Softimage 3D

Softimage|3D is a discontinued high-end 3D graphics application developed by Softimage, Co., which was used predominantly in the film, broadcasting, gaming, and advertising industries for the production of 3D animation. It was superseded by Softimage XSI in 2000.

Softimage Creative Environment
Softimage 3D wordmark
Screenshot of Softimage|3D 3.9.2
Screenshot of Softimage|3D 3.9.2
Developer(s)Softimage, Co.
Initial release1988
Stable release
4.0 / August 2001
Operating systemWindows NT, IRIX
Type3D computer graphics
LicenseProprietary
Websitesoftimage.com

History

In 1986 National Film Board of Canada filmmaker Daniel Langlois, in partnership with software engineers Richard Mercille and Laurent Lauzon, began developing an integrated 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package with a graphical interface suited for visual artists. The software was initially demonstrated at Siggraph in 1988 and was released for Silicon Graphics workstations as the Softimage Creative Environment™.[1] Its character animation tools expanded substantially with the addition of inverse kinematics in the second release, which was used to animate the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.[2]

Softimage Creative Environment was adopted by major visual effects studios like Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain for use in their production pipelines, which also typically included software from Alias Research, Kroyer Films and Pixar Animation Studios Inc. as well as a variety of custom tools. In 1994, Microsoft acquired Softimage, Co. with the intention of bringing high-end 3D animation software to its burgeoning Windows NT platform, and subsequently rechristened it "Softimage|3D."[3] In January 1995, Softimage|3D was announced as the official 3D development tool for the Sega Saturn.[4]

The first Windows port of Softimage|3D, version 3.0, was released in early 1996.[5] Softimage|3D Extreme 3.5, released later that year, included particle effects and the mental ray renderer, which offered area lights, ray tracing, and other advanced features.[6] 3D paint functionality was added a year later in version 3.7.[7]

In the late 1990s, Softimage Co. began developing a successor to Softimage|3D codenamed "Sumatra," which was designed with a more modern and extensible architecture to compete with other major packages like Alias|Wavefront's Maya.[8] Development was delayed during a 1998 acquisition by Avid Technology, and in the summer of 2000 Softimage|3D's successor was finally released as Softimage XSI.[9][10] Because of Softimage|3D's entrenched user base, minor revisions continued until the final version of Softimage|3D, version 4.0, was released in 2002.[11]

Release history

Version Platform Release date Price Notes
Softimage Creative Environment 1.0 SGI Jan 1989 - Beta debuted at Siggraph '88, v1.0 commercial release in 1989[12]
Softimage Creative Environment 1.65 1989 - Added texture mapping
Softimage Creative Environment 2.0 1991 $30,000 Introduced Actor module, IK, constraints, deformation lattices
Softimage Creative Environment 2.6 1993 - Added clusters, weighted envelopes. Used in Jurassic Park[13]
Softimage 3D 3.0 SGI / WinNT Jan 1996 $7,995 First Windows release
Softimage 3D 3.5 May 1996 $7,995, $13,995 (Extreme) Introduced Extreme edition (particles, metaballs, mental ray)
Softimage 3D 3.7 Apr 1997 $7,995, $13,995 (Extreme) Added 3D paint, NURBS surface blending
Softimage 3D 3.8 Apr 1998 $4,995 Added animation sequencer, polygon/color reduction tools
Softimage 3D 3.9 Mar 2000 $1,995, $3,995 (Extreme) Improved envelope weighting, updated GUI
Softimage 3D 4.0 May 2002 $1,495, $2,495 (Extreme) Added multi-UV texturing, vertex colors. Final release

Features

The Softimage|3D feature set was divided among five menu sets: Model, Motion, Actor, Matter and Tools, each corresponding to a different phase of the 3D production process:[14]

Softimage Creative Environment 2.66 - Render Dialogue
Softimage Creative Environment 2.66 - Matter module with Render Setup dialogue box

Model: Tools for the creation of spline, polygon, patch, and NURBS primitives (later releases also included Metaballs). Boolean operations, extrusions, revolves, and bevels, as well as lattice deformations and relational modeling tools. Subdivision surface modeling was only available via a third-party plugin.

Motion: Animation of objects and parameters via keyframes, constraints, mathematical expressions, paths, and function curves. Animatable cluster and lattice deformations.

Actor: Rigging and animating digital characters using skeletons, as well as dynamics tools for creating physics-based simulations of object interaction. Included inverse kinematics and weighted / rigid skinning.

Matter: Creating and managing materials and rendering images for output. 2D and 3D textures, field rendering, fog, motion blur, and raytracing were included as standard features.

Tools: Utilities for viewing, editing, and compositing rendered image sequences and importing/exporting bitmapped images and 3D geometry.

Credits

Feature Films

Television

Games

Other

  • VeggieTales (1993-1999)
  • The VeggieTales Show (1997-1999)
  • Teletoon Advance (1999-2000)
  • Les Vacances de Piwi! (2002-2003)
  • Dessine avec Piwi! (2003-2006)

References

  1. ^ Softimage: 16 Years of Leadership and Innovation, Softimage, archived from the original on 2002-10-15.
  2. ^ 3D Software Reviews: Softimage, Jeremy Birn.
  3. ^ "An Acquisition by Microsoft", The New York Times, Feb 15, 1994.
  4. ^ "Sega and Sony Announced their 32-Bit Systems for the U.S.". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (68): 89. March 1995.
  5. ^ Microsoft Delivers High-End 3-D Animation Software for Microsoft Windows NT (press release), Microsoft, Jan 16, 1996, archived from the original on 2011-12-29, retrieved 2009-10-10.
  6. ^ Microsoft Introduces Major Upgrade to Softimage 3D (press release), Microsoft, May 16, 1996.
  7. ^ Softimage 3D Version 3.7 for Windows NT and IRIX Platforms Now Shipping (press release), Microsoft, Apr 7, 1997, archived from the original on 2009-05-02, retrieved 2007-10-13
  8. ^ Softimage's Next-Generation 3D System, SUMATRA, Introduces Non-Linear Animation (press release), 1999
  9. ^ The Long and Lonely Death of Softimage, DigitalArts
  10. ^ "Softimage Co. Announces First Customer Shipment of SOFTIMAGE/XSI Version 1.0; Softimage Grants 17,000 Licenses of Next-Generation 3-D Animation Software", Business Wire, Find articles, May 30, 2000.
  11. ^ Softimage Slashes 3D price, Broadcast now, Jun 12, 2002
  12. ^ Helen Shortal (Apr 1992), Private Revolution: SOFTIMAGE Animation Software Breaks New Ground
  13. ^ Remembering Softimage, fxguide, Mar 4, 2014
  14. ^ On Powerful Wings, Imagination Soars (PDF) (brochure), Microsoft, 1996.
  15. ^ "Softimage 3D Used in All Three Motion Pictures Nominated for Achievement in Visual Effects". press release. Microsoft. February 11, 1997. Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  16. ^ "2006 Siggraph Softimage Demo".
  17. ^ George Borshukov. "Manix Shines in "The Matrix"".
  18. ^ a b "Saturn Aims for SoftImage". GamePro. No. 79. IDG. April 1995. p. 147.
  19. ^ "Shining Wisdom". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 157. November 1995.
  20. ^ Softimage Used by Game Developers to Create Award-Winning Games (press release), Microsoft, April 28, 1997.
  21. ^ "Tidbits...". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 96. Ziff Davis. July 1997. p. 26.
  22. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20010303171749/http://eg.nttpub.co.jp/news/20010126_02_03w.html, Archived from the original on 2001-03-03 Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions", Myst and Riven Illustrated.

External links

Amapi

Amapi was a 3D modeler created by Yonowat S.A. that incorporates both polygonal modeling and NURBS surface modeling. Amapi was used to create models for industrial design, architecture, interior design, furniture, exhibit design, packaging, bottling, illustration, video games and multimedia.

The name of both the company and the software originate from a common saying by the cartoon character Droopy: "You know what? I'm happy.".

Amapi offered an original interface compared to other contemporary modeling software. The software divided modeling into three main activities: construction, modeling, and assembly. Switching between these three activities was accomplished by swiping the cursor against the right hand side of the screen, an example of a gestural user interface.

Autodesk Softimage

Autodesk Softimage, or simply Softimage () is a discontinued 3D computer graphics application, for producing 3D computer graphics, 3D modeling, and computer animation. Now owned by Autodesk and formerly titled Softimage|XSI, the software has been predominantly used in the film, video game, and advertising industries for creating computer generated characters, objects, and environments.

Released in 2000 as the successor to Softimage|3D, Softimage|XSI was developed by its eponymous company, then a subsidiary of Avid Technology. On October 23, 2008, Autodesk acquired the Softimage brand and 3D animation assets from Avid for approximately $35 million, thereby ending Softimage Co. as a distinct entity. In February 2009, Softimage|XSI was rebranded Autodesk Softimage.

A free version of the software, called Softimage Mod Tool, was developed for the game modding community to create games using the Microsoft XNA toolset for PC and Xbox 360, or to create mods for games using Valve Corporation's Source engine, Epic Games's Unreal Engine and others. It was discontinued with the release of Softimage 2014.

On March 4, 2014, it was announced that Autodesk Softimage would be discontinued after the release of the 2015 version, providing product support until April 30, 2016.

CrazyTalk

CrazyTalk is Reallusion's brand name for its 2D animation software. The product series includes CrazyTalk, a 2D facial animation software tool, and CrazyTalk Animator, a face and body 2D animation suite.

CrazyTalk, the 2D facial animation software, is a real-time, 2D animation and rendering software that enables users to make 2D animated cartoons. It is a facial animation tool that uses voice and text to vividly animate facial images. It has an auto motion engine which allows animators to use the intensity of their voice to drive their animations in real-time. As of January 2016, the CrazyTalk software is in version 8.

CrazyTalk is developed and marketed by Reallusion, a company that has a software and digital content development base in California and Taiwan, with offices and training centres in the U.S., Germany and Japan.

DigiCel FlipBook

DigiCel FlipBook is 2D animation software that runs on Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. It is intended to closely replicate the traditional animation process, very similar to the likes of TVPaint and Toon Boom Harmony.

FBX

FBX (Filmbox) is a proprietary file format (.fbx) developed by Kaydara and owned by Autodesk since 2006. It is used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications. FBX is also part of Autodesk Gameware, a series of video game middleware.

Fantavision

Fantavision is an animation program by Scott Anderson for the Apple II and published by Brøderbund in 1985. Versions were released for the Apple IIGS (1987), Amiga (1988), and MS-DOS (1988). Fantavision allows the creation of vector graphics animations using the mouse and keyboard. The user creates frames, and the software generates the frames between them. Because this is done in real-time, it allows for creative exploration and quick changes. The program uses a graphical user interface in the style of the Macintosh with pull-down menus and black text on a white background.

Advertisements claimed Fantavision a revolutionary breakthrough that brings the animation features of "tweening" and "transforming" to home computers.

Houdini (software)

Houdini is a 3D animation software application developed by Side Effects Software Inc (SESI) based in Toronto. SESI adapted Houdini from the PRISMS suite of procedural generation software tools. Its exclusive attention to procedural generation distinguishes it from other 3D computer graphics software.

Houdini is most commonly used in FX departments. It has been used by major VFX companies such as Double Negative, ILM, MPC, Frame Store, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, and others.

Houdini has been used in various feature animation productions, including Disney's feature films Frozen and Zootopia; the Blue Sky Studios film Rio, and DNA Productions' Ant Bully.

Side Effects also publishes a partially limited version called Houdini Apprentice, which is free of charge for non-commercial use.

Mediator (software)

Mediator is a multimedia authoring tool for Windows, developed and distributed by MatchWare, first released in 1993.

Mediator has been registered and approved to be purchased by Electronic Learning Credits (eLCs) in the United Kingdom, as part of the Curriculum Online program It is also part of a DiDA software suite, along with MatchWare's other programs, OpenMind and ScreenCorder.

Mia's Big Adventure Collection

Mia's Big Adventure Collection is an edutainment software series created in 1998 by Kutoka Interactive. The series consists in five subject-based titles for children in elementary school.

Owzat

Owzat is a 1997 CGI short film created by Aardman Animations.

Papagayo (software)

Papagayo is a free Lip-syncing software made in Python for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It works by importing an audio file, as well as writing the text for the audio and placing it accordingly. The program then uses a built-in dictionary to select the appropriate mouth for the spoken text. Modifications and dictionaries are available on the forum.

Originally created as a tool for LostMarble's own Moho editor, the tool is being adopted by users and developers of several open source animation products (including Blender and Synfig Studio) to add lip-sync features not available in the base software package.

Pencil2D

Pencil2D is a free and open-source 2D animation software available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It is a fork of 'Pencil'. The application uses a bitmap/vector drawing interface to produce simple 2D graphics and drawings as well as animation. Pencil is written in C++ and is Qt-based. The application license is GNU General Public License.

It started as a simple "pencil test" program by Patrick Corrieri, extended to the current Pencil application mainly by Pascal Naidon. It was forked as Pencil2D by Matt Chang and is being developed.

RETAS

RETAS (Revolutionary Engineering Total Animation System) is a 2D animation software bundle developed and sold by Celsys that is available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It handles the entire animation production from digitally drawing or tracing to exporting in Flash and QuickTime, and is considered to be a leader in Japan's anime industry.

Shark 3D

Shark 3D is a 3D software program and engine developed by Spinor for creating and running interactive virtual 3D worlds. It is used for video games, films, animated series, broadcasting graphics, and 3D industry applications.Shark 3D is mainly used for developing video games (similar to a Game engine), producing films and TV series, creating broadcast graphics, and developing 3D applications.

Softimage (company)

Softimage, Co. was a company located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that produced 3D animation software. A subsidiary of Microsoft in the 1990s, it was sold to Avid Technology, who would eventually sell the name and assets of Softimage's 3D-animation business to Autodesk.

Its first product, Softimage 3D, was used in the creation of special effects for movies such as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Titanic and The Fifth Element. Its successor, Softimage XSI, was used in the production of the Academy Award-winning feature film Happy Feet, 300 and Charlotte's Web (2006) and the production of games such as Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.In 1997, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Softimage a Scientific and Engineering Award for the development of the 'Actor' component of Softimage|3D.During the Microsoft years, Softimage also developed a non-linear video-editing and compositing suite named Softimage|DS, which was available from Avid Technology under the name Avid DS, until its EOL on September 30, 2013.

Solar Crusade

Solar Crusade is an on-rails FMV shoot 'em up designed and published by Infogrames Multimedia, created using Softimage 3D, and modeled on Silicon Graphics workstations hardware for the Windows 95 operating system and Phillips CD-i video game console.

Swift 3D

Swift 3D is a computer software application program developed by Electric Rain that allows the user to create or import 3D models, animate or manipulate them, and export them for use in Adobe Flash animations.Version 5 adds functionality to export to Papervision3D, an application for incorporating 3D into Flash.

Tony de Peltrie

Tony de Peltrie is a Canadian computer-animated short film from 1985. The short shows the first animated human character to express emotion through facial expressions and body movements, which touched the feelings of the audience. The film was produced from 1982 to 1985 at the French-speaking University of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada.The four team members, Pierre Lachapelle (including production), Philippe Bergeron, Pierre Robidoux and Daniel Langlois, are all credited as directors.

Toonloop

Toonloop is a software application for live stop-motion animation. "Live" means that the animation is constantly playing while being edited. Toonloop allows animators to create stop-motion animation, pixilation, and other animation techniques and the result is constantly seen while the user is adding images to the animation. It is a project of Alexandre Quessy with help from Tristan Matthews.Alexandre Quessy presented artistic performances using this software at SAT and ETS in Canada and at the Piksel 09 Festival in Norway.Toonloop is free and open-source software subject to the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is programmed in C++ and GTK+ as well as GStreamer. It has a Debian package. Toonloop was mentioned briefly at the 2009 Open Video Conference.Toonloop has also been the topic of blogs.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.