Friday Flashback #90


Here’s an xsibase article from a little over a decade ago…

XSI Base Team Visits Softimage Headquarters
A part of the XSI Base team visited the headquarters of Softimage in Montreal. Read what came out at this meeting and what we saw there.
August, 3rd, 2002, Written by Bernard Lebel

Will Mendez, Bernard Lebel, Raffael Dickreuter in front of the Softimage building.

As some of you know, XSI Base officials (Raffael Dickreuter – raffael3d, Bernard Lebel – Atyss, and Will Mendez – XSIWILL) went to Softimage Headquarters on July 19, 2002. We think that the users of XSI Base should be informed of what came out from this visit as it was intended to create links with Softimage officials.

Our host was Michael Sheasby, Director of Business Development. We visited the building, and we got lost in 10 seconds. The building is built like a kind of donut, though it is split in many sections. It was designed by Daniel Langlois himself, founder of Softimage. It has a very modern design, with lots of glass and aluminium. Lots of sun too that comes inside. The roof is made in glass in the middle of the “donut”, so the sun lights everything in the middle.

Unfortunately the building was almost empty, because it was 2 days before Siggraph and everybody had left to prepare the event. But we saw many known names next to offices.

We met with Pierre Tousignant and said a quick hello to Theo Diamantis (who tried to speak Spanish with Will).

There was a lot of things that Michael couldn’t discuss, for obvious reasons. We had the great privilege of seeing the Manta storyboards. However, even if all of them were on the wall, we couldn’t see the end. Michael started to tell us the story, but when he reached the last boards he nearly threw us out of the office! It’s strange, because he told us that the Manta project will never be finished.

Softimage Headquarters in Montreal

So finally we sat in a conference room and had a good meeting with Michael. Here’s what came out of it as far as XSI Base is concerned:

– Micheal had the kindness of revealing a feature of XSI 3.0 (he asked to not publish it until Siggraph, but now….). You see, they replaced the particle system in this release. Now, you can freeze the particle simulation, put bones inside and envelope it, in order to animate it. Basically you can animate the particle cloud like enveloped geometry. That’s all he said, so don’t email us to try to learn more.

– You might know that a good resource page is on its way for the forum. Since Raffael wants this page to be fully compatible with the Net View (so you can access it through XSI), he had to know if it was feasible. It is, and Softimage assured us that they would collaborate on any issue we have with this system.

– Softimage will collaborate to the creation of the resource page, by providing informations about schools, products and other useful informations.

– We are now part of the media group. Now, whenever Softimage has an annoucement or press release to make, we are among the first to learn about it, thus we can inform you about Softimage news.

– Softimage will give us the details about how to become a Softimage Certified Instructor, as several people asked for this information. We will then share it with you.

– Softimage gave us merchandise (mostly Manta posters) so we can distribute these to the users, through activites (like the monthly contest).

In the end, it was a very interesting meeting, we established a collaboration with Softimage (though we remain independant). Softimage gave us their full support for what we asked, and the XSI Base users will benefit from this.

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