Open source Softimage!

New plugins, tools etc.
yashugan
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by yashugan » 15 May 2018, 08:30

basically is a fantastic idea. If , in the end, is possible REDO the interface and some important logics that re-create the superfast workflow of XSI inside blender, you automatically get also all the other good stuf of blender (that is a costantly updated software...)

luceric
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by luceric » 15 May 2018, 20:02

it's nice to get more information about Moonlight Creator. I have been wondering what happened about that one for 20 years.
From the source code, the project was lot more extensive than I imagined it would be. I also made these types of formative projects as well back in the 1990s.
The code structure and design is very similar to how the big commercial apps are written.

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 15 May 2018, 23:19

kiwimation wrote:
15 May 2018, 07:50
I had high hopes for the BSuite

https://bufsoftware.com/products/bsuite/

Looks like they have stopped development. Any one have any inside info on this?
Nice i don't know this software but i cannot help you why if they stopped...

yashugan wrote:
15 May 2018, 08:30
basically is a fantastic idea. If , in the end, is possible REDO the interface and some important logics that re-create the superfast workflow of XSI inside blender, you automatically get also all the other good stuf of blender (that is a costantly updated software...)
I note this :)

luceric wrote:
15 May 2018, 20:02
it's nice to get more information about Moonlight Creator. I have been wondering what happened about that one for 20 years.
From the source code, the project was lot more extensive than I imagined it would be. I also made these types of formative projects as well back in the 1990s.
The code structure and design is very similar to how the big commercial apps are written.
Simply this author wanted to make closed source but it was bitter failure so he abandoned and later he created start up and create for web or something like.
Yeah, from source code is very professional and clever as coding, i think he was a genius :)

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 23 May 2018, 01:13


3DMagic
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by 3DMagic » 23 May 2018, 18:29

Why not write to Ton Roosendaal directly and talk about the idea to start working on a version of Blender with the Softimage interface, workflow, logic?

Softimage is considered by many, one, if not the best 3D workflow tool out there.

I think it could be a win win interaction for old Softimage users and a very good way to get Blender slowly into where the big names are, with a functional, logic, well thought workflow.

Not having fears that one day, somebody could close it down, after spending years in learning the tools.

From my point of view the interface and workflow is the most important part, the rest of the tools can be implemented slowly with time, as is such a big titanic job.

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 23 May 2018, 20:39

I will write one day to ton but he is very busy with Blender 2.80...

I can make for Softimage with interface in Blender... But I make two fork as Blackdot (clone to Softimage from Moonlight Creator) and Vanilla (fork of blender) and i would ask if they like them or make one software look like Softimage based on Blender ? i need more people what you say for that ?

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Draise
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Draise » 24 May 2018, 04:32

Pierre Schiller started his XSIMOD theme for Blender which also worked to add SI elements to Blender.

Working together might be more efficient.

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Rork
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Rork » 25 May 2018, 09:41

Trying to make Blender into Softimage will never work imho. There's too many differences.

I think that after the dust settles on 2.8, we can have a clear view on what's there, what's coming up and the Blender 2.8 workflow of things.
It's going through some rapid changes atm, most of them for the good.

There's some great ideas and projects floating around on the web, and like Draise says, it might be best to combine all that to make it more efficient and have quicker turnarounds on new things or workflows.

rob
SI UI tutorials: Toolbar http://goo.gl/iYOL0l | Custom Layout http://goo.gl/6iP5xQ | RenderManager View http://goo.gl/b4ZkjQ

luceric
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by luceric » 28 May 2018, 16:30

Rork wrote:
25 May 2018, 09:41
Trying to make Blender into Softimage will never work imho. There's too many differences.
Right.

And although it the code looks cool and it would be hard to resist, I wouldn't get into trying to turn "moonlight designer" into an XSI either.

From what I can see, a lot that code is being spent making a cross-platform GUI framework, but you shouldn't do that in 2018. You should just use Qt, you don't have the time/resource to do your own thing, and it can be a distraction from the important.

From my point of view, as one of the people behind XSI, what's required to make an XSI is to have an operator stack and a working animation system (evaluating IK and constraints is tricky), and you need good mesh data structures, etc. You can't half-ass the 3D data structures.

XSI isn't just a set of gray buttons, hotkeys, and menus named a certain way. The UI is secondary. It's a presentation of what's beneath. A random user on the internet may say that the UI is what XSI is to them and they'd like to see that elsewhere, but as a programmer, you have to deliver what's underneath and being taken for granted.

Because, ultimately, if you work for two years on a UI and then people download it and use it for an hour, smile, and then never use it again because it's shallow, it's going to feel that it wasn't time all that well spent. Working on a personal project is never wasted time, but the audience for a what might end up being a mock-up for the XSI UI isn't very big and it's shrinking every year as people move on or age out of 3D animation. If you were to build something new by assembling modern frameworks like OpenSubdiv, Gaffer, etc, and then slap a UI that might be reminiscent of Softimage, then you've built many valuable skills and more options to turn that project into something more as your ideas/taste/needs change.

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rray
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by rray » 28 May 2018, 19:44

Good points. The UI is sort of the "face" of the software core and is usually designed to make use of it efficiently. In that way, using a UI designed for a different software might even be in the way when learning a new software by making you assume some things about how it works internally.

There are some things in the XSI UI though that are common to all Software and I would like to see being used elsewhere. For one example the "get", "create", "modify", "tools" grouping concept.
"as a maya discussion grows longer, the probability of a suggestion involving deleting the preferences approaches one"

softimage resources section (formerly known as rray.de/xsi) updated May 30 2018

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Draise
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Draise » 28 May 2018, 23:07

luceric wrote:
28 May 2018, 16:30
Rork wrote:
25 May 2018, 09:41
Trying to make Blender into Softimage will never work imho. There's too many differences.
Right.

And although it the code looks cool and it would be hard to resist, I wouldn't get into trying to turn "moonlight designer" into an XSI either.

From what I can see, a lot that code is being spent making a cross-platform GUI framework, but you shouldn't do that in 2018. You should just use Qt, you don't have the time/resource to do your own thing, and it can be a distraction from the important.

From my point of view, as one of the people behind XSI, what's required to make an XSI is to have an operator stack and a working animation system (evaluating IK and constraints is tricky), and you need good mesh data structures, etc. You can't half-ass the 3D data structures.

XSI isn't just a set of gray buttons, hotkeys, and menus named a certain way. The UI is secondary. It's a presentation of what's beneath. A random user on the internet may say that the UI is what XSI is to them and they'd like to see that elsewhere, but as a programmer, you have to deliver what's underneath and being taken for granted.

Because, ultimately, if you work for two years on a UI and then people download it and use it for an hour, smile, and then never use it again because it's shallow, it's going to feel that it wasn't time all that well spent. Working on a personal project is never wasted time, but the audience for a what might end up being a mock-up for the XSI UI isn't very big and it's shrinking every year as people move on or age out of 3D animation. If you were to build something new by assembling modern frameworks like OpenSubdiv, Gaffer, etc, and then slap a UI that might be reminiscent of Softimage, then you've built many valuable skills and more options to turn that project into something more as your ideas/taste/needs change.
Well written and true.

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 29 May 2018, 19:25

Ok i will try for Blender to Softimage XSI and drop Blackdot... right ?

I have looked source code from Blender, the UI is drawing to OpenGL and the library GHOST is as well too and Python make "look like" in startup for Blender. Just it needs to reorganize and some rewrite for other. It will take alot of works but i study it and then add UI.

Anybody there would like to support me in patreon ??

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Draise
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by Draise » 29 May 2018, 20:22

I like where you're going. Yeah, Blender uses C, Python, the viewport is currently OpenGl but will soon be updating a LOT which what I'm not sure (Open GL 3.0+ maybe) - and yes.. it's all opensource. It has a strong featureset, but some philosophies of Softimage still need to be added.

For example, generally everything is there minus what I consider the following:
  • Better locking, toggling and pinning of "floating" properties panels (Blender is fixed in one view area with scene and local properties together, you can pin that objects entire panel set, but not a particular properties panels that update per object selection)
  • Better multi-property workflows like Softimage (Blender has "Copy from Active to Selected" on a rightclick menu workflow, with some multi object select in the future - but it's clunky and slow)
  • Tearable Menus (at the moment unlike SI, you can click, hold, drag and choose a menu item without needing to lift finger, or have menu item autoopen on mouse over, which is great - but no tearing away)
  • Middle click on header entry to repeat last of that particular header (I've asked about this, says it might technically be possible but no-one has done it - will require lots of work)
  • Multicoloured weight painting (at the moment it's only got a blue/red per bone visualization, no overall visualizer)
  • Something like ICE (at the moment Sverchok addon for procedural modeling and Animation Nodes addon for data driving is the only thing available that resembles ICE, but the integration and linking to and from one other to the Blender architecture needs work/integration, for example keyframes in Animation Nodes are not viewable from any animation editor - you could work with the devs on only that feature and I'd hire you! They have talked that in about a years time they have hired one dude to develop nodal physics/particles and realtime event triggers in a an interactive system, just recently - they also hired the dude who made Animation Nodes for something.. who knows!)
  • Animation Layers (currently the NLA has additive tracks, but you can't edit the tracks without locking into it, so previewing the blends and animation offsets is impossible - also the Delta system is clunky and has not "pose in Delta" mode. The animation is by far not there yet when it comes to that. Also, you can't switch a NLA clip from one track to the next over another clip, you have to move it around the clip....)
  • UI simplicity and duplication redundencies (currently Blender has more than 200 keyboard entries that don't exist in the UI, and more than 600 double operator entries. Bfortists, of which I work in and try help develop - has removed and put all those entries into the interface, minimalizing all the work and UI bloat.. but Blender sourcecode is a huge redundent mess right now, other than in Bforartists)
  • Material Library System (currently there are only addons for this, but something is in the works for an asset manager - right now materials are clunky and awkward. Bforartists also tries to solve this with a material preview/library system - but still.. it needs something).
  • Minor Rclick/Lclick UI workflow tuning (currently it's Rclick as dominant click, which is odd, and there also is no "hold" on shortcuts - adding that would be a feat but so awesome)
  • Toolbar on Right organization and properties to the left (currently Blender is changing the whole system of how that works, get in the development with them now and you'll have a lot of control - if not, join the Bforartists team to work on that - as that system in BFA has been re-organized and changed a lot to make it more efficient)
And the list can go on and on and on. But fortuantely, you have 10s of developers from the Blender Foundation democratically willing to take your ideas, work on them, or consider them, and also the freedom to work with 10s of devs on the sourcecode directly in their open tracker.. and if they don't listen to you, Bforartist will, a fork of the same sourcecode.

Going with Blender gives you these features under the hood without the legwork:
  • Animation, Modeling, Curves and Nurbs, Armature/Bones/Skins, Opensubdiv, Nodal shading, Instancing, Particles and more without working on those systems
  • Better hair
  • Better Compositor (though slower sometimes)
  • Video Editor with 3D Scene editor -a camera sequencer alternative
  • Sculpting with Dynatopo
  • Texture Painting
  • Better motion tracking
  • Easy rigging with bendy bones (super cool)
  • Grease Pencil and 2D animation
  • Better dopesheet (keyframe types)
  • Huge community and great support, tutorials, addons and fanbase
  • Active development
  • GPL license
  • Integrated Biased Raytrace engine that works with multiGPU's
  • (soon) PBR realtime viewport with HDR capabilies and tech found in game engines
  • Evolving and updating under the hood architecture that is slowly but surely opening up to Nodal workflows not unlike ICE (depsgraph architecture)
  • Works on all OS platforms from the start
  • Fast load, generally stable use
  • Not heavy to compile, develop, quick to change. Bforartists is on Github even, so easy to commit branches and improvements.
  • Development tips and tricks is also relatively well documented.
  • Strong linked data and scene management for large projects and asset management - making collaboration on projects easier
  • (soon) Softimage partitions and overrides is a thing in upcoming releases, with it's new Collections system and data management with overrides (not even Mayas new Layer system can rival it, and it already feels more useful and easier to use than Softimage's partition system - yes, tall order but I see it to be true)

Ultimately you will have to adapt your skills to improve what is there, make the workflow in Blender BETTER. As much as Bforartists tries - but you can't manipulate it into a different software. But you CAN add features and tasks that might make it work and feel closer to Softimage. And also, you have a couple of months to adapt to the code and way it works for the new and fancy 2.8 with a completely new workflow philosophy and UI system - also architecture (hopefully more efficient). I am crossing my fingers that the fork Bforartists will continue with 2.8 and make even that sourcecode even better.

And.. just throwing it out there, if you would work a bit on the Blender fork: Bforartists, I'd support you with a few dollars a monthly, with not much, but something. I work there and I personally don't touch Blender anymore due to the.. improvements in small details and the comfort I get from it. It doesn't change the software and it's featureset, it just makes it more tolerable and less stressing - as much as Softimage has been to me. I can work professionally now and still be competitive without too many UI headaches and specilization in the software. And.... you'll save yourself literally a few years (3) of man hours trying to improve the UI over what's there already.

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 30 May 2018, 18:01

Great and thank you Draise !

I see you have experience to Blender Dev, you could help me more for UI on how it works ?

Bforartists is a good fork, i will see if they can help me more to understand inner work from Blender :)

I love to learn and make something in programming as 3D and animation... so stay tuned.

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sirdavid32
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by sirdavid32 » 04 Jun 2018, 18:40

The idea of shifting Blender into a Softimage ended long ago, basically because of constant FORK maintenance (before it even started) this is too task heavy related. Github was acquired by Microsoft this morning.
What benefit is to lay (upload) code on there with this kind of news?

What in the end was decided is to stop production of the XSIMOD theme in 2.79 (any plugins) until devs finish the new 2.8 API. Because any plugin in 2.79 is not entirely going to be working the same on 2.8

A lot of re-haul has been going on on the core code of Blender... to the point that they are making a parallel-industry-standard shortcut keys. That´s basically placing a high tech toy into a kid´s hand. But it is also a great time (finally after 18 years) to release the full potential of Blender to the common user.

About the XSIMOD theme teaming up with the original idea on this thread: I can´t say anything else at the moment, except that I am interested in case:
a. The developer in this thread is ORIGINALLY y TRULY committed to bring enhancements over Blender.
b. The developer in this thread sees that Blender Python API (2.8) will yield better results, as the new libraries for RT are implemented and so the GUI library to create *real 2019* standards in project managing, team collab, renders, etc..

What got me interested in Blender as an alternative to softimage? (explained in this video: The answer is: 2B a GENERALIST. But we are adding more tools to the game like : NODES and SCULPTING, VIDEO EDITING, MOTION GRAPHICS (I know, crazy right?), And even game -ready-pbr-materials.... (and that´s just the reason for starters).

So, yeah...if one is to keep the title "generalist", the field just opened in a single package that contains it all: Blender.

Oh did you hear? Nvidia is backing them up fully. (no joke).

threedslider
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Re: Open source Softimage!

Post by threedslider » 16 Jun 2018, 22:31

Ok i work hard and i would say Blender needs more experience in code C to achieve to look like Softimage XSI, if so it is doing it will break of working for Cycles cause it is an addon, a lot need to change internal of code for UI, i think it is wasted of time... Probably i will keep Blackdot and mixing Moonlight Creator and Softimage XSI so i can add in step by step to features and it is more easy to keep for the work... I think Blackdot can make only to softimage already and the dev is C++ i am more comfortable. Blender 2.80 maybe i will work in but not to make softimage because UI is little radical... From now i am focus to Blackdot first and i work in my free time (because no fund in patreon) so it will be slow and many error here and there cause this was unfinished. So wait and see what i can make this open software :)

Sorry about that, my resource is very limited but surely it advance so need more time so yeah it has alot task to be done.