Softimage Co., a division of Avid Technology, Inc., has announced the latest update to its character production software, in the form of Softimage XSI v.5.1. Feature updates include native Collada 1.4 support, and enhanced asset exchange with other applications.
Featuring unique, non-destructive workflow, Softimage XSI v.5.1 enables artists to make changes to rigged and animated characters at any point in the production cycle. Highlights include built-in Collada 1.4 import and export for next-gen asset production, Softimage XSI v.5.1 now includes Collada 1.4 support.
Other major updates include additional real-time shader support (Softimage XSI v.5.1 now includes full support for the latest high-level real-time shading languages, including built-in authoring and display of Cg (.CgFX), COLLADA FX, HLSL (.FX) real-time shaders, as well as support for SAS v.1.0, artists working on next-gen projects can visualize the final results in XSI viewports as they work.)
In addition, there are SDK enhancements to enable mixed-pipeline deployment - Softimage XSI v.5.1 introduces a new custom operator architecture that dramatically simplifies the process of creating C++ and scripted operators. In all, over 200 new SDK features, commands, classes or functions have been added to improve customizability, including new menu anchor points in the main command panel and view manager.
Softimage XSI v.5.1 includes full compatibility with scenes created in Softimage Face Robot v.1.0, the first production toolset for lifelike face animation. By 'solving' faces for animation and reducing preparation time, Face Robot allows animators to concentrate on sculpting the details of every expression for unforgettable digital performances.
"Softimage XSI is the most advanced character software available today, ideally suited for the development of next-gen titles. The unique features in XSI like the popular GATOR attribute transfer tool and the Ultimapper data map generator were designed in collaboration with some of the world's top games studios," said Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage. "XSI v.5.1 offers innovative character production tools for artists, backed up by the widest range of supported file-formats, standard scripting languages, and an extensive range of specialized C++ APIs for everything from plug-ins to pipeline deployment."