XSI foundation under $500!

Community Forums/Developer Stations/XSI foundation under $500!

BHoltzman(Posted 2004) [#1]
This is one of the best deals around today!

I'm a big proponent of this software package. For game making it's hard to beat. It also includes $200 worth of free training tutorials. That's 6 DVD's full of video training and tutorial projects. 1 documentation cd (over 5000 pages of documentation for those that like to read), 1 tutorial cd, 1 materials cd and 1 software cd.

I'm not being paid to advertise this software and I don't own stock in the company. I'm only telling people about it because I use it and I'm truly impressed with it. Often times when I see what other people have done with XSI, I can't tell that I'm looking at CG. It's really good software! It can help you set up unprecedentedly high quality art resources for your games and 3d apps. It's time to raise the bar on what we produce.

The software is fast and robust and it's the main software used in creating art resources for games like Half-life 2, Prince of Persia, Rainbow Six 3. It's also used in top of the line movies like all 3 Harry Potter movies, Return of the Kings, Star Wars II, etc...

If anyone is interested in checking it out there is a free 30 day trail. (don't expect to be able to master xsi in 30 days though, there's just too much to learn. But if you're an experienced 3d modeler/texturer/animator you'll probably become comfortable and productive in a matter of hours to a couple of days.)

Free Trail Link:

Here is an early review written by Ed Harris, for anyone interested in learning about some of the new features in version 4. (Foundation, the lowest version doesn't have all of the features reviewed, but it has most of them.)


And finally, here is a feature comparison chart to help you determine which version works best for you.

(edit: had the wrong link. Here's the link I intended to put in)

I'm not sure how long the training package will be included for free, but it's an amazing deal guys!

Skitchy(Posted 2004) [#2]
I agree that its a truly amazing deal. The only 'problem' is the lack of a .b3d exporter. In fact, I would like to see a Torque exporter too.

I was reading something about their native file format being 'a simple ASCII format', which would be excellent for writing a loader/convertor (for whatever engine).

I believe there is already a .x exporter, but obviously this wont you to use all those lovely Blitz surface FX. You could hack them in with Ultimate Unwrap, but its a time waster.

I'm VERY tempted to get this though - especially with all those DVDs - got to be more fun than *reading* right ;)

Skitchy(Posted 2004) [#3]
Oooooh...check this out (from the review posted above)
Custom Display Host
The custom display host is pretty amazing. It let's you open any foreign application (such as a game engine) in a viewport. This means that a game developer can now run and test the game directly within XSI, no need to export everything anymore. You can easily play the game and test it, using a joystick or the keyboard . The custom view can also affect XSI's scene (ex: a user could select/modify a mountain in XSI, the mountain highlights would get highlighted/modified in the game viewer. Conversely, one could fly through the mountains on the game engine and see the camera in the XSI scene update accordingly. It is even possible to run another 2d or 3d application within the XSI viewport.

[/drooling all over the keyboard]

BHoltzman(Posted 2004) [#4]
I haven't studied the scripting in XSI yet, but I think there are something like 5 languages you can work in. There is also a c++ sdk if you want. You'll be able to easily create a .b3d exporter if you've got the skills and desire.

There is also an ftk. (File Transfer Kit) I think that's the name of it. You'll be able to port dotXSI into other engines easily. XSI is really flexible in a 3d pipeline.

Skitchy, I love the CDH. But I think that's not included in foundation. You'll have to go one level up to get it. That will give you

Floating interactive XSI seat
texture layering
polygon reduction and custom display host
Advanced Rigs
Guides and Motion Deform
Rigid Body Dynamics
Standalone mental ray v.3.3 rendering ("ray.exe")
Satellite distributed tile acceleration
Creation and Editing of Referenced Models*
Creation and Editing of Scripted Operators.

$2000 for this level "Essentials" I don't think many Blitz game developers would be wanting anything over the Essentials level. The advanced level costs $7000 and adds these tools. (mostly tools for film and video work)

Hair and Fur
Syflex Advanced Cloth
Additional Batch Rendering
FX Tree Compositing
2D Vector and Raster Paint
2D Tracking and Stabilizing

I'm assuming the FX Tree compositing will work with realtime shaders as well as the 2d Vector and Raster Paint. If you're going to be doing a project with shaders then this is a powerful combination.

I ordered my upgrade about a week ago, so far I've been waiting for them to send it. It looks like Softimage is doing a lot of business right now. They've been backlogged to about a week's turn around time.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#5]
"But if you're an experienced 3d modeler/texturer/animator you'll probably become comfortable and productive in a matter of hours to a couple of days.)"

That I did. I think there was already a post about this in this comunity...

As I said there, I already purchased it for that price. I used a couple of afternoons(and I had NEVER seen it before) or less, and was able to do what I am mainly wanting of it: basic ik and bones/weighting stuff, togethe rwith joint pinning, something I was hoping to see in Blender, but i guess it'll take a huge while yet.

It's in some aspects simlar to some of the other packages I have handled -otherwise I would not have guessed, as I didn't read a single help or doc line-

I got satisfied after that pair of afternoons. Checked the x export -there is where I needed some more effort, but as allways: any tool have its issues with x exporting...mainly it was an issue of ultimate unwrap importing it with certain settings used in xsi export (I had to install the addon, it does not comes with XSI. happily, th etrial was not limited to use plugins/addons)

I saw i could perfectly use to convert to b3d, or directly to x for many other engines, though my main purpose is continue modelling in my lovely Wings (PERFECT OBJ import, preserving well normals, something rare in many packages, this is included natively) and uv mapping in Ultimate Unwrap, and as export to x, can even uvmap after rigging, or fix stuff (as in general, I prefer to go modelling-uvmapping-texturing-animation)

Now I am just waiting it arrives, but the trial still stays, so I may play with it a bit till then. I never liked to learn using manuals, videtuts, or even tuts... I tend to just load the tool , and start "guessing"...if is like Blender, that I found a very different UI than anything seen, it may need a bit of looking into docs, but not much.
Dunno, I was allways not very fond of videotuts, but heh, if they come,I'll make use of it, as they're a gift! ;)

What i only know, is , it is a tool that have the character tools I need; I can use a similar workflow (after some hotkeys and ui customizing as I did that day) than using character Studio in Max, which is my favourite for that.

But I find I am really liking the XSI bones... Though yep, I imagine for not very experienced 3d users it can be a bit intimidating at first...but is not the desertic rude ui some imagine...Nobody hate me for this, but though I like Blender, my very first impression of Blender's UI was much more hostile than the feeling of the other day...then again, could be as I come from Blender right now, and a load of other packages.

In the other thread was commented now the other companies could do their move, maya and max having reduced versions at that price tag too...it can become really interesting for us artists...

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#6]
heh yeah, allthough all the levels for POP were made in 3dsmax judging by the game dev tricks and tips videos on the 3dsmax site. and splinter cell too I believe.

Can't deny that XSI is a great package, th eoriginal old softimage was pretty awesome if you could get around the weird interface.

BHoltzman(Posted 2004) [#7]
Bob3d, You're method of learning is good since you get what you want out of the software. But if you really want to understand how to get the most out of the tools in XSI I'd strongly suggest you take the time to at least go through the tutorials and video tutorial DVD's. You'll get a comprehensive look at common tool use scenarios and some background info to help you understand the tool design philosophy. For instance, something that I just learned this morning was in using the Toon: Paint and Host shader, you won't get your pen outlines that are commonly seen in cartoons, even though there is an ink setting in the shader's property editor. You've got to apply a lens shader to the camera for the ink. I wouldn't have figured this out just by guessing and then I wouldn't have been able to get the outline effect with the toon shader. Although I could have rigged my own using an incidence shader. But it's not nearly as robust and convenient as the lens shader.

A lot of the tools in XSI are like this. You'll be able to use the tools in ways that you probably wouldn't just be able to guess.

However, you can be amazingly productive with XSI using the tools on their simplest level.

boomboom(Posted 2004) [#8]
Yes, I am waiting to see if maya comes down, if not i am going to purchase XSI

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#9]
I want 3DSMax to go down so I can just buy that instead of having to even comptemplate purchasing other 3D software!

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#10]
in case anyone needs more info, might find it in this thread:


c5ven(Posted 2004) [#11]
doubt maya will come down. possible they'll spin off a lower-cost product, but they've grabbed alot of market share and can sit it out a bit.

i'm kinda waiting for Max to go under.

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#12]
Max to go under ... like out of business?

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#13]
nah max won't go under, its still the most popular 3D app of all of them, particularly in Games. And has outsold all the other 3D apps combined multiple times. Thats also the reason its so damned expensive, people are still buying it in droves despite the high price so they don't need to drop the price.

Lightwave was scraping the barrel for years between V 5.6 and 7.0, And Maya and softimage almost went under around 2000,01. Alias were so close to scraping the barrel that one year they couldn't afford to give out fre Tshirts like everyone else, but did charge and as far as I know never stopped lol.

Max has so far been the only one that hasn't ben close to going under and has sold over 300,000 full price licenses. Part of its strength is that it was developed around CAD and architecture and borrows many porinciples from there that makes it particularly good as a level editor.

I just hope they hurt enough to cut their pricing to something more affordable, $3000 is the price things were 3 years ago, rally hope they release a range of Max products much like Maya with Maya complete, Maya unlimited etc.

It took 4 years for XSI to get a foothold in the market again, But I think it's now here to stay :)

The only reaon Softimage exists at all is thanks to Microsoft, who bought it in the mid 90's about the ame time that it was ported to the PC, after which they sold it off again. I know they have a big stake in OpenGl, and bought a great deal of silicon graphics reserch and technology a fe years ago.

all th details are a bit foggy now as this is going back a bit hehe.

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#14]

alot of people think a 3d app is going down. there's a thread on CGTalk about that. my money's on Max.

BHoltzman(Posted 2004) [#15]
I don't know what Softimage's financial outlook is. But I do know that they're selling so much software right now that it's taken them 1.5 weeks to get to my order. That means they've got all the business they can handle at the moment. Most of their orders are coming from the online version of foundation. Since thats mostly an automatic process, I'd say Softimage is doing pretty good for themselves right now.

Last time I ordered from them the product was available immediately. So I'm guessing the wait isn't due to inefficiency.

I see intelligent, well thought out decision making with what Softimage is doing right now. They're winning back market share by creating consumer need for product updates. There's nothing wrong with that. It makes the market more competitive and gives the consumer more choices. It also helps train new artists to work in the studios in the near future.

I was convinced to update.

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#16]

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#17]
Where's the discussion about one going out of business?

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#18]
don't know, but there are always rumours. Also heard rumours that Aplpe were buying Discreet. Allthough in the press a few months back they were porting 3dsmax to the mac too so who knows.

Also a lot of rumours that lightwave was going to get bought by Apple, and Lightwave has allways been the least successfull 3D app of all the big ones.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#19]
It would surprise me if someone said me max was falling. Mostly , as is the one that I'd expect to fall the latest...

I read not long ago some statistics that demonstrated that gam houses are still majorly using max, while the increase of Maya has been enormous, but it was more what was said than the reality...the statistics I read are way mor erecent than the general impression on internet that maya was equal or leading...this all in realtime videogames companies, not other fields, of course.

But is a matter of wait and see what happens now, as could be a random or clever decission from XSI, or could be just a first step of market huge change, I don't know. EXP version of XSI was also quite more generous and full than the other 2 le versions...so , could be in their general line of work.

max is a neck saver in videogame company. I worked in 2 doing 3d for games, and really, tehre was allways an script for the weirder thing, or simply max was more compatible or had included more functional game related (levels, rendering lightmaps, etc) stuff...


"Bob3d, You're method of learning is good since you get what you want out of the software. But if you really want to understand how to get the most out of the tools in XSI I'd strongly suggest you take the time to at least go through the tutorials and video tutorial DVD's"

Is just that firstly i learned at home as for fun...but also...well, in my experience, in the small companies I have been, I never have the time to grab a book and read a simple chapter, not even to check something in the help file...Stuff was wanted every minute for yesterday, and my do-just-the-job method did put less nervous to my bosses... :(

So, is a generated bad habit, and evil vice... And also, I have more fun, but what you say is allways been better, the ideal situation. As Th XSI is for at-home use, and well, heck, they're including those DVDs in the price, I may watch some parts of it...But I have never been patient enough... ;) I suppose I always though studying as my every day job in other areas (long ago since I passed the age of studying anything, lol) , while drawing/2d/3d was just fun.

Also, I have been a tester (and "improver") of several 3d tools, often given me as a hang-by-second alpha, not even just without help or docs: often lacking names for th ebuttons, buttons not working, and drastic bugs in every touch of an ui element.

When you touch something like Max (but for me till now, high end was just for working at jobs, never expected one of the big names lower so much the price, only thing I miss is hair , and for hi res stuff, only) or XSI, you now that's another world.

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#20]

N(Posted 2004) [#21]
I might just buy it actually. The price is right.

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#22]
Yeah, tis a good deal.

Big&(Posted 2004) [#23]
299 for a really good package is fantastic. Think it will be worth learning if only to stop my mind been totally Max orientated.

N(Posted 2004) [#24]
Big&: If you want to just try it out first I'd suggest getting the XSI Experience version (free version sortof like Maya Personal Learning Edition, 'cept no watermarks).

It's a really great program, just going off my experience with XSI Exp- streamlined, easy to pick up and use, and the poly tools are amazing.

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#25]

didn't read all of it. reason i pick Max is that there was another discussion on software prices in Europe. Discreet had the highest mark-ups. half the crowd (as expected) cried "Price Fixing". having worked within corporations and sat in on issues of getting a product from sketch to shelf in different countries, i wasn't so quick to judge. so i asked questions. and i spent quite a bit of time studying up on the EU. even contacted some finance types i know to help me figure other things out. Discreet/Max just happened to be the one i was looking at b/c of the complaints.

here's what i think i know:

- Discreet's pricing has inexplicably failed to move down with the market. they were once the lowest priced, now they're the highest (this is NOT an automatic indication of popularity)
- Max still has not had a code rewrite. the legacy code is tolerated by long-time users b/c they know the work-arounds, but the problems persist
- the plug-ins which once were so great aren't so special anymore; most follow no standard interface (i've been told) and can be difficult to deal with for new users
- Discreet has closed most of their offices in Europe
- Discreet's significantly higher prices in the EU suggest distribution inefficiencies
- Discreet has no Learning Edition (to my knowledge) other than GMax which hasn't been nearly the success it could have been and has been overshadowed by Maya w UT2k3 and now SoftImage w HL2 (soon)
- Discreet once solely enjoyed the support of Brazil and VRay; Brazil will soon be supported by Rhino (and Rhino users traditionally use Max for renderings), and VRay will add support for Maya
- Discreet added Mental Ray AFTER Maya added Mental Ray (indicating a reactive posture instead of a proactive one)

<if i'm incorrect on any the above points, please correct me>

all these signs don't add up to a strong company imo. i think the EU pricing is indicative of a company using the EU to overcome internal monetary shortcomings (further indicated by the office closures). in addition, the office closures indicate the loss of large clients (the only good reason to have such personalized service); not good as they bring in good predictable revenue whereas individuals are unstable and able to switch will less hesitance. lastly, as interfaces start to either be more customizable or just plain similar, the reluctance to move to another platform is reduced, so those companies currently using Max might be planning their migrations now - expecting them to occur over 2-4 years as proprietary code is rewritten for the new platform. and they'll do it not just to save money, but to move to a more stable package.

anyways, that's what i'm thinking...

boomboom(Posted 2004) [#26]
i agree there csven, unless discreet and newtek (lightwave) catch up in terms of productivity, ui, workflow, features, stability....etc then they are going to have hard times ahead. The 3D products that are going strong are:

Cinema 4D

3dmax and lightwave really need some kind of dynamic pricing and a overhall of the UI.

Anyway, I have been playing with XSI following some video tutorials and ooooooo baby, i am starting to get used to it, so when my student loan kicks in....cha....ching.

the good thing i see if for teams, a team (and animation company etc) can but 10 licences of foundation for 3000, that is amazing. have all the animators and modelers working on them, then just buy one licence of advanced to do all of the special effects and inbuilt compisitor etc. so 11 licences for 6000ish very nice.

Jeremy Alessi(Posted 2004) [#27]
Man ... makes me want XSI that's pretty cool for so cheap.

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#28]
um, as far as renderers go, Discreet own mental ray I think. Or at least they were the people licencing it out these past 3 years. And Max 8 is a complete rewrite and well under way for a 2005/6 release.

THe higher prices have allways been there in Europe, for students they have actually improved. When I was a student the educational version wasn't avaliable to EU students at all, only Educational establishments could get it at the educational price. My uni said that they could buy me a copy for 1000lbs (most UK prices are LBS for dollars thats pretty normal too).

3dsmax has a pretty good UI that's easy to use and plugins use the standard UI formats, certainly no harder than Maya.

XSI is by far the youngest and has had the best opportunity to learn from seeing what the older apps do. Max codebase is 1 or 2 years older than Maya and 3-4 years older than XSI's thats true.

Max is used more and more in Visual effects, more so than Lightwave by some margin these days. Allthough ALias and softimage have allways ruled that sector.

Max still dominates the games industry, and a large portin of Cad visualization, as most people prefer max to VIZ.

Discreet also own combustion, which is pretty much as industry standard for post effects in the TV and movie industry, along with their other tools. Max has also brken into the web based 3d in a big way, and has outsole all the other 3D apps ar least 5-1.

Lightwave has the smallest userbase, and if anyone is going it will be them. I'm just glad that XSI made it as it was pretty ropey for a number of years, and part of the reason that they may have released the low price version might have been to increase market share, as they don't have a very big one thus far. Being the youngest, and people moving to other Apps when they were floundering ion the verge of bankruptcy between 1999 and 2002.

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#29]
um, as far as renderers go, Discreet own mental ray I think. Or at least they were the people licencing it out these past 3 years.

"own mental ray"??? you sure about that? and they were bundling it for the last three years??? news to me. [EDIT: http://www.avvideo.com/2003/07_jul/news/mentalray0729.htm ]

And Max 8 is a complete rewrite and well under way for a 2005/6 release.

last to the party. assuming it releases 2005/06 and not later. and of course there will be the growing pains. can they survive that with all the price wars?

THe higher prices have allways been there in Europe...

not what i said. their prices are higher in the EU beyond what other company's add to their prices. they add a greater percentage to the US base price than others. and we're talking regular licenses, not educational versions which have the least profit margin.

3dsmax has a pretty good UI that's easy to use and plugins use the standard UI formats, certainly no harder than Maya.

again, you didn't read my comments accurately. most UI's are migrating to similarity (i've even heard Max and LW are already starting to look like Maya and SoftImage, tho i don't know). and unless you use both Max and Maya, you aren't really qualified to say "certainly no harder than Maya". my source uses both apps and gave me the info on the differing plug-ins for Max being an issue sometimes; and Maya is most often hyped for MEL which is arguably the best part of the package, so your comment falls a little flat to me.

XSI is by far the youngest and has had the best opportunity to learn from seeing what the older apps do.

huh? SoftImage set the standard for interfaces a very long time ago. back when movie studios made models in PowerAnimator and actually animated in SoftImage. XSI is just another generation in an evolution of consistently excellent software. i'd venture they've been the UI leader most - if not all - the way.

Max is used more and more in Visual effects, more so than Lightwave by some margin these days.

this is based on what source? please don't say "Discreet".

Max still dominates the games industry

but appears to have lost some share to Maya and now losing to SoftImage. it's never good to lose market share.

and a large portin of Cad visualization, as most people prefer max to VIZ.

most of the visualization I see using Max is done by people using a legit CAD package (Rhino, AutoCAD, etc) and a pirated copy of Max (which doesn't help the company make money). Rhino is really taking off in China based on my design friends over there, and they almost always render using pirated copies of Max. with Brazil for Rhino, Max goes away entirely (tho again, it won't matter since they pirated it).

Max has also brken into the web based 3d in a big way, and has outsole all the other 3D apps ar least 5-1.

interesting statistic. i follow web 3d closely. i've not seen that. source please?

Lightwave has the smallest userbase, and if anyone is going it will be them

i agree LW is in danger, but their pricing - based on the research i did - was more flexible. a number of resellers were running specials when i looked around that brought them down sometimes below $1000. i've not seen anything similar with Max.

and the LW community is "deeper" than Max's in some ways; more dedicated imo. i remember using Videoscape3D - the predecessor to LW back 1989 or so. pretty sure even VideoToaster w/ LW predates Max (by about a year). but while Max was almost immediately pirated, NewTek was building a community of followers. first with the Amiga crowd and then later on the PC. and LW also has a Mac-based community. Max doesn't. when the Amiga was in danger, it was the LW users supporting it to the end (and beyond!). i just don't think the Max community has that kind of loyalty. i get the impression the Max crowd is really the crowd that pirated Max, learned to use it, found a job doing Max, and doesn't know any other app. the one's i've seen go to another app start off kicking and screaming, and then say they like it better than Max (not always, but usually). that's not loyalty, that's fear.

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#30]
Csven, I don't know anything about you or your background, but I used to follow the whole 3D app thing religiously, In the early 90's i used Lightwave on the Amiga, and something called Real3D. I used 3ds dos and softimage in the mid 90's, migrated to max when it came out, it was cutting edge as far as interactivity goes and the UI was miles ahead of Softimage as far as interface went but lacking in organic modeling tools, Softimage was on its way out and Microsoft saved it at some point, thats when it suddenly came out for the PC. coupl eof years after Max came out Maya came out and borrowed a lot of ideas from MAx. In 1998 I moved to California, and got a job using lightwave 5.6, we then got lightwave 6 which was really a late beta released months early to try and keep hold of a dwindling disillusioned userbase that were migrating to MAya and Max. We migrated to max and used both Max and lightwave 6.5. I then changed Jobs and started using max and maya. Max was far more flexible for creating level geometry, maya was better for character work so we segmented the art path and I used both for 2 years. When the company finaly went under I kept my Max licence mainly because Max still had more mature polygon modeling tools and is better suited to creating acurate level geometry.

It seems that Max and maya have been pretty much copying each other the last 3 years. As far as XSI goes, it wasn't that great in the first 2 releases and was largely dismissed in the games industry until recently.

these days I still prefer 3dsmax for most things, characters because of character studio, I don't really enjoy doing animation, even though I got a commendation for 3d character animation during my degree, everything was tailored to TV and movies back then and all I wanted to do was interactive games, which was the equivalent of going to a prestigious art college to do comic illustrations.

Anyway thats where I'm coming from, and have been following these things for a number of years. The whole thing bores me these days though, allthough once upon a time I was completely enthused with it all. In the last few years I realised that it doesn't really matter what tools you use so long as your a good artist and can show your work the way you intended it to be seen.

One of the primary reasons I stick with max is that it has the biggest industry support with exort to everything out there, just like max has the best blitz support, thats pretty much how it is throughout the industry.

I don't think I'll bother arguing any further, the lightwave thing is out there if you look for the movie industry statistics, what artists were hired at which studios, and which applications were used etc. LW fell away in about 2001 and never really caught up again thanks to lingering on a dos like LW5.6 for a number of years and then a buggy unuseable LW6. And hasn't really recovered. in 2001 LW has about 7% of the movie jobs, Max about 14, softimage less than the rest and Maya pretty much had all the rest.

having just read your posts again it seems to me that your some kind of evangelist with a grudge against Max. Anyway whatever floats your boat, I couldn't find anything that supported your theory so I don't know <shrug>.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#31]
edited by me-- too long post, nobody would read.

boomboom(Posted 2004) [#32]
bob man, i think thats your longest post ever!

how are you finding XSI?

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#33]
Evak - a personal history lesson wasn't necessary. i thought we were discussing a business issue. needless to say, i'm similarly up on 3D (including CAD systems). all i was asking was that you support some of your statements and facts with sources. too much to ask i guess.

Bob3D - your post is simply too long. and the first point you make is immediately a problem:

"But...Imho if they don't lower it is cause they can afford it. believe what you want, but is a fact."

an "Imho" cannot be a "fact". either you KNOW or you DON'T KNOW. additionally, on at least one point, you argue against my point by giving an example supporting my point! hahaha

this discussion isn't worth the time to wade through all the verbage (you guys evangelists for Max?).

i simply gave points for why i think Max will fold first. big deal. on CGTalk i'm accused of supporting "price fixing" Discreet, and here i have a " grudge against Max". tbh, i don't honestly care. and for that reason, i'll sign off! :)

BHoltzman(Posted 2004) [#34]
Come on guys, don't fight about what application is best. I started this thread to tell people about the very good XSI deal going on right now and to let people know that I really like XSI and the work being done with XSI.

If you want to use a different app, then by all means use your app of choice. Just be aware that XSI is a really good deal and has a wonderful toolset.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#35]
edited by me-- BHoltzman is true. Is no sense to speak about this.

I have my experience and will keep it for me.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#36]
boomboom, I'm finding XSI totally great. :)
(but is my poor worthless opinion XDDDD )

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#37]
I think csven was the only one truly arguing about how crap max was lol. Anyway I'm happy to use anything that is good if it gets the kind of support I need. Thats still Max at the moment. I definately think that Discreet will have to make some price cuts or come up with some range of max products that suit different needs.

I need a renderer, but I don't really need Mental Ray, Neither do I need reactor at the moment, those were both seperate addons in the Max 4 era that cost upwards of $1000 each and are now bundled with max, but are things I am not currently interested in using. If they lopped off $1500 and ommited those 2 items alone the pricing could be a hell of a lot more competitive than it is now.

BTW to see and maybe enen enter some CG art competitions, check out


If you want to show off how good your 3D app is, or just your art skills here's a good place to do it, its open to all comers, and does a good job at showing what a app can do as well as pointing out that Cinema4D is no slouch either.

Has all the apps listed for each entry, and shows all the placements for each entry in a nice scoreboard, and you can browse previous competitions in the drop down list.

really nice stuff going on there.


has viewer ratings for top 3d artists, nice stuff there too.

Oh yeah, Untill 3dsmax4 I used Hash, animation master to create all my organic characters as max had lousy organic modeling tools back then. That app is pretty cool too, just not well suited to games really.

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#38]
not an argument until people starting debating how my opinion was wrong (with "facts" that were mostly their own opinions afaic).

hey, feel free to form your own opinion and list points as i did - i guarantee that i won't feel a similar urge to rabidly debate your pick.

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#39]
I just havent got time to find that data again, got an emergency with my wifes HD which has died, trying to rescue herpast years work that wasn't backed up, plus the computer is six years old and has a dodgy CDrom that doesn't like my XP CD. To cap it off the 40GB HD I just bought is too big and the system doesn't seem to be recognising it properly without some kind of overlay. lol. Nightmare. So forgive me if I sound ratty.

To top it off, were hoping to ship our second game this weekend, and I'm sitting here frustrated trying to fix her computer instead of working.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#40]
Just a question... Have you ever used Max in depth?

c5ven(Posted 2004) [#41]
you people make no sense. i posted one little opinion and was asked about it (apparently to elaborate) by Jeremy. then other people decide to chime in and then i post MY OWN opinion based mainly on BUSINESS issues and you all react like little girls. give it a rest, girls. it's just a piece of software.

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#42]
I was wondering the same thing, particularly Max 5 or 6. 1-3 were good in their day, but had a lot of shortcomings. 4 was a good interim release where they started localizing tools (in max 3 it was a mesh editing nightmare as you would often have to navigate more than one control panel in order to do simple modeling).

One thing I'm looking forward to in max 7 is that they finally introduce a proper editpoly modifier, so you can go back to edit mesh from edit poly without losing your stack. Something that really bugged me for years.

If you went from Max 3 to Maya etc I can see why you might think Max was a bit clunky and behind the times. I didn't like max when 2, 2.5 and 3 came out as other apps like Maya had just arrived, and LW had just been rewritten from the ground up and short of horrendous bugs and broken features, looked very nice, coming from someone that had used Lightwave before.

I wish I could comment on XSI more, I did use softimage and hated the way the menus worked, and like all 3D apps back then there wasn't much you could do in the way of modeling in perspective views.

I'm mostly just glad that there is healthy competition in the 3D market forcing everyone to innovate, and obvioulsy cut prices. A decent 3D app in the sub $500 range would have been inconcievable a year ago.

At my university I used to be the adopted child of the 3D design labs, and back then the educational price for max 1 was pretty good, coming in at $4000 for 10 licences, wonder how much they get these apps for now.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#43]
[ EVAK, btw, off topic, but if you keep my email address, perhaps I can lend you a hand, often have solved hd and system problems...for that hd crash you did mention:probably you know better than me, is just in case I can help :).If so just drop me a mail :) ]

AdrianT(Posted 2004) [#44]
I noticed that Character studio is now a part of the Max 7 bundle, so no need to spend another $1000 if you want to use that anymore. Still I'd rather have a selection of max bundles avaliable to suit different needs. its almost $800 to upgrade to max 7 from 6.

Anyway, look forard to seeing what the future brings in the 3D app front. A single standard certainly beats juggling from a choice of 5, and the cheaper the better I say.

Bob3d(Posted 2004) [#45]
I'm gonna read some doc about what improves are in that v7, just curious...