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Autodesk Softimage Reviews

Damn shame...

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Being in the 'biz' using various applications for all things 3D, it certainly was a disappointment to hear not only that 3ds Max's Autodesk decided to effectively eliminate 3ds Max's competition by buying up two of its major competitors: Maya and Softimage, many of us knew this wouldn't be a good thing. I've worked with all 3 applications in various environments, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses of course, as do all software packages.

Having three of the top 3D applications all under one company was obviously not going to end well for the three separate philosophies of design under one roof - something was going to have to go, there is no room for a company, nor does it make sense to have three similar packages being sold to consumers. They did try for a while, and it was ridiculously funny for many of us. I can only imagine what Autodesk employees would say when asked, "well which one should we buy?" or the never-ending "which one is the best?" They tried to categorize 3ds Max as a gaming-centric application and Maya for Film/TV, and Softimage could do a bit of it all.

To be honest, they all could do basically everything, just in varying degrees of ease or quality, but that period where studios or individuals purchased one package over another must have been a very confusing time. I have no idea how they convinced buyers to purchase one over another - maybe they just suggesting buying all three!

I should point out, although that we all of course have personal favorites, with that aside, I own 3ds Max and have worked extensively with Maya and Softimage, so hopefully this bears some weight, but in my humble opinion Softimage was the cream of the crop. It just felt better and more refined and truly was an amazing piece of software that was the culmination of perfecting the 3D scene. I thought Maya was wonderful in many regards, and it was excellent to work with. In fact, I remember working with Maya for the first time and thinking how slick it felt to work with - little did I know just how incredible Softimage was. Maya was a far second to Softimage, for me at least. Then of course, as you may have guessed, 3ds Max was the very least favorite of the three. It was being used extensively by many game companies across the world, but with prices coming down for Maya and Softimage, it was only a matter of time in my opinion, that if these game developers had even been given the chance to try the other two options, they would've dropped 3ds Max like a hot potato! But fortunately for Autodesk, someone over there was clever enough to see this coming, and pounced on their competition before their clients got a scent of something better. So to top it all off, Autodesk announced that it would be dropping Softimage from their lineup and focusing on the other two. Lol, it sounds about right, the best was tossed out so they could assimilate Softimage's features into their subpar flagship and keep Maya around for whatever reason. Maya IS a very good program, but let me say, that if you can get your hands on any of the versions of Softimage XSI, although they will be older in features and standards due to lack of development - my guess is you'll have a blast creating the wildest creations from your mind with ease, in a flow that almost feels too good to be true. Perhaps you'll wonder as many of my colleagues and I shook our heads in confusion as this great piece of software was dropped for poorer alternates, that were ultimately chosen for matters that I can surmise were not in the best interest of the consumer.

Autodesk, you should be ashamed of yourself, but of course that is not possible, it is a large company, not a person - doing what was best for itself and not the artists that create the end products with these tools.

As of today my 3ds Max box collects dust, and would probably make for a good paper-weight or door-stop (both of which are utterly useless today as well).