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John Keates
02-16-2003, 08:53 PM
I was reading an interview with someone who uses lightwave (insidecg.com). They were saying how version 6 was lika an alpha. They were angry and started learning max instead. I remember that softimage had a similar hiccup. How often does this stuff happen? Does hash stand out as the worst company for this kind of thing (releasing unfinished software), or is it a regular event? I have a musition friend who reports similar things in the music software business.

jayrtfm
02-16-2003, 11:44 PM
nope, Hash is far from unique in having a bad release series, as well as making bone-headed moves or not doing simple things that users are begging them to do.

A few examples of "alpha" quality released software:

Packrat 5.0(?) - this was a top rated PIM, until the bugs in its final release killed the product. The bugs were fixed, but it was too late.

PCTools 7(?) - I liked it better than Norton, until it started deleating files instead of moving them. Symantic bought the company and killed it. Again, bugs got fixed, too late

LivePicture 2.5 - bugs could have been fixed, but John Scully's head was too far up his ass to let the programmers fix things correctly. It didn't die of bugs (2.6 was fine) - it died of incompetent management and falling RAM prices.

there was a version of Corel (5?) that was pretty horrendous, I ended up not using that one.

Netscape *server* 3.0 - not even Netscape used that one for its site

Caligari 1.5(?) on the Amiga - While it didn't have "crash every 10 minutes" bugs, it had a big one in an *advertised* feature that cost me about $5K and lost a major client. In a nutshell, it was advertised as capable of doing 8K rez images *suitable for film output*
After my vendor rendered a beautifull 4k image, it turned out that there was NO WAY to get that image onto film. The file format convertor had a bug. It had never been tested with anything bigger than 1K.
unfortunatly, the company is still with us.

Ventura Photo(?) - I was beta testing this and it was so buggy that I couldn't really do anything with it. waay too easy to generate repeatable bug reports. After a quite few months I get a usable version, but it's still very much a beta. Full page ads are showing up in the new magazines. Couple of weeks later I call them to go over the latest round, and I'm told not to worry, as it had just shipped.
The released version was only a slight improvement over the beta version.

And of course, just about every 1.0 version that Microsoft puts out would qualify.........

Hookflash
02-17-2003, 01:47 AM
Hash is unique in their consistency of poor releases. For example, someone just posted about A:M 10.0f not loading chors created in 10.0d. This is a *very* common problem with A:M (files from previous versions causing later version to crash, or even becoming corrupted).

gra4mac
02-17-2003, 02:14 AM
When Strata 3D Pro came out in version 3.0 it was crashy, but they came out with 3.1 a few months later and it was rock solid, and still is. I've never run across anything like A:M for bugs.

Cheers, Graham

John Keates
02-17-2003, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Hookflash
Hash is unique in their consistency of poor releases. For example, someone just posted about A:M 10.0f not loading chors created in 10.0d. This is a *very* common problem with A:M (files from previous versions causing later version to crash, or even becoming corrupted).

I recon that a lot of these problems are caused by the shear rate at which they put out releases (one per week). They just don't consider testing the thing themselves as it would take too much time. The first "release" of v10 is a case in point. It crashed when you made a key frame. Who the heck came up with this business model anyway?

Wegg
02-17-2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by John Keates
I recon that a lot of these problems are caused by the shear rate at which they put out releases (one per week). They just don't consider testing the thing themselves as it would take too much time. The first "release" of v10 is a case in point. It crashed when you made a key frame. Who the heck came up with this business model anyway?

I'll kind of defend Hash Inc. here. . . Don't everyone die in shock. . . I don't really see anything wrong with involving your own userbase in de-bugging and assisting in the stability of a product. Knowing the programmers at Hash Inc. . . they do care about bugs and crashes and stability. BUT. . . they don't have any artists on-staff. . . And the times when they have had them. . . well I won't go there. And then having to go throught he Steve filter. . . So your right. . . AM users pretty much have to stumble on their boo-boos.

With PMG, we are on their small list of "debuggers". Eggprod are always finding bugs, reporting them and getting builds of the program directly from the programmers with "see if this fixed your problem" notes. PMG seperates their "Debugging team" from their regular user base but. . . this also makes the progress of their software very slow. We don't have time to mess with EVERY feature of the product to see if it works. I'll bet Steve gets a lot more bug reports to improve AM than the PMG guys get. . .

Hash Inc. kind of has a . . . Linux model of product development. . . Linux has a "stable" supported kernel, and a "latest" supported kernel. Those of you messing with 10.5 are on the bleading edge and probably experience a lot more crashes and bugs than your 10.0 buddies. It works for linux. :shrug: I don't quite understand why its not working here. :annoyed:

JMulder
02-17-2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Wegg
It works for linux. :shrug: I don't quite understand why its not working here. :annoyed:

Two reasons:

1. The average Linux user is a tinkerer, someone who enjoys getting their hands dirty in their operating system. Animators are tinkerers, too, but they would rather tinker with their art than tinker with their system. (They occasionally like to get their hands dirty, too, just in clay rather than code and config files)

2. Linux patches are free. A:M is sold on a subscription basis, and when my subscription is up, I can't get patches anymore.

Disclaimer: I don't really have my finger on the pulse of the Linux or A:M community...this is all conjecture.

-Jim

John Keates
02-17-2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by Wegg

Those of you messing with 10.5 are on the bleading edge and probably experience a lot more crashes and bugs than your 10.0 buddies.

Well I am not using 10.5, I am using 10 and it is still wacky as you like at times. Granted I have used it for days on end without a crash but (with great respect) that old "it's your fault for using a beta" thing is waring a little thin. 9.5 is still a beta and will be for the rest of eternity. In fact it is Alpha as it is far from complete. That is why I had to pay to continue beta testing. I hope it pays off.

Wegg
02-17-2003, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by JMulder
Two reasons:

1. The average Linux user is a tinkerer, someone who enjoys getting their hands dirty in their operating system. Animators are tinkerers, too, but they would rather tinker with their art than tinker with their system. (They occasionally like to get their hands dirty, too, just in clay rather than code and config files)

2. Linux patches are free. A:M is sold on a subscription basis, and when my subscription is up, I can't get patches anymore.

Disclaimer: I don't really have my finger on the pulse of the Linux or A:M community...this is all conjecture.

-Jim

Well. . . AM is the wrong program for you Jim. I'd hate to say it but it has never been rock solid stable. From way way back to Version 2, the program has required very dirty hands.

No. . . Word, Photoshop, Sound edit pro 32, or whatever other programs you use on your computer don't crash like AM does. . . nore do most other 3D applications for that matter. AM to other apps is like comparing. . . a Camero is to a Porshe. With the Camero you get just as much Horse power, and on paper, says it can do everything a Porshe can. . . but the reality of the fact is that a Camero won't ever perform as well as a Porshe on a race track through the tough twisties without some serious, up to your elbows in grease, pull your hair out frustrating hands on effort. The Chevy zealots (you listening My Fault?) will defend their babies till the day they die. . . but one day every Camero owner will have to sit back and say. . . Do I really want to be putting this much effort into this rust bucket just to save a couple bucks. . . or should I take my hobby/job seriously and plop down the big bucks to get something that will go the distance.

No answer is wrong. You just have to accept reality and go either way.

My problem is. . . that I can't get over the fact that AM IS a Porshe. Hash just keeps forgetting to tighten all the friggen nuts and bolts. :-/

d4rk
02-17-2003, 08:33 PM
or taking things apart to get in at the engine and when they close the hood realize they still have parts left over and just leaving it at that "well it still starts when I turn the key"

JMulder
02-17-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Wegg
Well. . . AM is the wrong program for you Jim.
.
.
.
My problem is. . . that I can't get over the fact that AM IS a Porshe. Hash just keeps forgetting to tighten all the friggen nuts and bolts. :-/

Well said, Wegg!

Actually, as a network profesional (be sure to tell me when to duck the rotten tomatoes coming my way), I do like to tinker. I just believe that tinkerers prefer to tinker in their areas of expertise. A:M is the wrong program for me due to philosophical differences with their management...no hard feelings, no desire to exact vengeance, just not who I want to continue to do business with.

Re: Porsche vs. Camero analogy...you hit the nail on the head. Feature for feature, A:M is the match of most 3D software on the market, but feature implementation to feature implementation, A:M doesn't quite make it.

A:M's stability issues and general 'bugginess' (i.e., features that don't always work quite right) are probably due to the size of the shop and not being able to dedicate a QA team (even one of just one person) to actually hunt bugs and stress the software. The short product cycle exacerbates this situation. But all in all, Hash has managed to put together an incredible product.

-Jim

My Fault
02-17-2003, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by Wegg
The Chevy zealots (you listening My Fault?)

Dude, Chevy's suck! I'll stick to my twin turbo Yugo. Chicks dig a car that can go 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and can fit in your pocket. :p

Kevin Sanderson
02-18-2003, 12:31 AM
Good will come from all of this. It already has.

I can remember where Lightwave used to be back in 1995 when I used to attend Lightwave animation group meetings here in southeast Michigan because they were the only decent animation group meetings to attend. Dale Myers ran many of them (the lead animator on many of the early M&M commercials and who made an award winning short on his computers at home in the early 90s!
http://www.dalemyersanimation.com/index.htm )
Dale let me run a tape of one of the first ReBoot episodes and he let me run and distribute AM demo animation tapes Steve sent me. (The attendees liked what they saw) But I will always remember how people were always complaining about or defending Lightwave..."you have to write this code to make it do this", "Here's a workaround", "It crashes when I do this", "I can do this in 3D Studio, why can't I do mechanical modeling as well in Lightwave?",
"The Newtek BBS is always busy", "I can't get any answers from support". One of the guys who had designed some early Lightwave plug-ins was also there at many meetings (John ?) He and Dale would always explain workarounds and the latest they had learned from Newtek. There were supporters there with the latest from Newtek (I saw an early version of Aura) and detractors who wanted their money back from the guy who owned the Amiga/Toaster/Lightwave store where the meetings were held.

But with all that controversy then look where Lightwave is now. I think we're seeing A:M get even better and it's heading in the right direction.

hoochoochoochoo
02-18-2003, 03:33 PM
Wegg wrote earlier in another thread - they forget to tighten the nuts and bolts. Completely agree here, AM could be top of the bunch (if only)
Uniquely clumsy? Nope, how about releasing your long awaited application without any modelling tools or functions? that was Softimage XSI version1.:beer:

Raist3d
02-21-2003, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by Kevin Sanderson
Good will come from all of this. It already has.

[stuff del]

But with all that controversy then look where Lightwave is now. I think we're seeing A:M get even better and it's heading in the right direction.

Kevin, the BIG difference is that you could nearly say A:M and LightWave started "near at the same time." Look at where is LightWave now and the problem it has and look at A:M now and its problems.

Why has A:M continued to be so buggy all along?

Wegg
02-21-2003, 05:48 PM
I don't think LW is all that great. Its workflow is horrible. Its still split up into two applications. The modeler only lets you deal with Points and Polygons so no edge extrusions or bevels or anything like that. . . It has some really clunky character rigging and animation tools and has to be augmented with numberous expensive plugins in order for it to work in production.

Its renderer is pretty much its only redeeming grace. . .

Oooh. . . and isn't it so pretty/fast. . .

d4rk
02-21-2003, 07:11 PM
what do you mean by bevels and edge extrusions? I'm not advanced enough to know what that means (and I'm curious to know) I thought you could do bevels in lightwave? Could you explain, I'm just curious about it.

thanks

My Fault
02-21-2003, 07:19 PM
He's talking about doing bevels and extrusions on edges. You can do bevels with a plug-in (FI-Wrinkle is one), but I don't know of an edge extrusion plug-in offhand.

Kevin Sanderson
02-21-2003, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by Raist3d
Kevin, the BIG difference is that you could nearly say A:M and LightWave started "near at the same time." Look at where is LightWave now and the problem it has and look at A:M now and its problems.

Why has A:M continued to be so buggy all along?

Raist, probably because Lightwave has had more pro users all along, and even got studio use while A:M hasn't. A:M users tend to be hobbyists with just a handful or so reporting bugs (I see mostly the same people in the bug fix lists) More caring users means a bigger pool of people finding and reporting bugs and more users paying big dollars means more money for a larger staff and other uses. I guess the pros made Newtek fix the problems they had back in 1995 and more recently. Also, A:M's ever changing interface and tendency to try to please users by adding all the latest whiz bang gimmicks doesn't help matters. Adding things and changing things doesn't always work without problems.

Listen, the same kind or type of problems people have been talking about here for A:M were very much the same as what I was hearing Lightwave users talk about back in 1995. That is why I never bought Lightwave when I did have the dough back then. What I wanted to do with A:M was being done by others with A:M while Lightwave users were having one devil of a time. You had to be very talented to get great animation from Lightwave.

Why did Vinton's hire a Detroit based animator, who wouldn't move, to be Lead Animator on the original M&Ms TV commercials? Because they couldn't find anyone else who could get the results they wanted from Lightwave. Dale Myers could quote and explain all the workarounds you needed to do to get a desired result at most every meeting I attended back then. If he hadn't had his engineering knowledge from his Radio & TV production background along with artistic talent and persistence, he probably wouldn't have been able to get the results he did from Lightwave. It was tough to do animation with it and from what I hear and read, it still is. Like Wegg said, it renders pretty, but it still has other issues. It has a bigger reputation from its large user base.

d4rk
02-21-2003, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by My Fault
He's talking about doing bevels and extrusions on edges. You can do bevels with a plug-in (FI-Wrinkle is one), but I don't know of an edge extrusion plug-in offhand.

hmm... that is interesting to me.. I'm not realy advanced at all. So I don't even know the difference yet. I hope that things get really smoothed out for A:M in like the next few versions (not expecting and over night change). They have to win me over again though.

UserDelta
02-22-2003, 07:18 AM
DAZ_Edge_Bevel
http://www.daz3d.com/pages/dp/development/developright.html

for edge extrude use extender

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