It is rare for an animation production to go from concept to completion without some sort of problem or obstacle to overcome – and The Fearsome Beastie is no exception.
Last year, as we started to embark on the actual animation, we became aware that the software being used to create and animate The Fearsome Beastie was being discontinued. Autodesk Softimage’s final version was released in April 2014 prompting Autodesk to make the following statement:
We regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Softimage® software. This final version is expected to ship on or around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until April 30, 2016. We will also provide Softimage support services (including Hot Fixes and Service Packs) to all Softimage customers with Autodesk Subscription, at no cost, until April 30, 2016.
We understand that you will now need time to re-evaluate your production capabilities. To help you, we are offering Autodesk Softimage Subscription customers special no-cost options to migrate to either Maya or 3ds Max software while continuing to use Softimage in production. These options will be available until February 1, 2016. Upgrade paths are also available for customers who are not on Subscription.
Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our development efforts, we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products, faster. Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause; however, we believe that you will find our new transition product offerings very attractive.
So what does this mean for The Fearsome Beastie project?
The whole production team are extremely passionate about overcoming this hurdle and finding an alternate pipeline to move the project forward. Unfortunately, this news resulted in us halting production while we explored possible solutions.
After considering the pros and cons of many options, we have decided that The Fearsome Beastie will remain a 3D/CG short, with production being switched to Autodesk’s Maya software. This is no simple task – as well as porting across all of our existing assets from Softimage to Maya, there will be a level of re-training for a number of our team – and this will all take time.
Once we have gauged the complexity of porting our project to the new software, we hope to announce a revised release date for the film.
Thank you to all of our followers, fans and those looking forward to the film – we really appreciate your support and understanding and we are looking forward to giving you an amazing film!