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Softimage XSI

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Hi everyone, I was looking at Softimage XSI Foundation, and then I saw that it was discontinued and the only other version that would be within my price range would be the academic version. Does anyone have the Softimage XSI Academic version? If so, how is it different from the full version? What are the limitations? Also, can it export to .x? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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The Academic version should have all of the features of XSI Essentials except that you can not produce commercial works with it. That being said, why don't you just use XSI Mod Tool, which is free (assuming you're a hobbiest or student and not expecting to perform commercial work with it).

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Yes, I'm a hobbiest, and a student.

Does the Mod tool export to .x? If not, is there a way to do it? Would exporting it to a different file type, and importing it into another program, like Blender, that exports to .x, and then exporting it as a .x work?

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Yes, it does.

If you'd have googled "XSI Mod Tool supported formats" or looked on the XSI website you'd see this. I don't mean to be a douche or anything, but put at least a minute or two of effort into finding information before posting up here about it. Heck, if you had even actually read the Softimage website you could have answered your own original question.

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I'm sorry, I did look at the Softimage website, but I must have looked in the wrong areas, because I didn't see anything about the mod tool and .x files.

Also, last night I googled something like "exporting to .x using Softimage XSI mod tool" (I look at the mod tool a little bit last night), and none of the pages I looked at had anything useful.

So I'm sorry, but I did look but I didn't find anything, that's why I asked.

Edit - The reason I asked my original question was because I wanted verify these limitations with someone who owned the software. It's not that I don't trust Softimage, it's just that I wanted information from more than one source, even if the one source was the company that designed the software.

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Ryan, I wouldn't bother using free or cheap limited tools if I couldn't afford, or never intended to own the 'real' version of these programs. It's like a trap. What good is learning to use a program that you can never really get anything out of?

trueSpace 7.6 is capable and free.
DeleD Lite is free and is well suited towards environments.
Fragmotion is cheap (20$), and can export animated .x files.

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Like I said before, I didn't mean to sound cross or anything. It is just annoying because we get A LOT of pretty simply questions that can be answered with a few minutes of research. We all miss the obvious sometimes, though [wink]

Quote:
Daark
Ryan, I wouldn't bother using free or cheap limited tools if I couldn't afford, or never intended to own the 'real' version of these programs. It's like a trap. What good is learning to use a program that you can never really get anything out of?

Mod Tool is not a "cheap limited tool". It contains everything you need to produce assets that are on par with those found in the current Source and Unreal based games. What it does do is cut out features that you would be using to produce films. Consider the following limitations that Mod Tool has:

* Mod Tool supports only DXFX and CGFX material types. Mental ray materials are not supported.
* Mod Tool supports only polygonal mesh primitives.
* Exported geometry is limited to 64000 triangles.
* The mental ray renderer is used only for Rendermap and Ultimapper. All other mental ray rendering is disabled.
* Maximum resolution for Ultimapper maps is 512x512.
* Images output using the hardware renderer are limited to a maximum resolution of 512x512.

Do any of those interfere with the production of quality game assets? XSI has much more intuitive and powerful features for rigging and animation in particular that none of the applications you listed come close to. Add on top of that XSI has amazing scripting capabilities, including C#, Python,JScript, or VBScript to jump right in. Mod Tool comes with tutorial videos that are pretty good and has built in support for XNA, DirectX, Source, and there are available add-ons for tons of other things, such as Unreal. Considering the fact that it is based on XSI 6, there are crap tons of available resources available for it, because XSI is actually used in commercial game development.

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XSI ModTool is for non commercial use only, and they just discontinued the 500$ version of XSI. So yes, it's limited because it's nothing more than a tool that now serves as an advertisement for an unafforable 2999$ (entry level) software.

It's a dead end.

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I agree with Daaark, after having taken the bait twice, once for FND 4.2 and once for FND 6.0, I grew to dislike Avid, it is not really their intend to help out the small guy but rather trap you into buying the more expensive version of the software, the removal of the FND version reflects this (I saw that one coming when there was no 6.5 FND), I guess it was more work for them to support it than the money they were making from it.

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You have to be very careful with the 3d software that you use, because all these companies are out there to ass rape you just for wanting to be one of their customers.

You want to buy carrara? Fine. But after you install it, you realize that you can't even model anything with it! You effectively spent like 500$ on something that is only useful to import daz figures and render them. Modelling is for Hexagon! That will be another 300$ please, Mr valued customer. [lol]

What's that? You bought more than one of our product, and you want to move data between them? Here's a link to the 500$ plugin that gets that done. [lol]

All these companies selling 3D animation software only give you basic animation features (although described as complete and revolutionary on the features box) that is just functional enough to be barely useable, because they sell another program that focuses only on character animation and costs another 5000$.

You buy poser because it's a 3d animation program, only to find out you paid 500$ for a program that is useless unless you want to buy content that other people have made at 20$ a pop. You can make some nice animations with it, but you can't use them for anything because you can only export to formats that strip out all the animations and leave you with a static, broken mesh.

Have you seen what XSI did? They sent all their Foundation users an e-mail giving them a September deadline to cough up 900$ to upgrade to a real version of the program, before they are forced to pay the full 3000$.

WAIT! You want those programs to run well? Check out these 5000$ computers from their partners.

It's even gotten to the point where you can buy input devices like 3D pucks, and they aren't 'licensed for commercial use'. You can only use them to produce personal content unless you buy a much higher priced version. I await the day I have to pay an 100$ premium on a simple pencil that will be used for possible profit. [lol]

Now enjoy your defective by design 2008 release of the software. We'll mail you again when it's time to pay for the bug fixes, and again next year when the defective by design 2009 release is out.

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Ouch! that hurts as I can relate. To be fair though, Poser Pro does export to COLLADA with vertex weights, and I am yet to make sure, but it should export animation as well. The Poser Max/Maya/etc plugin IS a joke as it doesn't keep anything but the transformed mesh.

Blender is the lesser of evils I think, but it also has its problems, at least it is free and source is available if you need to fix something, good luck trying to get new functionality in though (yep, thats mine, its been 2, close to 3 releases and almost a year since I submitted that)

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