Cool things in XSI no one knows!


,furthermore (for Users from Maya to XSI) u can go to preferences and create a new keybord Layout and reassign W E R to work like Maya …be carefull to assign what was under that keys to X C V .

EDIT. Then again here is the key mapping for XSI keyboard Layout to work as Maya’s

You save this in C:\users<USER>\Softimage\XSI_4.0_Foundation\Data\Preferences\KeyMaps

I have remmaped SPACE to work as Maya Space (switch 4-1-4 Viewports)
Render Region is NOT at Q …It is under F12
SELECT is under Q
TRANSLATE is under W
ROTATE is under E
SCALE is under R
PAINT TOOL is under X

If u have any questions just write it here.

i hope i helped some of the Maya newcomers (as me ) to XSI



I dont’ know if anyone knows this.

Shift+r for resetting your selected transformation.
Ctrl+shift+r to reset all the transformation.


first one would be to bad to be forgotten, rray was the genious, who, after sitting for weeks at the computer and trying to find a way to do a shrink selection, came up with a cool mega script:

Save as shrinkselection.js

// Shrink Selection, but ,helas, with marked unselectable and hidden elements
// Big thankyou to rray for his easy but genious idea.


Another one is no real script but a way of inverting selections that I prefer. Most unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a growselection counterpart with the same options. What it does is to invert the selection but by checking for hidden or marked as unselectable elements and not inverting them to.

Save as invertselection_x.js

// Invert Selection but not the hidden or marked as unselectable elements
InvertSelection(null,siCheckComponentVisibility, true);




Just discovered this one.

When you open bowser and drag a model into the scene will be set as Local. hold down Ctrl while dragging will turn the model as Reference model.

ps: preludian thx for reminding, sometimes I dont’ regonize my speech is impolite. I don’t really mean it most of the time. Maybe is a cultural thing. But thx very much, i removed it.


Capping holes without a plugin (and other - maybe - useful stuff)

Just a little workaround i found out and before switching to a plugin you should try this:

> select the edges of the hole
> press “Ctrl+D”
> press “Ctrl+Del”
> result: hole capped
> optionally you can get rid of the new edges by selecting and deleting them or select the middle vertex and press “Ctrl+Del”

I don´t use this function very often so its quite handy for me although it´s not a “one-click” solution.

Also, when selecting objects play around with combinations of “Shift”, “Ctrl”, “Alt” with RMB clicking. Depending on the component you select, different but very useful things happen. Or: select a component, and try combinations of “Shift”, “Ctrl”, “Alt” and “Del”.

Another hint i might propose is to open and watch the script editor. While working you can just mark the commands you use quite often and drag-and-drop them onto a custom toolbar. I.e. batching commands you use much etc.
Luckily all commands in XSI are almost self-explanatory so every artist with absolutely no programming background (like me) should perform low level scripting very easy.




U can do that in one click by selecting the points around hole and click in Weld Boundary Point/Edges with Bridge checked and a value around 3.5-4 :bounce: …but i think your way is cool also :slight_smile:


tag a point or points, hold down ALT and press arrows will select the next point. This works with multipule selections.


Another similar tool to this that can help immensely with large/heavy scenes is the various update options XSI offers. The menu sits down on the bottom bar of the interface next to the playback controls. Inside are options to update: the whole scene, only the selection, Mixed objects, SRT (this is nice), Geometry, SRT (selection), Geom (Selection), or a custom blend of these driven by distance from the camera.

I have to admit I still forget these are there myself… but when I do remember it certainly puts a smile on my face…


Just some usefull hotkeys

great for animators and riggers

Reset translation - Change to - numpad 0
Reset Rotation- change to - ctrl + numpad 0
Reset scale - change to - alt + numpad 0

great for large lagging scenes

Isolate Selection- change to - alt+S
Isolate all -change to -alt+A

great for modeling

Toggle prop modeling- - D < the duplicate tool can be so frustrating on D!

and my new addition of the shrink selection script on - shift + -



I think that’s some personal interest of changing keys.

Same thing that I do, i assign Alt+D for clone (since ctrl+D is dublicate)

i also assigned

Alt+F1 is default layout
Alt+F2 is auto hide layout

So i can switch it around quickly.

Did i mention to assign Ctrl+F for all of your freeze operation? i think i did.


Favourite modelling shortcut of the day: press ] and mmb click on an edge and drag then release to insert an edgeloop.

Marked parameters in XSI rock, especially when creating synoptics, in conjunction with a little scripting they allow you to select multiple objects within the synoptic view, key selected, etc with a script that can be applied to any model with minimal changes. Speeds up animation time no end…


Right click on the tabs of the main command area (right side) and you can show or hide those groups of buttons. Very handy to hide stuff you don’t need, especially on a smaller screen rez.


i think someone mentioned using alt- in conjunction with the move point tool to well that point to a target. but if you remember in 3.5 and later you could only weld 2 points at a time. and now that option isn’t there anymore. well it is… and its better. well select n points. then go to weld to target and just right click to end tool. and the selected points will be welded, and meet in the middle like the previous weld worked. except it will work with more than 2 points… :slight_smile: i am glad i stumbled on this. cause i like the weld to target. but sometimes i still need just weld points and average their position.



This is probably more of a “heads-up” than anything else but the manual is wrong about how to use an image sequence for mapping. First off, you can manually browse to a folder containg a sequence and it will show a file name in the format of “ClipName[1…299;4].tga” or “ClipName.[1…299;4].tga”. The number after the “;” is the number of places used in the sequence’s name, such as 001 or 0001. Click on that filename and the sequence will be used. This same format can be used in the Scipt Editor instead of the format the manual shows and it will work(the example format given in the manual doesn’t). It looks to me like 4.0 got a very nice improvement that didn’t get documented. :slight_smile:


Following on from one of the first posts about adjusting properties for multiple objects:

If you have loads of different objects selected (especially different types) the ‘explorer selected’ button will often not give common properties (like visibility) and will defintely not give properties only common to some of the items.

To get around this open the specific property dialog box (eg Geom Approx) you want to view before selecting multiple items. The proprties dialog will switch to displaying the property if it exisits on any (doesn’t need to exist on all) object. Very handy if you select lots of items and accidentally select some you didn’t intend to.

Also on the same line - use the spreadsheet! - it is very very handy - but don’t go anywhere near the ‘name column’ it is very very easy to rename all the objects in your scene hand1, hand2, hand3, hand4 … hand257 if you happen to have everything selected then highlight one single object (you will know what I mean if u’ve done it).

The spreadsheet is however is very handy for checking high poly counts on objects - and over-exuberant use of the subdivide keys. Anything that you need to apply to lots of objects or see an at a glance overview of objects.

On the subject of high poly counts - it is very useful to have the Scene / selected polycount display in the viewport. Pick the eye in a particular viewport and select ‘Visibility Options’ and look in the visual cues tab. If you havent done so already have a look through all the tabs there as there are some handy tools to have on-screen.

Hope my first post was a little bit of use.

CG Job Hunter


this one is in response to cgJD…

renaming multiple objects like you have stated is actually pretty easy this way.

select those objects you with to rename. and hit enter. the name field will pop up… rename ti something like “bigbox” and all the objects will be bigbox bigbox1 bigbox2 etc etc. this how i rename multiples the samething with consecutive suffix.


lately i have been using F3 a lot. instead of hitting 8 for the explorer or hitting the selection or explore button on the right. F3 will load a popup explorer with your selection in focus. when i need to get a custom ppg up that is on an object. i just hit F3 and hit the icon… the popup leaves and ppg comes up. if you hit F3 and that object has a synoptic it will load the synoptic so be aware…



This is one of the greates post I’ve ever seen read! :slight_smile:

I bought XSI today, so I’ll come here often.

An easy one:

  • Clicking on the Maximize icon at the top-right corner of a view maximizes it (¡wow!.. :p)
  • MMB Click maximizes it horizontally
  • Control+MMB maximizes it vertically


And another easy one:

When reassigning texture connections in the Render Tree you can keep shift pressed so when you let go the LMB the window with the… (how do you call that?) the things you can connect to doesn’t close and you can select more than one.

Expample: You want to connect some texture to surface, shadow, photon of the material. Instead of clicking the red button, dragging it an let go over the material 3 times you can do it once with shift pressed and select three… of those… things… (man, bad english vocabulary day!)


Sorry for the contradiction, but this isn’t accurate. Alt+arrows traverses a component hierarchy by number; there is no guarantee that the components selected will actually be next to the ones you started with.

I used to think it did what you said, but I noticed odd behavior, and asked support, who clarified for me.


Sometimes when using Gloss and Frost in the Transperancy/Reflection tabs, you need a really
low value, but XSI wouldnt let you go under 0.001…

here’s a trick to fool XSI:

go to frame 1 , enter 0 in the Gloss or Frost, set a key.
go to frame 10 or so, and set 0.001 , then save another key.
Open the Animation Editor, and make the curve linear, now check in the Render Region
in which frame the Gloss/Frost looks good, and in the AE, insert a key in the current time,
then delete the other keys…

XSI might show a value of 0, or 0.001 in the Gloss/Frost parameter, but it will render
the actual value that we just keyd…