Cool things in XSI no one knows!


Do you guys know the usage of ’ . ’ (dot)? It repeats the order you just did.
Same as ‘g’ in maya.


I accidently discovered that right-clicking the titles/menus on the MCP (select,transform,snap, constrain, edit) at the right side minimizes the panels, I guess that’s real handy if you happen to be on a low res monitor :slight_smile:


Just discovered how to create primitatives at a different position… After you create the prim, make sure snapping is set to points, and then hold v, hold ctrl and pick your closest point.


This one is by Jaco ,

[b]To create a Shadow only light:

[/b][b]use an ultralow intensity and a high negative umbra value.

IE: if you want the equivalent of umbra 0 something like intensity = 0.001 and umbra = -(1/0.001) will give nearly no light contribution (none noticable), but a dark shadow.[/b]


I looked for this one on the forums to see if someone had posted it before and so far so good…
open the script editor, type MakeBicepRoll <name of your Bicep>, <# of nulls you want down the bicep> hit enter and you are done… Useful if you need the “Twist” deformations when not using the biped rig.
See SDK help for a better description :smiley:


This tip sometimes is quite helpfull to match you’re lighting correctly to blend with a real image/sequence.

Rotoscope images by default don’t render when you render you’re scene in XSI. To have XSI rendering you’re rotoscope simply add an output shader to your current render pass. Add the 2d_background_pic shader to you’re current render pass inspect it and choose you’re image or sequence.



it’s worth mentioning that these components are not really part of the SDK itself, they are a bunch of routines and helpers (accessible from the all APIs) called CDK, character dev kit.

it goes a bit further then adding rolls, it includes primitives like spine, legs, footroll helpers etc.


Ok ok, the reason I found this so useful is because when I create a Biped from the biped guide the thighrolls don’t work quite right. the reason why is because the roots for the thigh bones are not lined up to the bone, and if you line up the roots after the rolls have been created they won’t work right, so I delete them and create new ones once the roots have been lined up to the thigh bone. (also you can add shinrolls to the huuuuhhh shins by using the makeforearmroll comand and replacing the “handeff” argument with the name of the second footbone) <==it has worked on my last project quite well)


Posted by Brent ,

"Ok, I know it is confusing but in XSI center and pivot are two different things. Center is an older concept that comes from SI3D. When you translate in center mode all that happens is you translate the object and an operator is added to the modeling stack that pushes the geometry in the opposite direction so in effect you are just moving the origin of the object. So, you should ignore any commands that say “center” since they will not affect the object’s pivot which is a transformation property.

If you continually want to reset the pivot I would suggest turning off “Modify Object Pivot” under the Transform menu. When this is off the pivot is just maintained in the tool and it doesn’t affect the object’s pivot. It is enabled in QWERTY mode but not in the default XSI mode. (because that is the way Maya handles pivots) With this option off you can hold Insert (or D) and left-click to snap the pivot. To reset it you just hold Insert (or D) again and middle-click anywhere outside the manipulator.

If you have changed the object’s pivot (with “Modify Object Pivot” on) want to reset it back to the origin you will need to hit Ctrl-K to bring up the object’s local transform property page and hit the “Reset Pivot” button under the Pivot tab. However, I agree that the middle-click shortcut should work out-of-the-box in QWERTY mode so I will enter a bug request for this item.

Finally, to answer your question about key mapping. In XSI, tools can have their own keymaps. The default keymap is called “XSI” so if you go into the keymapping dialog and select “XSI” under the group you are correct that Insert is mapped to the add vertex tool. However, if you select “Transform Tool” or “Transform Tool Proportional” you will see that in the transform tools Insert has been redefined to the edit transform tool pivot command. The tweak tool (M) also uses this technique for switching between the SRT manipulators so if you are in tweak and want to go back to the regular translate tool you either need to hit Esc or activate another tool like select first.

QWERTY mode is mainly just remapping XSI keys but there are a few perferences that get changed from the default XSI configuration. Here is a list of the QWERTY ones:

“Tools > Transform > Tool Tab > Click Outside Manipulator” is set to “Select Tool”
“Tools > Transform > Tool Tab > Show Selected Axes Only During Interaction” is enabled
“Tools > Transform > Transform Tab > Modify Object Pivot” is enabled
“Tools > Transform > Transform Tab > Transform Hidden Objects” is enabled
“Tools > Camera > Use Alt Key for Navigation” is enabled
“Display > General Tab > Enable View Head Light for New Scenes” is enabled
“Animation > Save Key Command” is set to “Save Key on All Keyable Parameters”

Finally, remember that QWERTY mode is new to version 5 so there are bound to be a few rough edges. Therefore, you should send any issues you find to "" so we can consider them for upcoming releases.




i looked briefly through the thread and didn’t see mention of this little gem.

at my work we use the netview extensively for tracking/relaying information/management etc…

a lot of the times on the page will be a path for whatever reason its not linkable its just text. so instead you can highlight it and just drag it into XSI’s viewport. thats it

no copy paste or anything like that. just highlight and drag the text in.

try it (this may or may not work so dont blame me)



_Hi there, great thread. I dont know if anybody has said that before. You can select points, edges and polygons at the same time by holding, I.e.: (T for points) and SHIFT + (I or E for edges) and SHIFT + (Y or U for polys), …

:arteest:"…The difference between a correct timing and a timing almost correct
, is like the difference between a ray and a glowworm …" Chuck Jones.


After screwing around in XSI last night, I have discovered that any kind of open edge can create ink lines on some objects, which would be very on things like clothing, and not so useful on things such as building interiors.


This one is kind of cool.

If you’re on a slower network and need a texture map located on a network drive, but you know that if you view them in thumbnail mode it will take forever to load the thumbs… all you have to do is single click on the thumbnails while they are loading, it will display the thumb you click next. Very handy because if you think you know the name of the file you want but aren’t 100% sure, this lets you view that thumb before waiting for the entire directory to load.


Here’s one that just helps a lot for me. Thanks to Hans Payer for showing me.

When you write a for loop or something and run it in the script editor to create a bunch of stuff, undo only takes back the last action of the loop, not the whole process. Well, if you make it button on a toolbar and run it from there, the undo will undo the whole thing!




just discovered that you can move the nodes in the schematic view with “m”. That’s so much faster than always pressing “v”.


Alternate view on this tip. If you find XSI to be unbearably slow when switching focus away and back to it, and you’re not working with external texture files…turning off the above option will speed things up dramatically.

Also if you’re not animating, turning off Ghosting in the viewports can speed things up considerably.


Pretending that no one knows…
In my own counter XSI is aproaching Max as one of the most unintutive apps working with curves…

Do you want that your curve pass in specific points/positions?

-Draw the start point and end point of the curve
-Move the start and end point handles to the position that you think is near the final curve form

  • snap on points
  • Modify>Add point tool by knot points or by bezier knot points> Middle Mouse button (with snap) click in the wanted points. The knots move to that points.

After this it’s only possible to change the curve if you convert all knot points to bezier. Any other kind of modification (points,CVs) moves the knot points from their position.


Wow, Im surpised there has barely been anything mentioned about Geometry Approximation :slight_smile:

Hi everyone, forum noob here. I’d like to share my favorite shortcut in XSI.
Its more of a methodology, than a shortcut actually.

>>> NUMPAD - and + <<<

This toggles your the subD level of your model… This way you can model on what looks like a surfacemesh (nurbs object) with the simplistic methods of a polygonmesh…

God I love this capability… :slight_smile:


if nobody said…

just when using “M” the tweak tool:

  • hold alt+MMB will move the edge loop
  • tab change the tranform (translate/rotate/scale)
  • activate the snap face and using the scale/translate you can drag the entire loop over the surface with the alt+mmb.

it also works when the proportional tool is on.



How to build a new mesh over a hi-res mesh you import from something like Zbrush or Mudbox.

posted by Raffaele at the forum:

"-get a starting mesh (or more) like a grid, place it roughly around where you want to start tracing with a grid patterned connectivity
-with the mesh selected, not some subcomponents (so that an alwayscomplete cluster will be created vs an indexed subcomponents one) shrink wrap that mesh to the HD mesh, do this in shape modelling or higher mode or do it in modelling and then move the wrap op up.
-set the wrap to along normals or closest point, depending from how you want to work and how much overhead you can take.
-go back to modelling mode and do whatever you want, add polys, edges etc, it will wrap in realtime to the highres mesh.

you can also keep one viewport synced to current mode (modelling) to work on a non wrapped mesh, and see it wrapping in another view set to result mode.
this also allows you to freely freeze modelling to not kill performance completely, and the wrap will be unaffected.

it’s not a topology brush, but it’s actually a much better system with a way higher degree of control.

you can do this with a number of meshes and merge them, with the proper management of construction history and viewports you can get some really nice results in a very short time out of it."