Why XSI?



I'm a bit frustrated right now because Valve are using XSI in the production and it seems it's necessary to have XSI to model characters.

I'm a Maya user and even though I saw a demonstration of XSI on 3dfestival and I think it's a really great program and all but I've just spent a fortune on a Maya license.

I've heard that Avid (developers behind Softimage|XSI) will release a budget version of XSI. I sure hope they will release exporters / importers for other 3d applications or I will go mad. I mean I know how to create normal maps and I know how to lower the polycount on a hirez model (a new node in Maya 5.0 makes this fairly easy).

I hope they will not limit you to use XSI. :|
there is a free version of XSI you can download off their site.
There will be conversion tools for 3DS Max coming along, so I'd also say they'd release conversion tools for Maya.
there's already a plugin for 3DS Max to convert to .xsi format...

the free version of XSI doesn't let u save projects, however :/
They should have other plug ins for lightwave and maya, probably with the release, otherwise modding is gonna be in a stand still until they are done...
yeah you could download the free version or you could buy a student license ...if your a student ofcourse but yeah its an amazing program i've been getting taught how to use it at college for 2 years now so i'm naturally really happy they chose that program ...only cause its the best ofcourse ;)
i have the program, but it's very new and confusing...any advice on were to begin? any sites with help of any kind? ;)
Originally posted by Nostradamus
i have the program, but it's very new and confusing...any advice on were to begin? any sites with help of any kind? ;)

go to www.xsibase.com for all ur xsi info and needs. :cool:
If you want a load of tutorials go to... (over 500)


I you want a more structured way to learn XSI and you are based in USA/Canada (and soon Europe) then you may wish to consider the Tutorial Kit that is for sale on Softimage.com. It includes a copy of the EXP, tutorial manual and learning scenes all for $79.95 (the price of a book)


And as for why Valve are using XSI... may I suggest you read what Valve say about it at:


in particluar the third and fifth paragraphs. :cool:
hmm, this XSI|EXP seems very good! it's almost the same as the full version, only you're missing some rendering options and some more stuff that I'm not gonna use anyway :)

at least it's a lot more complete that G-max or Milkshape... :monkee:
Before anyone's panties get all in a bunch, no, I'm not familiar with XSI much at all. Though from what little I've seen, I'm not sure how easy it is to model in that program. I've dealt with max and maya throughout college...as well as lightwave. I have to be honest, no program felt better than lightwave modeling wise. Yes, lightwave is different from the other main packages when trying to construct models. I'm sure any package would do for basic box-based modeling. Though I'm convinced lightwave is the best when you want to control exactly what you're doing when modeling.

Am I biased? Well, now I am, yes. But I did give max and maya a try. I do understand that both of those programs are powerful in their own right. Animating in LW is a bit more tedious than maya and max as far as I know, but the results are totally worth it when dealing in LW. I'm still searching for answers, but I hope to god they release plugins for all 3d packages despite LW's lack of publicity in the gaming realm. I think it's a highly underrated 3d package...I guess you could say it's the Dreamcast of 3d packages. I just wish LW were given a bit more credit.

Also...this is all speculation, but I really believe all these 3d packages are being packed in with games now strictly for promotional purposes. Yes, I'm sure valve used XSI to achieve what they have...yet look at UT2k3 as well. They packaged in Maya PLE with their game. It's almost a systematic release of 3d packages nowadays. Who knows, maybe Newtek will entyce the next big game developers to slap in lightwave with their game just to compete with already released learning editions of other 3d packages. It just all seems like a marketing ploy to me.

That's not bad necessarily. It's actually a good way to gain recognition of your 3d software. I really just hope that Max and Maya don't dominate the gaming world forever. Seeing XSI packed in with HL2 is almost bittersweet for me. From what I've heard or seen, XSI is also a bit underrated among 3d packages. Though, I still wish Valve used Lightwave. ;) Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. If anyone has any clue as to what converters will be included with HL2 for modders, I'm all ears.
Im pretty sure Doom 3 will work with lightwave, even though its being packaged with Maya PLE. Ive also heard from those who have played around with the alpha is that it takes lightwave formats straight into Doom 3 without conversion. :dozey: