XSI things to change list (in a special effects perspective)

This is a list I will try to keep updating about the things I would like to change in XSI. Coming from Max I then had a lot of fun learning Maya and I would like to just keep on working with Maya, but I live in Montreal and it seams that a lot of studios here want to push XSI for whatever reason… So since more than one year I’m learning XSI. And I had a lot of frustration trying to use it to create special effects. Most of the time I end up using FBX to transfer my scenes in Max or Maya do obtain the results in the quality and time needed. At the time of writing this I use XSI 5.
– First: the “Particle System“: I think Softimage should remove this particle system right now because it is so outdated slow and unstable.
– Second: add a noise modifier and a noise force with nice fractal patterns in it (like the wind’s turbulence in Max).
– Third: accelerate the animated “Viewport capture” Process for animation purposes. When animating, we need to do a lot of screen grab to see judge the timing. The screen capture in XSI is 3 to 6 time slower than those of Maya and max.
– A fast volumetric shader like afterburn whit a lot of variation for the noise pattern (this is where we can get the realism) and add an easy way to vary all the parameters by age of the particle like in afterburn. The binary alchemy shader is slow and it doesn’t seem to have good noise variation and noise animation.
– The possibility to have a radius more than 10 for the paint tool would be very useful when we have huge object (in that case the paint is too small in comparison to the object…)
– The possibility to change the maxima and minima of the sliders. Or to have adaptative maxima and minima in sliders like in Maya. If I need to test values between 150 an 300 it is annoying to have a slider set to 0 and 10 for minimum and maximum!!!
-there is a bug in the shape manager. If I select another shape animated object and refresh the shape manager, the shapes does not refresh. And sometime when I close the shape manager after such problem, the shape is not animate anymore in the scene. Also sometimes the mixer becomes fucked up: I did a scene with a hierarchy of object deformed by a latticed which was animated by shapes. When I tried to duplicate the lattice, it was loosing the animation. I tried everything like reimporting all my objects in a fresh empty scenes, I lost 1 day and was never able to duplicate the object with its animation.
-The explorer should always refresh automatically when we make a change to the scene. Sometimes it refreshes sometimes not, we have to press f5 to make it reflect the changes we make.
Deleting many objects is mysteriously very time consuming. On any other 3d app I worked with, we can delete thousands of object instantly, in XSI it takes forever.
-the UV editor definitely needs some improvement like a relax uv and an unwrap uv (like in maya 7 and like in unfold 3d). Also it would be nice if we could see a visual cue when using proportional transform in the uv editor.
Bump mapping is a pain in the ass to setup and never look perfect. If we set it up the way they show it in the help file, it takes forever to render. With a bump map generator plugged directly in the material node, it renders faster but the antialias is very hard to control and never look perfect (we loose bump map details in certain region of a curved surface for example)
-A big point here: The HELP file search engine don’t work well at all. Too many search for menu item don’t even show up. I never find easily what I am looking for in the help file. Too many generally used techniques and bypass are not documented (like for example the technique for the bump map with a bump map that works).
-The displacement is very far from perfect. It is also very hard to setup cause we don’t have a visual cue in real time like in 3ds max. Also I can never achieve beautiful displacement like in max or Maya.
-The antialias doesn’t have a catmul-rom computation and in some cases it is very hard to remove jaggy edges without the rest getting too blurry.
-There is no super sampling like in 3dsmax that allows controlling the antialiasing for each material individually. There is a “kind of” super sampling in the bump map generator, but it doesn’t have a lot of options and it is only for bump mapping. For example if I have a material with a lot of thin line and I want to zoom on it, it will not work in a single pass in XSI.