Autodesk® Softimage® 2013 software delivers powerful new creative toolsets, a new high-fidelity interactive environment, and extended customizability, helping artists and Technical Directors get more from the product.
Artists will enjoy greater creative freedom across the board: from the completely new CrowdFX simulation feature set; to a new high-quality viewport; to enhanced modeling, animation, physics, and selection tools. In addition, better interoperability with Autodesk® Maya® 2013 software and
Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2013 software; and extensions to the SDK (software development kit) help facilitate integration into existing pipelines.
Top Features and Benefits
Artists can now create sophisticated crowd simulations in a dedicated environment within Softimage. Using the power of the ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) multi-threaded particle system, artists can create massively complex effects with huge numbers of characters that react intelligently to their environment and each other. CrowdFX simulations can be easily exported to Maya 2013 for integration into existing Maya scenes.
A new High-Quality Viewport enables artists to refine their content more efficiently, by reducing the need to frequently preview using a software renderer. With the ability to evaluate their work interactively in an environment that closely mimics the rendered output, artists can make better creative decisions in less time.
Rigging and Animation Improvements
A large number of enhancements to the animation and rigging toolset help improve overall productivity for everyday animation workflows. The Animation Mixer, GATOR, the Dopesheet, the f- curve Editor, the Synoptic Editor, and Primitive Bones have all received attention. Among the list of enhancements are: the ability to easily retime f-curves with a new manipulator; support for Python™ scripting language in the Synoptic Editor; an option to add non-normalized weights when painting; the ability to include Animation Layers when creating clips; and a visual cue when Autokey is turned on.
New Modeling Tools
A number of new tools extend the renowned Softimage polygon modeling toolset. Built on the ICE Modeling framework introduced in Softimage 2012, the additions offer new options for thickness, hole capping, edge cutting, and extrusion. In addition, the interactive toolset gains an intuitive new Add Smooth Edge Loop tool, built on the new Softimage 2012 Tool SDK; with this tool, the contoured shape of the object is maintained when adding edge loops, meaning no extra work is required to make the mesh smooth or to keep the object’s continuity.
New Selection Tools
A wide range of new selection tools and workflows make creating different component selections significantly easier and faster, helping increase productivity for common and repetitive tasks. For example, with Quick Loop an artist can simply double-click on an edge, point, or polygon to define a loop, and shift+double-click to define a range. Other practical selection options are: Polygon Selection to Outline, Select Border, and Loops from Selection.
Technical Directors (TDs) can now attach and run script code inside ICE Compound Property Pages. Using VBScript, Python, or Jscript, TDs can run callbacks, commands, and queries (such as “if conditions”) in order to modify the ICE Tree’s content or change a scene item or value. This offers greater ease and more control over the customization of productions and pipelines. In addition, Softimage 2013 delivers a number of enhancements within ICE to help increase artist productivity; among these are the ability to remember the view position when navigating compounds, and hotkeys for entering and exiting compounds.
Developers and TDs can now further extend and customize Softimage, thanks to a number of additions to the SDK (Software Development Kit). Highlights are: new view attributes, anchor points, and workgroup management features.
3ds Max Interaction Model
Artists familiar with 3ds Max can now get up to speed with Softimage faster, with the option to set familiar camera navigation, mouse manipulation, hotkeys, selection mode, and keyframing mode.
Sample Meshes and Scenes
New sample scenes help artists better deconstruct ICE modeling techniques, while new sample meshes—complete with UVs—provide quick starting points for modeling various characters and objects. Among the featured scenes are a human male, a car, a T. rex, a bull, a fish, a lizard, and a horse.
Scene and Data Management Enhancements
Multiple artists collaborating on a scene can now communicate important information to each other by adding Annotation Objects, taking the form of easily identifiable speech bubbles. In addition, new SDK access to Get and Set Viewport Memo Cams facilitates greater camera control.