Version 3.0 of Softimage|XSI adds performance and productivity enhancements for modeling, animation, simulation, rendering, and compositing to Softimage's flagship product, which it calls a "nonlinear production environment." The latest version will enable content creators to work more interactively with larger and more complex characters, as well as with more objects in a scene. The new XSI crowd-simulation toolkit features a sophisticated behavioral animation and crowd simulation system, which incorporates full-featured behavioral scripting, visual state-graph editing, and dynamic motion synthesis for automating interactive object behavior.
Version 3.0 also includes additions to character construction and setup tools, including options for quickly generating fully customizable, film-quality biped and quadruped setups and rigs. Other software highlights include interactive rendering for working with High Dynamic Range images, an integrated dynamics simulation environment with hair/fur and particle enhancements, integrated compositing, and new tools for game designers, including real-time shader tools and Platform Development Kits for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 platforms.
Softimage|XSI 3.0 is scheduled for release this fall. Prices vary according to configuration. —Karen Moltenbreyn