XSI 5.0 Review: Stepping Up Next-Gen Development
Lightmaps Modify>Projection Ultimapper Texture Editor New Ambient Occlusion Shader
Lightmap shaders can be attached to materials to sample the object that the material is attached to, and compute a map that contains information about the object. The most common application is sampling illumination, or just indirect illumination, and storing it into a writable texture file that can be texture-mapped later during rendering. This makes rendering much faster, although the illumination contribution is now frozen into the object and cannot change with changing lighting conditions.
There are come cool new projection tools like inspect current UV, inspect All UVs, swim (allows editing geometry without distortion) and reproject.
The new XSI Ultimapper tool can generate all kinds of cinematic-quality maps from arbitrarily complex models in just a few clicks all the while taking full advantage of all the sophisticated rendering possibilities of the mental ray v3.4 rendering engine. Ultimapper can generate normal, ambient occlusion, difference, light and albedo maps all with an instant mental ray, DirectX or OpenGL preview directly in the XSI view-ports.
There is a new Multi object display in the texture editor allowing you to see many objects UVs at the same time. The snap tools work across different UVs making lining up textures much easier.
Ambient Occlusion illumination shaders are now built into the package. No need to hunt down one on the net. This AO shader uses a fast and computationally inexpensive technique to simulate the effect of global illumination. It works by firing rays into a predefined hemispherical region above a given sampled point on an objects surface in order to determine the extent to which the point is blocked or occluded by other geometry.
New Ambient Occlusion Shader
RenderMap Updates Maya to XSI Migration Tools Tear off Menus Transform Groups
The RenderMap property has been updated with additional options for generating Surface Color maps. The available surface color map types are now: Surface Color and Illumination: bakes all object surface attributes, including color, illumination and bump into the rendermap output image. Surface Color Only (albedo): bakes object surface attributes, including color and bump into the rendermap output image, but does not include illumination information. Illumination: bakes illumination information into the surface color map. This includes light color. Illumination maps can optionally include bump map information. Ambient Occlusion: uses XSIs ambient occlusion shader to create a color representation of the extent to which the object is occluded by other objects, or the environment, at any given point. Ambient occlusion maps can optionally include bump map information. A subset of the ambient occlusion shader options appear in the RenderMap property editor to give you some control over the occlusion map. There are also new options for toggling a variety of surface attributes (bump, shadows, ambient and diffuse lighting) included in the surface color map.
With so many Maya users picking up XSI, I think it is a good move to include many of the subtle features that Maya users look for in a package. It also allows XSI users to take advantage of some of the workflow that Maya users experience with all of the beauty and grace of XSI. Some of the migration tools are simple, like keyboard shortcuts or interface adjustments, while others are totally new features included in XSI just for Maya users.
These are menus that you can separate from the rest of the application allowing you to drag them anywhere in the application. While you could do something like this in previous versions of XSI using toolbars, this implementation is much easier.
Transform Groups is another get-the-Maya-user-to-XSI type of feature. In Maya, you use groups to perform what you do with nulls in XSI. Traditional groups in XSI are used for a long list of totally different functions.
Maya to XSI Migration Tools
Tear off Menus