Friday, July 18, 2008

Launched in London

We had a wonderful week in London, brining XSI 7 to the Soho post (and games!) community. So many of our amazing customers are all around the corner from each other, seperated by pubs, curry houses and sushi shops. Jellyfish, The Mill, Passion, Studio AKA, Fluid (and many more!) are all in this incredible area of London.

We had two events in London, one in the afternoon and one in the early evening. All in all, close to 150 people turned up to see Softimage|XSI 7 in action. Christoph Schinko did a great demo on advanced rigging and created an ICE effect live for the crowd - even taking suggestions on how to improve it from the audience. Right when we wrapped up London, the team in NYC went on stage. (Much hilarity ensured via SMS on the mixed up posters, so we had people from the MILL NY and Jordi from the Mill London each hold up the poster)

Thanks to everyone who turned up (and Lex for his very helpful registration support) - it was an honor for me to have helped to bring XSI 7 to you.

Two weeks home and the SIGGRAPH.

See you in Los Angeles!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Green Screen Fun in San Fran

What a week it's been since we announced XSI 7 to the world.

The on-line communities are buzzing with the news.., and are filled with comments and questions about our latest release.

Next week we'll be in London and New York city hosting two launch events on July 17th (7/17!) and at the same time we'll be in those markets we are also holding an On-Line Event so we can bring more details about XSI 7 and ICE to the rest of the world!

Right now, I am in San Francisco shooting the on-line launch at Pixel Corps, a Softimage Training Partner. We are shooting on green screen, which is always fun, and the talented team at Pixel Corps will cut and comp in a digital set.

I am here with Marc Stevens, Softimage GM and Mark Schoennagel, Softimage 3D Evangelist. Both Marc/k's are very dedicated to brining the message of XSI 7 to as many people as possible. The amazing thing with this shoot is how we were able to build the demos. Normally, when you create demos for beta software, it is key that they are created and rehearsed well in advance. Because of the stability and the flexibility of the ICE platform, we created the majority of our demos in the last few days.

Really. We spent a lot of time reading the posts and questions on over 1000 public forums, and worked with our new R&D material and test scenes and spent yesterday building over a dozen new demo scenes. I can't tell you how unheard of this is. Never ever have we deviated from our planned demo material to use brand new material.

You can even see Mark smiling before we got started. He told me later maybe he was sweating this, just a little bit. But the software came through with flying colors. yay ICE!

So we are about to close it up for the day, thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work.

It's a wrap - see you online next week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

XSI 7 on 7/7

Yesterday was a great day. After a ton of work from many different people around the world, we unveiled SOFTIAMGE|XSI 7 to the world.

This product launch was probably the most significant one we have ever done, as XSI 7 offers up ICE, a new platform for creating outstanding visual effects and 3D tools. One of the main features of ICE is that it offers up the chance for a collaborative workflow between artists and technical directors, and the same was true for the actual launch of the product.

Work on the launch of XSI 7 started several months ago. Shortly after GDC, we held an internal training session with our application engineers from around the world, including our training partners Digital Tutors, as well as trainers Adam Sale and Craig Slagel. It was an intense 4 days, and it started off the ICE training and launch prep.

In April, my work for launching XSI 7 kicked into high gear. Part of what I do is work with technology partners to showcase how their hardware can benefit from SOFTIAMGE|XSI, so I spent the week of NAB in Vegas having meeting after meeting, planning our launch events & SIGGRAPH activities. XSI 7 is such a fantastic showcase for the multicore systems that are available today, we named our demo character "Mulcor" after Multi-Core. (I like the fact that he has an 'Alienbrain,' the name of another one of our products, but no one else seems to find this as funny as I do)

Our partners really came through for us for our launch. HP & Intel, along with Microsoft and NVIDIA are supporting us for the worldwide kick off of XSI 7. We have events on july 17th in NYC and London, and on that same day we will be hosting a pre-recorded on-line event with one of our top media partners. I promise info is coming very soon! I am actually off in a few hours to head to San Francisco to shoot the event. Photos will come in a few days.

For SIGGRAPH, we have a lot going on, but what I am most excited about is our User Event on Aug 12th. Instead of the traditional format of product presentations in a theatre setting, we are hosting a visual, multi-media event that later will turn into what promises to be one of the best Softimage parties ever.. A key element for us is that the Softimage staff will have the entire night to mingle and chat with customers, friends and partners, instead of an hour before and after. This event will be a celebration of ICE and all the hard work our team put into creating the technology. We are very thankful for the support we got to host this from Dell & ATI, along with Microsoft and Intel. If you are going to SIGGRAPH, trust me when I say this.. do not miss this party.

Time to head out, it's 5am and I have a flight to catch very soon.