Softimage 2015 Last Release Announcement


The Team at Sidefx have opened a sub forum for those SI operators who want to look at using Houdini. The subforum is spearheaded by HalfDan .



Xpresso in C4D is not a true nodal system, as it does not allow you to make direct connections between objects, instead it’s really just a way of creating expressions (hence the name) in a visual way, and it has the same limitations as expressions in other programs, ie. it’s slow to calculate.

I can’t speak for Max but certainly you can create connections between nodes in Maya in a visual way (using the Hypershade/hypergraph/connection editor or the relatively new Node Editor introduced in Maya 2012.5) and though shading nodes you have pretty much all the same kind of nodes (clamps, conditions, mix, range mappers etc) as you have in C4D, just named differently in some cases. As these are actually direct connections between real nodes in Maya (Maya is a nodal app, C4D isn’t) they will calculate much faster than an expression generally.

I can’t say that this is in any way comparable to ICE, since I’ve never used it, but to say Maya has no equvallent of Xpresso is not correct really.

/endPedantic point :wink:



ICE is an expression system too, it was basically the same as XPresso but with much better multithreading and deeper/more varied range of individual nodes (if you discount the direct scripting operators in XPresso, which would actually make XPresso deeper). ICE nodes were linkages.

Also to be pedantic, ICE and XPresso are true nodal systems. Whether an object exists directly within a dependency graph or if it’s parameters are accessed via nodes in the graph is neither here nor there, the nodes are real objects and references and pointers tend to make their languages more powerful (if more complex) than the alternative. What they are not is scene descriptors.


^ Ah didn’t know that about ICE, when I saw some demos of it it looked so fast with huge object counts I assumed it was nodal like Houdini or something like that. It being multithreaded explains some of that speed I guess.



use blender that way you know no one can buy or kill it even the big corporate bullies


You’re absolutely correct on that one. But there are a lot more reasons why that will never happen than most people realize. I’ve witnessed from the inside how EOL’ing of products at Autodesk worked and the one that really stands out in my mind and memory shall remain nameless. However, there was at least one interested party with the means to make a bid to buy the IP but that never even came to fruition, let alone any serious consideration because of a lot of unwritten policies and politics, many of which have to do more with individuals rather than clear policy. It was deemed that (paraphrased and the short version);

  1. Shareholders will hold us responsible for having FAILED to make this a success.

  2. If we sell and the other party turns it into a success we’ll look like even bigger FAILURES.

  3. Killing it shows strong leadership and ability to make tough decisions.

You’d be surprised how strong those concepts are and how they easily take precedence over anything else. And from what I’ve seen in recent years, not much has changed in this regard.


Sooooo… What you are basically saying is that the AD CEOs and top managers are all scared insecure little boys (and girls?) with egos the size of a whale’s bottom?

How refreshing. Dilbert has always been right, no?


People looking for an ICE alternative should watch this:

   Flakes - Node based programming in Blender:
   To quote the guy making this thing:
 "Playing with ICE nodes was probably the most fun I've ever had,"


   More info at:


I wouldn’t have put it that way. You’re so much more Discreet (pun intended) than I am. I tend to “call a spade a bloody shovel”. But yes, exactly! Fear of failure is a career killer and for some that is more important than the “valued customers” they pretend to cater to. :slight_smile:


I don’t get it you couldn’t sell the app you want to just kill it. software user spend a lot of time and money to keep up with your expensive upgrade policy that is the way you guys treat them in return. why don’t you guys for once do something nice for the 3d community buy open sourcing the Softimage. after all your company made too much money from them.


I just wish I had the money to buy the last license of Softimage to be able to use indefinitely.

Life isn’t fair sometimes.


The more details and insight I hear about this deal, the more it sickens and saddens me. XSI was my favorite 3D software ever. I get it that the idea of suing is far-fetched, but I guess it won’t matter anyway. At least in one of the communities (xsi list) people are trying to take more active charge of their future by looking into building a suitable replacement for Softimage. I guess it will be Blender for me from now on. Long live the spirit of Softimage XSI.

MauricioPC, concordo com tudo (I agree with everything).


I’ve actually been doing some paid arch-vis work with it. I hope to be able to show it one day.

Blender has some shortcomings that make working with large scenes painful… It has probably the slowest openGL viewports of any 3d program. XSI users switching to Blender are in for a shock. But then maybe the new users will motivate the Blender Foundation into pushing Blender in the right direction.


The decision is understandable though. I was actually planning to go in the opposite direction for my freelance work. I have an Autodesk Architectural suite at my day job, which includes Max. I also have prior experience with Max. But after this, I’m not so sure about its future either. If the M&E department of Autodesk is just 7% of their whole company, they could probably ditch Max just as easily, leaving everyone with just one AD 3d animation program. Hell, I bet they could leave this industry entirely, and focus only on construction and engineering and be perfectly fine.


I hear you, this is part of the problem with 3D software in general. The creation suite is what, $7000? Part of the way cost can be justified is if you use a software for 3-4 years before upgrading. That makes the cost more reasonable for an artist. But nope, can’t do that anymore. It was so tiring to get a subscription for 3dsmax with tons of new bugs, weird UI “enhancements”, a requirement to install every year, and everything was still less functional, less stable, and slower than SI. Now we can rent Maya for $200/month. :rolleyes: What’s the point?

Softimage has so many good things about it, and many superior things (like UI and camera interactions). It is just a joke how other software tried to copy it… the “new” material editor in 3dsmax, for example. How can you copy all of the superficial things from SI but completely miss the main functionality? How can that sort of mess even make it into $3500 software? Somehow 3dsmax found a way. You could rip out half of 3dsmax and replace it with SI, and people would be raving about how great it is… yeah, that would be the SI half.

I do not understand how business manages to function in the USA, killing high quality the way it does. But hey, the biz whizzes got rich, so we cool. :arteest:


Man just look at these…

So many max guys complaining in the forums, Dreaming of a max rewrite for years.
Im sure if they just rebranded XSI to ‘Le Nouveau Max’ almost all of the max users would love it (after being a bit grumpy naturally).

if they only knew what SI and ICE can/could do…



I was getting tired of AD’s lack of serious max r&d and wanted to take a closer look at XSI… but then AD bought it and i totally lost interest.

I really feel disappointed to see this one go, even a bit frustrated.
Maybe they’ll port some of XSI’s tech over for max and/or maya (most-likely the latter), but it looks like bifrost will be an external app/module (extra $$$ for AD) which, imho, will limit its integration (?) and thus potential.
Especially if you look at how AD previously handled the adding of new features integrations in a way that handycaps their power by not being able to ‘talk’ to other tools… which XSI was all about it seems.


Why isn’t this on the front page here?


I’m pretty confident you can pull that off in Modo now with replicators / schematic and the particle system with a fairly simply setup to…

I might give it a go tomorrow if i get a chance…

Not trying to start a software war just pointing out how far the software has come along and it’s a lot more than a modelling tool now…


Because Autodesk advertises.


For the same reason that Softimage isn’t mentioned in the Lego article and the one image with a Softimage screen has cut the name of the software cut off the top.


For people looking into a good free intro to Houdini, 3dbuzz has covered it: