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Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:06 am
by Zarf
cessen wrote:Why are we comparing features of Blender and XSI?

XSI is clearly further ahead technologically than Blender. I don't think anyone would argue against that.

However, if we are going to compare features, I would like to point out a couple of things. XSI can't hide vertices while modeling, which makes it a pain to deal with complex meshes.
Also, as of yet, I have not found a way to create edges or vertices that are not a part of a face; if you delete a face, it automatically deletes all edges and vertices that are no longer part of a face. This is a pain in the ass to me, because even though in the final mesh you don't want any lone edges or vertices, they are very useful as a modeling tool.
Of course, XSI does support n-gons, which are similarly useful as modeling tools.
I have also found that XSI crashes far, far more often than Blender. Luckily it is extremely good at recovering your would-be-lost-data, but it is still a huge annoyance.

I suppose my point is that even though XSI is definitely, over all, more capable and advanced than Blender, Blender does still have it's advantages.
I use a lot of different packages but whenever some model gets totally farkled along the way Blender is usually the only one that is 'tolerant' enough to let me fix it. Theres plenty of other reasons I have had to pipe data from expensive commercial applications through blender as well.

Anyway, of course blender needs a LOT of work, but I would rather see its 'next generation' incarnation be an extension of the GOOD IDEAS that form the basis of Blender and not a Softimage/Maya/LW/C4D/Whatever clone.

Cheers,
Zarf

How blender could have construction history..

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:19 am
by bfvietnam
I know that if I say a lot, most will never read
what I wrote, or will lose interest.. Anyhow, basically this..
Make a new primitive (like a surface or a mesh) call it a procedural
primitive.. Have it use python scripts to generate it.. Make it modifiable
like a mesh, but allow the python methods to augment the modes of
the primitive.. Like if in edit mode, an extra set of hotkeys could be added to
get certain other kinds of features.. Also the contents of the mesh could
be updated by setting parameters on the object.. Like normal objects have a
Translation, Rotation and scale channels.. Either the python script would have to add the channels to the object, or the object would be given extra channels and the python could read these channels as input..

Then it would be a matter of creating a coupling primitive, that
couples the outputs of one primitive with the inputs of another,
and you have construction history.

But since its python, it would just add to blender without complicating the compileable code. Plus since the python is technically data, it could be stored with the objects in the blend file.. In effect allowing construction
history to be stored.. Also would allow for object creation tools to be stored in the blend file.. Also wouldn't require the user to be familiar with the execution of python scripts as the primitives would have the python scripts embedded. Anytime a input-channel (IPO) changes, the python script is re-executed.. But any vertices changes in the primtive would
have to be logged so that when the primitive changes, the vertices (if they exist) would be modified relative to the surface normals.. I think this is how softimage does it.. So its like the primitive has a stack of
all the oeprations that occured on that object, and when the parameters that control the construction of the object change, all the subsequent modifications to the form are executed one after another..

That's essentially construction history..

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:17 pm
by kniffo
Why are you telling us about your cange to xsi? Why are you talking about the prices and how xsi differs from maya and such?

This community is interested in new ideas for the Blender so please write your thoughts in some form of a list that contains all the things that you would like to see instead of this strange form of writing - I have to say that it is very difficuilt to read and to get some useful info out of it allthough you have good points here and there.

Please make a list of features, that you would like to see in Blender.

And for gods sake - change to XSI if you want - nobody will hold you back from that - the people here will go on and making an already great program even better..

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 2:26 pm
by Toon_Scheur
I think what bfvietnam means is that all serious artists uses more than one softwarepackage. XSI is certainly powerful, but of course it doesn't have everything. In the case you have a $$$ package and you have the choice to use a second (companion) package beside it, it would be a good idea to use Blender. Even at Pixar animators commented that they miss their old package they used to work with because Pixar's software doesn't have certain features. But on the other hand Pixar's software (Marionette for example) has features other packages don't have. I know that Pixar uses other off the shelf packages too.

Even Blender users uses Yafray from time to time. But that is no argument to attack someone because he uses a companion program to complement the other. Yes, Blender could use a bunch of other features, like XSI's shader nodes. That would kick ass. But frankly, you can't keep everybody happy. You can have a gazillion features in your package. But you will need 3 lifetimes to have time to use them all. So is a shader tree like architecture priority number 1 for Blender? Could you make good looking textures already with the native procedural textures, or selfmade images?
That is just one example of course.

It's is not desireable to demand that someone uses Blender alone if he or she feels that it lacks some things. But one should understand that if you could port a few of the well known features of XSI over to Blender, that there would be a reason less to buy X$I.

I think that it is very interesting to learn of other people opinions who actually uses other packages AND Blender to know what Blender strong points are and where it lacks functionality

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:08 pm
by oin
I use no less than 4 packages (usually specialized in an area, each, or merely shining there more.) in a game or hi res project. People that use them later are very happy..

I have some plans on importing my xsi character animations into Blender and use Fiber, build the scene, and render the final movie in Blender.And see nothing wrong in that...It's been a common way of doing for years in 3d.

Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:59 am
by bfvietnam
Toon_Scheur wrote:I think what bfvietnam means is that all serious artists uses more than one softwarepackage. XSI is certainly powerful, but of course it doesn't have everything. In the case you have a $$$ package
Well XSI use cheaper than ever.. It used to be 2000 dollars for foundation,
now its 500 dollars.. Even Cinema 4D, tends to cost more with as much
stuff as is in XSI.. And Blender would take a while to get there.. Blender
is easier for modelling, and faster for rendering.. But the rendering
capabilities of blender are limited.. I've seen everything it can do,
and have exploited most of blenders features.. I'm amazed though,
that XSI doesn't seem to be any better for animation than blender..
I may find out something more.. The first IK package I used, Kinemation,
nothing exists like it anymore.. I think the closest thing to it is sega animanium.. Which is actually easier.. But maybe I've been out of touch
with animation so long that I don't know how people can animate now.. It seems most FK/IK is done with mocap these days, which is short for lazy..

Well maybe I'm assuming XSI will be better for animation than blender,
which is what blender lacks, is an ease of animation.
and you have the choice to use a second (companion) package beside it, it would be a good idea to use Blender. Even at Pixar animators commented that they miss their old package they used to work with because Pixar's software doesn't have certain features. But on the other hand Pixar's software (Marionette for example) has features other packages don't have. I know that Pixar uses other off the shelf packages too.
Well I don't know how pixar works, but I assume they use whatever
their artists are more comfortable with, or whatever is easier.. If they
didn't they would have a hard time retaining talent, if not just for
the pure magnetism of working at Pixar. I imagine they code their own stuff for stuff they need to do..
Even Blender users uses Yafray from time to time. But that is no argument to attack someone because he uses a companion program to complement the other. Yes, Blender could use a bunch of other features, like XSI's shader nodes. That would kick ass. But frankly, you can't keep everybody happy. You can have a gazillion features in your package. But you will need 3 lifetimes to have time to use them all. So is a shader tree like architecture priority number 1 for Blender? Could you make good looking textures already with the native procedural textures, or selfmade images?
That is just one example of course.
Yafray is a nice addition.. Its a bit of a breath of fresh air compared
to blender's rendering.. But blender is better now for rendering that
it used to be.. But you can say color shadows, or have much control over the shading.. Mental ray lets you shade and shape everything, the
speculars, the surface shading, the shadows, refractions, reflections, etc..

Shader Trees may appear within blender in the texturing system.. The
material system could stand to be broken apart.. I mean, you could probably write something that turns blender shaders into mental
ray, but going the opposite direction would be harder..

There is plugins for XSI from "Dark Tree" that will use
shaders from Dark Tree in XSI.. There also exists plugins
for a number of other platforms.. I'm planning on using it for
materials in XSI.. Take a look at some of the materials
from Dark Tree, and you will see some of the surface properties
there that are impossible to simulate in blender.. I don't recall
exactly what, but I remember it has layers that influence layers,
like dynamic rust textures that use decals to simulate
flaking paint..
It's is not desireable to demand that someone uses Blender alone if he or she feels that it lacks some things. But one should understand that if you could port a few of the well known features of XSI over to Blender, that there would be a reason less to buy X$I.

I think that it is very interesting to learn of other people opinions who actually uses other packages AND Blender to know what Blender strong points are and where it lacks functionality
Well XSI is written in C++, there is less chance blender would be able to
be that flexible, despite what the coders say.. They know its tough to
maintain.. Though they will argue to save face.. If it was easy to maintain,
blender would have plugins by now.. But they've chosen to go the python route because its less intrusive, and allows them to change the underlying stuff without involving anyone else.. The plain truth is objects just make
things easier.. The only mention against it is in the name of efficiency,
but if it end up taking you ten times longer to add a feature in C that
takes you less in C++, what is the value of the efficiency? Its not very time efficient. As everyone must wait for feature X.. And is time, money?

Well I was around since Blender 1.24.. It doesn't bother me to jump around.. Even before I was on Blender, I was using Alias and Wavefront
which at the time sold for 7000 dollars, and had more features.. The reason I started using blender at the time is I could afford the packages,
upon leaving college, and I was hoping it would develop faster, than it has.. But I don't regret learning it.. Its easy to model with,
and the interface and the way things are organized gives one a preference for a way of working. But there are internal organization issues that stint its growth.. Whereas with XSI, many reviews I've read say with each new release many things are being added now.. What impressed be was the ability to model atop Subdivision surfaces, then modelling the sub-surface CV's without loss of the derived polygonal detail.. Maybe I haven't explored this enough to see the downsides to XSI..

Now I'm not completely convinced that XSI will be better, its been steep and hard to learn, reminds me of learning Alias. Wavefront was steep to learn.. Maya is a pain compared to the previous packages because, frankly, its a hack that condensed 15+ packages from three previous companies, who were competitors (TDI, Wavefront and Alias). So if you ever wondered why Maya is so wierd, that's why.. XSI was the package Microsoft purchased, briefly, that forced SGI to form Maya.. It was a fear tactic. XSI has remained constant, changing.. Like Lightwave and 3DsMax
and Blender, but Maya is strange fish..

XSI is like a vacation from blender.. I will most likely use them in combination, but more using blender to model and organize scenes, and to animate with XSI.. But I'm not a professional, just been spoiled.. I'm hoping XSI will be the primary package I use.. Using combination of packages sometimes can be like compositing different pieces of film..
In effect you feel like you can mix them, but are you doing that for effect or doing that just for bragging rights..

I frankly can't see how someone, or why someone, would move stuff from XSI into blender.. Unless just to speed up a render.. But I do tend to
use VI more that MSWord.. Blender is like the VI of 3D graphics packages.

Another reason to get XSI..

Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:01 am
by bfvietnam
The License Server, for Foundation, never bothers to contact
the mother site.. The serial number that comes with the package
must be used to obtain a license key from the mother site,
but that license (supposedly) doesn't need to be renewed, its a permanent
(possibly transferable) license.. Which is unheard of if you've
say purchased Maya.. I don't know about 3DsMax.. A/W is
really posessive about who owns licenses and there is strict
policies against who owns what.. That may have changed in the
last five years.. But it was for this reason I could not purchase
Wavefront TAV from Alias/Wavefront, they strictly did not support Wavefront TAV, so I could not get a license, even purchase one from SGI, if I wanted..

The big advantage to blender is its free so you don't have to worry about licenses and policies surrounding the ownership and lifetime of a license..

This license is available indefinately, its not a educational license, or a
limited one year deal..

I find people coming up on the XSI forums asking "is it really 500 dollars,
what is missing, is this for real". And the truth is, the only things missing
are the hair support and rigid body dynamics, crowd control / flocking stuff, and thinking particles, but everything else is there. Enjoy
the wait before blender has even 50% of XSI's features.. Like the ability to add edges anywhere.. True N-gons.. Construction History, etc..

Its not use this or die, just that its more use this or wait.. You can either buy it now, or wait until blender has it.. If you haven't got the money..
I can understand.. But when I was in college, our Alias dealership was expecting students to shell out 18,000 dollars for a O2 and Alias Poweranimator.. Believe me kids, you got it easy..

Oh and..

The A/W Maya Shirt I Got in 1996, read the fine print at the bottom.

This is what happens to packages overtime, they downsize and merge..
I knew just about every one of those packages individually.. Then A/W merged them together and messed them up.. It actually took them a year and a half to release Maya, after I got this shirt at the New Orleans SIGGRAPH.. So there is this whole history and some packages that were lost.. People believe things get better with time, this is an exception to the rule.. Things got worse..

Now everything pretty much works and functions like Alias Poweranimator, which is traggic, all due to a twist of events.. In 1996 Bill Gates purchases XSI.. Then he dropped it in 1998.. It was a great fear of SGI's that XSI
would take over the market, and would eventually leverage them out of the 3D market.. But eventually it happened anyway by the release of 3D gamecards and cheaper workstation graphics cards.. I'm happy for the release of cheaper SGI alternatives.. And those old packages lack
some stuff, but say for instance, Composer is the only hiearchical compositing package I know about.. Its like Premiere on steroids.. Makes me wonder why it was left behind.. And I knew these packages so well..

But Alias decided for me, there is no use I have for Composer or Kinemation, I should get Maya, learn it, love it.. Because Alias is a bunch of soup nazi snobs that can't imagine (and they told me this, on the show room floor) why anyone would want to use Wavefront, its so inferior..

Maybe I've demonized Alias, but maybe its much deserved.. Nobody here would recall as most never used these packages..

Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:45 am
by cessen
bfvietnam wrote:Enjoy the wait before blender has even 50% of XSI's features.. Like the ability to add edges anywhere.. True N-gons.. Construction History, etc..
And enjoy the wait before XSI lets you create vertices and edges that are not part of a polygon. In my opinion that is comparable to Blender's lack of n-gon support.

XSI's modeling tools are actually about on par with Blender's, in my opinion. It's just that they're lacking in completely different areas.

I would like to correct a previous statement of mine.
cessen wrote:XSI can't hide vertices while modeling, which makes it a pain to deal with complex meshes.
It turns out that it can hide parts of a mesh, but you have to switch to face mode to do it. This makes me much less critical of XSI's modeling tools, as that was a key complaint of mine.

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:40 am
by bfvietnam
cessen wrote:
bfvietnam wrote:Enjoy the wait before blender has even 50% of XSI's features.. Like the ability to add edges anywhere.. True N-gons.. Construction History, etc..
And enjoy the wait before XSI lets you create vertices and edges that are not part of a polygon. In my opinion that is comparable to Blender's lack of n-gon support.
Its not so bad as Blender's requirement that the vertices and edges be sub-elements of a polygon, its the reason you can't have polygons share vertices with the same UV coordinates..

I don't mind such a requirement wiht XSI.. proper support of polygons would define a vertex cloud (called a cluster), then to define the edges, then define polygons.. In Blender you define polygons with vertices, the edges and surfaces are implicit from the location of the vertices. But try traversing that mesh with respect to the vertices and edges, you will have traverse the polys and check for shared vertices, this makes coding solutions tough as you must have arrays of vertex pointers associated with rows of polygons, which is what I think these quasi-winged-edges are.. Blender can't change stuff without becoming incompatible with the past, or without incurring some computation upon loading the meshes (to restructure for the current implementation), and if you want to use future stuff in past versions of blender? How can that continue, unless the blend files contain executables.. That's possible BTW, just requires a radical change of thought.. But XSI won't implement it, it doesn't make commercial sense to make past packages compatible with future packages, an area Blender will remain uncontested in.. (later I mention free speech, watchout)..
XSI's modeling tools are actually about on par with Blender's, in my opinion. It's just that they're lacking in completely different areas.
The only place that XSI lacks that I can see is having a Trackball navigation.. I do wish for features that are found in blender in XSI.. But XSI has way more features.. There isn't a feature in blender for adding edges in arbitrary places.. Take a course from 3D-Buzz on XSI and you will see what I mean... Also there is four parameterizations for NURBS curves, in blender there is many but none of them are trully NURBS.

Blender is more like the VI of 3D packages because it has the essentials (read "easy to conceive" features) , but it doesn't have everything (read "harder to conceive").
I would like to correct a previous statement of mine.
cessen wrote:XSI can't hide vertices while modeling, which makes it a pain to deal with complex meshes.
It turns out that it can hide parts of a mesh, but you have to switch to face mode to do it. This makes me much less critical of XSI's modeling tools, as that was a key complaint of mine.
Well there is a way to hide stuff in multiple ways, and you can select a curve while showing solid geometry, there is an X-ray feature. I think if you dig into it you will find a lot of things.. Hey XSI has been around for a couple of decades, blender can maybe tout about a decade or so, but that would be pushing it. What was the first film XSI was used in? What was the first film Blender was used in? What was the last film either were used in. Which one has had more of an effect on the 3D industry?

That last question, the answer is: only time will tell.. But blender will be good for free speech.. XSI has competition, and its developers are realizing the 3D industry isn't what it used to be..

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:46 am
by cessen
bfvietnam wrote:Hey XSI has been around for a couple of decades, blender can maybe tout about a decade or so, but that would be pushing it.
That is downright false. XSI has only been around since 1999 (maybe 1998?). It was first released close to when Blender was made publicly available.

I imagine that by "XSI" you intended to say "Softimage 3D", right? Because then your statement would be true.
bfvietnam wrote:Well there is a way to hide stuff in multiple ways, and you can select a curve while showing solid geometry, there is an X-ray feature. I think if you dig into it you will find a lot of things..
Yes, there are a lot of cool features in XSI. But it's modeling tools are sub-par in my opinion, and in the opinion of many people I've talked to who have used other packages. Of course, they haven't used Blender, so they couldn't make a comparison between the two.
bfvietnam wrote:What was the first film XSI was used in? What was the first film Blender was used in? What was the last film either were used in. Which one has had more of an effect on the 3D industry?
I don't think that's really a fair comparison when discussing specific aspects of a program. XSI is definitely a more advanced and capable program over all. I completely agree. I stated it before.

But I've been modeling in XSI for a few months now, and all I've really discovered is that it forces me to use different modeling techniques. There are a lot of things that I can do quite directly in Blender that I have to do in very round-about ways in XSI, and vice versa.

Both Blender and XSI have poly-modeling tools that I see as sub-par, but in different areas. And both Blender and XSI have surface-modeling tools (aka Nurbs and such things) that are fairly useless for anything except rigid mechnical modeling.[/quote]

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:44 am
by oin
Its not so bad as Blender's requirement that the vertices and edges be sub-elements of a polygon, its the reason you can't have polygons share vertices with the same UV coordinates..

Is this actually so?

...I have only used Blender for character animation(now I use xsi for my anims. (till joint pinning comes, hehe)) and some isolated tasks....

In game models, one often forces UVs be mirrored in one side and overlapped over th eother side and welded, to save texture space....

Does it break the mesh whenever it finds a shared UV?

I don't know as I have only imported Wings3d models. And haven't actually looked at the output very carefully later on...

Probably as I do a weld model later on in Ultimate Unwrap.


BTW, I agree about not liking the xsi navigation system(that s key ;) ) as much as the Blender or Wings3d one (indeed, I set "Blender camera" in Wings, instead of the other settings(mirai, max, maya viewport navigation...))


BTW, xsi is really powerful in modelling. I keep prefering wings for that tasks.

I'd say the 3 tools are really powerful for modelling. One finds often to be using one or another depending on the project.

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:03 pm
by gnomis
:? why is this here it seems to have nothing to do with the development of Blender and no chance of a resolution to the arguement

Just my two cents

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:17 am
by theeth
oin wrote:
Its not so bad as Blender's requirement that the vertices and edges be sub-elements of a polygon, its the reason you can't have polygons share vertices with the same UV coordinates..

Is this actually so?
No, that is BS.

Martin

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:27 am
by SamAdam
well this is an annoyingly pointless thread.

we all know that in the end if we want more features we just wait. I have been with blender for about a year now and the feature list has skyrocketed.
just look at the f1 competition for an idea of the improvement in user skill and program power.

if you want a huge update in features and power I have an easy solution. Stop using or upgrading blender for six months and then come back.
I am sure you will find some changes for the better, and it will still be F. R. E. E. free.

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:13 am
by joeri
SamAdam wrote:well this is an annoyingly pointless thread.
So stop adding to it?
SamAdam wrote:we all know that in the end if we want more features we just wait.
Not if you want to give direction to the new features.
SamAdam wrote: I have been with blender for about a year now and the feature list has skyrocketed.
? I think about 7% has been added the last 5 years.
In my perception development is getting slower and slower.
Sure we get a new interface (again) and some people think rad is better than deg, but from scratch till now the mayor development has not been in the last (opensource) years. My POV.
SamAdam wrote:if you want a huge update in features and power I have an easy solution. Stop using or upgrading blender for six months and then come back.
I am sure you will find some changes for the better, and it will still be F.
R. E. E. free.
The point is (I think), why come back? Free is such a meaningless word. Although the download is free, the education and "keeping up" is not. If you are a starter that's a good deal, but if you are an advanced user then probably not.

I'm not sure why bfvietnam uses 3d. But it seems Xsi is a bit to much to handle for him for now.