a bit of writing in my job as copy-writer/account-executive/medical advisor in a large German healthcare-agency. My wife is a professional designer, and she offered to help me with the layout part. We could use the existing chm-texts as a base and go from there. Do you think PMG would be interested in this, even though my experience with the program is limited? I really like the program and believe that there will be a successful future for it, if some of the stumbing blocks for new users can be removed.

Thanks for your feedback so far and I would like to hear even more experiences of other users on how M:S is used in their pipelines.


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