Softimage|3D was a high-end 3D graphics application developed by Softimage, Co., which was used predominantly in the film, gaming and advertising industries for the production of 3D animation. It has been superseded by Softimage XSI.

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Softimage|3D was originally released at Siggraph in 1988 as the Softimage Creative Environment.[1] Softimage was used by Industrial Light and Magic to animate the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, by Cyan to create the adventure game Riven.[2] In 1994, Microsoft acquired the Softimage Corporation [3]and renamed the package Softimage|3D, releasing a Windows NT port two years later.[4] In 1996, Microsoft began offering Softimage|3D Extreme 3.5, which included particle effects and the mental ray renderer.[5] 3D paint functionality was added a year later in version 3.7.[6]

Softimage|3D was gradually replaced by the company’s next product, Softimage XSI starting in 2000.[7] The last version of Sofimage|3D was version 4.0, released in 2002 at its lowest price ever, 1,485$[8] See Softimage, Co. for detailed time line.

Productions that used Softimage|3D include the film “Starship Troopers[9], some of the Nick Jr ID’s from 1994 and the video game Super Mario 64.[10]


The Softimage|3D features are divided between five modules: Model, Motion, Actor, Matter and Tools. [11]


  1. ^ Softimage::Corporate::Press::Where
  2. ^ Myst and Riven Illustrated – Frequently Asked Questions
  3. ^ COMPANY NEWS – COMPANY NEWS – An Acquisition By Microsoft –
  4. ^
  5. ^ “Microsoft Introduces Major Upgrade to Softimage 3D”, Microsoft, May 16, 1996
  6. ^ “Softimage 3D Version 3.7 for Windows NT and IRIX Platforms Now Shipping”, Microsoft, April 7, 1997
  7. ^ Softimage Co. Announces First Customer Shipment of SOFTIMAGE/XSI Version 1.0; Softimage Grants 17,000 Licenses of Next-Generation 3-D Animation Software | Business Wire | Find…
  8. ^ Softimage slashes 3D price | News | Broadcast
  9. ^ “SOFTIMAGE|3D Used in All Three Motion Pictures Nominated for Achievement in Visual Effects”, Microsoft, Feb. 11, 1997
  10. ^ “Softimage Used by Game Developers to Create Award-Winning Games”, Microsoft, April 28, 1997
  11. ^ “On Powerful Wings, Imagination Soars”, Microsoft, 1996

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