Softimage 3D Video Card FAQ
By Ed Harriss


Softimage|3D can be pretty picky about what video card it will and will not work with. If you use a card off of the approved list then you'll probably not need this FAQ, but if you've got an older card that is not supported or a "game card" then read on...

Things that you can do to speed up interaction, fix lockups, crashes, freezes and display errors.

1. If you are using windows NT, try turning off the "plug and play" option on your mother board. This is done in the BIOS. Your BIOS is accessed as the computer is booting up. If you are not comfortable making BIOS adjustments then have some one help you. Turning off the "plug and play" option on your mother board will help prevent your OS from freezing. Why? I have no idea, but 90% of the time this solves your problem.

2. Change the desktop bitdepth to High Color (16 bit.) On older cards this can free up enough resources to allow SOFTIMAGE|3D not only to run faster but crash less. (Because the card is not being worked so hard) The only problem with the 16 bit setting is that it can cause display problems because the z buffer is too low. But this only happens in the shaded view, which you probably won't be using that much.

3. Add these settings to your SETENV.BAT.

set SI_OVERLAY=disable

4. Run SOFTIMAGE|3D in "classic" mode. If you have a more recent version of SOFTIMAGE|3D then you'll have a choice of interfaces. The new one and the classic one. You can switch between the two by clicking the SOFTIMAGE|3D logo at the top of the interface with your middle mouse button. You will know that you are in classic mode because it has perfectly square buttons. Classic mode is a lot more compatible with older or picky video cards.

There is also an envionment variable setting that you can put into your SETENV.BAT that will force SOFTIMAGE|3D will come up like this every time:

set SI_OLD_UI=1

5. If you are using an older GeForce card then use default opengl settings and use these settings:

set the texture depth to 16bit
set the swap buffer to Block Transfer
enable fast linear mipmap filter
enable use unified back/depth buffer

Also try to install detonator 2 drivers. Specifically version 5.32. You can get them here: If that does not work. Try the old 12.41 or 14.20 or 15.70 drivers
If you have a GeForce2 Get your hands on Softquadro.

6. If your interface is slowing down because your scene is getting too big for your video card to handle, try runing SOFTIMAGE|3D with your screen res set to 1024x768. This will speed it up quite a lot and on some cards it will eliminate video card related crashes and or artifacts.

7. If you have an kx/kt133 266 and NT or 2k,load the registry fix for ogl freeze. You can get it here: Softimage_VideoCardRegFix_zip

8. Also, you will want to Disable Vertical Sync in your OpenGL prefs. That will make a huge difference.