Softimage 2015 Last Release Announcement


Sad that this news doesn’t warrant a front page thread - 3,300 people have singed a petition in a couple of days, surely it deserves a mention?


Softimage certainly has the freshest core concepts and code from the three major 3d packages owned by Autodesk. This is simply a result of development of it being started later than the other ones. And development took way longer than expected, what essentially killed their strong standing in the market. They never really discovered from that…


Smelled like Max spirit
So given that Max’s code base is even older than that of XSI…
I hope you guys have a B plan for an all new nextgen modern host app that’s in paralel development, which you wouldn’t be able to speak about and maybe bifrost is the start of that. But it probably is just wishfull thinking isn’t it.


There is no conspiracy. The plug is up.



over 3,000,000,000,000 polygons!!! (that’s Trillllllion, not billion, not million but T-Trrillllionnn).

Fun fact: in Europe that is actually 3 billion, not trillion…
That why its much ‘easier’ to become a billionaire in the USA ^^


I’ve been thinking that for a few years now and it would explain allot of weird decisions they made and the poor releases… but its probably just wishfull thinking.


Nice one Rob! And thanks for using the old school logo :thumbsup:


Microsoft wanted a posterchild for WindowsNT and they aquired softimage and spend 2 years porting a soon to be obsolete 3d app (Softimage3D). Things could have been different today if MS decided to rewrite SoftimageXSI right away.


Yep, and that transition proved to be costly in terms of market share.


Hi everyone,

When we created the initial Softimage transition plan our desire was to provide our customers with an easy, no-cost path to transition to either 3ds Max or Maya. We have been monitoring all of your feedback on the forums, including many direct conversations with our customers, and have made adjustments to the transition offering to address your concerns. As we had previously announced, a program is available to all Softimage customers on Subscription providing you with the option of migrating to 3ds Max or Maya via a bundle that will include a Softimage license until April 2016. Based on your feedback we will be adding the ability to continue to access Softimage indefinitely with your Subscription entitlement even after we stop support on Softimage in April 2016. We have heard you and we want to make sure you can continue to be able to access your Softimage projects even after the retirement of Softimage. Our intention was not to create more burden on you with this difficult change.

As many have also asked about this, we would also like to clarify what will happen if you do not want to transition: your licenses will not stop working. Any licenses you have purchased are yours. They are perpetual licenses and will continue working whether you are on Subscription or not. You will continue to be able to contact support if you need to move a license to a new machine.

maurice patel



This is what leaves me puzzled most with regards to the whole clusterfark: Why didn’t ADSK first come up with an alternative (which is not owned by a different company - such as for example sideFX) before cutting Softimage off? Without virtually anything comparable inhouse, this probably has to be the best incentive to take your money elsewhere. Maybe they’re really confident about the Bifröst implementation?

My conjecture is that Autodesk had to kill Softimage now before Houdini,Modo,Cinema4D, could compete in all subjects with Maya. In case of Houdini specially character animation.

They don’t have anything comparable because Autodesk M&E is a company with a very low output for the resources they have. They are top heavy with many more bureaucrats than coders.

Today you can’t for example do strands with Max or Maya, and there is nothing comparable to ICE, so Autodesk with this action is in fact restricting industry.

Yep, and that transition proved to be costly in terms of market share.

That happened but it is not the reason to anything, after all Cinema4D was starting back then and Modo didn’t even existed.

The reason is that Softimage had a renaissance with several people investing in render plugins for Softimage concurring with ICE appearance and the solid releases of V6, V7, V2011, V2012. (last two under Autodesk) cut short aftyer V2012.

After that Autodesk decided to kill Softimage without telling anyone.

One can only imagine what will be Softimage if the releases of 2011 and 2012 would have been replicated in 2013, 2014 and now 2015.

Is this real?

I watched this video several times, dont get it

not sure if this has already been posted

Yes, done at time of 2014 version. The current one…

I just watched some of the ICE videos that have been posted here and elsewhere, and as a max user I can only say that I’ve totally missed how awesome it is… wow.

Now imagine if Autodesk would have promoted it fairly.


@Maurice: I know this won’t happen but it would be great if AD could consider selling or hive off XSI…


Yes, that’s what the whole industry is expecting.
Maybe not today, because especially ICE is vital to the future of other ADSK M&E app/apps.
But within 3 years, after 2016, ADSK should do it. ADSK would be affected the least by such a move. If you don’t do it, BLENDER will do it soon at its current dev pace anyway.

As Steve Jobs said,
“we’re not afraid of cannibalizing our own products,
because if WE don’t do it, someone else will”



Good info Kabab. Thanks.
I would consider switching to Modo, but I dont know if there will be enough freelance work here in London that requires Modo. I think most of the Softimage studios here will switch to Maya. This is just my prediction. I hope I am wrong.


Some more info from autodesk on why they did it…

I find this quote a massive let down:

Asked whether Softimage’s ICE visual programming system – often regarded as one of the key strengths of the software – would be integrated into 3ds Max or Maya, Patel commented that “the [design] concepts behind ICE will continue to live on, but we will not build ICE again within those products”.

I wouldnt be surprised if they sell it as a separate product (most-likely bifrost). More $$$ for them…
But then again, it would be close to impossible to develop something that integrates/communicates/interacts on such a deep level with both maya and max.


People shouldn’t really try to believe what Autodesk says so that quote from Patel doesn’t mean much.

Not even logic applies when we try to guess them.
They will do what they want even if they are shooting their own feet.

Bifrost is already in Maya 2015 if the leaks are correct. Don’t waste brain CPU’s to guess where it goes. What is true today tomorrow is a lie.

This murdering of Softimage seems more an exercise of internal PR due to the fact that M&E doesn’t increase revenue : “see boss we streamlined our offers and reduced overlaps” and protecting their a** showing they are doing something.


I don’t think it was that.
In retrospective, they acquired Softimage to get their hands on tech, developers and to keep it out of the competitors’ reach.
I think the intention was from the get-go to bury it after X number of years which would explain very well the obscurity in which they kept this software. Any other company would have promoted it for its great workflow, not to mention innovative features such as ICE, but not only.
When you want to sell you promote, it’s that simple. They didn’t, therefore one can safely infer that their intention was to only eliminate it from the market.


AVID didn’t sell Softimage because it wasn’t profitable, it sold them because AVID is run by a bunch of management idiots who have no idea how to run a company. Right now they are in the same exact situation where they were when they sold Softimage, wondering why they are not making money and selling acquisitions instead of getting their damn house in order. They sold M-Audio not long ago which was arguably one of their most profitable divisions in the company and the only thing making money for them at the moment is ProTools and that only because of how encroached in the market that product is in big studio (sound familiar). AVID’s other products on the other hand don’t make money, haven’t introduced anything innovative in quite some time and they are getting their asses handed to them by Apple and Adobe.

AVID’s current media framework was co-developed with Softimage developers (which is why XSI had such a great compositor that was well before its time) and once they had what they wanted they didn’t care about the software. I really wish that Softimage had been sold to someone like TheFoundry who I think would have been great stewards of the software. Unfortunately that would have never happened AVID needed cash and ADSK was willing to pay, though imo Softimage was basically sold for pennies compared to what it was truly worth.

Softimage never had good luck unfortunately. First Microsoft then AVID screwed the company. Microsoft by forcing XSI to be a windows centric product, which imo is what really cripples it. Its seems like a product tailored made to run on a Mac or Linux, but it was built with Windows in mind because it was owned by MS when it was being developed. I’ve been using XSI since the very first version as a student in college and fell in love with it. How deep it was, how clean the interface is, how well thought out everything is.

This is really sad for me because its a product I have very fond memories of. Not only that it’s imo the best 3D application on the market hands down. Unfortunately, due to how late it was when it came out (Maya had already had quite a bit of a headstart), it being tied to Windows when folks were still on SGI systems, and its lack of features when first released, a lot of studios didn’t bother with it.


Yep the time that the developers took porting over Softimage took time away from XSi in general. The thing people complained the most about XSI was how incomplete it was. At the time people couldn’t believe how incomplete the NURBS toolset was. It could import full Softimage|3D scenes with NURBS but lacked tools to actually edit and create them. The Polygon toolset was pretty great out of the gate at the time if I remember. Seems a bit silly now with practically everyone using polygons and subdiv but at the time NURBS was still being used heavily and Maya had an excellent NURBS toolset. Made XSI look incomplete at the time.

You could see signs of greatness though like the NLA workflow in Softimage which was very innovative at the time, the animation toolset was really nice, the nodebased editor was really deepen and like nothing else, and the integration with Mental Ray was great at the time though that seems to have hurt the product over the years as Mental Ray has been out shown by other renderers over the years.

I really wish Microsoft would have left well enough alone.