Softimage|XSI 2.0 is Avid technology’s next generation 3D software application based on their Softimage|3D, which was the leading 3D character animation software. Softimage|3D was utilized by many films, such as Jurassic Park, The Mask, Godzilla, and The Matrix.
Softimage|XSI has the same toolset and layout as Softimage|3D. There are now three main modules called Model, Animate, and Render. Animate lets you store actions (poses and animation segments). There is an animation editor and an animation mixer, which have many nonlinear animation tools for blending and sequencing stored actions. The Render module has basic materials and textures defined and can separate a single render into separate passes. A Render Tree allows combining materials, textures, and procedural surface properties as a graphical flowchart, connecting nodes of different surface properties to other nodes as a tree structure.
Softimage|XSI version 2.0 has a completely customizable user interface, layouts, toolbars, menus, and shortcut keys; for all geometry and data views a drag and drop is implemented, and all view ports are resizable and configurable. The user interface is fully customizable for the layouts, toolbars, menus, and shortcut keys.
Modeling is specifically designed for creating and editing environments and seamless animated characters. Components include polygon, edge, point, knot, curve, isoline, surface curve, boundary, and subsurface. Primitives include arc, circle, spiral, square, cone, cube, cylinder, disc, grid, sphere, torus, dodecahedron, icosahedron, octahedron, tetrahedron, rhombicosidodecahedron, soccer ball, and NURBS surface cones, cylinders, and cubes. Male and female body primitives and complete skeleton primitives are provided. To interactively manipulate complex characters fast, subdivision surfaces are provided, such as tools for blending, filtering, merging, lofting, extruding, fitting, snipping, adding and removing knots, and picking commands. Interactive Polygonal Modeling includes tools for beveling, duplicating, extruding, merging, and blending.
Text primitives allow for text creation, using TrueType fonts and international fonts, the import of EPS files, and producing curves and planar and solid meshes. Textures and materials include plastic, glass, wood, stone, marble, clouds, fabric, and gradients. Advanced materials include ambient, diffuse, specular, reflective, transparent, and static blur. Material connections include surface, volume, environment, contour, displacement, shadow, photon, and photon volume. Supported texture import formats include AVI, Softimage (.pic), Targa (.tga), YUV, SGI (.sgi, .rgb), Wavefront (.rla), PICT (.pct, .pict), PCX, BMP, PGM, GIF, Alias (.als), JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg, .jfif), Photoshop (.psd), Cineon (.fido), Script (.scr), MAP, QuickTime (.mov, .qt), and TIFF (.tif, .tiff).
Softimage|XSI has hair/fur simulation with the advanced ability to groom, render, and interact with the environment dynamically. An optional cloth realistic simulation is provided. The Particle System creates real-world effects, such as snow, sparks, fireworks, explosions, flames, smoke, and fog. There is also multiple camera support with telephoto and wide angle lens presets and numerous light presets, such as infinite, point, spot, box, and neon.