No -seriously, why don´t we GUMROAD for Softimage?

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Pierre Schiller

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Jan 24, 2017, 3:11:40 PM1/24/17
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Gum"road" to:

* Someone developing PBR viewport (an addon using Py, maybe with new Nvidia cuda .dlls?)
* Someone developing custom libraries (so every time something Open Source comes up
it can be implemented through).

I know I would join a patreon or gumroad for that.

Because, and excuse me, Open source blender -addon maddness- it´s a chimera (everyone developing at the same time, so many new things because no one holds the "fryer by the handles"! (no one filters what´s really necessary for the application to grow healthy)...

If that´s what´s going on on an Open source environment (and yes, organization leads to neatness and efficiency), I´d much rather join Gumroad or Patreon for anyone who´s willingly able to code what´s mentioned on this thread.

Just and idea....just...an idea..

Best regards.

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Rob Wuijster

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Jan 25, 2017, 6:22:32 AM1/25/17
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Although I like what you're trying to do, it's not really a viable option imho.

I know we're all (still) reluctant to move on, but at some point we have to admit Softimage is falling behind the curve.
Despite it's great workflow and ease of use.
Not to mention the rapid decline of Softimage related jobs that are out there. Which is even more important a factor for a freelancer.

Over here there's
- afaik - only one post studio left using Softimage, and that will probably change in the near future.
So to be able to pay the bills, clinging on to Softimage for post-production related work isn't an option for a lot of people.

With the above, there are basically two options, one is Maya, the other Houdini.
Maya isn't that bad to switch to, it has become better with the latest releases workflow wise. And it more or less behaves the same as Softimage in many ways.
Houdini is a different beast, and will take some serious getting used to due to the node based and procedural innards, but will give you tons of freedom to play with.

So, like I said, the thoughts behind it are admirable, but it might be time to start looking at something else for future developments.

Rob
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Markus Cermak

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Jan 25, 2017, 6:52:51 AM1/25/17
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Just to give a different POV

I would be very happy to support and pay for features added to Softimage.

I know that a lot ppl say its time to move on Softimage is dead etc. but not all of us are working in a big Studio or as Freelancers.

So for us as a small studio Softimage is still and will be for a long time the best tool for our Jobs.

Which span from 1 day to a couple of days deadlines.

There is nothing out there which can replace Softimage atm period.

So all I´m saying is plz don´t only put your POV on the subject and tell ppl to move on because, there is still enough life in Softimage for me and a few others.

So I would be willing to pay for development for a few features or even workflow improvements (scripts,etc) and that would add a lot more value do my work then switching DCC.

So even most of you thing the thoughts behind it are admirable, but not worth it I think it is worth it.


cheers
markus
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Markus Cermak
3D-Animation Compositing

Leiss Postproduction GmbH
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Mirko Jankovic

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Jan 25, 2017, 7:03:41 AM1/25/17
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Are you working directly for client creating animated  and CG content?
Do they care what are you using to create it as long as it is done at quality level and on time?

A lot of people will find them self in this situation and moving to anything any time soon would be probably killing for their business. 
So each to his own POV and needs.



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Markus Cermak
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Leiss Postproduction GmbH
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Olivier Jeannel

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Jan 25, 2017, 7:10:08 AM1/25/17
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Amen to that Marcus :)
Everything that will give me news that SI and its community is still alive and doing "stuff" is GOOD.

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Markus Cermak
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Leiss Postproduction GmbH
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Jonathan Moore

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Jan 25, 2017, 8:18:14 AM1/25/17
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I have two views here.

For personal work, I will continue to use XSI as long as it functions with my operating system. But I could never advise a studio of 3 or more artists to base their business model on an XSI based pipeline for all the reasons that Jordi Bares mentioned in a similar thread just before Xmas.

If there's anyone with the technical knowhow and willingness to pump some new blood into XSI, I'd say it's Eric Mootz. If people are serious about crowdfunding some enhancements, Eric would be a good man to sound out. The fact that he's now a part of the Fabric Engine team is a bonus as FE is just the sort of tool that could be leveraged to enhance XSI from its frozen state (2015 SP2).

Perry Harovas

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Jan 25, 2017, 9:05:47 AM1/25/17
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From my POV, I moved on years ago (right when the EOL was announced, for the most part) because the writing was on the wall. If I stuck with Softimage I would be delaying the inevitable, which is to say: having to learn a new app. It's going to happen that one day you will just not be able to do something you want to in Softimage, or it won't run in some OS you need to upgrade to for some other reason. 

Autodesk ensured that Softimage would have no future when it EOL'd it. 

Don't let the same thing happen to you.
Ensure your own future and learn another app. 
The best way to learn? By doing. Trial by fire. 
Sink or swim. Watching tutorials for hours while something renders isn't the same. 

I implore you all to pick an application and just start using it. Look, I love(d) Softimage. It was my favorite application ever, in a career that was well over 20 years long at the point it was killed. By then, I had used it about 10 years! 

But I found joy in a new application and have been surprised how much I love it now. Honestly, it does get better after you make the leap to another app. 

Just ball up your fists, and jump.

My 2 cents. 

Sent from my iPhone

Softimage

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Jan 25, 2017, 9:12:01 AM1/25/17
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Hi Perry,

Out of interest what did you move to?

Cheers 

Lawrence 

Rob Wuijster

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Jan 25, 2017, 9:21:57 AM1/25/17
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Cannot be Maya, he's loving his new choice of 3D app...... ;-P

Rob

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Perry Harovas

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Jan 25, 2017, 10:00:11 AM1/25/17
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It is NOT Maya. No way. I switched FROM Maya to XSI for good reason.
Going backwards was not of any interest to me. I had used Maya for almost 10 years before switching to Softimage.
I knew that was now the direction I wanted to go in.
I certainly have to do some things in Maya still, but that was the case when Softimage was alive and well, anyway.

I moved to C4D. 
That, combined with Octane, is a really killer application.

I also use Houdini when needed.

Yes, I need some plugins, but not many.
TurbulenceFD and X-Particles

It has an ICE-like environment (not as good as ICE, but very good regardless) with Xpresso.

It is actually incredibly easy to use, but still very powerful. I can do things in it faster than I could in either Maya or Softimage 80% of the time. The final 20% may take longer, or be harder, but there so far has been NOTHING I could not do inside C4D. Nothing.

I chose not to originally reveal what I switched to only because I didn't want this 
to be a "Maya vs. C4D vs. Houdini vs. Soft vs. Lightwave vs. Modo vs. Max" type of thread.

The point is, chose what you want to switch to after playing around with all the contenders, then make the decision to make the jump. If you don't, you are just trying to avoid the inevitable, and losing time you could be spending learning that new application.

Your mileage may vary, your situation my be more difficult, or specific, etc. but eventually, you are going to HAVE TO switch to something. 

Why not switch now?








Perry Harovas
Animation and Visual Effects

http://www.TheAfterImage.com

-26 Years Experience
-Member of the Visual Effects Society (VES)

Andres Stephens

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Jan 25, 2017, 10:11:24 AM1/25/17
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If I understand correctly, projects don’t usually update their pipelines midway through production... I think some large projects take 1 to 3 years to make and choosing an app like SI or the competition at this moment of time that may or may not be on par to SI will still make a competitive product finished in 1 to 3 years from now.. maybe even a longer 5 year project and still be competitive. Till that studio finishes that product or series of products in that timeframe before updating their pipeline – it would makes sense to still use whatever you use for the pipeline today into the future without having to deal with development bugs and broken files with subsequent updates. I know studios still in windows 7, studios still with previous versions of Blender for stability sake, I know studios animating in older versions of Maya due to mid-production deadlines, I know studios using the old version of Fusion, even studios with old software, scripts, plugins, workflows that only run on old architecture. And they stick to it till the production is over. And that takes time.

You could start a 5 year project in SI 2015 today and still be competitive, with less staff, less training, greater flexibility and standard industry tools.
Students learning the standard tools today will understand SI easily till 5 years from now, when they graduate the tool will still be standard from their education.
Get the drift?

Unless they revamp the animation toolset in the public sector any time soon - like Presto in Pixar or something – it’s still on par for any new project till up to 5 years from now.

I think SI has a great studio workflow still that works well today as any other day with any other software, if not better. Taking that workflow now will still be relevant or better than taking another now and finishing that project 1 to 5 years later with the same (or less experienced, still developing) pipeline.  

I think people are like... imagining revolutionary software updates over the next 5 to 10 years and an industry and pipeline jumping on board immediately leaving you in the dust like some kind of stone pyramid with no use. I somewhat doubt Moores Law applies to computer graphics – unless you are more into games, and even that is mostly software agnostic these days and also develops slowly. Things take time to adapt.. Why hurry?

Use what makes you and your studio happy.

And yes, invest in Fabric, Redshift and people like Mootz!

I’d be down to invest in developing even new ICE stuff, education, Fabric examples, anything really, etc.

Do what you love with what you love.

 

-Draise

Cesar Saez

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Jan 25, 2017, 10:59:06 AM1/25/17
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Hi there,

Going back to the original post, most of what you describe is not doable by individual developers working as freelancers (I'm assuming you are referring to integrating open source technologies like USD, OpenSubD, PTex and so on). These tasks are big and fairly involved, it's like asking for a full cg movie finance by a tiny community through Patreon.

In addition to that, and even if there were savvy developers interested, I've serious doubts that it's even possible to do properly considering you have to work on top of closed source software not being in development, Softimage's current scenario directly translate to the developer having to workaround the missing bits of the SDK in creative ways by adding all sorts of hacks to the project (certainly not a pleasant work to do, you usually aim to find generalization and elegant solutions... going back to the movie example: this is equivalent to throw a unmodifiable bad script on top of it).

I get the good intentions behind the original question, but I'm afraid all you can ask for at a patreon/gumroad level are scripts and relatively simple tools automating certain tasks that are already possible to do in Softimage, all the big tickets are out of the table at this point.

I don't like to burst people's bubbles, but I thought a developer POV would help to bring some perspective to the whole Softimage survival landscape.


Cheers!
C.

Martin

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Jan 25, 2017, 12:11:55 PM1/25/17
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Hi,

I'm not a developer but I write some stuff we need from time to time. I wrote and released a weights tool some time ago because we are still working in Softimage and we will be using it, even if partially, for at least a few years so I'm trying to make our current pipeline as comfortable as possible (we are using SI as our main tool in our biggest project right now and probably will be using it for at least 1 more year).

Being said that, I totally agree with Cesar. You can't develop advanced tools with a closed black box. You'll eventually hit a wall and you'll have nobody to ask for support or even a hint. If someone has the courage to work under this circumstances, then I'll try to support as much as possible. But implement new technologies that weren't considered in SI 2015 such as a new viewport, ptex, etc, is not very realistic. I'd be happy with 4K resolution GUI support.

A probably better idea would be adding Softimage features into other packages like Maya, Max, Modo, etc. I'm doing what I can in Maya but it isn't an easy task either.

Martin
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Jonathan Moore

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Jan 25, 2017, 12:31:18 PM1/25/17
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I do believe that Fabric Engine could be leveraged to fill some gaps. It's never going to be ideal from a UX perspective and the biggest selling point for me of XSI has always been the UX; but some workable extensions could be implemented.

All that being said, 80% of my time is spent in Houdini and the main reason I head back to XSI occasionally these days is that I love working with the Mootzoid plugins (especially emTopolizer). I've even discovered that I find ICE quite clunky these days in comparison to the elegance of VEX and VOPs in Houdini. Houdini 16 will hopefully provide a few more home comforts for XSI artists looking to make the jump to something new. And if Houdini still feels like too much of TD's paradise, I agree that Maya is a far better proposition than it was when Softimage's EOL was announced.

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Angus Davidson

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Jan 25, 2017, 2:16:14 PM1/25/17
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One of the only good things about the EDU slant on the Softimage EOL is that we are not legally allowed to teach an EOL software. As such we never had to agonize over having to move. There is a certain freedom in that. Moving to Maya has not been easy, but it has been somewhat mitigated by using Octane standalone which removes the shading, Lighting and rendering out of Maya. This has made the transition less painful. And Octane is awesome ;)

Personally however I am looking at Houdini (when I get any time from our games design degree expansion). looking forward to what V16 unveils.

Regards

Angus


From: Perry Harovas [perryh...@gmail.com]
Sent: 25 January 2017 04:05 PM

To: Official Softimage Users Mailing List. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/xsi_list
Subject: Re: No -seriously, why don´t we GUMROAD for Softimage?
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Pierre Schiller

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Jan 25, 2017, 3:18:24 PM1/25/17
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Hey team, thanks to all for your honest review on this thread.
To answer some of the questions : Yes, I've walked with modo for 2 years (701,901) it"just" got good because of 10.02 enhancements for game engines (too bad I am not working on the same place as 2 years ago, I got limited access to modo). 
Recently I went to Blender, because of the huge library of addons. But this too is a factor per se, because of the overflowing nightly builds, and no one is able to keep up (much less studios) or demands work other than modeling or rendering pack animation (which basically lowers your income so much).
Blender is "growing" in the same way chimera's head. Too many task end up hitting on the software perfomance a lot of times. Cycles is getting a new faster algorithm, to vary news...

atm Houdini is more than an option for maya. I've tried Maya for animation only, it crashed so many times it was absurd. Service packs come out constantly, give you a sense of how unestable is.. :(

In addition, those first 2 points on the thread should be something maybe we can focus, at the end of the day, client only wants things delivered. Modo can't animate 2 characters on scene without crashing (timeline issues) and Blender is so badly designed at bones and other *basic* stuff, that riggers just gave up, entered into python to "pale" with that stuff...plain truth...

Really, on my side, I'm hoping for a Maya 2018 or Houdini that can bring all the tools a generalist takes hand on without crashing hours before deadline.

Kraken looks good, FE is amazing but it is definetly a a more TD oriented than Artist (friendly names on nodes / pre armed trees to do stufff out of the box)
I like FE.


Jonathan Moore

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Jan 25, 2017, 3:53:25 PM1/25/17
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I've been one of the Modo alpha/beta test team for a number of years now and can honestly say it's nowhere near being an XSI replacement. The good thing is that their new incremental development strategy has made Modo far less crashy but it has a long way to go in performance terms and the new procedural system has a weak UX, is even less performant than general Modo's other workflows and has procedural capabilities at approx 5% of ICE or Houdini. Working in Modo can often feel similar to stirring treacle. 

On the other hand nothing beats Modo for good old fashioned direct modeling. Fantastic range of tools and an ever improving set of viewport options. ILM turned to Modo to create a kitbashing library for Star Wars Rogue One (and one that's being reused for all forthcoming content requirements in the Star Wars universe). It's all based of reacquiring the original 1977 models on eBay! I kind you not:


IMHO Modo can be classed as a fantastic direct modeller at a luxury price point, or an exceptionally weak DCC to replace the the higher priced options of Max, Maya, Houdini and XSI. Take your pick.  :)

Mirko Jankovic

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Jan 25, 2017, 4:09:02 PM1/25/17
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Well modo did start as modeling tool alone, and lately trying to push in all in one DCC but will it get there.. hardly.. especially when there is no really reason for anyone to use it as all rounder with all the other tools there. 

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 9:53 PM, Jonathan Moore <jonatha...@gmail.com> wrote:
I've been one of the Modo alpha/beta test team for a number of years now and can honestly say it's nowhere near being an XSI replacement. The good thing is that their new incremental development strategy has made Modo far less crashy but it has a long way to go in performance terms and the new procedural system has a weak UX, is even less performant than general Modo's other workflows and has procedural capabilities at approx 5% of ICE or Houdini. Working in Modo can often feel similar to stirring treacle. 

On the other hand nothing beats Modo for good old fashioned direct modeling. Fantastic range of tools and an ever improving set of viewport options. ILM turned to Modo to create a kitbashing library for Star Wars Rogue One (and one that's being reused for all forthcoming content requirements in the Star Wars universe). It's all based of reacquiring the original 1977 models on eBay! I kind you not:


IMHO Modo can be classed as a fantastic direct modeller at a luxury price point, or an exceptionally weak DCC to replace the the higher priced options of Max, Maya, Houdini and XSI. Take your pick.  :)

Pierre Schiller

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Jan 25, 2017, 11:43:23 PM1/25/17
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I get the analogy of SDK on blackbox. Having no support at all is horrible.

But people who made the jump, has had this experience already on their own DCC applications by now.

Sorry, plain truth. How frikken hard could it be to extrude vector graphics? Walk along in Blender and Modo, and you´ll see.
Anyhow.

The name of the game is visualization on RT. A pbr viewport (ICE spherical harmonics) is proof some stuff could be implemented
but since recent .dll from nvidia are not implemented on SI2015 SP2, it´s no surprise ICE runs slow on calculating and writting lighting
information on the fly. A fish bitting it´s tale.

At this point FE seems the only realiable thing to "translate" your work from SI to other apps directly (develop once, deploy everywhere),
except that "everywhere" has to acquire a FE licence also, which in addition adds another layer of real life operator on a pipeline (another
extra job step/seat to pay).

If we are all to boil it down to results and speed, it´s pretty much clear we all got to put our eyes on Unity and
Unreal engine: they´ve break the barrier of "individual seats" and are grasping "team development" (2 or more operators (and I mean people) work
together on the same environment, creating, modeling and asseting everything in the game environment at the SAME TIME). And THAT is the kind of mentalities
we need in -ANY- of the 3d applications now a days. If Softimage falls behind, at least the collaborative part it´s something SURELY will speed things
up. And here should be something out there that can plug environments together for Softimage...that at least would allow small teams to effectively
meet deadlines.... (here´s the gumroad idea).

That´s really my 2 cents.

Yes: I´m also transitioning fully to Unity for the Realtime engine (up to date cuda Nvidia .dlls) and the tools they´re giving out as open source to Render
out passes and preview stuff directly on screen without rendering times. Pixar has also released the open source libraries that make this possible:
https://vimeo.com/180966864

Those are the kind of things we are left forcibly to move around many 3d packages...so Generalists....will now have to become "specialists" which
in turn, means less income from other areas...
I hope POV for everyone means "more collaboration together", isn´t that what this business is all about after all?

Cheers.

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 4:08 PM, Mirko Jankovic <mirkoj....@gmail.com> wrote:
Well modo did start as modeling tool alone, and lately trying to push in all in one DCC but will it get there.. hardly.. especially when there is no really reason for anyone to use it as all rounder with all the other tools there. 
On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 9:53 PM, Jonathan Moore <jonatha...@gmail.com> wrote:
I've been one of the Modo alpha/beta test team for a number of years now and can honestly say it's nowhere near being an XSI replacement. The good thing is that their new incremental development strategy has made Modo far less crashy but it has a long way to go in performance terms and the new procedural system has a weak UX, is even less performant than general Modo's other workflows and has procedural capabilities at approx 5% of ICE or Houdini. Working in Modo can often feel similar to stirring treacle. 

On the other hand nothing beats Modo for good old fashioned direct modeling. Fantastic range of tools and an ever improving set of viewport options. ILM turned to Modo to create a kitbashing library for Star Wars Rogue One (and one that's being reused for all forthcoming content requirements in the Star Wars universe). It's all based of reacquiring the original 1977 models on eBay! I kind you not:


IMHO Modo can be classed as a fantastic direct modeller at a luxury price point, or an exceptionally weak DCC to replace the the higher priced options of Max, Maya, Houdini and XSI. Take your pick.  :)
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