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Autodesk® Softimage® character animation software offers high-performance creative tools for artists and technical directors working in 3D game development, and visual effects.



Character rigging and animation

Camera Sequencer

Maintain directorial control over your scenes, with a new Camera Sequencer toolset.

  • Easily cut between multiple cameras to create a sequence from multiple viewpoints.
  • Trim, reorder, and retime clips.
  • Work nondestructively, leaving the original animation data unchanged.

Skinning, weighting, and constraints

Softimage enables you to control many aspects of a character's movement with advanced 3D animation tools for skinning, weighting, and constraints.

  • Control initial deformer assignments and weights. Then, refine attributes using bounding volumes, point reassignments, numerical editing, and interactive brush-based weight painting.
  • Decide when to evaluate the enveloping assignment and finalize characters by adding deformations to create realistic skin sliding and muscles.
  • Select from pose, surface, symmetry, position, orientation, and up-vector constraints.
  • Offset control objects interactively using a fully animatable constraint compensation system, so you can change character rigs without breaking them.

Face Robot facial rigging toolset

The innovative Autodesk® Face Robot® toolset enables you to quickly and easily rig and animate faces and take advantage of automated lip-syncing.

  • Quickly import a character ready for highly realistic facial animation.
  • Bring a fully solved Face Robot head into Autodesk® Maya® 2014 software for integrated CG character workflows.
  • Mix C3D motion capture data and keyframe animation to achieve desired results.
  • With the game export process, you can take high-quality facial animation created in Face Robot and simplify it for real-time execution in game engines, while maintaining a high level of realism.

Generalized attribute transfer operator (GATOR)

GATOR helps you reuse existing work by transferring surface attributes between models.

  • Transfer surface properties (materials, UVs, clusters, skin weights, vertex colors, and shapes) between models, regardless of complexity or topology.
  • Merge completed textured and animated models that have different geometries without losing important characteristics.

Nondestructive 3D character rigging toolset

Make changes to a fully rigged and animated character throughout the production process, with nondestructive 3D character rigging tools in Softimage.

  • Build your own rig, start with prebuilt biped, dog-leg, or quadruped rigs, or create a more customized setup using intuitive proportioning guides.
  • Keep a record of modifications made to an object, so you can go back to any point and make changes, without destroying your work.
  • Set viewports to display different stages of construction and different parts of a character with mixed shading modes, such as wireframe, hidden line, and shaded.

MOTOR animation retargeting

Build reusable libraries of 3D character and facial animation by importing and retargeting motion capture data onto standard Softimage character rigs.

  • Transfer motion while preserving keyframe timing.
  • Transfer motion between character rigs of different sizes, proportions, and hierarchies without plotting.

Audio syncing tools

Softimage offers helpful tools for animating to an audio track.

  • Use the Face Robot facial animation toolset to automatically lip-sync to audio.
  • Control phonemes and visemes and modify their contributions using function curves within a dedicated view.
  • Display audio waveforms in the Timeline, FCurve Editor, and Animation Mixer.
  • Set audio markers to display in the FCurve Editor and Animation Mixer.
  • Control how audio plays back when you drag the Timeline playback cursor via flexible scrubbing options.

FCurve Editor and Dopesheet

Manipulate and edit your animation at a high level or by individual keyframe with the powerful FCurve Editor and Dopesheet interfaces.

  • Handle thousands of curves and millions of keys simultaneously in the FCurve Editor.
  • Use standard FCurve editing tools, or manipulate high-density curves (from motion capture, for example) at a high level using a simplified "sculpting" curve.
  • Easily retime FCurves with a manipulator.
  • Preserve a curve's original shape while you edit it in Snapshot mode, committing only when you are satisfied.
  • View an animated sequence (or the animation for an entire scene) frame by frame, and analyze its overall motion and timing in the Dopesheet.
  • Cut, copy, paste, scale, or ripple keys using one interactive tool.
  • Easily block out and retime animations.

Nondestructive 3D animation toolset

Streamlined, nondestructive workflows in Softimage make it easier to use motion capture data or pose and keyframe highly detailed characters.

  • Package complex character animation, including Animation Layers, into clips you can mix together as libraries of actions. Then, nondestructively combine the actions into new animations.
  • Interactively layer or mix keyframes, constraints, expressions, and shapes on top of existing animation, including dense motion capture data, without committing to changes.
  • Create, manage, and animate libraries of blend shapes in a dedicated environment.
  • Autokey, cut, copy, paste, scale, ripple, and merge keyframes directly on the timeline.
  • Create customizable keying sets and expressions.
  • View animation cues directly on your characters.

ICE and dynamic simulation

ICE FX (enhanced)

Enhancements to ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) in Softimage 2014 add even more power and flexibility to this open, scalable platform.

  • Easily override exposed ports of compounds within the ICE procedural framework to use the concept of passes and partitions, where the value for a parameter can be different in each pass, in combination with any aspect of ICE.
  • Enjoy improved performance while interactively editing complex ICE trees.
  • Use the intuitive, visual, node-based workflow to create powerful tools, effects, and advanced character rigs.
  • Create particles, fluids, waves, hair and fur, rigid bodies, cloth, soft bodies, crowds, and flocking.
  • Drive the movement and behaviors of characters and scene elements.
  • Create geometry based on a set of rules, conditions, and parameters, for topology operation creation, particle meshing, custom primitives, and geometry fracturing.
  • Encapsulate complex tools and effects into ICE compounds for packaging and redistribution.
  • Use the performance monitor to more quickly identify ICE bottlenecks.
  • Create and modify sophisticated effects faster and more easily with ICE FX Builder to automatically connect compounds and nodes.

CrowdFX crowd simulation (enhanced)

Create sophisticated crowd simulations more easily, with enhancements to performance and ease of use in the CrowdFX crowd simulation feature.

  • Use the power of the ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) FX multithreaded particle system to create complex visual effects with large numbers of characters who react intelligently to their environment and each other.
  • CrowdFX simulations can be easily exported to Autodesk® Maya® 2014 software for integration into existing Maya scenes.
  • Improved performance enables you to work faster with large scenes.
  • Artists can now more easily adjust characters’ behavior.
  • Technical directors can more easily blend and modify predefined animations.

Bullet physics for ICE

Use enhanced obstacle collision detection options for particle-based rigid body dynamics with Bullet physics in ICE.

  • Use the popular open source Bullet physics engine directly within the Softimage 3D character animation and visual effects software.
  • Experience fast collisions with complex non-convex meshes.
  • Collide with deforming meshes for more accurate simulations.

NVIDIA PhysX rigid bodies

Create rigid-body simulations using the NVIDIA® PhysX® simulation engine.

  • Create simulations involving many rigid-body objects with complex geometry.
  • Choose from Convex Hull and Actual Shape collision types.
  • Use springs and dampers for meshless deformations and ICE dynamics.

Soft bodies

Create dynamic effects, such as jiggling flesh or squishy materials, with deformation-based soft-body simulations.

  • Apply simulations to entire objects or specific clusters.
  • Convert soft-body simulations to shape animations.

Syflex cloth

Use the production-proven Syflex cloth simulation engine from directly within the Softimage interface.

  • Take advantage of the flexible, node-based workflow of ICE to create and edit highly realistic cloth and flesh visual effects faster and more easily.
  • Simple to learn and fast to use.

Lagoa Multiphysics

Use the Lagoa Multiphysics framework (developed by Lagoa Technologies) within ICE to create dynamic visual effects.

  • Create plastic, liquid, soft-body, cloth, and foam-like effects.
  • Create incompressible fluids, as well as inelastic, elastic, and plastic deformations.

Hair and Fur

The Hair and Fur toolset in Softimage offers specialized tools for creating long, dynamic hair, short fur, feathers, grass, and trees.

  • Intuitively sculpt hair in an overall manner, without sharp transitions, using the innovative proportional grooming tool.
  • Control hair animation and perform precise, natural hairstyling with Softimage deformers, including lattices and curves.
  • Full shape instancing means you can also use the toolset to create feathers, grass, and trees. 

3D geometry modeling and texturing

High-performance modeling

The Softimage 3D geometry modeling toolset is designed for speed and ease of use, even with millions of polygons.

  • Take advantage of faster, more symmetrical, free-form modeling with the Tweak Component tool, featuring preselection highlighting, loop and range selection, proportional falloff, and the ability to slide components without changing an object's profile.
  • Control modifications to polygon meshes with the intuitive Add Smooth Edge Loop and Quick Loop tools, as well as options for thickness, hole capping, edge cutting, and extrusion.
  • Interactively produce high-quality, low-resolution meshes suitable for game design with the Polygon Reduction tool, while preserving quad polygons, UVs, and skin weights.
  • Draw linear curves and cubic NURBS curves using CVs or Bézier control points. Then, build meshes, define extrusions, set paths for animation, and control deformations.
  • Create extruded and beveled text from EPS files or TrueType® fonts.
  • Create smooth polygon meshes over particles, other polygon meshes, curves, and nulls to build liquid and blobby effects using the Polygonizer toolset.

UV texturing

Softimage offers options for mapping textures to surfaces.

  • Produce high-quality, symmetrical UV maps on complex organic models with just a few clicks using UV Unfold, based on the Unfold3D® technology from Polygonal Design. UV Unfold has packing options to maximize UV space, and the ability to unwrap local UV islands in the Texture Editor.
  • Create highly detailed environments for 3D animation using only relatively simple geometry by projecting images from the point of view of one or more cameras.

Ultimapper and RenderMap

Softimage offers two baking tools to help you reduce complexity in 3D geometry modeling and create great-looking assets that work in your engine.

  • Ultimapper is a one-click workflow for transferring surface details from high-resolution objects onto their low-resolution counterparts. Use Ultimapper to bake complex surface detail into cinematic-quality normal, ambient occlusion, difference, light, and albedo maps with instant preview for mental ray®, DirectX®, or OpenGL® renderers directly in the Softimage viewports.
  • RenderMap helps you remove lights from your scene by baking complex materials into a single texture image or vertex color map, with or without illumination, incorporating lighting and shadows.

mental ray is a registered trademark of NVIDIA ARC GmbH licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc.


Rendering and compositing

High-Quality Viewport (enhanced)

Refine your 3D animation content more efficiently. A number of enhancements now provide a higher-fidelity interactive experience:

  • View correct shading casting from transparent objects from shadow maps.
  • See improved quality and performance with Ambient Occlusion.
  • Work in an environment that more closely mimics final output with higher-quality shadows.
  • Reduce the need to frequently preview using a software renderer.
  • Make better creative decisions in less time by evaluating your work interactively in an environment that closely mimics the rendered output.

Efficient rendering UI and workflow

Softimage offers powerful, intuitive user interface elements that enable a faster, more efficient rendering setup workflow.

  • Employ a fast, drag-and-drop workflow to connect shaders together; create materials and package them into a single compound node with Render Tree. In addition to standard materials, you can control Cg, CgFx, GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language), OpenGL® (OGL), and DirectX® real-time shaders.
  • Manage shaders, libraries, and images in one place with Material Manager. Included shaders control basic surface illumination, transparency and reflection, cartoon shading, bump and displacement mapping, texturing, lighting, shadows, and camera lens distortion.
  • Create preview renders and compare the results of different settings directly in the Softimage viewports with Interactive Render Region.
  • Include useful information in the viewport or renders, such as scene name, camera, render pass, and frame numbers, with Render Slate.
  • Take advantage of the current trend for 3D films with integrated tools for the creation of stereoscopic 3D renderings.

Configurable render passes and channels

Separate the elements of your scene into multiple render passes for downstream compositing flexibility.

  • Choose from preset pass types that include image-based lighting, colors, reflections, shadows, and mattes.
  • Output attributes of render passes in separate files, with configurable pass channels.
  • Render sequences from multiple cameras in a single pass.
  • Forget having to maintain multiple versions of a scene to render everything you need—passes and channels are stored in a single Softimage scene.

Integrated mental ray rendering

Softimage offers tightly integrated workflows with the powerful mental ray® renderer.

  • Use physically accurate lighting for more realistic images, such as final gathering, ambient occlusion, and global illumination effects.
  • Simulate a range of photorealistic and stylized looks with an extensive shader library.
  • Take advantage of Softimage Shared Memory Architecture to help reduce scene translation overhead and provide better memory management.

Compositing, paint, and matchmoving

Enhance and assemble render passes and textures and integrate CG elements into live-action footage with matchmoving, paint, and compositing tools.

  • Use the fully integrated Softimage® Illusion toolset to assemble compositing and paint operators into an Fx Tree using a flexible, node-based workflow.
  • Experience a highly efficient, collaborative compositing environment with Softimage® Composite—a fully featured, high-performance, high dynamic range (HDR) capable compositor.
  • Extract 3D camera and motion data from live action video and film sequences and insert CG elements seamlessly into a scene using Autodesk® MatchMover™ software.


Pipeline integration and architecture

Enhanced FBX support

Exchanging animation data with certain other solutions that support the Autodesk® FBX® 2014 asset exchange format is now easier.

  • Exchange data more easily with Autodesk® Maya® 2014 software, Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2014 software, Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2014 software.
  • Take advantage of improved support for constraints and blend shapes.

Single-step suites interoperability

Take advantage of the focused toolsets in the Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite*, with single-step interoperability workflows.

  • Transfer data between Autodesk® Softimage® and Autodesk® Maya® 2014 software, Autodesk® 3ds Max® 20143D animation software, and Autodesk® Mudbox® 2014 3D sculpting and painting software in a single step.
  • Export Softimage scene elements to Mudbox to intuitively add organic sculpted and painted details.
  • Use the Softimage ICE particle system in your Maya or 3ds Max scene.
  • Render complex high-resolution details created in Mudbox 2014 or certain other applications on low-resolution geometry, with support for vector displacement maps.

*Available only in the Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate 2014 and Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2014.

Scene management and referencing

As scene complexity continues to grow, Softimage provides powerful tools for managing massive amounts of data.

  • Quickly locate specific scene elements with text-based or object-type searching.
  • Identify and reduce performance and memory bottlenecks with the Scene Debugger.
  • Store 3D assets at multiple resolutions externally with Delta referencing, so several artists can work on the same asset simultaneously. Store changes in a lightweight text file, and export, import, and apply as required.

Tool development, SDK, and API

Extend, customize, and integrate Softimage with an array of developer-friendly tools.

  • The Tool Development Environment (TDE) helps you create, manage, and deploy self-installing tools, plug-ins, shaders, and workgroups in a single unified development environment that's compatible with VBScript, JScript, Python® scripting languages, C++, or C#.
  • Custom Display Host (CDH) is a dedicated framework to develop and host custom views or applications, enabling you to embed existing tools into Softimage with only minor modifications.
  • The SDK (Software Developer Kit) has extensive APIs for custom renderers, HTML NetView, XGS Display Engine, UFO compositing Fx, and wizards for custom events, commands, filters, operators, ICENodes, plug-ins, properties, shaders, and toolbars.
  • A powerful shader authoring environment automatically hosts external shaders and renderers, so you don't need to build a custom shader UI or other tools.

Softimage GigaCore architecture

Work faster and more efficiently using the robust data handling of the multithreaded Softimage® GigaCore architecture.

  • Load and save large scenes and import complex character models at high speeds.
  • Render objects with billions of subdivision surface polygons.
  • Manipulate extremely complex characters and scenes involving millions of polygons and thousands of animated objects.

Crosswalk interoperability workflows

Exchange files with certain Autodesk and third-party proprietary 3D animation applications using Autodesk® Crosswalk interoperability software.

Crosswalk is fully compatible with Autodesk® FBX® asset interchange technology.

  • Transfer Softimage content into and out of Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya software pipelines using the latest dotXSI, COLLADA, and FBX standards.
  • Crosswalk updates independently of the Softimage release cycle.
  • Crosswalk works on Microsoft® Windows® and Linux® operating systems.


Specifications & Licensing

System Requirements


System requirements for Autodesk® Softimage

Softimage 2014 is supported on the following 64-bit operating systems and at the minimum requires a system with the following 64-bit hardware:

  • Windows® 7, Windows® 8 Professional, or Fedora™ 14 Linux® operating system
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
  • 4 GB RAM minimum (8 GB recommended)
  • 2 GB of free disk space for install
  • Refer to the recommended hardware wizard for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
  • The latest version of Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, Apple® Safari®, or Mozilla® Firefox® web browser to access online supplemental content
  • 3-button mouse


Softimage is available as either standalone (node-locked) or network (floating) licenses.

Upon purchase, you will receive a Serial Number and Product key that is used to activate software via Internet.  If no Internet is available, Softimage will generate a request code that is used to manually activate the software.  Licenses with active subscription will be able to transfer between workstation with built in license transfer utility.

Upgrades to Network licenses are available

Network licenses require LMtools 11.7 to be running at all times on workstation/server.  LMtools will manage your licenses between workstations.

Thanks to the new licensing system, users can now check out network licenses to take off the network for remote use.

Upon purchase of a Network license you will need to provide your designated license servers Host name and Host ID (MAC Address) in order to create the license key.

Additional Info

Upgrades / Support


Click here to Discover the Subscription Advantage


Autodesk offers the following Upgrades and Support options:

Subscription / Gold Support

  • Software upgrades
  • Exclusive updates
  • Access to training and learning materials
  • Entitlement to use in previous versions
  • Home-Use licensing
  • Enhanced license management tools
  • Unlimited Phone and Web Support
  • Access to SDK and API Support
  • Defect Tracking


  • Upgrade from Previous versions to Current (Dongle's no longer supported as of v.2010)
  • Upgrade from Educational to Commercial licenses
  • Upgrade from Standalone to Network Licenses
  • Upgrade to Maya Entertainment Suite Premium
  • Upgrade to 3ds Max Entertainment Suite Premium


 RFX is available for all your support needs.

  • Autodesk provides initial installation support upon purchase
  • Unlimited Phone and Web Support available with Subscription / Gold Support (see above)


Related Products

Enhance your Softimage pipeline with the following products:

  • Autodesk MotionBuilder
  • Autodesk Mudbox
  • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox
  • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox + Softimage
  • Studio|Gpu Mach Studio Pro
  • Craft Animation Director Studio
  • e-on Vue xStream / Infinite / Ozone
  • Maxon BodyPaint 3D
  • Next Limit RealFlow
  • Next Limit Maxwell Render
  • Re:Vision ReelSmart Motion Blur
  • Re:Vision Twixtor


Training / Resources

Go to Area for Softimage tutorials, tips, downloads and forums.

Go to for rendering with mental ray® for Softimage training and resources (Los Angeles Mental Ray User Group).