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Vizfizz
12-08-2006, 11:01 PM
Speaking of changes...

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

We want to hear from you.

MagicEgger
12-08-2006, 11:08 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
$200/$250 = new tools + bug fixes
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
Yes, EIM 6.6UB and a upgrade bundle later with EIM 7 + EIAS 7
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
$500
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
EIM, then get the EIM structure and add a new framework based in EIAS with a new GUI.
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
like I answered in the last question... if EIM could add a way to edit polygons + ACIS.. will be perfect.
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
Right now?, no. If EIM become the next EIAS appl. sure.

Tomas

PaulS2
12-08-2006, 11:28 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn't have to....but not opposed to it either.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI's material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

Paul

PaulS2
12-08-2006, 11:30 PM
At #7 - allow for imported polys/models to have materials added and also be rendered within EIM.

evant
12-08-2006, 11:33 PM
Speaking of changes...

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

We want to hear from you.

#7 - Modo basically started out using this approach. It's renderer is superb quality, with top notch GI. If EIM was a starting point using Modo's approach, this might be a great idea. I personally would buy EIM in a heartbeat if it had the ability to utilize an EI-like material and texturing scheme with the *addition of a UV editor* and access to Camera. Most of my work right now is not animation work, so take my point of view as such.

There are so many benefits to having the modeler integrated into the rendering/animation application that it makes more sense to me to follow this model.

evant
12-08-2006, 11:59 PM
...and don't forget how bad we need a kick-ass openGL implementation.

Ideas
12-09-2006, 01:28 AM
[QUOTE=PaulS2]1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn't have to....but not opposed to it either.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI's material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

Oh YES YES YES!!!
Sitting here modeling in EIM, waiting for a save to complete on a big project, when I spotted this. EIM with the ability to edit polys. I'm salivating all over the keyboard.
Mike.

Ideas
12-09-2006, 01:34 AM
[QUOTE=PaulS2]1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn't have to....but not opposed to it either.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI's material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

YES YES YES!!! Working right now in EIM (waiting for a large file to save).
EIM with poly editing capabilities. I'm salivating just thinking about it:-)))

juanxer
12-09-2006, 01:36 AM
This is a tricky issue: I'd love to have EIM back, but I just bought Amapi+Shade for about $180 (there was an special offer some weeks ago, so I decided I'd try to adapt to its 3D cursor GUI, which I don't like very much) and being currently exploring its feature set, I believe EIM ought to get an assortment of new tools (and resolving the outstanding problems in some of the current ones) to be able to compete with the Rhinos, Concepts and Amapis out there.

Getting to the questions:


1.- Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes! Yes! Yes!



2.- What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

If it was just an UB port with no new features... Let's say $70. It is just that I hope to be able to run it on either Rosetta or Parallels, so there is not so great an appeal.

If we are talking some new features (the easiest to implement as derived from the latest ACIS engine tricks, perhaps) and a bit of GUI renewal (there are some really small things that would help a lot, for a start), then I think these $200-250 would be pretty decent in exchange for your commitment to further develop the app.



3.- Would you want it offered standalone?

EIM as a standalone app? I wouldn't mind EITG selling it as such. Whatever works best. Discounts for EIAS-EIM combo upgrades would be nice, though.



4.- How much would you pay for a standalone version?

I don't know. One would have to compare it with the rest of the conceptual modeling apps out there, performance/price wise. As it is right now, it being comparatively so spartan tools-wise, it ought to be priced lower than Rhino ($895) and Amapi ($750 including Shade, a complete 3D package posited as its render engine, which is a bit of a mess of an idea, but…). Say, $400. If we are talking an enhanced revision of the app with some significant new features, I guess we could talk $600+.



5.- Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

I like EIM a lot, even if it frustrates me a lot, too. Go for something entirely new? I don't know: I wonder what such a thing would look like, and how much of a market there is left for each style of modeler (conceptual, CADish, SDS, classical or some hybrid). As I said, I got Amapi because it looked like a possible EIM substitute, but one of the things that attracted me to it was that it looked like being a through-the-looking-glass Alice to Hexagon. Hexagon is a SDS modeler with conceptual design-like tools (Coons, Gordon, sweeps, construction history), while Amapi Pro is a NURBS Surfaces-Poly (no true Solids, I believe) modeler with some SDS-style editing tools (v.8 will get more Hexagon-like, it's been said). I like the idea of having the cleanliness and precision of NURBS modeling as a nucleus, so whatever gets developed I wouldn't want to miss that (if anything, I'd kill for being able to not deal with NURBS at all, as I am a Bezier guy deep down. I know, I know... :D ).



6.- Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?).

EIM as an animation package? Mmmm. If EIM turns into an standalone app, it will need some animation and render options (at the very least, animation ones for doing basic fly-bys and things, say, Form•Z-style. Render ones could be a Camera module or ways of interfacing to popular renderers such as Maxwell). EIM as EIAS' heir, a NURBS animation package? I don't think it would work without having poly tools or at least poly model importing capabilities too.

Also, your question could be interpreted as: do we want the Holy Grail of full modeler/animator integration into EIAS, like Cinema4D, Maya or 3DMax do? Yes, that would be absolutely great, but is it achievable with your resources?

If this is simply an innocent "do you think having to deal with separate EIM and FACT asset files, model tesselation and such is bad for your workflow" question, then I would say I can think of some ways to improve it, like, say, having some sort of fused EIM/Fact single container file format and some other things.



7.- Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Yes, actually, because it implies that we should be able to texture our models inside EIM. Texturing while modeling is usually easier than only being able to deal with it after the fact. Also, if EIM becomes an standalone app, it'll need texturing tools and the ability to invoke a renderer, be it Camera or others.



And what if EIM simply gets UB'ed and development gets restarted? Well, I'd be very happy, too. :) (Has the ACIS licensing issue gotten a bit less insurmountable somehow?)

cjberg
12-09-2006, 01:47 AM
Would I like an UB of the existing... YES!!! I work daily with EIM on MacIntel. and, would be worth a modest upgrade price...
1:YES
2: with no new features and just UB, a similar price to EIAS seems reasonable.
3: The ability of a stand alone modeler is helpful to me, but I would guess integrated wouldnt be bad if it could import/export well.
4: I would like an upgrade path, but given a strong stable app, $350 would be reasonable.
5: PLEASE KEEP EIM... efficient interface, good tools
6: I know some are interested with keyframe modeling... only thing that would help me would be EIAS's deforms in EIM
7: Camera would be nice, but not in itself important to me... but the lack of a quality preview can be troublesome sometimes...

FYI, I use eim to model object which are milled out into foam... a non-standard use, but it has proven very adept.

Cj

Speaking of changes...
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

evant
12-09-2006, 01:54 AM
6.- Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?).

EIM as an animation package? Mmmm. If EIM turns into an standalone app, it will need some animation and render options (at the very least, animation ones for doing basic fly-bys and things, say, Form•Z-style. Render ones could be a Camera module or ways of interfacing to popular renderers such as Maxwell). EIM as EIAS' heir, a NURBS animation package? I don't think it would work without having poly tools or at least poly model importing capabilities too.


FormZ actually now can animate anything, even down to the parametric level of ACIS objects. Version 6 was pretty major.

juanxer
12-09-2006, 02:01 AM
Really? Wow!

Seabear
12-09-2006, 02:51 AM
[QUOTE=Vizfizz]Speaking of changes...

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

YES

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

its worth at least as much as Silo, and more because its an ACIS solids modeler

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Much better integrated

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

Less than Modo which is overpriced for a standalone modeler

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

EIM was a great modeling application with an excellent GUI.
The hidden away SDS toolset (Ubermesh) was well ahead of its time and even tho 'unfinished' was very intuitive and remains unsurpassed, the feature list is a tad inadequate tho.

If EIM is not integrated into EIAS, then the sds (Ubermesh) toolset should be.

There is no way that without this foundation for character animation in EIAS, that properly designed deformation, bone driven morphs or selection set editing at vertex level, can be successfully or competitively implemented. Modern sophisticated character models are much more demanding of deformation correction.

splitpoint
12-09-2006, 03:02 AM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
No

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
$0

3. Would you want it offered standalone?
No

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
$0

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
Don't waste precious resources on modeler, concentrate on better import tools and improving Animator and Camera.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA?
Depends on how well it supported imported geometry.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
If EIM was to make a comeback this should be a requirement.

There are so many modelers out there right now (Modo, Rhino, Amapi, Hexagon, Silo...) not to mention cheap complete packages with good modelers (Lightwave, XSI Foundation, C4d core) that I don't think EIM could compete unless it was REALLY cheap (<$150) or it were bundled with EIAS.

What I would really like to see is re-engineering Camera as a plugin renderer to other apps but I'd settle for better geometry import. FBX support was a huge improvement and one of the reasons that I still use EIAS but I'd like to see a better process for importing models with textures as the current process is still pretty ugly.

A.

3dData
12-09-2006, 03:44 AM
Speaking of changes...

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

We want to hear from you.
1.Yes
2.$150
3.Depends if it can compete with modelers out there already in features and price. EIM would have to improve it's import and export capabilities.
4. $200 as EIM stands now. If it was brought up to the capabilities of Concepts 3D, then it would be worth $500-700
5. Stick with EIM as the base. Re-inventing the wheel would take too many resources.
6. That would be interesting, but I prefer a separate modeling environment (call me old fashion). If it leads to a knock-your-socks-off application then full speed ahead!
7. Could be useful.

paulchiap
12-09-2006, 08:07 AM
Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$99 -- with stability improvements.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. New users should have the option of a bundle.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

If brought up to the robustness of Concepts 3D, I'd like to see it priced at <$500. (C3D isn't perfect, but a lot can be done before getting any errors) C3D is currently $495. It's been acquired by Punch Software -- people have been predicting a lower price as a result -- but Punch isn't listing it on their site yet. I would really like to see snapping like C3D implemented. EIM's layer manager is WAY better than C3D's.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

If the quirks can be ironed-out go with EIM.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

For me, I don't see this as a good use of resources, unless there's programming circumstances that make this practical.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Like others have mentioned, it would be good to texture while modeling.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

I would be happy with EIM in it's last incarnation w/ fixes.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide some input.

Paul

bronco
12-09-2006, 09:00 AM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.


1. as a pc user i have to say: i don't care if it is UB ;) but just bringing EIM back to life is a very, very good thing. for some projects EIM is still my modeler of choice.

2. somewhere between 100 - 250$. i don't get any benefits from the UB conversion, so it just depends on the amount of bug-fixing and added features.

3. yes. it's true that EIM lacks some features that other, comparable packages offer, but it also has some strenghs that could very well penetrate the market apart from traditional EIAS users.
actually, i think EIM should be marketed completly seperate from EIAS (together with a bundle of EIAS and EIM, of course). EIM, as it is right now, is a very specialised app. It's no poly modeler, it is'nt a CAD app, but it's great at what it does. In my opinion it just doesn"t make sense to market it together with EIAS, when you can't modify geometry that EIAS exports -> Polys. EIM is a different market than EIAS, they work well together, unfortunatly only in one direction.

4. it is worth 500$ i think. together with a direct camera connection 700$.

5. stay with EIM, it is great, but to really be an asset to EIAS (or vice versa) it needs poly editing. if it is seperate from EIAS, then that's a different story.

6. hard to say. i don't really think that ACIS is a good base for animation. i might be wrong, but i don't think so. even if EIM would evolve into some form of hybrid ACIS/Poly modeler, i guess the amount of work to open the framework to animation needs will be a huge effort. This amount of work could be spend on a complete new EIAS framework with intergrated Poly modeling toolset and leave EIM as a kick-ass ACIS modeler. (Maya and Studio are seperate apps, why not join them? because the market is different. Before anyone shouts, i am not comparing Maya with EIAS and i am not comparing Studio with EIM. Just the markets.)

7. if it is sold standalone: YES. maybe even a stripped down version of camera will be enough. or a module based scheme, buy the render power you need.
EIM basic - just clay renders
EIM Visuals - full featured camera access with material system (+200$)

threedeworks
12-09-2006, 11:53 AM
here my thoughts about EIM developments:

1. there is currently a boom of excellent and cheap modelers on the market. that's why, imho all the energies of EI developers should focus on developing the core features of animator and camera as much as possible. only features like multiprocessor support for camera, a better shading/ texturing system, layered photoshop export, better import translators, etc. will bring animator and camera to the next level.
EIM was a great modeler when it came out, but at least engine-wise today it is is obsolete because of the old ACIS engine.

2. personally, i'm using formz, modo and LW modeler, so i'd not invest into another modeler right now.
3. maybe a good solution for anyone interested into it.
4. with a new ACIS engine, EIM could be sold for at least at 200 USD, considering the tough competition.
5. if EIAS really needs a dedicated modeler, then it makes much more sense if will be integrated into animator, with animatable modeling features.
6. Yes, see point 5.
7. Yes, for rendered model previews or stills work, this could be useful, but i'd like to insist for point 5.


edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

could be an alternative solution for everyone loving EIM, so why not?

my 2 cents

markus

juanxer
12-09-2006, 12:27 PM
I'd hope that the reason this poll is being done is because resurrecting EIM has been asessed as a very reasonable effort investment. As much as it is important to devote attention to Animator, not having a companion modeler makes EIAS more difficult to promote. That far better model import features are needed is a given, anyway.

futagoza
12-09-2006, 01:42 PM
Please bear with me my thoughts are only from a hobbiest viewpoint,
but i thought to reply as well.

1. Yes, even if i don´t have an Intel Mac, i understand that it´s vital
to stay healthy/competitive.
2. somthing like 99 USD as reg. EIAS user, >149 as non reg. user.
3. Yes, with .sia i/o support please, like Cheetah 3D.
4. 149 USD.
5. Port MoI to the Mac (if it´s possible) and half of the work is done.
6. -
7. -

>edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation,
with bug fixes, but as UB.

cannot say much about it´s features/workflow since the dvgarage demo bombed
too much under Tiger, but the interface of EIM looks nice.

Regards
Stefan

arthurs
12-09-2006, 03:10 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
yes

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
100-150USD if included bugfixes.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?
yes

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

200-300USD

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
Go with EIM, cant see how and when something completely new would show up.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
Would be nice, but better integration would be OK with me.
Update model files, with an update button from EIAS, and no problems with wrong orders in updatet fac files.
Very nice would be Uber editing-SDS in EIAS. (Cage from EIM, SDS and cage editing in EIAS)

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
Yes, ofcourse, texture in EIM

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.
Would also be OK, but will maybe only be intersting for excisting user-base.

Extra features for EIM
Some form of point/ face level editing of models, like in poly modelers, but without loosing the independent resolution of ACIS. (if possible)
Import of non ACIS models and conversion to ACIS, so I can work further on non ACIS files.

I really hope EIM can be brought back to live again.
I have ben teaching it on a ceramics school in Denmark, and after some frustration, the students like it.

Arthur

juanxer
12-09-2006, 03:20 PM
MoI is based on Rhino3D's frameworks, I believe, which are too Windows-dependent (so no MacRhino either, as its developers regretfully explained some time ago) :(

Will this thread give way to an EIM wishlist one any soon :) ? There are a few thingies that would be great to have and possibly very easy to add to the app (like... mousewheel support!!! :D ).

bbuxton
12-09-2006, 05:29 PM
The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes I'm a huge fan of EIM - even though I have replaced it with Concepts unlimited I would invest in it again if there was something innovative in it's approach to nurbs/poly workflow

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

If brought up to date with a feature rich implementation of ACIS $350+

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

Depends on breadth of its toolset (along the lines of Amapi/Concepts 3D $700)
If it can bring a new approach to working with nurbs for animation possibly more

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

For most users integrated SDS tools are probably enough - but how would that make EIAS +EIM combo unique?

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

No I think work can be done on the the way EIM & FACT formats share data - e.g. isolines representing a control cage for sds surfaces. So the same data would be nurbs in EIM & SDS polygons in EIAS.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Yes and it should be included with the stand alone EIM.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

Yes it would be a start. I bought EIAS for EIM so it really hurt when development stopped. After moving to alternative modeling applications I have found my use of EIAS severely reduced. That said, much of the damage there has been done, it would probably be worse to neglect development of EIAS for EIM at this stage - EIAS & Camera still require a fair bit of work.

BB

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 05:32 PM
Lets try to avoid wishlists right now. EITG management asked for this thread and they're simply wanting to get a feel for what people's opinions are....and there are lots of good points here. It can get mighty passionate when people start expressing their thoughts on the subject of where EITG should focus itself. But the main thing to remember here is that its EITG that makes the final decision. They have to assess their strategy and determine which direction to take.

Whatever their decision is...it will please some and upset others. Seems to be a typical pattern with EIAS users.

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 06:28 PM
6. hard to say. i don't really think that ACIS is a good base for animation. i might be wrong, but i don't think so. even if EIM would evolve into some form of hybrid ACIS/Poly modeler, i guess the amount of work to open the framework to animation needs will be a huge effort. This amount of work could be spend on a complete new EIAS framework with intergrated Poly modeling toolset and leave EIM as a kick-ass ACIS modeler.

Good observation.

Polygons tend to be the current and proper "workflow" for the animation world. No doubt about that. But as we've seen in most high end 3D packages, there exists an assortment of modeling capabilities ranging from Nurbs to Polys to SDS. Ultimately, everything gets tesselated at render time. If EIM's poly tools could be expanded that would be great. Model in solids, sds or nurbs and convert to polys. OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that's ultimately what it needs to be fed. But what I see in EIM is the potential to handle any number of various modeling approaches and the foundation for low level geometry manipulation is already there. It just seems a more logical transition to turn EIM into the next EIA rather than the other way around. But if that's not what EITG wants to do then we must turn to the issues with EIA.

How long can EIA go on without seriously reevaluating its architecture? A lot depends on how EITG wants to position EIAS in the market. If it wants to start appealing to VFX studios again, its gonna have to open EIA up a little bit. VFX studios want to get into the guts of the program. Its crucial when working in an environment where every piece of software has to talk to every other piece of software. What's limiting EIAS in the VFX studio world isn't the quality of Camera or the lack of a modeler, its the ability to properly bridle the program that talks to Camera. Since EITG doesn't seem to want to license Camera separately, then getting better access into EIA is critical. This could be done in a number of different manners.

1. Continue to patch the current EIA.
2. Create a new EIA with an entirely new and modern open architecture.
3. Provide additional translators like more advanced FBX tools.
4. Evolve EIM into the new EIA with these needs in mind.
5. Provide bridging plugins for other applications to EIA or Camera directly.

But one thing we're certain about is the limitations that EIA possesses as an animation package overall. It was designed for hard surface animation with an assortment of deformation capabilities to spice it up a bit. Perfect for digital sets, broadcast design, scene designers, architecture, flying X-Wings and so forth....but horrible for organics and character work. Paralumino's core poly plugins can rightly show what kind of potential having vertex level control over geometry can do for an animation package. The question however is, can EIA's framework really handle a full fledged internal modeling solution without having to rewrite the program from scratch? I don't know. That's a question for higher powers that be.

But I've said it before, I'll say it again. Character animation is the cornerstone of the entertainment industry. If EITG wants to appeal to that industry, providing enhancements to EIA for that purpose is needed. If not, then stay the course and focus marketing attention on those markets that do not require character work.

Ultimately, there are a number of ways to address EIAS' future. All of these ideas are viable, its just a matter of funding it and providing the customer with an excellent experience. Whatever route is chosen, I believe the resurrection of EIM by itself (if nothing more) would help EIAS regain its status as a primary application capable of competing with the big 5. (Maya, Max, XSI, LW and C4D).

plsyvjeucxfw
12-09-2006, 06:45 PM
Not having a modeler of some sort from EITG is very damaging. So yes, EIM needs to be brought back. Probably stand alone at first, but eventually it must be melded into EIAS.

If EIAS itself needs to be rewritten from the blank white board, then so be it, but it must be done. Turning EIM into the new EIAS is an idea I hadn't considered, but the programming guru's must know something if that's a possibility.

Price? Say $250 stand alone, when blended (NURBS, Polys, SDS) into EIAS maybe only a slight price increase.

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 07:00 PM
Its only a concept...not a reality. Turning EIM into EIA may be far more difficult than I realize. I'm not a programmer. I'm just simplying making suggestions to stimulate thought and I don't think it hurts to promote free thinking. ;) I'll never say that I have the exact right answer...

Oh.. and like I said...there's nothing inheritantly wrong with EIA's framework if the market EITG chooses to pursue doesn't require those levels of modification. Take architecture for instance...I think EIA in its current form is pretty good.

vindicator
12-09-2006, 07:27 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$300 to $500 -- with stability improvements.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Standalone is ok by me...just having it would be great!

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 to $600.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

EIM is a great starting point.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

...don't know alot about this, but it sounds like a good direction.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

It would be ok to texture while modeling.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

I would be happy with EIM alive again in any form.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide some input.

Gabe

PaulS2
12-09-2006, 07:33 PM
Two cents worth with no consideration in regard to inflation....and off the track.

The idea that EI is going to compete with the likes of Max, XSI and Maya in charater animation with or without a rewrite is just not going to happen. To many places are entrenched and committed to these programs.

Hard body, Logo and graphic design, industrial visualization is really where it is at for EI. Get EIM up to speed to be able to import other nurb/design modelers and export to EI flawlesly.

Make logo/graphic design an actuality within EI....and be able to export layered photoshop files as C4D does.

EI is very good in this market and needs to be beefed up and become recognized again. Take something like Brazil or Vray and the buzz it creates for rendering.......ensure Camera can do all of that and even more. It's close. Make EIM as user friendly as Rhino. There is a whole market other than character animation which EI could compete in.

Character animation and efforts spent there, unfortunately, are not going to see EI survive.

Paul

AVTPro
12-09-2006, 10:07 PM
Hey! I brought EIM up! What happened to my questionaire response? I made comment directly after Tomas.

Anyway would EIM pull me away from Maya modeling? NO.
Wouldn't I use it in if it was a part of Animator? Yes.
I still use Animator.

AVTPro
12-09-2006, 10:42 PM
Good observation.

Polygons tend to be the current and proper "workflow" for the animation world. No doubt about that. But as we've seen in most high end 3D packages, there exists an assortment of modeling capabilities ranging from Nurbs to Polys to SDS. Ultimately, everything gets tesselated at render time. If EIM's poly tools could be expanded that would be great. Model in solids, sds or nurbs and convert to polys. OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that's ultimately what it needs to be fed. But what I see in EIM is the potential to handle any number of various modeling approaches and the foundation for low level geometry manipulation is already there. It just seems a more logical transition to turn EIM into the next EIA rather than the other way around. But if that's not what EITG wants to do then we must turn to the issues with EIA.
er of different manners.



"OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that's ultimately what it needs to be fed"


Can you repeat this? SDS are great but they don't render. They a just a modeling type. Renderers only render polgons. UberCage are nice, but in some instance it gets in the way of a basic poly cage model. One thing that bothered me about EIM is that it had no shaded cage mode. No way of looking at the flat shade version of the cage. So I would prefer, as you mentioned, at least 3 model conversion types, starting with a regular poly edit model.

This is NOT my model. In my model I resolved all "T-subs".

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/SDS2EIAS.jpg

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 11:01 PM
Two cents worth with no consideration in regard to inflation....and off the track.

The idea that EI is going to compete with the likes of Max, XSI and Maya in charater animation with or without a rewrite is just not going to happen. To many places are entrenched and committed to these programs.

Hard body, Logo and graphic design, industrial visualization is really where it is at for EI. Get EIM up to speed to be able to import other nurb/design modelers and export to EI flawlesly.

Make logo/graphic design an actuality within EI....and be able to export layered photoshop files as C4D does.

EI is very good in this market and needs to be beefed up and become recognized again. Take something like Brazil or Vray and the buzz it creates for rendering.......ensure Camera can do all of that and even more. It's close. Make EIM as user friendly as Rhino. There is a whole market other than character animation which EI could compete in.

Character animation and efforts spent there, unfortunately, are not going to see EI survive.

Paul


Good points Paul... it may just be wishful thinking on my part. That's why some kind of transition from today's animator to tomorrow's animator is necessary. Maybe EIM can be that bridge, maybe not. I only make my observation from where I'm at in the entertainment industry. We rely on character work and its becoming more and more prevelent everywhere you look in CG.

Edit: But you know.. if EI stays hard surface.. that's ok too I guess. I'll find a use for it. :)

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 11:09 PM
"OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that's ultimately what it needs to be fed"

Can you repeat this?

Sure. Camera renders polys. All other modeling approaches for EI are methods to obtain a final polygon result. These other modeling methods can make life easier or harder in certain circumstances. Different modeling methods also have their advantages and disadvantages over standard poly modeling. In previs, I always work in polys. No need to model in any other manner. But someone doing architectural visualization...that's a different story. Then modeling only in polys becomes a complete bitch.

manuel
12-09-2006, 11:14 PM
The problem with these questions is that most people answering in this thread will be those saying: "yes". It will not be representative of how much percent is interested.
I'm in the "no" camp and feel I haven't got much to say. Wouldn't it be more realistic to do a poll asking how many people use NURBS, Poly's or both (with an emphasis on either one)? And how many would want an integrated environment?
One more thing. Rhino costs $895, so I can't really see a $300 NURBS modeller coming out of EITG anytime soon.

Vizfizz
12-09-2006, 11:21 PM
Also a good point Manuel. My feelings are as posted above.

I'd be really happy if EI had a great poly and SDS modeler. I rarely use Nurbs anymore except in Maya...and then I convert them to polys almost immediately. Course I'm one of those weird ones that still likes Nurbs too. But ultimately, for me, its all about poly modeling.

If EIM returned with strong poly modeling and kick ass UV tools and texturing capabilities, I'd be just fine with that. I could still use all the other modeling paradigms when I need something particularly more organic, resolution independant or precise in nature. And if you couldn't tell.. I'm in favor of an integrated working environment. Vertex level manipulation is mandatory. To have that you need to have both in one place.

AVTPro
12-09-2006, 11:47 PM
I think Animator should continue to focus on CA tools. I, for one, have found it's FBX implementation a workable solution for importing dynamic simulations including 8 legged creatures such as Octopuses, to Cloth simulations. We just need something better than replacement animation for Blendshape talking heads.


Several of us could think of several low to mid range broadcast CA commercial that been buzzing on air that with character animaton talent, EI could exceed. To compete as a renderer, the demands are CA trends like SSS, or Zbrush subpixels. EI just need to refine was it has. Even Previs, needs decent, not necessarily highend CA tools. It's all about the F-Curves anyway. The custom keys to editable paths are great. I use MA and MB but only to supplement EI anyway. Right now, I'm helping someone else produce their indie film with characters but fancy deformation is not needed for these characters. I think EIAS is an ideal indie film environment. EAIS may not be about to pull the seat from Maya, Houdini or XSI, but if it could cater to the indie film, Music video, and broadcast CA crowd with expert proficiency, it won't have to.

BTW, forgive my excitement about my first human head. But now that we can make them "Blink" I am free to pursue this in EIAS. This is the workflow I would suggest for an intergrated Modeler. EIM could have benefited from a "wire on shaded cage display mode."

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/GeoConversion4.jpg

juanxer
12-10-2006, 01:58 AM
-There being so many SDS modelers out there, even if ideally EIM ought to incorporate poly tools and such, probably it ought to first try catching all these people that just wanted EI to fill the holes and turn EIM into a mature conceptual design/Architecture rendering tool. One remembers their comments in the EITG Modeler forum.

Anyway, the first step would be going UB, plugging in the latest UB ACIS engine available and trying to incorporate some of the easiest to implement new ACIS tools (does it work that way? Are most ACIS modelers' toolsets directly derived from this engine's features?). Plus adding a few very easy to code things, such as screensets and mousewheeling for the main tools palette.


-(Wasn't Renderman able to render NURBS without first tesselating them into polys? Not that it helps at all, unless a future EIM would be able to use RMan as a possible renderer)

-(Not being a character animator, but feeling that EIAS is a great tool for videoproduction facilities wishing to add 3D to their toolset, and being Lightwave seemingly the de facto standard for Television 3D, I'd like to ask: would it be very difficult to bring EIAS up to level with Lightwave CA tools-wise (specially seeing that LW has always had a separate modeler app)?)

cjberg
12-10-2006, 03:19 AM
heck, I would just like a maintenece release... dont need no fancy buzzwords... you can get that in any package. I just want good nuts and bolts.

oh, bring back Amorphium, while we are in LaLa land

Cj

Seabear
12-10-2006, 03:44 AM
heck, I would just like a maintenece release... dont need no fancy buzzwords... you can get that in any package. I just want good nuts and bolts.

Cj

Ah Cj ... You mean fundamental, lean and mean tools that work for artists intuitively and reliably?
Designed by trained professionals who really know what they are doing?
With a mastermind or visionary at the helm?
Didn't ElectricImage pioneer that sort of thing?

Where there is (renewed) life there is hope ... right?

Well a caution for EITG .. Professionals dont want software that 'looks like it was designed by a committee', particularly if that committee consults all and sundry; hobbyists, enthusiasts, and dilletantes alike!
The real needs have been posted time and again in forums over the years. The beta testers' site .. a place for professionals in the main, lists a swag of well thought out development priorities, all there to be analysed.
A Council of 12 should be more than enough to arrive at a development path!

AVTPro
12-10-2006, 05:40 AM
Whoops. My apologies! Forgot to give CREDIT to the modeler! The sample model I use to clarify confusion of what pro SDS modeler are.

The sample was a from a book/CD that I never got a chance to really look at til this morning. So I can't fully explain all the details concerning this higher level of edge loop strategy. It's uncommon for sure, if you're not at the breaking current of the industry. All I can say is it goes beyond mere animation flow lines (as in my model) and the norm of edge looping to incorporatre several considerations.

So if the edge loops seem foriegn, and you would like to dig beyond the surface (pun) then I recommend his book and CD. It would be easy to spot because this model is on the cover. It's entitled.

"Secrets of the Pros." Expert Advice on Acheiving Professional Results" .
The modeler is "World renowned" on the likes of Taron, Bay Raitt and Rick Baker.
He name is Krishnamurti M. Costa.

I simply refer to him as "Antropus". http://www.antropus.com/

Again, forgive me for not giving credit where it's due.

(BTW, I really didn't connect the dots, I didn't know this was Antropus, until I read the post here. I'm honored. however, if I had seen his SDS, I wouldnt have fully managed the "Stars" the way I did because they don't really matter.)

Martin Kay
12-10-2006, 12:55 PM
Speaking of changes...

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

What's a UB version? Excuse me for being ignorant!

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

Hmmm, tricky... since a lot of EI users have 'paid' for EIM already, myself included. Having said that, I'd say about £250 to £300 Stirling. This may seem a bit steep, but the reality is that all the work involved has to be financed. Either you want it or you don't- you can't really expect it for something like £100 - £150

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

If its a really good package, then yes. It obviously has to appeal to other users who aren't using EI, but has to be really compatible with other apps, with all the various file formats working properly... has to be marketed and advertised also. There is a gap in the market that EIM could fill- ie the nurbs modelling sector.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

£350 to £400, which puts it in line with other modelling apps currently being offered. You couldn't pitch it at the current price of say, Rhino, but it would obviously be priced much higher than Silo.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

I don't know what's possible here... build on the old EIM if possible.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

Ideally the modelling and animation/texturing systems need to be integtated into one working module for convenience.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Not sure what the point of this is unless you have the whole shooting match...

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

An improved EIM is better than nothing.

We want to hear from you.

Martin Kay

iKKe
12-10-2006, 01:09 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

YES!

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$500

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

This is a marketing issue, doesn't matter to me.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$900

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

No, just port EIM to UB, a newer ACIS engine, and UV layout would be great though.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

No

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

No

Cheers

Hans

arketype
12-10-2006, 04:15 PM
Let me throw in some things that have not been mentioned yet.

First of all, I am in the Industrial Design arena, using EIAS for visualization.
Modeller showed great promise for ID and there were many people interested in it before it was killed.

Most ID people have now moved on to other tools- I am using formZ and Concepts Unlimited.
Even an enhanced version of Modeler won't offer much compared to the funcionality of these other packages, except for one thing...

UBERNURBS
Acis modelling is becoming the industry strandard for CAD (both architectural, and for ID/ manufacturing). One tool that made Modeler unique was it's subdivision surfaces which could be converted over to ACIS geometry and brought into CAD.

NO OTHER CAD APPLICATION HAS ANYTHING LIKE THIS!
all other SDS modellers are poly only, which is does not translate well into CAD/CAM.

ACIS based UBERNURBS / SDS is modeller's killer feature.

Concepts 3d/ Unlimited offers some of the best surfacing tools around, has history based modelling, symbol instancing, etc. which is important to ID.

What about a technology "sharing"/ cross licensing arrangement with CSI- makers of Concepts unlimited/3d?

Why Concepts?
-Concepts 3d does most things modeler did, and does many things better.
-Some concepts products are already licensed to sell under other names (Turbo CAD) so this precedence is set.
-Concepts already supports EIAS by expoting to FACT, so some of it's users already use EIAS.
-The latest incarnation of the Concepts products look like they could be easily "skinned"
to give concepts 3d a "look" that matches EIAS, and could be "branded" as a new EIAS Modeller.
-Modeler code for ACIS based Ubernurbs could be licensed to Concepts to add SDS to it's modelling capabilities.
-Concepts 3d is $500 and includes the lightworks engine- Removing this renderer for the EIAS modeller version would reduce the base cost (with the cross licensing of Ubernurbs maybe sub $400?, Maybe even sub $300?)
-Concepts 3d/Unlimited has no animation capabilities, so really good integration with EIAS would provide animation capabilities for current Concepts users.
-Concepts users using the internal lightworks renderer are clamoring for "Final Gather"/ GI capabilities which EIAS could provide.
-Maybe Camera/EIAS could be integrated well enough to replace Lightworks as the default renderer?
-Sure, all renderers use polys, but if an ACIS based modelling package ("smooth" in formZ parlance) could be integrated through an EIAS plugin you could have "resolution independent rendering", with low poly tesselation for working in animator, and automatic high res tessellation for rendering- a great and unique feature. Perhaps there could even be some tesselation optimizations which could happen at render time? based on distance from camera etc?)
-CSI was just "aquired" by Punch software, and evidently is getting a big boost in resources for marketing and development (sounds a lot like what is going on at EITech). The two companies may have tremendous synergy together.

I also like the idea of better integration with all other 3d apps.
This could be accomplished by EITech writing plugins for OTHER apps for near seamless integration with EIAS/Camera. We can't depend on other Apps to support EIAS, they have little incentive.
Imagine an export plugin for Maya, Max, Lightwave, XSI, Etc. free for download that allows geometry, materials, and animation to be brought into EIAS.
This could provide an enhanced feature set over FBX which has limitations.
Perhaps even break into the CAD market by integrating support for SolidWorks. The only rendering option they have is Mental Ray, and I believe the cost is rather high for that add-on.
This could be an entirely new market for EIAS!

EIAS has a foothold in the visualization arena for Architecture, and could gain ground in ID visualization with a little effort.

juanxer
12-10-2006, 04:56 PM
About getting better integration between EIM and EIA, I'd suggest producing a new file format that encases both EIM models and their (multiple resolution) FACT counterparts with texture links. That and EIA becoming able to deal with adding and deleting elements from those files (so that they still can be retouched after a first import into an EIA project).

Items in EIM could be selectively flagged to be FACTed (converted to polys), SDS-CAGE'd (converting only the UberNURBS cages to polys so that EIA's SDS plugins can play with them) or PATH'd (converted into some kind of curve information usable for paths and things. Paralumino's?) in the Layer View, so that EIA reads hero items only and not all the auxiliary things one usually produces while building models. That and perhaps the possibility of saving files without any poly information (while still conserving the per-object flags and texture info) if one wants them as light as in the original EIM format. As a first option, the file would allow for up to two FACTs per object: one at EIM's screen resolution and another at export resolution. That would provide automatic LoRes proxies).

Including texture information would be important for future EIM texturing and rendering tools.

Reuben5150
12-10-2006, 08:39 PM
I think EIM is worth some investment, its too good to let go.

Sure, it needs some work in some important areas.. ideally SDS and vertex-level editing intergrated into Animator though, obviously the latest ACIS engine for EIM would be a good idea.

Sure it would be a great "stand alone" app, essentially thats what it is and i don't see any reason why shouldn't be marketed as such.

Its ironic that the only modeler AFAIK with a reliable and predictable fact export is no longer developed, that situation needs to change, or improvements in EIAS's import filters for other file formats, but thats another story..

I've no need for UB, i'm not running any Mac's and don't think that will change any time soon.

I'll pay whatever the upgraded costs are, if i think its worth it, won't commit to any figures.

"5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?"

What's the point in throwing away all the work done on EIM and its excellent interface ? unless anyone on earth can say with confidence -Built in EIAS modeling tools can be done:-) which by now most people have realized this IS a pipedream yet it don't stop us continually asking for it.

"7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?"

The thought of EIAS's material system built into EIM is nice but probably unrealistic due to the amount of work required to do it (only guessing here)
Basic phong reviews would be usefull, but again would it be worth the effort ?, other more important issues remain.

Just MHO

Reuben

3dData
12-10-2006, 09:20 PM
Why Concepts?

I agree that this is a possible way to go. Concepts 3D is very similar to EIM and has a decent export to FACT. Years ago, the combination of EIAS and FormZ was a standard. If Concepts 3D was bundled with EIAS or as a purchase option, that would make a great combo.

EI has to improve it's import capabilities, the time of other developers having FACT export is gone, so EI has to step in and make the bridge from all the other packages out there possible.

Download the demo to Concepts 3D and then see if it's worth while upgrading EIM.

cjberg
12-10-2006, 09:53 PM
Yes, it is worth it...
1 word...

Ubernurbs

They are "that" good.

Why Concepts? <...> Download the demo to Concepts 3D and then see if it's worth while upgrading EIM.

PaulS2
12-10-2006, 10:01 PM
Concepts 3D..who??..............:-)

For me personally, Concepts 3D just never felt right...I also never found the Fact export to be anywhere as robust as EIM's.

EIM's workflow and interface + it's layers are much more intuative for me.

Reuben5150
12-10-2006, 11:02 PM
The real needs have been posted time and again in forums over the years. The beta testers' site .. a place for professionals in the main, lists a swag of well thought out development priorities, all there to be analysed.


How very true Malcolm.

R

AVTPro
12-11-2006, 05:34 AM
I think EIM should take a back seat to improving animator as a solid, diverse mid range production and animation studio tool. Most professional modelers have long since moved on to other modelers. I think making EIM a stand alone would be a waste of resource heading in the wrong direction. If anything, it could be incorporated to "improve "Animator. Renderama is also very attractive to a single users as a network render system even for a single quad machine.


NURBS
I found the whole EIM boolean methodology of solids modeling,... indirect. To build solid block forms as cutting object to ensure rounding seemed to be a "round about" means of surface modeling. The only work, or artist I have seen to have "mastered surface modeling" in EIM was Crisbols cars. Cage modeling, in my evualations aren't ideal for "car body" as are NURBS surfacing. I have beta tested EIM since it's manual were an alpha script on a piece of paper and I never found the NURBS to works as they could or should, especially "edit nurbs surface" mode to pull and push CVs on a surface. Once that edit mode was evoked, the surface could not be mended back into the model. Again, I can only judge it by my experience and the work I have seen. FormZ and Maya kicks ass in this area. I can't see EIM pulling seats with these feature set (NURBS) unless there is a major effort in revamping, marketing and tutorial support.


POLYGONS

Did EIM ever do polys? Versitility and flexiblity is the name of game. EIM may work in the acloves of a niché markets but would that fiy at top studios of NYC or LA? Is any large scale studios using EIM as their core modeling tool? hmm. I guess professoinalism is based on the needs of your market.

From my experience, Vesitility, Flexibility, diversity has to be an inate means of survival or intentfully built into the interface such as Hypergraph and MEL. Markets change so whatever works.


SDS

For a short time I enjoyed UBERS and I could see it "HELPING" EI if it were implemented into Animator...but only UBers...just the palette and not the big shell of less than average NURBS and pseudo -Poly techniques. UBers, though nice for back then, has to evolve to current SDS modelers. Better the Poly cage modeling tools, soft sculpt tools and shaded diplay modes.

One feature I never saw in EIM SDS or Ubers, that I think is simply awesome, is transversing multiple levels details in the SDS cage while modeling. Even if an intergrated SDS engine couldn't do this, I would like to use it for Proxy models (poly to SDS like Encage). The goal of incorporating Ubers is merely to change the poly paradigm of Animator to access vertex level object controls so that vert level procedures become available for importing cloth simulation or single blendshape object animation. Yes, to the point where I can open the FCE and vert controls. Then use a lattice manipulator on the group of curves.

BRUSH SCULPTING

This is the edge. Will EIM lack this modeling feature when Zbrush, Mudbox, Artisan Modo already are far down the road? Cage modeling time is coming to a close. Pulling vertices, edges and faces is unintuitive and doesn't follow any artist paradigm. It's also slow.

The Advisory Counsel should look to "whatever" technologies is needed for this render type in Animator and Camera. If EIAS Camera doesn't take this into STRONG consideration...sooner than later, EIM wont be the only thing that will need resurrecting.

If Animator can't fluently access and Camera can't render this type of image "hassle free" "how can it call itself a film renderer when all the other film renders can? Just check the ZBCentral render forum to who's who in ZB renders!
I use Zbrush as a UV/3D paint tool which works fine with EIAS. I hope EIAS is ready when I need full displacement surfaces.

Films are popping with this render type. Pirates of the Carribean, Pan's Labyrinth (Antropus) , and basic cartoons Luc Besson's Arthur invisibles, and maybe Jane and the Dragon. I think it goes further back than that to Disney's "Dinosaurs".

Conclusion

Truth of the matter is Maya is no longer king of the heap, that's why they sold. There's no more SGI, Wavefront, and now Alias (except for Studio Tools). Animated Games are a bigger stronger market than animated films. The merger is more than symbolic. The next tier of Cinema content creators slowly appearing on the horizon ...like C4D (at least for cartoons). They have been developing consistently for years now. Can EIAS compete with them? Does C4D users have to by tons of Plugs to get started? I hope all this redevelopment re-manage means cut the FAT. EIAS please clean up tha basic, Cartoon animation only have a limited numberr of requirement "right now". Fix what is needed to make yourselves a compliment to seat in a mid to high end film studio.

Seabear
12-11-2006, 06:46 AM
BRUSH SCULPTING

This is the edge. Will EIM lack this modeling feature when Zbrush, Mudbox, Artisan Modo already are far down the road? Cage modeling time is coming to a close. Pulling vertices, edges and faces is unintuitive and doesn't follow any artist paradigm. It's also slow. .... .
Absolute nonsense!
I have been a painter/sculptor most of my working life, I have never used a paintbrush to build form, in any 3D medium ... so much for 'intuitive'!
I have been a digital sculptor for 10 years and SDS cage design, using the face, edge and vertex tools is the most intuitive means to construct form & contour at the structural level that I have ever used.
And it is not 'slow', a competant SDS modeler can work very swiftly using SDS tools in a workmanlike manner, learn your craft!
Brush sculpting in Bodypaint and ZBrush is excellent for adding detail to form and surface, but not necessarily for modeling. Excellent models have been built this way, but engineering the cage for animation is another matter.
IF we are to animate a digital sculpture (character), we will want total control of that cage design, so that the mesh can move at joints cleanly, without tearing. To apply UVs effectively etc etc.
Ubermesh is the SDS polygonal toolset in EIM. Ubernurbs is nurbs surface modeling using the same control cage.

AVTPro
12-11-2006, 07:07 AM
Of course, I didn't mean for you Malc :)

EIM is your main modeler?

If it works for your market. Then great!

You might find Zspheres to be interesting as well. Some of the cage designs I see are on point. Zspheres are extremly fast and no pushing edges, or faces. ..well unless you want to. Their edge looping could use some strengthing, It only does Quads (but that makes sense) but for super fast modeling building on tight deadline. It can't be beat. Still I export the Zcage to a plain poly editor when need be.

I was able to model an eight legged octo in no time flat for client approval with Zsphere then come back an clean up anything I didn't like.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Octopus2.jpg

BTW.

All this talk of industrial designer, sent me down memory lane hard body surface modeling with FormZ. The lighting fixture were CAD are accurate. EIM just never seem to fix with this stuff, on a basic line art drawing level.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Projectluminance2_5.jpg

The 3D models were plotted and manufactured. These sold in Home Depot. I did many of these but this is all I have after several years.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/LightingFixture.jpg

Everybody knows who these people are. Cigarattes are bad.
The job was good. Philip Morris, this was for WalMart chain.

This is just an old sample WIP before the final. It has errors.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/WalMart.jpg

Did tons of this stuff, some were really cool where I had people in them.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Imageconceptrenderfinalcopy.jpg


Lastly, I didn't do this, but this is Alias, and what I like about Car NURBS modeling.

Looks a lot of EIM.
Forgive me, I don't know the artist.
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/large_pininfarina03.jpg

Vizfizz
12-11-2006, 07:38 AM
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however please realize that there are multiple industries in which different technologies work better than others. Obviously organic modeling can benefit from a scuplting paradigm, but if it were the only method of modeling, multiple industries would suffer. Organic character modeling is the most visable of those disciplines (thus garnering the most attention) however, in reality, its probably not the largest share of what CG is used for. Ever try building a digital set, accurate to a thousandth of an inch, with a sculpt modeling program? Not fun.

The other thing to consider is not everyone's brain works the same way. What's intuitive to one person isn't intuitive to the other. That is why we see different types of programs. EIM's primary work paradigm isn't sculpting. That was Amorphium's territory....a program I wish EITG could further develop and exploit, but they only have distribution rights to the program... not access to the code.

Its good to see passion in one's opinions, however be careful not to project them on to everyone...or make sweeping claims that if EITG just does "this" they'd be better off. I think we've all been guilty of that. Even me. I'd like to see more character animation for EI as well, but the reality is, EIAS isn't there yet, and I might have to accept the fact that EIAS may not take that route for a long time to come....if at all. (And that doesn't mean that the program and the company can't be successful...though my opinion says it will greatly help the cause.) However, I'll still find use for the program.

I believe that with each new release, EITG will attempt to insert technologies into the program that have been sorely lacking. This will go a long way to becoming competitive again. Perhaps along the way, we'll be surprised with something that we never saw coming.

bronco
12-11-2006, 08:26 AM
BRUSH SCULPTING

This is the edge. Will EIM lack this modeling feature when Zbrush, Mudbox, Artisan Modo already are far down the road? Cage modeling time is coming to a close. Pulling vertices, edges and faces is unintuitive and doesn't follow any artist paradigm. It's also slow.

I guess you only have character animation in mind. It's true, for CA (but not limited to that), these sculpting tools are a great addition. In the case of Mudbox you still need a normal Modeler to create your basemesh. Show me any production that uses Zbrush for anything different than detailing existing models.
You have to understand that EIM with it's current feature set is a totally different beast, with a different market.
Would you like to "brush" model a building with Zbrush or Mudbox? Or a maschine tool? or anything rigid for that matter? I wouldn't.
These sculpting programs are not going to replace anything. For organic forms and if you need fine detailing, they are great. If you need accuracy, you are lost.

I can understand that for your work the stuff you mentioned is important and i sure wish to play with mudbox as well (i just can't stand zbrushs UI), but EIM just can't fullfill everything. (The same as Maya, XSI, 3DS Max, and all others just can't do everything. Example? Here you are: Max sucks at nurbs mordeling, if you need it, just go somewhere else.)

We are talking about the possibility to bring back EIM, what it needs to stand a chance in the market, which market is well suited for it and if it would be recieved to a level that the cost and time of development is no waste of just that. All of that with the resources of EITG in mind.

juanxer
12-11-2006, 08:57 AM
Certainly, EIM was severy lacking at CV-level editing of NURBS bodies, when one compares it to Maya and others.

I guess the EIM case ough to be reduced to:

-Resurrecting EIM and getting it back to its original development track as cheapest as possible. Is it viable?

-Evolving it into an standalone conceptual/all-rounder design tool that is self-sustaining as an independent product.


(Everything is possible, with hard work and guts! :D :D: http://sebleg.free.fr/tutorials/zcartut.htm Sorry, couldn't resist that :) )

Jens C. Möller
12-11-2006, 11:38 AM
I would think due to the ACIS nature of EIM it is most logical to position it marketing wise in the product design and maybe architectural realm. Sure poly modeling is important in the animation industry. But one needs to consider what the potential competitors are. Its seems nonsense to me to try to make EIM a ZBrush or Modo or Maya competitor. Sounds like requesting Indesign layout features for MS word...

I think its simply not true that spline modeling is not suited for animation. As far as I know Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age, Robots et al.) use spline modeling only. Also for characters. http://www.blueskystudios.com/content/process-tools.php

I would rather enhance the import capabilities of Animator for ZBrush, Modo and the like than to force EIM to enter this realm.

Jens

FelixCat
12-11-2006, 02:11 PM
I allways amazed with the Malcolm EIM sculptures, they where the demonstration of EIM capabilities in organic modeling, but i never understud how he did it. My first organic modelling was with SILO. I still use EIM for hard body modeling and, if returns, i will use it gladly. I don´t think Modeller has to do everything, no one does. I think nobody uses only one tool for everything. But, i would like to see some vertex control inside EiAS for CA, some kind of conection between the modeller and the app.

FelixCat

FelixCat
12-11-2006, 02:19 PM
¨I'd like to see more character animation for EI as well, but the reality is, EIAS isn't there yet, and I might have to accept the fact that EIAS may not take that route for a long time to come....if at all.¨

Wow, Brian, you really worried me with this statment.

FelixCat

3DArtZ
12-11-2006, 02:26 PM
Making another SDS modeler would be a mistake. I already have a copy of Silo.

I say bring EIM back from the dead, fix bugs and continue its development.
I'll be standing by with my check book:)

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

Vizfizz
12-11-2006, 03:36 PM
¨I'd like to see more character animation for EI as well, but the reality is, EIAS isn't there yet, and I might have to accept the fact that EIAS may not take that route for a long time to come....if at all.¨

Wow, Brian, you really worried me with this statment.

FelixCat

I wouldn't get too worried about it....really. I was only pointing out the fact that EIAS was born to be a hard surface animation program. However, we're taking steps to change that. Its just going to take some time...and for some, that might be more time that they're willing to spend. I still intend to push for as many character tools as possible. ;)

FelixCat
12-11-2006, 03:45 PM
Thanks, Brian. A bit less worried now.

FelixCat

Burney
12-11-2006, 04:54 PM
I think they are sufficient good modelers out there. It sounds like an enormous effort is needed to make EIM to perform on par with the other modelers out there. If this is the case, just bring EIM back to be compatible to current OSes. Fix the boolean annoyances. And keep it as part of EIU as before sound reasonable to me. What EIAS badly needed now is an embedded robust geometry editor similar to paralumino geometry plug ins that support polygonal and SDS. If EIM can be emerged as a multi-facets editor for imported geometries and work like how Adobe Photoshop works with InDesign will be ideal.

About the cost, I think only the existing loyal and supportive EIAS users do not mind to pay higher cost to help EITG move EIM forward. But to make EIM a separate application to attract new users, there will be much to be done. I do not know whether the revenue generated out of the pockets of the loyal existing EIAS users will be sufficient to fund this project if the new modeler lack competitive advantages to lure new users. It is a difficult job, I do not count out the possibilities.

EIAS is already a very robust animation application. I think further improvement to GUI, more advanced open GL support, an embedded geometries editor, a well illustrated learner manual plus training video and a good price point will definitely lure more users into EIAS arena.

Just my two cents. Cheers.

rmacgregor
12-11-2006, 09:06 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
Sure, if the move while constrained along the Y axis bug was fixed.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
$50 would be the max I would be willing to pay. I would hope that there would be a few features added. Stability being one of those features.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?
Who outside of the EI community would purchase Modeler in its current form?

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

I wouldn't. Quit frankly EI Technogy Group cancelled modeler which over a number of years has led me to use Modo as my primary modeler.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

I'm not a very clear on this question. Is the "something entirely new" going to be much better than Modeler? Will it integrate better with Animator and will I be able to save in more formats than Modeler currently allows? Would this be a Nurbs based modeler or SubD modeler?

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

You tell us. Is this possible. If this will give users a better 3d program then get on with it.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

That would be very nice. Being able to texture and access pluggins such as tree storm would be handy.

If Modeler could be made at least the equivalent in capabilities of Modo 202 I think that would be a compelling product. otherwise an update sounds kinda lame.

The EI Technogy Group or whoever it is that owns Electric Image now has their work cut out for them bringing their products up to speed with competing and very attractive products. I wish them luck. A bug fix for Amorphium so it will run in Tiger would be nice.

AVTPro
12-11-2006, 09:27 PM
I wouldn't get too worried about it....really. I was only pointing out the fact that EIAS was born to be a hard surface animation program. However, we're taking steps to change that. Its just going to take some time...and for some, that might be more time that they're willing to spend. I still intend to push for as many character tools as possible. ;)


That's very encouraging to me Brian, Thanks.. I wasn't really planning on doing a film by the end of next week.

And yes, Bronco, I'm referring to "cage modeling" in that statement. Not "high tolerance" CAD/CAM (CATIA or Pro-E). just go to the forums. They are building complete human models, winged dragons, dinosaurs, cats , dogs, sculptures, in Zbrush without directly (per se) building, pulling verts, or edge. Zpheres is NOT brush modeling, but you use a wacom brush ( you can use a mouse). That's inuitive to me. It makes a lot of sense to me, than pulling verts. It's not chiseling, it's applying clay. It's pulling computer points and edges and mainly one by one. Obviously I can do both methods of modeling. To me and others, brush sculpting intuitive and almost tactile.

I have never seen a "Sculpey, Clay" figure modeler who has not used a brush for sculpting and smoothing detail (of course, not building the rig, or blocking form). Even if you are not building 3D form, there are 3D "bas relief" methods that use "Impasto" painting. Still to me, using a brush is closer to traditional are than point by point, edge modeling. Still it's only my personal experience and preference.


I use to train architectural groups in the use of FormZ. Doesn't make me an Architect, though I have done many works from blueprints and elevations by default. I never got that feel of EIM as an ideal application for that feild. Not knocking anyone who is using it successfully in that arena. I respect all the displines, and artist, by instinct, just as much as I expect my opinions, experience and art to be respected. I admire other's work doesn't matter to me who they are or where they are from.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/brow.jpgThe only app I know of that could give FormZ (mac) a run for the money In Architecture was Revit, paremetric material pricing. Change the one window and all the others would update and give you an update in material cost and weight for shipping.

I still model in verts and pull polys, but that will change. I have use Zphere to block a cage, and exported to Maya to correct then finished it in Zbrush. This hippo I did directly in Maya, and only use a soft brush in Zbrush to bring it out. inother words, fluidly paint the geometry.


As Brain says, people, artist and programs are different. Some like Freehand some like illustrator, some like Painter, some like Photoshop. I like Zbrush alot...some like Mudbox.

Lastly, I'm merely stating, EIM has be defunct of at least 4 years. The tools are atiquated. The current state of the art is using a different paradigm all together for organics. In one man's opinion, The most EI can do for me is improve animators weaknesses. I never even load in my new Mac. It's on my G4 which is 6 years.

My only reason for be so "blunt". Is because I care about EI.

I built this cage in a polymodeler then strengthened it in ZB.
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/cage.jpg

BTW, here a case where I am using the texture to sculpt the surface with a paintbrush.
Not quite there yet but I'm still growing.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Picture10.png

Seabear
12-11-2006, 10:02 PM
.... they were the demonstration of EIM capabilities in organic modeling, but i never understud how he did it. My first organic modelling was with SILO....'

FelixCat
Thanks for the tribute, but really Ubermesh is no different to Wings or Silo in principle.
What put people off Ubermesh, understandably, was its inability to shade in realtime.
I got used to modeling with wires only, checking work everytime I processed the cage.
Not convenient until u cease to notice it but extremely fluid and intuitive once you get used to working that way. Some modeled in Ubernurbs and converted to Ubermesh, which works but the shaded feedback was often misleading.
This was all because Ubermesh toolset was never finished, it doesnt need much work to make it a top sds cage modeler and bring this pioneering sds toolset up to date.
Another pioneer; Wings3D, is a very solid workmanlike app. Silo can be a bit unstable ... which is very disconcerting on a deadline, nice to work with tho, I look forward to Silo 2 for Mac. But IMHO the Ubermesh GUI beats all hands down
I did a ZBrush 'hand modeling' tutorial a long time ago using ZSpheres, which is is an excellent way to set up a cage in principle, but it isnt mature enough to use for complex character modeling in production... certainly not in conjunction with EIAS. I look forward to seeing what ZB 2.5 has to offer, and I agree that ZB > EIAS needs to be optimally facilitated.

AVTPro
12-11-2006, 10:54 PM
I don't know where things got off track but just so you know Malc. I have always held high regard for your work and respected you as an intellectual, and an artist. Like Felix, and as you have more experience, with EIM cage modeling than I, I always admired you achievements and your work.

I have done art as long as I remember, it's been my life. I have always put artist up on a pedestal for upholding "Truth" in their work and persona. Maybe I'm not infactuated with as being "upholders of truth" but still, It's only gallery owners that I consider superficial. :)

By the way, youre right. Zsphere need some refining as well, but man, they are fast compared to anything I have touch. I don't doubt that if EIM added some of the newer cage modeling tools like Edge ring and Edge cutting across multiple edge, and on the fly SDS editting (finer, courser) it would ROCK. I still miss that blue color.

Seabear
12-11-2006, 11:52 PM
I would think due to the ACIS nature of EIM it is most logical to position it marketing wise in the product design and maybe architectural realm. Sure poly modeling is important in the animation industry. But one needs to consider what the potential competitors are. Its seems nonsense to me to try to make EIM a ZBrush or Modo or Maya competitor. Sounds like requesting Indesign layout features for MS word...

I think its simply not true that spline modeling is not suited for animation. As far as I know Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age, Robots et al.) use spline modeling only. Also for characters. http://www.blueskystudios.com/content/process-tools.php

I would rather enhance the import capabilities of Animator for ZBrush, Modo and the like than to force EIM to enter this realm.

Jens

Jens I agree that EIM served a lot of disciplines (Char animation the least of all), but EIM was also an ideal tool for such things as medical illustration and organic animation modeling.
One task I had was to model a human heart in sds/ubermesh (ideal for organic modeling), make cutaways at various locations and angles to expose internal structures (ideal task for ACIS knives and booleans), after converting; Ubermesh > Ubernurbs > ACIS solid. this was then sent to EIAS to render stills and anim.
EIM was almost the perfect tool for the job. What forced me out of EIM was the lack of Ubermesh selection sets ... vital to manage all of the organ's componants, Silo's 'Group Editor' did that part for me.
My point is that there are a lot of organic modeling tasks other than character modeling, (and that means SDS, particularly if animation is required), so there is good reason to retain and complete the UberMesh/Nurbs toolset.

Alric
12-12-2006, 12:35 AM
What put people off Ubermesh, understandably, was its inability to shade in realtime. This was all because Ubermesh toolset was never finished, it doesnt need much work to make it a top sds cage modeler and bring this pioneering sds toolset up to date.
- - - - -
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
- Keep it as is (PPC) for now, unless it doesn't work with Rosetta.
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
- $100-250 with finished UberMesh, UV Texturing, and robust Polygon toolset. :)
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
- I would keep it bundled with EIA.
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
- $250-$500 (XP, OSX... and OS9 for owners with less than 512Mb RAM)
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
- Definately go with EIM but add essential features (UM, UV, Poly).
6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
- Keep EIA for animation/rendering, EIM for modeling/texturing.
7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
- Certainly; anything to improve the workflow.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in the last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.
- Same as 2.

plsyvjeucxfw
12-12-2006, 12:53 AM
so there is good reason to retain and complete the UberMesh/Nurbs toolset.

Agreed.

However, I'd much rather see whatever modeler evolves, directly inside EIAS. Other than UberShapes and Paralumino plug-ins, moving geometry into and out of EIAS is chronically plagued with issues. Just search the forums; reversed normals, unattached points, incorrect scale, hundreds of objects that need to be renamed.

3rd party modelers and plug-ins add to the cost, while Maya and XSI can provide Poly and Nurbs toolsets within the main application, at a base price point.

Revamping EIM should only be a launching off point to creating Geometry within the core package. IMHO;)

Seabear
12-12-2006, 01:09 AM
Agreed.

However, I'd much rather see whatever modeler evolves, directly inside EIAS. Other than UberShapes and Paralumino plug-ins, moving geometry into and out of EIAS is chronically plagued with issues. Just search the forums; reversed normals, unattached points, incorrect scale, hundreds of objects that need to be renamed.

3rd party modelers and plug-ins add to the cost, while Maya and XSI can provide Poly and Nurbs toolsets within the main application, at a base price point.

Revamping EIM should only be a launching off point to creating Geometry within the core package. IMHO;)

And I agree with all of that too : )

AVTPro
12-12-2006, 01:28 AM
But one needs to consider what the potential competitors are. Its seems nonsense to me to try to make EIM a ZBrush or Modo or Maya competitor. Sounds like requesting Indesign layout features for MS word...

I would rather enhance the import capabilities of Animator for ZBrush, Modo and the like than to force EIM to enter this realm.

Jens


Exactly why I posed the question. Why make it a stand alone when those guys are way down the road with the newer "brush" modeling paradigm. To pit EIM against those competitors wouldn't make sense. It's too far of a jump. I believe in direct, logical, A to B, incremental steps. Use it where it would serve the most good, where EIAS lacks. The enhancement in this area would be profound.

I don't use Maya or ZB where it doesn't ehance my render output. I only use it for where EIAS lacks. (UV edit, paint, model and some dynamics)

Just make it so EIAS can accept those displacement and render type smoothly without a lot of fuss.

Burney
12-12-2006, 01:40 AM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes, not just UB but a stable EIM on par with EIAS.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$99 for UB port and stability fixes. Will pay more depend on new features added. Must be competitive priced.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Depend where it is heading. Add EIAS material/lighting system and Camera render capabilities minus animation capabilities for still jobs. For architectural and Industrial Design, need parametric capabilities and better object/material attributes.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

Depend on the features. Basic as it is now, $199. With more advanced modelling, SDS and Parametric tools sets and Open GL shading options. $ 499. Add $199 for a CAMERA without animation.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

What EIAS urgently needed now in order to move forward is a full fledged geometries editor for imported geometies within EIAS environment. An improved EIM with SDS capabilities is a good idea if it can functioned within Animator environment.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

Yes.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

If EIM remain as a standalone modeling product, added EIAS material system with UV mapping and advanced open GL may be sufficient. Ability to access Camera will make it a good still package.

yhloon
12-12-2006, 06:00 AM
Sorry I didn't answer the question, Brian, as my answer is basically same with others

----

I may sound differently in this, just my oppinion...

I want a new EIM for sure, but how long will EITG work togrther with Spatial in the future... unless EITG market new EIM nicely with sucess, else... can we imagine what will happen if Spatial incease the licences fee again

My thought is why not EITG develope a new engine (not easy I know :sad:) or get a open source engine, like what blender did (blender mnodeling comes with polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves) I'm not sure how blender did it, if someone can tell me. :)

my other oppinion
1. EI should concerntrate in EIA, and abillity to modify (yes! modify only) geometry without using other modeler,

2. IF EITG want to bring back EIM, they should made it a pure nurbs modeler (with UV capable) let silo, modo handle the poly modeling (I feel it is difficult for EIM in this area when silo price only $109 and $159 for silo 2.0

----
sorry for any typing/grammer error. i type this in hurry :)

DickM
12-12-2006, 02:50 PM
Well, personally I'd want a new poly modeler built into EIAS. This would finally allow a UV editor inside EI as well as control at the vertex level which is essential for good CA. With vertex level control, things like smart skin are possible.

With all the modelers out there now, does it make sense for EI to spend time and money on a standalone modeler? Unless it has something to set itself a part from the others, I don't think anyone will pay it any attention.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

On a side note.... EI wants to make cash?!?!?!? Sell something that is insanely awesome.

CAMERA! ! ! ! ! Make that a standalone renderer. As a new Maya user I can tell you, I would kill for a copy of Camera for Maya! Camera can stand out from the crowd of other renderers too, I guarantee it!

DanielH
12-12-2006, 02:52 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
Although i dont use mactels yet, it will be inevitable in the future. So, yes, sure i want it.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
For a straight conversion from as-is-now to UB $90. More for included bugfixes/features.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?
I have somehow grown acustomed to having seperate apps for modeling and animation/rendering. I have heard arguments saying this approach is outdated. But for me working this way seems like a cleaner way. It helps to avoid inflating the apps and keeps your workflow straight. Of course it has alot of downside when it comes to refining models, updating geometry/hierachy and replacing models with the need for retexturing. The way it is now is FAR from how it could be. Should EIM/EIAS be competitive in the future, this has to be refined. Smoothless data I/O is imperial. With this ensured, it would be more then logical to keep it a seperate app.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
The as-is UB version shouldnt be more expensive than the current PPC-only version.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
I think EIM has enough potential that there is no need to create something entirely new.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
Thats a tempting thought, but really nothing a user is qualified to answer. Is it easier to add animation/texturing/rendering capabilities to EIM given its more modern architecture compared to EIAS, or is it easier to merge EIMs modeling capablities into EIAS? Thats the basic question i think, and really only a programmer with enough insight into both architectures could answer that. I can only guess that the first option would be easier.
Apart from that, i think i prefer EIM being a seperate app with a smooth workflow between EIM and EIAS (see 3.). But maybe this is harder to accomplish then to integrate both apps? I dont know.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
I dont see this as a major request for EIM, being a modeling app. Texturing and UV Tools in EIM? YES, definately. But not rendering, i wouldnt need that because i bring my models from EIM to EIAS anyway for rendering. Maybe other people have a use for that.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.
Sure, but offer more (bugfixes, features, ongoing development in what direction ever) and all other people that are interested in an UB will gladly accept (and pay) more.

Thanks for hearing all our opinions.

DickM
12-12-2006, 02:56 PM
Finishing that thought.......

Actually, here's what EI should do in the world of Richard ;)

Make EI import vertex level motion along with fbx, uv textures ...ect... Change the name of EIAS to EIRS = Electric Image Rendering System. And BAM, EI becomes a ruthless rendering system. I'm waking up now.......yawn....... :wise:

cjberg
12-12-2006, 03:11 PM
Make EI import vertex level motion
Um, done...

Cj

Reuben5150
12-12-2006, 04:42 PM
Agreed.

However, I'd much rather see whatever modeler evolves, directly inside EIAS. Other than UberShapes and Paralumino plug-ins, moving geometry into and out of EIAS is chronically plagued with issues. Just search the forums; reversed normals, unattached points, incorrect scale, hundreds of objects that need to be renamed.


Paralumino's efforts on modeling tools are commendable, but these tools seem to be unconventional epecially to anyone whose never used EI or coming from a package with a "proper" modeler included.

As mentioned, there is enough bug reports and enough info stored on the beta server regarding file import/export.. and the rest, you get to the point of giving up and feeling like the issues are beyond discussion.

Its quit obvious that to make EIAS a more "successful" package it needs robust and accurate importers for the major modelers out there right now, i don't need to list them, then there will be Mudbox...

Reuben

AVTPro
12-12-2006, 09:06 PM
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
I have somehow grown acustomed to having seperate apps for modeling and animation/rendering. I have heard arguments saying this approach is outdated. But for me working this way seems like a cleaner way. It helps to avoid inflating the apps and keeps your workflow straight. Of course it has alot of downside when it comes to refining models, updating geometry/hierachy and replacing models with the need for retexturing. The way it is now is FAR from how it could be. Should EIM/EIAS be competitive in the future, this has to be refined. Smoothless data I/O is imperial. With this ensured, it would be more then logical to keep it a seperate app.

Thanks for hearing all our opinions.


Hey Daniel. What's up Dude? Still rocking with XP no doubt "wink" :)

Just wanted to mention, I, like you, got so use to working with a separate modeler that I wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing against it if you like it, but it usually took a job twice as much disk space ...and I do a lot of incremental "Saves".

Though I got the knack down of model replacement. I normally save one model project (formZ), then a convert to fact files. then a EIAS project file. If anything went wrong I would have to redo files. So then you need one or two fact file conversion apps and sometimes, that doesn't help. By that time, this would become chaotic, especially, if I need multiple modelers, say a Hard Body and an organic modeler. I never limit my art with one modeler and I have never found a modeler that can "do it all."

Other issues that you mentioned, seem to be in direct relation to a separate modeler, editing UVs after a model has been rigged and painted weight is a real head banger. In an intergrated app, transferring UVs from one model to another fully rigged mode is a snap.

Even reverse engineering a model, you don't have to take two steps back into a separate model conversion pipeline.

Just another take of how my thoughts changed on that subject. I still work with separate modelers and work in EIAS even more so with FBX to include animation tranfers.

AVTPro
12-12-2006, 09:29 PM
Well, personally I'd want a new poly modeler built into EIAS. This would finally allow a UV editor inside EI as well as control at the vertex level which is essential for good CA. With vertex level control, things like smart skin are possible.

With all the modelers out there now, does it make sense for EI to spend time and money on a standalone modeler? Unless it has something to set itself a part from the others, I don't think anyone will pay it any attention.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

On a side note.... EI wants to make cash?!?!?!? Sell something that is insanely awesome.

CAMERA! ! ! ! ! Make that a standalone renderer. As a new Maya user I can tell you, I would kill for a copy of Camera for Maya! Camera can stand out from the crowd of other renderers too, I guarantee it!


I am in .2 % of 100% agreement with this. Only thing is I don't know about "SmartSkins", I think it's Hash? So, not going there...but couldn't agree more with everything else.

DickM
12-12-2006, 11:31 PM
Well, Hash calls it "Smartskin" but most higher end 3d apps have it Alonzo. They just have a different name for it. With Maya, your looking at "clusters", I forgot what XSI calls it. With vertex level control, your looking at being able to tweak a mesh at certain bone angles so a bending arm doesn't look like a bending pipe for instance.

Martin Kay
12-12-2006, 11:52 PM
Reading these posts and people's expectations it would seem that EI is going to have an impossible job to keep everyone happy... It also seems that no one is really prepared to pay that much for EI to re licence and re develop EIM. I somehow doubt that EI will be able to re licence and sort out all the problems with EIM, to even bring it up to getting all the current existing features to work properly, let alone all the file import problems that a few have mentioned, for the sum of money that most have said they are prepared to pay... EI is probably a dead duck if it tries to be all things to all people. The only slim hope for its survival is to concentrate on its core strengths and work to make those features as robust and connective/compatible with other systems, so EIA can be integrated into other major and more popular pipelines.

Martin K

DickM
12-13-2006, 02:18 AM
I agree Martin. That's why I think EI should focus on file compatibility with vertex level imports, uv textures, lights, cameras, ect, and become a truly kick ass render system. This is EI's MAJOR strength. Speed! ! ! !

Sell it as such!

Burney
12-13-2006, 02:48 AM
Like Many others, I started working with EIAS from V1.0 and Form Z for Architectural and enviromental animation. EIAS and FORM Z combination excel in these areas. However when come to animation of CA and organic geometries are concerned. EIAS need to take a back seat where maya and others excel. Modo is a new contender with very exciting road maps.

Nowadays my choices for production works are very clear. EIAS for Architectural and Enviroment works and Maya for CA. I Like Modo for very powerful modeling tool sets and will replace Maya with Modo if it pick up the animation capabilities. For Visual effects works I spend more time in After Effects and Shake now instead of trying to hunt for plug ins in the the 3D arena where there isn't much poping up nowaday. So my direction is clear.

For a long time EIAS user, we know which areas EIAS excel and the weaknesses. We are unlikely to leave EIAS for 'Better' packages as they all belong to different beasts. All of us feel at home in EIAS as we get thing done every days with EIAS for what it is good for. So whatever EITG want to do will be supported wholeheartedly by all the passionate users of EIAS as we believe with the wisdom of the addition of advisory council, the road ahead cannot be wrong.

As a digital artist we already have abundant of tools but seems to have very little time left for every job. So we don't really want to hard press for the difficult or impossible to be included into EIAS. We have alternatives today.

For EIAS to move forward, what I can sum up is that we have sufficient import export issues so we very much want a built in modeler with Polygonal and SDS capabilities. With parametric capabilities is a dream that will provide many more exciting rooms for advances in animation. If building a modeler is tough then at less we hope to have a full fledge geometries editor to complete the story for now. We need UV mapping badly. These are my basic need for EIAS 7. Other features are welcome. Good Lucks to the NEW EITG team.

cjberg
12-13-2006, 03:14 AM
I guess I am one of few who use EIM daily, and have not found an equal. For me, an UB upgrade would amazing.

I appreciate all the things that EIAS is lacking, and seems people are happy to point those out. I dont see EIAS as a industry standard CA solution anytime in the near future... I think it has promise in many other areas.

I guess my issue is that EIM is an asset. Can EITG financially allow that asset to die? The cost in the future to create a modeler is 10x the cost of needed work to EIM.

Cj

peace

AVTPro
12-13-2006, 05:30 AM
Well, Hash calls it "Smartskin" but most higher end 3d apps have it Alonzo. They just have a different name for it. With Maya, your looking at "clusters", I forgot what XSI calls it. With vertex level control, your looking at being able to tweak a mesh at certain bone angles so a bending arm doesn't look like a bending pipe for instance.


Oh..Clusters! haha. Well that would make 100%. No. 110. With cluster, a full MotionBuilder rig including facial animation could be imported into EI with FBX.

scottfox1
12-13-2006, 06:22 AM
I simply would like to see animator made as powerful and capable as possible.

I am a motion graphic designer who uses a heavy amount of 3d in my animation work. EI is the best 3d app for motion graphics. Its speed especially make it viable in fast turnaround production environments. Cameras motion blur and overall quality blows away lightwave and cinema 4ds 'cold' looking imagery. I smirk when I see Maya in a broadcast design environment. Its such a monster that no one Ive ever seen can spit out work fast enough to keep up. Not a lot of creatures used in daily animation, and you need a render farm to get mental ray output completed in a reasonable time. (although I recently purchased Maya, mainly for its paint effects and specialized animation capabilities that SOME DAY i will learn)

#1 for me is dynamics (rodeo and the cloth samples look very promising and cool)
and even better deformation\distortion options.

#2 a BASIC modeler that allows me to use\import adobe illustrator files and extrude lathe etc. (again, my industry is not doing a whole lot of organic 3d)

#3 Market the HE@# out of it as a BETTER option than Cinema or Lightwave!!

I hope the Advisory panel has a Broadcast Designer on its panel if not Ill volunteer my 15
years experience to be on it.

To me, (and Im biased) there is more opportunity for growth in the broadcast industry than any other for EI based on sheer number of jobs.

Scott

AVTPro
12-13-2006, 06:29 AM
I guess I am one of few who use EIM daily, and have not found an equal. For me, an UB upgrade would amazing.

I appreciate all the things that EIAS is lacking, and seems people are happy to point those out. I dont see EIAS as a industry standard CA solution anytime in the near future... I think it has promise in many other areas.

I guess my issue is that EIM is an asset. Can EITG financially allow that asset to die? The cost in the future to create a modeler is 10x the cost of needed work to EIM.

Cj

peace


I would agree. I would love for them to be able to recoup their losses, just as much as I would like to recoup mine.

A lot of people fell "flat" on their faces when the discontinuation of EIM "rug" was pulled from under their feet. I invested signifacant amount of "time" and money, just to find myself out of a limb. It really hurts when you've banked your life (or five year plan) as a character modeler/animator in a developer pulling through with industry level tools that will allow one to be competitive in the open market. Perfectly great modeler gone to pots. That was just unacceptable. I have given them enough benefit of the doubt and now regrouped my strategy. As far as EIM and I am concern EITG has some "making up" to do. "They owe me" for that last tumble.

If what they do with EIM, hurts Animator..which I still use. I would just feel sorry for them.

I'm not making the same mistakes over and over and expecting change. It's not a game to me. If they come up with something undeniably stupendous that will give me an edge like incorporate the modeler and solve the other character animation issues. Maybe I can forget what happened before. If I see them leading done the wrong road. Sorry, I'm not following.

Vizfizz
12-13-2006, 06:42 AM
Thanks for everyone's comments. I believe EITG will have plenty to digest here.

At this point.. lets try to refocus back on the central questions and provide direct answers. If we're not careful, this thread will devolve into a "what EI has done wrong thread" and that's not the intention for this communication.

Thanks.

mike33
12-13-2006, 03:06 PM
Speaking of changes...


Discuss the all the possibilities:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

>If UB = Universal application for the Mac/Intel chips. Yes.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

>As low as EITech can go and still stay solvent.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

>I own EIAS 5.5 and would like EIM to stay focused on working with EIAS.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

>Technically isn't EIM a stand alone tool already?

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

>I'd like to see EIAS and EIM work closer together. I'd like to model in EIM and have EIAS use that model without having to export to FACT. That sounds like something new over the long term.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

>Yes, EIM and EIAS should work as one.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

>Depends on where EITech decides to take EIM. If it's stand alone, yes. If it's strictly a tool for EIAS, no.


8. edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

>I think the folks who use EIM a lot more then I do have giving you some good feedback. I like Malcolm's suggestion of getting Ubers finished and researching comments professionals have made already on what 3d tools need. I think if EIM needs to be solid, very few bugs and work with at least OS X 10.2.8/EIAS 5.5 and up. I think EIM should be setup to primarily support EIAS only. I don't think EIAS should have to react to other company's modeler's, they would be better off controlling their own destiny.

We want to hear from you.

>I'm a hobbyist who has little time for my hobby at the moment. I'm stuck in time with a G4/400, OSX 10.2.8 and EIAS 5.5, EIM 5. So my comments are biased and should be taken as such. :)

EITech and Adivsory Council, Good luck and thanks for all your efforts... and thanks for asking for my input.

~Mike

Dakkota69
12-23-2006, 08:45 AM
On a side note.... EI wants to make cash?!?!?!? Sell something that is insanely awesome.

CAMERA! ! ! ! ! Make that a standalone renderer. As a new Maya user I can tell you, I would kill for a copy of Camera for Maya! Camera can stand out from the crowd of other renderers too, I guarantee it!

That is definitely what I would rather see EITG spend their time on. I only have experience with the 3D Toolkit version of EI. EIM was capable of modeling almost any object you can think of (in theory). But I gave up using EI, largely due to frustration with not being able to find enough learning material and also due to frustration with EIM (and its 100s of "ACIS Error:" messages).

Let's face it, EI's strong point is Camera. You can model in any number of other apps now. There are so many choices out there, depending on your needs and budget. Even Blender is quite good for modeling now. There doesn't seem to be much point in ressurecting EIM, when there are so many other excellent modeling apps out there. What is lacking in all the other apps is a renderer that has the speed and quality of Camera.

If I could dump my C4D and Lightwave object and scene files into Camera (and retain all the material attributes) I would be in heaven! If it could load the motions and deformations, even better! Lightwave has a beautiful renderer (with a lot of bells and whistles that EIAS lacks), but it is dog-slow. C4D renders almost as fast as Camera now (really), but tweak things as much as you can, it still renders everything with this plastic-like "CG" look that is almost impossible to fix.

I would rather see Camera built up as a full-blown, standalone renderer, than see EIM brought back from extinction.

WHD
12-26-2006, 09:23 PM
Hi All,

I have not had time to review all the other answers that have been posted but here is my 2 cents.

I use EIM in combination with Silo , ZBrush and Amorphium for the projects that I do. Eim is my primary hard body modeler while silo and ZBrush are reserved for organic forms when those organic forms are not integral parts of an otherwise hard body model. Silo is also used to edit outside models.

I would like to see EIM revived as a stand alone modeler as long as that does not distract from the eventual creation of an integrated modeler in EIAS. I feel that integrated modeling tools are one critical component to EIAS's future success.

The reason I feel this way is that so much of the higher end animation process involve functions that are inherently modeling functions. The only time that I squirm with EIAS as my primary package is when a client asks for something that I know could be easily done with modeling tools in Animator so that I need to come up with a clever workaround. Then if a change is needed that would be easy with integrated modelling tools I need to typically do a whole lot more work to make that adjustment. Many of the people I work for know what other packages are able to do in these sorts of cases so I can't BS them on these sorts of things. While the plug ins for EIAS are great I feel that with plug ins there is often a barrier, however slight, between something that is integral verses something added on top like a plug in.

An example would be cross cuts of models that have been needed for several of my recent jobs. I tried to use Da Vinci's Chisel. However, in each of these recent cases I was not able to reliably use this plug in due to other factors that conflicted with its limitations as a plug in. This is in no way a criticism of Da Vinci's Chisel which I have used reliably on other occasions. Just an example of a recent event that might have been nullified by an integrated modeler. I have also gotten the lecture from my clients that Max or Maya could have done this so why don't you use one of them instead? My typical explanation is that each package has its strengths and weaknesses. When compared to others who I know who use other packages like Max and Maya and LW, they are typically still amazed by EIAS's render speed and that makes up for weaknesses to a great degree.

Another example is what an integrated modeller might do for camera mapping. Frequently I would like to construct a complex model to match a camera map but standard shapes just won't do and the process of fine tuning in another app and importing over and over makes it too much of a pain and too imprecise to make it practical withing real life job timeframes.

Editing models in animator and accessing certain properties of imported models that are currently not available within the current import/ export workflow of EIAS would be helpful and also speed up the process of jobs.The time I spend bouncing back and forth adds up fast.

There are other areas that I have run into but I see an integrated modelling capability as an absolute necessity.

That said there are plenty of areas where independant modeling apps are great. I like to use them for special tasks that are currently outside the range of the typical modeling. This of course may change in the future as this whole arena is in constant flux. Integrated ZBrush capability may one day be the norm?

For the time being I hope that EITG will eventually begin simply by adding elementary modeling capabilities into EIAS and build upon a robust foundation. The ability to pull vertex points and edges alone would be a good start. As long as reviving EIM would not hinder this sort of thing having both would indeed be the best of both worlds if it does not stretch the resources too far. Unfortunately reality and cash flow frequently gets in the way.

Answers:

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

1.) While I am not currently using a Intel Mac it would be useful if the intent is to keep EIM alive. I for one would like EIM to continue working so I don't have to put a machine aside just to run EIM the way I do with a few other apps.This is of course contingent upon issues raised in the above statement.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

2.) The cost of doing this should be calculated first and then a realistic cost should be floated. Most other modelling apps that I currently use are $400.00 or less. If it can't be done in this range then I think that it may be impractical. As for upgrades it should be part of a scheduled upgrade in the range that EIAS typically charges.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

3.) I think that if it were to be done that it is likely that this would be the only practical way to do it given it's inherant differences with EIAS and how they handle data. That way since it had already been developed to a certain stage already prior to it's being pulled due to the ACIS issues, it could be released in its current state in the ACIS problem was solved.


4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

4.) My pricing comments above were intended to reflect this. Given the current pricing of other apps it needs to be under $400.00 to be practical. The lower that it can be sold for independently the better and the more likely it will survive beyond a one time fix.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

5.) As stated above I see an integrated modeler as the future!

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

6.) What I see in terms of technology is that everything has moved back to Polys with SubDs. EIAS seems better positioned to deal with this although I'm not a programmer so I can't speak to this. Expanding modeler in this way seems like it would waste resources. Ultimately I think that I see EIM as a temporary fix and not a long term solution for EIAS.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself? edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

7.) I think that the latter part of this is the answer unless it brings in enough dollars to be self sustaining as a stand alone like Amorphium currently is.

NOTE: Even if EIM becomes successful I hope that it will not prevent EIAS from eventually getting some of the better/compatible tools as part of an EIAS integrated modeling solution.


"The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools."

While I'm not sure how much I would need personally of what I'm about to propose, anything that allows big studios to use EIAS in their pipelines, would be a good move. Any type of integral improved import/export of data between other packages as well as possibly export to other renderers or import of other packages data to Camera if feasible. Much of the buzz that an application gets is about who is using it. While ILM used it EIAS was always considered a contender. There are plenty of studios out there who might pick up EIAS if it had something to offer them and was practical within their workflow. Possibly ask some of these outside studios what they could use and what might make them want to use EIAS. There are lots of folks in the EIAS community with contacts.

Bill Dempsey

SFDD
12-27-2006, 10:10 PM
Wow, an EIM thread! I hope I'm eligible to respond, being that I stopped updating my EI license after 4.0.

First off, I have to say that I kind of laughed a bit while reading this enormous thread, meaning no disrespect to any contributors! It was just that I'm hearing today the very same "EI needs to..." statements that users have been saying for a decade. "EI should release EIM as a standalone product," "EI should release Camera as a standalone product," "EI should..." etc.

Okay, back to EIM. EI's abandonment of EIM was the reason I stopped using EI entirely. It seemed to me that EI's true *unique* strengths were at the beginning of the pipeline (modeling) and the end (rendering). Personally, I never saw the advantage of Animator over other--now even more affordable--systems, such as XSI.

As much as I loved EIM, I think it's pointless to resurrect it at this point. Can EI really create something that will compete with the likes of Rhino, Modo or any of the other popular standalone modelers? Not likely. After all, it took them darn near a hundred years to create Modeler 1.0. What's more, EI doesn't have the reputation or brand value it once had. So a "Modeler 2.0" might appeal to EI fans, but no one else is going to care. Sadly, I'm afraid that same roadblock would hinder the success of a standalone Camera.

I know there are many that still swear by EI, but let's face it: This is a very different 3D world than the one in which EI prosperered so many years ago. Camera's speed isn't a benefit anymore for most because powerful hardware makes longer render times less painful. And lets face this too: there are some pretty seriously wonderful render engines out there now, which was not the case in EI's hey day. Heck, look at the long and painful fall of Lightwave. That was really the only render engine in Camera's quality class at one point, but even that can't keep those guys at the top of the heap anymore. (Kudos to Newtek for hanging in there as long as they have!)

XSI is $495 and don't be surprised to see RenderMan for XSI in 2007. At a combined price of $1,400 for those software gems, will anyone care about a standalone EIM or Camera? Sure, XSI doesn't offer EIM's unique approach to solids, but if that modeling paradigm was so sought after, we'd see products for it now.

Keep in mind that Modo, Silo, Z-Brush and countless others I can't even think of right now, were developed *after* EIM. Concepts 3D comes close to EIM-like flavor, but Modo, Silo and Z-Brush remain far more popular. Why? I can't be the only person who refuses to buy Concepts 3D just because you can't find a price for it on their website. ;) There must be other reasons that folks flock to the sub-d tools. (For the record, I too use sub-ds now instead of NURBs only because EIM defined for me the way I want NURBs to work, and I can't find a replacement.)

Sorry for the long post, but I think EI's best chance for survival right now is hanging on to those of you that haven't yet left for another program. I just can't see them increasing market share with formiable foes out there like Autodesk and SoftImage--no matter how wonderful EIM 2.0 might be. No one (other than Paul S. and me!) wants to model that way. It's just far too late to try to convince the industry to not only give *another* new modeler a try, but to forego the industry's clear preference for sub-ds.

3DArtZ
12-27-2006, 11:07 PM
There is a small cross-over market that fits between both the "entertainment" industry and the "CAD Industrial" industry that make great use of the unique features of EI.

I get the feeling that you are speaking primarily about the entertainment/gaming biz.

I certainly see what you're saying SFDD, and I do come away thinking that the potential user/market might not be something EI could pentrate to make this a worthwhile cause.

Aside from that, I'd still like EIM to come back to life.

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

cjberg
12-28-2006, 02:12 AM
EIM has Sub-d surfaces... with it's usual clean interface.

Cj

...It's just far too late to try to convince the industry to not only give *another* new modeler a try, but to forego the industry's clear preference for sub-ds.

AVTPro
12-28-2006, 05:12 AM
SFDD, I couldn't agree with you more concerning EIM not being a likely candidate. Even if they did have the resources or a strategy to make EIM an asset, I don't think it's development should be prioritized over Animator.

I agree with you when you say, EITG should hold on to the users they have and strengthen there relationship. More so, service their customer base, like EI job posting boards, referrals, promo their members. If EI users does well, and do lots of good work with Animator, I believe that to be the most invaluable asset to promoting EI.
Strengthen the app so users can do more and better work. If the tree is healthy, so is the branches, the leaves and the fruit. Strenghten the app and the users so produce good work. Let us leave a trail of good work, when people see it laying around, they will know it's good fruit from EI users and look to the root or source, EITG. Pick it up and take a bite. ( tasty metaphor) :)

Again I agree, you have to be aware of the current state of market at hand. It's constantly evolving. There's tons of great modelers out there, why compete against them? That should not be the focus or their primary motivation for producing a modeler. Instead use the modeler (if possible) to target and strengthen areas in EIAS own workflow that has been notably stagnant.

As far as my own artistic accountablity, vision and progression, I have stated once before, I won't be using any box modeling paradigm for very long. Point pulling, edge pushing, non-quading polys doesn't make much sense to me for organics character creations. The Zbrush Zsphere paradigm does.

It's edge loop tool is probably not unlike other SDS tools for maintaining quads (lightwave?), but the whole using a brush to swipe edges (artisan) into place is very inuititve and fluid to me. The Zsphere does volume, quads, and symmetry all at the same time. You don't have to focus on them independently. I'm going to be using this over Maya's tools and unless a modeler has these features like auto-quads, cage sketching, and geometry-brushing I can no longer give them thought.

It's so fast I can do a full body cage in a hour. I'm doing a character a nite. I'm hooked on zspheres. http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Zoops.jpg




http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/ZilesBack.jpg http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/Deamon1.jpg

AVTPro
12-28-2006, 05:16 AM
Sorry, meant to post this one.


http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/AVT_Zedge.jpg

jimjam
12-28-2006, 05:35 AM
I would love a bug-free, more forgiving EIM with robust SDS and the ability to convert complex solid models to SDS. Is this possible?

Could EIM be built on a cheaper solid modeling kernel?

EI discontinued EIM because it couldn’t afford the ACIS license.
Why can EI afford it now? Is it simply because Spatial offers a “first year free” deal?

I see that a new version of ACIS came out this year. What are the new features?

A simple resurrection of the old EIM would not interest me at all. Fool me once... But a fully supported, ever-improving, financially sound EIM with robust SDS would be a dream come true.

EIM has huge potential (as do the renderer, Animator and Amorphium).
The problem has always been that EI doesn’t follow through.
The ball is in EI’s court.

harryb
12-28-2006, 03:59 PM
Hey Everybody--

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
NO
2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
0
3. Would you want it offered standalone?
NO
4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
0
5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
Neither

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

No, I think that EITG should focus its efforts on being an animation package/plugin for other modeling packages. -- And opening up Camera to sell as a standalone renderer like Turtle or V-Ray.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
No

EIAS is a great package but REALLY needs to integrate seamlessly and flawlessly with other packages in order to compete in an overcrowded 3d market. Its all about production and EIAS's best, most used features are geared towards 3D matte painting and previs. EITG should focus on creating easy-to-integrate tools (scenic animation, previs and rendering) for production pipelines.

Just my $0.02

worx3d
01-22-2007, 10:45 PM
1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

yes

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200.00. Now, with the annuncement of Punch ViaCAD being released for $99, it makes things a little difficult. If I see that ViaCAD offers what I need for NURBS modeling, then I wouldn't be able to justify even $200.00. I mean, I use EIM now and then, for things SDS can't handle as well as NURBS. I more or less use Silo 75% of my modeling time, and EIM for the remaining 25%. I don't have a Mactel, but in case ViaCAD isn't what I hope it is, then I really would like to have a UB version of EIM. Hell, I would pay those $200 for EIM even if ViaCAD was a good program. I'm already familiar with EIM and I just love it, when it behaves.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes, it couldn't hurt to be sold separately for users of other programs.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

I think I would go as far as $300. I use SDS more than NURBS, and I would love to have EIM, but can't spend too much on it, again, specially now that ViaCAD was announced for a lot less.

5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

EIM is great. But if they could get rid of Spatial's licencing that would be great. But that would be in case EITG had enough programmers to keep things going in EIAS, EIAS still need more new features and improvements on the current tools. Being realistic, I would want EITG to go with EIM.

6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

Im not sure about that. I have always seen EIM as a NURBS modeler and nothing more. Building animation capabilities into it, would put the two products, EIAS and EIM, to compete. Focus on the strengths of each package. Add or improve next gen animation capabilities into EIAS better.

7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Sure, it would be sweet to render a preview of the model with GI. or even just phong. Only if this is relatively easy to do, I rather have the programmers focus on more important things.
---
I guess that I would be happy to see EIM return, but only if that wouldn't take developing efforts and time away from EIAS. I also won't be willing to pay a large sum for it. As others have pointed, more modeling is done using other kind of tools, like SDS (and to be honest, I found EIM's SDS was really aweful, IMHO), but NURBS still has a place in my heart ;)

SteveW928
03-07-2007, 12:28 PM
The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There's obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a "primary" app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Well, I never really used EIM when it was PPC on PPC... so I'm probably a bad person to ask, but I wanted to get a couple key points in the discussion.

2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

Hmm.... to get what we had with EIM before... maybe $50 just to have it in my tool-kit as an option.

3. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes please. I'm all for this, as I know many people loved it... UNLESS it takes one ounce of productivity away from the development on EIAS. Otherwise, I'd much rather see some poly tools added to EIAS, or direct import of a poly-less format to EIAS for render-time tessellation.

4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

If I liked it... and it was well done I'd say $200 to $300 is a reasonable price. For me to actually consider it though, it would have to be better than some of many other modelers out there... which I think is a tall order unless EITG has some huge resource gains (I'm talking 10+ dedicated developers on it). If it were, then it could be worth as much as $800 maybe.


5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

I'd say go with something new unless they are going to drastically improve it. The Ubers were about the only thing that to me seemed to be the attraction. The rest of the program was too entry level... and I'm sure the ACIS license wasn't cheap.


6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

That's a tough question I guess. I'd much rather see EIAS get resolution-independent geometry capability. I personally thought the EIM interface was horrible. If all of EIAS became like that, I'd stop using it. Everything was non-standard and non-intuitive... something I've always liked about EIAS was that it was intuitive.


7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

I could see where that might be nice at times. Give the ability to apply textures and use camera. However, I'm not quite seeing the point of this I guess. Doing any of this half-@$$ is not going to really help anyone. If they are going to make a modeler, then it needs to be a great modeler, or it is a waste of $ and time. I give this same advice to CAD companies wanting to add rendering. There are PLENTY of great renderers and great modelers. In my experience, when one dabbles in the other.... it is just that, dabbling, and it shows.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

I'd say unless EIAS has some huge resources... that is the most I'd do.

What us EIAS users DO need, is the very best of ways to use models from anywhere in EIAS.

-Steve

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