Open source Softimage!

New plugins, tools etc.
User avatar
Posts: 846
Joined: 09 Oct 2012, 20:48
Skype: ondraise
Location: Colombia

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Draise » 09 Mar 2015, 17:08

Interesting debate. I do think another strong Opensource 3D program would be more than healthy for everyone - Blender included. I would love to see a full blown DCC that can splice into anything through Fabric Engine - but yes.. the basis of it wouldn't have been built by you and it may not be opensource.. thought 50 free seats certainly might make up for that concept.

Though.. Fabric with GPU accelerated Python based KL C++ compiled code and visual programming would be awesome to work with others - also being something agnostic to where it's applied - incoporating into any workflow and software.... just a thought.

Things I like about SI:

Unlimited Floating Panels - refreshable and lockable (surprisingly very handy - wish Blender had this..)
Middle mouse click on tool root to repeat action
Tearable menu's
Context sensitive Menu groups or tabs (I know it's cliche and everyone does it.. but it does make things handy when you are feature rich).
Option to create visual buttons and menus (Wishing there were more to choose from in SI tbh)
Dynamic Context based all inclusive Explorer/Outliner (IMPORTANT).
Schematic View (the simple one it has is handy)
L Click anywhere in the viewport and it'll control the widget regardless (don't have to use the widget nor annoying middle mouse button! - surprisingly handy)
Right click in viewport to change navigation properties (wish they also included axis restriction and planes, to click and drag anywhere without the widget to move such thing, to normal, world or local axis - a la trueSpace style)
Sticky keys (press and hold to activate shortcut, release to return to previous tool)
The M tool with proportional editing
Everything can be animatable with the little keyframe button beside it - including the keyframe button in the panel.
Animation layers, NLE mixer (with clip groups and blending), dopesheet and Fcurve editor - I think for animation it's very standard and necessary.
Procedural Operators and Freezing workflow - Non Linear modeling and animation workflow (IMPORTANT)
Ability to build secondary interfaces for rigging, animation or tools either with ICE or other parameters and expressions
Per object viewport and render display attributes (that can be overriden and animated)
Render passes and overrides and partitions
Project file structures
Anything can be used for enveloping - nulls, curves, objects
Node based shaders and easy material library
ICE particles and strands
Syflex, Crowds and Lagoa in ICE
Local and World animation and transform attributes
Exocortex ICE compounds
the Scatter ICE compounds
Other procedural ICE compounds, that don't come directly with SI, but certainly kick ass.

I would also like to have a Schematic view have it all, in a way, with access to the operators, hierachy, ICE programming nodes, simulation nodes, animation attributes, etc - with display filters. An ICE like system , Shader, Hierachy, Shape, etc. trueSpace had a cool one, where everything was in nodes, not just in an outliner/explorer - but it had no filters (so you had to dig deep to find the shaders, for e.g.).
It wan on Javascript (so you could build your own nodes) and.. it was slow and clunky, but a great concept. If you had a dynamic schematic view with something like ICE that has access to everything, color coded, and with display filters - that'd be nice. (objects only, shaders only, render attributes, rigging attributes, all, etc). You could even do image processing in the schematic node tree.

You get my drift.. but that is just dreaming.

Blender is too fractured in different arenas when it comes to nodes... just one place for everything in the 3D world would be nice.

Ok, this isn't a feature request is it? More about Softimage?

Ok, well I'm in love with both trueSpace and Softimage - both now dead, and still find it hard to get into Blender or anything else, mainly because of the above things.

Great incentive, very ambitious, hope something can start or even strengthen with what is there - even if it's just a simple blank slate with the ability for others to visually program and create their interfaces with a cool 3D viewport that runs on DirectX11 and 12, and the simple tools of SI and the potential of it growing bigger and more useful.. that'd be cool.

Posts: 253
Joined: 17 Feb 2010, 15:13

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by caledonian_tartan » 09 Mar 2015, 20:32

...I think they were attracted to SoftImage for a reason. As I'm learning SoftImage I try to figure out what.
General Efficiency

the first thing i learned with softimage, was not "to make a cool tool work", but to make a great tool work in its best performance and user efficiency.

That's what makes it impossible to create a DCC from scratch.

there are more than 20 years of professional experience inside our beauty!

maybe having a fabric core with an open source user based UI could be pretty nice ;)
SI 2015 @ WIN7-64

Posts: 9
Joined: 06 Mar 2015, 19:22

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by BitPuffin » 10 Mar 2015, 03:26

Hirazi Blue wrote:One thing I wanted to add to the mix is that to me Softimage ... etc
Yeah I think that's a good point. A lot of tools out there overlap in terms of what they can do. But it's the ones that are well designed that let you be really productive :)

Draise: Thanks for your excellent description of features you like etc! I will try to look up these things in softimage so that I can fully see what you mean :D. In regards to the schematic view that let's you dig in to it all I certainly think that would be very possible. I don't think I would store things like that in memory for efficency and CPU cache hotness etc. But combining all of the different types of things in to one view that you can filter doesn't sound too unrealistic if you ask me. Yeah, a blank slate that you can manipulate might be all it turns in to. I don't know yet how much I'm gonna spend on this! I just think it would be nice to get the ball rolling ;;).

caledonian_tartan: Well, I still don't think that makes it impossible. Maybe if there wasn't anything you could use as reference for what's been proven to work efficiently then yeah it will take time to nail it down. But when there is something like softimage that you can draw inspiration from in how they integrated their tools in a nice workflow I think you can build it faster than they did. Since they already did all of the grunt work. Regarding fabric engine that's gonna be a no unless they open source it. I don't think the solution to having an unreliable (in terms of will the product survive?) closed base (softimage), is to move to another one. Maybe instead what it would turn in to is something like fabric engine. Well. That's actually probably more like what I'm gonna build when I have some experience building 3D tools. My vision is sort of to build a few reusable tools that can be easily embedded in my game engine editors etc and various applications. But to do that well I wanted to do some research first. Hence, this :D

Posts: 726
Joined: 09 Jun 2009, 20:33

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by NNois » 10 Mar 2015, 18:20

caledonian_tartan wrote:
...there are more than 20 years of professional experience inside our beauty
Wrong ! Remember , softimage is 30 year old now !

Posts: 11
Joined: 16 Nov 2011, 05:31

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by woodengun » 11 Mar 2015, 15:12

I say bravo for the effort BitPuffin. I had dreams of making my own SI when Autodesk made that crappy announcement but my programming skills are far from that level.

I have been using Maya, 3dsMax, and Modo for some time now, trying to replace my love for XSI, here's some of the things that have been really hard to replace:

Softimage muscle memory: Something about the keyboard shortcuts, component selection, and flow of modeling in SI has a magical combination that, any experienced user will tell you, is really hard to replace with any other 3d package. Any other program I use takes me a second to go to component mode, select, and transform; but in SI I don't even really have to think about it. (also being able to temporarily hold down V,C,X for transform gizmo interaction is a must for me!).

Simplicity vs Complexity: The original developers really made sure the simple tools worked in an elegant way. Instead of introducing gimicks like fancy viewports and sub-par FX shaders (has anyone ever used these for anything at all... ever!? come on AD....) they seemed to value some really solid foundations for modeling, shading, and rendering (partitions, and really cool compositing tools). If they did introduce a new development (like ICE) it was brilliantly simple, open, and powerful.

Why not start out simple? Just try making a really solid "SI-esque" modeling/UV package and go from there. I don't think a goal like that is out of reach and it would make a lot of us really happy!

good luck!

Posts: 2458
Joined: 24 May 2012, 09:44

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Bullit » 12 Mar 2015, 00:00

Why not fork Blender? SoftBlender?

Posts: 9
Joined: 06 Mar 2015, 19:22

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by BitPuffin » 12 Mar 2015, 03:27

woodengun: Thank you so much for your input! Starting simple is definitely what I have to do. In fact I personally believe that the best workflow is to have multiple small dedicated programs for each given task. That way you get a less cluttered environment. And then, to eliminate the drudgework of saving and opening files between them you could have some server program that shares the data between them in real time. Maybe even in a remote location using something like Verse. However since that's not how SI works maybe people wouldn't be so happy if that's what I made. Plus it's kind of ambitious so it's probably better to save as a future project or something. But yeah! I think starting with SI esque modeling + UV is probably exactly what will happen.

Bullit: A few reasons, kind of answered already, but the short scoop is: I want to learn how to build things like this myself, if I'm starting with something already built then what's the fun in that? :). Second I have a feeling it would be messy to try to bend blender into being like softimage. The results would probably be lackluster. Though over time with enough boring refactoring work you could probably get it pretty nice. For myself I can't really bring myself to work on GPL licensed code if I can help it. I don't agree with it at all, I think it's wrong for people to try to control what is done with their work when it's out in the open. Few people agree with me on that and but that's fine :P.

As for progress update I haven't really been able to work on it at all haha. At the moment I'm working more than full time so I'm a bit exhausted at the end of the days. That said now that my sleep schedule is becoming more regular I should be able to arrive at work early enough so that I can dedicate some bus development (where I'm somehow the most productive!) to this project and still have worked enough hours when it's about time to go home! :D. I'm also taking a little time to research a few things to try to make up my mind on some certain coding style related things. Not so much CamelCase vs this_style but more technical stuff. Basically, I'm figuring out how to program in the simplest way in a programming language that is way too complex for its own good, so that I can document some guidelines for anyone who want to contribute code when there is something to contribute to. Because it's still important that I use a language that people actually know for a collaborative project like this. That's mostly what I've had energy left over for at the end of the days. But I feel like that stuff is starting to materialise pretty nicely. At some point you also just gotta start to see what works in practice.

Cheers guys! :D

User avatar
Posts: 270
Joined: 08 Jun 2009, 23:02
Location: Near Paris

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by wireframex » 18 Mar 2015, 08:56

Hi SI community !!!
After some month to find a replacement of my precious I decided to come back from hell and to continue with SI...
Tried C4D STUDIO but there are too much things missing from there... I can't go to Maya or Max because of Autode$$$k
Im sure I don't need all new things actually. A lot of to do to know all possibility it still offers with all plugins like MOOTZ (THANKS ERIC !!!!), Redshifts .... And VRay (but dev is stopped actually ...).
All the best
"without mastery, power is nothing" - Softimage Addict User

Posts: 11
Joined: 16 Nov 2011, 05:31

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by woodengun » 04 Sep 2015, 16:19

Hows this going BitPuffin? Any luck / milestones?

Posts: 9
Joined: 06 Mar 2015, 19:22

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by BitPuffin » 04 Sep 2015, 21:54


No there hasn't really been any milestones or luck. To be honest I've been mostly very busy and stressed with work / rent stuff lately. And most of the time after working all day I'm kind of fatigued with coding so I generally do non-coding related things. So there hasn't been much time + energy for me to spend on this. It is still something I want to see happen though, whether or not I am the person who ends up making it a reality!


Posts: 2
Joined: 01 Mar 2014, 18:10
Location: Talesh-Iran

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by AbedSHP » 19 Sep 2015, 14:01

please, don't hurt me anymore. the feeling will come back, l promise :((

Posts: 87
Joined: 30 May 2012, 20:58

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by yashugan » 10 Nov 2015, 18:13

Hi, apologize me, i visit the REPO site of the project, but there is something to see? How is going this project? There is a screen shot?
Something? Thank ;)

Posts: 19
Joined: 13 May 2018, 19:55

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 14 May 2018, 15:43


BitPuffin has nice idea for open source with softimage, pity that is stops...

Well me too i have a project for open source as look like softimage B-) , back to 1996 Stephane Rehel has created Moonlight Creator and it is pretty basic from now, not animation, no physic, no clothing simulation... etc But it is functional and render cool picture. In 1998 he stopped this open source. So I put in github and is named Blackdot, the problem the source code is outdated and full of error or no finished. From my free time i learn very hard from this source code and i need to clean up and some fix before to go improvement then adding. I learn programming for C++, i know it but i need more practice to make real functionnal. The good new i have source code ready but need to finish... :)

Link : ... evelopment

screenshoot from moonlight 0.9.x (closed source) :


If you have suggest, help or comment, it would be greatly appreciate !

Posts: 23
Joined: 09 Oct 2009, 12:09
Skype: emiliano.grimaldi

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by 3DMagic » 14 May 2018, 19:11

Personaly I think the best option for Softimage is to blend it into blender. :p

The founder thinks Softimage, was one of the best 3D software out there. Why don't replicate the user interface and then slowly add all the major tools that Softimage has into Blender?

3D Software's are gigantic, but at least with Softimage you have part of the job done, you have something you can copy and I think Blender could gain a lot copying after Softimage.

What do you think?

Posts: 19
Joined: 13 May 2018, 19:55

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 14 May 2018, 20:20

I think it is good idea, Blender has a lot more feature than Blackdot and i can make it but there will be more alot of work to restructure and quite deep for modification so i will be more careful to not break the functional :)

But i wait for more people if they agree or would like this your proposal.

Feasible and a lot of hard work :)

Posts: 53
Joined: 11 Jun 2009, 05:21

Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by kiwimation » 15 May 2018, 07:50

I had high hopes for the BSuite

Looks like they have stopped development. Any one have any inside info on this?