On 16th November 2011, Escape Studios and Autodesk joined forces to organise a Softimage user group meeting. The event was held at the Autodesk London office on Broadwick Street, where product manager Jason Brynford ‘Chinny’ Jones presented updates as well as a preview on the Softimage roadmap. An over subscribed event, the UGM attracted an obvious attendance from users within Soho but also users from as far as Sweden, France, Bulgaria, and Germany.
Chinny as ever, managed to captivate the room with an engaging demonstration on what Autodesk have in store for Softimage. During his presentation Chinny was keen to point out that Softimage is still very much here, still strong, and development continues at the same level as it always has. The product as well as the development team have not been forgotten or neglected within Autodesk. There is still a strong focus on developing the unique elements of Softimage, which they hope will add additional value to Autodesk’s suites.
Unfortunately we can’t disclose what was demonstrated during the event. There are certain developments that are still in trial, and may not appear in subsequent releases.
A last minute addition to the UGM agenda, we had the guys from Solid Angle give a demo on Arnold Renderer. To give a better idea on what they had to say, take a look at this sneak peak of the Softimage Arnold render engine.
Our Bulgarian guests were the team from Chaos Group, representing their upcoming release of V-ray for Softimage. Currently in Beta, V-Ray for Softimage now works with the main features of Softimage, including ICE support, animated parameters, strong render tree support, weightmaps and Sun & Sky functionalities. New developments with this product make it possible to apply shading, lights, lens distortion, render output, effects and scene translator. Pretty exciting developments, and we look forward to seeing the results from their Beta programme.
During the event, we had a lot of feedback from users asking to make this UGM a more regular occurrence. We are currently in talks with Autodesk to see what can be arranged. However, if this UGM proved anything it was that there is a huge community of loyal Softimage users keen to stay in touch with the development of this product. If you are a Softimage user, please share your thoughts on this, we would love to hear them.