Siggraph 2012 - Calling all Crowds!

Posted by Mark Schoennagel, 2 August 2012 7:21 pm

Greetings everyone!

Thought I’d write a quick little post as hopefully you all are getting as psyched about Siggraph as I am!  Burning the midnight oil as usual around this time of year getting demos polished up and hardware situated.  Hopefully all the Softimage users out there have upgraded to Softimage 2013 SP1 which fixes a good number of bugs and workflow issues that have been annoying us.

As for Siggraph, I’ll have a daily, 30 minute presentation in the main Autodesk theater showing off CrowdFX, and two more hours in the “Autodesk University” theater, also in the main Autodesk booth.  The theater demo is going to focus as I mentioned on CrowdFX, but the AU Theater is much more free form so feel free to stop by and ask questions.  I have some great material from my friends at Psyop and some other customers to show you as well as some other cool ICE tricks so make sure to stop by.  If for some reason you miss me there, I’ll be spending the rest of the show in the Intel booth playing on some pretty wicked hardware over there. By the way, I’m pretty sure in my theater demo at the Autodesk booth I’ll have some Intel Solid State drives to give away so make sure you pay attention as a triva question is going to win the prize!  I can tell you this, the Intel SSD’s are sick sick sick when it comes HD performance.  Scrubbing a cache file with a bunch of CrowdFX characters is wayyyy faster than on a regular hard drive that’s for sure!

All also be at the Autodesk Studen Experience event at the JW Marriott on Monday showing a little Mudbox of all things.  I had the opportunity to learn Mudbox a few weeks ago so I could man the Wacom booth at Comicon.  First, Comicon is nuts, thats all I'll say about that!  Second, Mudbox is awesome! I had no idea it was so easy!  Jen Goldfinch heard I picked it up in a weeks time and asked if I would share my experience with the students which of course I was happy to do.  I did meet the guys from Makerbot at Comicon who hooked me up with one of the their ammmaazzzzinggg 3D printers, wow!   You take a highly detailed Mudbox model, convert it to .STL and print it!  Its crazy cool!.  I'll hopefully have the Makerbot in our booth printing away for you to check out too.

By the way... If anyone has some cool scenes they created with CrowdFX and want me to show it send me an email!  I have some good examples but could always use a few more!  Renderings are fine too, just point me in the right direction.   Also, any other cool ICE scenes you have I’ll also put to good use too so let me know!  Just drop me an email at Mark.Schoennagel @ in the next couple days.

Other than that things are really good.  The team in Singapore are already doing some amazing work on the next release.  I think you’ll all be pleasantly surprised by what the team is going to deliver in 2014 so stay tuned and hope to see you at the show!!

Ok back to RedBull and Sofitmage. :)



Posted 2 August 2012 8:56 pm

Cool stuff ! Is any of this going to be streamed live ?


Posted 2 August 2012 9:01 pm

Hi Mark!

Any news about ICE mathematics document from your previous post?


Posted 3 August 2012 12:54 am

sigh CrowdFx.. zzzzzzzzz

Joseph Horvath

Posted 3 August 2012 1:18 am

Sounds good Mark.What about the Softimage 2013 SAP?
Will there be one?


Posted 3 August 2012 9:50 am

There won't be SAP anymore.

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 3 August 2012 6:38 pm

Yes Nick, All the demos from the main theater will be streamed live here on The Area so look for that...

I will definitely post the Todd's document asap. Look for that soon.

CrowdFX sighhh... well, I know its not new, I wish there was some new stuff to show but with the releases being annual now and shipping in April theres not much we can do. The Max and Maya guys are in the same boat.

As for SAP, this year there will not be a SAP version for Softimage. With the transition of development moving to Singapore the team put all their focus into the 2014 release and decided not to focus on a smaller mid-year release. I can promise you there will be some pretty impressive, BIG features in 2014 so hang in there....and as far as I know SAP releases will resume again after this year. Im really impressed with the Singapore team, some very talented people are anxious to prove themselves!!


Posted 3 August 2012 7:24 pm

Ok Mark, you promised

Good luck at SIGGRAPH!


Posted 3 August 2012 7:32 pm

Mark, i think you are the last man standing for Softimage users..
Admire your passion and your videos, just we would love to see a real update for Softimage, feel we are left a bit behind.

Lets see what 2014 brings.


Mark Schoennagel

Posted 3 August 2012 9:55 pm

Youre absolutely right langdon, I would and do sometimes feel the same way. Im sincere when I say the Singapore team impresses me. I had a roadmap discussion and saw what was on the map for 2014 and beyond and its all good stuff.

And yes, I cross my heart lol.

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 3 August 2012 9:57 pm

My Southpark avatar is cracking me up... A couple years ago we made a *slightly* humorous South Park parody for an internal competition. Theres some internal humor so you might not get it all but here it is...


Posted 4 August 2012 8:41 am

It is very nice to see you still being optimistic. Hearing that there would be no SAP this year actually sparked some hope within me. Those SAP releases really killed the development it seems, and I wish they stayed away.

Joseph Horvath

Posted 4 August 2012 4:12 pm

Thanks Mark.Looking forward to the 2014 release.
See you at Siggraph!

phil harbath

Posted 9 August 2012 8:14 pm

I think saying that "those SAP releases really killed the development..." kind of simplifies the problem.


Posted 10 August 2012 2:17 am

Great presentation Mark. The sheer number of agents in the huge crowd sim was amazing. Question, I'd love to use this to do a "climbing" sim. Is it possible doing essentially a quadraped climbing on a vertical surface? Maybe with some tweaking possibly? Anyway, great to hear your enthusiasm at Siggraph, even if there wasn't too much new stuff.


Posted 13 August 2012 10:40 pm

Hi Mark

I sincerely hope the new team works out. With that in mind can we get some idea of what their vision is for Softimage and what they foresee as its main use to be. A roadmap of sorts would be great

As an educator we need to make sure there is an alignment with what we are teaching and the tools we need to do that. Its partly why we switched from Maya to Soft 4 years back because Maya back then was also going through a period of uncertainty.

Another big thing is not just adding of new new features. They are awesome and all but there are still a few things that Soft needs to sort out.

1) Its really problematic that its the only Linux tool we get in the creative bundle that cant use the unified stand alone licence. As it stands we dont have the flexibility of ordering some network and some stand alone licences in our yearly educational maintenance.

2) It would be great if we could get clarity from the team as to whether a Mac release is going to happen. Those of us that have been asking over the years are getting very tired of just been given a link to the Softimage requirements. If nothing else it will tone down all the hate on the forums when people ask this question.


Posted 15 August 2012 12:13 am

So if there will not be a SAP this year Mark, maybe you can only this year compensate our enthousiasm gap by doing some extra video's about softimage? (that might be realistic right?) I always get enthousiast about new updates to software, but new Mark video's would be enthousiasm boost all the same. I think for many of us. Maybe an newer kind of softimage webcast? (at the same time gaining more attention to softimage win/win making the 2014 release even more of a winner.)


Posted 15 August 2012 12:18 am

Oh just curious, the softimage UI logic i.m.o. is realy great compared to other products, but i'm getting quite sick about the 80's look and butons and so on.

It is known if at least the UI will get updated? It hasn't been updated in ages, it's not as if that is the best UI possible. It's like comparing the cinema 4d r1 looks to r13. Day and night.


Posted 16 August 2012 7:39 pm

Why this software is always treated like a plugin? i mean this is a bit disappointing to say the least. Even Chaos Group had a better video and showcase of Softimage with the presentation they did V-Ray for Softimage in "The making of Sajnt".

This is truly unreal that at siggraph we get 30 minutes of just crowdFX send to maya. Seriously? I'm not really bashing you Mark, you always been a dedicated person who worked hard behind the scenes for Softimage, but Autodesk seriously this is insulting for userebase and people who invested money into Softimage.

There are countless of things to show, from ICE effects, rigging, modeling. Why we didnt get video with softimage > mudbox > motionbuilder? Another year we have been treated like a plugin.
And we keep hearing "the future is bright?". Getting old.


Posted 18 September 2012 1:58 pm

I know I am little late on this post... But I second Langdon.

We would like to see workflows from Softimage to Motion Builder or to Mudbox. Enough of exporting stuff to Maya. I know big studios have more Maya than Softimage. And that is Avid's fault. I think Softimage is now on the right track trying to make its way back up through the pipe line of mayor studios.

Just keep the good job Mark. I'll patiently wait for the 2014 release. At this point of my life I don't want to learn Maya far than using it to export models and scenes to Softimage.

I think that, that should be otherwise. Workflow from exporting your old Maya projects to Softimage!

Add Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Please only report comments that are spam or abusive.