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Looking to get XSI

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:00 am
by bfvietnam
I obtained Buzz tutorials on XSI, and have done the tutorials,
and I can honestly say its pretty cool. I think blender is still years
away from being able to replicate it, but I think XSI would do better
to adopt the interface unification of blender, still too much gadgets..
Its like that.. The Interface of blender with the capabilities of XSI would
be a cool future package. There is supposedly a free version of XSI
just for making Half Life 2 mods.. I'm looking at getting the 500 dollar
foundation copy, its a good price considering its a 4th generation modelling
package (node based with construction history).

One cool feature is you can do a subdivision surface, modify polygons in the surface, and retain subdivision surface control.. Also you have the advantage of controlling the shape with the construction history. Another cool thing is you can save out the file with construction history intact and reload it back..

These are features I'd like to see in blender, someday, but I can't wait,
I'm going to buy XSI Foundation..

But I think blender may have had a lot to do with Softimage's decision to lower the price, because Blender has similar feature set to XSI, just less bells and whistles. XSI Foundation, doesn't come with Rigid Body or Soft Body Dynamics Though..

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:17 am
by SamAdam
yes, we know this, your point is?

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:02 pm
by halibut
how does XSI compare to lightwave?

Just an opinion..

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:56 am
by bfvietnam
There is also another deal, XSI with ATI FireGL T2-128 card.. I'm looking to
get the bundle instead, but I'm going to check if its XSI 4.0 or if its 4.2.. I'm reading that 4.2 is unstable.. It sounds like Softimage is trying to adopt more users.. But am wondering if they can handle the support for that.. I wonder if AVID is trying to milk them for revenue..

Haven't checked but it would be cool if the construction history can be keyframed..

Valve claims that they switched all the their artists over to Softimage, and were reluctant at first, but now are reluctant to leave it..

I know blender inside and out probably about as well as most here, been using it since 1.24.. And even before that I was using the entire Wavefront and Alias suite of software pre-maya.. But Maya stinks compared to the ease of Softimage.. Especially considering that Alias tries to make subdivision surfaces a seperate primitive from polygons.. In blender and lightwave, subd's and polys are the same, however in Softimage you can modify both the subd and the surface tesselation without a loss of control over either (this is because of the construction history)..

I guess my point is, if you are a blender user who wants to spend money for a commercial package, and wondering which to get, I would say this one would be pretty good.. My friend at EA says its hot.. But after 7 tutorials from 3D Buzz (haven't done the animation and rendering tutorials yet), I think I'm going to get it.. I'm extremely frugal when it comes to purchasing stuff..

Got it..

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:38 am
by bfvietnam
I talked to the lady at XSI, and she said the bundle deal of the
Firegl Card and XSI, has XSI 4.2 . I purchased the package this morning. The lack of hair and other things mentioned, doesn't bother me, I think hair is too cliche anyhow.. Besides, where else do you find animated construction history as a feature. Well, you may not find me around much.. Not much point now..

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:38 am
by joeri
bye

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:37 pm
by Pablosbrain
I'm currently trying to learn XSI 4 Foundation (just downloaded the 4.2 upgrade last week) and so far I getting into it. Its definitely a shift in thinking for the interface in how you control things and select them. But for the price getting Mental Ray to render with is awesome.

Compared to lightwave. Lightwave 8 has all if not more functionality than XSI 4 Foundation (dynamics and stuff like that). But is actually more expensive now. I have used lightwave for a while and still prefer modeling and animating be unified into a single interface. The split between modeler and layout is one that a lot of lightwave users are ready to be rid of.

And of course... I still use Blender as well... its free of course and have been using it since just before the 2.x days. Great app!

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:30 am
by Samjh
how does XSI compare to lightwave?
You are trying to compare a software package worth $500, to one worth $1500. :wink: Disparity anyone?

Lightwave > XSI Foundation
Lightwave == XSI Essentials
Lightwave < XSI Advanced

IMHO, Lightwave is most comparable to the Essentials edition of XSI. Lightwave has hair/fur and other funky features, and perhaps better animation features as well, but XSI has the advantage of a faster, more sophisticated renderer (mental ray).

But if you're a one-man studio looking for the best value in a jack-of-all-trades 3D software, Lightwave just can't be beat........ if you can afford US$1600. If that price is beyond reach, then XSI is the next-best thing, IMHO.


Disclaimer: I have never used XSI. I have used Lightwave 8. The above comparison is therefore purely academic.

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:05 pm
by joeri
Xsi is rather cheap. Even photoschop is more pricy ($650,=).
Maya complete (wich is the uncomplete version without fur etc.) is still $2.000,=
Then again, in what project is a one man band going to use fur?

Well so far..

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:21 am
by bfvietnam
I got the ATI card deal with Softimage.. Softimage is having problems though processing the serial numbers from ATI.. Seems a problem with the integration in the websites lincesing issuing.. I talked with them several times
about it, and said they would call me.. I think tommorow I'm going to demand they give me a license.. Its silly they are holding up anyone getting a license
until this database fix..

I know its easy to look at the features of Softimage's interface and assume its like Lightwave.. It deceived me too.. But you should try taking some of the 3D Buzz tutorials.. It will make your jaw drop.. I doubt Lightwave will
let you store the construction history with the model.. Let alone animate
it as a part of the project.. I know Maya has Construction History, but Maya's
Construction history is more a bother than a boon.. Softimage on the
other hand is fast enough on the construction history, its worth keeping.. And
it doesn't get in the way when you want to do something to the model..

Ton's big issue with blender is that you should always have access to the model, or to the actual data underneath.. Softimage is like a combination
of what is good about blender and Maya, without the lack of access to the
underlying stuff that Maya has.. Like Maya will let you Instance Instances of Groups of Instances.. Its too object oriented and under-designed for its own good. I imagine if the world adopts Softimage Alias/Wavefront will be out on the streets begging for alms. I can't imagine how Lightwave has
improved, considering its meeger C codebase beginnings.. Blender is similar to Lightwave in that it has functions that work on data.. The data
is not bound with the functions that work on it.. This means if you introduce a new primtiive to blender, one must go all around blender's interface and write code to support the new primitive.. Its also means there will be inconsistencies where functions that should exist, don't.. Because there is no framework for reuse.. Its little more than functions
operating on a database.. Its not really an object oriented design..

Lightwave is the same way..

However Softimage and Maya are 4th generation, object oriented
3D packages with construction history.. 3dsMax uses something called a construction stack, which I've never fully understood.. The package that
first did this construction history stuff was something called Houdini..
Anyhow, I just did a check for construction history on Lightwave and
on google got abotu 25,000 hits, which seems to be "no". And blender doesn't have it either..

Oh well..

Re: Well so far..

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:33 am
by joeri
bfvietnam wrote:Maybe now Lightwave has grown up, but I doubt Lightwave could be placed in the same league
I think most people/users here talk about modeling/rendering, not animation. Just look at all the people who want blender to be wings.
In that perspective lightwave can feel much easier to handle than Xsi.

In regardf of 4th generation application, let's just skip that and go straight to 5th. Animated construction history is of no real added value. Think of why it's there and see that you want another solution than construction history anyway.

For blender it would be cool if all IPO's would be relative (going from frame a to b) and a 'director' object (rather not the NLA window) could tell the IPO how to remap. "a= frame 10, b= frame 20" and a second 'director' object could say something else "Use remap IPO: timewarp2". This way multiple movies could be saved in 1 file without doubling all data. Things can be tried without distroying old animations.

Re: Well so far..

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:04 pm
by bfvietnam
joeri wrote:
bfvietnam wrote:Maybe now Lightwave has grown up, but I doubt Lightwave could be placed in the same league
I think most people/users here talk about modeling/rendering, not animation. Just look at all the people who want blender to be wings.
In that perspective lightwave can feel much easier to handle than Xsi.

In regardf of 4th generation application, let's just skip that and go straight to 5th. Animated construction history is of no real added value. Think of why it's there and see that you want another solution than construction history anyway.'
Dodge the issue.. Blender has no object oriented design, its already
flakey.. I was trying some stuff the other day and it was losing features..
I don't call that 5th generation.. 4th generation means object oriented and non-linear modelling and animation.. Blender is at best the only open source animation package that can compare to a commercial product, but its not flexible like a package such as Softimage that is years ahead
already.. All blender can add is look and feel features, and simple
undo that is just mem-diffs. Its nice in terms of interface design and
some speed of use.. But XSI in the long run is better..
For blender it would be cool if all IPO's would be relative (going from frame a to b) and a 'director' object (rather not the NLA window) could tell the IPO how to remap. "a= frame 10, b= frame 20" and a second 'director' object could say something else "Use remap IPO: timewarp2". This way multiple movies could be saved in 1 file without doubling all data. Things can be tried without distroying old animations.
XSI has a sequence editor like Blender's for animation curves,
and you can layer effects of curve atop each other.. Like having two curves for the same channel, mixed together. You can even see fr every
curve changed what the previous curve looked like and can revert back to the previous curve if the results are not preferrable. This feature does not exist in blender, but could.. You can also have an expression represented as a curve and hook that into a chanel of the object or its construction history. You can freeze the object so it loses its construction history.. You can also capture portions of the construction history, make tools like you can in maya, but you can also create tools that have sliders to connect to the channels of the end product or to the channels of the construction history.. I think I recall seeing the tutorials, examples of even wrapping interfaces around existing interfaces, so you can control multiple features of a set of objects with one slider interface.. There was examples of
making IK handles easily selectable by creating a web-based image map that issues "Selection calls" on the object.. So you can select sets of handles by clicking on a hand, head or elbow in an image.. Its made to speed up the productivity of an artist by reusing and packaging actions.

For instance you could probably make a tool that makes
shoes, by constructiing the shoe from the base up.. Then
you could hook sliders into the construction history.. Make it a
button.. So that clicking it make a shoe, then presents you with sliders to
manipulate the shape of the shoe.. You could do the same in blender,
but its more involed in that you have to know something about python
and how to describe the method of construction in terms of python, simulate the effects that the construction history does automatically as
a matter of course.. In softimage, you just do it.. No python involved.. I'm not sure if Maya allows one to create a slider interface that pipes into the construction history.. Its like making use of construction history like it was an object, rather than as an elaborate form of undo, or a way to write
procedural modelling tools.

But the other deal is you can use any scripting language available in softimage, including python. And it has a complete C++ SDK provided with Foundation.. I haven't looked to see how deep it is.. But I assume it
allows a lot of control..

Re: Well so far..

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:50 pm
by joeri
bfvietnam wrote:Dodge the issue..
Sorry, I didn't know there was an issue.
I meant that all 3d apps go to a 5th generation and blender could do that to, it does not need todo the 4th to go to the 5th. I'm using blender as a brand name, not the grey screen in front of your face.

All blender can add is look and feel features, and simple
undo that is just mem-diffs. Its nice in terms of interface design and
some speed of use.. But XSI in the long run is better..
I don't want to argue that, blender can only add features it has experts in.

And yes Xsi has 50+ developers blender has 10+ developers, surely that will show in the result. If you like construction history then blender is not your best choice.
For instance you could probably make a tool that makes
shoes, by constructiing the shoe from the base up..
Obvioisly you don't know much about design or animation. Never will the construction history be usable for the actual "build it up" animation.

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:43 pm
by oin
I have XSI 4 Foundation. It's really good. I purchased it for its character animation features.

with some luck, maybe soon will be possible to import an *.x animated file into Blender (thanks to the great Ben) and the we will be able so to import animated characters from XSI and..maybe render hair on them with fiber.

(I have done a project alone (me only) that included hair rendering in a company ,using Max and Shag Hair).So, yep is really interesting all that for one man band, character animation (is nice to see how your 3d work "comes to life") and hair rendering.Why not.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:54 pm
by cessen
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.