View Full Version : Maya user who owns Softimage

05 May 2011, 03:20 PM
I'm wondering what features I can take advantage of in Softimage that Maya does not offer?

Since the Autodesk 2012 versions have greater integration, I'm wondering what I can do in Softimage that cant be done in Maya? From the documentation and videos, it suggests that ICE particles offer greater flexibility than nParticles.

Can anyone elaborate please?


05 May 2011, 11:39 PM
Mostly it's a different way of working, and the modelling toolset, pass management and ICE tend to be (objectively speaking) superior to Maya's counterparts.

There isn't a huge difference in terms of what you can ultimately accomplish with each, and there's a lot of stuff where it really is a matter of opinion or preference.
ICE is pretty sweet though, especially if you have no in-house development to take maya where it really can reach (which is pretty far compared to the mess you get OOTB).

05 May 2011, 02:47 AM
Thanks for that Jaco - I really appreciate it. A very appropriate and concise response.

05 May 2011, 03:04 AM
Face Robot may be of interest to you as well.

05 May 2011, 12:44 PM
Also worth mentioning is Softimage doesn't have that blasted outdated, clunky, unnerving, total disaster of a material editor known as Hypershade.
Softimage's nodal Render Tree is far more intuitive and just plain neater and more organized, with all parameters for all nodes easily accessible and laid out in front of you if you want, or collapsed and unobtrusive if you want, as well. Whereas in Maya, you're always clicking through some hierarchy to get at what you actually want for materials.
And in Maya you have one (1) Attribute Editor. In Softimage you can have as many Property Pages (PPG's) open as you want at any time, and can collapse them to a mere title bar strip - not the same as minimizing - and FAR more useful. You can have a PPG open for every element in your scene at the same time, if you want.
Honestly I don't know why anyone even *willingly* uses Maya. ;)
It's a matter of feel and opinion of course, but Maya is like trudging through the snow in a pair of combat boots, while Softimage is like just hopping on a snowmobile and having fun. :D

And yeah, of course Face Robot and ICE have no equals.
Maya does have a few cool modeling tools I'd like to see in Soft, such as the bridge-with-curve tool, but Modeling in Softimage is a far simpler process. IMO, of course.

05 May 2011, 02:16 PM
I can not agree more. I was using Maya for several years, and now XSI for around 1-2 years and it is enjoy working with it.

One thing, in Maya you can have open more than one AE.

05 May 2011, 02:33 PM
You can copy the tabs, but you can't have more than one entire full AE open per object.
You can keep one set of attributes open, but you don't have access to any other attributes aside from the attributes related to the tab you copied. Can't get at the shader group if you have the geometry tab copied, for example, you only get the geometry options and there are no other tabs.

I guess that's almost the same thing as in Softimage, more or less, but like all things Maya, it's far more convoluted and annoying. ;)

05 May 2011, 07:32 PM
Basicly in Maya just about everything is done via expressions or mel or both.

in xsi you simple connect the building block to build functions, deformers, particle sims, materials, anything you can think of really. it is quite brilliant actually

05 May 2011, 12:30 AM
To be fair, in Maya if you do things properly almost everything is done by nodes, something XSI does amazingly well at the restricted scope level, but offers little control over when it comes to the actual scene scope DAG, while Maya is the exact opposite.
Maya offers great control over the network, but nodes tend to be monolithic and require a lot of work, XSI offers outstanding atomic control, but requires you jump through hoops or use a screwdriver to hammer a nail in when it comes to the scene network.

What I take issue with in Maya is the abysmally bad quality of many of the nodes offered OOTB (some very important and basic ones like the transform are usually rewritten in most shops that have the firepower to, which personally I find unacceptable), and the very limited number of them, not to mention the internal inconsistencies when you have to implement new ones.
That said, if we stick to the original topic of what you can do in one that you can't in the other, in XSI replacing core elements is hard to impossible, while in Maya with enough blood and sweat you can usually punch through. Conversely, you seldom need to in XSI in first place, you often to in Maya, but when painted in a corner and with enough RnD clout at hand it's nice to have the option.

This is going a bit more into the realm of preference, and to a point opinions, and more differences emerge depending on how you work pipeline and assets wise.

05 May 2011, 12:14 PM
Well, I took a day and read thru the XSI help files and I think XSI will allow me to express the ideas in my head faster than Maya does because of what ICE offers versus me having to learn MayaScripting to accomplish the same in Maya, or even worse learning the Maya C++ API.

05 May 2011, 01:29 AM
Presonnaly i prefer model in softimage,

Softimage have many powerfull tools for modeling and its a easy to get a good result in a short delay of time, You can also use ICE i think its pretty simple to use and u can get good particle affect. Face robot is good but i dont think that you can tranfers youre animation to maya after :D.

Sorry for my bad english Seeeya!!!

05 May 2011, 01:49 AM
Face robot is good but i dont think that you can tranfers youre animation to maya after :D.
Actually you kinda can. They added shape plotting and other things so that you could get more than just a hard-baked point cache across.
Not exactly ideal, and could end up being a bit involved, but it's not completely black-boxed.

05 May 2011, 08:38 PM
I'm really loving Softimage 2012. The procedural capabilities of ICE is really nice, plus Vray and Arnold on the horizon makes for exciting times.

05 May 2011, 12:10 AM
Crap, the Arnold Beta is closed to individuals - I hope they are close to release.

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