What 3D package does your studio use?

houdini

#41

Anybody have experience transitioning from max to XSI (in games preferrably)

I’m interested in what it was like to move over. My experiments in XSI have shown it to be robust, flexible and generally nice with not much stuff it cannot match 3dsmax for.

In case I cannot see the wood for the trees I wonder if anyone from the xsi studios might have any useful info. I might see if we can explore XSI as an option if only for a few of us to start with.

cheers,


#42

I asked that earlier and have not had a response. I’d be keen to hear too. In my case I’m concerned that XSI doesn’t seem to have much in the way of tools for architectural modelling (I haven’t found anything that comes close to Max’s snaps for instance) and it doesn’t work in real world units. That seems a bit of an oversight. I’d have a hard time working and guessing things like when I want to move something by 56.5m metres I have to move it by 565 units. The bigger things get the harder it would seem to be. Move something by 468750 units?

And the UV mapping tools look a bit primitive for environments. No automapping as far as I found or unfolding tools like Pelt or LSCM mapping (I expect scripts exist for that).

Altogether it seems more designed for characters. Which is cool if that’s what you want it for and this is a tech art forum, but our needs would be more weighted in favour of environments and we would be screwed if we couldn’t work as fast as with Max.


#43

Interesting points about scale and UVs, i’ll bear those in mind. I dont tend to use pelt in max but relax instead and I’m fairly sure its present in XSI. Cheers for the info though.

Only stuff I’ve discovered so far webwise is:

http://www.xsibase.com/users/max2xsi/MAX2XSI.htm

http://www.stefandidak.com/pub/xsi1.php

If I discover anything more tangible I shall post back - sorry if I’ve diverted the thread a bit I will start a different one next time I post on this topic. :slight_smile:


#44

I shall be keen to hear what you find Chris.

At some stage I’ll probably have another go with XSI now I’ve got a beefy desktop. It didn’t much like my old and slow laptop. Simple things like cutting a poly would make it stop and think for a second or so which was quite annoying. I just went back to Silo on that machine. That flies. But of course you can’t do everything with Silo, it’s quite limited.


#45

Max/Maya primarily at GarageGames. Though, we’re pretty much allowed to use what we want…

For years GG has been primarily Max… but recently we hired a bunch of Maya people and now there is really only 1 guy that uses max all of the time. I’ve been able to move away from max for my current project and only use it when I have to. Recently I’ve been using Modo for my modelling/texturing and Maya for animation/export.
I’ve wanted to try out XSI but never really get a chance to.


#46

[QUOTE=robinb;1362]I asked that earlier and have not had a response. I’d be keen to hear too. In my case I’m concerned that XSI doesn’t seem to have much in the way of tools for architectural modelling (I haven’t found anything that comes close to Max’s snaps for instance) and it doesn’t work in real world units. That seems a bit of an oversight. I’d have a hard time working and guessing things like when I want to move something by 56.5m metres I have to move it by 565 units. The bigger things get the harder it would seem to be. Move something by 468750 units?

And the UV mapping tools look a bit primitive for environments. No automapping as far as I found or unfolding tools like Pelt or LSCM mapping (I expect scripts exist for that).

Altogether it seems more designed for characters. Which is cool if that’s what you want it for and this is a tech art forum, but our needs would be more weighted in favour of environments and we would be screwed if we couldn’t work as fast as with Max.[/QUOTE]

We started Robomodo with Max in mind but moved to XSI for a number of reasons. A bunch of us used XSI while at NuFX and EA Chicago, and really liked the non-destructive modeling workflow. I am used to the snapping in XSI and have no problems with that at all, and prefer it to Max’s, although it’s been many years since I actually used Max in a full production.

Max’s DirectX window is more stable and user friendly. XSI’s directx window is kinda lame, we use the OpenGL window for realtime preview instead. With good NVidia cards and NVidia CG Toolkit 2.0 installed, we are able to do a good amount of preview (not all) in the OGL viewport.

Yes, XSI has no inherent tie to real world units, which is lame. our character guys work in centimeters and our env guys work in meters. we scale appropriate data in our pipelines to compensate.

We use Max only so we can continue to use ShaderFX. We are considering writing our own shader authoring tool in Ice when we’re able to convert fully to 7.0.

As far as pelting, there is a plugin called “Roadkill” for XSI that is decent… but I still like a stand alone app called “UV Layout” by Headus (Phil Dench from Australia who also developed CySlice).

As far as tools deployment, XSI is hands down the winner in my opinion… we are able to deploy our tools updates seemlessly… and the scripting languages are very friendly to our engineering staff. XSI also has full collada integration which we’re leveraging and adding custom data to.

XSI also bakes the best Normal Maps internally IMO, and also has the GATOR tool, which has probably bailed me out of over 1000 pickles. For those that don’t know, Gator is a way to easily copy any type of vertex data (vert colors, uvs, shape animation, weights, etc.) across similar meshes of different topologies.

We see XSI as the right tool to grow a company around, their support staff is friggin rediculous, we ask them specific questions, send them scripts and test data, and have their engineers looking at our stuff sometimes same day. They send people to our office to work with us on site on our cornerstone issues as well.

They are smaller and more agile, and aren’t afraid to inovate.

Fun for the whole family.


#47

Thanks Dan, that’s the sort of info I was after.

BTW. Max has tools that replicate gator in most instances. They’re not all in the same tool, but they are there. Skin Wrap deals with transfering skinning info between dissimilar characters and similar geometry transfers, projection Mod deals with texturing type projections and so on. I agree those sorts of tools are massive time savers.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Roadkill an LSCM mapping tool? I’m not sure about UVLayout. LSCM is cool for some stuff and I use a Max script version for some stuff, but it doesn’t prevent overlaps and is quite happy to allow uneven geometry distribution. Pelt seems to work better for me for organics. Both options is best of all. :slight_smile:

Tools deployment isn’t an issue for us. We don’t write many of our own and have very few artists anyway. Availability of pre-exisiting free tools is more important. We use a fair few free maxscripts. I’m sure there are plenty of free scripts for XSI too.

It’s very cool that Soft support give you that sort of help. Are you a large or small company?


#48

hello tech people :slight_smile:
Here at piranha bytes most people use Max which has some drawbacks as you know, enviroment guys use max as well for objects. We also wrote an exporter to our engine which is nessesary. For animation we use EMFX3 as animation engine which works quite well, max and maya are supported. I prefer maya for animation, rigging, technical solutions, out other animator still use max, but for the next project some things will change i think.

Gator is indeed nice, but in Maya there are same options with a little scripting and copy weight via ray cast. I don´t get why so many people are crazy about the “holy” gator :slight_smile:


#49

Just curious, has there been a lot of interest at GarageGames with the $99 Indie License of Houdini with direct export to Torque?


#50

We Use 3DSMax here at Turn10. I’m not much of a fan. As a user, the interface is a bit clunky, espeically throwing modifiers just to ‘see’ my UV’s.

As a developer, I’m not excited about changing the way I access the same data in my scripts depending on the mesh paradigm (epoly, emash ect ect) and i think this is a serious pain in the ass.


#51

I’m not working in the industry (yet) but I will tell you that the majority of my classes use Max rather than Maya. We do have classes in Maya but I think the majority of the instructors here feel more comfortable in Max. Currently we are using the 2008 version but I’ve poked my head around a bit in the 2009 version. It seems as though none of the major issues are solved, but rather quicker ways to work around the quarks have been added in, which is helpful.

As far as XSI goes, we had a seminar on the program a few months back. From what little experience I’ve had in actually working with the program, I think it has a lot of potential. I’ll be interested in seeing if they work it in to the curriculum here. :D:


#52

hey Syreian, I see you are in Irvine, CA. What school do you go to?


#53

Here at Obsidian we’re using XSI and MAX. The studio was been a MAX house and made the switch at the request of the art leads prior to my arrival a few months ago.

My initial thought was they must be crazy but in truth it hasn’t been a big deal.

Almost everyone on the team has switched from Max and within a couple of weeks are producing assets. The learning curve is pretty mellow in when compared to switching from Max to Maya. As I learned when I when to work for Rockstar SD.

Out of the box most of what you’d need is right there. I was pretty shocked to hear there was little to no need of scripts. Which is pretty rare these days especially with apps such as Maya.

The few tools I’ve need to develop where pretty straighforward and since I had prior experience with VB script it was easy to dive in.

As a side note. When I was at Concrete Games and part of THQ. There was an e-mail thread between the studio art leads regarding their choice in a 3d package. And the short version almost everyone picked the package not cause of its features but because of prior experience. It seemed no one could afford to ditch their old pipe for greener pastures.


#54

IF you have not seen…
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=12022457&siteID=123112

Autodesk just bought XSI,

FBX flow in and out of all 4 software systems , MAx, Maya, Mobu, XSI should get a bit better

Facerobot and Mobu under one parent is nice, would be cool to see some of the tech work together.


#55

does anyone else hear the theme to Empire Strikes back playing?


#56

They did mention the games technology group in their press release, which, along with a few other kinda NDA things related to that, they’ve been teasing for YEARS now. Their recent acquistion of kynogon makes me think (hope) that maybe they’ll start making good on some of these promises in the near future. ICE in Maya anyone?


#57

At Torus Games we’re all Maya. We migrated from SoftImage 3D to Maya as Soft XSI 1.0 was useless for game development and when evaluating Max and Maya at the time, Maya won.

A few new guys are begging to use XSI, so I’m thinking of having a serious look at it’s possibilities, but with the Autodesk monopoly, I might leave it a little longer and see what they do.


#58

for the blender guys… here are some interesting videos from an old max guy…

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=708124

maya to blender to frame sculpt and back… sounds like he wants to set it up for max as well.


#59

Slant Six are all Maya.

Mind I have used Silo extensively for mock and prop work as its a sweet little modeller for the cash, and its the right combination of sub and lofting capabilities that maya its a little flakey on. Plus it gives me that warm artist fuzzy feeling when I’m out of scripting that I used to get from Max.

Maya is just a dirty layout whore as far as I’m concerned, doing high detail fluid modeling is uncomfortable and makes me impatient.

My biggest wish and I wish every other Maya studio would hammer Autodesk about is getting Max’s bezier spline base lofting tools moved over to maya.
Yeah Yeah you can do the same thing in Maya (but not as efficently which is the core concept of game production work).
This would really speed up some of the heavy environment work that has to be done these days.


#60

motionbuilder and max with us at creative-assembly. Most biped animation is done through motionbuilder (mocap and hand keyed), vehicles and creatures are usually created and animated in max. We use character studio for cinematics as we outsource some of that.

We use havok for our in game animation and physics. We will be looking into other avenues next project, havok behavior being a possible avenue. Possibly.