Friday Flashback #85


Forgive me this [melodramatic] indulgence, but after 3 years, 8 months, and 13 days, I turned in my Autodesk badge. I don’t need it anymore.*

Let’s flash back to blog post #1 “The End”, from 14 Dec 2008.

I want to thank all my readers, commentators, and contributors for their time and attention.

Like we say here in Canada: keep your sticks on the ICE everybody 🙂

*I was part of the 7% layoff. Cue Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door…

52 thoughts on “Friday Flashback #85

  1. Utter and complete shock.
    If this means what I think it means, you will be sorely missed (and not just be me, I’m sure)… You were one of the best things about the “old” Softimage and the “new”.

      • You just found out, today on the Full Moon ? You can’t keep the blog running ? This is a shock, it appears so many people are being laid off, in every sector. I guess they want a world full of unemployed people. Do you have another Job lined up, or you have to take what you can get ?

  2. Stephen, I am gutted to learn of this… my heart really goes out to you. I can’t express how much your support has meant to us over the past few years, really, it’s been invaluable. Honestly, you have been the glue that has held everything together. I just want to express how appreciative I am for everything that you’ve done to keep us up and running on Softimage. Your support has gone well beyond what anyone would have expected and you should be getting a promotion, pay raise or at least an award rather than the sack. Autodesk, really this is the last straw!

  3. I can’t believe it, I’m shocked!
    This was one of the best information source about Softimage, It will be highly missed. Today it’s a really sad day … I hope you get a better place to work, and I wish you the best.

  4. I can’t believe it. Is that no one at AD knows what is good and what is bad??

    I’m really sorry to read this. I (and surely hundreds of xsi users) send you our best wishes for whatever your future has ahead for you. Best of luck, mate.

    I wish this blog will continue alive to know about you and your future projects, and as a super-valuable source of knowledge.

    THANK YOU.

  5. I’m very sorry to hear this as well. Your dedication to Softimage was unmatched. Sad to see this great software loose all it’s vigilant staff. Clearly AD is going to bury Softimage. Not sure where our community is going next… but I sure hope to see you there. Keep your chin up, you have lots to be proud of.

  6. No, what? I’m having trouble registering this. To me you were the spokesperson of Softimage. No, you were Softimage. I learned a lot from your daily emails and even have a special folder for them. When I pay my gold subscription support I felt it was well worth it because I was paying for Your support.

    It’s AD’s loss. You have a great future ahead of you and wish you all the best.

  7. You have to be kidding me! Stephen you’re one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with Softimage in spite of Autodesk’s idiocracy. You and Manny (and back at Avid, Eric) were the go-to guys to solve nearly any problem.

    I guess this is just one more push for me towards leaving Autodesk for me too.

    Autodesk has made a HUGE mistake. You are going to be sorely missed.

    -Paul

  8. It is hard to believe this. I cannot thank you enough for serving the soft community unconditionally for so many year and so efficiently. It will be a big loss for all of us for sure. I wish you the best in anything and everything because you deserve it Stephen.

  9. Immediately after 1000 posts, the blog looks like it will be retired, I just hope it stays online for reference. XSI Base seems to be heading in the same direction.

  10. What an awfull sad news. I’ve been reading you very often, always helpfull and valuable. I hope you’ll keep some Ice love and continue publishing articles. Wishing you good luck and hope to hear from you soon.

    Olivier

  11. Uh..what? Would you mind sending me the address of the person who actually decided this?
    Worst Friday Flashdreck ever ;-(

    Now, where’s my Houdini license…

  12. Since Autodesk has bought almost everything, there isn’t much choice. I read some where because of ICE, Softimage is self-developing. If you want to branch away from Autodesk there is Houdini, Cinema 4D and well, Lightwave seems that is about it.

    • We have to stick together.
      United we stand, divided we fall
      We may have our differences, our brain farts, but it’s the only direction.

  13. I have since moved to modo, but still subscribe to the mailing list and visit this site often. I have to say that I really appreciate what you have done and the great source of information you have provided the user base over the years. Good luck, and I truly hope to see you somewhere else in the CG arena (Luxology?).

  14. Thank you so much for your support. You sir are a true ICE Jedi :). I hope you’ll find a workplace where your efforts will be as appreciated as they were in xsi community. All best to you. Cheers

  15. You are simply the most helpful person I have have EVER had in support of any kind…. Like I told your bosses “Stephan Blair rocks!!!” You are already missed! Autodesk is proving them selves on a daily basis they cant make a good decisions.

    • Mis-Management is all over. The people who work at the bottom of companies, probably should be running companies, and the ones at the top of companies, should be at the bottom.

  16. Shocked & speechless. I can’t believe ADSK, I knew they were the devil and all, but this crosses the line. Damn, it crosses every line.

    So they decided that Stephen was not needed, and they could do away with him. Next up, the mouse cursor in the Softimage UI. Who the hell needs that ?

    Best of luck to you Stephen.
    Not to worry, any company – still in their right mind – would die to have you.

  17. I couldn’t agree more with all the previous posts. You’ll be greatly missed Stephen. I can’t begin to understand what the heck they were thinking when they made that decision. It’s clear that you’ve always gone out of your way to interact with the XSI community and the comments above should make it obvious how appreciated that is.

    I can only hope that someone is able to step into your shoes at some point, but either way, your personal contribution and dedication will leave a large “Stephen-Blair” shaped hole that will be difficult to fill.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do next.

    Andy

  18. Take care Stephen and may the force be with you. Thank you for your kind contributions, interesting videos, injection of humor and dedication to the Softimage community.

    God bless you.

  19. Agree on everything already said. I learned A LOT, A LOT about ICE and Python from your blog posts. Was visiting them on daily basis.
    Good luck, even though I think you do not need it much!

  20. What’s been valuable to watch is your dedication not only to this blog, but seeing your own personal development from learning from ice to python and beyond,

    It’s been so much more than support, it’s been like seeing an support-artist grow, which has elevated support to a new level, and given and offered clearly so much more to the community.

    Obviously we’ll miss your insights, dedication and resourcefulness. Our loss will be, I am of no doubt, others gain. Hopeful that the future brings ever better for you, you clearly deserve it.

  21. This is definitely the last drop in an ocean of bad decisions with Softimage for me. Leaving for modo, even if the animation part is pretty bad, I’m sure it will eventually be great.
    Autodesk, shame on you!

  22. this is BAD NEWS 😦 “Keep your stick on the ice”: Guess that will be the only part of SI which will be further developed by AD in the future. Hope they don’t rip apart the whole proggy to “Autodesk ICE” 😦

  23. A big depressing void opens up in my softimage RSS feed…

    I wish you all the luck, Stephen. Your work here has been greatly appreciated.

  24. Shame of shames, what Autodesk is doing…I used to understand layoffs, and so on, but the best folks???
    I’m curious how it affects the industry, and for personally, Softimage’s future…

    I’d say f.ck Autodesk, but that wouldn’t be too polite…

  25. Adding the corresponding thread from the XSI Mailing list
    https://groups.google.com/d/msg/xsi_list/ecC_95GbdDU/6S_ZfB9QS2MJ

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stephen Blair
    Sent: August-31-12 6:54 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Friday Flashback #85
    The end part II
    http://wp.me/powV4-24o

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Sajjad Amjad
    Sent: August-31-12 6:59 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    O_o

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Sajjad Amjad
    Sent: August-31-12 7:02 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Hi Stephen,
    Just wanted to thank you for the tremendous support you offered for Softimage over the last few years. Your move might be a drop in the ocean for Autodesk but I’m fairly certain it’s going to be felt heavily by the Softimage community.

    Thanks for all the fish and good luck,
    Sajjad

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Rob Chapman
    Sent: August-31-12 7:02 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    ??? Mr Stephen Blair leaving!? voluntarily? or part of the 7% ???

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stephen Blair
    Sent: August-31-12 7:05 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    7%

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: August-31-12 7:06 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Thank you so much for all of your support or the years! You have been awesome! And you will be dearly missed!

    best regards
    Stefan Andersson

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: August-31-12 7:07 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    btw, I don’t like this friday flashback, please remove it 🙂

    /stefan

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Chris Chia
    Sent: August-31-12 7:18 AM
    To:
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Neither do I…

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of ThomasV
    Sent: August-31-12 7:18 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I am rendered speechless…. :/

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Sandy Sutherland
    Sent: August-31-12 7:15 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    Stephen Blair has been MR Softimage for US – Autodesk – sorry but you are the biggest bunch of blundering idiots that 3D animation has ever seen!

    my 0.02c

    _____________________________
    Sandy Sutherland
    Technical Supervisor
    _____________________________

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Rob Chapman
    Sent: August-31-12 7:19 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    so a number of comments made on the various forums about the AD cuts of 500 staff and that the majority of folks actually loosing thier jobs would be the WRONG ones, not the ones responsible for the terrible decisions that caused the losses in profits, but the ones customers actually needed and were extremely talented and useful people.

    well whomever decided on this, you got it VERY WRONG INDEED. FU autodesk, seriously.

    Stephen am really sad and shocked to hear this news 😦 I sincerely hope it all works out for you in the end.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Tim Leydecker
    Sent: August-31-12 7:23 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Thanks Stephen.

    For the countless times you instantly came up with an answer or even
    directly pointed to a solution for any kind of Softimage related question.

    I´ve learned a lot by just reading through your many posts
    and have come to really like the way you handled things on this list.

    Thank you. I´ll really miss your invaluable input.

    You should have gotten a golden one…

    Cheers,

    tim

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: August-31-12 7:24 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    +1 to what you said Rob.

    @StephenBlair, I really hope you have something lined up. Would be an awful waste of talent and knowledge to have someone like you not behind a copy of Softimage….

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of wavo
    Sent: August-31-12 7:30 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    To see such a valuable person, such as Steve Blair, being laid off is incomprehensible to me as a customer of Autodesk.
    Support and development for Softimage has been mediocre ever since the acquisition of Softimage from Avid.

    Walt

    Walter Volbers
    Senior Animator

    FIFTYEIGHT 3D
    Animation & Digital Effects GmbH

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Eric Turman
    Sent: August-31-12 7:58 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I am so sorry to hear this news Stephen. You have been amazingly helpful to us over the years and it is quite a blow to hear this news. I most sincerely wish you the best of luck.

    -=Eric

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Daniel Brassard
    Sent: August-31-12 8:05 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Guillaume Laforge is also in the 7% ….. What the F*^%^%^ AD.

    Good luck Stephen and Guillaume. You are invaluable people in the Softimage community. Hope you land in a good studio!

    Cheers!

    Dan

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: August-31-12 8:10 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    !!!!!!

    I’m now going to ignore that “pay subscription” mail even more.

    /s

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Rob Chapman
    Sent: August-31-12 8:12 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    ah thanks Stephen, again , with timely advices. dammit this is such a sad occasion just want to vent at somebody responsible for this and hear any kind of justification at Autodesk being a massive pile of shite

    On 31 August 2012 13:07, Stephen Blair wrote:

    Hi Rob

    No, not at all. He is in a completely separate division (Dev) from product support. Product Support reports up into the Sales and Services org.

    On Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 7:36 AM, Rob Chapman wrote:

    I wonder if this is the action of Mr. ‘Mayalicious’ Softimage’s new product manager? I need a phone number or email address to complain to, this is a truly preposterous decision.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Rob Chapman
    Sent: August-31-12 8:13 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    yep, Im dropping subscription over this too. FU autodesk

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Ciaran Moloney
    Sent: August-31-12 8:14 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    This is really sad news.
    Good luck to all the 7%-ers

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of David Barosin
    Sent: August-31-12 8:18 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Stephen I’m very saddened to hear this. I really appreciate all your time and help. You went above and beyond for the Softimage community. I hope you find better things with a company that understands how valuable you are to have on the team.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Sandy Sutherland
    Sent: August-31-12 8:14 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    I am going to be very honest with you Graham – this is probably going to be a turning point for some decision making to do with Softimage Software – I had Autodesk suits here one day crowing about how they had stopped their clients having access to the developers of the software – they insanely seemed to think it was a good idea and a good thing to do – someone like Stephen has kept the good name of Softimage alive and well in many studios including the one I work for now and before and without him I am pretty sure there are quite a few who would have got more than fed up with the negativity of Softimage/Autodesk or rather their apparent lack of interest in the wellbeing of Softimage and moved on.

    I am going to suggest to the users on this mailing list that this is now the time to collectively voice our complete dissaproval of the way Autodesk handle Softimage and in fact the way they handle any of their software – yes I do know about the shit that the Maya users go through – note my mention above of the suits and their idiotic ideas!

    Where and how can we complain before it gets to the point we we start looking at something like Houdini?

    S.

    _____________________________
    Sandy Sutherland
    Technical Supervisor
    ____________________________

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Chris Chia
    Sent: August-31-12 8:48 AM
    To:
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I couldn’t imagine a mailing list without your voice… Stephen, do drop by here often to say hi.

    Chris

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Leoung O’Young
    Sent: August-31-12 8:52 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    This one really has me really scratching my head, what are those people at AD thinking.
    Stephen has been the most helpful person I have ever dealt with.

    Collectively can’t we sign a protest form and send it to AD?.

    This is indeed a sad day for XSI community

    Leoung

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Marc-Andre Carbonneau
    Sent: August-31-12 8:58 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    Sorry about your situation Stephen. L

    Is Daniel Langlois aware that Autodesk is liquidating it’s first success? You might say he sold it long ago and moved on but perhaps he would be mad to know that it’s about to die a horrible death.

    Perhaps he has a few millions floating around and could buy Softimage back and put it on its feet. 😉 Wish Softimage would be a standalone company like Luxologie(Modo).

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Paul Griswold
    Sent: August-31-12 9:09 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I’m on boards with several others. This might be the tipping point for me. Stephen & Manny were, without a doubt, the main reason I continued to pay my subscription each year.

    I’ve been evaluating options over the past couple of years, and while I don’t think there’s anything nearly as good as Softimage, it’s burdened by a corporation that doesn’t know it’s @sshole from it’s elbow.

    Stephen, please (if you feel like it) post other contact info to the list so folks can stay in touch.

    You have always been an extremely kind, thoughtful, patient and helpful person (especially when dealing with someone like me). I can’t express enough how angry and saddened I am at this news.

    I’m sure you realize it already, but there’s an entire community here that’s ready and willing to help out in any way we can.

    I wish you all the best in your future.

    Paul

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Ed Harriss
    Sent: August-31-12 9:14 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    I don’t understand how this could have happened. How did they pick the 7%? Did they blindfold themselves and throw darts at a an employee chart? No disrespect to the good people that weren’t part of the 7%, but from a user’s viewpoint it seems like they let go some people who were more valuable than they could possibly imagine. I am very sorry to hear about this.

    Ed

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Rob Wuijster
    Sent: August-31-12 9:15 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Hi Stephen,

    Like all the others I would thank you in a big way for all the help you’ve been through the years.
    It’s sad to see you go, especially like this 😦

    I wish you all the best, and hope you find something exciting and new any time soon.

    And a related question, what will happen to xsisupport.com? There’s a ton of useful information there :-\

    a sad sad ending of my friday……. 😦

    Rob Wuijster

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stephen Blair
    Sent: August-31-12 9:27 AM
    To: robw@casema.nl; softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Hi Rob

    The blog will stay up.
    xsisupport.wordpress.com is of course a free blog.
    And I renewed xsisupport.com the next year (and also the No Ads upgrade).

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Eugen Sares
    Sent: August-31-12 9:33 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Am 31.08.2012 15:26, schrieb Graham Bell:
    > A very good point Ed, as myself and others have been doing the same thing.
    > Not wanting to make light of Stephens news, and whilst many are understandably hung up on the negative impact to Softimage, there have also been some other M&E names that have also fallen victim to the 7%.
    > And that is all I’m willing to say for now, because if I said any more I could probably get into serious trouble.

    All this big company BS… I’m happy again to be a freelancer.
    Can you ask your bosses if Softimage is for sale? Let’s find some
    russian oligarch willing to invest in 3d-software instead of a soccer
    club. SI would be in better hands, I reckon.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Gustavo Eggert Boehs
    Sent: August-31-12 9:42 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Laying off support? FcK! Why dont they lay off all those middle man that keep people from buying their software, and move sales structure to the cloud? Would be a small step into modernizing stuff at this slow moving and souless company.

    Stephen, this is truly saddening. Best wishes to you and your family.
    Your passion, hard work and pacience will be trully missed.

    Houdini then?

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of olivier jeannel
    Sent: August-31-12 9:44 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Agree, AD should sell back Softimage to some serious developper company.

    After all, SI is just a pluggin on their website.

    Olivier

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Nicholas Breslow
    Sent: August-31-12 9:46 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    Jeezus, what a mistake Autodesk! I am not going to mince words – this fucking sucks!!! Someone in the know please post a phone number or website where we can complain.

    Stephen – I have recreated every example you have posted on the blog for the past year and couldn’t have learned Softimage without you. Your help, expertise and good nature cannot be replaced and will be sorely missed. Please consider donating your brain to the Softimage community because without it us new people are going to be lost! Better yet, take that brain somewhere else and keep kicking ass and posting useful CG information. Best of luck to you.

    I am PISSED.

    Nicholas Breslow

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Nic Groot Bluemink
    Sent: August-31-12 9:49 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Well what the fuck. Without belittling anyone’s efforts here, you were easily the most useful person on this list.

    Thank you for the years of support Stephen, and I wish you all the best.

    Nic

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Kubicek
    Sent: August-31-12 9:54 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Stephen, please let us know where you end up working next. If it’s remotely related to cg software I’ll instantly buy a license no matter what.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Cristobal Infante
    Sent: August-31-12 9:59 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I am so sorry to hear this news Stephen, thanks so much for all this year of support.

    You helped me SO many time on xsibase, the list and your blog.

    Best of luck on your next venture man,

    BEst,
    Cris

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Tim Crowson
    Sent: August-31-12 10:28 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Oh wow! Can we start an ‘Occupy Autodesk’ movement to protest in favor of ‘The 7%’.
    Stephen, it’s sad to see you go. Stay connected to the community!

    Tim Crowson
    Lead CG Artist
    Magnetic Dreams Animation Studio, Inc.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Ben Rogall
    Sent: August-31-12 10:33 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I’m also very sorry about this. Your support has really been above and beyond expected, getting us up and running on weekends and providing your irreplaceable blog.
    Best wishes,
    Ben

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: August-31-12 10:43 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I hope you (Stephen) can find a position at SideFX so I can bother you there 🙂

    /Stefan

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Mathieu Leclaire
    Sent: August-31-12 10:40 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Yes we are… For you ex-Autodesk employees, if a little trip up north doesn’t scare you off, we are interested in discussing job opportunities.

    I also want to say thank you for all your hard work over the years. Wherever you guys go from here, I wish you all the best!

    -Mathieu

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of David Gallagher
    Sent: August-31-12 11:30 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com; davegsoftimagelist@gmail.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    So saddened by this news.

    And angry.
    Dave G

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Greg Punchatz
    Sent: August-31-12 11:35 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    You are simply the most helpful person I have have EVER had in support of any kind…. Like I told your bosses “Stephan Blair rocks!!!” You are already missed! Autodesk is proving them selves on a daily basis they cant make a good decision.

    ________________________________

    Greg Punchatz

    Sr. Creative Director
    Janimation

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of peter_b@skynet.be
    Sent: August-31-12 11:40 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback


    Laying off support? FcK! Why dont they lay off all those middle man that keep people from buying their software, and move sales structure to the cloud? Would be a small step into modernizing stuff at this slow moving and souless company. “

    *exactly*
    if they want the company to survive, the men in suits are the ones who have to go – those with the big expense accounts.
    Obviously, the men in suits are not going to make that call.

    these aren’t the first layoffs nor the last –
    I think of it as the writhing of a dying company.

    best of luck to Stephen and Guillaume and others who are victim to this now – as well as others not that long ago – and more before the end of the year I’m sure.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Marco Peixoto
    Sent: August-31-12 11:41 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Not only Stephan, but Guillaume Laforge was also one of the 7%…

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Bradley Gabe
    Sent: August-31-12 12:13 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Things must be bad if I’m the one who tries to offer the glimmer of hope. 🙂

    I’m not the only one here who’s been around in the SI community for close to 20 years, and we’ve been through these sorts of layoffs ever since SI first went public back in ’92. Back in the day, I used to joke (to cope with other rounds of layoffs) that the best thing Softimage could do to expand their user base was to hire people, get them embedded in the community, then lay them off a year or two or three later.

    Big studios end up hiring these folks because of their established reputation as problem solvers, plus their inside contacts back with the mother ship. They end up bringing enough Softimage expertise with them to help drive pipelines in that direction, train additional artists, and ultimately expand the Softimage fan base. How many ex-Softimage demo artists, employees, etc went on to become power users in the community?

    While I agree, this time seems like a final straw because it’s the last few voices who were willing to talk to the user base are the unfortunate victims. I wish them well, and based on past events, they will probably all land nicely on their feet and in better places, not just for them, but for all of us. At least, that’s the hope.

    -Bradley

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stephen Davidson
    Sent: August-31-12 12:26 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    This, unfortunately is the new demise of the “corporation”.
    It’s all about middle management and overpaid upper management.
    It is all about keeping the money investors happy with pie charts.
    This is nothing new. This has been escalating for years.
    I worked for a corporation, as an artist, for 7 years and was let go because
    I “wasn’t as productive as management required”. They ended up
    hiring a kid, fresh out of school. He use to call me at home to ask questions.
    I would help him as best that I could.
    The “truth” was that he earned 1/2 the salary, that I was paid.
    He didn’t last. He quit under extreme frustration as he was told not to contact me.

    I now freelance. It’s not easy. I am no salesman, so getting clients can be a chalange.
    I am still creating animations. The “corporation”, where I used to work, changed their name,
    their buisness model, and ther focus, for the third time, I believe.
    Their are 3 people, out of the original 30, that I knew, still there.
    How rewarding can that be?

    The point of my ramblings, Steve, is that this will be the first step to opening of
    your creative genius to a wider path. Not working for a corporation will remove
    the shackles of management, allowing you to get even more creative. True, it comes
    with a price. You have to wear a whole bunch of new hats, but the rewards are
    plentiful, including peace of mind.

    Although I doubt your former corporation will go away, I certainly see that
    three major 3D software platforms cannot survive together, in the long run.
    I am sure that is obvious to the middle management, there. Maybe not,
    I am just guessing.

    I wish you the best, in whatever you do, Your personal contributions
    to the Softimage comunity, are appreciated very much. Please keep us
    informed of your future developments, as I am sure you will improve
    your personal employment situation.

    Warmest thanks and regards,

    Stephen Davidson

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Steven Caron
    Sent: August-31-12 2:00 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    i will miss you stephen! we will never forget!

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Serguei Kalentchouk
    Sent: August-31-12 2:23 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Sad news indeed!


    Technical Director @ DreamWorks Animation

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Scott Parrish
    Sent: August-31-12 3:04 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    This is really terrible news, I’ve been worried to hear about what the
    effect would be on the Softimage team since I read about the AD
    layoffs.
    I hope you guys find other jobs that make use of your talents soon.

    scott

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Luc-Eric Rousseau
    Sent: August-31-12 3:17 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    It’s terribly sad to see a few of my colleagues go this week. Stephen
    had worked for many years at Softimage an SDK documentation writer and
    had ended up in support following cuts at Avid. Manny continues to
    handle Softimage support and Chris continues to take an active role in
    the community. Many of us oldies are also around to help. The new
    Softimage dev team was not affected by the cuts and they continue to
    be hard at work on the next release.

    thanks,
    Luc-Eric

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Jeremie Passerin
    Sent: August-31-12 3:52 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Just adding my voice…
    Stephen this blog was my first reading in the morning for the past couple of years.
    You’ll be missed as much as the old dev and support team from Softimage.

    Jeremie

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Alan Fregtman
    Sent: August-31-12 4:11 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Laforge too?? Sad day. 😦

    I will greatly miss you both. I hope you still lurk here from time to time.

    Thank you for the exceptional support through all these years. You guys rock!

    — Alan

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Andy Moorer
    Sent: August-31-12 8:40 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Cc: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Stephen and Guillaume were inspiring Autodesk staff, and I feel certain I will continue to be inspired by them both in the future wherever life takes them.

    Autodesk certainly hasn’t impressed me with this move, or in general over the last few years. But despite my griping I’m still bullish on Softimage and have high hopes for the guys in Singapore. We’ll see what comes, and if the software has legs to thrive despite foolish AD decision making. If not, as others point out there is a lot of potential competition brewing.

    If I had to make a guess about the state of things 5-6 years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of us weren’t using multiple smaller packages as opposed to an all in one solution like we do now, perhaps custom tools made by TDs for each studio, using something like fabric. That’s not a bad future to contemplate.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Sylvain Lebeau
    Sent: August-31-12 10:29 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    You all probably remember my last rant when dev moved to asia….. i was pretty explicit.
    I will be more Zen this time.. I think..

    (dont think i dont trust the new guys out there) . I am sure they will impress us with cool goodies! If they are not popped out of the equation soon enough too.

    But now, Guillaume, Stephen, Chinny………are not there anymore. If i am correct, only cool Manny is still there for support? Luc-Eric are you still at Autodesk?….I didnt see if you we’re part of the layoffs..

    I can only say massive good words for all the team that was there. The most passionate and carefull peoples i have ever seen in a software familly. I feel very sad.
    This is how we are at SHED. Very passionate people all togheter as a small familly of underdogs with the same goals and pride. This is one of the reason Softimage had such a strong soul on wich we could identify to.

    The worst thing that could happen is that everyone start jumping out of the boat too fast. We must still keep on going with it guys. And show autodesk that we love Softimage. Even tought if it doesnt meet the economic goals, it will probaly vanish away. Buy your subscriptions, your new seats, etc. It is the only way to make it live longer. No petitions or facebook group will change anything in this field of economics for a public company. Only Excel sheets numbers matters.

    It was nice having you around with us for our friday beer Guillaume, we wish you, and all the others bros, the best you all really deserves. And god (whoever that is) knows you deserves better.

    Nonetheless, we will always remember you guys.

    sly

    Sylvain Lebeau // SHED
    V-P/Visual effects supervisor

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Andreas Böinghoff
    Sent: September-01-12 4:38 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I’m really disappointed. What a shame. I have always read your blog Stephan.
    Thanks for all and good luck for your future guys.

    Andy

    Von unterwegs gesendet.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Byron Nash
    Sent: September-01-12 9:35 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Stephen,
    Huge thanks to your professionalism and service to the Softimage community. This is clearly a loss for Autodesk and a win for whoever picks you up. The dedication and open access of the Softimage team is one of the things that made it so great. Best wishes with your future direction.

    Byron Nash

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Fabricio Chamon
    Sent: September-01-12 9:40 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Stephen, may I ask you to keep updating the blog?? =)

    …just kidding! thanks a ton for every post. best support ever! I’ve
    learned a lot from your blog.
    I really hope Autodesk find people at the same level to replace you!
    (hard task!)

    good luck! …and please let us know where are you moving, so I can
    update my chrome bookmarks! =)

    Fabricio

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Morten Bartholdy
    Sent: September-03-12 4:31 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Aw, that sucks Stephen – it goes to show they (AD) really don’t know what they are doing anymore 😦

    Thanks for your help and support over the years – your seat will be hard to fill. You will be missed!

    Take care.

    Best Regards

    Morten Bartholdy
    VFX Supervisor/3D Lead
    http://www.gimmickvfx.com

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Morten Bartholdy
    Sent: September-03-12 4:39 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: RE: Friday Flashback

    -so they jut picked every 14th below a certain paygrade, or did they roll dice?…

    MB

    From: Stephen Blair
    To: robw@casema.nl; softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Sent: Friday, 31 August 2012, 14:27
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Hi Rob

    The blog will stay up.
    xsisupport.wordpress.com is of course a free blog.
    And I renewed xsisupport.com the next year (and also the No Ads upgrade).

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of olivier jeannel
    Sent: September-03-12 6:43 AM
    To: Adam Seeley; softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    …If I knew what bridge.

    I had an awfull friday, that monday is not even better.
    Anyone has some good news ?
    A joke ?
    A riddle ?

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Stefan Andersson
    Sent: September-03-12 7:32 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    I don’t know… it somehow feels that we are watching the death of Softimage. Even though a lot of the managers are telling us otherwise, I don’t think they know themselfs. It’s the big “overlord” that doesn’t speak to the common people that makes these decisions.
    As far as Luc-Eric (even though he’s now a Maya-Dev) and everyone else that has tried to convince us that “don’t worry, we are still around”. I think that Friday showed us all that we can’t really trust what’s going on. I mean… even Chinny is gone. Halfdan left a while ago, and the list goes on.

    Eventually Softimage will go away, just as Softimage|3D, Alias|PowerAnimator, 3dstudio, etc. So it’s always good to keep our options open.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Stephen and Guillaume will not be unemployed for a long time. I think they have a greater more shiny future now 🙂 It’s more annoing to us that people we used to know are now gone. And the people behind the Software is gone… well… replaced by people we don’t know.

    Here is my take on the hole matter:

    Softimage will stay intact as long as it generates more money that it costs to keep in development.

    Since Autodesk aren’t releasing any numbers, we can only assume that it generates money at the moment. 3dsmax and Maya is a different story though.

    3dsmax is tied with 3ds design, which is popular in the CAD market
    Maya is tied, to some extent, to Alias Studio, which is popular in the CAD market
    Softimage is tied to….

    you get my point.

    over and out.
    Stefan Andersson

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Michal Doniec
    Sent: September-03-12 9:40 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Thank you very much for all your support Stephen. I am sure you will
    find a much better place to work for very soon.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Raffaele Fragapane
    Sent: September-03-12 6:40 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    If only Softimage had gone to Dassault, instead of the travesty of an auction that actually happened, at this point everybody would be turning their heads towards it, and Chinny would be pouring Champagne for the old team with everybody wearing the photos of two notable M&E employees strapped to their arse.
    History, sadly, went differently.

    That said, I doubt they’ll be killing off Soft any time soon. Right now it’s probably their lowest risk product with the resources it takes, and it DID sell well in several markets for a few quarters now.

    And as moronic as AD management is (and they’re doing their best to prove it on a monthly basis at this point), would they be THAT moronic that to save the wages of a dozen staff they’d take a bad publicity hit such as killing THE only animation brand left in the industry with that much history? One would hope they can breath through their nose.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Adam Sale
    Sent: September-03-12 9:04 PM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Sad to hear of all these AD guys getting let go, especially with the amount of enthusiasm they had for Softimage. Stephens blog and XSI support are an amazing resource. What a vacuum his departure will leave. Thanks for all the help and stability running the Beta programs..

    Adam

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Dan Yargici
    Sent: September-04-12 3:17 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Agreed, Stephen’s blog (and his omni-presence on the forums) are invaluable contributions and seemed like one of the last oases of contact since the Autodesk acquisition.

    Best of luck Stephen, and thanks for all the help and energy you’ve poured into the community over the years.

    DAN.

    From: softimage-bounces@listproc.autodesk.com on behalf of Chris Marshall
    Sent: September-04-12 4:55 AM
    To: softimage@listproc.autodesk.com
    Subject: Re: Friday Flashback

    Really sad to hear about all the sh!t hitting the fan. Look, I only took a week off work and now this happens!
    Good luck to all you guys, whatever you get up to!!

    We’ll be sticking with Soft for the forseable. I can’t imagine switching and I still feel it’s the best all-rounder out there. Just compositing a job in the FX tree now and it all just works (most of the time). And I can’t live without ICE.

    Chris

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