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mg3d
01-16-2003, 05:24 AM
http://www.gcharb.com/tutorials/index.htm

ruscler
01-16-2003, 05:48 AM
steve pretty much banned all the gurus that they had left, leaving just mostly the newbies who dont know any better, and the few remaining gurus are less likely to help if it in anyway suggest that AM is unstable. So for any new potential customer that want the support group when they buy this software, you might want to forget it about it! (sorry!, dont have the italian accent down)

I feel bad for the newbies who are plodding along with the modeling portion, then hit that wall when it comes to rigging and rendering out the animation. I find that the older version of AM, when you save often it would refresh your memory, with Version 10 I have to shutdown and restart to get my memory back, and now I use a memory manager to do that for me. I have 512 meg of ram, should be enough? you think!

Cararan
01-16-2003, 06:32 AM
Well you get what you pay for. Lightwave all the way Baby.

ruscler
01-16-2003, 06:34 AM
Actually you might be pleased that I did get Lightwave7.5 and now the messiah plug in!

Cararan
01-16-2003, 07:10 AM
Well now you shouldn't be worried about Hash any more they will make there own faith. Really sad but ah well.

ruscler
01-16-2003, 07:30 AM
not worried about it all, just that someone ask whats going on over there and pretty much the company just cut their own throat, getting rid of the support and unsolicted taking of the mascot logo for their software CD cover while banning the owner of that mascot from the list, need I say more? Anyway Im glad I made the jump to Lightwave!

Sil3
01-16-2003, 02:15 PM
I stopped using A:M in 99, why? well i was tired of seeing people getting removed from the list for asking simple questions on how to make a Bump Map in Photoshop to aplly them on A:M, the answer from Steve always was:

"This is off topic you are removed from the list"


:annoyed: ....



Needless to say that if you spoke about Crashes, it was the last time you spoke on that list, unless you signed up with a new name and started talking about crashes again :p

Childish? Unprofessional? you bet, got fed up with it, i didn´t care if the prog was (at the time) $199, it would crash as hell, the fault was always our machines, the same one that would run everything else flawless 90 % of the time, except for A:M that would run flawless 5-10 % of the time, so it was my machine and my Windows installation...yeah right.

I started saving, and a year after i was a proud owner of Lightwave (with a litle help from my Bank, even thou the dam taxes that i payed for the Bank lending me money were bigger than A:M itself), after that i was able to make some freelance stuff, payed LW in less than 6 months of having it, and had still money to invest in a copy of Messiah (plugin at the time) for LW.

A:M was a dam fine application years ago when LW´s Maya´s Max´s and Softimage´s where almost out of reach to freelance people, today, i think is simply not worth it, Spline Modelling isn´t exciting anymore, it gives more trouble than anything, besides all the folks that produced great work with A:M are already using LW/Messiah and other tools.

A:M is nice for doodling in Animation, if you expect to find a working place with only the knowlege of it or using it exclusively, sure you can, but i assure you that is a "dream land". In a heavy production environment, you cannot expect the software to crash 20 times a day, it´s impossible to do work that way.

I´m working right now on an Animated Series for TV, it´s 36 episodes of 1 minute each, we have to make 1 episode a day, we cannot expect crashes, need a faster and Clean render and in that area LW simply RULES

:buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

Sil3

My Fault
01-16-2003, 04:12 PM
Wow, it must've been a real barn burner on the list for this to happen. That's really too bad. At this rate, there won't be anyone left.

JoeCosman
01-16-2003, 05:28 PM
2000 was a good year for Hash.

They had excellent support, a strong userbase, and the mailing list was brimming with professionals willing to take a 300 dollar peice of software into the big arenas to compete with the likes of Maya, Max, Lightwave, and Softimage.

I mean, we were core, man. We knew the software backwards and forwards. We could take a problem and find some way to solve it. It felt like we were unstoppable. We started new communities, User groups, IRC discussions - anything to get new purchasers up to speed.

We flew down to Siggraph, and demonstrated the strengths of the software for free for many years, we had that much faith in it.

We challenged the Big companies with Martin Hash's Hash patch technology. We had an answer for practically anything. We ate, drank, talked, and slept with Animation:Master.

And then our efforts started to be taken for granted.

And our artwork was used without permission.

And the Problems plaguing the software surfaced like a boil in each new revision.

And they weren't fixed.

And then we couldn't fly anymore.

And nobody at Hash cared.

That was the point at which the disenchantment fell in.
We poured our heart and soul into Animation:Master. We used the software in ways Hash never even thought it could go.
we sent them posters, animations, movie trailers, models, tutorials, and standalone programs to help in their defense against the 'Animation Giants' during trade shows.

What we got after all was done was "Is that all?"

Nothing robs you of your creativity, or faith in a company, than to find that nobody cared much in the first place.

...and this is where the software began souring.

Hash, in the past, has built it's software based on User input, and no doubt, other software's feature implementations, such as Maya's cloth. That's why it was great. A company that listens. After 2000, they seemed to focus more on Version numbers instead of their feature implementations, and more importantly, They focused less on Their users, both professional and hobbyist. Us. The A:M community.

We made you. You cannot ignore us. We sell your software. our posters. our E-mails, Our Reels. Our endless hours of research and reinstalls, and constant creative excuses to smooth over crashing software at demonstrations.

The Animation Master Community is supporting you, not the other way around. Feature requests made by the community should not be brushed off because it's not sexy enough, or wont sell the software. We asked for them because we needed them. Over the last 2 and 1/2 years, what we've been getting is shrugged off, kicked, disconnected, ostracised, and generally insulted for our efforts. This not only shows in the attitudes from the employees of Hash, but it shows in the software.

Many of us have decided that our creativity and learning potential is not related to Hash's software, and we are applying ourselves to other programs, which, though a tad more daunting, gives us the ability, and more importantly, that spark of enchantment we yearn for in this industry; That creative drive that keeps us up late, asking ourselves "How High can I reach?"

There is nothing We can't do. And while A:M was a pleasant ride in the beginning, Sublime circumstances have allowed for it's use no longer.

Bitter relationships between one's software and those who make it are no place for creative minds.

Commiekeebler
01-16-2003, 05:47 PM
hear ye, hear ye!

I was one of the people who started this 'riot' on the mailing list.

I agree with every word of what Joe said here, although back in 2000 I was one of the newbies inspired by the pro's using it. Now I've learned a little bit (check my website, http://www.commiekeebler.com), just enough to be dangerous (to myself and others!) and to know what's what.

Final verdict: this company is in the pits and so is their software. I keep hoping they snap out of it, but in the mean time I'm switching gears as well.

Aaron Moore
01-16-2003, 06:09 PM
thats really sad to hear

KLThomas
01-16-2003, 07:36 PM
Mine's a similar story. I had just paid for the latest upgrade (A.M 99 I think) and received a CD-ROM broken into about 25 pieces. It was mailed in an unprotected cardboard mailer with no padding. I called up Hash to get another copy sent and was informed that (and I quote) "If I want it sent properly, I'd have to send them more money to pay for shipping".

After that conversation I bought a copy of Lightwave and threw that disk in the trash.

Flog
01-16-2003, 08:22 PM
I would have made sure to get another copy

The software is good, and easy to use. It is for the storyteller.

But man does it crash.

I wish I could find another modeller that is as easy to use as Animation Master. I would definately switch and go out and buy it.

Any ideas on easier or as easy modellers?

Zbrush 1.5 has the easiest modeller to date anything as easy as that?

SGT.Squeaks
01-16-2003, 08:30 PM
I think wings is easy. But its all a matter of opinion.

wings3d (http://www.wings3d.com)

lildragon
01-16-2003, 09:08 PM
Joe I can sympathize with ya, you remember when I was on the list and then left for Max? Almost got banned for saying I'll be trying out max.

Steve went over board waaaay too many times with his iron fist. It was just appauling. Needless to say I'm glad now that I left, not because of the app mind you (some of the best animation tools out there) but the AM list was turning into a massive dive. The days when we had Victor Navone and Jeff Lew frequenting the list were golden.

Hash has finally done it :hmm:

salud

Hookflash
01-16-2003, 09:31 PM
I got banned as well, for agreeing with Gilles. I cannot believe they would go so far as to ban Gilles, though... He is one of the top Animation Master gurus out there! Frankly, I am sick of this fascist company, and I've decided to move on to another app (probably Lightwave). I really don't think they've slit their own throats, though (as much as I would love for that to happen)... After all, existing A:M users don't really factor into their marketing strategy. All they care about is cramming a large list of features into a brochure that will lure in unsuspecting newbies (such as myself, 1 year ago). For every bug they fix, two more are introduced, but this doesn't matter since they don't have a demo. They are going to continue to thrive by taking advantage of the poor folks trying to get a start in 3d. This thread should be put on the front page as a warning to these people.

dfaris
01-16-2003, 09:38 PM
I to am one of the people that got the boot from the AM mailing list for asking them to add more support to AM.

I have used AM since version 5 and have
seen hash go from talking and listening to the user group to booting the people that have used AM for years and have done the most to help Hash and AM. Now they are telling users that if they dont like it to go use something else.

I just dont understand that they cant see what the hell they are doing. I for one liked AM for the animation tools and some of the real power it has. Now if Hash folds and we never hear from them again I could care less they get what they asked for.

Hookflash
01-16-2003, 09:43 PM
dfaris: Long live ZBrush! ;) Now *there's* a contrast in company attitude: Pixologic vs. Hash. Pixologic is a nice example of how a smallish 3d software company should be run (aside from their licensing system; but, that'll get fixed I'm sure). I've been thinking of getting Motionbuilder (full version, $100 from www.3dbuzz.com) to animate my ZBrush characters (if I ever get around to making one;)). I don't know how practical this would be, though.

dfaris
01-16-2003, 09:47 PM
Hook whats up?

Motionbuilder I dont know much about it but if it work for you then go for it. You know I went with Messiah Studio and have not looked back at AM since. The folks at hash can kiss my rebel butt. I'll see you on the ZB boards now there is a company that cares about the people that use its software and I love the way it models.

Raji
01-16-2003, 11:47 PM
it's interesting because i have never really heard of anyone who has left AM and regretted it... Generally, when people leave, they will post somewhere that they have never looked back. With good reason.

Hash is only good for beginners. And even then i wouldn't recommend it. The mailing list has turned into a concentration camp/religious sect, support from Hash is dead, Martin's head has inflated to 3 times its normal size... just read this guy's "Martin's Minutes"... every other software company is about to crumble AND they all suck too...

Every time i decided i wanted to start a new project with AM, i quickly remembered the pain of constant crashing, got frustrated, and gave it up. One day, like anyone who has ever used AM but was tired of being held back, i grew out of it and left it behind me for good.

The way Hash is going, i think it will dissapear in a few years. Mostly because now people can learn Maya and MAX for free (not to mention all the other good stuff out there: Houdini, wings3d, blender, etc etc) thereby making themselves more qualified for actual industry work. Meantime, AM has been bumped up to having a $300 price tag and its flaws have increased exponentially. Looks to me like Hash is trying to get out as much as they can before closing their doors.

Raji

ps: my avatar is an old old AM render. lol.

piajartist
01-16-2003, 11:48 PM
what a name for a product

Chewey
01-17-2003, 12:37 AM
It's the creator's last name. The product is called Animation Master. (odd considering it's lack of mastering stability)

Hookflash
01-17-2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by Chewey
It's the creator's last name. The product is called Animation Master. (odd considering it's lack of mastering stability)

If the creator really wanted to name the company after himself, he should have called it "Raving Egomaniacal Lunatic, Inc.". ;) Oh, yes, I'm bitter...

Dearmad
01-17-2003, 03:49 AM
I got banned fromthe list too, though I don't consider myself a heavywieght. I responded to Gilles letter but mostly defended the Am renderer- I slipped at the end and fell down when I said stability was a concern of mine (listed numerous places where I could predict a crash), and listed a few particular problems with the renderer.... oops.

While I'm going to continue with my project using AM, I think I'll be posting a little diatribe against the product and NOT recommend it to others. Im TIRED of the rude emails I got from Steve (a flurry of which were nearly rabid in tone a few months back), and the stupid "community" of zealouts they're conditioning on that email list.

MJV
01-17-2003, 04:14 AM
Man, what a pathetic, pitiful company. I bought AM back in 1999 but couldn't tolerate the constant crashing, creased models, dogshit render, and support bullshit. I hope the company and the "product" dies.

Commiekeebler
01-17-2003, 05:40 AM
A little update for you folks:

Steve got tired of banning everyone who posted under the topic 'I can't believe Hash did this but it doesn't surprise me', and he took down the mailing list.

His banning of nearly all users who posted their opinions, along with repeated warnings "stop posting comments on this thread" didn't stop the flood of angry emails and the list was shut down the hard way. Happy end.

Dearmad
01-17-2003, 05:53 AM
Bwahahahahaah! :applause:

So funny. Well I'm wondring if a channel is going to opened up in here for AM- the vote thread is locked and I didn't get to vote!:thumbsdow

dfaris
01-17-2003, 05:53 AM
LOL this is great Commie. it figures that they would do that instead of listen to whatthe people are saying and say ok we hear you and we will be working on it. Instead they say F all of you we will take the list down so there.

It is the cut your nose off to spite your face idea. Boy this is is really out of control on there part. I'm amazed that people this dumb can make a product that was great at one time.

Hookflash
01-17-2003, 06:14 AM
This just keeps getting better and better. I pretty much guarantee nobody at Hash is going to learn from this, though. They are the touchiest bunch I've ever met (they get offended *very* easily, as you can tell).

ruscler
01-17-2003, 06:29 AM
I just recieved a word up on truespace 6.5, the user has ask for better animation and Roman at Caligari made it known to his staff that they will do it. after a lengthy barrage of rant of having no animation improvement and yet nobody got booted from the list. Which to say Caligari is way more tolerant of complaints with software.
Well looking at the feature they've added , seem pretty impressive.
New clip editor to add animation and blend with the prior animation already loaded,
realtime playback regardless of video card,
physically base joint so characters could walk upstairs then let character fall with physics control animation.
Adhesion (make sticky or brittle object when they fall on something)
Local physical enviorment- stimulate leaves blowing in the wind after a car drive thru it
Selective subdivision
My fave! Geometry paint-paint mutiple 3d object on any plane
anyway the list goes on, I have truespace5.1 and was amaze how much has improve,but the only thing holding it back was the animation, and now its better and still in the low budget user market closer to hash. fortunately I save up for Lightwave. if I didn't have the money I would go with truespace 6.5 and wings3d as a supplement charcater modeler.
if you cant afford the heavy hitters of software your welcome to chat at GalaxyNet @ #truespace irc server irc.sedona.net

Commiekeebler
01-17-2003, 06:36 AM
I would not recommend truespace, either. They've always been behind in animation department, but hey, if they manage to change that, good for them.

In my (ancient, a few years ago) experience with Truespace, I had to spend twice its price in plugins to be able to do what I wanted with it. Had I not spent that money, I would've been able to afford Lightwave, a long time ago. Something to think about I guess.

Lightwave is almost there with the 'big guys' and Truespace... very much like Animation Master, isn't. But please, don't listen to my opinion, I could be wrong several times over - do your own research (and don't blame me if you choose something that doesn't work out for you!)

ruscler
01-17-2003, 06:41 AM
truespace have come along way, and if your not sure you can play with the demo, they always beleive in doing that! hash stop doing demo back to version 6, if I am not mistaken

you can also check out the animation and physics

http://www.caligari.com/store/special/truesnitch/tsnitch_home.html

Hookflash
01-17-2003, 06:58 AM
Something else to consider: Realsoft3d 4.5. I haven't actually played with it yet, but it seems to have a pretty nice feature list (then again, so does A:M;)). You can use your A:M license to get a competitive upgrade to Realsoft 3d 4.5 for $450 (as opposed to the usual price of $700).

dfaris
01-17-2003, 07:47 AM
LOL you want to see something funny go to http://venice.killernuts.org/animaster/ and do a search for
My opinions concerning Hash INC. and you can read all the post and see what was so bad about it that got so many people kicked.

You can even get steves email at hash there so we can all send him email telling them what a bunch of dumb things they are doing.

lildragon
01-17-2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Commiekeebler
A little update for you folks:

Steve got tired of banning everyone who posted under the topic 'I can't believe Hash did this but it doesn't surprise me', and he took down the mailing list.

His banning of nearly all users who posted their opinions, along with repeated warnings "stop posting comments on this thread" didn't stop the flood of angry emails and the list was shut down the hard way. Happy end.

You've gotta be kidding me :surprised my gawd now THAT is ridiculous dang :annoyed:

salud

lildragon
01-17-2003, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by dfaris
LOL you want to see something funny go to http://venice.killernuts.org/animaster/ and do a search for
My opinions concerning Hash INC.

Heh forgot about that thing, would be go now since Steve wouldn't answer my emails subscription to let me back on the list :thumbsdow

ah well c'est la vie :shrug:


salud

Chewey
01-17-2003, 01:04 PM
That Hash vs honest customer "insta-ban" on that forum has been going on for years.

I suspect he's related to the "soup nazi" on the Seinfeld show.

Rabid pitbull
01-17-2003, 02:32 PM
i used A:M version 8. i was pretty satisfied with the product. my big concern was the lack of hardware acceleration. of course this was on a mac, i didn't have many crashes either.

could it be that the mac version was more stable, a better product?? amazing first.

but i do remember how hard it wasd to get answers to my concerns. in fact if they were still working on the mac acceleration issues it would not surprise me.

i remember reading an interview of martin hash. he said they were the only profitable 3d company.... anyone surprised by that? keep money leave the problems....

:shrug:

oh well i guess A:M is not gonna get better, amatuers and newbies will have to look elsewere for software.

My Fault
01-17-2003, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by lildragon
You've gotta be kidding me :surprised my gawd now THAT is ridiculous dang :annoyed:

salud

The list is not down, it's still happily chugging along. Ok, not happily chugging along, but it's still there.

I know this has been mentioned before, but what about starting up an Animation Master section here on CG-Talk? No offense, but if Houdini can get one I don't see why a soft that has a much larger user base like AM can't. C'mon Lil, I remember when you were cutting your teeth on AM. Throw the other doggies (or dragons ;)) a bone.

I also want to say that in my experience, Steve has always been a stand up guy to me.... and I've complained at him a lot. The only difference is that I've done my bitching directly too him. Not saying the mass banning isn't a bad thing (it is), I just hate seeing a guy who has treated me so well for many, many years getting dissed so heavily.

Commiekeebler
01-17-2003, 04:02 PM
Oops my bad. The list is back up again (it wasn't down for long), but the onslaught of anger and frustration continues...

Raji
01-17-2003, 04:06 PM
oooo... i think with that last post you may end up with a few responses to counter that...

as for me, all i have to say is read Joe Cosman's post on the first page of this thread. That to me is ample proof that the hash team has lost their goodness over time.This is mostly true of the better artists on the list. I mean think of the time they put into making ok software look so great.

I never had any problems with anyone at hash... I think that's mostly because i didn't use the software as seriously as the pros who used it very heavily and in a production environment in some cases, making me a mere peon like most other users on the AM list. I mostly just look back and wonder why i decided to follow their near religious ideology.

Raji

My Fault
01-17-2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Commiekeebler
Oops my bad. The list is back up again (it wasn't down for long), but the onslaught of anger and frustration continues...
This is nothing compared to the days of the "Kurka." That guy is half the reason the list is run with such an iron hand. Heck, he'll probably try to sue me just for mentioning his name. :rolleyes:

My Fault
01-17-2003, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Raji
oooo... i think with that last post you may end up with a few responses to counter that...

as for me, all i have to say is read Joe Cosman's post on the first page of this thread. That to me is ample proof that the hash team has lost their goodness over time.This is mostly true of the better artists on the list. I mean think of the time they put into making ok software look so great.

I never had any problems with anyone at hash... I think that's mostly because i didn't use the software as seriously as the pros who used it very heavily and in a production environment in some cases, making me a mere peon like most other users on the AM list. I mostly just look back and wonder why i decided to follow their near religious ideology.

Raji

I have no doubt, but that doesn't mean everyon has the same experience, hence my post. Personally I think Hash should have been kissing the feet of the Eggington guys and Avalanche (those guys are amazing!) and it was/is a huge mistake not listening to them. Hopefully they have the sense to support people like Victor Navone and Jeff Lew and realize just how good some of these guys are making their software look. Time will tell and I'm not ready to write them off just yet.

Gentle Fury
01-17-2003, 04:32 PM
well ive never used AM, nor have i been akin to this mailing list mayham......but honestly what is the point of it? It sounds like all you are allowed to say on there is how good their software is.

AW (funny how they look so similar ;) ) has a suggestion box right on their site!!! If you dont like something or you would like something added just go there and tell em........you dont get your membership revoked for doing so either ;)

how can a company expect to ever have a product that is greater then sub-par if they refuse to hear about its flaws and fix them! They are sounding more and more like MS every day :)

My Fault
01-17-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Gentle Fury
well ive never used AM, nor have i been akin to this mailing list mayham......but honestly what is the point of it? It sounds like all you are allowed to say on there is how good their software is.

AW (funny how they look so similar ;) ) has a suggestion box right on their site!!! If you dont like something or you would like something added just go there and tell em........you dont get your membership revoked for doing so either ;)

how can a company expect to ever have a product that is greater then sub-par if they refuse to hear about its flaws and fix them! They are sounding more and more like MS every day :)

Heheh, ok, don't mean to sound like the resident Hash booster, but if you want something done you just email Steve directly. He's kind of like a suggestion box except he's got a parrot on his shoulder and a couple of brewskies in hand. :p Of course just like Alias, not everything you ask for is going to be implemented.

The old, old list (we're talking Journeyman days here) allowed people to bitch as well as toss around tips and bugs. However one guy kind of took the whining to a new level and would take the list off of it's intended course. Now it's gone completely the other direction and IMHO allows too little bitching. I think another reason for this was that every few months, new folks buy the program and ask the same question or complain about the same thing that someone else did a few months prior. That's why I wish there was a forum on CG-Talk. There could be both bitching and tips and it would be easily searchable. Could be a huge boon to newbies.

Raji
01-17-2003, 05:06 PM
Heheh, ok, don't mean to sound like the resident Hash booster, but if you want something done you just email Steve directly. He's kind of like a suggestion box except he's got a parrot on his shoulder and a couple of brewskies in hand

no the truth is that even if you e-mail steve directly you hardly ever get a reply back... and even if you do it's days after the problem occured, which in many cases is way too slow. For those who wanted to use AM in a production environment, these few days were a few too many.

Of course just like Alias, not everything you ask for is going to be implemented

Alias doesn't have constant crashing problems. People on the AM list have gone as far as getting on their knees and begging for Hash to do a feature freeze and fix their crashing issues... but did they listen? That was and still is one of their biggest problems and they haven't done squat about it. Like Gilles Charboneau said, they keep adding more buggy features instead of actually getting rid of the bugs.

AM has a ton of features... these guys need to slow down or even stop with the features and fix the friggin' bugs. And if they can't take that kind of comment without booting everyone off the list, then the software is forever stuck in crash mode.

I think another reason for this was that every few months, new folks buy the program and ask the same question or complain about the same thing that someone else did a few months prior. That's why I wish there was a forum on CG-Talk. There could be both bitching and tips and it would be easily searchable. Could be a huge boon to newbies.

AM users shouldn't have to search the internet for help... Hash should have their own FAQ on their own site, their own list of tutorials on their site, and so on and so forth... But they haven't even made the effort for that. They've invested all their time and effort into showing off how great and all powerful their software is while hiding its flaws.

Speaking of flaws, Joe was telling me a while ago while discussing AM that Hash edited out a ton of crashes for the videos they made. I remember only seeing one while Raf Anzovin was demonstrating his rigs so i was further convinced that AM was great all around. Turns out they had just cut out all the crashes from the final video... i was wondering why they cut out so much out of there.

:)

Raji

dfaris
01-17-2003, 05:34 PM
I have been using AM since version 5 also I have emaild Steve, Martin just about everyone one at Hash at one time or another about things such as obj import/export options and adding UV Map support ect ect.

The email I recived back from Steve told me that they were not going to add import/export support ever because they had 3ds import. Now lets look at that a program that only uses quads is going to support an import that most of the time gives you triangulated models and even when you do get a quad model AM only lets you import the model to use as a prop so you can edit it, now that makes it so usefull PLEASE.

as for the UV maping I'm still waiting for a reply about that one been 2 years.

My Fault
01-17-2003, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by Raji
no the truth is that even if you e-mail steve directly you hardly ever get a reply back... and even if you do it's days after the problem occured, which in many cases is way too slow. For those who wanted to use AM in a production environment, these few days were a few too many.

No, the truth is that some people don't ever get a reply back. Don't assume that just because you don't get fixes quick that it is the same for everyone. Like I said, he may not always listen but you are trying to make it sound like they never do, which is not true at all.


Alias doesn't have constant crashing problems. People on the AM list have gone as far as getting on their knees and begging for Hash to do a feature freeze and fix their crashing issues... but did they listen? That was and still is one of their biggest problems and they haven't done squat about it. Like Gilles Charboneau said, they keep adding more buggy features instead of actually getting rid of the bugs.

AM has a ton of features... these guys need to slow down or even stop with the features and fix the friggin' bugs. And if they can't take that kind of comment without booting everyone off the list, then the software is forever stuck in crash mode.

Hash crashes more then any app I have ever used, but to say that Alias doesn't have crashing issues isn't entirely correct. I'm all for feature freeze though. I think Giles presented a great list and hope that Hash, once they calm down a bit, will listen to them.


AM users shouldn't have to search the internet for help... Hash should have their own FAQ on their own site, their own list of tutorials on their site, and so on and so forth... But they haven't even made the effort for that. They've invested all their time and effort into showing off how great and all powerful their software is while hiding its flaws.

Hash does have a FAQ http://www.hash.com/hashfaqs/index.html but I was trying to be nice in my email before. What I probably should've said was that most newbies are too lazy to take the time to read the FAQ and learn on their own and instead clutter the list with questions that have already been answered. At least if there was a forum here, other people would nudge them that way and try to get them to be more responsible for themselves.


Speaking of flaws, Joe was telling me a while ago while discussing AM that Hash edited out a ton of crashes for the videos they made. I remember only seeing one while Raf Anzovin was demonstrating his rigs so i was further convinced that AM was great all around. Turns out they had just cut out all the crashes from the final video... i was wondering why they cut out so much out of there.

:)

Raji

Crashes are something they need to come to grips with and fix. Feature freeze and the acceptance that sub-d's and not their spline technology is the way to go are tops on my list. That's what it would take for me to move back to AM as my primary app. I think Hash would do well to look at the Lightwave community, they set a great example!

My Fault
01-17-2003, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by dfaris
I have been using AM since version 5 also I have emaild Steve, Martin just about everyone one at Hash at one time or another about things such as obj import/export options and adding UV Map support ect ect.

The email I recived back from Steve told me that they were not going to add import/export support ever because they had 3ds import. Now lets look at that a program that only uses quads is going to support an import that most of the time gives you triangulated models and even when you do get a quad model AM only lets you import the model to use as a prop so you can edit it, now that makes it so usefull PLEASE.

as for the UV maping I'm still waiting for a reply about that one been 2 years.

Yeah, I've never really understood that one either. I think it's because 3ds files were very popular a few years back, but why they haven't focused on building a really solid obj importer/exporter is baffling to me.

and like I said in my previous email, I wish they would look around and see that sub-d's are the way to go. There's a reason that almost every 3d app out there has embraced this technology, because it really is better.

pswoods
01-17-2003, 05:59 PM
WOODS: There IS some good in you, father - I can sense it.

HASH: It is... too late for me.

Seriously, tho - it is by no means too late for Hash to turn things around. Consider the following.

* Everyone and his dog knows about AM, and it is generally regarded (not endorsing the axiom – just repeating) that it is THE low-cost alternative to high-end software. That goodwill could evaporate overnight - the process has already begun - but it hasn't happened yet.

* It wouldn’t take too damned much to make AM *very* attractive again. E.g. adding the ability to import – not model, modify, texture, or anything – just import – poly meshes and rig and animate them and sub-d them at render time would cause a tidal wave of interest. If it were legal (it’s not), a 16-yr-old code monkey with a cracked dev tool could port the necc. code from some open source tool like Blender - probably in less than a month.

* This guy (http://www.kci-group.com/z/index.htm) has been working like a dog to extend AM’s capabilities to a semi-respectable/professional level. His stuff is powerful, stable, and useful. I’m using a lot of these. I’d go so far as to say that this page of plugins alone has kept me using AM (in addition to a more comprehensive tool). I worked out a system for modeling and animating simple chars and exported their pieces as SWF for 2D Flash animation using his AM2SWF plugin – it rocks.

* This guy (http://users.tpg.com.au/tmyue/MasteRIB/index.htm) started working on a RIB exporter for AM. When this battle station is operational, it will now be the ultimate force in the universe. Seriously, tho, if Hash were to embrace this project, maybe hire the guy on to develop it into something really slick, with support for 3Delight/Aqsis, just imagine the kind of interest they would get from serious artists. In any case, a scene translator is desperately needed if they are going to survive.

* With all the backlash lately, I would be very surprised if Hash didn’t know that it is time to change a few things. What would happen if they redesigned their website, including (1) an open forum (2) information about the Magical Mystery Licensing Scheme (3) a server/network/host that can handle more than one linx browser at a time, for fu** sake, (4) broad and deep compendium of good training materials – hired, if necc. (5) a demo of the software (just suck it up and do it, like everyone else – you’re not that special).

* Aside from all the negatives – and there are plenty right now – once you get your characters built and rigged (this is where 90+% of the crashing happens), AM is actually very pleasant for animating – compared to anything. For animation ONLY, it is very much in the hunt. You can't trick out your animation environment like you can with the other apps, but the stock config is groovy enough to be very usable.

* There has been some talk/work on creating a scripting platform in AM. IF it ever comes to maturity and attracts talent... well, we all know what great scripts do for software.

* They should also stop pretending to have particles and dynamics engines. There are enough competitors for these features that no one should have to worry that they can't have them cheap - and WORKING. Cloth seems to work okay, but everything should get the scissors. They would get a lot fewer rants if they didn't roll out features that aren't really polished/stable.

Personally, if I were running the company, I would start axing the parts of the package that just don’t please the artists: modeling and rendering. I guess I would take the core code and make it into a direct competitor with Messiah. Either that or I would make input/output the top priority.

Top priority after cleaning up the current PR mess, that is…

Thalaxis
01-17-2003, 06:04 PM
It's nice and all, but for around the same price you can get the base version of Cinema4D 8, which has considerably nicer workflow IMO, or you can get RealSoft4D which while not quite so intuitive as Cinema, has some very impressive features... and it's pretty solid.

Multi-frequency refraction... neat. Very neat. :bounce:

Both companies have pitiful PR, but good customer service. (You have a problem, they're there to help, but if you don't have a problem, you tend to get left in the dark. Odd, but symptomatic of a lack of proactive action, to a large extend resulting from the fact that they don't have much by way of staff other than their developers.)

Originally posted by Commiekeebler
I would not recommend truespace, either. They've always been behind in animation department, but hey, if they manage to change that, good for them.

JoeCosman
01-17-2003, 08:34 PM
At Eggington, we wore out the phone receiver making calls to Hash about problems and E-mailed them data and descriptions.

Many of them were never fixed.

"nobody was using it so we took it out" and,
"which sounds sexier: no blocky artifacts, or Radiosity?"
"more people will buy it if it says Radiosity."

The excuse was "the average user will never encounter this bug"
so... how many 'average users' do we have getting kicked off of mailing list, or harrassed by the zealots, or browbeaten for their stupidity because they encountered this bug, and had no idea how to work around it?

Animation:Master is a great peice of software, but mostly on paper.

The feature list is oh so sexy, should any of you glance through it the first time. Mmany of them are just ink on the box, and many have been broken and ignored through the product updates.

Since starting their 'subscription' service, A:M has consistently gone downhill. Those who paid in november get one month with new software, those who paid in January got the entire year.

The subscription schedule is not good for any 3d product. Instead of focusing on helping the users they have, and ensuring a permanend upgrade-freindly userbase, They push really hard to get that next number version out the door on time, with half working, very unstable features. Newer version numbers sell many units at trade shows, I guess.

And then there's the apprehensive users that will humm and haww, and get duped for one more upgrade by reading the next version's feature list.

After all, we professional A:M users went through alot to convince you to put up the money for this product. More work goes into those renders than I can even say in this post.

I can almost guarantee, many animations you'll see at their website, and at the trade shows was done on Versions of A:M several years old. few, if any, use the latest version of the software, Even in the live demonstrations.

They've lost that drive that made the software and users so fun.
It has been replaced by dollar signs, half baked designs, and angry people. Gone are the exciting days of testing new features, and figuring out how to use them for your characters.
Half of my time has been spent Re-updating models for each revision of software. no, not every new version. revision.

This year and part of last year has been very barren for A:M animations, movie tests, and demo reels. The Users are not showing off their work, because stablilty and compatibility issues are keeping them from creating.

Very few of the knowlegable people exist on their mailing lists anymore. They have simply faded into the background. Instead, what I see is hordes of new users asking very simple questions that will not get answered.

The talent and knowlegebase that taught A:M on the list is rare or has dissappeared completely, thanks to the latest crop burning over the last few days.

back in the 80's, Martin Hash started programming A:M(or its forerunners) about the time Newtek started working on Lightwave(as well as many other companies such as 3d studio, Alias, Softimage, et al). They were all very small companies, and they all had a dreams of the future of 3D.

So, ask yourself these questions.

Why is hash still a 5 person operation, when The rest of these companies grew 100 times bigger?

Why isn't Martin's 'better than anything' Hash Patch technology
a de facto industry standard?

And why aren't we seeing powerful demonstrations of 'The software even an artist can afford." ?

Wegg
01-17-2003, 08:59 PM
I don't believe there is any package out there with better animation tools than A:M.

We hung on for years. Did everything we could to bring credibility to what we felt was a superior product. Amazing procedural textures, killer constraint and animation control. . . unique and artist friendly modeling. . . We really thought we had a "one up" on
the industry.

check out our eggprops product. . . www.eggprops.com

Then . . . we started running into walls. While the programmers at Hash Inc. were helpful, there really wasn't anything they could do. Eventually we were stopped from contacting the programmers directly and we had to go through the "Steve" filter. If Steve couldn't replicate the problem. . . then the problem didn't exist. So we tried
that for a while. Bug reporting became very involved. Having to walk someone who obviously was NOT an artist/animator through the issues we were having became ridiculous.

They have a perfect model. They sell to the dreamers. The ones who want to "get in" to the industry. 80% of those people don't even install the software. They could be selling empty boxes with "fulfill your dreams" written on the side and still stay in business. They have
no intention of improving their product to a professional level. Why bother? They just have to keep it good enough so that one or two really patient people create something good enough to put on the back of the box. . . to sell thousands more.

This is a horrible shame. The software is amazing. I can build, rig and texture great looking models in a matter of hours. In a side by side shoot out. . . barring crashes. . . I would put AM up against ANY product on the market. Just don't ask me to render it. Cause then. . . everything falls apart. :-(

I don't think I will ever use A:M again. I have found an alternative workflow that our company has been using for about a year now that is producing some pretty good results. I long for the integrated elegance of A:M. . . but I don't think it will ever happen.

---------------------------------------------
William Eggington -- http://www.eggington.net
---------------------------------------------

My Fault
01-17-2003, 09:09 PM
Boy I wish someone who is still on the AM list would post the url for this discussion. You'd probably get booted for it, but it could maybe open some eyes and start some changes.
Well I can hope can't I :beer:

dfaris
01-17-2003, 09:19 PM
Weggingt and JoeCosman are two of the people that could work wonders with AM and knew all the small tweaks and work arounds for all the bugs and non working features that AM had. For them to be treated the way they were treated by Hash is un believable. Hell I'll bet 50% of the sales that Hash got at computer shows were because of their work, I was at siggy and Hash still had their work up all over the place.

The fact that Hash treats people that know Am so very well should tell you something about the people over there it would be like GM telling there best dealers to get lost, unfreaking believable.

Agent D
01-17-2003, 09:33 PM
I'm really sorry to hear all of this guys... :sad:
I started with A:M 2000, but moved to Maya a year or two ago. I guess I got out at a good time, as the list bannings were just starting. Anyway, I just wanted to say that all of your work was very inspiring, and I wish you luck using other apps.

ruscler
01-17-2003, 09:52 PM
I keep hearing how some people get the nice treatment, and the special treatment from hash.

I would have to be fair and understand that not everyone is going to be treated the same. To this day I dont know what I did to make Steve go off on me, he must of had a bad day! and I was the next person in line for the bug request.

so realizing that other had the same problem and the thing to do was filled out a bug report

basically I sent in a report of the stereoglyph not being able to render out properly, cant do 2Xsampling on one of them and it doesn't render crosseye, I fix it in photoshop to make it work. AMV8.5p++,still doesn't do it. My response from Steve was that I tamper with the program, that I didn't have a legal copy of it. But still ignore my request. Thinking that this was maybe a computer foul up on records, I wrote back nicely and ask how did he think I have a crack copy of AM? Now I am no longer concern that stereoglypic is not working correctly but that I got dupe into buying a crack copy off of Ebay. ( I probably bought it off from a disgruntle customer, and inherited the attitude) I wrote once per week for a month, then got booted. I wrote to him not the list.
someone on the list told me who I should write to, so I wrote to james and got back on the list. The E-mail I wrote to james was nice but harsher then I wrote to Steve. I was upset! no doubt.

I had a question about problems I was having with AM and 2 of the people that tried to help me got booted, and I felt bad cause I felt I started it and did not realized that I was having a problem with a bug they knew they had.

So I have to be fair and realized that most of the advance user like eggington and Gilles have sent in the report like they are suppose to , and got ignore, which I think a response time should be quicker then a month and before accusing a customer that they have a crack copy of the program should of look the person registry file. So ranting on the list was a futile attempt at getting heard. And if the question of how they wrote to them with a bitter atittude was the issue. Well if you dont know me, at least think about William Eggington, and ask yourself have you ever known him to be rude, loud, name calling SOB? The way Bill have treated me, I would of think he was a boyscout at one time.

My point is that these guys have done alot for Hash, and got ignored. The request for more stability goes way back! At this point Steve have claim to say that the best way to handle this is thru him with a bug report, if you dont mind being called a thief in the process!

I did have alot of fun with AM and james@hash was okay to deal with. I think the program could be worth salvaging. But I would strongly suggest letting go of the soup nazi attitude at Hash. I am not mad at Steve at all he is an employee of Hash, this reflect on the whole company. I wait on tables and get to hear people rant all the time, deal with it and listen to them is the best way to handle the problem.

Sil3
01-17-2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Agent D
I'm really sorry to hear all of this guys... :sad:
I started with A:M 2000, but moved to Maya a year or two ago. I guess I got out at a good time, as the list bannings were just starting. Anyway, I just wanted to say that all of your work was very inspiring, and I wish you luck using other apps.



It was and IT IS Inspiring, i remember drolling over when i first saw Egg´s website, and those procedurals just went off the roof, i emailed him at the time and asked him if they were gonna port those shaders to LW, he told me maybe, because LW´s architecture was very diferent from A:M, he could not say it for sure, but since now those boys are working with LW and Messiah :buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock: , i hope those marvelous presets would be available to purchase, since i´m kinda lazzy on my texturing i would buy them right away :p

Sil3

Wegg
01-17-2003, 10:06 PM
We use Darktree a lot more now. www.darksim.com

We have been toying with the idea of doing a new eggprops that includes multiple 3D platforms. . . but. . . it all takes money. . . and thats something we don't exactly have a lot of right now. :-/

balistic
01-17-2003, 10:18 PM
Hash is an odd company. It employs some very skilled, very creative programmers. The problem is that the central philosophy of the founders, for at least the past couple years, has been to make tools for amateurs. They don't want professionals to use it, because we make feature requests and file bug reports and push the software into configurations that break it . . . what Hash really wants these days is the Poser demographic.

Which, as has been said a dozen times already, is a damned shame. A:M has, by far, the best workflow of any app I've used. Parts of it are sheer genius. However, most of the buzzword features . . . hair, cloth, flocking, et cetera . . . those are only there to fill a feature list. They obviously were never intended to be used in any serious context, because outside of the simplest of tests, those features fail (often spectacularly).

The software I get to use at work now is also rickety . . . in fact I'd say it's shakier than A:M ever was for me . . . but it's extensible, and flexible, and there are established pipelines to other products.

I'll probably keep using A:M at home for a while, in the rare instance that I have an urge to do 3D outside of work, but I unsubscribed from the mailing list today, as I'm quite tired of seeing this cycle repeat itself every other year.

It feels weird to be off the list . . . I'd literally been subscribed to it for the past six years without interruption (I think wegg got kicked once or twice though ;) ) . . . I guess it's time to start bugging the guys on the DarkTree list now, since I'm having quite a lot of fun with that program at the moment.

Sil3: glad you liked my textures.

dfaris
01-17-2003, 10:23 PM
Bri I wish you would make a set of DT's like you did for the AM mats I would buy them.

Sil3
01-17-2003, 10:25 PM
I liked your textures? I simply LOVED them, i showed them of to all my friends at the time saying look at this AMAZING stuff, too bad it´s only for A:M.

Anyway, i´m downloading Darktree´s DEMO right now :applause: let´s see what i can make with it, but i doubt they will ever be as cool looking as the ones you have made, your textures simply :airguitar

Sil3

Goon
01-17-2003, 10:59 PM
"Boy I wish someone who is still on the AM list would post the url for this discussion. You'd probably get booted for it, but it could maybe open some eyes and start some changes. "

I am extremely tempted. As this might implicate people who wish to remain on the list, does anyone object?

Sil3
01-17-2003, 11:06 PM
Not me, but i´m not in there since 99 or early 2000 :p

Sil3

ArtImage
01-17-2003, 11:29 PM
I was the person who informed the list of Dusan Kastelic and Gilles Charbonneau banning. Here is the email I sent.
---

Subject: I can not believe HASH did this, but it doesn't surprise me.
Message: Dusan Kastelic, creator of this year's CD mascot was banned from the list. And of course, Gilles Charbonneau was banned.

---
As you can guess, I got the boot. I have used A:M off and on since v5.



------------------
PS. Brian, Joe, and William wonderful work over the years. I have always meant to visit you guys (I live up in the Ogden area) or introduce myself when I have seen you at Siggraphs, but something always popped up. I run a software development company (including games). William, I should contact you sometime to talk about contracting out some modeling/textures (mainly low poly cages for subd).


Justin

lildragon
01-17-2003, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by dfaris
Weggingt and JoeCosman are two of the people that could work wonders with AM and knew all the small tweaks and work arounds for all the bugs and non working features that AM had.

THis is very true, don't forget my man ballistic, dude can make that renderer accomplish anything!

Fact is Hash has been buggy from as far back as I can remember, and though I don't wish to re"hash" what Joe so brilliantly typed, I just wish that the Hash boys would wake up and realize how many peeps actually love this app despite the stability issues.. And damn it's about time they start showing some new kicka$$ work. Though I love Victor's Alien Song, I've seen it waaaaaaaaay too many times promoting A:M :hmm:

If a A:M community was opened here, would people use it? Or will it stay barren? Cause if you look at the other app forums, they're just bussling with helpful enthusiatic users...

salud

SGT.Squeaks
01-17-2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by balistic
I unsubscribed from the mailing list today, as I'm quite tired of seeing this cycle repeat itself every other year.



well I guess I better unsubscribe too. I dont want to be the only eggington guy on it.

Raji
01-17-2003, 11:54 PM
crap Squeaks i'm still on it....

i guess i'm just too lazy and nobody cares whether i stay or go anyway. :D So I guess I'm the last eggington standing. Just like Bruce Willis... except skinnier and weaker...

Raji

ggg
01-18-2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by Hookflash
dfaris: Long live ZBrush! ;) Now *there's* a contrast in company attitude: Pixologic vs. Hash. Pixologic is a nice example of how a smallish 3d software company should be run (aside from their licensing system; but, that'll get fixed I'm sure).
?!

My Fault
01-18-2003, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by Raji
crap Squeaks i'm still on it....

i guess i'm just too lazy and nobody cares whether i stay or go anyway. :D So I guess I'm the last eggington standing. Just like Bruce Willis... except skinnier and weaker...

Raji

You can be the mole ;)

Hookflash
01-18-2003, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Goon
"Boy I wish someone who is still on the AM list would post the url for this discussion. You'd probably get booted for it, but it could maybe open some eyes and start some changes. "

I am extremely tempted. As this might implicate people who wish to remain on the list, does anyone object?

I strongly suggest that you do this, as long as you're comfortable with getting banned. I think this thread might be a real eye opener, not only for users of A:M, but also for Hash, Inc. Who knows, maybe they'll get their act in gear. I would do it if I still had access;)

Commiekeebler
01-18-2003, 01:19 AM
(toilet humor removed)

Dearmad
01-18-2003, 01:20 AM
I don't object to posting the URL of this thread to the list.

In fact I'd hope it could, as hook said, open up some eyes.

mg3d
01-18-2003, 01:25 AM
http://www.commiekeebler.com/logos/pisslogosmall.jpg

Hey! it's A:M's new mascot! I would pay to get a disk with this logo on it. But what would the new Version be?
Animation:Master v10.1asdeffkfaf;lkjiekjgoiepeowl;eoeoe.5

:beer:

jtk77
01-18-2003, 03:52 AM
those guys can be wacky.
. I liked A]M for a long time. I have kinda grown out of it now that Maya is acualy affordable to purchase.
Oh well.....

spakman
01-18-2003, 04:31 AM
ROTFLOL!!!! Billy, Joe, Brian, whaddap doods, (mando here) Glad I got off that trainwreck years ago. Still Hash taught me a ton.

peace all (Brian, if you look in the jobs section, you'll see that we still want your ass to work for us. email me dood)

Commiekeebler
01-18-2003, 05:29 AM
(link removed)

Also, check out Hash User's Workout on the back. :)
Direct image link:

http://www.commiekeebler.com/logos/backshirt.jpg

dfaris
01-18-2003, 06:27 PM
If anyone that use to use AM is looking for other apps there is
some news from the ZBrush front. you can find it here.

http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=009734

walasek
01-18-2003, 06:35 PM
About the bannings:

You know, I kinda agree with Hash on this one. Hear me out.

The list was setup to provide the user's of the software with tips, hints, tricks, etc on how to use the software. It is maintained and managed by Hash. They are the moderators. I read the whole thread (so far) 6 pages long in just a couple of days. Would I want to see that on the mailing list? No. Simple fact is that I go to the list if I want to get inspired to do something - I don't usually go their to hear rants.

Think of it from a business standpoint. I have a list that all my customers are on. I actually freely let criticisms go out (I don't moderate the list - every message). When there has been "enough" ranting - I say stop. If people don't they get banned. It's my company and this *is* portraying bad on the company.

The main problem people have is how to get/send feedback or discuss problems with the software. In actuality, mailing Steve works part of the time, but it does not have the nice "closure" that we need or want. It is nice to discuss the problems in a forum type environment, instead of a closed email to 1 particular person. Hash doesn't have this "forum" method. Do I think they should? Sure. Do I think it should co-mingle with the current list? No.

It's funny that people expect when they report a bug or an enhancement suggestion that Hash should "have to" do it. Try that with another company. If it doesn't fit or make money - why do it. Other companies might send you a letter saying "thx for the input", but whether they do it or not is up to them. It seems that we have gotten to used to the fact that Hash actually provides timely patches.

I'm not going to argue about stability or feature freeze. If they could do that, they would compete in the bigger markets. I think this is their biggest downfall. And when they say that it just crashes cause it's 3d - that doesn't wash with me. I'm a programmer - and my code doesn't crash. If it is about to - I put up a box with what went wrong and try to back out. Check memory - check sizes - check array bounds - check limits. Problem is that they probably haven't had time to QA test the product before releasing patches. It's just their way, but it would be nice to see them freeze the features at the product level (i.e. 10.0a) and just work on patches till they are all fixed.

I hope Steve will let them back on the list, it would be a great harm to all if they couldn't voice their knowledge/wisdom to those of us that need it...


As a side note, for those that are still using AM...

Well, it seems that thru my testing, the OBJ importer/exporter is ready from public consumption.

You can get it here http://12.213.91.41/AM/OBJ.hxt

It has been tested with 9.5b and 10.0b (works fine for both). It was built with the 10.0 SDK so anything that supports the 10.0SDK it will probably work with (Except 10.0a - definitely patch up to 10.0b).

When you run it the first time, it will ask you for a key. You will have to copy the code in an email message and send it to me. I will reply with the key that you will need to unlock the plugin (I'm doing this to actually see how many people are using my plugin - I'm not planning on charging anyone - thanks to some generousity from Steve).

The features are:
On Export
1) Exports vertices, vertex normals, and faces (basically you get the mesh)
2) Exports materials (not maps - I'm still considering this) to a .mtl file
3) You can choose to export quads or tris (I highly recommend quads if you are importing back to AM)

On Import
1) Imports vertices, vertex normals, u/v coordinates, and faces (mesh and u/v)
2) Imports materials
3) Imports maps (supports color, bump, specular, diffuse, ambiance)

Some notes:
- If you use DeepPaint and do a Save As OBJ from DeepPaint, it will triangulate the mesh (I don't know if ZBrush does this as well or not). If you want to reimport into AM, it works *a lot* better if the mesh is quad. So just save the maps.
- After exporting, I usually use a U/V mapping tool to create U/V maps for the object. I've used UVMapper (free), and LithUnwrap (free). Both seem to work. I don't know if ZBrush will create U/V coords for you, but DeepPaint doesn't seem to (but I'm a novice with DeepPaint).
- If you are importing a model you created in another program, you might want to clean up the verticies, normals, and faces before importing. I've gotten some test models (mushroom, kenhead, etc) where whatever created the model in the first place duplicated some verticies and faces. AM doesn't like this and seems to create creases where this happens. I've used Crossroads v1.0 (free) to read in the model and write it back out. You will have to put back in the mtllib command and the usemtl command (so if you use more than 1 material, it might not be so easy).
- I've tested on a lot of models, from 20 faces to 20K faces (kenhead). Seems to work fine (just might take a while). It can stop at 20% for a long time and at 60%.
- I've been given some models with the normals reversed (pointing into the model). It will work a lot better in AM if the normals point the right way (again crossroads might help with this, but I'm not sure).
- 5 pt patches, and hooks are not exported (at least I don't think they are, someone could test this).

Enhancements I am considering:
1) Allowing you to flig the horizontal and vertical u/v coordinate
2) Allowing exporting of maps (this is kinda hard - but hey - what isn't)

Enjoy, and if you find any problems, or want some enhancement, let me know.


_________________
Arthur Walasek
Assist Consulting
awalasek@attbi.com
Project: The Guys House(tgh

My Fault
01-18-2003, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by Commiekeebler
http://www.cafeshops.com/CRASH_inc

If anyone, for some strange reason would like a t-shirt with Tiny doing something rude on your chest... here you go.

T-shirts sold at COST, we're not making any money on this.

Also, check out Hash User's Workout on the back. :)
Direct image link:

http://www.commiekeebler.com/logos/backshirt.jpg

Wow, that is so unbelievably not cool I can't believe it. Forget the fact that they might be able to sue you, that is just tacky.

:thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow

dfaris
01-18-2003, 07:03 PM
Arthur:

First let me say that I was one of the folks that asked you to write the plugin after you sent an email to the list saying that you could do it if hash wouldn't. Thank you for that nice piece of work.

Funny that a user has to spend his time to do something as basic as this when it has been asked for since version hell I cant remember 2 or 3 versions ago at least.

"It's funny that people expect when they report a bug or an enhancement suggestion that Hash should "have to" do it. Try that with another company. If it doesn't fit or make money - why do it. Other companies might send you a letter saying "thx for the input", but whether they do it or not is up to them. It seems that we have gotten to used to the fact that Hash actually provides timely patches."

That the whole point of feed back from the users is it not, to see what the users want and need so that others will buy the program. Everything people have asked for would do wouders for the user base. The reason hash has to do timely patches is because they release software that they know is so full of bugs that people will be unable to do anything but the very basics so the user group is the beta testers and when they think it works on most computers they think its fixed and dont listen to people telling them it still crashes.


Anyway I hope it works out for you but at some point you will hit the same hash wall as everyone else and it will be time to move on.

I will try your plugin out and let you know how it works.

Dave

ZPiDER
01-18-2003, 07:17 PM
well lets get some things straight here.

1.) hash is NOT dying

2.) hash still has GREAT support during version 9.0 they had quite a hard time (and less time for support) because they re-implemented the whole software. of course this means a lot of bugs. but it also means a:m got a LOT better under the hood.
now we are at 10.0 and its truly great.

3.) Cararan, have you once tried to mail to lightwave and get a feature implemented in the next week or 2 ? huh ? no ?

4.) it is CLEARLY stated in the list rules what is allowed and what is not allowed. the rules also state that you will get KICKED for violating the rules. its as simple as that.

5.) the list is no place to discuss such things. think about it. WHAT can it help to do so ???

6.) there are all nice people at hash. mail them directly and you'll get an appropriate answer. no one at hash will usually read the list. it is a USER FORUM.

7.) its no big deal to be kicked off the list. send a mail to steve@hash.com with an apology for violating the rules and you will be back on

8.) raji: i've heard of quite some people who left hash and missed certain features.

9.) we've seen quite some trouble for 3d companies in the last years havent we ? not so hash.

10.) commiekeebler: how do you mean "was shut down the hard way" ? i'm still getting my list mail just fine and was getting it all the time.

11.) gentle fury: read the list rules and you'll KNOW what you are writing about. (a small spoiler: you'll know you are wrong)

12.) dfaris: if you'd read your list mail you'd know that there is a FREE OBJ importer/exporter plugin written by arthur walasek for a:m and it also supports UV.

13.) hey thanks pswoods for mentioning me :)
i'm flattered to be the one keeping you use a:m!
i aggree with you that the rib exporter will be a very powerful tool once its operational. and i'm considering to join Nicholas Yue in his battle developing it.

14.) my fault: discussing this in public is not going to change anything. tell hash directly what you want changed

15.) brian you are right. their target market is the beginning user. though YOUR work prooved best you can do VERY professional work with a:m.

16.) oh wow and i thought there could be nothing more tasteless than calvin pissing on a logo. i was proven wrong. *sigh*

17.) oops instead of reading my #12 read walasek's post above ;)

finally i havent responded to any thing joe cosman said, but i know that during version 9 hash was really busy getting the version up and running and therefore i understand how they had less time for support. however, i have lately found that the great support you were used to is back

walasek
01-18-2003, 07:19 PM
dfaris:

Thanks - I do remember you asking for it - I was going to go thru my list of people that sent me email and tell them where to get it incase they have been booted...

As far as "That the whole point of feed back from the users is it not, to see what the users want and need so that others will buy the program." I totally agree. But, that list is not for feedback from the users. I know that it should be, or there should be some list set up for that, but that isn't the purpose of that particular list.

Let me know if you need it for an earlier version of AM

My Fault
01-18-2003, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by ZPiDER

13.) hey thanks pswoods for mentioning me :)
i'm flattered to be the one keeping you use a:m!
i aggree with you that the rib exporter will be a very powerful tool once its operational. and i'm considering to join Nicholas Yue in his battle developing it.


For goodness sakes please do it! Nicholas has done a great job on his plug-in, having someone as experienced as you joining him would only make it that much better. Add to that 3Delight going 1.0 and this would be fantastic.

:applause: :applause: :applause:

My Fault
01-18-2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by lildragon
If a A:M community was opened here, would people use it? Or will it stay barren? Cause if you look at the other app forums, they're just bussling with helpful enthusiatic users...

salud

Look at the Houdini forum, it's not exactly bustling with activity yet, though I'm sure it will pick up as more folks find out about it. I'm thinking the same would happen for an AM forum.

Would it be that difficult to set it up and see?

Commiekeebler
01-18-2003, 07:40 PM
The list was shut down for a couple hours I think. I'm not on the list myself any more, so I can't tell you more than that. I'm removing the offensive logo from the website (I did it on an impulse, my bad). Seemed funny at the time. Took 3 crashes to finish it in AM, and even then had to touch it up in photoshop.
Irony, huh.

I'm really running out of ideas on how to make Hash care about its existing customers. They simply don't listen. I thought an offensive image might work as a wake up call.

dfaris
01-18-2003, 07:41 PM
Zpider: I understand what you are saying but:

12.) dfaris: if you'd read your list mail you'd know that there is a FREE OBJ importer/exporter plugin written by arthur walasek for a:m and it also supports UV.

Just the fact that a user (even one as nice as Arthur) has to step up and do this very basic exporter that should be there already is bad in the first place. This has been asked for from hash for years and was in the earlier versions then they took it out so a feature that users had and needed was now taken out, Please.

As for writing Steve: There must be 5 or 6 post saying that people have sent him emails and either got nothing or was told to go blow. Not in those words but in some way or another. The guys at Eggprop had been doing just what you said untill Martin put a stop to it because the programers were fixing bugs.

I was one of the people that sent steve email about the OBJ export/import plug and he told me that hash was NEVER going to add support for that because they had the 3DS import/export plug. Tell me that makes sence import a 3DS model that you cant edit and is most likly to be a triangulated model. Boy that really helps me out. And if your like me and like painting on models instead of useing PS or something there is no way to do this with out UV maps. How hard can it be for them to put that in if Aurther did it in as short a time as he did.

Now what about the folks that Still use V9.x? They are pretty much out in the cold now because as you know hash will not fix the all the bugs in it once they release v10. So they put out v9 with all its bugs and it is still very bugy even after putting out the whole alphabet of updates and then some. That program NEVER should have been released all it does is make hash look like all they want is our money every year. I mean why not take longer when you do a rewrite of all the programimg and make sure the app works right and fixx all the bugs they have and the renderer?

johnathan
01-18-2003, 07:52 PM
first off: i thought the elf logo was over the top, but still funny.

my biggest worry with hash is that they do seem to be trying to market themselves as poser plus. offering free pre-rigged models to novice animators, and spending valuable resources on integrated chat??? top my list of key symptoms.

i think the program kicks ass, but versions 9 and 9.5 sucked out loud. i have renewed hope for version 10, but my biggest problem now is trying to get up to speed without any real reference material.

hash seems committed to neglecting the key areas of documentation and stability in favor of building their feature list.

i can't say they're in the business of selling vaporware, but they certainly seem to be desperate to expand their user base while negelcting their existing customers.

i stated on the list that i agreed with everything that gilles mentioned, save his point of free speach on the list. the resultant stream of unfocused whining and generic "me too" posts only proves my point.

i don't think hash is going to change their positioning, but i'm willing to give them a chance with version 10... but it will be their last.

-jon

dfaris
01-18-2003, 07:58 PM
Thats anouther thing what the hell are they doing with the chat thing? I know they put it in there so that everyone will not use forms like this and IRC then hash will be able to boot people from that too.

fr002
01-18-2003, 08:35 PM
Lol come on people

hash is a really good soft
they dont have a team of 40 people working on ...is not like maya or MAx ..ect

so it is normal that they take more time to fixe the bugs (also version 9.0 have to much bugs)

so yes i am sometime frustrating when it crash but it still a really good soft for the quality/prize

of you have never do 3d ...or check out Animatino master just 1 hour
shalup when you said that AM suck hard !!!!!!!!!!!

zandoria
01-18-2003, 08:37 PM
I had turned-off my list mail for a while, because I was so irritated with the "paid tutorial" debate...I just switched it back on yesterday with a new attitude.

I apparently missed all of the fireworks, but if I can throw out my two cents, I think Version 10 of this program is the best one yet.

I was very inspired with The guys at Eggington, when I bought the program in 2000--I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a disappointing experience!

I met Martin and Steve last year, and they seem like great guys. Maybe this will seem like a tempest in a teapot in a couple of weeks....

The Hash team has been very cordial with me. I asked Steve if they would re-implement Motion Capture, and after I showed him a tutorial that I had done on it for A:M, the feature came back in only a couple of weeks.

I don't think that they are geared for amatures, I believe that they are geared towards individuals. The vision of the lone animator bringing his art to life is central to the Hash philosophy.

I am an individual artist. I love Animation:Master.

dfaris
01-18-2003, 08:50 PM
William,

I understand what you are saying thats why so many people are pissed off because we know what AM can be and should be.

All you hear about is V10 what about the V9 people that sent in there money then got tossed to the dogs in less then 6 months and now have a busted broken APP.

And why did hash take out raytraced shadows? to speed up the renderer? oh I see take it out to fix it instead of fix the real problem. Thats kinda like cutting off your arm when you cut your hand.

So now I would have to send them another $99 to get an app that I paid for in V9 and still dont work, right

Fix the damn app before you start another one and stop supporting the released version.

degauss
01-18-2003, 11:15 PM
A few months ago, I e-mailed Steve with polite ly informative tone explaining that his constant efforts to halt discussions, was a real turn-off, and was, in fact, keeping me from upgrading my copy of A:M. I reason that if A:M is good software, it will stand on its own merits, handily weathering any storms created by temporary periods of user dissatisfaction.

I also subscribe to the Painter mailing list, and this very same thing happened - the list Admin was overzealous in his effort to keep the topic so tightly focused that it was often disruptive. Many people left the list, and although the list is still around, it seems as though it's not used as much.

Gilles mentioned Blender, which is my primary tool at this point. One of the things I respected most about the Blender community (pre-bankruptcy) was that the NaN web admin allowed very free and open discussion. Topics regarding Blender's strengths and weaknesses, along with talk about any number of competing products, were common. If anything, this increased my respect for NaN and the people behind it.

Now, I don't know...I still see awesome work from those using A:M, and I still have this itch to upgrade to the latest version and give it a shot. But I really, really, find it hard to tolerate a company that tries to sterilize public opinion by banning people from its mailing list.

Finally, I'd like to commend Gilles for casting the first stone - a lot of times people stay quiet because they they just don't want to deal with any inconvenience. Hopefully, Hash will come around and see that what has happened (particulary the manner in which it has been handled) is not a good thing.


Regards,

jim

balistic
01-19-2003, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by spakman
ROTFLOL!!!! Billy, Joe, Brian, whaddap doods, (mando here) Glad I got off that trainwreck years ago. Still Hash taught me a ton.

peace all (Brian, if you look in the jobs section, you'll see that we still want your ass to work for us. email me dood)

You see this, wegg? I'm in demand. I want a secretary and a Porche!

hehheh, yo Armando. Seems like just yesterday we were animating those ducks, yeah? Keep in touch dude.

GCharb
01-19-2003, 01:35 AM
Hello there!

Yes, I am the one who started this madness! :P

Heheh, well, it has been interesting to say the least, after I sent my post to the Hash list, I started to receive tons of emails, near 200 by now and still answering them. So far, about 95% of those agree with me on most of the problems I reported, about 60% would like to see a freeze of the software. The problems that peoples seem to have the most problem with are the creases, then the crashes (but most who have upgraded to v10 seems to think that it got a hell of allot better) and then the renderer, then comes the list being what it is and then the Hash attitude in general.

To be fair, I have to say a few words about those who disagree, about 5%. Most of them refer to AM as being the easiest 3d tool there is, on that I have to agree, and then some say that it cannot be that bad with all the great animations that are made with it. Others replied that AM is the best tool to learn 3D, on that I cannot agree, what is a learning tool that does not have instructions and that forces the student on a scavenger hunt for info?

To those I reply this; true that there was and still are some pretty amazing projects in the work, but how many of those Artists who made that great stuff you saw still use AM? Many of them replied to this post explaining their views and why they stopped using AM, most seem to agree with my own views on the subject.

Some replied that AM is a professional tool. To those I replied that a professional tool is not only one that allows you to make good looking art, it is also one that allows you to do so in a reasonable time span. This cannot be achieved when you spend a good part of your production finding workaround to problems you encounter in the software.

My goal here was not to say that Animation Master is not a great piece of software, it is, and as some others might have put more elegantly, we cannot wait to see it becomes what it could and should be.

Actually my beef with Hash is that I have invested lots of time and energy over the years, spent countless hours learning to deal with the software so I could make good looking models and animations, I have helped the community by answering so many questions, publicly and privately, I have made many and many tutorials and was even considering making some professional grade learning material for it, but then, I got spanked on the online community, the one that comes with AM v9.x and up, as if I was a child, and then ran into many modeling bugs in v10.

Then I realized that my hope of seeing Animation Master become a mature and professional 3d software went down the drain, I saw all those late night hours working hard, flash in front of me, and for what, see crashes after crashes in the V10th version of the software. I flipped, took a long hot bath and thought it over.

What really bothers me is the Hash attitude, which says nothing less then “ok, we got your money, you have upgraded couples of time, you made some good tutorials and all, which is pretty good. But now you are asking us to work and keep our promises of offering peoples good software, no, that we cannot do, not a good marketing strategy, get on with your life, pay for another software and learn 3d again. What, you say that AM doesn’t follow normal 3d software way of doing things and you will have to start over, normal, there is only one good way of doing 3d, OURS!”

Martin Hash would have been a good politician, making allot of promises and then forget about them!

Gilles Charbonneau

mediaho
01-19-2003, 02:05 AM
I've seen these list coups arise every so often. They pass and things go on as usual. With the exception of the good fellows at Eggington (whom I have much respect for), many of the people complaining recently haven't used the software long, or rather, haven't dealt with Hash, Inc. long.

Foir good or ill, I don't think their philosophy as a company will change any time soon. It hasn't in the 8 years I've been playing with it and I don't see that changing. Hash has always focussed their efforts towards the amateur filmmaker and that will never change. That's why we don't see RIB export, OBJ export (built in!), exceptional particle systems and cloth, etc.

I'm not a zealot. I enjoy using Max and Maya for projects where my ass and reputation are on the line. But I can honestly say that I probably could not call myself a 3-D CG animator if it weren't for A:M, and for that I will be eternally greatful.

All of us who came into the game thru A:M because it was what it was shouldn't be complaining because it didn't grow with us.

mediaho
01-19-2003, 02:10 AM
Mando!

How the devil are you, sir? Long time.

This is like a mini-Boids reunion. ;-)

-Ed

walasek
01-19-2003, 06:11 AM
I have ported the code back to AM8.5 so hopefully it will work there. The URL to the new OBJ importer/exporter is http://12.213.91.41/AM/OBJ.hie

I can't test with 8.5 very well, but it seems to work. If you find problems with it, let me know and I will see what I can do about testing it further. Same things as the 9.5 and 10.0 version except that this version:
1) Does not have an initial status percent bar (after it tells you how many verticies/etc, then you will see it)
2) Does not shorten the names of exported map files
3) Does not have the Licensing protection

Enjoy...

P.s. I much prefer the new 9.5/10.0 SDK over the old one...

Arthur Walasek
Email: awalasek@attbi.com

-JT-
01-19-2003, 01:47 PM
This software (or should i say soft...war ?! ;) ) is great, i love animation master, it's the only company who first tried to make things simple and fun.

But two things do drive me mad : the creases and the crashes, and i just can't stand hearing that i'm the one doing things wrong (wrong machine, wrong method etc..).
It's quite sad actually, i wish they'd do something rock solid with a decent modeller instead of making thousands of small updates per year.

giantkiller
01-20-2003, 03:35 AM
I was new on the animaster list in late December. Gilles inquired if anyone would be interested in quality tutorials that folks would have to buy (imagine). I chimed in on that a bit and enjoyed the lively discussion. Then I had to leave the list temporarily (which probably kept me from the boot). Well, I come back on the list and everyone that I was getting to know is gone! Is Ezra out there? He posted a link on the animaster list to CGtalk. Thats how I found all of you rejects. He said he'd get the boot for posting the link. I just want to thank everyone especially Gilles. I was getting ready to throw myself into the arms of Hash, upgrade, invest in training videos and CDs, and just accept AMs shortcomings and deal with it all (creases, crashes) when the fire broke out! I have decided to continue my search for a software program. Any comments on ElectricImage Universe? You know, if some of these other software companies were to find out about 'The Great Hash List Incident' they may take advantage of this opportunity to lure some of you away with some deals for disgruntled AM users. Randy
P.S. I liked the elf (Perk), but whats up with that buldge in his pants?:rolleyes:

MCronin
01-20-2003, 03:55 AM
@giantkiller

I know nothing about Electricimage, I've only actually seen it once, but I've recently seen some amazing work done with it...

http://www.cgchannel.com/forum/viewthread?thread=313

http://www.eridia.com/tbf/index.html

I haven't actually watched the animation, I don't have Quicktime, but the stills are stunning. I don't know if you are on a Mac or PC, but if you are on a PC, and want to try out a software that has a small, but very very friendly community, made by a company the listens to and supports their users (even people who haven't bought their software), check out Houdini Apprentice. Some links for you.

www.3dbuzz.com Free Houdini online class, training videos, and forums
www.sidefx.com The makers of Houdini, with forums and a mailist. They listen to everyone and are VERY supportive.
www.odforce.net the unofficial Houdini community site.

Hookflash
01-20-2003, 04:24 AM
giantkiller: Realsoft (www.realsoft.com) offers a competitive upgrade from any 3d software worth $200+ for only $450. I haven't actually used it, but I've been hearing good things about it. I too am a disgruntled former A:M user, and I've been considering this option.

ruscler
01-20-2003, 05:56 AM
I took a look at realsoft3D, and it seem to be a great modeler, but the skeletons for animation seem a bit weak. However did you happen to notice that the upgrade from other package was only $250 for linux? If I had a choice between linux or windows in a 3D program, I think I would of opt for the linux. Not to get into a platform war, but it is way cheaper!

I also had the chance to play with wings3D last nite and today, I am so impress with this infancy of a program, and I say this because so much more is in the works for developing it further.

Hookflash
01-20-2003, 06:07 AM
Yeah, I do like Linux, but I'm more familiar with Windows. As for Wings3d, I agree; it's a great little (or medium sized;)) app. The only problem I have with it is that I don't have a firm grasp of the workflow.

Gazortus
01-20-2003, 06:58 AM
Hash is a bunch of assholes period.

A few years back one of my co-workers was having a problem with hash and hash. inc. took issue with him posting to it to the list. He was given a warning that he'll be banned if he did it again.

It degenerated into a flame war, then Hash Inc's goons figured out where my friend worked and emailed our boss to try to get him fired.

Our boss wasn't impressed with hash, since it didn't involve the company in anyway, but he told us what happened.

**** hash and everyone who works there. If this is how they treat their customers they deserve to go out of business.

wgreenlee1
01-20-2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Cararan
Well you get what you pay for. Lightwave all the way Baby.


Thats friggin right!!!

John Keates
01-20-2003, 11:07 AM
I tell you a funny thing. AM v10 had been crashing out on me loads recently. When I closed an action - Bam!, when I saved a project bam!. But I persevered because I have projects that I am working on for an interview. This is the only reason why I downloaded the latest update (v 10c) and carried on (this was after all the hoohaa on this list and others). Now it all seems remarkably stable. I am working 12 hours per day and get only about 3 crashes in that time (yes, you can tell that I am used to more- much more). Has hash been listening?... Naaah!.

But at the end of the day, my eye is realy roving for new software. I like the way that AM (Animation Master) is set up. Nice and simple and cozy. But the creases and the bugs are driving me mad.

I can't wait for when all those software compenies that I am trying to choose between go bust and put thier programs on the front of magazines to spite the industry ang get back a bit of money.

no0ne
01-20-2003, 12:01 PM
well, once again, that many grown-ups around here :p

lamenting about stability

isn't it quite obvious that most that are so furious about a software can't be that stable themselves?

please, let's get productive instead of wastin time with stuff like that

http://www.shit-chaos.net/shit/chrom_034.jpg

faulknermano
01-20-2003, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by no0ne
well, once again, that many grown-ups around here :p

lamenting about stability

isn't it quite obvious that most that are so furious about a software can't be that stable themselves?

please, let's get productive instead of wastin time with stuff like that


that's some aliasing you got there. or is that the modelling / texturing?:hmm: :D

(ignore me, just making trouble. )

no0ne
01-20-2003, 02:35 PM
cool, you noticed (; it's a special alias-material i got this x-mas

just kiddin of coz
should have rendered bigger ); me bad

but if it distracts people from... well (;

Wegg
01-20-2003, 03:33 PM
that's some aliasing you got there. or is that the modelling / texturing?:hmm: :D

(ignore me, just making trouble. )

Actually that is a PERFECT example of what is frustrating about AM. That could be a really cool image. And I'll bet it was relatively easy to set up. I doubt I could do it any faster or better in any other package. But the artist is going to have a very very hard time getting rid of those alias lines. He is going to have to render it 4 times bigger and shrink it down in order to achieve what Lightwave considers a "Low" setting for AA. And that is just the tip of the iceburg. If the artist wanted fur. . . or radiosity. . . or caustics. . . or instersecting transparent objects. . . they would come across a whole new world of frustrating things to have to work around.

Skevos_Mavros
01-20-2003, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by John Keates
I tell you a funny thing. AM v10 had been crashing out on me loads recently. When I closed an action - Bam!, when I saved a project bam!. But I persevered because I have projects that I am working on for an interview. This is the only reason why I downloaded the latest update (v 10c) and carried on (this was after all the hoohaa on this list and others). Now it all seems remarkably stable. I am working 12 hours per day and get only about 3 crashes in that time (yes, you can tell that I am used to more- much more). Has hash been listening?... Naaah!.

Are you teasing me? :shame:

The latest version is v10b, right? I see no 10c on their site.

v10b is still a bit flakey for me, but I've just had no time to submit bug reports. I have in the past and I always get a reply (even when I stste that none is necessary), and usually those replies acknowledge that the bug exists and that they are working on it. It's usually less than a week before it is fixed (and usually with someone else's name next to the bug on the bug list :p ).

So... is there a secret v10c download? :eek:

My Fault
01-20-2003, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by faulknermano
that's some aliasing you got there. or is that the modelling / texturing?:hmm: :D

(ignore me, just making trouble. )

Ugh, when will Hash ever fix the aliasing issue? Their big solution is to have you render 2-4 times the normal size (humungo render times) and then shrink the image down. That is not a solution! If Nicholas can get his Renderman plug-in tip top it sure would fix most of Hash's many rendering issues.

Pablo
01-20-2003, 05:18 PM
Hi guys, the pic of noOne above is done because I have done this pic, then in the german A:M forum we talked about it and then some other users have done some stuff that looks alitle bit like my pic. It was rendered in this resolution, so I don't see a antialiasing problem, the hole pic was done in ca 10to15 minutes began with the idea.
http://server2.hostpoint.ch/%7Enovamvia/pablotest/reflectivity0.jpg
cheers

Wegg
01-20-2003, 05:36 PM
[B]It was rendered in this resolution, so I don't see a antialiasing problem, the hole pic was done in ca 10to15 minutes began with the idea.

Well if you can't see it. . . then. . . good luck to you my friend. But I see jaggies all over the place. And if you were to move the camera in a slow pan. . . each of those jaggies would creap and crawl and shimmer and pop and wiggle and jiggle etc. etc.

Pablo
01-20-2003, 05:41 PM
Hi, yes you are right, but not so bad antialiasing lik noOnes pic, a question to weggington, you work also with hash products, or not anymore? so you like the product you're working with not?

balistic
01-20-2003, 05:44 PM
One of your reflected chrome spheres is missing its reflections . . . look at the middle reflected sphere. You probably need to set reflection levels higher.

JoeCosman
01-20-2003, 05:48 PM
This thread was opened for opinions on everything related to Hash inc. Except, of course, their lingerie preferences :-)

I dont think of this discussion as a waste of time. In fact, it will do the opposite to those with open ears and minds, and I'm not referring particularly to those using or were using A:M

Even though it looks like a big flame war, Answers to many questions can be distilled from it, be you a developer, or an end user.

The features we asked for weren't large ones. I figured since we know what we're doing, and we know how the software works, You'd think That what we'd asked for would be necessary and helpful, and actually improve the product. it is, after all, the A:M user's images that complete the sale online and at trade shows.

Anti-aliasing is not a peice of voodoo code. Neither is Radiosity, or Subdivision Surfaces, or UV-mapping, or any other features you can find in a programming student's Graduate Thesis.

This code is practically free to hash, either online, or through colleagues. people have literally been offering Martin Hash their programming experience. Does it fall on deaf ears? who knows?
only by examining the track record can we find out if it worked in the past.

Oh, to have such a smorgasboard of data and assistance to build your work on, instead of inventing everything, all the time...

We have open discussions on the Messiah:Studio list all the time. Some people whine and complain, some defend, many sit back and tap the delete key. But in this industry(and you all know it) negative critisizm is still productive. Surrounding yourself with Yes-men and excluding everyone else will not make the end product better.

Knowing what people *dont* like is just as important.

if you thought Hash was a small company, take a look at PMG. The programmers frequent the list and join in the skirmishes just as much as anyone else. They built the software around the artists, literally. and while they can't get all of the features implemented, they do have a good idea on what goes first.

it really helps to have artists in your team when you make these tools.

Monkeyfarm
01-20-2003, 06:27 PM
I've used Hash's product since Playmation in 1992. I stuck by them, like other's have mentioned they did. I wrote plug-in's and accessory applications back in 1995 (anyone remember the flocking system?). As others mentioned, after all of that, you'd expect a little gratitude and an acceptance as someone who may have "earned" a level of respect from the company.

Not so.

The same month I got second place in their image contest, Steve booted me from the list for trying to figure out a work around to the "GI" sky-dome setup that was causing crashes and other issues.

The interesting thing here is that I actually knew Steve personally. I'd drank beers with him at Siggraph years gone by. I knew Martin et all. In short, there was some semblance of a relationship there that was more than just company/consumer. I don't mind saying there was more than a little feeling of betrayal.

On one hand it's re-assuring to see that they are treating others as bad as they treated me, and in some cases worse. Misery loves company :hmm:.

As other's have mentioned, if you're interested in a 3D'ish tool for primarily still image production, or perhaps another 3D modeler for your tool box, I HIGHLY recommend you look at ZBrush (www.pixologic.com). Very nice software (a bit "odd" to learn but it's worth the effort), very nice people, and an open forum to help you on your way.

There are good tools for free, there are tools from companies that seem to care a bit more that you can spend your money on, etc.

One day either Adam Smith or Karma will balance the scales and Hash will have to pay the piper.

My Fault
01-20-2003, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by Monkeyfarm
One day either Adam Smith or Karma will balance the scales and Hash will have to pay the piper.

Haha, the Adam Smith comment had me spewing milk out of my nose! :p

jaymackey
01-20-2003, 07:32 PM
Hubris: "overweening pride"

It's funny to me that Martin Hash has a rant about the hubris of Microsoft and most of its employees. I have no doubt that it's Martin's hubris that is driving some of the bone-head decisions that make A:M the second rate application that it is. I make the statement that A:M is second-rate because as soon as anyone gets something decent done with it, and attracts attention, they either go to work for someone using a first-rate application, or if they own their own studio, they start using a first-rate application in order to improve their productivity. If A:M were first-rate, the switches from A:M to something else would not be taking place, or would occur much less often. (I have no doubt that certain areas of A:M are first-rate, but to be considered to be first-rate, you have to win in enough areas, stability being one of these, that you are 'over-all' better than all or most of the other choices.)

The fact that Ken Baer, A:M MacOS programmer, thinks A:M will be the only thing standing in a year or two is the very definition of hubris. Maya's owners could go out of business today, and the application would continue to be used and expanded by third-party developers to the extent that A:M would never catch up with it. A|W and the other companies may have to layoff their research scientists, program testers, marketing whizzes, VP's of Technology, etc. but they'll survive, IMO. And of course, a completely unexpected app could come up and take the lead from everyone. The time of admiring certain aspects of A:M as being both an advantage over other apps and unique in the industry is coming to an end. There are too many offsetting advantages in other apps, and A:M's advantages are being nullified by new additions to the other apps, while A:M's feature list is full of half-baked features that do not quite function at more than a minimal level of functionality. Three or four years ago, A:M was very attractive, overall, in comparison to Lightwave or Max, for example, but this just isn't true anymore! Especially if you need a dedicated system to run A:M! (How many times have we heard that A:M is a thoroughbred application that needs a clean OS and good hardware? How many times have we heard that A:M is the animation application for the one-man animation studio? I have come to the conclusion that these two statements can only be true if the one-man studio has a high-end system dedicated to running ONLY A:M and nothing else, it would sill be debateable even then.)

It is weird that you get this attitude from Martin and the Hash programmers that A:M will someday rule the 3D application marketplace, while at the same time, they are obviously not attempting to produce a tool for high-end use. Hash's marketing strategy, at least in the near term, seems to be to ignore the relatively few high-end users, and just focus on the pure amateurs -- what some have called the Poser crowd.

Some people think Hash must be stupid, insane, or extremely short-sighted for their apparent marketing stategy, or even for ignoring the wishes of the larger amateur segment of their user-base that is clamoring for more stability, and more meat in the existing features, rather than another orgy of additional half-baked features. We could talk about cloth, dynamics, flocking, etc., but why not go back up the list to DOF, basic import/export, or some of the other basic things that the Hash programmers never really completed. They rush to add the next new feature, so that they can claim to have 'cloth dynamics', 'hair', or 'deformation cages', and they never take the time to COMPLETE or improve the features they claim to have. Depth of field is a feature that's been around for a while, and it's minimally useful in A:M, IMO. For certain shots, it will work out OK, but never the shot that YOU want to do! You can do a tie or a pony tail with the cloth/spring system capabilities of A:M, assuming you are using one of the more stable versions, but you would never want to try to make extensive use of it.

But I don't believe that Hash's actions, and apparent marketing strategy are 'stupid'. Marketing-wise, you might say that they are doing something that will return them a very nice profit year after year, regardless of what the mainstream animation market is like. There will always be fresh meat willing to plunk down a few hundred dollars for the promise of creating their dreams and visions, to rephrase P. T. Barnum's famous maxim.

However, following this marketing strategy, and at the same time, expressing opinions such as those of Martin's and Ken Baer's, that A:M will rule the 3D application marketplace is either indicative of stupidity or something else. Rather than simple stupidity, I believe it is sheer hubris. Hubris is capable of making highly intelligent individuals do or say incredibly stupid things. Martin and his crew are so enamored of his patch technology and the A:M application in general, that they refuse to consider alternatives. They are blind to paths they could have taken long ago that would have made A:M a much better application today. Why is it that Zpider has to single-handedly create so many plug-ins to do what I consider to be essential to advanced modeling in A:M? Same thing for Arthur Waselek's work. Why does a third-party need to create a plug-in that does something as basic as .obj import/export? How in the world can Hash make statements about ruling the 3D world, when things as basic as Depth of Field rendering, motion blur, and UV coordinates are so poorly or incompletely implemented, or not implemented at all?

I'm not saying that patch technology isn't great. It has lots of benefits. I'm not saying that A:M doesn't have the potential to be truly great. It does. But there seems to be a fundamental schism between what Martin and the programmers think of A:M's future, and how it is actually being developed and marketed. I know that Hash and his programmers are highly intelligent people. Therefore I have concluded that the only reason for this schism is either a cynical promotion of A:M as a high-end tool with the intent to make as much money as possible off of beginners and amateurs, OR it is pure hubris: they believe that even with all of the warts, half-implemented 'features', and shortcomings of A:M, it truly will be the eventual winner in the 3D application marketplace.

Anyway, I obviously disagree in part with Arthur and some of the other A:M supporters. I think many of the things they say are absolutely true, but that doesn't mean that the various A:M detractors are absolutely wrong. There is more than one side to these issues, and many of these complaints are from the perspective of professional users needing to generate output on a realistic schedule, not amateurs attempting to create a short in their spare time. The same difference in perspective is true with Steve S. and the A:M support staff. They may be great people if you meet and interact with them in person. But it is a fact that Steve can be extremely petty and assinine in his actions on the list and in his email correspondence. Sorry, Steve, but it is quite obvious to many people. It doesn't help when he insists on all bugs being reported to him, and acting like there are no stability issues with the software in his list and email communications.

My own experience with Steve has completely turned me off to A:M. I reported an interface bug recently. It appears to be a possible corruption of the memory structure that is used in the display of the project tree, and the result is that the project tree display is corrupted, and it becomes impossible to select certain item in the tree. On my system this comes up fairly often, and the only way to get rid of it is to quit A:M and restart. I have gotten this error in 9.51b repeatedly, and along with all the other problems, I set A:M aside for awhile. I have only just installed 9.51e, so I've not encountered this particular bug yet in it, but there is no mention of it being fixed in any of the 9.51 or v10 bug-fix lists, that I can see. When I reported it to Steve, he requested a file or else repeatable steps to reproduce the bug, and gave no indication that he had reported the bug to the programmers. Unfortunately, this is not a bug that affects or can be captured in a file. It occurs too randomly for me to figure out how to reproduce it, and any programmer knows that there is a large class of possible bugs that are not reproduceable by user-initiated steps. (How does a user exactly reproduce the interaction of various programs, hardware drivers, and associated .dlls?)

Jay

jaymackey
01-20-2003, 08:02 PM
It is just amazing to me that A:M doesn't have this natively by now. Arthur Wasalek has given A:M the capability to import/export quad-based models, but you still need to do decaling in A:M to be able to round-trip a model to Deep Paint or ZBrush for texturing, if I am not mistaken. Please correct me if I am! Anyway, at least an A:M model can now be textured outside of the application in ZB or DP.

What is bad for Hash is that past and current A:M output could be generally so much better if users had had access to this capability in the past. When will Hash realize that better interoperability with complementary software such as DP and ZB will vastly improve the perceived capability and quaility of A:M as users create and show off better output??

Sure, it was always possible to create a beautifully textured model in A:M, with a lot of hard work, and it was arguably easier to do this in A:M than in some of the other packages, once upon a time. Now other apps like Maya have their own powerful tools, and applications like DP or ZB make it so easy to create a texture for an .obj model. Arthur's new plug-in makes it possible to get this textured model back into A:M, at least until the next version of A:M is released.

But my point is that I don't think this would ever have happened without Arthur or some other user stepping up to the plate. Hash apparently has no desire to do these 'little' things that everyone else in the 3D world takes for granted.

Jay

Wegg
01-20-2003, 08:09 PM
This is in Lightwave. Took 2 minute 24 seconds to render with 16 levels of reflection on a pretty old Dual 1.1 gighz Athlon. . .
http://www.3d-geeks.com/Wegg/Reflectionb.jpg
Can you spot the difference? ;-)

Raji
01-20-2003, 08:11 PM
OH YEAHHHHH

Go Billy Go Billy

/me dances around cheering

:bounce: :buttrock: :thumbsup: :D

balistic
01-20-2003, 08:24 PM
I fixed your pic wegg:

http://www.bprince.com/Reflectionc.jpg

My Fault
01-20-2003, 08:26 PM
Bwahaha, genius Balistic!

:applause: :applause: :applause:

Raji
01-20-2003, 08:29 PM
same reply as Wegg, except replace Billy with Brian

:bounce: :scream:

JoeCosman
01-20-2003, 08:31 PM
http://www.3d-geeks.com/JoeCosman/makefunofbrian.jpg

fixed yours, Brian.

:p

Raji
01-20-2003, 08:33 PM
Joe/Wegg,

so i don't see it... what's wrong with the last 2 renders you guys did?... :shrug: anti-aliasing problem maybe?










:D:D :D :D :D :D :D

JoeCosman
01-20-2003, 08:38 PM
notice how the antialiasing problem goes away once you add noisy lights...

no0ne
01-20-2003, 08:41 PM
well, i guess (; it's time to tell ya
that anti-alias has been turned OFF on my render
since it's just one frame of a test-anim
me did last weekend

will fix this (; promised

Wegg
01-20-2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by no0ne
well, i guess (; it's time to tell ya
that anti-alias has been turned OFF on my render
since it's just one frame of a test-anim
me did last weekend

will fix this (; promised

OOooo Turn it on and clock how long it takes. Put the reflections up to 16. Better kiss your puter good-by for a good 3 hours. . .

giantkiller
01-20-2003, 09:14 PM
Appreciate the comments that some of your gave to help me on my 3D program search. I went to the RealSoft website and checked it out. It seems to be a very powerful program but didn't see much in documentation though but I'm definately still concidering it.
All you Lightwavers out there seem to just love Lightwave! Tell me just what it is that you like about it? A serious question. I'm concidering it too, I really like the support and documentation that they supply. They have a really good deal thats apparently been held over from the holidays. $1,595 for the program and $1,400 worth of training materials free.
If I get it I've been advised to get Messiah also to help the character animation aspects. Whadda think?

davef
01-20-2003, 09:15 PM
I started looking for other software to model and animate in long before hash's inquisition, why? because I came to terms with the fact that AM and hash were not going to fix all the small problems that add up to very big problems. All the new folks using AM will run into these problem as they get better at AM and start to get into all the features that should work and dont.

I have found with the help from Billy, Joe and Bri Messiah studio and that renderer is 10 times better then AM's and its not even done yet. I also bought ZBrush 1.23 a long time ago and when I was looking for software I gave it a good going over and I think all 3d software should be this way but I had a problem making models in ZB for export for animating was just not an option because of the poly count. The the fine folks the put out ZB released 1.5 and ZSpheres and really listened to there users now I use ZB for all my modeling and texturing because the made it so you have great control over the mesh you make, now there is a company that cares.

I have also been playing with Wings3D and I really like this for a poly/sub-d modeler. I messed with it for one night and alreay know most of what I need to get a projrct on its way, plus it plays well with messiah very well to.

So in short there are lots and lots of apps that can replace AM with ease and some are free like wings and some you can get for up to half off from the email list. (messiah)

Well I have not looked back at AM and I dont thing I will for a long long time if ever. The only thing that might make me look at it again is if I hear that somebody bought hash out and is turning it into the app it should be and all I hear is rave reviews about it.

Dave

PS giantkiller just read your post.
I checked out LW and for the life of me I could not get pasted the interface but thats just me, some people I know love it and say the interface is just fine.

Wegg
01-20-2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by davef

PS giantkiller just read your post.
I checked out LW and for the life of me I could not get pasted the interface but thats just me, some people I know love it and say the interface is just fine.

The LW interface is horrible. Very inconsistant and un-intuative. :-/

Dearmad
01-20-2003, 09:37 PM
It won't take hours- the reflection level won't kill his render time as that isn't even a linear increase with this scene- the recursion of the reflections gets faster and faster as you go with this scene because of it's limited (physical) reflection depth and the shrinking size of the recursed reflections in the only possible surface unlimited reflections can be reached (the sphere and it's reflections in the wall).

What WILL kill his time is the oversampling he'll need to do to match the beautiful AA you've got going on in the lightwave renderer.:drool:

FYI: from 4 to 16 levels of reflection added only about 20 seconds onto my render time. The oversampling KILLED me.

Image attached: 16 levels of reflection, 200% oversampling, AA on, shadows on. Render time(running while I type this): 3:16 AMD 1800+

Now DON'T take this as a defense of Hash's current bullshit OR the AA (which I've often said is PISS POOR! and isn't where it ought to be for this image, certainly)- I'm banned like all the rest, but the renderer, when used well, doesn't have to be the stinking infested tarpit so many make it out to be. Just a tarpit.:shrug:

http://www.applesnake.net/ball.jpg

At any rate I'll be switching apps if I *ever* finish my current project... lightwave is looking better and better, have to try the demo here soon.

meloncully
01-20-2003, 09:45 PM
i have a simple solution to all your hash woes:

switch to wings!! yay.

or just order the lw discovery ed.. or i can upload it to you as i use it and have teh cd for it.


OR, just download maya ple 4.5, houdini apprentice, or xsi experience..

that would be teh easiest thing to do.


doesnt it seem odd that one man can make a better app with less bugs and be more stable in PRE 1 release than a software with who knows how many people are on taht dev team at v10 release.

haha, bjorn...you the man
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :) :) :applause:

John Keates
01-20-2003, 09:52 PM
I have asked the Electric image man about upgrading from AM and this is what he said....

-----------------------------------------
I will give you $400.00 off our price for a competitive upgrade from Animation Master. Your cost will be $895.00 plus shipping and handling.
This price will not come with printed manuals (manuals are in pdf
format on the cd's) but it will include the DUO dongle which will allow you to run
Universe 5 on the Mac or the PC. Printed manuals are available for $59.95
but will add 6 pounds to the shipping costs. Call 888-736-3371 ext
107
(Phil) or 109 (Mike) and make sure you have your serial number from
the AM
program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Pass this
information on and as long as the serial numbers supplied check out,
we will
honor this for your user group.

Best Regards,

Phil Martin
Electric Image, Inc
Sales Team
----------------------------------------------------

Interesting stuff!

What do you guys think, is it worth it?
:p

My Fault
01-20-2003, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by meloncully
doesnt it seem odd that one man can make a better app with less bugs and be more stable in PRE 1 release than a software with who knows how many people are on taht dev team at v10 release.

Oh yeah, because Wings3d has monstrous IK...woops no IK. I mean, check out it's constraint system for rigging...woops, doesn't have that either. Dope sheet...no. As nice as Wings3d is, it is a far cry in complexity from an app like AM, so no it doesn't seem all that odd when you really think about it.

Now if we could take Wings3d's modelling, AM8.5's interface and animation and 3Delight's renderer...oh mama what an app it would be!

Raji
01-20-2003, 10:05 PM
Wings doesn't claim to be an animation package, but it sure beats the crap out of AM's modeler... both in stability and useability. Patches in my opinion are a thing of the past. And a *free* and *good* modeler is still better than 300 bucks of a half-working program...

As for animation, Messiah is FAR superior to AM. Much easier to work with. Oh and Messiah has only ever crashed once or twice on the machines i've gone through at work. Usually the crashes were caused by Lightwave and for a while due to defective hardware. At home i work exclusively with Messiah now, and it hasn't crashed so far. At all...

That beats the snot out of anything AM is capable of saying with respect to stability...

And keep in mind that there are less employees at pmg (makers of messiah) than there are at Hash... less workers, more stability. Hash simply has no excuse...

EROMLIG
01-20-2003, 10:07 PM
Hash's marketing strategies border on hucksterism. I remember the first time I saw Greg Rostrami doing his thing at a local computer show here in L.A. Their approach to sales and his demo was that of the guy selling kitchen gadjets at a home show or some dude in an infomercial. When you think about it there are very few products sold in that fashon that work too well in the long run. The problem was at that time I already owned the software. I sincerely beleive they are interested mainly in selling a lot of units, not in following through with all the things that have been stated by others in previous posts. The fact that some people have spent money on a version of their software that will never work properly, and were not told at the time of their purchase that at the end of that calender year they would have to upgrade to get a working version of the software is pretty effed-up. I think all that stuff the company put out about Hash being the only true software and Martins rants, are laughable and in my opinion sort of pitiful. Martin minutes sometimes read like some of the self serving ravings I've read by Jim Jones toward the end of his run. O.K. that was harsh. But there is a tone of delusion meandering through some of those verses. In the end what matters is if the product works for you the way they said it would. It, in my opinion, does not. This rant has not been checked for spelling or gramatical errors.

My Fault
01-20-2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by Raji
Wings doesn't claim to be an animation package, but it sure beats the crap out of AM's modeler... both in stability and useability. Patches in my opinion are a thing of the past. And a *free* and *good* modeler is still better than 300 bucks of a half-working program...

I never said it did Raji, geez. Meloncully was saying how much more stable Wings3d was then AM and I was pointing out that of course it's more stable, it's a ton less complex. One is just a modeler, the other is an animation package.

meloncully
01-20-2003, 10:12 PM
Wings doesn't claim to be an animation package, but it sure beats the crap out of AM's modeler... both in stability and useability. Patches in my opinion are a thing of the past. And a *free* and *good* modeler is still better than 300 bucks of a half-working program...

yes raji, my same point, and i would rather model with a wonderful FREE app like wings, and animate with a 500$ animation package that could gobble up A:M with its ability to import almost every major apps models out on the market almost flawlessly AND WORK than go out and buy the poo with air freshener that is also known as A:M

Raji
01-20-2003, 10:14 PM
myfault,

don't take offense, i was just pointing that out... i must have misunderstood what you meant i guess.

but you're right, wings isn't nearly as complex and the code was practically ripped from nendo which dissapeared a while ago anyway...

but like i said at the end of my post, pmg has done a phenomenal job at making sure that basic functionality is there for any project *and* stability has never really been an issue... all that *despite* it being a team of 3 people...

that comparison alone goes to show that Hash is not putting enough effort into making their software what their users want it to be: _more stable_

jaymackey
01-20-2003, 10:17 PM
I own LW 5, which is pre-Messiah.

I'm a little confused by the references to LW and Messiah, since I have not been paying any attention to LW for a couple of years. Could someone explain the relationship between the two? I believe Messiah was created by ex-NewTek employees. I don't know how the two are used together.

What do you guys at Eggington use?

Thank you,

Jay

Pablo
01-20-2003, 10:18 PM
I'm working with the newest version of animation master and I don't have a problem, no crash since weeks and I'm modeling and animating alot

dragonfollower
01-20-2003, 10:20 PM
Wow, this thread has been...informative...to say the least.

I've been doing character animation with Hash AM since Fall '98. Actually I have to give it credit as the App that I LEARNED character animation on. It's been great for this, but the other areas leave much to be desired. I haven't had as many problems with crashes. I use AM '99 and it seems to be pretty stable on my system (except for when I'm stitching patches and various other things). But the thing that's driven me nuts is the freakin' creases that you just can't seem to get rid of!!! Well, that was the first of many things anyway. I upgraded to 9.5 last year and found the upgrade to be extremely buggy and frustrating.

However, since then I've begun teaching myself Lightwave. Although I feel like I'm learning 3D all over again, I'm impressed. First off, the quality of my models is SO much better. NO CREASES! NO CREASES! YEAAHHH!!! With subdivision surfaces I'm able to get characters that look much more like my concept drawings.

Rendering is MUCH faster and looks better too.

The only problem I'm having with Lightwave is the one problem I wasn't having with AM: Character Animation.

Lightwave doesn't seem to be as friendly in the character animation dept. I guess I'm going to need to buy either Keytrak and ACS4 or Messiah. Probably Messiah. Can anyone tell me what their experience with it has been like? Good? Bad? The thing I like about AM is that it's a simple interface that gets out of your way so you can animate. The dope sheet is a nice feature too (I'm not too partial to graph editors). Does Messiah have any of this going for it?

Also, just wanted to add that I'm a big fan of the work you Eggington guys are putting out! Brian's procedural landscapes rock! And Joe I love your dino models you made in AM! Do you still have a website up? It's nice to know there's some guys here in Utah doing stuff like this. Gives me hope (sniff, sniff)

:rolleyes:

-bRiAn

GCharb
01-20-2003, 10:21 PM
Hello again!

Just a quick reply to some of the things you people said.

The refresh problem, I reported the bug to Dan (pc programmer at Hash) directly in v10, he told me that the bug existed in previous versions of AM, he told me that it was going to be fixed in next version of AM (10a) but it was not fixed, it was not in 10b either.

As for lightwave, I have seen it at 995$ but without the 1400$ of learning materials. That is about twice the price of AM 3 license version. Not bad for one of the best 3D application out there and one that defiantly outshines AM in many areas.

My two cents.

My Fault
01-20-2003, 10:22 PM
No offense taken Raji, just wanted to make sure my point got across. I blame any of my testiness on lack of caffeine ;)

Believe me when I say I understand complaints against Hash's stability, though my favorite version of AM (8.5p+) is usually rock solid.

The app I am using now, Lightwave, has never so much as hicupped on me. Great app, great community, weird ui :p

Dearmad
01-20-2003, 10:24 PM
If you're in school you can grab it for all of $395 or so at creation engine.

VERY tempting....

jaymackey
01-20-2003, 10:43 PM
My Fault, I thought you had a good point. It is true that A:M is a very complex piece of software, as is any software that tries to do everything on the A:M feature list. (It could be a whole lot more complex and still not adequately perform all of the features on its list!)

However, I also see Melloncully's point. I mostly create still art, not animations. ZBrush is my current app for that. In A:M, to do this, I am basically creating models, texturing them in some fashion, posing them in a choreography or scene, and then rendering. I'm not using all of the animation stuff you mentioned. Yet I am still having almost all of the stability problems that anyone else has had. In this sense, you can compare just the modeling in A:M to modeling in Wings, and it is at least a bit valid to wonder why Hash can't get the basics right.

Granted, there even if I don't use the animation capabilities, there may well be a great deal of added complexity in the modeling side of A:M due to the fact that it also needs to do animation. We really can't make the judgement either way unless we could compare the code and lots of other factors.

We could make the same comparison between ZBrush and A:M. ZB is at version 1.55 almost, and A:M is at v10. ZB has lots of modelling and rendering goodness, and let's me create what I have in mind. A:M flat-out did not. In fact, it held me back. I was not one of those who was able to persevere through the crashes. Many A:M users talk about the loss of creative will after enduring multiple crashes. (Just NOT on the A:M list, for more than one post ,anyway.) ZB has crashed on me. I've lost work when it did. You can go to the official ZB forum and commiserate with fellow ZBrushers without being kicked off and verbally abused by the moderator. But it is a whole different animal to crash once in ZB and be able to continue on, and crash repeatedly in A:M and have your project corrupted in the end. In my case, I retreat to drawing with pencil and paper for a while, then looking for some other application. ZBrush is ideal for now. I'm looking for something else for animation, and I doubt it will be A:M v11 (or AM v11.2q for that matter).

Jay

HellBorn
01-20-2003, 10:51 PM
Arghh…
I can’t take any more of this &%¤#¤%¤#”
I haven’t checked the AM list for long when I stumbled on the post that brought us here.

After that I started to read again to se if something interesting should happen on the list but now I will stop to read it as everything is back to normal.

Someone asked for the most stable 9.5 version and he got the usuall ‘there is no problem with stability it’s your computer setup’….a little snippet from the list..

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animation:Master and all programs like it that are computationally intensive
(Lightwave, Maya, and all the rest) can not be compared to regular word
processing and photo processing programs. They are different animals. Just
because you have no problems running a photo program, doesn't mean your
system is streamlined to run a more demanding CG animation program. Get to
work and make your system stable.
----------------------------------------------------------

I feel sorry for people on that list…

I now very little about the Mac but on Windows..yes, the power user could get some more power with optimized settings but the impact on stability Is something I would question..

When AM goes down it’s not when your doing the render or rotates the model or any other computer intensive tasks, it’s usually when I click a menu item, unfolds a property dropdown, press a shortcut key or the arrow keys, loads a model, material, choreography or whatever. And this is interface problems and application logic problems not system problems.

So now this poor guy is probably recommended to reinstall the computer or something……

I have probably about 100 applications on my computer. About witch 20 are 3D oriented in some way. Some of those 3D applications are even Freeware, Open Source or none financed or cost a couple of dollars. Not a single one of those 100 crashes more than maybe at an average of once per 100hours of use.


On my computer there is also ONE application that crashes on a regular basis.

That’s Animation Master*.

I must say that I was tempted to replay to this stupid post but..I have done it before and it’s no use. Instead I keep an eye on the Animation Master forum at Renderosity so that not any crap information manages to find the way to that list unanswered.

As most people here I really like animation master. If it could handle polygon models just as AM models, get the creasing fixed, a better render and stability. What a killer application it would be.

Now days I mostly model in Wings or Metasequoia and render in Vue . That’s god for still images but I’m looking for an application for bone setup and animation.

The Wings developer have some plans for bones and animation in v2. That together with integration with PRMAN compatible render engines could do it for me. Only problem with that is that it’s probably will take a year or two. ;)

Any suggestions for what I could use untill then. I really hate the blender interface so I try to avoid that one, Cinema or Truespace could maybe be an option if it's possible to reverse the mouse when rotating. Truespace bones does however feel very jerky to setup and use. I'm just a hobbyist and probably want to keep it as that so the budget would be limited. Max around $600 as costom and taxes have to be added.


HellBorn

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Except for the 8.5p++ version that almost can compare to some of the Freeware applications in stability.

Raji
01-20-2003, 10:54 PM
jaymackey,

at eggington, we have switched primarily to Messiah for character animation. We still use Lightwave for our scenes. Our modeler (SGT. Squeaks) does his thing in Wings and exports his stuff to Lightwave. All of our character animation/rigging is done in Messiah. Joe told me he used to do the modeling in Lightwave before we got into Wings. In the end, after the characters are animated, everything goes back to Lightwave for rendering.

This should answer your other question about the relation between the two. Messiah: Animate (if you think of it, it's the opposite of A:M........... :D ) is really only half a program. It's great for rigging and animating, but there's nothing as far as lighting, texturing, rendering, UV mapping, etc. That's what Messiah: Studio is supposed to be. We might switch to that when it becomes decent, but until then, it's gonna be lightwave for everything other than character animation and rigging.



dragonfollower,

Lightwave doesn't seem to be as friendly in the character animation dept. I guess I'm going to need to buy either Keytrak and ACS4 or Messiah. Probably Messiah. Can anyone tell me what their experience with it has been like? Good? Bad? The thing I like about AM is that it's a simple interface that gets out of your way so you can animate. The dope sheet is a nice feature too (I'm not too partial to graph editors). Does Messiah have any of this going for it?

my experience with Messiah may be a bit distorted from the truth... the reason is because i don't go as far in depth as Joe does, so he will be able to tell you much more about the intricacies of the program. But as an animator, i have grown to love it. Very stable if you use it alone. And I mean _very_ stable. It does have some issues with high end cards like the Wildcats and some of the ATI cards, but on my GeForce 4 Ti 4600 at home, it works flawlessly. Even with our complex scenes at work, Joe's GeForce 3 can handle just about anything you chuck at it. It's very fast like some have already said in this thread.

As for the interface, well it's sort of based on Lightwave, and I hate their interface... Messiah's interface is easy enough to follow and get up to speed with, so if you want to compare AM to messiah, then messiah is again, far ahead of AM in terms of interface... at least in my opinion. It's just that every now and then Messiah's interface can be Lightwave-confusing. hehe

Hope this helps you guys. And if it doesn't, you have my permission to bug the crap outta Joe.

:wavey: :D

HellBorn
01-20-2003, 11:08 PM
Just took a look at Realsoft.
It's priced in Euro witch probably means that it's sold from inside Europe. Does anybody know where they are based.
If it's inside Europe I for once wont have to pay costom and tax when buying.

I will download the demo and take it for a ride.

Suppose I don't have to mention that you can download the manual........ahh a manual, rare in some applications they are...

HellBorn

Hookflash
01-20-2003, 11:15 PM
Hellborn: Yeah, Realsoft is in Europe (Finland, I believe), which means the rest of us *will* have to pay duty & tax;) Bah... Sometimes I wish us humans could just do away with these silly "border" things. Global government all the way, baby!

HellBorn
01-20-2003, 11:31 PM
Well if we can't get rid of the borders then at least getting rid of the damn reseller system we have in Europe would be a half victory.

I don't understand it. The European common market should guarantie a free market. So how the heck can the resellers still exist. I cant buy from where I get the best price. I have to go trough my reseller that adds 20% to the price.

Is long as they remain I will vote NO!! to everything that has to do with the European common market.

Ehhh.. think I went of a bit from the subject of this tread.... ;)

HellBorn

SovereignKnight
01-21-2003, 12:06 AM
I bought Animation:Master on the advice of a friend when I told him what I wanted to accomplish. I found it to be an excellent app for the money, albeit kinda crashy. I subscribed to the group for awhile, but I never gleamed much information dealing with my particular needs, and wading through 100 e-mails a day was getting laborious after a bit. Finally I quit the group, and went about working with A:M on my own. Soon after that, I upgraded to Windows XP. Well, end of story. A:M (whatever version it was called, the one with the cat on the front) won't work with XP. I was bummed.

I recently considered upgrading to the newest version. After reading some of the posts I've seen here, I think perhaps my money would best be spent elsewhere.

SK

walasek
01-21-2003, 12:11 AM
Jay Mackey wrote:
It is just amazing to me that A:M doesn't have this natively by now. Arthur Wasalek has given A:M the capability to import/export quad-based models, but you still need to do decaling in A:M to be able to round-trip a model to Deep Paint or ZBrush for texturing, if I am not mistaken. Please correct me if I am! Anyway, at least an A:M model can now be textured outside of the application in ZB or DP.

You do not need to do decalling in AM, you just need to create UV coords before bringing it into DeepPaint or ZBrush. What I do now is export from AM (as OBJ), run UVMapper or LithUnwrap to create UV coords, paint in DeepPaint, and import back into AM. (In DeepPaint I do not save the model because it saves it as tris which really make bad splines - I just save the new maps).

That way seems to work...

I'm actually considering being able to select a group of faces in AM, export that out as OBJ, get the new UV coords, and (instead of importing), apply the new maps with UV's to the existing AM model. I think this would work, and you would get to keep your existing model (no importing of verticies/faces/normals).

P.s. I'm not (per-se) an AM backer, I just can understand why they don't want a discussion like this on their list....

johnathan
01-21-2003, 01:53 AM
while i agree that there are some tallented individuals who are busting their butt to provide basic functionality at a:m, i'm not sure that this is such a handicap in the current situation.

the basic business model here seems to be that once someone gets far enough along with a good plugin, hash throws them some money to finish it up.

just look at how the hash folks have embraced the arctic pigs plugin. i doubt they could have developed it themselves, but once it was able to do some tricks, they got behind it and threw some money at the programmer and started a media blitz.

the irony is, of course that it only works with the last moderately stable a:m version. 8.5p+

as for the repressive nature of the animaster list, i used to welcome the smackdown of non-helpful posters. but now i see it a little differently: they have to earn the right to squash complaints by producing a rock-solid program, until then, they should take their lumps.

-jon

Commiekeebler
01-21-2003, 02:03 AM
Here's a rhetoric question... to all of you experienced AM users.

Have you used any other application on any operating system, on any computer, that crashes more often than AM?

I've been with AM since 99 I think... man. I just want to say that I haven't. Nothing comes even close.

Animation Master is a league of its own...

Natess44
01-21-2003, 02:15 AM
I have read through the replies about the Hash's bussiness policies and program stability and I have one question to ask, How is this helping anyone. Hash doesn't care as much as they should and we can only hope that they will soon but until then we can't do anything about it other than make them aware of what we as users want them to add or things to make A:M better.

So why don't those that have the resorces to make a poll, make one. Make a poll that addresses the issues that the majority of A:M users find when working with A:M and I'm even sure that someone will post it on the list for you if your not on it anymore. This might get Hash thinking if enough people are backing it.

Dearmad
01-21-2003, 02:28 AM
But I think some of the consensus is fatigue over being treated indecently by the people at Hash when we *do* (as I have done) contact them through "proper channels" in order to report a bug, etc...

I think I knew this awhile ago, as I stopped upgrading with 8.5p and had it in the back of my mind to switch packages eventually here.

Until I hear and see definitive evidence AM has taken a quantum leap forward, no more $$ to Martin. They need to get to work.:wip:

vnavone
01-21-2003, 03:20 AM
I use A:M. I love A:M. It's not perfect but what 3D software is? Version 10 is getting very stable and the guys at Hash have always been receptive to my feature requests and bug reports when submitted via the proper channels.

The recent blood-letting on the email list is because of people who ignored the explicite rules they agreed to when subscribing. The list is not the place for bug reports, feature requests or bitching in general. Take that stuff to a public forum. The Animation: Master list is NOT a public forum. It is a service provided and maintained by Hash and they have every right to moderate its traffic as they see fit. They make the rules clear. People are given warning before being banned. This sort of shit-storm happens about once every 18 months, then it blows over and everybody forgets about it and gets back to work.

There are still plenty of big brains left on the list, such as the guys from Anzovin Studios and the Eggington Productions, but you only here from them when they have something useful to say. Would that other list members displayed the same discrimination.

gnarlycranium
01-21-2003, 03:25 AM
What the heck is the point of a forum for a program if nobody mentions bugs, problems, and feature requests? Isn't that a good way for the company to keep in touch with the users? Otherwise the place just turns into a sterilized, useless, lifeless parody of itself. If that's what they want, something's wrong in the first place.

Commiekeebler
01-21-2003, 03:35 AM
Victor, your information is not entirely correct. Wegg, a.k.a. William Eggington, for example, is "listening" to the list, but can't talk to it. Steve has squelched him for conjuring one "shitstorm" too many.

As to making polls and such, that'll never work. The creator of such a poll would be biased one way or the other, and the result of it would be skewered. Not skewed, skewered. Don't believe statistics you haven't forged yourself.

I feel, that at this point, the only real way of making Hash pay attention to its customers again - to make them reevaluate their position - would be through massive amounts of negative publicity via word of mouth, because word-of-mouth is the way they advertise.

As long as the company stays profitable, they won't care to listen to existing customers, because they will lure more newbies at the next Siggraph. From that, it follows, that hurting their profits is one way to help make Hash Animation Master a better product. If the existing customers will start a fuss big enough to hurt SALES then Hash might wake up and be a cool company once again by focusing on stability and polishing the existant non-existant features. Like dynamics. I mean... you know what I mean.

So, I'm just doing what I can to make the world a better place. In my own screwed up way (but hey, THEY started it!)...

GCharb
01-21-2003, 03:46 AM
Hello Victor!

Great to hear from you and since I started this on the list I thought I should reply to your post!

You are right when you say that the list belong to Hash, I said so myself in my post to the list.

You are also right about AM v10 being more stable the some of the previous versions.

You are a great animator and I respect you for that, but, you may have a good relationship with Hash peoples, but for most peoples it is not so. Hash is very particular on who they respond or not, the fact that they respond well to your request is mainly due to the fact that they gain much by your work as they started to listen and finally respond to mine after I started making some good tutorials for them. But for the regular users there is no communication.

As for the brains on the list, well, it is true that there are still some of them on it, but, last I heard, Anzovin studio started to use Lightwave as a render engine, importing animations made with AM and Eggignton stopped using AM quite a bit ago. Rumors have it that even Momentum is leaning toward Maya. If you look at the number of great artists that used to be on that list, you will see that very few remains, actually, very few still uses AM anymore!

Again, I am not saying that AM is not a good 3D application. My main beef is the time I spent learning it, the amount of time I was told that things would be fixed and finally, many years later, I find myself relearning 3D and buying other software because AM just cannot cope with the reality of today’s 3D world. All the peoples out there, who will spend a year, two or even three years learning AM hoping to become more then hobbyist will get cheated, because most of them will end up giving up 3D.

Hookflash
01-21-2003, 04:28 AM
Originally posted by vnavone
There are still plenty of big brains left on the list, such as the guys from Anzovin Studios and the Eggington Productions, but you only here from them when they have something useful to say. Would that other list members displayed the same discrimination.

Yes, if only the A:M users would just conform and tip-toe around the mailing list so that Hash fanatics like Victor (part of a minority, btw) could read the list without getting traumatized. You guys are always going on about how Hash is soooo kind to provide us with this special "service", and we shouldn't say anything to upset them. Well, guess who pays for that service? The same users who were booted from the list, that's who. Hash has no respect for the established A:M community, so I have no respect for Hash.

Natess44
01-21-2003, 04:30 AM
Slandering Hash isn't going to make them change. It'll just hurt their bussiness and might even force them to be cheaper with programming. It'll just make things worse.

Commiekeebler
01-21-2003, 04:55 AM
Okay, first of all, there is no slander on this thread, as far as I know.

Slander is a tort (a 'civil crime') because it is a lie. The absolute defense against a slander action is the truth. If you say the truth, and nothing but the truth, God doesn't need to help you. You're all set.

There is no slander in truth.

And the truth is, AM has crashed on me more than all other software I've ever used, put together. If that hurts the sales for Hash Inc, I don't care.

If that makes them think and start to act upon that, I'll be happy.

If that makes an amateur realize he's getting a short end of the deal, and it makes him think, and in the end, he doesn't fall for the con that has become the motto of Hash Inc., I'll be okay with that.

"The software that even an artist can afford" has long since become the software only an amateur can afford to play with. Serious people move on to serious software, they hardly have the time for this.

P.S. Victor, I have a lot of respect for you and your work. A lot of us do. What you managed to do with AM is amazing. You've worked with AM, and you've worked against it to fulfill your American dream. And I hold a lot of respect for that.You are an inspiration to us all. You work at Pixar now. But you don't use AM at work, and there is a reason for that. And that, really, is my point.

Drakkheim
01-21-2003, 04:55 AM
What other application has had to have a user write a program like PRJSaver just because the software has a horribly nasy habit of crashing and occasionally corrupting your project? I can think of only one....

(PRJSaver saves a new numbered copy of your file every time you tap the save button, very handy I use it for everything now)

I've been reading this thread while modeling and AM just crashed while importing a texture....4 times in a row.

Good thing I got my xmas bonus last week.. Just ordered lightwave.

Now If you'll excuse me I've got some uninstalling to do.

-Drakk

My Fault
01-21-2003, 05:05 AM
Originally posted by Hookflash
Yes, if only the A:M users would just conform and tip-toe around the mailing list so that Hash fanatics like Victor (part of a minority, btw) could read the list without getting traumatized. You guys are always going on about how Hash is soooo kind to provide us with this special "service", and we shouldn't say anything to upset them. Well, guess who pays for that service? The same users who were booted from the list, that's who. Hash has no respect for the established A:M community, so I have no respect for Hash.

When you signed up to the Hash list you entered in to an agreement. The only people who get booted from the list are those that violate that agreement. You did not pay to join the list you paid to use the software. It has nothing to do with conforming and everything to do with living up to what you agreed to. No offense but if you can't live up to your part of the bargain, what does that make you?

That being said, I think their should be a place that AM users can go for bugs and new features that is outside of the standard list. I still think that place should be here on CG-Talk.

johnathan
01-21-2003, 05:16 AM
i just upgraded to version 10, and i got the same 'manual' when i upgraded to version 9! it wasn't all that good then, its even less useful now.

the list is about the only real support anyone is ever likely to get with the program! i guess that's another reason that the list should be a complete resouce, and not just hash's marketing tool.

i agree that anyone who bitches on the animaster list should expect to get booted. but i look at it more as civil disobedience. the last desperate act of someone trying to be heard.

anyone not willing to defend their life's work in public might not be so sure of it's worth.

-jon

Lyr
01-21-2003, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by Natess44
Slandering Hash isn't going to make them change. It'll just hurt their bussiness and might even force them to be cheaper with programming. It'll just make things worse.

I don't care if it changes them or not. It would however though be nice to keep other people from buying thier software. They ripped me off. I bought AM99 and that peice of garbage didn't stay open more than 30 some odd minutes. I tried everything tech support told me too, except of course buying a new comp which is just ridiculous. I can't in good consience sit by quietly while somone considers buying AM.

Hookflash
01-21-2003, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by My Fault
When you signed up to the Hash list you entered in to an agreement.

What are you saying? Is their reaction to my violation of the agreement appropriate? Simply terminating my customer service (they won't even respond to my emails now), with a trite nasty email, is ok?

MJV
01-21-2003, 05:38 AM
Try Cinema4D. It is arguably the most stable 3D app ever built, has an easy to use interface, a nice and fast renderer, and Soft IK (which is admitedly slow, but otherwise gets nice result).

They always have a demo of the latest release.

http://www.maxon.net/index_e.html

EnergyMan
01-21-2003, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by walasek
I have ported the code back to AM8.5 so hopefully it will work there. The URL to the new OBJ importer/exporter is http://12.213.91.41/AM/OBJ.hie

I can't test with 8.5 very well, but it seems to work. If you find problems with it, let me know and I will see what I can do about testing it further. Same things as the 9.5 and 10.0 version except that this version:
1) Does not have an initial status percent bar (after it tells you how many verticies/etc, then you will see it)
2) Does not shorten the names of exported map files
3) Does not have the Licensing protection

Enjoy...

P.s. I much prefer the new 9.5/10.0 SDK over the old one...

Arthur Walasek
Email: awalasek@attbi.com

Thanks! Although I'm not totally sure it will work with my 8.5, since I stopped at 8.5m (or was it L). I've used the 3ds export and then tried a 3ds to obj converter. Seems to work ok, but no texturing etc... I'll let you know if I have any problems with it. I don't know if I'll get a chance to use A:M any time soon though, but I downloaded it just in case.


Anyhow, I stopped upgrading A:M around the first year they started the subscription thing. I had been using AM since the last month or so of v3, so I was able to get version 4 for a great price, free. Still, that was great of Hash and all, but I've noticed a change in the past few years which didn't really sit well with me.

As time passed, I realised the bugs I wished were gone would go away eventually, but would then be replaced by more bugs because of a different feature list (or the software was re-written) . I wasn't going keep paying every year to get features fixed that were already promised, or even dropped all together in a later patch. Version 10 sounded promising, but it doesn't look like anything has changed. I've been so much happier using and learning LW, 'nowadays'. Even though the animation capabilities aren't as powerful as A:M's, all the other things it can do has really impressed me.

I've been on the list since, oh, probably 93. I think this is where my train stops. Though, it is fun to see what goes on in the list at times.

Man, this almost like a family reunion...
:wavey: even though some of AM's earlier users might not remember me, I was more of a lurker at that time.

MonkeyFarm... Wow, I haven't heard of/from you in years... You're work with the flocking was inspiring, I think I even emailed you something about it. You're other stuff was great as well.

Mando's alien image is still imprinted in my brain for some reason. Velcommeee ..... to haassshhhh, what'd ya think I was gonna do?... heh.

Man, those were the good ol' days, when we all thought things were just gonna sky rocket for A:M.

:wavey: Mike, Ed, egg guys, dfaris, GCCharb, and all others I might have missed in the thread...

-"Manimate"

Cosmics
01-21-2003, 05:58 AM
I just had to say that i've been using AM since V5, it was somewhat crashy then - but it was very easy to avoid the crashes. I currently have V9, but prefer to use V8.0 simply cuz i haven't gotten used to the new interface. As for crashing - i honestly can't remember what the last time was it crashed. And i've used it for up to 15 hours at a time - when i was completing my contest entery for last months image contest (1st place). It works fine on WINXP. I'm not saying that others haven't had trouble, but i am an example where AM is extrememly stable -- as stable as my other programs which i tend to use for extedned periods of time (including Flash, Corel PhotoPaint, Cubase.)

- Vuk

EROMLIG
01-21-2003, 06:15 AM
I think a lot of us, myself included, knew our comments would get us the boot. I was totaly aware of that and included words to that affect in the post. For me it was a parting shot.
I am primarily a modeler so I don't really push every segment of the program. I also, or because of that, never had big concerns with stability. I never went past v 8.5 though.
What did it for me was that unprovoked post by Steve titled "Martins definative reasons why splines are superior" or some such crap.
It was crammed full of disinformation. The modeler included in AM blows like an assistant crack ho. Having now used many other modelers, it is one of the worst I've come across. I'm not going to go through every lack of feature, tool etc.
I just wish I had seen something like this on the list when I first started using AM, It might have sent me looking for alternatives earlier on.
I feel as though I wasted a years time. All the while thinking I was doing something improperly. I said as much in my final post to the list.
In the past I have said that I would buy a copy of AM again if and when they make some of these changes. But really I don't think that will ever happen and no longer care.
Now when I sit down in front of the box, I'm stoked with what I'll acomplish. I used to dread starting up AM, what with all the compromises and work arounds I'd be facing. Not to mention The endless "Finding patches/Aligning normals" eating up my time.
No checks for spelling or syntax errors were used in the writing of this shit.

Alex Rooth
01-21-2003, 06:16 AM
I got my copy of A:M (98 I think it was) largely because of some of the great models in the gallery and on the Hash site. I particularly liked the Tyson head for example. I stopped using the software because a project that I had spent several weeks on crashed and got corrupted. I couldn't get to any of it again. Crashing is one thing but crashing plus corrupted files is another. It takes long enough to learn 3D without having to deal with hassle like that. I did get a helpful response from the employee at Hash but I couldn't fix the problem. After that I moved on to Lightwave and have not looked back. In retrospect I wasted the 200 dollars spent on A:M.

Alex Rooth

JB
01-21-2003, 06:33 AM
I have A:M 9.5, it seems to crash more in XP. Dynamics crash it a lot. I wish I knew the super secret to keeping it crash free :eek:

Lyr
01-21-2003, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by EROMLIG
"Martins definative reasons why splines are superior" or some such crap.
It was crammed full of disinformation.

Lol damn you weren't kidding. Just did a quick search on the list database and found this little gem from that post:

7) Hash patches have no edge faceting.

Since SubDs have to predefine subdivision, it is simple to zoom-in
close enough to see edge faceting.



Have the guys at hash even read one paper on what subdivision SURFACES are?

MCronin
01-21-2003, 07:18 AM
This thread is nuts... I stopped using Hash when version 4 proved completely unstable for me. I can't believe what I've read here.

Here's a quick reccomendation to all you Hash users.

Get someone at Hash Inc. to tell you exactly what components, software, and updates/service packs, you need to create the perfect environment for Hash. Pool your money and build or buy that system and make sure it is up to their spec. Have someone use it and document all the problems. Use that documentation and the maillist/emails from Hash employees as evidence for a class action lawsuit.

Or, just quit using Hash, and make sure to send them a letter stating exactly why you will no longer be using their software.

Personally, I think it would also be very funny if you all starting posting quotes from Hash employee emails or the list. It might not shame them into changing their ways, but at least it'll make for entertaining reading.:)

vnavone
01-21-2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by Gnarly Cranium
What the heck is the point of a forum for a program if nobody mentions bugs, problems, and feature requests?

Like I said, it's NOT a forum. THIS is a forum. The A:M list is for fostering learning of the software and exchanging techniques and ideas, not for debugging the software and ranting. The rules exist to (try to) keep the list productive and focused.

See for yourself. (http://www.hash.com/support/maillist.asp#rules)

There's nothing stopping anyone from discussing stability, feature requests, etc. on other lists.

lildragon
01-21-2003, 08:30 AM
Heya Victor good to see you here, I'll be contacting you in a day or two for that *chair* thing if you know what I mean ;)

Ok guys looks like this topic is really starting to flourish. Would you guys like your own forum here on cgtalk? Where you can carry this on as well as other topics.

I honestly think that the A:M community is to "sheltered" by saying that I mean there's some great work being done that never gets the proper recognition it deserves. And Hash is notorious for not advertising their product :shrug:

salud

faulknermano
01-21-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by vnavone
Like I said, it's NOT a forum. THIS is a forum. The A:M list is for fostering learning of the software and exchanging techniques and ideas, not for debugging the software and ranting. The rules exist to (try to) keep the list productive and focused.

See for yourself. (http://www.hash.com/support/maillist.asp#rules)

There's nothing stopping anyone from discussing stability, feature requests, etc. on other lists.

looks rigidly marine corps-style. mr. hash would faint at the level of freedom of other _official_ company forums (namely that of newtek's).

while the rules may exist to try to keep the list productive and focused, there's the question of whether that's really happening. i'm speaking in general terms here, since i have not been in a:m list, nor do i use a:m (i'm just trolling 'round :wavey: ). me, i just cannot imagine being productive in an environment that _seems_ stifled with rules and threats of being 'excommunicated' if you fail to comply, not only with a rules, but also with judgements of the moderator that interpret that you have broken the rule, and that there is hardly any argument to right yourself within the community.

just reading the posts here, it reminds me of the oppressive days in high school.

i'm not saying the hash doesnt reserve to right to set up a highly discriminating list. what i'm saying is that it does seem like a highly discriminating list, and i feel sorry for him. :cry:

Pablo
01-21-2003, 08:45 AM
Me too was kicked from the list, but now, sorry this thread.. there are always the same answers, can't we stopp now?
I think, you can do with every software good and bad works, every software has good and bad sites, some more other less. But at the end the artist is used to to something good, also with maya you can do very bad work, I think everybody has to use this software that he like, and let the freedom to others to use other programms.

MCronin
01-21-2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by vnavone
Like I said, it's NOT a forum. THIS is a forum. The A:M list is for fostering learning of the software and exchanging techniques and ideas, not for debugging the software and ranting. The rules exist to (try to) keep the list productive and focused.

See for yourself. (http://www.hash.com/support/maillist.asp#rules)

There's nothing stopping anyone from discussing stability, feature requests, etc. on other lists.

That's all well and good but it does say the list is for technical support. Judging by what's being said here, people are getting booted from the list for mentioning crashes, and the extent of Hash's technical support through the mail list is "Joor computah suxorz.! It's not our software. No more mail list for you." For any other company, any other software, you are allowed to talk about stability issues and RFEs on the mail lists without being banned. The company mail lists ARE the proper channel for this discussion, not a public forum or mailist that isn't directly affiliated with the comapny or it's software. It seems to me being allowed to freely discuss software issues on the company's own mail ist would be beneficial to Hash the company, the software, and it's users.

Seriously, check the official mail lists for XSI, Maya or Houdini, check the official company forums. Users talk about bugs and stability issues constantly on all of them, and employees of the companies are keen to get issues resolved. When a legitimate bug is discovered, the reps will submit the bug, and propse a work around until the issue can be resolved. The comapny reps are civil and professional as are the users, even when dealing with people who are ignorant or obviously using pirated software. It's customer service 101 the customer is right even when they are wrong, and sometimes, even when thy aren't a customer.

Hash is free to run their company or their mailist however they see fit, but their current course is doing them much harm. This thread and related discussions have broken out on just about every major CG forum. It's going to hurt their business. Good luck to them.

ggg
01-21-2003, 09:31 AM
Thank you for your interest in the animaster
mailing list.

To complete your subscription to the animaster list,
please send an email to someguy@hash.com with the
following information:

Your full name
Your email address
A brief statement of your interest in the topic of this
mailing list.

Applications will be considered by the list administrator
based on the information you provide.

-ListCaster-

hmm you can't just join up

gnarlycranium
01-21-2003, 10:09 AM
Wow... I'm not an AM user, and I've never been to this list, but those rules look SERIOUSLY fishy to me...

-Do Not complain about list content. If you have complaints or suggestions, send them directly to hash@hash.com
-No complaining or whining on the list.
-No distribution of misinformation.

Those don't even sound like proper list rules. Obviously they're signs of trouble that's come before, and a snitty warning against anybody bringing more. If I see rules like this on a forum-- scuse me, um... message list of unknown distinction-- I tend to steer away from it entirely in the first place, knowing it will be trouble.

MCronin is right, if it's supposed to be for technical support, the notion of outlawing the open discussion of bugs is absurd. Obviously many of these rules exist only because they are specifically trying to keep people from saying a darn thing about them. Counterproductive and useless. I can't help but wonder what the heck they ARE supposed to discuss? Does it encompass anything at all more meaningful than coddling the egos of the guys in charge there, or what? I can't comprehend what they are trying to accomplish with all this.... it doesn't make any sense. :shrug:

giantkiller
01-21-2003, 01:19 PM
I think ggg has got it pegged. They want to control 'their' list. The best thing that Hash could do now would be to boot the "Administrator" off the list and invite everyone back to resolve this whole issue, if it can be. Some of the best advertising a company can get is through work that people do on their own, letting the software sell itself through the users out there. My take on it is, Hash benefitted from the free advertising (unpaid) work that artists did with their software (like any other company does) and now they apparently feel that those artists that supplied the free advertising just aren't needed anymore. The 'list rules' are like a bad law, just because its a law that doesn't make it right. Its like a lesson in government. You petition the government (Hash) to change the law (software, list rules). If they refuse after several attempts and you can't get satisfaction, then your choices are to move to another country (software provider), replace your representatives to get rid of the bad law(invest in another program) or rebellion (throw all of your Hash CDs into the river). Who is to blame for the rebellion? I'm going to go get a torch!

gra4mac
01-21-2003, 03:18 PM
Talk about good timing. I came here to post the suggestion of forming a good alternetive to the A:M list and I see lildragon has already offered it to us. I think it's a great idea since CGtalk seems to be a very well used site. There is an A:M forum starting on CGchannel and it may be a good place, but where ever it is, it needs to be high profile so it will take off. There are other places for A:M discussion like Yahoo Groups, but we need 1 really good place to congrigate. It would be great to have a flourishing open A:M community, not like the stiffling A:M list. Another thing you are not allowed to do on the A:M list is mention other forums, but there are ways around that. Is there a way to pole people on this, or do we just get it going and see how it turns out?

Looking forward to the alternative.

Cheers, Graham

dragonfollower
01-21-2003, 03:52 PM
Ok guys looks like this topic is really starting to flourish. Would you guys like your own forum here on cgtalk?

That would be great! I'm all for it.:applause:

-bRiAn

My Fault
01-21-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by lildragon
Ok guys looks like this topic is really starting to flourish. Would you guys like your own forum here on cgtalk? Where you can carry this on as well as other topics.

Yes. I think being surrounded by so many of the CG-Talk folk will help AM users improve, plus it will get them greater recognition of their peers.

walasek
01-21-2003, 04:11 PM
Gnarly Cranium wrote:
Those don't even sound like proper list rules. Obviously they're signs of trouble that's come before, and a snitty warning against anybody bringing more. If I see rules like this on a forum-- scuse me, um... message list of unknown distinction-- I tend to steer away from it entirely in the first place, knowing it will be trouble.


I still love his "proper list rules"... Who determines what the list rules are - the list administrator. Who enforces the list rules - the list administrator. Who owns the list - hash. It is as plain and simple as this - "If you don't follow the list rules - you will get booted". No one said this was a democracy for what should/should not get on the list. Is it a democracy on what features are added to a product? No. Do you complain like this when you subscribe to a "moderated" list where every post is examined before being published, and yours isn't posted?

I'm not saying that they "shouldn't" have a forum, user feedback, bug reports, or the like. I am saying that they have explicitly established what the list is for. I think they need a forum, user feedback, bug reports, etc if they are to survive. It *is* essential. But all of you complaining about getting booted for violating the list rules cracks me up.

I fully support encourage the admin here at CG Talk to make a forum/group here for AM, where we can discuss these *necessary* topics. My only hope is that Hash will look at it once in a while (we could always send them links to popular discussions), and possibly even post... I think it would be a great way of communicating to Hash.

giantkiller
01-21-2003, 04:17 PM
There seems to be so much talent in the AM (or former AM) ranks. Has anyone seriously considered creating a new 3D software program?

Wegg
01-21-2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by giantkiller
There seems to be so much talent in the AM (or former AM) ranks. Has anyone seriously considered creating a new 3D software program?
Yup. But. . . easier said than done.

JB
01-21-2003, 04:37 PM
There seems to be so much talent in the AM (or former AM) ranks. Has anyone seriously considered creating a new 3D software program?


Yes, but unfortunately I have no programming skills and I suck at math. :D

MCronin
01-21-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by walasek
I fully support encourage the admin here at CG Talk to make a forum/group here for AM, where we can discuss these *necessary* topics. My only hope is that Hash will look at it once in a while (we could always send them links to popular discussions), and possibly even post... I think it would be a great way of communicating to Hash.

LOL! A great way of communicating to Hash, as opposed to speaking to everyone who actually works for Hash at once DIRECTLY through their own mail list. Forcing a 3rd party to set up a forum to deal with support issues for your software is ridiculous. The fact is it clearly states on the mail list rules page that the list is there for technical support. Based on what has been said, most of these guys who have been booted from the list have a legitimate axe to grind with Hash.

On the one hand, Hash says the list is there for technical support, but if you actually ask for real support on the list, you get ridiculed by a snotty administrator and banned. Really, companies shouldn't be banning anyone from their lists unless the user is a persistant pest or doing something illegal. If they don't like what someone has posted to the list, the admin can deal with it through private email with the user. But banning anyone the first time they say something the Admins don't like... eventually there won't be anyone left to ban, or anyone left using the software to complain about bugs.

If you want to see how a good company with good support deals with users, you should take a look at the Renderman support forums. There's a guy on there who was having trouble with MTOR and he asked about it. After a few messages back and forth with a Pixar rep, it came down to him actually posting his cracked license on the forum. The response from the Pixar employee was "There seems to be a problem with your license file, give us a call on our support line so we can help you out." The guy tells the Pixar rep to just forget it. They didn't ban him from the forum, didn't even give him a hard time, and he continues to ask questions there and get help... Now that's support.

walasek
01-21-2003, 04:48 PM
I have actually considered it - I play around a lot with Game Engines and such. But the problem is that there is "so much" in AM, it would be a long time before anything was even close.

I would probably move onto another program if the cost was right, and it was easy to use. That is basically what got me with AM. I just do this stuff for fun, and am not willing to spend $500+ dollars on any program.

If you think of all the basic features of AM, there actually is quite a lot of things (whether they work or not is another story). But modeling, texturing, bones, muscle, animating, lights, camera, render options, etc (you get the picture). It would be better if we all pooled our money, bought out AM, and fixed the bugs for a year...

walasek
01-21-2003, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by MCronin
If you want to see how a good company with good support deals with users, you should take a look at the Renderman support forums. There's a guy on there who was having trouble with MTOR and he asked about it. After a few messages back and forth with a Pixar rep, it came down to him actually posting his cracked license on the forum. The response from the Pixar employee was "There seems to be a problem with your license file, give us a call on our support line so we can help you out." The guy tells the Pixar rep to just forget it. They didn't ban him from the forum, didn't even give him a hard time, and he continues to ask questions there and get help... Now that's support.

Have I ever compared Hash to another company? No. This is how they run *their* company. Would I run my company this way? No. But I don't get to make the decisions - neither do you. Hash does. Your decision is basically whether or not to buy the software or not. If you think they broke their licensing agreement with you, then you can try to get your money back.

I *really* want you to understand this: I am not supporting Hash's business policies around customer feedback, bug reports, enhancement requests, crashes. I think these *need* to be addressed by Hash if the company is to move ahead of where they are now. It is obvious they are loosing loyal customers/supporters and word of mouth (the thing that got them to where they are today), will swing around and bite them in the @ss. What I do support is that Hash can ban you from *their* list for breaking the list rules...It's their list.

About the Pixar cracked license: thats just bad business sense... allowing cracked licenses sends a bad message to all.

Hookflash
01-21-2003, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by vnavone
Like I said, it's NOT a forum. THIS is a forum. The A:M list is for fostering learning of the software and exchanging techniques and ideas, not for debugging the software and ranting. The rules exist to (try to) keep the list productive and focused.

See for yourself. (http://www.hash.com/support/maillist.asp#rules)




-Do Not promote or advertise other A:M specific lists or forums on the animaster list.

Do you honestly not see how wrong this is? They are trying to prevent A:M users from hearing anything about A:M that hasn't been filtered through their "list rules".

Hookflash
01-21-2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by walasek
What I do support is that Hash can ban you from *their* list for breaking the list rules...It's their list.

So, if a restaurant owner serves spoiled food, and then kicks out any customers who try to warn the other customers (or people lined up outside), is he acting within his rights? Well, maybe. But, is this acceptable? Of coarse not. The fact that I have the right to do something doesn't make it right (good ol' English language), and it certainly doesn't mean I won't have to face consequences.

johnathan
01-21-2003, 05:29 PM
i too would feel lost leaving animation: master right now. i picked it up three years ago because of it's intuitive interface and rich feature set. i've stuck with 8.5p+ for a year and a half, and largely ignored the poorly implemented physics, cloth, springs, particles, etc... the keeb suggests messiah (http://www.projectmessiah.com) and wings3d (http://www.wings3d.com) on his site as a good a:m replacement set...

lightwave's interface is infamous, 'lectric image seems pricey, and realsoft seems like a lightweight.

are there any other contenders?


btw: 8.5p+ is the most stable version of a:m i've ever seen, but my wife has long gotten used to my 'crash face' and has stopped asking 'what's wrong?' :) all of the other programs on my vaio combined have crashed far less than a:m.

-jon

Raji
01-21-2003, 05:38 PM
maya is "only" 2 grand now, but if you don't need to do commercial work, get PLE for practice...

giantkiller
01-21-2003, 05:45 PM
Check it out! www.sharbor.com Lightwave 5.6 Studio + Aura 1.0 + full upgrade to Lightwave 7.5 + training CDs and video + plugins!! $995.00! Don't have to be a student. Is this my chance? I never heard of Lightwave Studio. Isn't that the full Lightwave 5.6 with Aura 1.0? Man, my hands are shaking!!

MCronin
01-21-2003, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by walasek
About the Pixar cracked license: thats just bad business sense... allowing cracked licenses sends a bad message to all.

I don't think so, Pixar, A|W, and SideFX all seem to have liberal support policies when dealing with people on their lists and forums. The reps are all very level headed, personal and professional when dealing with any user. You'd think it's bad because they seem to be letting some users get away with stealing their software. It's really better for them to maintain a friendly, professional line of communication with all users (even the guys using cracked software are potential customers) and avoid alienating people and getting roasted by users on public forums such as this. Coming out as a representitive for a comapny and accusing a user of stealing your software, even if it seems plainly obvious that the user has, just isn't a good thing to do. This holds especially true on the internet. As a rep you really have no idea for the most part who you are talking to on a forum or a mail list. It's better to be diplomatic rather than risk irreparable damage to your corporate image. Personally, when I saw that, I thought it spoke very well of Pixar's support. It made me think that they were the type of company who would deffinitely bend over backwards to support their customers whether they spent 5,000 or 5 million dollars. They are creating a good image for potential customers.

I do agree that Hash is entitled to run their list however they want; I said so in an earlier post. It doesn't however change the fact that it's a horrible way to run a business, and it's a disservice to the people who pay to keep the doors open and the lights on at Hash Inc. The reason I singled out your post was because the last paragraph struck me as hilarious. Hash won't even listen to their customers on their own list... Do you honestly think they'll care what users in the CGTalk Hash forum have to say?

Natess44
01-21-2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by walasek
I have actually considered it - I play around a lot with Game Engines and such. But the problem is that there is "so much" in AM, it would be a long time before anything was even close.

If you think of all the basic features of AM, there actually is quite a lot of things (whether they work or not is another story). But modeling, texturing, bones, muscle, animating, lights, camera, render options, etc (you get the picture). It would be better if we all pooled our money, bought out AM, and fixed the bugs for a year...

If you can't make one or buy them out why couldn't someone make a patch. I've seen this in alot of video games that had problems running and the community would make a patch that alters the program so it works right. Could that be done with A:M?

EnergyMan
01-21-2003, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Natess44
If you can't make one or buy them out why couldn't someone make a patch. I've seen this in alot of video games that had problems running and the community would make a patch that alters the program so it works right. Could that be done with A:M?
:wip: :wip: :wip:

walasek
01-21-2003, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by Hookflash
So, if a restaurant owner serves spoiled food, and then kicks out any customers who try to warn the other customers (or people lined up outside), is he acting within his rights? Well, maybe. But, is this acceptable? Of coarse not. The fact that I have the right to do something doesn't make it right (good ol' English language), and it certainly doesn't mean I won't have to face consequences.

Acceptable to whom? The customer? The business? You have to realize that there are many sides to any argument. In the businesses's mind it is perfectly acceptable. Why would I want people around bad mouthing my business. In the customer's mind, they "acceptably" should get their money's back. Should they be able to start yelling, in the restaurant, about the horrible food - probably not. (You get arrested for that where I live - its called disturbing the peace). It all depends on what side of the argument you are on. Believe it or not, in the business world, the customer is not always right. Would it benefit the business to "listen" to their customers? Of course.

Face consequences? What consequences? The only consequences a single user/customer has is to quit using the software, try to get their money back, or (if you are in the US) sue. Don't think you will get anything back from sueing besides the original amount you paid for the software.

Your analogy is kinda funny because I think the business owner does have a right to control what goes on in his establishment. They even, usually, post signs to this effect: "We have the right to refuse service to anyone...".

The idea of a purely democratic way of saying what we think should be in a product would be great, as long as I am not the business owner. Sorry to say, but we live in a capitalist world. If the business doesn't see money being made by an idea, why would they do it...

walasek
01-21-2003, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Natess44
If you can't make one or buy them out why couldn't someone make a patch. I've seen this in alot of video games that had problems running and the community would make a patch that alters the program so it works right. Could that be done with A:M?

Unfortunately, this only works when the source code is available. Currently, and for good reason, the Hash source code is not available.

jaymackey
01-21-2003, 06:54 PM
I respect your accomplishments and art. I like everything I've seen of yours. But I think your arguments are extremely biased in favor of Hash, and I have to disagree with some of what you've said and implied.

A:M, at that version, and for what you did with it, was great for you. If everyone who bought it would simply restrict themselves to animations of relatively simple models of hairless, one-eyed aliens, using A:M v8.5p, or whichever one is currently the best, then this thread may very well not even have ever come into existence.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. People buy A:M and want it to perform all of the things Hash PROMISES it can do. They want to make complex models and texture them, and then render them, without enduring a truly amazing number of crashes, and the possibility of a corrupted file. They want to create the detail of the human face and animate it without artifacts that ruin its realism. They want to make a decent Depth of Field shot, or add some motion-blur to their scene, without strange rendering artifacts. They have the unmitigated gall to actually try to use the cloth and spring dynamics in an animation. (YES, it IS possible to use all of these 'features' in a limited or specific manner, with satisfactory results! -- if you can endure the crashes, creases, and corruptions -- AND if you never try to go beyond those limits!) And if you bring up the fact that it doesn't quite do what it promises in one or more areas on the company email list, then you'll likely be kicked first, and sent a snitty email second.

One of the main problems I have with your post, Victor, is that you entirely skipped over the problems of v9 through v9.51e. v10 has only just come out. Users that have stuck with 8.5p may soon all be upgrading to v10b or later. That's great. But most of what you are reading here is due to experiences with v9.5. Can you imagine what the users of Maya or LW would be saying on their lists if their applications went through an entire year of upgrades and updates that were as crash-prone as A:M? (They would probably start coming up with names for their applications like "Animation:Maya" and "Light:Master".) Even now, you get statements on the A:M list like, "A:M v10 is great: I used it ALL DAY and it only crashed three times!" And they're not being sarcastic. They love A:M v10 because it only crashes 'rarely', it's so much more 'stable' than it used to be.

If you know that the list rules forbid talking about the problems with Hash, Inc. or A:M, and you know that the rules forbid referring to other A:M forums, then you should be able to see that the list is purposefully setup to be a nice little self-reinforcing fantasy world where A:M is wonderful, and any problems you have must be the fault of your system, or your actions, or your ignorance, or your astrological sign. (Regarding the 'technical support' referred to in the list rules, which has been talked about some on here, it can only be surmised that it is meant to be of the sort that helps you to do something that should have been explained in the manual, not the sort that helps you deal with a bug. And that support on the list is supplied 100% by list members. Why aren't there any Hash employees involved in answering questions about their software on the list??!!)

The latest beauty from the A:M list is the guy that actually implies that the fact that the A:M 'manual' is so skimpy is a benefit that will 'force' a user to learn the basics and become better at using A:M than he would have otherwise. This is insane. Has every A:M flaw and wart become a virtue to the A:M myrmidons? By this logic, Hash should produce no manual at all, in order to guarantee the most accomplished users. Oh wait, I think that as of v9, they DID stop producing manuals!! If I'm not mistaken, as of the current A:M 2003 version, the only Hash document that mention the 'flatten' capability of A:M is the A:M 2001 reference manual!

I agree with Arthur that they have a right to run their list how they see fit, but I have a right to come here and complain about it. Some of you are missing that point. Just because they have a right to run their company a certain way doesn't mean that I don't get to say anything bad about them. I see what you guys are saying about knowing the list rules and abiding by them. From one point of view, it would be strange to go to work for a company that everyone knows is a slave driver, and then constantly complain about the hours. So yes, it would be something similar to complain about being kicked off the Hash list after I've been on it for several years, as I have, and knowing the rules and practical consequences to breaking certain ones, as I do. However, I think it is something entirely different to look at and discuss the whole Hash situation, including the company strategy, the application, the 'manuals', and their list.

Good luck with v10 folks,

Jay

walasek
01-21-2003, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by MCronin
Personally, when I saw that, I thought it spoke very well of Pixar's support. It made me think that they were the type of company who would deffinitely bend over backwards to support their customers whether they spent 5,000 or 5 million dollars. They are creating a good image for potential customers.

Well, for myself, being a developer of software applications it sends a message that it is okay to use cracked software. I agree, it does send a very powerful, good, message about Pixar support, and if it is not running rampant (a lot of people using cracked licenses), it is a good way to get people interested in their product. But, for me, being a developer, it means I'm not getting paid for what I produced...

walasek
01-21-2003, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by jaymackey
..but I have a right to come here and complain about it. Some of you are missing that point.

I think you should complain about it, and have never argued your right to complain about it here (I don't think anyone has). I just hope Hash would read this and see what user's are saying.

jaymackey
01-21-2003, 07:22 PM
Yes, Arthur, I should have said, "Some of you 'seem' to be missing the point." I have taken a few posts on here to say that we have no right to complain.

I also do not think that you -- or even necessarily Victor, depending on the substance of all of his opinions on the subject -- are one of the Hash Myrmidons I was referring to, in case you were wondering.

My Fault
01-21-2003, 07:33 PM
Yeah, I don't think anyone was saying that you can't complain here, just that if you (or anyone) does it on the AM list don't be shocked if ya get booted.

Just curious, but what would it take for some of you to go back to using AM? Is it the stability problems, features missing... the AM list and company attitude?

Peersonally I'd love to see them go back to the 8.5 ui, help Nicholas Yue out with his Renderman plug-in, rip out some of the half done features and work on stability. Sub-d surfaces would be great but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Fixing the crease issue would be nice as well.

I'm still a big fan of the program and think Steve has gotten a bum rap. Not saying he hasn't gone over the top sometimes, but some people make him sound like Attila the Hun.

walasek
01-21-2003, 07:39 PM
Jay,

No blood - no foul... hehe - didn't think you were referring to me, but since I've been labelled a "Hash supporter"...

I would label myself a "Business supporter"...

ruscler
01-21-2003, 07:51 PM
I ask james at hash if refund is still covered for the V10 upgrade, and this is what he had to say.

"The 30 days applies to all of our products. A receipt will have to be in the
package, so we know what credit card to credit.

James"

Drakkheim
01-21-2003, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by My Fault
...Just curious, but what would it take for some of you to go back to using AM? Is it the stability problems, features missing... the AM list and company attitude?...

I want to be able to import materials without it corrupting the project tree and crashing.
I want to be able to CopyFlipAttach sucessfully.
I want to be able to be able to be able to copy & paste without my hooks and 5 pt patches going crazy.
I want to be able to hit undo without having to save first out of fear that it'll crash.
I want my creases to go away.
I want the renderer not to take 25 minutes rendering a simple glass ashtray with one light on a flat plane (did this last weekend).
I want transperancy and refraction to work correctly.(total internal reflection has been a problem for as long as I remember)
... remaining list truncated due to my growing frustration just thinking about it, let's just say it isn't a short list.....

Pretty Much they need to rewrite the modeling tools from the ground up and make them work as intended.
The renderer needs a MASSIVE overhaul.

However i have nothing but good things to say about the animation & bone tools, they always work like a charm for me. But the amount of time it takes convincing the modeler to let you create a complex model is frustratingly rediculous...

Never got any of the dynamics to work, ever.. except from opening various 'examples' posted by hash

Is it gonna happen? I doubt it Version 9.5 has now had over 20 patches and the version 9 had a truckload before that and these problems still remain? Now that V10 is out HASH expects me to plunk down another $99 just to see if they can manage to figure out how to make the program work properly....no thanks I've been doing that since version 6.

-Drakk

gra4mac
01-21-2003, 08:52 PM
I think it is quite clear that there is a lot of frustration with A:M users. Also it is great to be able to vent without fear of bannishment. This thread is going in a few different directions. Why not get the forum going so we have a place to organise the topics.

I am very keen to get an alternative A:M community going and CGtalk seems to be the most active place with ex and current A:M users. If we get a strong, vibrant, and constructive group going, hopefully Hash will eventually take notice. We will need to let list usres know about this forum on a regular basis. This can be done by emailing indaviduals, or through sacrificial email aliases. I think this is a great opportunity to create the community the way we want it.

A new forum will take a lot of work and dedication from the members to become great, but if we want to make a change in A:M for the better, or even for ourselves, I see this as a way to do it. It will take time and persistance. I don't see Hash willingly changing soon.

Every long journey starts with the 1st step. Is there enough interest in a forum here, and how do we make it so?

Cheers, Graham

jaymackey
01-21-2003, 10:18 PM
I would love to see an A:M forum. I've called for Hash to create something like CGTalk or the official ZBrush forum a couple of different times on the A:M list. A few others have as well, but we all know that it ain't going to happen.

Despite the tenor of this one thread, I think that an A:M forum here would be generally helpful to users. I haven't had much good to say about the software, but I just had to get all of that out of my system. An A:M forum will probably have lots of that, but I think it would also be very constructive as well. A:M users need somewhere where they can identify the actual problems without being booted, and then figure out and post the work-arounds. As these various threads accumulate, this will become an extremely valuable resource for Hash users.

There are also lots of techniques that aren't documented very well, or at all, and a forum like this is much better at accumulating and distributing explanations, walkthroughs, etc. than is the A:M list, IMO.

If -- and it's a big if -- I continue to use A:M, I would come here a lot, and I promise that I would be mostly constructive in my posts, despite what I've posted so far in this thread.

Jay

Dearmad
01-21-2003, 10:59 PM
Well I'm disappointed with your response Victor.

The idea of being able to bring up technical problems and bugs on a mailing list is simple and twofold:

1: You get a response faster than waiting for Steve to get off his ass only to demand a file that reproduces the results every time, sometimes hard if not impossible to do when it's an INTERMITTANT crash bug (such as right clicking on an object to flip it over an axis).

2: You get a *discussion* of what problems OTHER people have faced, and how they solved it, etc... This discussion part is critical if you're sure (as I am with anything prior to v10) that Hash won't bother fixing any of the bugs themselves and you need a workaround. It's THIS insight approach that I find most useful.

I do not have any problem with being kicked by Steve when I break a rule- but in this case the rue is stupid, just plain stupid.

And yes, I want an AM forum in here!

lildragon
01-21-2003, 11:14 PM
Well guys this is what I'll do, I'll create a general 3D forum and have products like A:M, wings, blender and such as a sub category, if they begin to flourish, I'll move them to the main forum. So tell everyone you know about it here and maybe we can make it finally shine.

I would love to see A:M take its rightful place with the userbase it has. I was once an A:M user myself so I know how good the app can be.

Gimme a few

salud

walasek
01-21-2003, 11:21 PM
How is this for a forum:

http://12.213.91.219/scripts/discus/discus.cgi

Take a look

My Fault
01-21-2003, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by walasek
How is this for a forum:

http://12.213.91.219/scripts/discus/discus.cgi

Take a look

I think users will benefit more with a forum here, plus it will get their work seen by more people. They will also be exposed to work by users of many other packages. Help them think more outside the box. IMHO that is.

lildragon
01-21-2003, 11:35 PM
Here you go guys http://www.cgtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=81

I'll port this over there now, make it rock!!!...

P.S. read my thread in the main part of the forum

salud

walasek
01-21-2003, 11:49 PM
Hehe CGTalk beat me to it :)

Good - glad to see we will have a forum here.

vnavone
01-21-2003, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Dearmad
Well I'm disappointed with your response Victor.

The idea of being able to bring up technical problems and bugs on a mailing list is simple and twofold:

(snip)

I'm not saying that I agree with the rules of the list, I just choose to follow them and advocate that others do as well. I think perhaps that Hash describing the list as a medium for "technical support" may be incorrect.

With all the discussion going on here it makes me think that maybe there should be a second A:M list devoted solely to the discussion of bugs, etc. That would maintain the spirit of the original list and give people an officially sanctioned and monitored place to vent. I also think that they should hire someone else to moderate the list and handle tech support so that Steve can devote all of his time to coding and fixing.

I've generally have great, prompt tech support when I provide a project file and explicite instructions of how to reproduce a crash or bug. The crashes that aren't project or operation specific are, of course, much harder to track down, both for the user and for Hash. I've pulled out my hair plenty of times with pesky crashes, but in the long run things have worked out one way or another. Admittedly, I've never used a lot of the fancier features of the software such as dynamics.

I'll agree that version 9 was not as stable as a release version should be; I stayed with 8.5 until 9.5 was released at which time I migrated hesitantly. Granted, version 9 was a complete rewrite of the software, so in essence they were starting over from scratch. I can understand why users would have been disappointed with it. A:M 9/10 is so much more flexible and robust now, though; I think it has been worth the pain.

One final note: there are obviously a lot of people who share the same feelings about Hash and A:M on this thread, and I'd like to think that there's a positive way to resolve all of this. Let's all try to remember that there are emotions and egos on both sides, and try to find constructive ways to solve the problems mentioned here. The anonymity and tonal ambiguity of email often leads to misunderstanding and impropriety; it may be better to call them on the phone or approach them at trade shows with an open attitude.

I am not an A:M evangelist (well, not officially) but I like the software and the people who make it. There have been some valid points raised and I believe the guys at Hash are cool enough to be open to constructive suggestions and pleas for help. Ultimately it's up to them to decide what direction to take their business in, but I'm sure they don't want to see resentment in their user base.

Hookflash
01-22-2003, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by walasek
Acceptable to whom? The customer? The business?

Society. I don't think anyone would consider it acceptable for a restaurant owner to kick people out of his establishment for trying to warn other customers that they are about to get food poisoning. A better solution would be for the owner to take the complaints into consideration, and assure the customers that the problems will be resolved.

gra4mac
01-22-2003, 02:57 AM
Now that we have a forum here, it's time to let the A:M list know about it.

Cheers, Graham:beer:

Hookflash
01-22-2003, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by Graham Clark
Now that we have a forum here, it's time to let the A:M list know about it.

Cheers, Graham:beer:

That's a violation of the A:M List Bible... er... rules. You'll probably get banned by Almighty Steve.

JTalbotski
01-22-2003, 03:12 AM
Hello all. I have used A:M since ver.5 and I have loved/hated it just like most of you. As a Mac A:M user, maybe I am willing to hold out hope or have patience longer than PC users. We all know they have more choices available. A:M has given me a lot of satisfaction, being able to model characters, decal them, set them up, pose them and render them. I guess I'm optimistic that the worst part of A:M's transition is over. Version 9 was awful, version 9.5 was less awful and I hear good things about version 10. So guess what? I'm going to upgrade to version 10. Do I think everything will be great? No. Do I think they will get better? Yes. But not by trashing the product on a separate forum. I'll probably deal with bugs as they come up, but I am desperately waiting for the OSX version to be released (end of year if lucky). Maybe I'll send in my once a year bug report and see if my name gets posted with the bug fix.

You've got to admit that Hash has been trying to accomplish a lot lately. Probably WAY too much. Rewriting the program, adding new features, porting to OSX, fixing bugs (yes, they are fixing bugs). All that is probably why Gilles started the "thread of doom". We want what we want. Stability. Advertized features that actually work. And I want decent HAIR!!!! (for my models, not me). But that is a tall order for a small group of programmers. They need feedback from the users containing facts and files.

Will this forum last? I don't know, but I doubt it. From the posts I've read most of you have stopped using A:M. Can you post helpful info here if you don't have or use the software? How will this make the software better if the guys at Hash aren't even reading this forum? If this is just a frustration release forum, maybe it's purpose has already been served.

I haven't been on the A:Mlist for a month or two mainly because the list has a lot of people with opinions about everything but 3D animation. I hope as the software does become more stable, the topics will become more appropriate and that actually some of you guys would return and again be the great examples you were to me, but to the new users also.

Jim

lildragon
01-22-2003, 03:19 AM
Hiya Jim, long time bud, haven't heard you in awhile... Good to see you're still using A:M

As for this forum, it'll last as long as it's used, I let the guys here just vent, that's bascially all they're doing, BUT I haven't read every single post and I don't like the bashing the company idea.

I've had my time with Steve and even helped him out a few times, just check my site, although I don't use A:M anymore I always compare my current softs with it. Many a time I said I wish I had a pose editor like I did in A:M all the while I was using Max...

A:M is bloody good, but the boys need a wakeup call IMHO, and this might be it, I don't like the bashing tho, but they are free to voice their opinions to get it off their chest... You have to admit the mailinglist is very tight, and this is the one time they got to speak what they wanted to openly, without the fear of being kicked :)

The forum will last, just use it

salud

JTalbotski
01-22-2003, 03:43 AM
Hi lildragon! I didn't mean to speak against your forums at all or even this forum in particular. It CAN be a great service to the users of A:M. It just doesn't seem to be headed in that direction at the moment. I would definitely like to participate in a looser forum that was "constructive". And I don't mean "A:M worshipping" when I say constructive. We are all aware of the faults of A:M. Maybe this forum can use the combined knowledge of the users to write up better bug reports that are sent to Steve. That way we can all verify that they know about certain bugs or we can actually prove that it is someone's system that is the fault. That would be constructive and not A:M worshipping.

Here's hoping,
Jim

lildragon
01-22-2003, 03:50 AM
Yes I agree, I would personally like to see this flourish into another great userbase community. It has the potential, it's just up to the users :)

P.S. don't worry, I didn't read your post that way, I know exactly what you meant ;)

Come on guys let's see some art!

salud

JTalbotski
01-22-2003, 04:21 AM
Okay, I'll go...

Here's my latest female character. I'm upgrading Spacegirl.

http://homepage.mac.com/talbotj/SPACEGIRL2003.jpg

Jim

My Fault
01-22-2003, 04:49 AM
Originally posted by JTalbotski
Okay, I'll go...

Here's my latest female character. I'm upgrading Spacegirl.

http://homepage.mac.com/talbotj/SPACEGIRL2003.jpg

Jim

Looks great but I'm still partial to your Clinton, not that anyone but you, me and Rick have ever seen him :p

Nico

JTalbotski
01-22-2003, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by My Fault
Looks great but I'm still partial to your Clinton, not that anyone but you, me and Rick have ever seen him :p

Nico

Thanks, Nico. I think I can show him for promotional purposes. I think. I'll see if I can find anything out about that.

My Fault
01-22-2003, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by JTalbotski
Thanks, Nico. I think I can show him for promotional purposes. I think. I'll see if I can find anything out about that.

I think I have my tweaked version around somewhere. Course Clinton's not as dreamy as your Space Girl :)

UserDelta
01-22-2003, 05:53 AM
when you talk about lightwaves interface, there are 2, layout and modeler. i personally love modeler, i think its wonderfully intuitive(check my modelling videos). layout may be another story, but either way, familiarizing yourself to the program by checking through the huge amount of documentation and tutorials can change your mind.

HellBorn
01-22-2003, 08:43 AM
The AM list acctually have at least one feature that is rare on other list. If you make a post and especially if it is critical in some matter there is an automatic spell correction that kicks in and creates an identical post of your message but with small notes and fill in words.

I really think that's an important feature to have. It really must make all people happy to get a free lection in English as well as learn some AM tricks.

Only sad thing is that they not have made them searchable in the knowledge base. It could have been of greate use.

I was thinking about suggesting them to create a such a searchable spelling knowleadgebase or even better make it searchable directly from inside AM itself.

But as I was afraid that it could be taken as complaining of a missing feature and get me trown of the list I never did it.

Insted I print all messages, cuts out the spelling corrections and glue them onto the walls.

But.. also that has it's drawbacks as my wife threatens to leve me and the dog no longer wants to go for a walk.

He just walks up to the wall, lifts a leg and...well you know.......


;)

AlwaysL8
01-22-2003, 02:40 PM
I just purchased AM 2002/9.5 at this years Consumer Electronics Show. The show "special" was $199. I find it interesting that AM 2003 was apparently out when I purchased 2002. It would appear that if I want to upgrade to the most current version, Hash will get there $299 anyway. I guess they were dumping their old stock to get ready for the new product. :sad:

Natess44
01-22-2003, 03:09 PM
You can still upgrade for an extra $100 if you buy from Hash.

zandoria
01-22-2003, 03:18 PM
$99

johnathan
01-22-2003, 03:25 PM
i think the point here is that $199 plus $99 is $298... one dollar under full price.

the larger issue is the subscription model. it keeps revenue flowing, but it also leads to the 9.0 debacle: i paid my $99 to be a beta tester in 2002, but quickly decided not to waste any time. nevertheless, hash got their hunnerd bux.

i just renewed my 'subscription' for v10 and i desperately hope that hash can regain my confidence and not force me to learn a new 3d application.

i'm one of the people on the list that's too opinionated for mr. navone :) but the overall trend i've been complaining about is the marketing strategies of both hash and other entrepreneurs: squeeze as much money out of as many marks as possible before people begin to notice they're not getting what they paid for.

i can live with a:m's faults as long as i believe that they will soon go away. it's called faith, and i still have a little bit left.

-jon

Natess44
01-22-2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by zandoria
$99
I round up when it's that close :)

vnavone
01-22-2003, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by HellBorn
The AM list acctually have at least one feature that is rare on other list. If you make a post and especially if it is critical in some matter there is an automatic spell correction that kicks in and creates an identical post of your message but with small notes and fill in words.

[snip]

Only sad thing is that they not have made them searchable in the knowledge base. It could have been of greate use.

;)

You must be thinking of a different list. The Animaster list has no automatic proofing tools but it DOES have a searchable archive:

http://venice.killernuts.org/animaster/

BlueCougar
01-22-2003, 04:20 PM
I feel like I'm posting to an AA board, Animation:Master Anonymous...

First, I'm not a kid. I'm in my mid 30's with a background in fine art and business management. I've worked and continue to work in production enviroments. 3 years ago I decided to branch out into 3D. I started using A:M with the '99 version and got started modeling right away using the resources. I got a couple projects laid out on paper then started rigging and smartskinning and getting the scenes together. The upgrades started coming in and I kept up. A year and a half later I was still struggling with bugs and crashes having to do with smartskins, poses, and sliders controlling sliders....etc.

One thing I did realize quickly about the A:M list, don't make them look bad or you get booted. Keep their secrets from the newbies, talk to them on the side and they'll help you if they can. I normally called and talked to Steve or one of the software techs. When I did I always took the blame and asked what did I do wrong, or is this something my system is doing. I did this because I knew it was necessary to get what I needed from what I had learned about them from the mailing list. After doing all that then I would ask, after I resolve those issues, is there be anything else that could be an issue, just in case, so I don't have to call and bother you again. Using this method I usually got an answer to my question. I sent files that would crash my system and they sent them back cleaned up so I could continue working. I learned how to go into character files and tweak them, remove ump-teen empty folders that inflated files sizes to 3+mb and other aspects that would crash the program.

I realized I needed more than what A:M could realistically offer in a production enviroment. If I wanted to piddle aorund for a few more years it was fine. I thank Hash for the opportunity it offered but as its been said, "Even though Porsche designed the VW bug, its still a VW not a Porsche." The program had a great beginning from what I've read and been told, its just the path its followed since that made the difference. A business has to operate as a business, but the one thing they all need is a customer. You alienate your customer for any reason and you compromise your business.

In the end, with all the upgrades and nothing to show for production this past summer I turned to Lightwave. I did this after corresponding with the guys at Anzovins and Eggington and finding out they had moved to it themselves. I moved on. I thank A:M for the experience it offered, I now work twice as fast as most others because the obstacles, that I was accustomed to for almost 2 years, are no longer there. LW is a great program for people who are used to using A:M. I found it the easiest transition for my workflow. My thanks to Martin Hash for his efforts in the past and best wishes to him for the future.

giantkiller
01-22-2003, 05:09 PM
Appreciate your thoughts and your attitude BlueCougar. After all the frustrations and disappointments are aired its just a sad and unfortunate incident. I never got that involved with AM, though I was on the verge of upgrading when this whole thing happened. I can tell that its time to move on. I booted myself off the animaster list. Its getting to be too distracting. I'm leaning toward Lightwave myself.:hmm:

Skevos_Mavros
01-22-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by vnavone
You must be thinking of a different list. The Animaster list has no automatic proofing tools but it DOES have a searchable archive:


I, for one, assumed the other poster was making a funny - referring to having their email quoted and corrected by another user.

:-)

PJC
01-22-2003, 06:30 PM
Wow. I've used AM since version 5 (I was converted from Alias PA/Maya when v8 came out) and it was a hard deciscion to move away from AM recently.

At my work we have 15 copies of AM. We upgraded to 9. Never used it. It just wasn't ready for production. 8.5 was okay, but black specks, no multi-processor support etc. and having to render double the size and shrink it down in After Effects just to get decent anti-aliasing sucked.

In the interim, we did a test of our big project this year with Dodge exporting our Hash stuff to Cinema 4D XL7. It was a long process, but well worth it. Better renders? Yes. I was rendering in Cinema, happy with the results and THEN found out I was using the default Anti-aliasing. I switched to "sinc" which is the best, and was even more impressed. Render times from Hash were 10-15 minutes per frame. Cinema 4D was 35 seconds for the same scene. We switched immediatley to Cinema 4D.

Personally, I have been using AM to do digital images for comic books. My first stuff for Image Comics FUSED! was done in AM. I then made the mistake of trying to use v9 for an upcoming comic project. I almost missed an opportunity to do more comic work because I couldn't get a project done (luckily, the project got pushed back for other reasons). I couldn't get the thing to RENDER!! Because of software I almost missed out.

I now use Cinema 4D XL 8, and am very impressed with even it's Character tools. Version 7 was awesome, but had crap character stuff. V8 is real nice. It's $1800, but worth every penny to make sure I get my project done.

I love AM tho. If it had the renderer and speed and stability of Cinema, I would switch back. AM's character tools are the BEST.

Support from Steve and the guys has always been wonderful for me, but it just got to a point where they couldn't figure out (or fix) issues that we had with their software. I was treated very well, but I think it's time to move on...

...unless v10 or v11 looks good...god it's like crack....

patrick j. clarke