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Animating & Modelling in Softimage XSI

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Animating & Modelling in Softimage XSI

Hey all of you Softimage XSI wizzes out there.

I've been a Classical Animator AAAALLLL my life. Now I've recently decided to tackle 3D. At the moment, I'm sitting here with my XSI, my Learning manual, and my good friend who'se has ten years of 3D under her belt's phone number handy.

I'm hungry for knowledge, but take note, on a very beginner level. I have over a hundred pages of notes that I've taken from the learning manual, but have yet to really model a thing. It's a long path of menus and sub-menus of info to get to the simple detail that I'm looking for.

Now my main concern now is in Modelling and Animating. Lighting, texturing and all that is secondary, because I plan on specializing in XSI Animation. I need a demo of course, so modelling is also fundamental.

Any little tips, tricks that you have to start off modelling and animating, BRING IT ON! If my question seems a little too vague, then you can help me break it down. But remember, right from scratch.


PS, if anyone has a good idea of where to start with the questioning, please feel free to offer suggestions.

Is that the manual that features Dr. Bunsen?
I went through that manual last year, did all the tutorials. (I may have skipped the scripting section.)
It's a fine program. I think it's a little easier to rig a character in XSI than it is in Maya.
I also really like the rendering passes - or whatever they're called: those rendering layers that you can create different settings for.

Hey Harvey,

It's a shame that Dr. "Bunsen" isn't a specialist in biochemistry. Imagine the smart-ass one-liners you could throw at him at that point. Of course, this is coming from a cartoonist who'se last name is Duff, and who'se mother almost named him "Donald". But I digress...

I haven't come into anything mentioning Dr. Bunsen yet. It's a burned manual that my friend got from work. The only problem with it is, it's so bloody spread out, with menu's and submenu's, that by the time you're half way to finding how to perform a very simple action, you're you're ready to fall asleep.

But actually, I do have a few questions. Maybe you can help me.

- If for example, I wanted to make the stem of a wine glass. I'd get a poly mesh of a cylinder, but how could I concave or convex it along its length.

- If I have made the wine glass from three seperate shapes. An opened sphere for the top, and a cylinder for the stem, and another flattened cylinder for the do I "merge" them. I think the term in XSI is "grouping", but that might be where I'm mistaken. So that they're all finally one entire object, and not three seperate parts.

- While viewing my work. How do I freely move the view, and rotate around the object to view it from all sides (without changing the camera)...the same way you'd hold the space bar and click and move the view of an object in Flash.

These are a few to start...anyone out there that can help me out on this? ....Harvey?


You probably want to create a curve which outlines the cross-section of one half of the glass, and then lathe that curve. If you do a Google search for wine glass, lathe, etc., you'll probably find a thousand tutorials dealing with this procedure. In fact, there's probably a tutorial on this in the XSI manual.

Fantastic. That's a great idea. I'll get on it ASAP. Right now mind you, I'm completely plastered, and the thought of forcing myself to think right now frightens me. I have however left myself a little note on my desk to check it out tomorrow morning.

Muchas gracias senor Jarvey,