Will Alias compete with XSI Foundation?


Does anyone actually think Alias will drop the price of Maya, or provide a more basic package to compete with XSI Foundation?


Hmm, well I can’t see them creating a 3rd version of Maya. I mean, what would it be? Dynamics-less? No Trax Editor? No Mental Ray perhaps? It’s a lot of work to go to, existing customers would rather they just worked on Maya Complete and Unlimited I’m sure.

Unlimited works because Cloth, Fur and Live are plugins which can just be left out. Fluid Effects and Maya Hair don’t seem to be plugins though.

Perhaps they might lower the prices of both Complete and Unlimited so that they ‘inbetween’ the XSI versions? For example:

XSI Foundation = $495
Maya Complete = $1500
XSI Essentials = $1995
Maya Unlimited = $5000
XSI Advanced = $6995

I dunno, XSI is really great but I’m not really tempted to go for XSI instead. The most I would do is add XSI Foundation to my toolset along with my Maya Unlimited. That doesn’t harm Alias because it’s a fairly big leap from $495 to $2000 so I wouldn’t have been looking to buy a copy of Maya Complete anyway.

Meh, business is too complicated!


hard to guess - as we read yesterday in the XSI pricedrop post everybody was totaly unprepared to such a big drop - they sell it now for a price that only mayas student version can compete with

I can imagine alias was as unprepared to this priceattack as the community and perhaps it will take them some days to think how to react or not react to the situation. Its also the question how other big packages like max, lightwave and cinema react on this.

Also it didn´t seem sure if this is just a temporary offer, or if they are going to hold this extremely low price.
For sure most of us users say “YEAH drop the price maya!” - but I dont know how low they can go and still keep their standards and their development speed (which is doubted by some of us anyhow).

so this XSI pricedrop for me has the primary function to shovel as many users over to XSI as possible, as soon as other 3D-packages follow, this politics dont work anymore.
but a 3D package is not a new washingpowder … users have to learn and like it and there the support, the development, the community and all that comes in to also keep that newbies and make them stay with this product …

we´ll see - its all guesses


Hahahaha, I thought that was funny.

“New Maya Complete, with active enzymes to help remove even the toughest stains, its the worlds most complete washing powder!”

But yes you’re right, it will be interesting to see if these new low prices are permanent.

I can’t resist:

“Use Maya Complete’s new Stain Removal Paint Effects Brush (SRPEBTM) to simply paint away those unsightly blood, grass and red wine stains!”

Ehem, sorry.



Most sales this price attack generates will be caused by 3d newbies who will find themself tied to the XSI workflow. So maya should give a decent answer to that with another builder version it once had.

The rest of the sales will be generated by other users who’ll find nothing very exciting about XSI Foundation. (no render passes no shave and a haircut no syflex cloth)

Especially I as a maya user have nothing at all to be excited about XSI. Not only because maya is strong but also since alias has a bright future with kaydara. Add to that new 3rd party renderers like renderman for maya and gelato/mango and things look even more exciting.


There is no way I, or the company I work for will consider a switch to XSI at this time. While it is now the same price as maya, it still needs heavy customization (just as maya did) to work with our pipeline, not to mention the massive retraining, and not just in our NYC office but also our Hong Kong office. Those things are costs that far out wiegh the initial cost of the software and there is just no way off setting those costs enough to justify a switch to XSI. Although I am gonna check out the EXP edition and see if a seat of foundation is a good move for me personally.


Alias will most likely sit back and see how it’s sales are impacted, if at all.

If they are, they will bring back Builder I’m sure.

I don’t think dropping the price any lower will do Alias any good, Maya is tried and proven, industry standard, and cheap enough as it is, any cheaper and profits will drop, research funds will shrink, and Alias won’t hit the mark that their investers require. Softimage will struggle to make more money with this deal, they’re going for sheer users… maybe going for industry standard status, I think their time for such a move was some time ago and Maya is on par, so that’s two strikes.

Cannot see many Maya users dropping out, more just picking up the LW fallouts to earn petty cash, Softimage’s problem might be Essential’s users dropping down for Foundation which is even less profit in the long run, I hope Softimage know what they’re doing… :deal:


don’t get me wrong XSI advanced is one great peice of software (the FX tree and Render tree’s in particular!:thumbsup: ). XSI Essentials is ok~ but XSI foundation that sounds kinda weak in my opinion, I don’t even know why they would waste their time trying to compete…j


Maya is so strong and have many other companies involved with it.
In the beggining Maya was strong because it was the first next generation 3d app with many new tools and a new paradigm.
Softimage spent more 2 years developing their next software. And when it was done, it was not production ready yet. Only after Softimage rename it from Sumatra to XSI and then version 2 was out that it was starting to be competitive.
And Alias drop the price first as well.

Now what makes Maya stronger is the user base and the many companies involved with it.
Turtle, renderman for maya, gnomon, animation mentor (they prefer to use maya, it’s the best in their opinion), I think Vray and Final render as well, and many, many other studios that use it.

So the users base is very important for the any software company. For example, my boss was trained to use the old Softimage 3D and is very fluent with it. Guess what he did after Alias drop the price for Maya? Nothing. He was waiting for the best oportunity to upgrade to XSI.

Another example, I tried to explain to another guy who uses LW that Maya is much better than LW. I said that Alias is the leader, Newtek the follower. And if he want to get a job it’s better he learn Maya. Guess what? He said that Maya can’t beat LW modeler and renderer.

So, if a software company has a solid user, that’s more power than we can imagine. They help to sell, promote (like the LW guy I mentioned) and they keep upgrading to the same software.

Take a look at Max. XSI seens to have more power and than it and the UI seens to be better as well. Max alone seens to be not that great compared to XSI. But what makes Max so strong is it’s solid user base and a lot of plug ins developers.

Softimage probably took the only path they have to be more competitive.
It doesn’t matter if XSI is “better” than any other software.
It needs to have a great solid user base. And then, with it, will come the third party plug ins.

What do you guys think?


What I think is that in the coming weeks and months, because of a reduced XSI pricing, it will cause an inertia in XSI books, training and plugins, something that XSI has always lacked and MAX always have. If you look at the quality and quantity of MAX tutorials, it’s unbelievable. I can’t say that about Maya tutorials and books. For all the Maya books that is in existence right now from version 2 to 6, there is really no real nice professional scenes. There are a few nice Maya tutorials online though. The modeling, shading, materials, lighting and texturing look awful in Maya books or in most online tutorials. I just don’t know why.

As Newton first law proves, once an object starts, it remain in motion. Once XSI training materials, books, and plugins start to spread, it will begin to accumulate the user base. Authors can now can teach, plugin developers can now write and students can no longer cry foul because they (and the students, plugin developers, professionals and hobbyists) can afford the product.

And then there’s a delay factor which we won’t see it takes effect until a few years from now, as XSI quietly gains user base through the newer crop of students, who can afford the product and their school can afford numerous XSI licenses and in between the cracks of hobbyist home and dormitories.

I still prefer Maya over XSI because of the time and effort that have been put in learning it. But I just start to learn XSI now as well. It’s actually easier to transfer than when I first begin learning 3D. The modeling, texturing and mental ray rendering concepts are transferable. You just have to make room in your head to store 2 set of keyboard shortcuts.

The one thing I like about XSI is the seamless mental ray. It’s so integrated that you don’t even know that it’s there. In Maya, there is one set of rules and result for the Maya render and another set for Mental ray (fluids, ipr, hair, paintfx, ngon tesselation, lighting, materials, speed). For example in Maya 6, the default render render the ocean or pond well, but with mental ray fluid, Alias seems to work half-hearted at it. Even after spending weeks on the fluids parameter and shading, I cannot make it look good for mental ray.


Maya already has a very large userbase and has saturated many markets, so Alias doesn’t have to resort to such tactics just to make a few sales.


Maya already has a very large userbase and has saturated many markets, so Alias doesn’t have to resort to such tactics just to make a few sales.

Partly true, but if I am faced with an upgrade price of $1500 or more to go from Maya4.5 to what’s current, or just get XSI Foundation for $500, then I just might make the switch. I love Maya, but if I and others are just using it so we can do this stuff for our own personal portfolios, then why should we stay if there is a program that is just as capable and available for so much cheaper?


to switch is not only a money question but mostly a question of time.
also when you are a maya expert and you know how to handle some other packages, it will take you some time to find out all the little ways to get there where you where with maya.

if you have time, fine, and even very interesting. if you are in a production, impossible


True, true.

I tried to convince my boss that switch from SI3D to Maya was the best option. (when Maya droped the price).
He probably tried the free version of Maya, spent a few hours and said to me that Maya is not well organized and SI3D has a better UI.:rolleyes:

I had to learn SI3D and I think it sucks!!! (compared to Maya, of course)
I was a LW user, then swicthed to Maya now my boss wants me I use SI3D.
I think the worst thing about switching is that, IMHO, you loose time trying to find out the equivalent hotkeys, the equivalent workflows, etc. After you learn those things, it requires time until you use the new workflow smoothly.


Hah, I totally forgot about Builder!

I’m just trying to think about what XSI really has that I could need compared to Maya. Obviously there’s Mental Ray integration, but it’s getting better all the time in Maya. Great render passes, ok, that’s something that would be really nice built in, but there are still ways to deal with that in Maya. Character animation? Maya is already good at that and I also have Motionbuilder for extra oomph, soon to be Alias’ anyway.

I noticed that Alias have addressed two of the top 10 requests on the Maya Feature Requests site: http://www.maya.digication.com

The top one, Unlimited for Macs came with 6.0.1, and number 9 ‘future IK/FK interaction’ should be sorted out via the whole acquisition of Kaydara. Hopefully they’ll get on a roll and knock off all the rest eventually too, hehe.

Oh, and you should see the Lightwave forum, lots of people there are really worried about the XSI price drops.



I’m surprised there is room for more nails in LW’s coffin.


One of the main reasons why I love Maya is because of the hotbox/marking menus. In terms of speed, having customised marking menus has made my life a lot easier. Unfortunately, there are some tools in XSI/Cinema4d and the interactivity between those tools and the interface that make switching a consideration.


If you’re an intermediate user of Maya, it’s better to spend your time in traditional art or invest your time triyng to be an expert user.
If you want a job, it’s better to be an expert in ONE industry standard software and have a solid traditional skill rather than to be an intermediate user of 2 or 3 softwares.
Switching is better only if you’re not satisfied with your currently software or is forced to switch to get a job.


I am just starting to learn the material and rendering part in XSI - the mental ray integration is just amazing, so seamless. XSI interface looks sexy, but Maya interface is more functional (hotbox, easy to remember shortcuts, shelves, mel). Although I have not seen it yet, I can’t imagine XSI is as organized as Maya as the menus and customization pile up as more features are added. XSI render region is just too much (raytrace mental ray in almost real time preview, mental ray materials and shaders are treated in first-class manners). Maya 6’s mental ray shaders are a footnote at best and the mental ray IPR preview is third-class citizen. Maya 6 hypershade, outliner seems a bit outdated compared to the XSI rendertree and shaders graphs. Maya 6 workflows is stronger than XSI, but XSI workflow is more focused. Maya 6 bevel, unlike XSI, needs serious fixing. After using Maya 6 bevelplus on Nurb, and then converting that nurb to polygon, the polygon can no longer compatible with the normal MAya polygon bevel. I don’t think XSI has fur, although I could be blind here. Both XSI and Maya produce equally beautiful renders when using Mental ray, although you will curse at Maya initially. XSI viewport when modeling is very easy on the eyes; Maya viewport gives me eyestrain with that dark default lambert and a default light that seems to shine at the polygons that is looking at me. But again the Maya inner workings of the viewport (etc. hotbox, space bar to switch views) is just amazing, streamlined, and practical. Maya is harder to learn initially, but once learned, you get prouder and more cathartic than you would with XSI. Maya has more training, plugins and book support, but XSI is fast approaching because with its price, it will be accessible too in schools, in hobbyist shops, in freelance homes. Maya API and mel is much more solid and more features, but less modern. All in all, despite shortcomings and strengths in both, I cannot be in love with only one.

I will post more comparison as I learn further into XSI (character animation, rendering, nurbs and polygon modeling, dynamics, hair, cloth, fluids, toon shading etc) in the next coming years. :slight_smile:


I Agree with that, I silently hope that they will do something about it in the ver 7. Of course if they happen to have time beside integrating MB so furiously into maya :stuck_out_tongue:
Maya is more robust and folks who are already in it, they will stay, app wars have no meaning for them. Unless they have to change cuz of getting a job or something.
Maya is solid environment and thats why it is respected. XSI price war is just directed to newcomers , max gaming section and to burn the toes of wavers and c4d users. Would be cool if alias can afford reducing the price, but if not I belive nothing is broken. They have some very cool technology already what needs developing further and reducing funds cuz they want to win couple newcomers aint reasonable imho.