For ease of use Blender is better than XSI..

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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For ease of use Blender is better than XSI..

Post by bfvietnam »

Note, I'm going the XSI route.. I've determined from what little
I've done, XSI has a lot of features.. But like Maya, its nearly impossible
to use, as the GUI gets in the way.. Its also not very dynamic.. Like I
wanted to change the animation bar so that I could view in multiples of
8 frames (popular animation stepping is working with walk cycles in
sets of 8 frames or 6.. It allows the viewing of the timeline in miliseconds,
30 fps NTSC with or without the dropped frame, or standard 24fps film..
But its not customizeable.. Also the Ghosting (onion skin) option shows
the previous and future frame on any object.. Blender has an option like
this for the Camera movement.. But in any case on XSI its slower than
heck to deal with, I have to reduce to ghosting with one frame behind,
that's manageable..

Navigation is the major problem with XSI.. You can't very easily move around.. There is no concept of a "cursor".. Its something that XSI would
benefit from that Blender has native.. I don't even thing Maya has one..

The IK is beter of course.. The Foundation package (500 dollars) comes with a quadraped rig complete with a spline IK for the backbone. It makes animating dogs and cats fairly easy.. Also there is a feature for moving through the timeline to key a pose for other frames.. This is a feature that was in Kinemation back before Maya.. I guess Maya has this too..

As for the mental ray stuff.. Its completely modular, and allows for the control of the direction of the perturbation of the normals when doing anisotropic reflections and for bump mapping.. You can use RGB to control the vector directions.. Its a bit like how Blender will be in the future when it has a full shader system in place..

And XSI supports dual realtime/rendertime shaders in its render tree, so you can design shader effects for games that also work in the rendering system.. It also allows rendering with Cg, OpenGL, DX9 or with mental ray.. But the only useful ones (with my ATI card) are the OpenGL and Mental Ray.. Cg and DX9 are useless.. But if you have a Nvidia, the Cg
would be useful and the OpenGL probably useless.. Of course, you need HalfLife2 and the XSI Mod tool (which is free BTW) to make games with XSI.. I haven't messed with it, still doing fun things in XSI..

BTW in XSI there is this nice unification of camera plugins called lens shaders, where you can have a Fisheye lens, flares (less flexible than Blender's flares but more realistic), stereo images, panoramic images, etc.. In Blender to get pano's, you have to turn on the panoramic button and select the number of X tiles you want, then it uses X times the width of your render width to get the panoramic.. In XSI you use a Panormaic Lens Shader and change the render size.. But you can do things like
combine a Fisheye with a Panoramic, with a DOF filter.. Or do a stereo image from a Z-buffer render.. All of these are possible in blender,
but they each involve doing a trick, whereas in XSI they are are placed
under the heading of "Lens Shader".

Also XSI does allow the layering of textures, it uses a seperate interface from the Shader Tree.. Materials are classified as base shaders, like Blinns and Lamberts.. Then you build atop those with shaders like Checkerboard patterns and Clouds.. Blender's shader system is still much easier to use, and there is actually more features for some shaders like Clouds and
the Fractal Brownian Stuff for blender. But XSI's got a full shader tree,
which is a feature I'd still like to see in blender, for the sheer ability to allow users to make trully custom material effects.. Like anisotropic
shaders (how many people are tired of seeing bump maps that look like they came out of a brail factory?). ... 50220.html

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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:43 pm

Post by cessen »

We already have an XSI/Blender comparison thread: ... pic&t=5521

And I might point out that you started it, too. Please don't start redundant threads.

Your claim that Blender is easier to use than XSI probably has a lot to do with being used to Blender. Use XSI for a few months before claiming that Blender is easier.

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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by matt_e »

Indeed. I'm sure there are already more than enough "Blender vs. Application X" threads already running in this forum.