Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc. has lifted the curtain on SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6, the latest version of its flagship 3D animation and character creation software. The upcoming release will introduce new solutions designed to accelerate animation by simplifying the process of working with 3D characters and motion capture data. A new collaborative framework in XSI 6 software also allows 3D artists to work together non-destructively, in a studio environment that provides easy integration with other 3D applications.
SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 will support the .NET framework and will include integrated C#, an object-oriented programming language popular with next-gen 3D game developers. The software also offers support for Python, a scripting language used by technical directors for setting up film and visual effects pipelines. In addition, Softimage is working closely with industry partners to offer support for DirectX 10 hardware that will operate on Microsoft Windows Vista once it is available.
Other features of XSI 6 include Crosswalk, a dedicated toolset that offers extensive asset transfer 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; Delta Referencing, a new lightweight production-level referencing solution that streamlines the process of working with and making changes to 3D models and scene set-ups; Elastic Reality Warper and Morpher, a tool built into the Illusion compositor in XSI 6 software to allows artists to distort and morph images and sequences; Quick Shade, a fast way to preview rendering elements with large scale materials management with support for mental ray’ 3.5 and an new open framework for integrating third-party renderers. A full feature list for Softimage XSI 6 can be found at: www.softimage.com/xsi.
The release is expected to be available by the end of December 2006. SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Foundation will sell for the suggested retail price of $495 from the Softimage web site at www.softimage.com/store or from authorized Softimage resellers. SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Essentials will sell for $1,995 and SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Advanced will carry a list price of $6,995 through authorized resellers. Once shipping, all versions will be available for download as upgrades for existing licenses or first-time 3D customers at www.softimage.com/download.
With the launch of XSI 6, Softimage is offering a special, limited-time upgrade promotion. All registered XSI Foundation customers can upgrade to XSI 6 Foundation for $395 or XSI Essentials for $1,495 until Dec. 20, 2006. For more information about upgrades and maintenance pricing, go to www.softimage.com to find a local reseller.