Autodesk completes Softimage: Is the CGI industry sown up?

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Images courtesy of Virtual-Mechanix – here’s a nice user story about how they use the products here.

While there are many modelling systems active in the CGI industry, there have been three consistent players in the game over the last two decades: 3dsmax, Maya and Softimage (its pronounced soft-ee-marj, betraying its French Canadian roots). When Autodesk acquired Alias a couple of years ago, bringing it in house alongside its 3dsmax product, many foretold that it was game over for Softimage, who have been passed around a fair old amount in the last few years, from Microsoft (in 1994) then to Avid Technology a couple of years later.

This week the acquisition by Autodesk was completed and all of the assets of the company became part of Autodesk’s product offering for ‘Media and Entertainment’ division. Does Autodesk have the CGI industry sown up?

It’s looking that way, with a trio of products that provide it with a huge installed base. What are the companies plans with it? It seems that as its done with 3dsmax and Maya, its looking to maintain the Softimage brand and intends to “sell standalone versions of both the Softimage|XSI and Softimage|Face Robot 3D software products,” with its Softimage|Cat character animation plugin for 3ds max being built into the max product line.

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