The biggies are dumping their prices "The Blender-Scare

People…it has begun:

Xsi has now launched a 3d Package complete with Animation
3d-modeller and a 2-node license for Mentalray renderer
for a bargain-bin price : 495 Dollars

My jaw just dropped trough the floor and I’m having a tough
time picking it up again. :o

Is this a sign that they’re taking us seriously?
This package is NOT a learning-edition! It’s a full commercial
license aimed at helping individual 3d-professionals get
started with productions and sales with their work.

495 dollars is still a lot of money (especially for 12 year olds…no phun
intended) but…it’s no longer really expensive.

heck…it even costs less than Adobe photoshop (I am officially in shock!).

Don’t get me wrong - I still am the huge Blender fan as always
(I use it in production every day - at work!), but this news
tells me that someone out there is listening…


I don’t think they decided to do the price drop because of Blender, though I can’t say that for sure! It’s great marketing on their part to beef up the competition. It’s very cool of them to do this since it’s a nice program and for a nice price…although if you look at Cinema 4D’s base package is around that price too…R9 mmmm…

I say Blender can compete with no contest but it’s lacking some key features that are gaining popularity now. Micro Poly displacement mapping would be a god send for us Zbrush2 users! Also fluid effects or cloth effects would be a welcome addition…I’m no programmer but I can take a guess that these are going to be difficult to implement but how rockin’ would it be to have them? :slight_smile:

Just thinking out loud,

I’m with you there. I think the micro polygon thing would be good in more than just the displacements too. NURBS (though I don’t use them in Blender) for example. Does anyone know if exporting to the likes of aqsis would allow micro poly disps? I think aqsis supports this.

Fluid and cloth effects would rock. The thing is, Maya Complete doesn’t have these either and that’s $2000. I think XSI at that price is great value since you’re getting full cloth sim and mental ray.

i doubt it has anything to do with blender.

the day things will become even is when third party plugins that “make” blender, are being charged for.


I like Blender as much as the next guy, but I doubt SoftImage is any more worried about Blender than Adobe is about Gimp. Maybe someday they will pay attention, but probably not today.

Yep, it’s a response to some of the others like Maya’s recent aggresive pricing, trying to attack some of the mid-end market that XSI has previously been inaccessible to - I doubt Blender is even a blip on their radar. If anyone should be scared by this, it’s definitely Discreet.

It’s a remarkable deal though, especially considering how much XSI used to cost. It includes a 5 DVD training set too. If there was a Mac version my wallet would be looking at me in fear right now…

It’s been an exciting couple days with software…I’m seriously on the fence with buying XSI or C4D 8.5 since you get a free version 9 upgrade. XSI is cheaper though… I’ll stick to learning blender though until I can afford to comfortably purchase one or the other. :stuck_out_tongue: …my paycheck’s don’t go as far as they used to since I got into computer graphics.


Take a look at the test-built forum over There is a new softbody feature been test drived there. It isn’t perfect (very unstable), but it does a DAMM FINE JOB. It is faaaaaaaaar better than the old topix plug-in, not to mention easier to use and with more posibilities.

I believe that the cloth efect is the more popular, but I especilly like the fielc efect, it’ s implementation is much more robust.

Apollux - exciting, thanks for the news!


There’s no doubt (at least for me) that Blender will be the package of
the future - but we can thank our INCREDIBLE CODERS for that, the
reason is that all the new brilliant idea’s and smart implementations
can come to a package like Blender BEFORE the “biggies”.

I’ll continue to work with Blender - even if I did purchase the XSI
package (wich I probably won’t since I’m quite happy with what
Blender does for me at the moment)

XSI doesn’t come with real-hair though…only in the grown expensive

Blender have many hairy-solutions (LOL) but nowhere near the
High-End hair I need for the “cinema-posters” that I create with
Blender so I’ll have to do hair manually for now.

i find it funny, things like photoshop elements and such.

what about Blender-mini and Blender-pro, and Blender-fender, and Blender-render-fender-bender.

ha ha ha it all gets a bit silly.

disabled versions just for the hell of making a percieved value difference is silly (for example WinXP Pro Vs WinXP Home)


We actually do…

We have Blender Publisher (without the raytracer, but with save for web & standalone executable) 2.25

We also have Blender 2.28 with the game engine disabled

Not to mention earlier versions where a key is needed (although you can download the key from…


I heard XSI’s hair was the best out there. I don’t know how it compares to Cinema’s and Maya’s purchaseable addon “shave & a haircut” . As seems is another good solution.

Max and then, Maya dominate the game world. And it’s moving a very big money. Getting close if not the same already to film studios quantities.

Since some time, these companies are also fighting for these fields. That before was more dominated by Max. Maya PLE and Gmax where some kind of powered demos, something they never did before, just to increase the artist user base. I see this as another move. Maybe because they’re nice (who knows) , or…maybe because XSi is the one of the 3 (or the four, counting with LW) which is having less difussion, smaller market taken (surely because they started too late in veideogames field, also as they had always been the more expensive, together with the fantastic Mirai ) they are now doing the more agressive marketting. They have been so for some time…it’s EXP version (like a Gmax) was quite less limited than the other too “power demos” of the other packages. It at least allowed a render non crippled, but very small, like 512 or so. heh, at least you could do prerendered rts games :wink: for non comercial… :wink: No I don’t thing that would be legal either.

In other fields, I don’t know how goes the fights (film industry) .I read in a cg film mag long time ago (maybe a year or two) that XSI and Maya werein a very equal position…i don’t know.

imho, it’s a good thing. I mean, for the artists, in general. XSI is a wonderful tool, very professional. If hair is removed…and if what they did is like with Maya Complete (Maya’s 2k $ version has not got hair or Paint Effects, but don’t quote me on this as I did look at it long ago) then I suspect is another move like the one Maya made. More or less they have their solid place in films…but they fight for the games cake. In games you don’t yet (as far as I am concerned) need hair, and cloth and physics is done with modules you can add to any package…or even calculate in the engine. So, a realtime game artist does not care much if it does not have hair (Maya complete or this reduced version of XSI), while for hi res artist in certain cases , can be crucial…

imho is a clever move. It’s a solid danger for Truespace (if not much of xsi is eliminated, and is a “Maya Complete” kind of thing) that in its more advanced version, the ~600 % version, can have serious problems to compete with somethinng like XSI…Same with Cinema. Though Cinema …I don’t know if it will have so much problems.

If Max does the same, judging for the audience of Gmax, it’s gonna be a problem for mid cost tools…Which indeed, already have a problem with free tools like Wings and Blender.

I may be wrong, but if this agressive pricing starts in chain reaction, I see dark days for mid cost tools companies. (not for hi res ones) I hope to be wrong; there are a lot of workers in those companies. They would be forced to make better products and lower a lot the price…which I don’t know if they can afford.

I see all this for competing in the other market,(not films) I mean in games companies, (and for that, they know first step is getting want-to-be game artists base, an easy way to learn their package…they may have notice people don’t want to learn with a non export tool) and probably the casual artist, the hobbyst (pricing it like something in the range of Truespace, poser, Cinema, Bryce, etc) and little studios. Not that these huge companies tremble too much (imho) if they don’t get it…I mean, I maybe wrong but i think their main income and place is films. Or maybe it has started to not be enough. And then they have to be open to fields they just did not dare to look at years ago.

Who knows.

BTW, I have been several times very near to purchase (I purchased Deep Paint3d) a package like those mid cost (~500$) just because of an specific feature, for itself and for HOW it worked (a feature can be in many packages, but only work as I want in one) .So, this move is not bad at all.

wait… is just curiosity, but…

reading a bit that ad…

“Any creative artist, student, freelancer,…”

it’s clear, they want to seel in that field too.

the 495$ is maybe too reduced.

the 2k version…includes “including Rigid & Soft Body Dynamics, the advanced character rig systems and SDK”

So, guess what either wont have the 495$ version…Animation without “advanced character rig” …hmmm…

the price of the pro tool keeps the price high $6,995 . (Mirai was for years 6k, dunno now.)

so, no fur, no sofbody dinamics, no hair, no “advanced rig” (dangerous thing) , probably poorer render, no sdk in 495$ version.It will depend on the garde of ripping it have, them to be even considered by some game artist or amateur. If they removed the nice rig of xsi…Guess ppl is gonna stay with their Ts, Hash AM, cinema or Blender.

But is now more clear to me. They want to make a product to catch every range of people/pocket, and also every market : “the most complete 3D production solution for film, games, and full-service commercial and post house”

Sometimes I think these are not good signs about the economical status of the company. Other times, I think is just a clever strategy. This time I don’t know.

Depending on what’s beeen ripped and how, it could be a very good product (485$ one) or not more than a toy, a modeller that may not be as good as Wings or Blender…

If I had the cash, I would go for Cinema 4D together with Blender.
Cinema4d is rock solid, hardly crashes and you don’t need a killer pc

read the specs on xsi, what kind of a pc do you need to run it? what is the minimum screen resolution etc.

the big packages also require big pc’s and if you have to scrape to get the cash to for such a package, maybe your hardware needs and update

Right now, I don’t think the big players worry too much about blender.
The CG industrie is going hard times and that also counts for the software makers. Users want more control over the products, want to be able to change, create stuff, hence all the plugins and scripting stuff.
A while ago discreet (max) closed a lot of offices in europe, because the sales where slipping. with cinema 4d becoming a major player, and a lot of other packages that are less expensive (animation master, houdini, etc… ), the big guys are confronted with the fact that not everyone NEEDS the pro stuff they offer. How many users of max actually use it to its full potential?
New stuff is cool to play with, but to use it in a production environment is something else.

Besides, why pay that much, if you can do more or less the same with a few tricks in other applications

a lot of cg is also combining different elements. One does not create one giant scene and let that render.
You render the background scene, the events in front and everything is composed with compositing software, giving you more flexibility and control when certain things arn’t the way you want

First, to where I know, the renderer in all XSI “flavors” is the same. The automated character tools are the only important diference.

Second, you can’t look at XSI price dropping without looking at the recent (days ago) acquisition of Kaydara by Maya.

Kaydara are the makers of “Motion Builder”, wich happends to be the de-facto animation tool for game developers, not to mention the driving power behind the FBX file format. (The same format that untill now has been supported why all the big players in the industry).

Since Max was already the king of the hill on the game market, and Maya did such a bold move as buying Kaydara… XSI needed to counter-atack somehow, otherwise XSI would be left out of the game market.

It would be interesting to see what will be MAX’s response to all the recent events. %|


that is a pretty nice deal.
There goes truespace…
has the comparison, it is missing some doodads, but is still very nice.

for those interested in games, I only would see a problem in the “advanced rig” lack(I’m always worried about animation, also, is an strong point in xsi). As rendering doesn’t affect much,(maybe to generate radiosity lightmaps, only) and the softbody stuff can be bone animated, somehow, in rt 3d games.

…seing the xsi 4.0 pdf it makes one salivate…Not that I am going to spend other 500$ or something but seems nice.

I agree with that, Apollux.

And I hadn’t read your post…so, rendering is the same in the several versions…Well, only that mental ray 3.x or whatever is not in foundation.
Automated character tools… could it be what they mean with advanced rig tools…

Imho, the game market and the game artist are dominated by Max, if Discreet reacts putting in the market a tool like that , an small max6, I’d expect them not having much problems in that specific field, if they have any.

Or maybe they’ll just wont care.

BTW, any of these tools, preserving advanced animation tools, besides game engine export, would be a sweet candy for several amateur game artists…or even just a way to purchase cheap seats in a game company where only one machine will be rendering the lightmaps…

They need to hurry. Blender will catch them in that type of product, if it didn’t already… :wink:

There must be some type of user, even Blender user, who would like also to use XSI , Max Character Studio or Maya advanced character animation…

But , now that Kaydara Motion Builder have been mentioned…this kind of user (I know I am a bit too focused in game art) had a problem, as only fbx to export bones and weights…while I yet have to find an engine that imports this format. Instead of something more according to engines standards. As far as they are removing hair, cloth, I see it as a deliberate intention of not leave it of some full use to cg film industry or expensive comercials… But game field. So I would not undersand a thing if these versions keep coming without engine exports, like md5, x, md3… (gmax is the only LE package that allows an character animation export, and even engine related, md3. )

For films, or whatever the rendered use, having Blender features like hair and softbody dinamics, cloth, particles, and many others…or hash Animation master having wonderful high end features and rendering, or what to mention of the Cinema’s power… The value I see in any reduced package like xsi, maya, max, is the strong and powerful tools they have in mainly character animation.
That’s what makes attractive imho a low priced version of any of them. In my opinion. But depending on the output; mainly i see interesting for mid pol realtime games.

Myself, I think that every package, including Blender, necessarily focuses on a particular segment of the overall graphics market. So you choose the tool, or more likely tools, that most appropriately fill your particular need(s) at this particular time.

The catch, of course, is that once you do adopt a tool and begin to build up a body of work in it, it becomes more difficult to switch. And you might never “switch.” You might retain a computer or computers just to run specific software that you need, just to produce a work product that you need. Even when “better” methods come along, you might not find it economically viable to convert.

I don’t think the commercial players are reacting specifically to “competitive pressure from” Blender, because conversion-costs for existing customers aren’t likely to be practical. But also, “the market is an ocean!” The 3D marketplace has so many dimensions, from Pixar feature-films to GameBoy or even PalmPilot games, that there’s probably room out there for everyone and many more, without “vee vill crush you” (“vee must crush you or vee will not survive”) competition really needing to exist.

Obviously, the various (commercial) players need to play for “presence of mind” in the up-and-coming animators, so they offer limited versions of their products to them. They also need to play to animators whose product requirements aren’t as sophisticated as Pixar’s and never will be. (But that can be difficult… who knows how many versions of “Photoshop Lite” Adobe ground through before coming up with their latest ones, which for the first time don’t feel “hobbled.”)

Blender is attractive because it has no license-costs, naturally, but it has its downsides too. The absence of licensing fees will not make Blender “the de facto choice.” Commercial users need to find the best tool for the job, “all things considered,” and they are able to pass licensing costs through as a cost-of-goods. Commercial users have made big commitments to deliver big work-products on tight budgets and schedules, so they literally can’t afford to use anything less than “the best tool for the job.” Happily for us, in many situations that tool happens to be… Blender.

Lots of Linux/open-source people like to go around crowing that their products are “Free!” … and Richard Stallman has made a career out of being a proselyte to that effect … but you know, that’s not really true. The reason is, that by far the most enormous cost in anything relating to computers is labor cost, not equipment cost. (Yes, Virginia, you are “effin’ expensive!”) So it might be very economically justifiable to spend $35,000 a seat on a product if the animators who use it (and the people down the production-line) earn … or are costed at … say, $90,000 a year. (Your “cost” is much more than your “salary.” Remember those “free” benefits? That “free” coffee? Your desk? Lights? Air conditioning?) I’m makin’ up numbers here, but … You’re really paying to avoid personal headaches, and to keep the vendors in whom you are a stakeholder, alive and healthy. If the vendor can deal with problems for you, and actually does it, the $35,000 product might be cheaper. And a product that calls itself “cheaper, 'cuz its FREE!” … might not be.

I don’t think that’s the case with Blender, however. Not in its market segment, certainly. JM2CW.