Softimage 2015 Last Release Announcement


I.E. the viewcube right? :stuck_out_tongue:

Just reinforces the idea that the tech will just sit there and no one will benefit from it.


I’ve been trying to make sense out of this whole situation and I am convinced this isn’t a true business decision, but instead it’s a “smoke & mirrors” business decision.

Autodesk’s M&E division only accounts for something like 7% of their revenue. Softimage is a small part of that 7%. So keeping Softimage alive or killing Softimage probably has almost ZERO impact on the Autodesk bottom line.

So why kill it? Because Autodesk lost 27% in 2013 and the management needs to look like they’re doing something - anything - to fix the problem. Softimage was an easy target.

But if you’ve got your company heavily invested in Autodesk M&E technology you have to now start to ask yourself: How fast will they cut MY application the next time sales are down? 7% is nothing! They could cut the entire M&E division and simply hold on to the patents and become patent trolls - suing anyone who didn’t pay for the right to use THEIR technology and probably be more profitable than continuing to pay developers, support, etc.

This is what happens when a company is making decisions based on accountants and lawyers. But if you know anything about business, the last people you want to get business advice from are lawyers or accountants. Neither of those professions are about growing a business, building a community, building loyalty or supporting customers.

Killing Softimage sends a very clear message - Autodesk has no loyalty and cannot be trusted. They’ve left developers, studios, freelancers, etc., all hanging without a second thought about it. Will you be next? If you use their products you might be.

Solution? Never buy another Autodesk product. EVER.



Interesting theory. I think you could be right. Kinda the problem with things being publicly traded.


Everything you said is absolutely untrue - please check your facts before spreading misinformation.

There is nothing in Blender or the GPL that restricts 3rd party development of plugins, scripts, or in-house development.

The GPL provision that you have to share the code only applies if you want to redistribute Blender itself or part of it. Otherwise, it is perfectly fine to distribute your own commercial, closed-source plug-in for Blender, as long as it doesn’t include code FROM Blender. It is also perfectly fine to modify Blender code as much as you want for your own or your company’s use and not make it publicly available, as long as you don’t PUBLICLY REDISTRIBUTE this modified Blender without making the source available.

Please read what the GPL actually says, and look up GPL misconceptions.


I believe that as long SitoA and Exocortex Alembic continue being updated, I can still work with Softimage for another five years without problems, for more complex tasks such as fluid simulation and volumetric effects, Alembic is the perfect integration between Softimage and Houdini. I don’t need any other Autodesk product.


What is it going to take for people to play hardball with Autodesk? Through a combination of lawsuits, boycotts, and any other legal means available, they could possibly be pressured into selling the Softimage code to someone else. That someone else could either be another company, or a foundation that would open-source the code.

This is how Blender became open-source, by the way. The community got together and put up the money to buy the source code from the creditors after the company that owned it went bankrupt. Yes, that is an easier situation than this case, but like I said, apply pressure through all possible legal means so that Autodesk will see the light.

That was an early example of crowd-funding, before things like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc existed. It would probably be easier to raise the money nowadays. But this will only work if enough people are serious about this and don’t just roll over and convert to Maya or Max.

By the way, I keep mentioning open-source because that is the only way that this can be prevented from happening again. This kind of thing can happen to ANY closed-source/proprietary/commercial software, and indeed, it HAS happened countless times before, so I see open-source as the only viable truly long-term solution.


ADSK’s patent patrollism will force creative devs to leapfrog each and everyone of them, and find new business/community models. It’s just a mather of time, and times have never been changing so fast.


From what I have heard, it’s true that the profit brought in by the M and E dept is small, and Softimage, probably the smallest percentage of the big 3. On top of that, the R and D and Development cost for the M and E dept is extremely high relative to it’s profit. So there is good reason for not developing 3 redundant packages in parallel. Of course it is a buisness decision and it will make a lot of people unhappy.

As a Maya user, I am hoping to see renewed focus on development of that product and the intergration of more strong elements from Softimage.



I think all this talk of “not taking it lying down” is silly.

I feel for Softimage users, but I think their number one priority right now is positioning themselves with another tool that will start earning them money as work starts to dry up.

They can either do that by learning another tool, or by taking on a huge multi-national corporation that has probably had this whole situation scrutinised by their legal teams, and attempting to force them to keep publishing a tool that can only get considerably less popular as houses move away from it.

The chances of Autodesk releasing this back into the wild so they have another popular & well developed competitor? Zero. That;'s why they bought it in the first place.

Who’s going to start buying Softimage seats now, hoping that some popular campaign with make it worth doing again?

I would imagine that right now bosses are having this conversation: how quickly can we move to Maya and how many of our staff can be retrained, versus getting new people in.


It’s not the end of the world for sure, but would you do exactly that, when they would discontinue Max, or the app you invested so many years in, altough they promised to not do it publicly? It’s not like driving car brand X and switching to a car brand Y.

A few chaps trying to sue ADSK, would not not be successfull indeed. But when the whole Softimage UK community files a suite alltogether, it would be another story imo.


Nope, not going to happen… One of the big reasons they bought softimage is for its tech/patents and no way they are going to give that away.


I don’t think that’s an issue, Softimage can be used smoothly for the next five years, the client don’t want to know where it was made. Which the great innovation of Maya or Max 5 years ago that is significant?


On what grounds could they sue? They “promised”? I assure you, no one has any kind of written document in which Autodesk says they will support any piece of software indefinitely.

Honestly, if you can’t switch software packages within 2 years, this might not be the industry for you. I switched from Maya to Softimage in about 2 weeks before I was doing useful work on a production. I didn’t have a deep knowledge for sure, but I was earning a paycheck. I did that for a year before switching back to Maya. We also just had a 3DS Max freelancer jump in and start using maya, after about a month of doing it on his own then starting a production. I switched from After Effects, to Fusion, to Nuke in the same respect.

To stick with your car quote it’s more like switching from Automatic to Manual (or vice versa). It’s still driving.

Don’t marry your tools, learn python and get used to adapting, welcome to CG :wink:


Ok, maybe so… And what after those 5 years?
Its better to already prepare for the inevitable and not wait for the last moment only to make it more and more difficult.


I would definitively feel gutted if it happened - but it’s like people are encouraging others to do something ridiculous: “you gonna take that lying down? you gonna take that like a bitch? you should fucking SUE man!”

It’s silly.

Who has time for that?


How cool for ya. :applause:
So you will keep on switching from app to app, as ADSK marketing&financial deparment wishes. If you are a user you’ll learn to be a JAOAT, If you happen to be a studio that built a solid pipeline, you’ll start from scratch every 3-4 years. If you happen to be a plugin developer who invested serious time and money in that app, all you’ll do is again start from scratch… Good luck to you Head of 3D.


According to this poll only 3% of users intend to switch to Max:

The fact that Houdini+Modo (poll allows multiple picks) top the list above Maya, with Max way down on the bottom, pretty much shows that SI is not redundant in Autodesk’s triplet. Most SI users now have to go elsewhere to get what SI gave them.


csmallfield, your point of view isn’t very correct. It’s not so easy and fast switch to another software. Try to think a company. We worked years to create a big asset (hundreds shader, for VRay, Corona, Octane, or proxy model “max-ready” for VRay, Corona etc…) 100+ script (from Scriptspot for example) to speed-up your workflow, create your good pipeline, educated your employees. Maybe create your script etc…
I don’t talk about “how model an head with 3ds max or Maya” by yourself in your room. You can learn Maya (for simple stuff) in one or two month. But, if you are a worker, and you have clients etc… where do you find the time to “study” a new software when, as we know, 3D artist works H24? I think, to reorganize a small/middle office to be as productive as before you need, I don’t know, 6-12 month! Maybe delete some new job to re-organize your entire work!
I have colleagues in a different studio who, because of the high amount of work and for the reasons said above, they are struggling to change the renderer (from MR to VRAY to Octane etc…) Imagine an entire software!!!


and money…


I can see how my post could have been read as bragging, but that wasn’t my intent or my point. I am not special in this regard, most if not all artists I know can switch, have switched and will switch software.

The foundations of 3d and the process changes much slower than the software. It’s never starting from scratch. But yeah, every 3-4 years you should expect to have a totally different pipeline, tools, techniques and maybe software. That’s pretty standard. It happens gradually over those 3-4 years, but it really has less to do with “whim” of autodesk and more to do with profitability and competition. There is still plenty of innovation outside of autodesk that they have to compete with.

Sorry if I came off as snarky, not my intent.