View Full Version : XSI vs. Max ?

04 April 2002, 04:08 AM
good morning ;)

i've been learning 3dsmax for about 2 month now and am really impressed by this great piece of software ... (check my website if you want ... not much there, yet ... but hey ... divx5 btw.) ... now i'm looking forward on putting my hands on XSI ... but before i go i just wanted to know what the advantages/disadvantages actually are! - i know max is mainly used in the gaming industry and softimage is traditionally more related to movies

enough said ... you know what i mean, eh?

thanks for the reply you're just about to write =)

(yes another one of these germans!)


04 April 2002, 06:47 AM
well tell u the truth

xsi is better in rendering! metal ray, baby!
it also has better polygon modeling tools,its fast!
in the erea of nurbs though it royally sux... but i cant say 3d max is better in that area also.

in 3d max i personanly like the material editor
in xsi the render tree (materials) is much more complicated

other then that xsi is better and now much more stable then its previous 1.5 !

but in the industy 3d max is more used
soon soon XSI will desimate all

i hope

but in the in its up to u!

04 April 2002, 08:49 AM
I favor XSI much more over 3ds max, for several reasons.

1- Workflow: in XSI there are several concepts that facilitates workflow. First, XSI uses OpenGL commands, resulting in a much faster and stable interface. Also, the system of shortcuts is great (would take long to explain), but let me tell you that the shortcuts system make modeling much easier. Finally, many similar functions are grouped togheter, so you don't browse much through the menus and panels.

2- Texturing: Texturing is far more superior than in max. The Texture Editor and the Render Tree give you great flexibility, and again, the way they are designed makes it really fast to tweak your stuff. For example, the Render Tree allow to see all your material in one graphic, and you access the parameters by clicking on the icons in this graphic.

3- Rendering: mental ray is fully integrated in XSI, you don't have to purchase it seperately. Outstanding quality over the 3ds max scanline renderer.

4- Compositing: XSI has functions that easily help you create passes. I find 3ds max clumsy in this area. Also, XSI has a compositing module that allow you to recombine these passes, as well as apply effects and changes parts of the 3D rendering without rendering it all again.

5- Animation: XSI is much much more intuitive in animation. Functions are at the right place, and the tools are nice. The graphic for animation curve is more useful than in max. Animation benefits from the same workflow I described in #1.

I don't hate 3ds max. I just think that XSI is more "mature", and max more "childish".

Salutations - Cheers
Bernard Lebel

04 April 2002, 12:18 PM
thanks for these detailed replies !

just one thing atyss ... i just love the material editor in max and belive it is very powerfull ... what can be better there?

so that all leads me to another question ... how "compatible" are Max and XSI? i mean could i easily export/import different things like textures, objects and maybe even effects and animations?

thanks again.

04 April 2002, 07:38 PM
what can be better there

I'm not sure I understand your question. Personally I like the max materials too, especially the 3D textures. In think that in this particular area max is superior. In XSI you must assign UV coordinates even for procedural textures, in max you don't and they stay on the surface when the surface moves.

It's just that the Render Tree gives much more flexibility (you can connect everything toghter, instead of browsing through the material levels. You just have to click on the nodes to access their properties.

At first it looks scary, but once you get used to it you think that it is truly powerful.

how "compatible" are Max and XSI?

Of course there is compatibility issues, like with any other software. XSI is pretty limited in this area. You can import .xsi, .iges and .obj. However animation will not, in most cases, be carried through the export-import process.

You have a nice plug-in in 3ds max that allow you to export in .xsi format. This is the best format you can have to import in XSI. I don't remember where the plug-in is available, but it's free and Ed Harriss probably knows the link ;)
Of course, meshes will get tesselated :mad:

In XSI you can export .xsi and .iges. The problem is you can't import .xsi in 3ds max :confused:

Hope this helps
Salutations - Cheers
Bernard Lebel

04 April 2002, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by Atyss

You have a nice plug-in in 3ds max that allow you to export in .xsi format. This is the best format you can have to import in XSI. I don't remember where the plug-in is available, but it's free and Ed Harriss probably knows the link ;)

:) Thanks Atyss. Here is the link:

And if you want more stuff like that, you can get it here:

04 April 2002, 09:01 PM
Dave, when was the last time you used the max polymodeler?
Modeling is XSI is a pain compared to max(since v4.2). Okay, you need some scripted tools, but then...:eek:

About the max2xsi exporter: One big problem is that it only exports triangles, no quads and no polys, so if you want to use subdees its quite useless.
There is a nice scripted plugin for im/export in *.obj format which also supports quads and polys. It still has problems with UV coordinates, but I think this will improve in the future.


04 April 2002, 11:56 PM

In what way is XSI a pain to model with ? It has pretty much every tool Max has, however, softimage actually implemented them into the package =)

Again, I am referring to -useful- tools that are somewhat a necessity, not the obscure ones that maybe one out of twenty people use cause their lazy.


Iain McFadzen
04 April 2002, 12:04 AM
Sorry, but while I'll admit that XSI is superior to Max in almost every respect I would have to agree with Markus that polymodeling in XSI is wanky (technical term).

04 April 2002, 12:42 AM
I'm not disagreeing with you now, but in what way is it superior in modeling? Are you referring to the tools? or just the overall flow of modeling ?

04 April 2002, 01:28 AM
markus "Dave, when was the last time you used the max polymodeler?
Modeling is XSI is a pain compared to max(since v4.2). Okay, you need some scripted tools, but then..."

see i never said i dindnt like max but hey u made me think.....

In Max Its always about plugin this plugin that ,i hate that .
but ya with plugins its a good software why not make those plugins intergrated . {or scripts}

by the way the xsi poligon modeling tools are still much much faster then in 3d max even with its scripts!

but hey I use Max also! so .........
"quote" "Modeling is XSI is a pain ....." maybe u should practice in xsi , ull agree soon.. but it's up to u..


04 April 2002, 01:56 AM
Its not so easy to explain why max for me is better for poly/subdee modeling. I very much like the modifier stack concept which is very powerful when you work a while with it. I think its either you love it or you hate it.
Max has a context sensitive right click menu thats much faster and easier to use than XSIs. Also the transformation tools are easier to use. In XSI you always have to use your three mousebuttons for XYZ while in max you can pick and drag the desired axis. You dont need to press a key to select subobjects while in transformation mode.
There are many free scripted tools like "Meshtools" and "CSPolytools" that make modeling in max real fun.
Im pretty sure they all can be written for XSI, but currently they are simly not there. Also XSI doesnt have a customizable right click menu, where you can add any tool you like (afaik).
I wish XSI had custom toolbars with icons instead of these large textbuttons. The human eye is faster in regognizing symbols than text and you can add more in the same space.
All I wrote is just my personal experience, others might feels better with XSIs modeling tools, I do not.
I think XSI is a great package and the core engine is way better than maxs, but the workflow can be improved and Im sure it will.
Currently I do everything except character animation much faster in max, but hopefully this will change.

enough said,;)


04 April 2002, 02:17 AM
In Max Its always about plugin this plugin that ,i hate that .

in Maya/XSi its always script this script that.

get used to it. there is not 1 application that has. EVERYTHING you need. whatever you do , youll always need addons of some sort.

by the way. i also have to agree that the xsi polytools could be improved upon. they are very similar to that of mirais, but they arent what i would call mature, yet. the workflow of the subds could be improved. also. the context sensitive menu in xsi is weak/ annoying, since you have to be over your selection and then press alt+RMB.
little things like having the menu appear in the middle of the mouse, and not having to scroll all the way down for certain tools., things like being able to use magnets/proportional tool with rotation+ scale tools.
if xsi had these it would be much better. also more tools on aligning selections, being able to hide certain faces...etc..etc..just not available in xsi. without having to script.

im not bashing xsi in any manner. im just saying it could be much better than it is. and max has the upper hand in this subject over xsi. ( but only with meshtools in there )

04 April 2002, 02:18 AM
You have a lot of good points..

but i dont have time right now but lots of things you said xsi cant do
can be done ;)

anywayz ciao
no more reply's here i made my points

p.s : I do like Max remember that! lol, so no beef ,cool

04 April 2002, 02:26 AM
i think you can make your own custom toolbars in xsi if i am not mistaken

04 April 2002, 02:29 AM
yes you can. and you can place that stuff into the interface when needed. but the buttons are huge. i do wish that avid would do something about these huge ugly buttons.

04 April 2002, 02:34 AM
it can easilly,but he meant with icons

like in max

but i dont mind that .....

icons make it look nicer.

its not the program that makes a good artist.

04 April 2002, 04:42 AM
Markus - I gotta agree with you on the annoyances with having to use the three mouse buttons to move elements (face,vertices, edges) along their axis. I'd much prefer a manipulator tool for those things.


04 April 2002, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by spazm
In Max Its always about plugin this plugin that ,i hate that .
but ya with plugins its a good software why not make those plugins intergrated . {or scripts}

Just wait for max 5, you'll be pleased hehe ;P


Some stuff are better in maya, others in max, others in XSI anyway heh...but i agree totally with Martin, XSI could be better in some parts and be a real killer...

for manipulator VS 3 mouse buttons, why not give users the choice? at least everyone will be happy... ;)

04 April 2002, 12:22 PM
well ATLEAST we all agree that there is faults in every software
and i think they all have a very good side to them

either animation texture or modeling
but none has a compositor intergrated

although i havent used it yet... does anyone know lots about the xsi compositor?
talk about it ,advantages and disadvantages
i wanna know more about it
if anyone has time make some small tutorial so we all can learn more :)

04 April 2002, 12:47 PM
i do like this forum =)

04 April 2002, 05:50 PM
actually max has video post. which is a compositor of sorts. ( old stuff too. )

04 April 2002, 09:03 PM
its different u know what i mean

04 April 2002, 09:04 PM
there are tutorials on the compositor on the xsi experience cd by the way

04 April 2002, 09:26 PM
Whats up with my experience cd? I never got it :(

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