Friday Flashback #352

SOFTIMAGE | 3D 3.9.2 and SOFTIMAGE | XSI 1.5
From the “making of Pico” by Avant Co Japan


Via the wayback machine and Google translate:

Since we were using SI at the time at that time, we started production at SI.

I tried things using shaders written by the company programmer · Things that used SpeedRender etc, but because it is unlikely that the required quality can be reached in the expression that can be done with shader, I will do Global Illumination I decided to try it. Although GI can be done with SI, I will use XSI for the first time because it seems that the setting using XSI seems to be finely set.

At this point there is not even even touching XSI (it is before the PV of m – flo ), it is difficult to conclude with XSI suddenly, so I will use it together with SI.

We will proceed with “schedule” that we will complete all the basic scenes such as modeling, animation and weight adjustment at SI and attach texture only at XSI.

So when we finished modeling we preliminarily converted to XSI and tried to render using global illumination. It seems that it is very difficult and time-consuming to adjust, but I have decided to proceed with the method SI ‚Üí XSIm live-action shooting to final combination. Well then. To be continued …
— Hiroyuki Kashima

Friday Flashback #350

1995…Softimage used in TV’s first 3D animation series




ReBoot animation transcends anything else seen on network television today. It’s the world’s first 100 percent computer-animated series, telling the story of Bob, Dot and Enzo, 3D characters living in the city of Mainframe. ReBoot creators produce a whopping 60 minutes of completed animation in just six weeks. Fans love ReBoot so much, it’s been renewed for a second season.


How does Brough Lovick Television (BLT) face the¬†unprecedented 3D challenge of producing the¬†quantity of animation with the quality they expect?¬†According to Chris Welman, BLT‚Äôs director of¬†software development, the solution was found in¬†Softimage 3D. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre using Softimage 3D exclusively.‚ÄĚ



‚ÄúWe can animate faster with Softimage 3D than with any other¬†package I can think of,‚ÄĚ states Welman, ‚ÄúBecause we‚Äôre dealing¬†with a lot of character animation, we‚Äôre using the skeletons with¬†path animation, inverse kinematics, flexible skin and¬†envelops extensively.‚ÄĚ Using Softimage 3D to endow characters¬†with fluid motion, including natural facial expressions, hand¬†movements and lip-synch is what makes ReBoot a ratings¬†winner in the Saturday morning toon market.


And what about the unique challenges in producing the¬†weekly CGI series? Christopher Brough, the show‚Äôs producer says,¬†‚ÄúIt’s getting an enormous volume of animation out of the computer and¬†onto digital tape.‚ÄĚ

Welman concurs, stating, “There are few people producing the quantity of 3D animation with the quality that we are today. With 21 minutes of footage to produce every few weeks, rendering time is obviously of concern. The Softimage renderer is really pretty quick, and with their mental ray renderer, it looks like they will stay ahead of the
competition in terms of photorealistic and¬†customizable rendering.‚ÄĚ


BLT at times, finds it¬†convenient to combine¬†toolsets by writing their own¬†software because¬†‚Äúit‚Äôs nice to be able to write¬†our own effects to extend¬†the package if we have to,‚Ä̬†states Welman. Softimage 3D¬†tools in the hands of¬†talented ReBoot animators¬†delivers network television‚Äôs¬†first highly-rated¬†3D animation series.

Friday Flashback #344

The SOFTIMAGE 3D display is where you work. The software display includes the windows, a server bar at the top, two menu bars on the left and right sides containing menu cells, a wireframe colour box, a status bar made of three parts, and a playback control box.

The Server Bar

The server bar is located above the four windows. The left side of the server bar shows the SOFTIMAGE 3D name and the right side shows the module names: Model, Motion, Actor, Matter, and Tools.


When a module is in use, its name is highlighted and the server bar is coloured accordingly: violet for Model, green for Motion, salmon for Actor, blue for Matter, and gold for Tools.

  • violet for Model
  • green for Motion
  • salmon for Actor
  • blue for Matter
  • gold for¬†Tools

Changing Modules

When you want to move from one module to another, use any mouse button to select its name in the server bar.
You can also use Supra keys to change modules:
  • F1 for Model
  • F2 for Motion
  • F3 for Actor
  • F4 for Matter
  • F5 for Tools
The Supra keys give you quick access to menu cells of other modules that are useful for your current task. For example, you could quickly go to Model to use the Edit menu cell while you are doing shape animation, then go back to Motion to save a keyframe.