Softimage 2015 will be the last version release of the software. As of March 28, 2014, customers will no longer be able to purchase new standalone licenses. For Softimage customers who are currently on Autodesk Subscription, there will be options to migrate to transition offerings that include either Maya or 3ds Max for no additional cost. Customers who wish to purchase new or additional seats of Softimage 2015 can do so by purchasing either the Maya with Softimage or 3ds Max with Softimage transition offering. These offerings are available via their local reseller and cannot be purchased through the Autodesk e-store. Each transition offering, Maya with Softimage or 3ds Max with Softimage, can be purchased as a new standalone license for the same price as a standalone license of Maya or 3ds Max. Please note that after the two-year transition period customers will no longer be able to purchase new licenses or rental plans of the Softimage transition offerings from Autodesk.
The license server runs on a computer on your network and manages your use of Arnold through a license key. The license key (ascii text) typically defines the version of Arnold you can use and the number of computers you can use for rendering. It also controls how long you can use Arnold. The license server is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Like Hexagon, Carrara was an Eovia product that is now owned by Daz. Carrara is full-featured 3D application, supporting polygon modeling, spline modeling, "metaballs", and terrain modeling (it is sometimes compared to Vue). This app seems fly under the radar consistently, but Daz does seem to be serious about maintaining it as they have recently released a Mac Universal Binary version, free to registered users. Carrara also provides animation and particles.
A couple of years ago I took the opportunity and invested in a Softimage XSI license, when it was still somewhat affordable for me as a hobbyist. I did not have much time to do any 3D work since then and now want to start over again. Having now a valid XSI 7 license (with MR 3.6) and some trainings is it worth investing the time to work with an outdated software? I still like it and have so far not felt too comfortable with Blender (which may change when working with it more often), which is the only alternative I can see at the moment. Or is XSI still ahead in some areas? I will just work on some personal projects for fun and I at least got XSI running on Windows 8.1 64 bit on recent hardware. So this should be ok for some time. I also got the 3delight render plugin working. All other render plugins require a far newer Softimage version. But for me, MR 3.6 would be sufficient of course.
Softimage has just released a new version of SOFTIMAGE | XSI 5.1. This upgrade is available to everyone who is already running XSI 5.0. It doesnt even require a new license. This is one of the best dot release/free upgrades Softimage has put out yet. Judging from the types of tools included, its really obvious that Softimage is making an effort to ease the transition to XSI for users of other software, since one of the most important aspects of this release is the huge amount of new import/export tools.
The import/export options dont stop with Point Oven. XSI 5.1 includes a great 3ds Max import/export tool. There is a catch, though: you need 3ds Max 8 installed in order to use this tool. Why? Because the conversion is accomplished using plug-ins for 3ds Max that XSI launches in the background. Dont think that Softimage is the only program on the planet that has to do it this way. Every other application that can import/export .max files (3dExploration, Polytrans, etc.) needs 3ds Max installed as well. The reason is because the only program that can read and write .max files is 3ds Max. All the framework needed to build or pack a 3ds Max scene is located in the core of the 3ds Max application. Think you have to go out and buy a full version of Max 8 just to export/import max files? You dont, you can get free 30-day trial of Max 8 at Autodesks website. The 3ds Max import/export tool supports quite a lot of features. For example: Standard and extended primitives. Envelopes, implicits and control objects. As nulls: lights, cameras, targets and nulls all with SRT animation. As polygons: Patch, NURBS, architectural primitives, splines and extended splines.
Sometimes its the simple things that make the day go by faster. XSI 5.1 has quite a few of these sorts of enhancements too. The isolate selection tool is now a toggle rather than a set of two options. This makes isolation one middle click away rather than a choice that you have to dig through the interface to find. Normally the order that objects are listed in the explorer is determined by the general sort order set in the explorer; for example, Alphabetical, None (creation) and so on. There has been a reorder tool for quite some time, but until now its scope was pretty limited. The new reorder tool has been expanded to cover objects in a group, passes, layers and clusters in a cluster container, making scene organization even easier than before. The script editor has a new autofocus tool. It controls the script editors rude and annoying habit of popping to the front of other windows as soon as the mouse pointer moves over it. The grid plane is now adjustable. Rather than being permanently laid out flat on the XZ axis, it can now be adjusted to match any axis pair. There is a new option in the XSI compositor (called Move Image Back To (0, 0) Coordinate) that makes cropping images much easier and new Resize node that works much better than the old one. A variety of new anchor points have been added for placing custom items on the XSI menus. You can now add items to the menus in the main command panel as well as the menus in the viewports. XSI now supports self-installing custom operators. There is a wizard that can generate a template for the appropriate callbacks, which you can access from the Plug-in Manager, and custom shaders no longer need to be registered. You can now store an objects keyable parameters, which are the parameters that are displayed in the keying panel. Keyable parameters let you keep a specific set of parameters always available for an object, without needing to mark them first. Last, but certainly not least, full support for Softimages new facial animation software, Face Robot, has been added to this version. 2b1af7f3a8