Softimage announced that its Softimage XSI version 1.5 flagship software is out and available to animators in the film, broadcast, games and interactive markets.
Utilizing the architecture of Softimage XSI 1.0, a large number of new capabilities and performance enhancements were incorporated into the Softimage XSI 1.5 version. These include a new polygon mesh modeler, subdivision surfaces, a new texture UV editor, cloth dynamics and Net View, a fully integrated Web browser.
Softimage’s new polygon tools, including subdivision surfaces, allow animators to model, texture and animate complex, one-piece characters, while keeping resolution low until it is time to render, speeding up the process significantly. It is even possible just to increase the resolution of the model when rendering, thus getting rid of processing overheads when building and animating elements.
Other features include dynamic simulation, which provides cutting-edge particles, softbody and cloth dynamic simulators. Simulation also allows the animator to determine and refine the relationship between characters and objects within a scene, enabling lifelike motion, actions and reactions.
Another new feature, Net View provides artists with access to a fully integrated HTML browser within Softimage XSI 1.5. Conducting research on the Web for materials and linking to the Softimage user community is now possible without the need to leave the Softimage interface. Drag and drop features also allow scene components to be added directly from the Web into Softimage XSI 1.5. The ability to execute scripts from Web pages makes this an ideal tool for content and asset management. Now technical directors and producers can organize projects using simple HTML-based Internet or Intranet sites, eliminating the need for complex and expensive management systems.
Softimage offers two varieties of the Softimage XSI system: Essentials and Advanced. Softimage XSI Essentials Version 1.5 is available for $7,995. Softimage XSI Advanced package includes simulated Particles, Softbodies and an additional mental ray license for $11,995.