Experience XSI 4: The Official Softimage XSI 4 Guide to Character Creation

Front Cover
Thomson Course Technology, 2004 - Computers - 264 pages
The reader will have an exclusive look into how the design process of characters for motion pictures by Aaron Sims at Stan Winston Studios has changed through the application of XSI. Sims talks about his current project "Tethered Islands", a short movie, and how he creates his alien world using XSI. The co-author and character animation expert, Michael Isner, at Softimage discusses the groundbreaking technology and the powerful tool set that XSI delivers. This book also covers new technology in crowd animation. The reader will learn everything needed to create a detailed animated character that can then be composited into a live action scene using the XSI compositor. Well-known 3D artist Sims includes his own incredible characters to inspire the reader while clearly demonstrating the techniques applied in their creation.

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About the author (2004)

As a teenager growing up in Arlington Texas, Aaron Sims began his career working for famed commercial illustrator Don Ivan Punchatz. After moving to Los Angeles in 1985, Aaron began designing, sculpting, and painting creatures for the movie makeup effects. In 1988, Sims joined Rick Baker┐s Academy Award« winning Cinovation Studios Inc. He further developed his skills as a team member on "Gremlins 2" (Head Painter), "Baby┐s Day Out" (Head Painter/Cosmetic Supervisor), "Batman Forever" (Painter/Sculptor), and "Batman and Robin" (Painter/Sculptor). Sims went on to lead various projects at Cinovation, designing and sculpting the Grandma Klump prosthetic makeup on "The Nutty Professor", the Worm Guys and other aliens in "Men in Black", the Willie character prosthetic make-up in "Life", and the new Grandma Klump prosthetic make-up in "The Nutty Professor 2". Sims became Project Supervisor on "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Sims sculpted and painted the Baby Grinch character, oversaw its construction, and puppeteered the character on set. He designed many of the `Who┐ Character prosthetics as well. Always looking for ways to expand his artistic ability, in the late 90┐s Sims began exploring the medium of computer animation. Sims joined Stan Winston Studio in 2000 and began building a digital design shop within the Academy Award winning effects house. In 2001, he joined SW Digital, the design division at Stan Winston Studio. SW Digital has since designed characters for "Terminator 3", and completed and all digital promotional trailer TRAKK for Stan Winston Creatures, the action figure and comics division of Stan Winston Studio.

Michael Isner is the Character Animation Lead for Softimage. He works with high-end production clients from both the California film industry and Tokyo Gaming. He specializes in character setup, crowd and multi-character animation, and complex 3D problems. Michael┐s early background was in art and architecture, but was drawn into technology as one of the original founders of XSI and was behind its content and first production tests. He did the original proto-typing for many XSI tools such as web integration (Netview), UV texturing and pivot based animation mixing. He has implemented many features in XSI such as the character menu, the spine, motion deformation and envelope copying. Michael continues to be leading force in Softimage┐s research on embedded and interactive rigging. He has participated in character seminars and panels worldwide, from Montreal to Tokyo. More information can be found at www.isner.com.

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