Friday Flashback #259

SOFTIMAGE|3D Used in All Three Motion Pictures Nominated for Achievement in Visual Effects; Softimage Founder Honored With Academy Award Plaque

Images from the Dec 1 2002 waybackmachine archive of xsibase

MONTREAL – Feb. 11, 1998 – Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced that SOFTIMAGE®|3D was used for character animation in all three films nominated Feb. 10 in the category of Achievement in Visual Effects for the 70th annual Academy Awards. The special effects in “Lost World,” “Starship Troopers” and “Titanic” were made possible by the incredibly rich set of tools that SOFTIMAGE|3D provides for digital artists.

Industrial Light & Magic used SOFTIMAGE|3D to terrify and delight audiences with realistic animated dinosaurs in “Lost World”; Tippet Studios created futuristic ‘bugs’ with it for “Starship Troopers”; and Digital Domain made use of the software to create hundreds of digitally animated passengers aboard “Titanic.” The nominees were chosen from the Academy short list of seven films. The four other films under consideration – “Batman and Robin,” “Contact,” “The Fifth Element” and “Men in Black” – also took advantage of SOFTIMAGE|3D to create an amazing array of fantastic effects and character animation.

“This has been an exciting year for us at Softimage, and we’re thrilled that so many of our customers are being recognized by the Academy,” said Softimage President Moshe Lichtman. “Digital artists using SOFTIMAGE|3D have continually broken new ground in creativity and quality. The power of SOFTIMAGE|3D is stunningly portrayed in the special effects brought to life in these films.”

The winning film will be announced at the Academy Award ceremony, televised from Los Angeles on Monday, March 23, 1998, at 7 p.m. PST.

Softimage Technology Lauded by Academy

Softimage congratulates its founder, Daniel Langlois, who – along with Rejean Gagné, Richard Laperriere and Dominique Boisvert – received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy on Jan. 7, 1998. This award honors outstanding contributions that have made a technological impact on the film industry. Langlois, Gagné, Laperriere and Boisvert received the Academy plaque for creating the Actor component of the SOFTIMAGE|3D computer animation system. This component provided breakthroughs in animation control and efficiency that led to the widespread use of Softimage in visual effects and animation production through the introduction of Inverse Kinematics into the animation industry.


SOFTIMAGE|3D, the flagship of the Softimage product line, has consistently set the benchmarks for fully integrated professional 3-D modeling, animation and rendering software. The choice of professionals who demand the highest-quality content, Softimage has consistently raised the bar from which other systems are measured. “Sumatra” is Softimage’s revolutionary, next-generation 3-D software. It is the world’s first non-linear animation system, extending the current work flow of 3-D animation more fluidly into the overall production process.

About Softimage

Founded in 1986, Softimage develops software for media-rich applications including video, film, interactive games and CD-ROM applications. Products include SOFTIMAGE|DS (video production); SOFTIMAGE|3D (3-D animation); SOFTIMAGE|EDDIE (compositing) and Toonz (2-D cel animation). The company was acquired in 1994 by Microsoft. Additional information about Softimage and Microsoft can be found via the Internet at ( and, respectively.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Friday Flashback #256

Softimage 3D 3.8 Extreme boxed set – eBay
by SiliconClassics

Complete boxed set of Softimage|3D 3.8 SP2 Extreme – includes installation discs for IRIX and Windows, manuals, pamphlets, and a working license file.

Soft|3D runs great on vintage SGI hardware because it is highly streamlined and memory-efficient. Even an Indy will run it perfectly. Requires IRIX 6.2. You can check my photo gallery for a screenshot and a description of the software.

This is the ultimate classic 3D animation package – along with PowerAnimator and Renderman, it was part of the trifecta of high-end 3D apps used by the major visual effects studios. The huge box looks awesome on a shelf, and the software is a joy to use.



Friday Flashback #239

Vintage Softimage software CDs and docs, and vintage SGI boxes:
Pictures 425

A bunch of old-time stuff, including:

  • Silicon Graphics O2, Octane, Indy, and IRIS Indigo boxes
  • SOFTIMAGE|3D, Toonz, SOFTIMAGE|Creative Environment CDs
  • SOFTIMAGE|3D Documentation box set
  • SOFTIMAGE|3D 4.0 Fundamentals manual
  • MegaFonts for SOFTIMAGE|3D

Friday Flashback #228

ACTOR amazes customers
Softimage introduces the ACTOR module. Setting new standards in character animation.

Original article in german from the “Silicon Graphics Performer”magazine for the “CEBIT” Germany. Printed 1992. Translated by S. Constable 2015.

SOFTIMAGE, the animation software from Montreal is already very well known as a kickstarter. The software is targeted to creative artists and comes with fully integrated and powerful modules: MODEL-MOTION-ACTOR-MATTER-TOOLS, that gives the artists full and and consistent control within a single interface.

The new and amazing ACTOR module in Softimage fits perfectly within the other parts of the software.

Animation of characters (humans, animals) as well as any objects is achievable in its natural movement like never seen before. ACTOR lets you play with physical forces and it knows of muscle contraction. ACTOR integrates inverse kinematics, dynamics, skinning (skin-movement) and collision detection. All controllable with keyframing and f-curve editing. ACTOR is aware of physical values like gravity, inertia, wind or friction – and can handle these automatically.

To give life to a bicycler the operator just have to animate the bicycle and constrain the characters hands and feet to the handles and pedals. The ACTOR module computes the movement of the entire body and its joints. It computes f-curves which are editable. To add up or down movement to the body. If the character arms bend, it gives control to muscle deformation as well.

Wind: Intensity and direction is controllable with an icon independantly and it is fully animatable. A wind wheel will react realistically to that forces, dependent on its friction. No need for a physics lesson!

Direct realtime control: An outstanding feature. ACTOR allows to adjust the motion of complex hierarchies easily. The operator can add additional motion to an already animated character with realtime control. It will be automatically saved and also allows fine control after recording. Via mouse, space-ball or dial-box. Up to 100 channels are possible even with additional external devices like a motion control camera.

Customer reaction
Peter Spans, Hamburg, Award winning character animator:

“ACTOR is the only tool that allows to animate characters with so much life, like you could do in traditional cell animation (Roger Rabbit). Even physics can be used, ACTOR isn’t a scientific and clumsy tool. You can make the puppets dance very easily!”

Siemens: Aliens In a computer-generated world, these aliens are beamed down outside a shop called ‘ElectroMax,’ where they admire the Siemens vacuum cleaner in the window and jump through the glass, onto the window display. Shown at the SIGGRAPH ’92 Chicago Electronic Theater

SOFTIMAGE has 70 customers in germany already and is distributed by VGA in Bruckmühl/Bavaria.