A Softimage message

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Jason Brynford-Jones

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Jul 27, 2010, 11:13:27 AM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
I thought the last time I wrote something like this, would be the last time.

I am beginning to sound like a broken record; a record no-one obviously likes listening to. So perhaps this really is the last time I will play this message as it seems to make no difference.


Marketing
It seems now the Softimage community is only focusing on Autodesk's marketing as the barometer for Soft's future. Not "no marketing" but "less marketing" than 3ds Max and Maya. Or that the new Max and Maya products WITH Softimage means no more Softimage? This does not make sense.

New Max and Maya Suites
>From all our interviews Max and Maya customers want Softimage (not just ICE, but ICE is often a big reason) in their toolsets. At an affordable price, that interops well. OK let's give it to them, in the way they want it.

There are many more Max and Maya customers than Softimage. Having product suites branded with the name 3ds Max or Maya are obviously targeted at selling to them. This represents a massive potential for Softimage. You might not agree with the naming, but you can't argue the logic.

Softimage as a standalone product is of course continuing as before (with some very exciting stuff in the works) and having the standalone product available to all Max and Maya users is a huge endorsement of Softimage and commitment by Autodesk..

Development
Since the acquisition there has been repeated fear-mongering about Soft's future. Even though in that time, we have had two major releases (3 in the last two years) and one minor (check what others have done in this time) and of course there is more to come.

Even though we have exceeded revenue expectations, even though we are expanding our development. Even though fundamentally NOTHING HAS CHANGED, people choose to focus simply on a lack of marketing and not Autodesk Softimage's track record.

We still manage our own roadmap, with the exception of working well with other Autodesk apps. Something everyone has asked for repeatedly, especially ICE interop.

Our philosophy will continue around ICE as the architecture on which to build - that includes one day moving into modeling. We have not abandoned other parts of the Software (see the list at the end of this mail) far from it - we have a very well defined focus and future.

Final thoughts - for this is the last time I will do this.

If you take one thing away from this mail, it is this.

The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click
The future of Softimage is bright... click

It really is...

Chinny


PS: Lest you forget....

Feature bullet lists since acquisition:

7.5

Animation
A new "Center" Shape Type option for Bounding Volume Constraint
New workflow for the FCurve editor: Selecting tangents will deselect keys and vice-versa

Data Management
Added a new preference: DataManagement/Bake scene properties on model export.
New Preference to ignore scntoc at load time

Reference Models
Assign objects in the scene or another model to a material in a referenced model's library

Modeling
A new single "MoveProportional" operator replacing the combination "MoveComponent" with nested "Proportional"
Proportional Modeling that does not break Symmetry

Rendering
Integration of mental ray 3.7+
Improvements to BSP for faster render times
Custom Workgroup shaders now support separate categories in the Rendertree
New Final Gathering option - "Enable Multiple Refinement Passes"
New mental ray "Motion-Based Displacement Quality" optimization option
SSS shader now supports light lists (include/exlude)
Gamma Correction is now supported in Alpha Channel
mental ray assemblies ("Stand-Ins") now support mi_point_to_object
Color Correction respects the alpha channel when applied on rendered output

Simulation
Updated version of Syflex, which is now multi-threaded
ICE: Get Texture Map from a position array is now supported
ICE: Adding objects to group in a model is now fully supported
ICE: Version history context menu now supports Private compounds

SDK and Scripting
New Undo/Redo callbacks for custom C++ commands
Curve.InsertKeyAtFrame - New method for inserting a keyframe without altering the curve profile
C++: New ASCII support to CString
New Animation Editor attributes accessible via SDK commands View.Get/SetAttributeValue
+ TrackSelection (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ DecomposeBranchSel (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ LocalPropsOnly (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ LockedParams (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ FlattenState (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ ColorCoding (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ ParameterValues (Animation Editor, Explorer)
+ ScriptNames (Animation Editor)
+ ParameterSort (Animation Editor)
+ DrivingAction (Animation Editor)
+ AnimatedParamsOnly (Animation Editor)
+ KeyableParamsOnly (Animation Editor)
+ FilterPreset (Animation Editor)
+ TaggedParameters (Animation Editor)
+ ActivationParamsOnly (Animation Editor)
+ MarkedParamsOnly (Animation Editor)
+ SnapToGrid (Animation Editor, FCurve Editor)
+ SnapToFrame (Animation Editor, FCurve Editor)
+ SnapSlopes (Animation Editor, FCurve Editor)
+ AutoSnapToFrames (Animation Editor, FCurve Editor, DopeSheet)
Main menubar menus and custom sub-menus will no longer show [u] and [w] icons
New Plugin Manager Preference for scanning and loading sub-folder plugins
Added CRef and CString >, < operators

Texturing
Unfold3D unfolding technology is now integrated cross platform in XSI
New Checkerboard clip type in the Texture Editor

UI
New preference in the Dopesheet for the default tool - Select Tool or Region Tool
Restored the resolution of relative paths in the User / Workgroups / Factory directories
Added support for re-order of script button in the custom toolbar
New Netview home page (with Preference to show at startup)
New option to delete unconnected nodes in the Render Tree

Crosswalk v.3.2
dotXSI/COLLADA Action source plotting
FBX support on Linux
FBX UI revamp
FBX new option "Export Selection Only"
FBX stabilization
COLLADA camera export improvement
COLLADA Huge scene data handling (improved import/export memory usage)
dotXSI/COLLADA stabilization

2010

Scalability and Performance

Many core algorithms have been optimized

Load and Save
Loading or saving large scenes and importing complex character models have been improved allowing greater productivity.

Selection
Selecting large numbers (thousands) of objects or components is now almost instantaneous.
Selection Filter switching has also been improved

Delete and Fast Delete
Huge improvements have been made to speed up the deletion of thousands of objects.
In addition, an even faster delete (Shift+Delete) will be introduced, which is the same delete expect there is no undo. A progress bar will now appear when Delete detects a small delay.

Undo/Redo
Great efforts have been made to improve this performance

Freeze
Greatly improved

Envelopes
Interaction and Playback has been greatly improved especially in shaded mode

Reference Models
Overall Reference Model performance has been vastly improved. With operations now only 1-2 times slower than regular models. (a 5000% improvement)
Loading scenes with many Ref Models has been increased by a factor of 2. Performance for the Delta operation has seen an improvement factor of 4-5. Offloading Ref-Models a factor of six improvement.

Duplication
Duplication has been significantly improved, especially when dealing with many objects

Animation
The Remove Animation command in now 70% faster

Function Curve Editor
The F-Curve Editor is now considerably faster than ever before - especially when dealing with large numbers of curves or large numbers of keys.

Hide\UnHide
Another common scenario has been addressed to reducing the impact on the artist's workflow

Interaction
Opening property pages which display many objects' properties has been highly optimized.
Switching between transform tools and changing marked parameters now benefits from greater performance

Performance Tools

Scene Debugger
This view is a window onto the scene's performance and memory usage.


Complexity Management

Scene Search View
Dedicated view to search for scene objects and more
To help narrow down any search additional filters can be added, such as searching for only objects of the type bones or nulls.

Search Box
In the main UI there is a search box where you type in full or partial letters\numbers. It will show you the results in a drop-down window, which you can tear off.

Material Manager Favorites Tab
Users can add their favorite materials to this tab, as a way of accessing them quickly when doing repeated tasks.

Scene management
Layer Groups. Multiple layers can be placed in a group in the Scene Layers View,

ICE Tree

Visual Performance Monitor
The ICE graph can now display which nodes are taking the greatest time to evaluate, 50% or more in Red

ICE

ICE Custom Node Creation in C++.

Geometry Accessors
Custom Nodes can now query more attributes found on objects, such as edge lengths.

Multi-Phase execution
TDs can now control which ports (or parts of a node) get executed in which order.

Local Attributes
Each ICE graph can now store local attributes


Modeling

User Normal Editing
New controls for characters

Tweak Normal Tool
Manipulator for precise normal control, including working in symmetry mode

Tweak Normal Preferences
A set of preferences for control over bleeding, distance thresholds as well as the Tweak Normal Tool's precision.

Turn Edge
A quick tool to reorient an edge, or collection of edges

Weight Painting
The Lattice Operator's amplitude now support weightmaps

Paint Weights toolbar standardization
The Paint Weights Panel embedded in layouts now supports narrow width


Animation

Autokey Camera
Each scene camera has an AutoKey option. Whenever the camera is manipulated using the viewport navigation tools, it will automatically keyframe the changed parameters

Performance: Removing Animation
Using the remove animation command has seen a 70% speed improvement when the objects have many animation curves.

Function Curve Editor Performance
Performance improvements span multiple areas

Selection
Selecting curves, keys and tangents has seen dramatic improvements

Drawing of Tangents
Each key can show tangental controls adding even more detail to be displayed.

Memory management
The amount of memory this takes has been reduced to its minimum. Also the memory usage has been improved when changing the selection.

Curve Processing
Smooth, Fit and Resample with many curves will now see better performance

Open/Close
When the Function Curve Editor is opened, all the many curves and keys and objects are populating the view. This one time operation is now much faster. The same for closing the view.


SDK

ICE Custom Nodes
Geometry Accessors
The Softimage SDK exposes access to geometry and sub-components.

ICE Multi-Phase execution
The Softimage SDK exposes the execution of ports in Custom Nodes.

ICE Local Attributes
Each ICE graph can now store local attributes

Play Control Event
When animation playback is started or stopped, the user can be notified of this event (or occurrence)


Scripting

Scintilla Text Editing
Softimage has many text editors (Script Editor, Shader Editor, Text Widget, Scripted Operator Editor and Expression Editor ) now use Scintilla features:
Folding
Folding collapses functions (groups of text)
Syntax Highlighting
Reserved words such as Function if true are highlighted in different colors
Standardized Search tools
Each editor will now use the same text search tools
Separate Text Editing Preferences
Each editor will now use the same preferences

UI

Bone shading
now have an option to be shaded in the viewport

Hide on Playback
A new visibility option will hide an object temporarily while the animation is playing back which will help performance.

Removed legacy particles
Simulation Module updated
All entries to create legacy particles has been removed
Functionality still there to maintain back-comp


2011

General
Icon to Maximize Floating Windows
Extra-wide icon to close PPGs and Views
New Views
* Shader Code Editor
* Shader Version Manager
* Cache Manager
* Lip Sync


Camera and Viewports
Viewport object transparency
* Object>Display>XRay Surface Display Opacity slider
* Change the viewport opacity of geometry using a slider
* Display Options>XRay Display Type>Transparent
* Viewport visibility menu>XRay Surfaces
* Does not draw any object which has XRay display opacity set to less than 1.0

New buttons in Camera PPG to keyframe camera

Camera frustrum display
* Camera clipping planes values now sliders

Viewport Slate
* Text or tokens can be used to display scene information

New menu toggle for X-Ray (display option)


Modeling
Updated Booleans
* Booleans are now faster and more stable

Polygon Mesh Internal Edges
* Symmetrize Polygons now mirrors the internals edges.
* Invert Polygons no longer flips internal edges.

New implicit bone primitive
* Useful for ICE kinematics

Texturing
Update to UV unfolding
* New option to unfold islands generated by the unfold operator
* Symmetry - if the geometry and cutlines are symmetrical so will be the unfold
* New PPG option to update the Unfold without packing as well

Multiple UVs in the Texture Editor
* control+click to set the UV editable/non-editable

Copy/Paste UV Improvements
* Edit > Paste UVs
* Edit > Paste Special > Using Source UVs Indices
* Edit > Paste Special > Using Target UVs Indices

RenderMap/Ultimapper now use Pass Renderer (including 3rd party)

Automatic Tangents and Binormals
* Softimage can automatically create tangents and binormals on-the-fly for OpenGL and DirectX RTS display modes

Animation
Function Curve Editor & Dopesheet & Mixer
* Highlight playback range in background

Preference for Collapsing Animation Layers
* Preserve Animation or Preserve Tangent Handles

Preference for scanning for old plug-ins in fcurve editor

Get>Property>Static Kinestate
* Used for reference (neutral) poses


Face Robot
Automatic Lip syncing
* A new workflow for creating phonemes (and visemes)
* A new lip sync tab for Stage 5>Act
* Viseme Setup
* Support for English and Japanese phonemes
* Lip Sync Creation options
* Use AIFF, AVI, Quicktime or WAV
* Add text
* Automatically creates animation
* The new views can display the Phonemes and weight curves


Simulation
Update PhysX library to version 2.83
* NOTE: Due to a change in the PhysX library, actual shape collision results will be different in 2011
* Support for CUDA acceleration for PhysX Rigid Body Dynamics (including ICE)


ICE
Springs and damper attributes for ICE rigid bodies

ICE Kinematics
* ICE can now drive the Global kinematic property
* The rigs' relationships can be expressed in a graph contained on a separate object (like a null)
* You can use the simulate ICE tree to easily do secondary dynamics
* ICE Kinematics and traditional Kinematics can live side by side

ICE Tree
* User Tools>Replace model name with this_model
* Preference for disabling cycle checking when connecting nodes in ICE tree

ICE Compounds and Nodes
* Includes much of Phil's ICE Pack
* Around 130 new compounds and nodes

Scripting and SDK
Python now installed with Softimage

Script Editor now support tabs
* MMB or control+W to close tab
* RMB on tab to open containing folder
* New file options including "save all tabs"

Scripting Preferences
* Show spaces instead of Tabs
* Use Python installed with Softimage (Windows only)

Custom Dynamic Shader creation

RenderMap exposed to Custom Renderers

Shaders
* Shader Plugin API
* Shader Parser Plugin API
* RT Shader Wizard (HLSL and CGFX)

ImportFromSI3D Command No Longer Supported

Many Object Model Changes

many C++ API Changes


Data Management
New Tokens
* [Camera] [CameraAspect] [CameraFormat] [CameraProjection] [CameraType] [Model] [Object] [Version] [CameraDisplayInfo]
* New Tokens and Templates page in documentation

Cache Manager
* View>Animation>Cache Manager, Animate>Plot>Cache Manager, Simulate>ICE>Edit>Cache Manager
* UI Simplification
* Cache Manager hosts Read, Write and Simulation caches
* New Cache lists
* to read and write multiple objects at the same time (cache list or add one by one)
* Automatically scans the selection for available attributes to cache (listbox)
* Tokens are saved with the scene not copied from the template preference
* Simulation tab list all cache file node in read mode
* Animation read tab lists all source caches with their corresponding object

Caching Improvements
* Multiple objects can be cached at at time (in the same path)
* Default template Preferences are used at scene creation, but can be overridden per caching session
* Consistent paths and file name tokens for all types of caching
* Current output path for caching is now visible
* Universal tokens supported (see Tokens and Templates [Data Management])
* Version token supported
* No frame padding in the cache File Name mean the frame padding setting from Scene Render options is no longer used.
* ICE particle ID attribute can be cached
* Setting the new XSI_CACHE_ASCII environment variable lets you save the .icecache file sequence in ASCII.

Rendering
Shader Authoring
* All shaders available in Softimage 2011 now use the new Dynamic Shader architecture
* No longer have to load *.cgfx or *.fx files into hard-coded CgFX or DXFX shader nodes.
* Files are read directly by the Softimage CgFX or HLSL parsers
* Shader Versioning
* Shader Version Manager
* Versioning of shader compounds supported
* Option to make shader compounds uneditable
* Shader Editor
* Shader Wizard
* New Shader Events
* OnCreateShaderDef
* OnCreateShader
* OnConnectShader
* OnDisonnectShader
* New Shader Port Types to match ICE types.
* New Array Port Type.
* Improved Gradient Port Type.
* Shader Tree XML Export .xsishadertree
* New CGFX Parser
* New HLSL Parser
* New SPDL Parser
* New .mi Parser
* New generic .xsishaderdef Parser

Shaders
* Around 35 new utility shaders
* Around 170 mental ray shaders

General
* Common mental ray
* Softimage, Maya and Max now share the same version of mental ray
* mental ray 2011 (3_8_1_13) integration
* Faster and more stable
* Stand-ins for rendering animated ICE particle instances
* Improved setup for Physical Sky and Sun shaders
* RMB Material commands available in render tree material node
* Render Pass Partitions now support Stand-ins.

Lighting
* Support IES light Profiles
* Use mia_photmetric_light in the light's render tree
* New flatlight
* Flat Light Mode on+Area Light(User)
* Additional Area Lights Parameters
* Use Geometry a light source (Area Light>Geometry>Object)
* Area light>Geometry>User
* Low Samples options
* Raytraced Soft Shadows
* New light parameter controls softness and samples
* New Light shape attenuation options
* Barn Door effect
* Light lists
* Local Ambient Lighting Property
* Get > Property > Ambient Lighting

Render Tree
* Connect shaders to the camera node and pass node directly in the render tree (dynamic input ports)
* New shader families and new node color coding
* Shader nodes support new data types for their input and output ports: 2D vector, 4D vector, 3x3 matrix, 4x4 matrix, quaternion, reference, string, and custom

Render Slate
* Show scene information (using tokens) in renders and render region
* Layout and color options
* Pass options control render, region and preview

Multi-Camera Rendering
* Specify a "group" of cameras to be rendered per pass

LUTs
* Softimage now supports Autodesk LUSTRE .3dl 3D LUT files
* New LUT Preconditioning options control linear to logarithmic conversions


Crosswalk
Version 5.0
* Crosswalk 5 supports 3ds Max 2011, Maya 2011, and Softimage 2011
FBX 2011
* New FBX scene scaling import and export options
* New FBX batch processing commands to support the scaling options

winmail.dat

Eric Lampi

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 11:43:07 AM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thanks Chinny.

I am sure it's been said already, but the fact that Maya and Max studios will
have access to a license of Soft is a very very good thing for users.
Especially freelancers.

I'm working in more and more studios that are opting to combine Maya and Soft on
the same projects, so I don't see this as a bad thing at all. On that note, I
look forward to some advancements in making that process much easier.

Eric

Freelance 3-D Animator, F/X Artist

Jules Stevenson

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Jul 27, 2010, 12:21:17 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thanks Chinny,

Broken record or not, it's still much appreciated to get some
confirmation on the active development of the product.

Jules

Jordi Bares

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Jul 27, 2010, 12:24:28 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thanks so much for the mail, may be repeating yourself but this is something we all value a lot.

Please take this as a very cohesive community trying to get an insight of what our future will be, I am sure you all at Autodesk understand we want our investment to be relevant and our favourite toolset to carry on being developed at least at the same pace you guys at Softiamge were producing before.

Said that, we are skeptic too as different signals from AD indeed say something different from the discourse that is official so we are more nervous than usual, true.

Example

It is simple for me to be nervous of AD not celebrating Softimage 20 aniversary but doing so for Max.
It is simple for me to be nervous of AD when I see the Siggraph 2010 program
It is simple for me to be very nervous when their own website does not show Softimage in their main pages
It is simple for me to be nervous when the marketing blurb promotes Softimage in a way I understand could be misleading, a plugin? therefore no value?
And more...

So again, this is a slightly similar feeling from the one I have when the weather man is saying it won't be raining today and I am in the middle of the rain, wet and without umbrella.

I am sure you all at AD have the best intentions but I want to make sure you understand why the Softimage community is getting nervous.


my 2 cents
jb




On 27 Jul 2010, at 16:13, Jason Brynford-Jones wrote:

I thought the last time I wrote something like this, would be the last time.
 
I am beginning to sound like a broken record; a record no-one obviously likes listening to.  So perhaps this really is the last time I will play this message as it seems to make no difference.
 
 
Marketing
It seems now the Softimage community is only focusing on Autodesk’s marketing as the barometer for Soft’s future.  Not “no marketing” but “less marketing” than 3ds Max and Maya.  Or that the new Max and Maya products WITH Softimage means no more Softimage?  This does not make sense.
 
New Max and Maya Suites
From all our interviews Max and Maya customers want Softimage (not just ICE, but ICE is often a big reason) in their toolsets.  At an affordable price, that interops well.  OK let’s give it to them, in the way they want it.
 
There are many more Max and Maya customers than Softimage.  Having product suites branded with the name 3ds Max or Maya are obviously targeted at selling to them.  This represents a massive potential for Softimage.  You might not agree with the naming, but you can’t argue the logic.
 
Softimage as a standalone product is of course continuing as before (with some very exciting stuff in the works) and having the standalone product available to all Max and Maya users is a huge endorsement of Softimage and commitment by Autodesk..
 
Development
Since the acquisition there has been repeated fear-mongering about Soft’s future.  Even though in that time, we have had two major releases (3 in the last two years) and one minor (check what others have done in this time) and of course there is more to come. 
 
Even though we have exceeded revenue expectations, even though we are expanding our development.  Even though fundamentally NOTHING HAS CHANGED, people choose to focus simply on a lack of marketing and not Autodesk Softimage’s track record.
 
We still manage our own roadmap, with the exception of working well with other Autodesk apps.  Something everyone has asked for repeatedly, especially ICE interop.  
 
Our philosophy will continue around ICE as the architecture on which to build – that includes one day moving into modeling.  We have not abandoned other parts of the Software (see the list at the end of this mail) far from it - we have a very well defined focus and future.
 
Final thoughts – for this is the last time I will do this.
 
If you take one thing away from this mail, it is this.
 
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
The future of Softimage is bright… click
 
It really is…
 
Chinny
 
 
PS: Lest you forget….
The F-Curve Editor is now considerably faster than ever before – especially when dealing with large numbers of curves or large numbers of keys.

Frank Lenhard

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 12:29:47 PM7/27/10
to Jason Brynford-Jones
thanks Chinny

ciao
franky

> It really is...

> Chinny


> PS: Lest you forget....

> 7.5

> 2010

> Scalability and Performance

> Freeze
> Greatly improved

> Performance Tools


> Complexity Management

> ICE Tree

> ICE


> Modeling


> Animation


> SDK


> Scripting

> UI


> 2011

> Custom Dynamic Shader creation

> Many Object Model Changes

> many C++ API Changes


____________
Virus checked by G Data AntiVirus
Version: AVA 21.1684 dated 27.07.2010
Virus news: www.antiviruslab.com

Williams, Wayne

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Jul 27, 2010, 12:56:30 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com

As a Softimage user from XSI v3 on I can say I have never regretted the time I’ve invested in learning it. There were times I had to learn other apps to get jobs (maya/max) but that’s the nature of the beast. Sink or Swim.

 

I’m very excited about the outlook for Softimage, especially with it being bundled with max/maya. How many more people/studios will now have a license of Softimage to learn with?! There really doesn’t seem to be any reason for alarm, but more for rejoicing. Autodesk didn’t kill Soft. Development has continued at a steady pace as they said it would. Lagoa was all over the internet just a week ago and now we find out we’ll be able to get our hands on it! Be happy guys! I know I’ve been a bit put off by the seemingly skewed marketing but honestly, this really looks like a good decision on Autodesk’s part.

 

Thanks for the detailed response yet again Chinny. I think it’s helped ease the hands on many a kittens neck.

 

-wayne

Tim Marinov

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 1:21:05 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thanks a lot Chinny! This is what we needed to hear!

Greg Punchatz

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 3:21:33 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
"It is simple for me to be nervous of AD not celebrating Softimage 20 aniversary but doing so for Max."

I think you have been misinformed , I have a 20th anniversary shirt from a few years ago, pre Autodesk.




Greg Punchatz
Sr. Creative Director
Janimation
214.823.7760
www.janimation.com


Juhani Karlsson

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 3:24:22 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Hehe, internet masspanic is sometimes quite tricky. : ) Theres some awesome stuff happenin in softimage front. I would say its really creating some buzz in the industry.
This is the moment when we should be marketing SI as an artists. Its a fact that SI userbase is quite small and oldschool, thats why it wont come up, because theres no 17 yo kids shouting for it in deviantart.
Now for first time in long time lagoa really got some views and thats the type hype Softimage should ride. Everybody hates hype, but its the way to collect some intrest.


2010/7/27 Tim Marinov <tim.m...@gmail.com>

Jeff McFall

unread,
Jul 27, 2010, 3:35:04 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com

thank you very much, I appreciate your taking the time to give this response.

 

Sorry it needs repeating but there seems to be a need for it to keep us sensitive types from getting too frazzled.

Perception in the absence of stimulus can lead to all sorts of unwarranted conclusions.

 

Jeff

 

 

From: softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com [mailto:softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com] On Behalf Of Jason Brynford-Jones
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:13 AM
To: soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Subject: A Softimage message

 

I thought the last time I wrote something like this, would be the last time.

 

I am beginning to sound like a broken record; a record no-one obviously likes listening to.  So perhaps this really is the last time I will play this message as it seems to make no difference.

 

 

Marketing

It seems now the Softimage community is only focusing on Autodesk’s marketing as the barometer for Soft’s future.  Not “no marketing” but “less marketing” than 3ds Max and Maya.  Or that the new Max and Maya products WITH Softimage means no more Softimage?  This does not make sense.

 

New Max and Maya Suites

From all our interviews Max and Maya customers want Softimage (not just ICE, but ICE is often a big reason) in their toolsets.  At an affordable price, that interops well.  OK let’s give it to them, in the way they want it.

 

There are many more Max and Maya customers than Softimage.  Having product suites branded with the name 3ds Max or Maya are obviously targeted at selling to them.  This represents a massive potential for Softimage.  You might not agree with the naming, but you can’t argue the logic.

 

Softimage as a standalone product is of course continuing as before (with some very exciting stuff in the works) and having the standalone product available to all Max and Maya users is a huge endorsement of Softimage and commitment by Autodesk..

 

Development

Since the acquisition there has been repeated fear-mongering about Soft’s future.  Even though in that time, we have had two major releases (3 in the last two years) and one minor (check what others have done in this time) and of course there is more to come. 

 

Even though we have exceeded revenue expectations, even though we are expanding our development.  Even though fundamentally NOTHING HAS CHANGED, people choose to focus simply on a lack of marketing and not Autodesk Softimage’s track record.

 

We still manage our own roadmap, with the exception of working well with other Autodesk apps.  Something everyone has asked for repeatedly, especially ICE interop.  

 

Our philosophy will continue around ICE as the architecture on which to build – that includes one day moving into modeling.  We have not abandoned other parts of the Software (see the list at the end of this mail) far from it - we have a very well defined focus and future.

 

Final thoughts – for this is the last time I will do this.

 

If you take one thing away from this mail, it is this.

 

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

The future of Softimage is bright… click

 

It really is…

 

Chinny

 

 

PS: Lest you forget….

 

Feature bullet lists since acquisition:

The F-Curve Editor is now considerably faster than ever before – especially when dealing with large numbers of curves or large numbers of keys.

Steven Caron

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Jul 27, 2010, 3:36:03 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
ya, that was boston siggraph! they did this presentation at the UG meeting going back 20 years. showing softimage 3d and showing greg in some punk rock/glam photo, and a baby picture of me when i was.. 4years old i think.

s

Takayuki Watanabe

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Jul 27, 2010, 6:16:45 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thank's Chinny for the mail.
I bet every softimage user is nervous hearing Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium, or Autodesk 3ds Max ....
but we can't blame anybody because how it appealed in front of us was how it is. (name branding = plugin?)

It's so nice to having this kind of mail clearing things up.
 



Get the new Internet Explorer 8 optimized for Yahoo! JAPAN

Raffaele Fragapane

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Jul 27, 2010, 7:15:58 PM7/27/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
I don't know why everybody keeps going on about the 20th anniversary, especially considering that it was in 2006 :)
Quarter of a century should be March(?) next year though.

Probably they mean the 10th anniversary of the XSI launch, that was actually not long ago.
I haven't seen AD celebrating the maya anniversaries either though, only max because it was born and bred there, so not particularly fussed.

Jeremie Passerin

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Jul 28, 2010, 3:18:46 AM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Will there be any announcement about the Softimage development during Siggraph ? or any time soon ?

miquel campos

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Jul 28, 2010, 6:22:51 AM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
More questions :)

About Lagoa, will be available separately like a  softimage plug-in? or you should have maintenance contract to get access ?

Thanks

2010/7/28 Jeremie Passerin <gere...@gmail.com>

John Pierre van der linden

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Jul 28, 2010, 8:07:32 AM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Personally I as mad as hell.

Not over the marketing, that's a strategy that they want and decided on given numbers etc then that's their choice. Fair enough.
I'm as mad as hell over the 2 steps forwards one step back in development. Like particle volume working in 2010 but broken in 2011 (as seen on here).
That is MUCH more of a concern, that is MUCH more of a product and production killer, than any kind of marketing foobars.
That is what should be resolved, and NOT expect users to wait around for another year for it to get resolved.

my 2c

JP

Luc-Eric Rousseau

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Jul 28, 2010, 10:52:27 AM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
It's a little frustrating, but right now at Autodesk is only
announcing the new Premium Suite.
In the future, they'll be Softimage announcements, but afaik that's
its for this month. Has to do with financial quarters and all
again...

kim aldis

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Jul 28, 2010, 11:22:41 AM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
I'm sorry but that's the name of the game. Unless you've found software that doesn't break. If you have, please let me know because I've been doing this for 30 years and it eludes me.

Stephen Davidson

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Jul 28, 2010, 1:11:48 PM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
AMEN! been there... bought the t-shirt.
just look at Adobe Creative Suites...
I'll say no more :)

Best regards,

Stephen P. Davidson
3D Animation Magic
7586 Pinewalk Drive South
Margate, FL 33063
(954) 552-7956

My website is GREEN! Make your website green, as well!
Please click, below, for more info.

affiliate_link

John Pierre van der linden

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Jul 28, 2010, 2:48:35 PM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Tell that to the person who gets the creative suite and for the first time runs softimage. Only to find it does not render the particle volumes correctly. (Or are you supposed to render them now in Maya? )

How do you think they will feel about Softimage?

Only for someone to add insult to injury ....oh ...it used to work in the old version. But you cant save to prev versions. Sorry.

Box ---- into the bin. Forget all those marketing plans.



my 3c
jp

Stephen Blair

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Jul 28, 2010, 2:58:51 PM7/28/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
You can workaround that by going in the ICE Tree and doing something to "dirty" the tree (eg plug in a new node).

Or you could try this workaround:
In the explorer under Point Cloud click on Particle display
Change the display from Automatic to something else and then back to Automatic
The render now shows the proper volume cloud

From: softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com [mailto:softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com] On Behalf Of John Pierre van der linden
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:49 PM
To: soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Subject: Re: A Softimage message

Tell that to the person who gets the creative suite and for the first time runs softimage. Only to find it does not render the particle volumes correctly. (Or are you supposed to render them now in Maya? )

How do you think they will feel about Softimage?

Only for someone to add insult to injury ....oh ...it used to work in the old version. But you cant save to prev versions. Sorry.

Box ---- into the bin. Forget all those marketing plans.

my 3c
jp

winmail.dat

kim aldis

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Jul 30, 2010, 2:32:29 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Or you could drop a note to this forum and ask how other people work around this kind of thing. As you can see from Stephen's response, it usually works.

Once again, this is part of life in CGI. It happens in Maya, it happens in Houdini, it happens in Max, it happens everywhere. We demand state of the art. bleeding edge from the people who build the software we use. Most of the time we get state of the art and a lot of the stuff we get to use is nothing short of amazing. But there's a price to pay, and this is it. The guys who are good with this software appreciate that and their skill and talent is making it do extraordinary things regardless of what's thrown in their faces.


>
>
> From: softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com [mailto:softimag...@listproc.autodesk.com] On Behalf Of John Pierre van der linden
> Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:49 PM
> To: soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
> Subject: Re: A Softimage message
>
> Tell that to the person who gets the creative suite and for the first time runs softimage. Only to find it does not render the particle volumes correctly. (Or are you supposed to render them now in Maya? )
>
> How do you think they will feel about Softimage?
>
> Only for someone to add insult to injury ....oh ...it used to work in the old version. But you cant save to prev versions. Sorry.
>
> Box ---- into the bin. Forget all those marketing plans.
>
>
>
> my 3c
> jp
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM, kim aldis <k...@kim-aldis.co.uk<mailto:k...@kim-aldis.co.uk>> wrote:
> I'm sorry but that's the name of the game. Unless you've found software that doesn't break. If you have, please let me know because I've been doing this for 30 years and it eludes me.
>
>
> On 28 Jul 2010, at 13:07, John Pierre van der linden wrote:
>
>> Personally I as mad as hell.
>>
>> Not over the marketing, that's a strategy that they want and decided on given numbers etc then that's their choice. Fair enough.
>> I'm as mad as hell over the 2 steps forwards one step back in development. Like particle volume working in 2010 but broken in 2011 (as seen on here).
>> That is MUCH more of a concern, that is MUCH more of a product and production killer, than any kind of marketing foobars.
>> That is what should be resolved, and NOT expect users to wait around for another year for it to get resolved.
>>
>
>

> <winmail.dat>


Tim Leydecker

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Jul 30, 2010, 6:04:22 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Hi folks,

been enjoying my holidays, lost track of what�s the lastest
XP64//XSI version and hotfix or update build?

I find it a bit difficult to keep on track, even thought I am
on support for both Maya and XSI, whenever there�s new patches
or new builds, I have to find out myself instead of getting
a heads up by e-mail, informing me about the effort put in by support...

Cheers

tim

P.S: 6 weeks of recreational log-off are a long time, I know.
Seems every damn app I ever bought has been updated ...

Stephen Blair

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Jul 30, 2010, 6:13:35 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
winmail.dat

Tim Leydecker

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Jul 30, 2010, 6:20:08 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Gracias, Steve!

You guys do great work. I�ve had alot more work
(e.g. paid work, not more effort) since starting
to use Softimage/XSI in addition to sticking w/Maya.

Cheers

tim

John Pierre van der linden

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Jul 30, 2010, 6:21:46 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Its all about OOBE Kim.

This is referred to by industrial and product designers as the OOBE or the Out Of Box Experience.

Every year millions of products are returned by consumers. In reality only 5% have flaws; 27% are returned because purchasers changed their minds, while a massive 68% of returns are because users think that the product does not work - or at least not the way they expected it to. The cost of poor out of box experience is USD13.8 billion per year in the US alone.

A smooth OOBE creates a lasting impression with your customers and strengthens your brand perception.

The out-of-box experience affects one of the potentially most difficult and stressful interactions a user will have with the product, when the least is known about the product’s capabilities and interaction style. It can also be one of the most likely points at which a user will call customer support, so that improvements in this experience may result in significant cost savings in customer support and reduction in customer complaints.

In relation to the question I mention having example scene files that don't render is a classical example of bad OOBE. Unless Autodesk include comp slip explaining that this list exists, which many first time and long time users will not know.

As stated I personally don't have any problem with their marketing to trying to leverage the existing customer base, that clearly is a simple and effective first option. Not to realize the experience these first time users will get is a classic mistake - made by many companies. This has the potential as i stated to relegate softimage as a product that a) gives problems b) does not work or c) was poorly implemented.

As for a solution, I can see no good reason why there is not a suite of scripts, since softimage has this capability, to run each of those in the suite against any new version, and check the output, be it in the form of a log and or a rendered image. That's good software management practice and good business practice too .

JP

Luc-Eric Rousseau

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Jul 30, 2010, 9:19:31 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Actually, Softimage every day goes goes through 18 hours of automated
testing on a farm of computers, the product is in beta testing
year-around at hundreds of beta sites, we've asked everyone their
production show stoppers and produced a service pack for 2011 this is
the first time that I hear anyone saying that the product doesn't work
out of the box. It's not like we upload this on the web without
testing. There seems to be a genuine refresh problem with the particle
cloud shader, however looks like this was discussed on this list only
4 weeks ago, two weeks after we had time to make a service pack. I'm
baffled as to what we could have done better, given that the product
has been in beta since November 2009, but I'll be discussing with QA.
The problem was only reported through support about three weeks ago.
We are investigating it.

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 3:21 AM, John Pierre van der linden
<jpvdl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Its all about OOBE Kim.
>
> This is referred to by industrial and product designers as the OOBE or the
> Out Of Box Experience.
>
> Every year millions of products are returned by consumers. In reality only
> 5% have flaws; 27% are returned because purchasers changed their minds,
> while a massive 68% of returns are because users think that the product does
> not work - or at least not the way they expected it to. The cost of poor out
> of box experience is USD13.8 billion per year in the US alone.
>
> A smooth OOBE creates a lasting impression with your customers and
> strengthens your brand perception.
>
> The out-of-box experience affects one of the potentially most difficult and
> stressful interactions a user will have with the product, when the least is

> known about the product�s capabilities and interaction style. It can also be

Christopher Tedin

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Jul 30, 2010, 11:05:07 AM7/30/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Soft 2011 64 bit sp1, as far as I know.

Andy Moorer

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Aug 1, 2010, 2:25:35 PM8/1/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Thanks Chin. But I have to tell you I would have preferred to have heard you say all this during siggraph, at the autodesk booth, daily.

Speaking directly to XSI users is great. But producers don't read the XSI list. Every XSI job starts with a battle to get clients to understand why using "nonstandard" software is worth the "risk."

Every attempt to maintain or build an XSI pipeline faces a similar battle.

And every job with XSI depends on finding enough artists well versed in XSI, which in itself is a huge difficulty.

And all of that is dependent on Autodesk's marketing.

The future of XSI isn't bright if those of us who want to use it can't get the people with money to ok our using it... something I've seen happen on an entire series of feature film projects and prospective new studios.

It isn't that we don't appreciate what is being done to improve and extend XSI... try hearing us when we say that we need this package to be highly visible as badly as we need any other improvement to the software. 

I spend more of my time in production in Maya than XSI these days, but not out of choice. I won't have a choice, however, if you guys don't get XSI in the 'public' eye.

Arvid Björn

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Aug 2, 2010, 2:32:59 AM8/2/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
First thing I saw when I walked into the exhibition floor was Lagoa on
a huge Autodesk screen, that made me a little tingly at least ;) The
Moondust user group from 07 was great, but maybe hard to top still in
terms of the reveal effect, however I think user groups are important
in a group-hug sort of way, and especially good for Soft if it was a
3-part show with Softimage sandwiched between Max and Maya demos.
Autodesk is in the position to project the feel of equal importance
between the three apps, even if they had to lie - which they don't
have to - it seems to make sense to present their acquisition of Soft
as a big step forward for all of Autodesk users, and especially to
make sure no one sees it as the usual buy-and-bury-strategy.
Since Soft is largely a better app anyway, the only problem it may
have is low visibility. The Lagoa demo did a great job at putting a
spot light on Soft this year, so cheers Thiago and everyone at the
booth. :)

Would've loved to see an Arnold demo in Soft somewhere though, just
for visibility. Sony made some nice bumps for Arnold in their Alice in
Wonderland-talk as well.

--
lead 3d artist | stockholm.postproduction | www.stopp.se

Steven Caron

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Aug 2, 2010, 2:45:47 AM8/2/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
"... Sony made some nice bumps for Arnold in their Alice in
Wonderland-talk as well."

they sure did, all of our lighting guys saw this and are begging for a max plugin. too bad it doesn't exist yet ;)

s

2010/8/1 Arvid Björn <arvid...@gmail.com>

Sandy Sutherland

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Aug 2, 2010, 2:54:49 AM8/2/10
to soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
So - use it from Softimage instead - ;-)

S.