Cool things in XSI no one knows!


Punch in the basic /, *, - or + i.e /60/2.3 = 26.087) directly in the input boxes and get the result. No Calc needed :slight_smile:


When you set a property for a spotlight, such as volumic properties, if you Start a Capture, and play it back, you will notice that the light self-animates. A time saver for those who are trying to mimic splinter cells lighting.


by making a shortcut to the xsi->open Attachments cmd (/default F3), you’ll get an on fly
explorer ‘embeded’ window if any attachment, for the scene or objs selected.



Don’t know if this one has been mentioned before, but I just realised it today and it’s fantastic:

When editing UV maps, the polynode bisectors (those little lines eminating from each vertex in the UV viewport) are really useful for grabbing and creating your own seams in overlapping areas of the UV map.


To expand on what someone had said earlier, holding CTRL turns snapping on, but holding it can also temporarily turn it off for features that have snap turned on by default, like when you move the center of geometry. This can really help.


If you are in any geometry mode (Object, Polygon, Edge, Tag) and hit the Backspace key, your selection arrow will have an “X” in a circle - this then becomes the amazing Object/Polygon/Edge/Point deleting tool - makes cleaning up geometry really slick and fast - and it won’t leave behind geometry that doesn’t make sense - like an edge leading into the middle of a polygon (just hit Backspace again to exit the mode).

For those with less than a 1600X1200 screen resolution, you can Right-Click on the headings in the MCP (Layers, Select, Transform, etc) and temporarily collapse the sub-menus - helps eke out a little more screen space.



Something I just found out that renewed my faith in XSI.

If your having problems scrubbing the timeline, getting realy choppy playback then go:

Playback>Playback/Audio preferences… then change the default scrubbing mode to “Direct seek”

You may already know this, but or those who don’t, its a life saver.


Two Selection tips:

1.) This tip is more useful if you have “select adjacent polygons” and “select adjacent points” assigned to hotkeys. The idea is that you select the adjacent component type of what you already have selected and it selects every other one.

For example: Make a grid and select one polygon. If you select adjacent polygons of the selected polys several times you will get a checker-pattern selection.
Select a row of polygons on a sphere and do the same - it will select every other row. This works with points and edges as well. It is usefull for selecting every other component and making interesting, and sometimes very useful selection patterns.

2.) This tip involves selecting “unconventional edgeloops” and is best explained with pictures…


in the transform panel, you can SHIFT+RMB on the stripe botton (the button that enables all 3 axes). doing so will highlight all 3 numeric input boxes for the tranformation. in this mode, entering a value in one of the highlighted input boxes applies the same value to all axes.


One that i found the other day. Clicking the middle mouse button on any expandable menu in the UI will repeat the last command for it. So if you make a cube and want another one with out duplicating it, you can just click with the MMB on “primitives” and there you go. Wonder why it took my so long to find this one O_o



i train new employees and its one of the first things i show. why? cause they will ask where is my shaded hotkey? or camera switch… so i show them that and they can flip back and forth fast enough where they are happy.


Just a stupid little thing :

When you need to render for example only 3 out of 9 passes
select them in the explorer and then “render Current Pass”,
this will render only the selected ones.

I noticed this few days ago when i was hitting render current pass
and it didnt, wth…


1)You can have a Custom Parameter in any object, not just in a set.

Select your object, Click SHIFT-P make your parameter.

Then with the object selected, right click on the selection button on the right hand panal (just above the transform section) and click Custom Properties.

A PPG will open with the name of the object and the custom Parameter you just made

[edit] although it does create a custompset in the object, just saves a step i suppose [/edit]

  1. You can CTRL-MIDDLE MOUSE CLICK on a button to redo the last operation without opening the creation PPG (good when getting primatives)


In XSI, when you create a new primitive, you can drag any of the properties of existing properties to the new one:

Example, create a simple sphere and assign it a glass shader and turn into a SUBD surface (a Doo Sabin will be fine here). Now create another primitive (I’ll make a square) and open the the explorer and select a parameter of the sphere such as Geometry Approximation and drag that parameter to the square. Now the square has the Doo Sabin SUBD method :slight_smile:

 I just wanted to say that this thread rocks so hard it isn't even funny! :)
 I just went through alot of these tips and WOW! 5 Star rating for sure!

Onto my contribution, which actually builds on preludian’s tip. Indeed, when you have the spot selected, and you press alt+right arrow, the corresponding spot interest will get selected. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you press alt+right arrow or alt+left arrow, the will both work, and if you keep pressing alt+right or left arrow, the selection will alternate between spot and spot interest.

But what’s more is that if you have the spot or spot interest selected and you press alt+up arrow, you get the Spot Root selected… Conversly, you can press alt+down arrow to go back down the hiearchy of selecting the spot or spot interest!

On top of that, you can use the alt+up or down or left or right arrow keys in conjunction with the shift key to append to your selection.

You know when you select the spot and the spot interest and you press delete, the spot root remains behind in your scene? Using preludian’s tip in conjunction with mine, it’s very easy to get rid of all elements very quickly and painlessly.

 Simply select your spot, then hold down shift+alt+ either left or right arrow, (this will [i]select both the spot and interest[/i]) then while still holding down the shift+alt, press the up arrow (this adds the spot root to the selection). Lastly, double tap the delete key..poof! the entire three element spot light system is completely deleted from your scene!

It sounds alittle complicated until you try it… it isn’t so bad.Of course, you can also press the scene button on the right side panel of the interface, select the light you want to delete and simply delete it :slight_smile: Different strokes for different folks!)



Tip :
Befor Your save scene , draw render region On Any Area you want .
After that save your scene .
The scene will be take thumbnail From region …


Hi, don’t know if these have been mentionned as I don’t have time to read, I tried to be creative.

-‘d’ short when pressed swhitches to xray mode and allows you to select the next bone for weight painting.

-(I like this one) Assuming you have many sliders you want to move like (finger bones) at the same time by adding an additive value. Example-get a sphere mark some of the entries in “geometry” tab click F4 move curser out of the ppg to the viewport and drag. All marked sliders will move.

-draw a render region- assuming you want to edit properties just right-click on the yellow crop mark and click properties or save region as…

-All numeric input fields can be used as a calculator eg 4+9-11 click enter

-your value is 1111.1 you want to move the object up by .5 , in the numeric box just type “.5+”

  • r(1,100) gives random values from 1-100 . l(1,100) moves them linearly -Try this, get 10 spheres select them all, on xpos put l(1,100).

-To see framerate on any window ctrl+R and left mouse click on window

-I rarely use explorer only F3 (select object first)

Hope u like-em.

Manny Papamanos, Graphics Support Engineer / CREATE>SOFTIMAGE>XSI


Posted by Chinny:

To save render settings:

"if you look in your local netview (rendertools 4.0) install the addon and there is an option to save the settings and a whole lot more



With a scene open that contains a physX rigid body simulation, holding the right shift and right control keys down when you go forward a frame will generate a physX core dump file (“c:\physx_core_dump”). This core dump contains a partial readout of the current physics environment. It reports the rigid bodies, their geometry and material properties, but is missing the rigid constraints (joints) and any forces on the objects.


Some of them are, but many aren’t. They will show up in tutorials and in other odd places, but there really isn’t a part of any one manual that spells out a lot of this stuff (which would be nice if there was).

Another tip: If XSI starts getting weird on you - suddenly slowing display performance, disappearing menus, blank preference boxes, etc - BEFORE you decide to reinstall drivers and/or XSI, go to your C:\Users<your name>\Softimage\ and move the XSI_XX number folder out of that directory - then restart XSI. XSI will create a new user/preferences folder, and very often this will fix any weirdness you’re experiencing. Just be aware that you may have to reinstall some addons and presets…