View Full Version : Apprentice HD moving to Annual License with H12
02 February 2012, 03:50 PM
One of the key goals of the Apprentice Program has always been to provide a way for the community to keep their Houdini skills up-to-date. In order to ensure that everyone using Apprentice HD has access to the latest release, the HD program will be moving to an annual license. This new Apprentice HD license will cost $99, include all major and minor upgrades and can be renewed annually.
Anyone who purchased Apprentice HD up to 90 days before the release date will be sent a Houdini 12 license which will expire on the anniversary of its original purchase. All other Apprentice HD customers will need to pay the $99 annual fee to join the program. If you choose not to renew then you can continue to work with a free Apprentice license and can rejoin the HD program at any time.
Houdini 12 is going to be an exciting release with a wealth of features and performance enhancements which make it significantly faster and more memory efficient. With a new geometry engine, targeted optimizations to dynamics and rendering, and viewport enhancements, you will be able to accomplish more and iterate faster. This new version also includes Bullet solver integration, Pyro FX 2, production-ready cloth, Alembic exporter and much more.
As soon as Houdini 12 goes gold, details about joining the new Apprentice HD program will be posted. This is a ground-breaking release and everyone is going to want to be on board.
Product Marketing Manager
Side Effects Software Inc.
02 February 2012, 03:53 PM
sounds good Im just starting learning Houdini and Im looking forward to H12 .... even though its different from other apps (aka Maya which Im coming from) Im really liking it ....
02 February 2012, 08:21 PM
In the sidefx forum, you posted, "It is the idea of asking someone who bought 91 days before a release to pay the same upgrade fee as someone who bought 500 days before that prompted the idea of an annual license with automatic upgrades. It makes sure that everyone always has access to the latest version which is important for skill-building within the community.", as the catalyst towards an annual license.
While I can understand part of that equation, I also see the negative side, for those that are content with a current version and don't wish to be in a continually pay or lose it position. If a person purchases a license of HD 11 now, they won't have to pay every year in order to keep using it but with version 12 and foward, they would.
I was looking forward to purchasing a license of HD12 but with this news, I can not. I obviously find this news to be a negative. Sidefx's Apprentice program is a shining light for the hobbyist, the watermark is the least intrusive of any other option out there and quite frankly no other package out there even comes close. The HD version has been icing on the cake for personal projects.
I respectively request that this new policy be reconsidered.
02 February 2012, 02:09 AM
I don't see what's wrong. The price isn't that expensive for what Houdini HD offers.
I think, IMHO, that $99 dls a year is a fair deal to learn Houdini.
Any realease date yet for 12 ?? i just can't wait to play with it.
02 February 2012, 03:05 AM
TAVO, people don't purchase the license for HD to learn Houdini, the non-HD version of Apprentice is sufficient for that. The license is purchased in order to render stills at no resolution limit, increase the animation resolution to HD and not have a watermark. All for various reasons.
I would have to think I am not the only one that doesn't like a rental paradigm. Imagine if Microsoft or Apple changed to this and though you are perfectly fine with Windows 7 or OSX X, the software meets your needs...you are left with two options. Either your OS will stop working or you upgrade to Windows 8, etc.
Hey, I am very appreciative that sidefx even has an Apprentice option and I pointed out the positive points about it prior and that no other software company comes close to it's generosity.
That being said, Next Limit came out with a new Learning Edition for Real Flow and they took into account the critical input of people and made changes to the functional restrictions and made the license permanent.
So, In the same vein, I'm hoping Sidefx makes similar changes...actually only one....a permanent license.
02 February 2012, 03:47 AM
I notice that the Realflow LE carries a price of $245. It was important for us to keep the price at $99. We felt that a lower annual fee made more sense than a significantly higher cost of entry.
Deciding to go with an annual license was also influenced by the presence of our free learning version. This lets HD users continue to develop projects if they choose not to renew then join back in at any time.
If this discourages people from the program that would be unfortunate. We have worked hard to offer HD at an affordable price that offers something of value to both students and hobbyists.
02 February 2012, 07:09 PM
We felt that a lower annual fee made more sense than a significantly higher cost of entry.
Sure thing. I was only responding to the original reasons given why the change would be beneficial.
So you are correct that paying $99 as an annual fee is a lower cost of entry compared to Real Flow 12 LE and certainly when compared to the commerical versions of Houdini. However, the Real Flow 12 LE user would be in a better position after year 2.5, monetarily speaking.
As I stated, Sidefx is providing a product that is better than anyone else, pre HD 12 and post. I was merely giving feedback based on the info that was given by you. If Sidefx has a motive related more to the economics...that's perfectly fine.
It never hurts for a person to ask. You don't know the answer until you do. Now I do.
Deciding to go with an annual license was also influenced by the presence of our free learning version.
Ok, I don't see the logic in that since Sidefx had the free learning version, Apprentice before or side by side with Apprentice HD, which would mean that there were additional reasons to offer the HD. Obviously, something has changed in that aspect or this would not be occurring 5-6 versions later.
That being said, as I have stated before, I am very appreciative of the Apprentice program and it's obviously a positive even after it will be changed to a rental license.
I hope Sidefx continues to be successful so opportunities such as Apprentice/HD are even a possibility for consumers.
02 February 2012, 02:22 AM
This is fine with me and I'll be on board with HD when 12 comes out for sure. Thanks guys!
With that said, the only thing that keeps me, as a one man shop from using Houdini in production for my freelance work is the annual fee. If I could pay $7k and then pay a similar annual price that I pay for the Maya Creation Suite ($900), I'd do it in a heart beat. Alas, that's not the case and I understand that Houdini is probably a steal for what big FX houses need. I think SideFx is awesome so this isn't a complaint, just lamenting the fact that as a freelance 3D guy, it's the annual fee that keeps me out of the Houdini game for personal use.
02 February 2012, 01:39 AM
Imagine if Microsoft or Apple changed to this and though you are perfectly fine with Windows 7 or OSX X, the software meets your needs...you are left with two options. Either your OS will stop working or you upgrade to Windows 8, etc.
I don't think this is an apt analogy. If you don't pay for the HD annual fee, then it reverts to the Apprentice version (ie limited output + watermark). This would be more like you get Windows Ultimate for $99 /year and if you don't pay it then it reverts to Home Edition.
02 February 2012, 01:39 AM
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