softimage 2013


#1

Ok, I don’t want start a wishlist or other complain, but I would like know, if possible, where will go Softimage, don’t want insult in any way development work or blame SI capability.
Now I think ICE development is almost finished (I think they will add Hair and some trimming here and there, some new node or something), and then? I’m more impressed by Nitro viewport then ICE modelling (or stop button), I don’t say ICE modelling is not a good enhancement, but I don’t use ICE (and like me I think many other) so, for my need, I prefer a more “traditional” upgrade (improvement in rendering, modelling, workflow ecc.). So, with a finished or almost finished ICE, where SI will move in a near future? Any rendering improvement? Do AD buy Modo and then integrate it in SI? (this is a joke, but nothing is impossible when have money :smiley: )
Ice modelling will improve SI modelling tools? I don’t know, but Houdini has a most complete set of procedural modelling, from years, and I don’t find any nice modelling tools in it (with all the respect for Houdini and his user, it is all IMHO).

In SI 2012 found in File menu a useful “send to 3dsmax”, not an exporter, you need, I think, an installed 3dsm copy, so you can have many other possibility (nitro viewport, many rendering options and plugin), but hey, a solo artist cannot buy, upgrade and study all this (complex) software for a single (or two) feature.
If this is the AD strategy ("dear customer for a modern, all around and update software buy all our three major software), I think a hobbyst and oneman studio like me must think to migrate to other software (modo, blender or Lightwave) or don’t waste money and don’t upgrade at all

I’m a zbrush user, and GOZ lack for SI was for me a bad joke. In 2012 the “send to mudbox” convinced me to give a try to mudbox, then I looked the mudbox tag price, and returned back to my nice gosoflitimage lite…


#2

I think it’s way too early to tell, what interesting things the user community will come up with now they have the power of ICE modeling in their grasp. But it would sure be interesting to know where Softimage is going, although I doubt you’ll get a straight answer.
Although I am not a ZBrush user, the lack of a GoZ for Softimage surprised me also, especially when one thinks back at a time, not so long ago, when Softimage and Pixologic seemed the best of friends.
And before you migrate make sure the grass actually IS greener on the other side… :wink:


#3

“Sent To” is part of the Suite workflow. It’s all about Entertainment Creation Suites, not separate products.


#4

Need not worry bro.
even though they won’t admit it, and even if the SI dev team are doing their best at what they can, it’s pretty obvious for everyone that in order for autodesk to maintain and justify the development of 3 packages that practically do the same thing, they have to separate features between them. (see the current iray and dmm fiasco). Now i know autodesk is just another corporate a…, but in the greater scheme of things, looking at it logically, it’s the only way to keep developing these 3 apps. The other option would be to cannibalize one or two of them, dump them, and add that to the third. And you have to keep in mind, this is not the r&d team’s fault. They do what marketing tells them to do. And for now, their way of getting xsi to customers is to bundle it along side the other two, and focus on ice as it’s selling point. I know it hurts every xsi’ers ego out there, but it’s the harsh reality of efficient marketing strategies. Another option is to start widening your skillset, and start looking at other packages. Preferably not autodesk related (C4d and Houdini also come to mind).
But instead of seeing the empty half of the glass, be glad that xsi is still around, and hopefully will be for quite some time, if this strategy pays off and leads to higher profit. Of course it sucks for the freelancer, but hey, welcome to planet earth. Living the hard social human life since 50.000 bc.


#5

“Sent To” is part of the Suite workflow. It’s all about Entertainment Creation Suites, not separate products.

I don’t say no, I say only AD suggest me to buy the other two major app. if I want a more complete, modern ad update application.
There is no crime if they want sell more, and there is no crime if I don’t want spend more (especially when I think I brought a so expensive package for doing all).

Now i know autodesk is just another corporate a…, but in the greater scheme of things, looking at it logically, it’s the only way to keep developing these 3 apps.

Totally agree, and I say thanks to autodesk, because now SI cost less then the AVID time (I talk about advance edition) and Facerobot (a 99,000 dollars plugin) is integrated practically for free (I don’t use at all, but is nice talk about this feature when you meet a Maya fanboy :smiley: ) and don’t forget XSI has the usual most solid stability, regardless the addition AD want.
But hey, I prefer the old Avid commercial price, but have a new release with all around package evolution, XSI the centre of my work (world), and not listen AD sentence like: “have you archiviz needs? there is 3dsm”
I must think it is the some from the other side, when a 3dsm user need nice render pass or less crash (I was going to write "a faster viewport … but now they have one :slight_smile: ).

I know it hurts every xsi’ers ego out there, but it’s the harsh reality of efficient marketing strategies. Another option is to start widening your skillset, and start looking at other packages. Preferably not autodesk related (C4d and Houdini also come to mind).

No no… I cage too many software in my life (start with Blender, then Lightwave, so Modo and now XSI… I don’t want turn back to any, I like too XSI way of life :slight_smile: Do you have try modelling in Houdini? IMO, a terrible experience (for my taste, worse then 3dsm)

But instead of seeing the empty half of the glass, be glad that xsi is still around, and hopefully will be for quite some time, if this strategy pays off and leads to higher profit. Of course it sucks for the freelancer, but hey, welcome to planet earth. Living the hard social human life since 50.000 bc.

:smiley: :smiley: Simple way is stopping subscription… with the some money I will upgrade LW and Modo and buy some other little nice software, and again, agree, for big studio can be good news, for a freelance is too heavy


#6

I don’t want to start a rant here, well it is a rant, but my rant, my sole opinion :slight_smile:

I want to comment on one thing, allot of people are happy about the ICE modeling extension, by all means, it’s their right, i would too if i was still relying heavily on Softimage. Now most users see this as the Light of Truth shinning on everything, the ultimate revelation so to speak. I would want all to be cautious about that. Roughly 3 years ago Artists where chanting on the miracles ICE Kinematics will bring if it was there, well SI team delivered last year, thankfully the earth is still moving! On another note, Houdini had and still has node based modeling, rigging, simulating, shading, compositing, rendering and maybe text messaging these days, yet the earth is still moving!

I guess what I am trying to say is this, it doesn’t matter if AD keeps throwing bread crumbs every year and package these bread crumbs as apples, they are still bread crumbs at the end of the day. Yes ICE is the mother of technology and damned hey who doesn’t acknowledge it, guys seriously, let’s not over react over things you’ll barely use, I still yet to see the revolutionary ICE Kinematic solution that changed the face of the industry, as far as i can tell, after one year! we are still in our place.

AD has set a strategic development and marketing decision, build once, divide into pieces and spread over a decade. if someone else is close to the competition, buy the sh*te and package it with the rest. Well they did try to be creative i have to admit, Democrotising the development :applause: We get to vote on which bread crumb we want this year :applause:

My take on the subject, if you can’t live by AD rules, just drop them and move on, if you can, great for you and don’t listen to any ranting.

Cheers


#7

@SLiTHER I think the AD development is more slow then AVID days.

I’m cannot follow this upgrade style and multi software interpolation autodesk vision. I’m a freelance, so I need an generalist software. IMO 3000$ for a freelance is the right price, 9200 $ for 3dsm+xsi+mudbox (without subscription and without maya) are a “bit” too expensive.

Now I doing some SI 2012 test and viewport lag in complex scene (SI 2011 manage it without issue) and render time rise too much (in some case, I cannot understand why , procession and rendering time are 50% slower or more) in comparative analysis then 2011 (but if I use unified sample my render time return similar to old version… my subscription seems a great affair (AD voice: "don’t worry dear customer, you can use the 3dsm nitro viewport and rendering Maya mental ray), so I’m pretty sure, don’t renew my subscription.

So, XSI, where are you going ?

Although I am not a ZBrush user, the lack of a GoZ for Softimage surprised me also, especially when one thinks back at a time, not so long ago, when Softimage and Pixologic seemed the best of friends.

yes… anyone know why?
hey Pixologic, do you have interest in buying softimage? :slight_smile:


#8

Well, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I’d rather say Softimage focused its new development (too much?) on ICE, in which quite a lot was achieved in a relatively short time IMHO.

I personally haven’t had the chance to test SI2012 yet (waiting for the boxed version), but from several posts on the different forums I gather there probably will be some hotfix releases soon. But then again, there always have been some problems with Softimage (even in the Avid XSI days, anyone remember XSI 6.0???) with the initial release. After the first bug fix release (or the second in case of XSI 6.0!) things started to look way brighter…
:wink:


#9

The problem with Softimage in my opinion is the ICE-centric development, ICE is powerful yes, but it is not easy at all, really it is a nightmare for freelancers and new people to learn and use it, it requires an insane amount of time and we all know how few tutorials there are around.

I was waiting ICE modeling and well welcome it with open arms, but after taking a look at it, i cant really say it is easy… actually is really difficult.
On some sample scenes i’ve opened some compounds developers left there and to just make some “basic” stuff there are like 40+ nodes.

What i mean is, you should push ICE tryin to give a cutting edge high end technology to the big guys who are pro with coding but also to normal users wich in this case are cut out from the game, again because there isnt any optimization or help into use ICE, and well because ICE itself is something hard by default to learn.

Considering that the other section of the software arent updated by years, i can share the same feeling of Ciuccio.

You can say hey modeling section didnt get updated but dont worry, many users will come up with amazing great compound with ICE modeling. Well i’ve heard this a lot and to be honest…its not really an excuse to avoid developing something, and frankly how many tools would you suppose to find around? Also i am forced to wait for something that is not even certain it’ll happen.

Regarding the suite path autodesk took, i’m strongly against it, because its insane you need 10k softwares to do things that you SHOULD be able to do with 1 software alone.
Well cant really blame AD for trying to squeeze clients and make more money selling the suite instead of developing a software 360° degrees.

In the end, i’m happy Softimage got ICE but what i dont like about ICE is the difficulty and the almost complete lack of help in terms of tutorial and actual examples into using tools.
Also as i said i dont like that now everything is ICE, there are so many things Softimage needs update that if you stop a second to think about them you’ll get shocked.

-Browse images (most of the time you cant see a preview of the texture you are importing, we are in 2011 come on…go check out cinema 4d how it works redgarding this)

-Viewport, we cant even see shadows in viewport…and we run with 3k hardware machines and run videogames with cutting edge tech, and we cant see simple bump/displacement/texturing/shadows in viewport is kinda meh

  • rendering, lately every release of Soft got problems in MR, now there is a pre-calc problem wich hangs the software, there are still lots of features not implemented.

  • modeling, we got same tools since xsi 1? i mean…there is no need for me to make a giant list of the stuff Softimage lacks in terms of modeling tools, compared to maya/modo/3ds max.

  • Hair is dead? shave and haircut got dropped? its still the old version, no development, nothing.

Sometimes i think the beta testers are only big studios who 1) doesnt use Mental Ray at all, because its absurd that you release the software with a so evident bug 2) they only use ICE.

In the end, Softimage is not really the tool for freelancers, its gonna just be ICE centric and a plugin to do VFX, connected with 3ds max and maya, and thats it, you can say wahtever you want but this is the reality of facts, and this is what Autodesk is doing.

/cheers Rob


#10

Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying the fact Softimage has focused on ICE since version 7 is necessarily a good thing, I’m just saying their has been quite some development going on during the AD days (granted, primarily for the sake of enhancing ICE).
:wink:


#11

What have I not covered here? I think it should get anyone (truly interested) up to speed in ice
http://vimeo.com/album/1518800


#12

What i mean is, you should push ICE tryin to give a cutting edge high end technology to the big guys who are pro with coding but also to normal users wich in this case are cut out from the game, again because there isnt any optimization or help into use ICE, and well because ICE itself is something hard by default to learn.

Not so hard as seems at first impact, but in general I full agree with your sentence. Look this tutorials:

http://vimeo.com/album/1518800

Considering that the other section of the software arent updated by years, i can share the same feeling of Ciuccio.

I think we are more then two unhappy users :)

You can say hey modeling section didnt get updated but dont worry, many users will come up with amazing great compound with ICE modeling. Well i’ve heard this a lot and to be honest…its not really an excuse to avoid developing something, and frankly how many tools would you suppose to find around? Also i am forced to wait for something that is not even certain it’ll happen.

IMHO, if XSI will be more and more popular we will assist a something similar to 3dsm: many (commercial) plugin to plug holes. If not (I mean the user base will not grow) we can look to Houdini: years of procedural modelling and no one tool (IMHO) can be compared to XSI best modelling tools (or Modo).
  • Hair is dead? shave and haircut got dropped? its still the old version, no development, nothing.
don't remember where read, but Hair will be next ICE checkpoint, in this release they rewrite\integrated Syflex in ICE, for this reason I would like know what we can aspect tomorrow, because seems ICE  end its run with the major integration (kinematic, modelling, cloth, particle). SI 2013 cannot be only ICE hair... or do we will see a navigation cube fully ICE integrated  :D ?
  1. they only use ICE.
I think this quote is the central issue. During acquisition days someone spoke (with apocalyptic pain) about the possibility ICE split from XSI and  integrated in maya/max. Autodesk CEO (I'm not sure if was CEO or not) in a 3dworld article answered some questions about and said how stupid was this option (and impossible, too difference in the code between XSI and max/maya). Now, my pain is this: not possible detach and attach ICE from an application, but it is possible evolve interoperability from the three software and transform the entire XSI/ICE in a Max plugin... 

In the end, Softimage is not really the tool for freelancers,

and what is the perfect freelance tool? 3dsm? Maya? Did SI born like generalist software or not? 



Some months ago I was pretty sure AD don't want lose the (poor?) XSI userbase, and acquisition was a good event for XSI. Now I think no. If Maya userbase loses the acquisition pain, after years XSI users cannot be (IMHO in major part) be happy and secure about AD route.  

But then again, there always have been some problems with Softimage (even in the Avid XSI days, anyone remember XSI 6.0???) with the initial release. After the first bug fix release (or the second in case of XSI 6.0!) things started to look way brighter…

Ok, see your point and agree, wait. But for me cage less or nothing if I stayed in XSI 2011 and the idea I waste my subscription money remains...

#13

In the end, Softimage is not really the tool for freelancers,

This doesn’t really make sense. If the freelance job position requires The artist to use Softimage, which some do, then Softimage surely is a tool for freelancing, as is any other tool. All will adhere to the same rule.

There are more Maya freelance positions, of course, and more Maya freelancers competing for the same post. In the end it makes little difference. The important thing is the relative demand in your working location.

If you had said, “Softimage is not really the tool for generalists”, then the proposal makes more sense. Yet I would disagree and point out that these things are quite subjective. From my perspective, I have a tool that , without any coding; through ICE and Soft’s excellent original set of tools, I can command it to manipulate geometry to levels of sophistication I could only have dreamed about in other packages I have used; and I can experiment and invent at lightning speed. making it the perfect tool for me.


#14

There was a Maya vs. Softimage discussion on the mailing list a while back, in which a wise sage said this:

I think that sums up Autodesk's current strategy for Softimage: All the releases since the acquisition have focused mainly on providing us end users with building blocks with which we can make our own tools. Maybe ICE was the focus of previous versions, but 2012 does bring a few powerful additions to the SDK, like the ability to draw directly in the viewport for example.

On one hand this makes a lot of sense. I guess the more customizable SI is the more likely it’s going to get integrated into production pipelines in bigger shops. And more clients are always a good thing.

ICE and a more open SDK also mean that third-party developers have the opportunity to step in and bridge whatever functionality is missing in SI. I don't think Max would be nearly as useful without the plugins developed by third-parties. I remember a time when it seemed like every new version of Max was just a collection of external plugins bought and integrated--rather poorly--into the main application. Lightwave also strikes as an example of an application that absolutely depends on third-party plugins to keep it chugging along.

In that light, I think that focusing on the SDK and ICE is actually a good thing, and brings Softimage more in line with the other applications that are often used by lone wolves and small shops (e.g. Lightwave and Max).

But on the other hand, all of this is for naught unless third-party development kicks into high gear and a healthy ecosystem develops around it. It’s happening with tools like Momentum 2.0 and Mootzoid’s lineup of tools, but it’s not happening fast enough to keep everyone happy. Maybe our community is just too small for developers to make a living selling tools for Softimage.

tl;dr: ICE is good, but only if people start writing and sharing or selling production-worthy tools with it :slight_smile:


#15

The one thing I don’t understand (although one hears it a lot), is the implication that good/great tools
should automatically be commercial tools, like Momentum 2 & the Mootz’ stuff.
The Softimage community is a very active bunch (as one glance at rray.de easily proves) and there is a large amount of user-made custom tools around. Don’t forget, for instance, the Kristinka toolset, to name just one…
There is always room for more, but the worldwide Softimage community have provided us all with a lot of tools already. We don’t necessarily need third-party commercial developers (although it’s always nice if more would emerge), we need a better way to point everyone to the amount of tools that are already available. rray.de is a brilliant website, but even that is only the tip of the proverbial (dare I say it?) ICE-berg.
:wink:


#16

Did you trademark that phrase yet? Because I would so buy the T-shirt :slight_smile:

Seriously though, I think we have two main problems with the free plug-ins: One is that there was no central database for them, which is no longer an issue thanks to rray.de. And the other is poor documentation. And I’m sure there are many gems out there that I and many others are not using simply because the documentation and presentation don’t do them justice.

As someone who has written and shared a couple of plugins in the past, I can say from experience that coding is usually the fun part and it’s totally worth doing for free if the project is small enough and the idea is neat enough. It’s writing the documentation and polishing the presentation that is the insufferable part of the process. So I do sympathize with all plugin contributors out there if their documentation is lacking. But still, most tools out there are desperately in need of better docs.


#17

there are some things about softimage dev that still baffle me even to this day.
take the wacom issue, okay, so stephen stepped in with a workaround…but mind u,
it’s just a hack, it’s not a real fix. how on earth have people been doing heavy work
with xsi and tablets in large production environments is a mistery to me…
second, and this has been discussed a billion times, is ascii scene file access.
now i know for hobbyists and freelancers, this is no biggie (though in 2011, with all
the complexities of current projects, it should be). it was and still is (besides multiplatform
support and lack of a large userbase) one of the main reasons why xsi hasn’t set foot in large productions. how on earth do others deal with it, again, is beyond me (say animal logic?).
i have first hand experience of the wonders of having direct access to a scene in ur notepad, and trust me, it is huge. i’ve been using this software since 1.5, thats almost 11 years, and i love it to death, but there are things, that seem like taken out of a scifi movie, when it comes to its development. like the current hiatus with disconnected shaders (and this has to be the creepiest, nastiest, and most long lasting bug ever in a 3d app), or a tale from the past, i remember when v5.11 came out, and the syflex pins were broken. we were like…how on earth did this get past the beta?? did no one run cloth sims in any project, anywhere on the beta? i mean, that stuff is just beyond weird… (on the upside, it got fixed asap).
don’t get me wrong, i wholeheartedly admire the dedication and amazing skills of the dev team, in doing what they are doing with ice, but there are other things, that have been needed since version 1, that are still being asked for to this day. so i dunno, slap those marketing fellas a little bit, and shake some sense into them :slight_smile:


#18

first of all thanks to pooby for his really good Vimeo channel :slight_smile:

From my perspective, I have a tool that , without any coding; through ICE and Soft’s excellent original set of tools,

You said the best XSI part is ICE, ok, I don’t say no but Houdini is, in this field, a (significant) step forward. Like you I find XSI tools excellent, but if AD don’t update this tools (and many are the some from 6.5) this become, release after release, obsolete or copied and improved by other software, because XSI tools are excellent, but not perfect so a improvement margin is possible and must be reach (and software like Modo may be an example).

Oktawu said this a the only way for XSI to survive. After this 2012 release, I think, AD must improve other XSI point, cannot doing other ICe evolution (ok, they can but the margin now is more limited). So, as discussing in this topic, my fear is about AD marketing: they don’t want improve other aspects because, in example, improve XSI animation capability will disturb Maya marketing and the creative suite selling (why buy all three software if can doing all perfectly in modern way whit only, more cheaper, XSI?)

So, do XSI take the FX route (field where software like real flow and houdini are really too strong)?

Little note, creative suite (XSI, 3dsm or maya, motion builder and mudbox) cost 7500 $, comprensive subscription, in any case too high.

don’t get me wrong, i wholeheartedly admire the dedication and amazing skills of the dev team, in doing what they are doing with ice, but there are other things, that have been needed since version 1, that are still being asked for to this day. so i dunno, slap those marketing fellas a little bit, and shake some sense into them

Why? My idea is dev. team don’t listen the userbase, at all, but only marketing department (or big studio requests). For this reason I don’t ask any support by developments team, but would like only know what is the XSI route.
Under this aspect I’m a bit nostalgic, company like Luxology have a more empathic attitude with their customers.


#19

So, do XSI take the FX route (field where software like real flow and houdini are really too strong)?

this has been a long beaten horse since before the ice days…and the truth is
xsi will never break into the houdini market. but what it can break in, and has done so,
is the freelancers/small studio market. problem with that is, not much revenue there.

my fear is about AD marketing: they don’t want improve other aspects because, in example, improve XSI animation capability will disturb Maya marketing and the creative suite selling

bingo, that is exactly why they can’t, and probably won’t round the edges…

Why? My idea is dev. team don’t listen the userbase, at all, but only marketing department (or big studio requests). For this reason I don’t ask any support by developments team, but would like only know what is the XSI route.
Under this aspect I’m a bit nostalgic, company like Luxology have a more empathic attitude with their customers.

now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. the xsi dev team are a stellar bunch, period.
it’s the autodesk management/pr/marketing whatever, that’s the problem here.
and xsi vs modo, is like apples and oranges. different market segments alltogether.
had xsi been ported to osx, maybe, but still, a long shot.


#20

I’m hoping Softimage:Behavior gets resurrected as ICE compounds.