Are we there (dead?) yet?

Discussions about migration to other software
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Hirazi Blue
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Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 10 Sep 2015, 12:57

For the record: this is not intended as yet another Autodesk bashing post or thread. Now and then the obvious question resurfaces where we stand as to the “death” of our beloved Softimage. Have we already migrated fully, are we still “testing the waters” or did we already decide the current situation leaves us no choice but to carry on using Softimage until something truly better comes along. Basically this thread is intended to ascertain, where we all stand at the moment, some odd 230 days before Autodesk drops support for Softimage altogether and the users still “on” Softimage are officially orphaned…
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Pooby
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Pooby » 10 Sep 2015, 13:18

If Autodesk are the only parental option, being orphaned isn't such a bad thing. For one its cheaper, and development will continue at approximately the same rate.

Personally, I dont think of software as anything outside its current usefulness to me. Softimage and ICE specifically is enormously useful until I'm doing all that I can do all I do in ICE and more, elsewhere - Which looks like its going to be Fabric, and I'll find out when I start using Canvas in earnest. Havent had time yet.
At the moment I have no immediate need to do any rash switching or transitioning or whatever. There is no DCC that does what ICE and Softimage does. (im factoring a lot more aspects than raw power, which Houdini would probably win on)
The best thing about Learning and building ICE, is that ironically, Its made me far less reliant on Softimage's tools.
What I really need in my next phase is a tool that can let me manipulate vector data etc in an equally fluent fashion and interface / animate it with ease.

Also the next few years are going to be very interesting because the whole Game Engine/DCC thing is going to be forced into merging a lot more than it currently is due to realtime demands for VR etc and and Game Engines themselves will have to introduce a lot more rigging and deformation capabilities that DCC's have now. I believe Fabric are poised well to deliver as glue in the realtime arena, because its designed that way from the ground up. It can sit in a DCC and make stuff that can run in realtime outside, (and probably in a game engine if they get the Unreal hookup finished) which makes it very flexible.

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MauricioPC
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by MauricioPC » 10 Sep 2015, 14:30

I'm learning Maya and using Max. :)

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SamHowell
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by SamHowell » 10 Sep 2015, 15:13

Still using Houdini and learning (a little bit) of C4D.

Most of the work still has to be done in Softimage though.

El Burritoh
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by El Burritoh » 10 Sep 2015, 15:36

What Paul said. I approach this very pragmatically. Softimage still runs circles around the competition in the areas that matter most. In fact, the reason we use it (as an end-to-end solution) here is for its non-ICE features, on which development dwindled years ago anyway...

Dead? It's only dead for you when you stop using it...
-Tim Crowson
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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 10 Sep 2015, 16:14

As I hope you understand "dead" is only used within the context of the "official" declaration of "end of life".
"Retired" might have been a better choice of words...
;)
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nDman
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by nDman » 10 Sep 2015, 16:49

I just started to learning ICE more in depth and simultaneously learning Houdini. I enjoy all the moments working on them.

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luis7654
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by luis7654 » 10 Sep 2015, 18:47

MauricioPC wrote:I'm learning Maya and using Max. :)
What is wrong with Max?

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Rork
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Rork » 10 Sep 2015, 19:55

There's nothing wrong with 3dsMAX imho. Especially plugin wise there's a TON of useful and interesting stuff.

Most of us are still using Softimage on a daily basis, and will do so for some time. In the meantime it's wise to test the waters, and I see most of us popping up in the Max/Maya/Modo/Houdini/Cinema forums. So there's a lot of testing/slow migration going on.

For myself, it's a bit of Modo (retopo tools/modeling), a bit of Houdini learning, some getting used to Maya again, and trying to find the time to step into FE 2.0 as a addition/slow replacement for ICE.

I'm also testing the waters in Unreal Engine 4, and so far it's a hoot!

But in the end, it all depends on what kind of work you produce. For add related work, I might go with Modo or Cinema4D, TVC related work it's Maya or Houdini I guess. 3DSMax is still king in Archviz related stuff.

Looking forward to Houdini 15, and see what has improved on workflow. Looking at the teasers and such, the team really seem to have listened to the forum.
SI UI tutorials: Toolbar http://goo.gl/iYOL0l | Custom Layout http://goo.gl/6iP5xQ | RenderManager View http://goo.gl/b4ZkjQ
So long, and thanks for all the Fish!!

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MauricioPC
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by MauricioPC » 10 Sep 2015, 20:24

Nothing wrong with Max! It's the first software I ever learned! :)

I'm learning Maya, slowly, because I want someday to live in London (even if for a small period). And London is Maya land.

As for Max ... well, I'm studying towards games and it's still widely used. And I'm also starting to dabble with archviz. I never thought about working with it, but a very close friend said (she's a interior designer) there's a lot of demand for 3D artists creating realistic renders for clients. Add to that Corona, and you have a nice market to make money and pay for your games hobby!

In any case ... I hope to be able to go freelance next year. If Softimage was extended to the end of 2016 (for purchases), I would still be learning it.

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Mathaeus
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Mathaeus » 11 Sep 2015, 11:57

These days I'm waiting for release of Fabric Engine 2, just have a habit to jump in, after official releases.
Otherwise, no any decision, yet. After ten years of do not even trying to look with lustful intent at any another 3d app, or anything related to another 3d app, I think I've turned out into complete swinger :). As a matter of fact there are so many options today, it's a different picture, compared to 2004. I'm playing with Houdini every evening, but only as utilization, is it better to use B spline or Bezier for shoulder joint deformation, so on. Didn't learned anything Houdini specific in last few months, everything I'm doing is perfectly doable even in first ICE release. Playing with Blender for poly modeling, just a bit more than before. Been able to figure out the mechanisms behind Maya IK and related stuff - or at least I believe so :)
Will see what future holds. Most realistically, I'll just refresh the old knowledge of Max - if I'll have more of free time, maybe... I'll be Mayan in future. Not because these apps are so good or bad, just because they are industry standard.
Things like Fabric are real refresh, allowing to improve the quality of life, still staying inside the particular 3d app. Didn't liked the plugin concept at first, ambitiously wanted the "one for all", again. But, reality is... reality.
Perhaps I'll upgrade Modo as home tool, will see what AD will have to offer in next round, in spring 2016.

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 11 Sep 2015, 18:46

Personally I am completely “version-locked” due to my severe lack of funds. I’ve got Softimage 2015, Maya 2016, 3DCoat 4.5 and akeytsu to play with and won’t be able to add more (or even more recent) workhorses to my hobbyist stable anytime soon. Ah well, maybe I even will start to like Maya in the end.

Blasphemy, I know… =))
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luis7654
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by luis7654 » 13 Sep 2015, 05:58

I also started learning Max, I'm very impressed with the CAT system(main reason why i'm considering it), I just tried it for a couple hours and I already feel like its easier, faster and more powerful than Gear or other xsi rigging methods...(For a solo artist)

Eugen
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Eugen » 17 Sep 2015, 10:51

Hi! Been a while...
Interesting to see how diverse likes and opinions are.
I for my part wanted to move on quickly, and stopped using XSI. I can see it's EOL as a good thing now, because it forced me to drop my quite dogmatic view, and learn other stuff, plenty of it.

For my needs C4D turned out to be a good substitute for XSI. It comes closest to (and in some regards surpasses) XSI's ease of use. I was often (not always of course) positively surprised learning it. It's a simple to learn package, maybe the simplest.
C4D stability is legendary, and MoGraph is a fine tool, also for modeling. Such things were always a hassle in XSI, and I found it stressful to throw ICE stuff together under delivery pressure. Never really got the hang of it (tried, but not hard enough maybe).
Since I rarely do FX, I don't miss much of what XSI excels at. Much could be done in XPresso, I think, but it's not multi-threaded and you can't manipulate geometry with it (yet).

Important fact: C4D is actively developed, and will continue to be for a long time. I like that.
Recently there have been "riots" in the community for Maxon's code of silence, but they promised betterment. E.g. they revealed recently that the Bodypaint issues are being tackled at last, which is about time.

On the dark side, there are a few inconsistencies regarding coordinate systems and how they can be manipulated. That part for sure was better in XSI. Snapping is... strange to say it nicely, and the way the implemented a working pivot is even stranger (it only works in component mode).
Redshift I miss, too... they were looking for C4D devs recently, as you know.

3DCoat I finally learned a bit for an illustration job recently.

3ds Max was my first 3D program as well, but I only use it when I have to. The UI is just a sorry mess. Horrible. Anyway, you can work quite productively with it.
Maya I checked out again after years. Still, it's enigmatic to me. Nice UI now, but I simply cannot wrap my head around that hypergraph node stuff... no operator stack, no modifier stack... how's this supposed to work??? Curves and Nurbs are a mess, too, in my book. I don't animate much, and that part will work just fine in C4D, too. So no, thank you.
Houdini I briefly stuck my nose into but that's not my party either.
Ah, yes... Modo... growing fast, but modeling is utterly non-parametric (except MeshFusion), so no thanks, either.
Blender... aaah... well...

Since my focus lies on architecture now (which I continue studying) it made sense to learn Rhino and Grasshopper as well (plus a plugin called VisualArq). Since Nurbs and curves sucked so much in XSI, my jaw dropped seeing their level of sophistication in Rhino, or the whole CAD world. 1000:1. A whole new world all this, and very exciting! Next will be Revit.

Best,
Eugen

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 17 Sep 2015, 12:01

Eugen wrote:Since I rarely do FX, I don't miss much of what XSI excels at.
Thanks for your post. I personally still think FX/ICE isn't necessarily what "XSI excels at". We've "got" Houdini for that. Softimage|XSI always was a powerful package for character animation and it still is and one of its main selling-points should always have been it's general ease-of-use and great (rather) consistent workflow. But that's a tough sell for any marketing departement. ICE was just that, the icing on the cake...
:-s
...

Eugen
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Re: Are we there (dead?) yet?

Post by Eugen » 17 Sep 2015, 12:26

Maybe... however, did you check out C4D's character tools? Not bad at all, too, at least what I can tell yet.
There's a flexible rig-creation tool, similar to 3ds Max' CAT. It has an "animation mixer" (the "motion mode" of the timeline panel). You've got cloth, you've got hair... a GATOR-like tool, "VAMP"... it even has a muscle system (never tested).
If you need to re-rig, you can move around your character tags (Weight, IK, ...) without crashing things... it's the hell of a user-crap-forgiving program anyway.

I know the guy who rigged this cartoony octopus (did a really fine job!). Told me he had almost no crashes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLaOSoNq0no