Softimage has released a free, non-commercial version of its XSI 2.0 3D modelling software for Windows. Dubbed the Softimage|XSI Experience, the two-CD set makes all the features of the full Advanced version available to anyone interested in learning the application. The package also includes a searchable online manual and training videos, taking users from basic interface familiarization through to using XSI with other applications in a 3D production flow. Alias|Wavefront announced a comparable free version of its Maya software in Januaryl.
Users can unleash the full arsenal of XSI's tools, including Nurbs, Subdivision Surfaces, nonlinear animation editing, IK/FK blending, hair and fur, and dynamics simulation. The free version's renderer, as in the full package, is based on Mental Ray 3.0 software.
The Softimage|XSI experience uses the same file format as its full-blown brethren, allowing users to import and study real-world 3D models. However, this version is save-disabled, and renders are watermarked.