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Softimage XSI

27 March 2020  /  Writing  /  Inspire

Softimage the company, started out with one of the first 3D animation applications on the market and enjoyed much success as the computer graphics revolution took off in cinema. For the subsequent major release of their application, they completely rebuilt their product from the ground up to work the way their customers wanted to work.

The result was Softimage XSI.

Their customers were passionate about this application because it spoke their language. They consistently describe it as incredibly well thought out, with well integrated tools resulting in clean and productive workflows.

Softimage XSI was a tool created by artists, for artists.

Because this product was being used by artists, they spent the time to make sure even the packaging was beautiful.

The Softimage XSI installation CD packaging
Softimage XSI installation CD packaging cover
Inside the Softimage XSI installation CD packaging
Inside the Softimage XSI installation CD packaging

You have to admire the attention to detail here. They could have easily gotten away with a simple bullet list with a couple of headings.

Instead, this packaging is beautiful and thoughtful. It carefully presents it’s content, neatly divided between application and video training, associating the content with the physical discs each resides on.

Even their application splash screens were beautiful.

Softimage XSI 4 splashscreen
Softimage XSI 4 splashscreen

Look at the care and details in that screen; every logo reduced to shades of grey and neatly lined up, all the content carefully laid out on a grid, weighting and space given to the most valuable information.

Did they need to do all this?


Does this extra work help to subtly reinforce their story to customers? That their attention to detail and care about the product matches your own?

Absolutely yes.

Addendum: Yes, I am aware this rebuild of Softimage took too long and Autodesk Maya took over a large amount of the market in the mean time. However Maya is not beloved by the majority of it's users whilst Softimage XSI is still talked about and yearned for.