Avid Technology subsidiary Softimage has announced the latest update to its character production software, in the form of Softimage XSI 6. The new version includes a number of new and enhanced features, including a new collaborative framework that assists 3D artists in working together without hindering each other's individual efforts.
Softimage XSI 6 supports the .NET framework and includes integrated C#, which has been proven popular with next-gen 3D game developers. The software also offers support for Python, a preferred scripting language used by technical directors for setting up film and visual effects pipelines. In addition, Softimage notes that it is working with industry partners to offer support for DirectX 10 hardware that will operate on Microsoft Windows Vista once it is available.
Other major updates include a dedicated toolset called Crosswalk that offers the ability to transfer assets to and from other 3D software; MOTOR, a streamlined way to transfer and move animation and motion capture data between arbitrary XSI rigs and other 3D software character rigs; and a new lightweight production-level data referencing solution. Softimage XSI 6 also includes the ability for artists to ‘distort’ and ‘morph’ images and sequences, as well as Quick Shade, a fast way to preview rendering elements with large scale materials management and support for mental ray 3.5 and a new open framework for integrating third-party renderers.
Softimage vice president and general manager Marc Stevens commented, “With a next-generation scalable architecture, and the ability to easily fit into existing 3D pipelines, XSI software offers a collaborative workflow environment that underlines our dedication and sole focus to offer the best 3D solutions for the entertainment market.”