Alastair Hearsum 是 Glassworks 的三维部门主管，这是他就 AD 停止开发 Softimage 一事写给 Autodesk 的公开信：
My name is Alastair Hearsum. I’m a founding partner, director and head of 3d at Glassworks. If you haven’t heard of us, we are a small to mid-sized company which has been creating VFX and animation for TV commercials for markets around the world, for the past 20 years. We have branches in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona. We create innovative and multi award winning work and we use Softimage.
Your announcement that you are retiring Softimage has left us saddened, disappointed and not a little angry. The anger for two reasons; that you have shot the racehorse of the 3d software world in the head in its prime but also that you didn’t consult with us about this assassination or discuss any of your plans for the future with us. We have no idea what the future from you holds. We are big and longstanding users of other Autodesk products as well as Softimage. The puzzling thing is, technologically speaking, there was no writing on the wall as there was with Henry and Flame, for example, or these days with Flame and Nuke.
We have been punching above our weight, in London, for the past 20 years competing well with the much larger organisations of MPC, Framestore and The Mill. One of the reasons we have been able to do that, apart from the deep talent of our crew is, I believe, because of the software that we chose. I’m of advanced years now but I still sit at the computer making pictures for TV commercials to the same arduous schedule that I always have. So I know what I’m talking about. For a period a few years back we had a 50/50 split of Maya and Softimage. We chose to go 100% Softimage. Its better for the work that we do and the sector we are in. Its no coincidence that all the finalists in the recent British Animation Awards (tv commercials) did their work in Softimage. Similarly, both silver and gold award winners in the 3d animation category at this year’s British Television Advertising Craft awards were Softimage companies.
You may well go on to list major work that’s been done in Maya. Sure there has, and great work too. But Maya is used as a shell in the major film effect companies. It is heavily customised and unrecognisable as the product you ship. We have our proprietary software and tailored workflow as well, but Softimage remains pretty much untouched. It is lean, efficient, and the ICE environment is innovative and empowering.
So you’ve done it. What’s next? Like I said we have had vague information about what the future holds. We hear rumours about bi-frost and that’s about it. From what I understand from various sources there are no plans to replicate the efficient workflow and full ICE functionality that made us so productive.
The final thought is not just about what software is best for our future but also about what sort of software supply company we want to get into bed with. The attributes that come top of my list: listening to customers, acting on their recommendations, speedy development, innovation. Now does that sound like you?
我叫 Alastair Hearsum，是 Glassworks 的合伙创始人、导演以及三维部门主管。如果你没有听说过 Glassworks，我们是一家以制作 VFX 和广告动画为主的中小型公司，我们的业务遍及全球，成立至今已经20年了。我们在伦敦、阿姆斯特丹和巴塞罗那都有分公司，我们的创意作品屡获殊荣，而我们使用的工具就是 Softimage。
你让 Softimage 退休的公告带给我们的是伤心、失望和不是一点点的愤怒。愤怒的原因有两个：你就这样把三维软件世界的赛马一枪崩了，而且从来没有咨询过我们的意见，或和我们讨论过你未来的计划，我们不知道你所持有的未来是什么样的。
20年来，我们能在伦敦和 MPC、Framestore、Mill 三家大得多的公司竞争，除了因为团队中那些富有天赋的艺术家，我相信也是因为我们选对了软件。现在我仍然像以前那样坐在电脑前，面对艰巨的时间表，完成各种广告画面。几年前我们公司还是 50% 的 Maya，50% 的 Softimage，后来我们选择成为一家 100% Softimage 的制作公司，因为它最适合我们制作的项目。这并非巧合，最近英国动画奖（电视广告）所有入围作品都是用 Softimage 制作完成的。同样，今年英国电视广告奖三维动画类金奖和银奖的得主全都是使用 Softimage 的公司。
你可能会列举出 Maya 完成的主要作品列表，当然那些都是很出色的作品，但那些大的视效公司只是把 Maya 作为一个平台，它们使用的 Maya 经过了大量的自主开发，已经不是你们所发布的产品了。我们也有自己开发的软件和定制的工作流程，但 Softimage 几乎没有改动，精干、高效，还有 ICE 的创新和强大。
现在你把它终结了，下一步呢？就像我说的，我们对未来的信息都是模糊的，有传言正在开发 Bifrost，但就我从各方面了解到的信息，没有任何计划来复制 Softimage 高效的工作流程以及全功能的 ICE，正是它让我们的工作变得如此高效。
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