Yea, I was going to mention Blur as well. I hear the animation tools in XSI are top of the line.
For me, it’s the modeling tools that are attractive. In XSI you can edit a mesh by moving verts/edges/faces without having to switch into a seperate mode or press a button to switch between them. They are all just selectable.
The most attractive thing to me though, is the mesh relax feature. Other software such as Max or Maya have this feature, but the XSI relax tool doesn’t change the mass/shape of the mesh nearly as much when you use it.
Mesh relax and UV relax are the two biggest things on my wishlist for blender right now!
I haven’t used XSI much and I didn’t used it for long either, but so far it’s my favorite 3d program right next to Blender. It’s very logical, friendly and sophisticated - in short well designed. For the little time I spent with 3dsmax I found it cludgy, clumsy and slow, and Maya might be flexible but it didn’t impress me immensely either. Remember, though, that I tried all three some years ago so they’ve probably changed.
XSI follows animator’s mindset, at least for me. It also has Mental Ray built-in as a native renderer.
I actually just uninstalled the XSI trial only 3 days of having it installed. As a native Maya user, I just found it to be backwards in navigation, and when it comes to using the built in Maya preset, I still couldn’t use the hotkeys XSI has by default. Then I’d have to go in there and start changing things…just didn’t care to try anymore.
Maya’s animation set is great too and used by many and many studios but I have a friend who uses XSI exclusively and he’s in love with it. I probably should have given it more of a chance but I would rather take the time to learn Blender than another Autodesk product.