A long long time ago I was a co-op student working for a 3D graphics company called Alias. Alias was, and still is, based in Toronto, so I did cool things like take a subway and hang out in the Eaton’s Centre. I loved working there because I was, and still am, really into 3D. Okay, I have to date myself now. Back then, 3D graphics were just starting to make their mark in the movies. Remember the ballroom scene in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? All 3D and done with Alias software. This was back in 1991. Well, I worked in the animation department, working on small little things like all co-op students do. But one day someone brought in a competitor’s software, and we all gathered around his monitor to look at what it could do. Inverse kinematics, oooooh! It was really great software, and we were suitably impressed.
Of course, if you’ve read the title of this article yet, you’ll know that I’m talking about Softimage. Back then the software we were looking at was Softimage 3D. Now they’re selling Softimage XSI, a much more advanced piece of kit. Now Softimage is a subsidiary of Avid Technology, and they recently announced support for the 360 with a new .FX plugin.
With this new plug-in for XSI, game developers now have the industry’s most advanced 3-D tool combined with the latest in effects technology to create high-definition characters, props and elements for their Xbox 360 titles.
The .FX plug-in for XSI, which includes support for sophisticated DirectX real-time shaders, allows developers to use third party shader-development tools, to apply those effects to XSI models, and to take full advantage of XSI’s normal mapping and animation tools. Imported effects can be refined and animated with real-time visual feedback. In addition to producing high-definition graphics, next-gen titles will also require larger teams working in a collaborative environment. Earlier this year, Softimage announced support for Microsoft’s XNA software architecture, designed to enable enhanced collaboration between content creators, programmers, management and quality-assurance staff to speed the game production process.
I’m on vacation as you read this. I posted this article using a time-delay feature. Because I am on holidays, I won’t be able to respond to you if you reply, or to moderate any comments.
Written by: Blackstaffer
- News Contributor