Posted Thu Mar 6, 2014
Autodesk’s Softimage discontinuation announcement sparks protests from users5 Comments
Reactions to Autodesk's announcement that Softimage would be discontinued have been heated. A petition and a Facebook page have been created by artists who want to see Softimage continue being developed, a poll is up also, asking Softimage users which 3D application they intend to migrate to.
Negative comments abound in various forums and Facebook pages, such as the unofficial Softimage community, Autodesk's Softimage Facebook page, Autodesk's Area, the Softimage mailing list archive, CGTalk, etc. Here is a sample, "I’m definitely focusing on a non Autodesk related future", "Foundry! Save us!", "I will Help and [teach] all softimage users to learn modo. anyone want to to learn modo add me on facebook ill help.", "AD = Auto Destruction", "Goodbye Autodesk", "Shame on you AD! From now on, I will boycott your products.", "I think if there is a time to allow swearing on a forum then this is it."
A brief history leading to Autodesk's discontinuation of Softimage:
1986 - Softimage founded by Canadian filmmaker Daniel Langlois, the software was released as the Softimage Creative Environment, later known as Softimage 3D. It was the first commercial 3D software to offer inverse kinematics for character animation.
1994 - Microsoft acquires Softimage with the intention to port the software to Windows NT and show Windows as a viable platform for high-end CG. (press release)
1998 - Avid buys Softimage from Microsoft. (press release)
2005 - Autodesk, already developing 3DS Max, signs an agreement to acquire a second, previously competing 3D software (Maya), along with its development company, Alias. (press release, MU report)
2008 - With two of the major 3D applications already owned by Autodesk, the company sets to acquire the third major one left, Softimage, from Avid. Reactions from Softimage users (and CG users in general) are overly negative. (press release, MU report)
Marc Petit, Autodesk's M&E senior VP at the time, states the following in the company's press release: "as we have demonstrated since the acquisition of Alias in 2006, we’re committed to giving our customers choice when it comes to their 3D tools. We plan to maintain and grow the Softimage product line (...) At Autodesk, we care deeply about 3D technology; we know users invest a lot of time and energy into mastering their favorite 3D product. To all 3D artists out there, I want to tell you that we understand your passion for the creative tools you use daily, and that with Autodesk, you can choose your passion."
2014 - Autodesk announces it will discontinue Softimage development. (Softimage final release announcement)