for animators

Community Forums/Developer Stations/for animators

Alberto(Posted 2005) [#1]
for Mustang and Bob3D and other pro animators

I know that you have you have beendiscussing this matter a lot of times but I would likeyour final suggestion before taking my decision beetwen XSI 4.2 foundation and Messiah.
It is well known that you are on XSI side , the point is that XSI is about 50 % more expansive.
What is the main advantage of XSI over Messiah, taking into account that I am interested in animation for games only
no modeling ,no movies, no advanced features unless they can be of use for games
Thanks id advance and sorry to bother you again

DH(Posted 2005) [#2]
Never heard of Messiah, you talking about Maya?

Rogue Vector(Posted 2005) [#3]
I think he's referring to the Messiah character animation plug-in for LightWave.

Rogue Vector

Alberto(Posted 2005) [#4]
Yes its origin is LightWave but now it is a stand alone software

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#5]
Cannot say, as I don't actually have Messiah.Of course, I like XSI, but who knows if Messiah is more convenient for you.

WIth XSI you need to know it's better to have a monitor and card reaching well 1280x1024 @85 MHZ

I dunno bout Messiah, but i also tell u that XSI is quite complex even for experienced 3d people. You must know it. Other than that, I love it. i squite flexible and powerful, and I like the way I have found to animate with it. yet though, I yet prefer to model with Wings3d an duv map with Ultimate, for now, at least till I dig better that area in XSI.

I doubt u'll go wrong with any of those. With both u need ultimate Unwrap, or something that converts well the *.x animations into b3d....Well, yep, Ultimate unwrap. There's an x importer now, free, for Max 6 and 7, haven't tested. And even a dotXSI importer for Max. This could be other way. Yet though for characters, I like quite a lot the x--->Ultimate Unwrap-->b3d path.

Oh, Messiah is standalone, as I suppose you prefer that, with the x export version, not the rendering version. As is forr games.

Is also available as plugins for several packages, yes.


boomboom(Posted 2005) [#6]
Alberto, I looked recenty between Messiah, XSI, C4D (basic version) and Animation Master for doing stuff in games.

I eventually went for XSI, as I have heard some bad things about Messiah (still has alot of old bugs and things that should work but don't)

Plus XSI is production proven for games, Lionhead, Valve and some others (I think some EA studios are using it too) all use it. Its very cheap for what you get, and although you only want it for games animation now, you might want todo something else with it later on.

The renderer is beautiful, there has just been a big real time shader tool addon released for free, and using the autorigging inside XSI is a blessing.

It comes with a free rig, that you size up to your characters, and then it generates the bones from that (so it can fit any type of biped you are doing) then you can save animations and reuse them on other characters using the autorig (even if they are different sizes)

there is something similer in messiah, but from what i read it is currently broken.

XSI is an arse to learn, I have come from 3DMax and Maya, and even knowing them found XSI the biggest struggle at first, but after you get over the 3 day hump it starts to make more sence, and is quite well set out for games stuff.

You can also script in it very easily using Visual Basic, JScript and pyphon, so if you need your own tools there pretty easy to make (I made a couple of level building tools).

Also every animtion can be plotted. plotting is basically baking. If your making say bones react to gravity or something and you want to put that into your game, you can bake the bones animation driven by the gravity (or wave deformer, or moving along a curve) into the bones themselves, so you can then export fine to blitz.

oo and inbuilt cloth animation, which is quite basic, but perfect for doing robes, flags, clokes, skirts etc.

Pimping over :)

boomboom(Posted 2005) [#7]
Bob, what settings do you use for the .x exporter? I seem to have messed up geometry when i export?

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#8]
It's been quite a time since last time I used it that way, but....

I think it was...

- filetype ...TEXT

- type, SRT

- plot IK to FK

- plot fcurves

- triangulate

- export hidden objects, no.

- compress mesh, no.

- textures

-absolute path no

- sequences yes (I think it was)

Oh, of course, Ultimate Unwrap will allways display badly an imported x mesh model (even u may need to "weld model" in some cases) That is just a display glitch; internal data keeps perfect. You can check exporting the x file and loading for example in Mview.exe from MS DX 8 o r 8.1 SDK.

I never remember the exact way; I just trial again, and in some minutes I get the thing working. yep, I could write it down one day, but I never do in gfx stuff, actually...

I mean, it works.

jfk EO-11110(Posted 2005) [#9]
Wasn't messiah an abandoned Game Engine that became open source?

boomboom(Posted 2005) [#10]
It is also the Anointed One. Its lots of things, as its just a word.

Alberto(Posted 2005) [#11]
thanks all for your support I go for XSI

Gabriel(Posted 2005) [#12]
Wasn't messiah an abandoned Game Engine that became open source?

Wasn't that CatMother?

Mustang(Posted 2005) [#13]
Yup, what boomboom said... XSI might be more expensive but you DO get excellent modeler, mapper and renderer too, sort of "for free". And since all of these are components are integral they do work (obviously) together very well.

Plug-ins, additions and such have always compatibility issues IMO. We did evaluate Messiah too, but it seemed slightly slowly updated % buggy - and would have been a add-on to the LW which had already shown it's flaws... too flawed pieces of software rarely magically combine as one excellent one! :)

XSI was nice and although we were mainly looking for better app for our animation work needs, we found out that we could get better modeler too.

Alberto(Posted 2005) [#14]

You can size up the free rig to the your character but can you also add your bones to the prefabricated rig without affecting the autorigging ?
By the way this is really an important issue.
I am using character FX ,its autorigging is definitly poor.
Does it come also a "quadruped " rig for dogs, horse etc?
when you say XSI is an arse to learn, do you mean in general or in particular for animation ?
I downloaded the demos.
The animation features seem to be reasonable user friendly.,
What kind of bug did you hear in Messiah? did you find any bugs yourself when testing?
Messiah come from the famous LightWave , it should be stable, in theory at least
Thanks again

boomboom(Posted 2005) [#15]
The way auto rig works:

You first create the biped guide, this is what you move and resize to fit the model. when its all sized ok, it creates the rig (with controls) from the guide (you can then deleate the guide) and then you skin it onto the model (called envoloping in XSI)

as its a normal bones rig thats created, you can add or take bits off it just like any other bone system.

there is also a quadruped guide and rig that works the same way.

I ment that it is generally an arse to learn, it probably has the second steapest learning curve i have encountered (after blender).

Some people think XSI has the best animation tools in the game, I am still undecided (having come from maya and not got too used to these ones yet). But it all seems fairly decent and good. As I said before, XSI is much more production proven for games, and are certainly going after the games market (and sucseeding). I hear most japanese games, tv and effects studios use it (capcom noteably in resident evil 4), valve used it for half life 2 and I think its being used in the next Unreal game.

It has alot of useful game tools that you don't see anywhere else and is fiarly easy to script in too add your own tools.

Also I hear it takes quite along time for messiah updates to come out (these are all off forums, but you know how unreliable they can be :) ).

Alberto(Posted 2005) [#16]
Thanks boomboom
you are very helpful

Mustang(Posted 2005) [#17]

Some people think XSI has the best animation tools in the game, I am still undecided

Maya is certainly good, maybe / probably even better for animation... what makes XSI winner IMO is because it's so good and even performer in all key areas - usually apps are very good in some but horrible in other... Like LW is very good modeling tool but the animation tools have always sucked. It's nice if you can do EVERYTHING with one app, both modeling (+texturing) and animation, without need to import / export stuff between different apps.