Price When Reviewed: 299 . 1125 . 3950
Pros: New character-animation tools including MOTOR motion-data importing and retargeting tool. Material Manager with Shaderball display. Morph and Warp, and Crosswalk interoperability tools.
Cons: Essentials and Advanced versions have lion’s share of the new features. Majority of features seem aimed at studio pipeline, rather than for the solo user.
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In first inspection, Softimage|XSI 6.0 doesn’t look like much of an update. Looking around the interface doesn’t reveal many clues as to what has changed, but once you get stuck into the new features, you’ll find a wealth of new tools to get your teeth into. It’s not as radical an update as version 5 was, but still offers plenty of improvements.
Click the File menu, for example, and you’ll find a command called Crosswalk. This is an exporter function for transferring assets between XSI and Maya and 3DS Max. This is a smart move by Softimage given the dominance of Autodesk in this market. It also allows XSI 6 to be slotted neatly into a multi-platform pipeline.