SOFTIMAGE Announces FREE Version of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0

LillianH · August 18, 2004 2:24 am

-- Highly anticipated SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP � now available for immediate download --

Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), announced the availability of a free version of the industry�s leading 3-D nonlinear production environment specifically designed for training purposes, the SOFTIMAGE�|XSI� EXP v.3.0. A successor to the popular SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.2.0 Experience CD, this software introduces a range of new abilities that make it easier for everyone, from professionals to 3-D novices, to learn and enhance their animation and effects creation skills. Available as a free download from the Softimage website or as part of a complete CD-based training kit available for purchase, the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 software also provides users the ability to save files and take advantage of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Net View feature to access a wide range of tutorials, tools, user forums and new features videos, while creating within the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP environment.

The SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 software includes all the new features found in Softimage�s flagship SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 Advanced program, so that users can experience the full power of the software. This includes the ability to create games content using the integrated and advanced SOFTIMAGE|XSI real-time shaders, utilize the fully integrated compositing environment, which is unique to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, and render film-quality images with the award- winning mental ray� v.3.1 technology.

Digital artists using the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 environment are able to open files from the professional version of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 software, which has recently been used in a range of high-profile feature films such as �Minority Report�, commercials including �Pepsi Twist with the Osbournes�, games such as �Resident Evil 0�, music videos from David Gray and TV programs such as �The Pyramid�. The ability to open files from the professional version of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.3.0 software is unique to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP and means that users may load and learn from real production scenes and are not limited by a special file format. This feature also makes it easier for the many companies migrating to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI environment to benefit from the significant creative and productivity advantages the software offers.

The SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 also includes six tutorials which provide instruction on everything from learning the user interface, mastering the integrated compositing capabilities, to connecting the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to other applications in a 3-D pipeline. In addition, the EXP also features free and fast online access to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP community ( which provides digital artists with peer-to-peer discussion forums, galleries, customer stories, advanced tutorials and the complete professional version of the documentation kit with full index and search capabilities.

�For making high profile, award-winning projects such as the �Spy Kids� series, SOFTIMAGE|XSI is a must-have. With the SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 software, Softimage has made it easier for a greater number of artists to get access to the full range of sophisticated features in XSI. This is great news for individuals looking to learn XSI and build their portfolio as well as for companies like ours looking to hire more animators trained on XSI,� stated Pierre Raymond, President of Hybride.

�Softimage has always been a pioneer in its development of products, and with SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0, the company is taking this one step further by giving free access to the latest version of its industry leading 3-D nonlinear production environment,� said Michael Stojda, managing director of Softimage. �Everyone from professional digital artists to 3-D enthusiasts will benefit from the advanced learning tools of the EXP and also from the community created to support it. I�m looking forward to the results of the explosion of content and creativity we�ll be seeing posted to the gallery on our web site.�

Specifications and Availability

The SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 software is available for immediate download from and a CD version can also be ordered from the same web address. As it is intended for non-commercial use only, output has been restricted with the use of watermarks on rendered images. The SOFTIMAGE|XSI EXP v.3.0 software is designed for use with the Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000 platforms.

- ENDS -

About Softimage Co.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., is an industry leader in 3-D animation, 2-D cel animation, compositing and special effects software, designed to address the demands of the film and commercial/broadcast and games/interactive industries. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media strategy, is the flagship product offering from Softimage. It is the industry's first truly nonlinear animation (NLA) system that gives animators and digital artists the freedom to make professional animation, visual effects and games - from major motion pictures, to cartoons and commercials, to animated content for video games and Web sites. Softimage is proud to count amongst its customers: ILM, R!OT, The Mill, Pixel Liberation Front, Blue Sky Studios, Hybride, Mainframe, Janimation, Quiet Man, PSYOP, Cinepix and Framestore. The Softimage product family is designed to help users innovate, create and collaborate throughout the production process. For more information about Softimage visit For more information about Avid visit


Article Comments

loswl_ ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

You need a fast computer and a lot of memeory to run this kido!!...but the tutorials are very helpful and makes the modeling easy to catch on and hey its free and powerful, can't get better than that!!..go get it ;o)

bryden ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

AFAICS Doesn't sound like 'free' to me... "As it is intended for non-commercial use only, output has been restricted with the use of watermarks on rendered images." Bryden

liteluvr ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

Yep, that hook's big enough to choke a whale. I'll pass.

Sorceress ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

I agree with bryden... this is not for free, it's a restricted software.

war2 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

well i would certainly say its free not to mention legal, but its just not for commercial work, nothing strange with that.

marcomeyer ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

Giving free access does not mean free and unlimited use. It only means that one is granted access to something without paying for it. The hint about non-commercial use should be extended to "not for any serious user", for I cannot imagine even hobby users being happy about watermarked renderings at all. Why can't SoftImage just simply tell us that this nice marketing gag is intended only to generate new customers by giving them (us?) the opportunity to play around a bit? Well, maybe because it is so obvious. And with the exception of Renderosity's freebies of the month: what is really FREE in this world?

GODspeed ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

O for god's sake, Stop Whining people. is that all you pesimistic people do? This isnt truly FREE software,true, butits XSI's LEARNING edition. THis is the same style Maya and other software titles have done in the past. This is a Hell of alot better than a 30 day trial. in fact Id choose a watermark over 30day trail ANYDAY... it takes at least 3+ months to truly get into a program anyway. SO i suggest Dload it... learn it, and it it floats yoru boat, BUY it.

eelnek ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 August 2004

I registered and gace them all the info they wanted but got no email answer to enable download-maybe they hate Australians

bryden ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 August 2004

I did not say I was not interested in checking out their main product and the download. But I do resent the semantic manipulations. Why not call it a learning edition? --or even a 'free' learning edition (if they must) LOL? I would respect that. Though they did get my attention, I do not appreciate the lack of integrity in the advertisement. --So I'm a stick in the mud and a retired English teacher--sue me :-) Good luck with that download, eelnek, I suspect SoftImage might be overwhelmed with requests? How could anyone not like Aussies? Bryden

pmandes ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 August 2004

Only BLENDER is trully FREE. Free as in "Freedom", and free as in "Free Beer".

mplogue ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 August 2004

Geeze people. Think of it as a demo version that dosen't expire. I think it's a great idea. You usually only get like 30 days to play around with a software package in order to determine if you want to purchase it. Having a demo that I can take my time to really get to know it's strengths and weakness' is a major bonus. I just wish the other big names would do something similar. I just submitted my info, and got my download confirmation almost immediately.

TheMekon ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 August 2004

I've always wanted to get into Softimage, and this way its free! The watermark issue is irrelevant, it can probably be dispensed with in PSP etc.(If its that important to you) Logged in, confirmed and downloaded, all within 20 mins - good deal as far as I'm concerned.

Kemal ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 August 2004

Hmmmm, made my Radeon 95000 card crazy, I had to uninstall it right away :( Bad, bad, bad !!!

Silgrin ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 20 August 2004

Well, mplogue is right-it`s a better version of a DEMO. And it should be called so-not a FREE software. This way I could call MS Windows a free software since sb released its demo on a CD... As pmandes mentioned, FREE means FREE and FREE is Blender (I hate its interface, by the way:) and Anim8or, and OpenFX, and Linux... Not Maya PLE or Sotfimage XSI EXP. Cheers!

HellBorn ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 20 August 2004

Yeah, but a demo of what. In order to work well as a demo it should be matched with the current versions. I checked the site and one version costs around $600. I would not mind to pay that if it delivers what I need. The problem is that the verion I can buy is not the version I can take for a >30 day test so as I see it using 30 days is 30 days wast and using more is even worse ;) If you are interested to try the product you actually can buy it's a 30 day buy and try deal. That is, first you have to buy/pay and then you can try for 30 days. I did however download the free version in order to get some insights in how XSI works (and i got the mail with the download link straight away) and I can't say that it was love at first sight. I'm running at 1600x1200 resolution and yet I did feel that there was to little space left in the modeling area. To much space was wasted on cool looking buttons etc, not an application in my taste. I will however try to find a tutorial on subd modelling and see how god or bad it is in that area. But still It's not the current version what value vill the evaluation have ......

HonorMac ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 20 August 2004

I'm with Bryden on this one. I appreciate (and find very valuable, and will check out) the "learning edition", but I'd have more respect if it'd not come heralded by the misleading "Hey look! A FREE version!!" .... What the heck is wrong with clear, accurate language, anyway?

DigiCalimero ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 22 August 2004

Why is this latest news when the 3.0 learning edition is over 1 year old. From SI site: "Montreal, Quebec 10th February, 2003" Not to sound negative against XSI, because it's one of the best 3D packages out there, but this is hardly news:) Good to see more 3D people taking a look at XSI though, they won't regret it.

jedislaxl ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 22 August 2004

i dont know what im downloading, i hope i can do a decent powerpoint presentation thats superbs my partners in class sincerely, me

pwiecek ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 22 August 2004

Consider this. Get the free version. Develop all the content you want. When you think you have something you can sell, hock your children and buy the full version. Render all your stuff, get rich and reclaim your children... ...or not.

softriver ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 22 August 2004

Hardly necessary to hock your children... version 4.0 costs $549, includes Mental Ray, particles, global lighting, HDRI, Hair and Cloth dynamics... It's less than Rhino, 3ds max, lightwave, and Maya, and does more than any of those packages with the exception of Maya's character animation studio... As for the "free" version, it's been out for a long time. I have the two-CD free demo on my desk atm, and it's only limitation is that you can't import or export. As for needing a "monster" machine to run the app, you might want to look closer. As a student I'm running on a 2.8 Pentium, with 1 Gig of RAM, a 256 MB Nvidia card, and I have no trouble... in fact, version 4 runs faster than Poser, except when doing high-end renders, and it's still pretty comparable in terms of speed. If "free" bothers you, then buy it with a student loan, or save a few paychecks. (for students, of course, if you have a wife and kids, I can understand it being more difficult). Whatever you choose, though, don't make the assumption that this is a "hobbyist's" application. It isn't. The free version is intended to give talented people a way to overcome the barriers to entry in the animation industry. If you want to make a living at this, then you should seriously get to know how these app's function. If you can do that without dropping two month's pay, then don't hesitate. ;)

Ghostwriter ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 23 August 2004

When will we tire of such silliness? Watermark? Indeed? I'll pass too.... aloha

TIMMYLYNN ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 23 August 2004

Yep Ill pass to. It appears that all these 3d companies are coming out with free this and that to compete with each other. I'm still feeling a little burned by Lightwave. They are supplying 400.00 in free training materials to people who purchase lw8. I have upgraded twice with them and just being a hobbyist would love the training materials. People who upgraded should receive that also as far as I'm concerned but i'm to busy learning Lw and Dfx to bother with another. If its just for play......and i think the other guys are right Blender is free and i saw some pretty impressive animations made with it. So if your looking for FREE>>>>>BLENDER.

mrscience ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 23 August 2004

I see little risk in at least downloading it out of curiosity. If it is designed as a hook (which I believe it is), SO WHAT? If you like it, maybe the software is worth getting! If you don't like it, just delete it! I find it a lot better than purchasing software you're not sure of and then, heaven forbid, disliking the results without chance of a refund. You don't like the watermark, fine, just fiddle with it and resize the image a bit, or see what you can do with the program and don't bother to save/upload. What's the harm?

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