Hi all Softimage users (is that pronounce soft-image or softi-mage),
We’re currently using Maya at work and back when we considering which software would be our primary, I tried out Softimage, but at the time, our workflow was so much faster in Maya as our animators had studied it at college.
Now I’m wondering if we should’ve just jumped into the deep-end.
How is the grass looking on that side? I know all software has it’s bugs and drawbacks, but I’d like a general overview of how you all feel with Softimage’s progress. It often gets marketed with the AD Suites, but I don’t know if it’s getting the spotlight it deserves… ICE is just, well, just wow for me - would love to get into that.
You can blame it on Autodesk that you and your animators have little knowledge of softimage (pronounced softi-mage, has french canadian roots). They do include it in the suites but usually understate its possibilities. This is not a maya vs soft thread but just to give a perspective, i also use maya and often find its features disappointing because they do an opposite thing - overstate the possibilities.
In any case, the grass is looking pretty green but it may depend on your production needs and studio setup. Soft is perfect for small to midsize studios and your artists will love it, but its lack of quality interface framework (its not bad but plugin devs are crying for Qt) as well as some limitations on SDK will not impress an experienced maya/max TD. Not being a TD myself, this is only an impression i’ve got from talking with them.
ICE is a beast indeed. It is a programing language that doesn’t necessarily require you to be a programer. I get a certain satisfaction when i have an experienced programer/scripter stand struck at how easily and quickly i can pull off work that takes days or weeks for them to setup in maya. That said, technically gifted people will be able to get a lot more out of it than a mare artist. It also has its limitations but it goes a long way of keeping your production flowing as well as serve as a tool development platform which will make you resort to a commercial plugin less often than in other packages.
Stability is high and the application is quite fast/agile. One thing that has to be said is that softimage has became more buggy with the first release, so if you are accustomed to waiting for SP1 or working with older versions with maya, prepare to do so for Softimage as well.
As for animators being educated on maya, this is something you will have to deal with. Most schools are setup this way and are not changing. Good news is, its easy to re-train maya animators for softimage. Takes no more than a week to get them up to speed. Its much harder to do this in other areas.
If you have some specific questions, shoot them up. In the end, i think you will have to do the evaluation yourself. If you have a suite, that should make it perfect, if not, try getting a license since i do not believe a 30 day trial is near enough for someone to consider a crossgrade. It takes a lot to evaluate a software of this magnitude.
P.S. Sorry for a late reply but it the future consider asking a question on more popular softimage forums.
The students in the VFX program here at Tribeca|Flashpoint here in Chicago use both Maya and Softimage, about 50/50. We teach a fairly software-agnostic way, and they generally pick the software they feel most comfortable with. Many pick Softimage because they can just “get it done” with little hassle. Especially for the power of ICE, particles and physics are generally done in Soft.
3ds Max from v. 1.5 to 2013
Softimage 3.8 to 2013
Maya 1.5 to 2013
Asus G73s i7 laptop, 8 gigs RAM
Windows 7 pro 64 bit
Thanks so much for your responses. I thought that maybe forums such as xsibase would’ve yielded more responses. We’re a small company so this sounds promising that thing can just get done! :)
Maybe I can convince the finance department to buy at least one suite license. In the meantime I’ll give the trial a go.
When I studied animation, the college had already given Max the boot from their courses and focused solely on Maya believing it was the future of 3D animation. It’s good to know that not all schools have this train of thought.