R15 Impressions

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  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by AdamT: That is the official line ... but I've been doing it since R7 without any problems.

But don't have R15 yet so can't say if that holds true....

There were several occurances over time where errors occured, new features wouldn't show up in the interface, settings and/or colors were messed up.
It is realy not recommended to reuse older prefs.
Cheers
Björn
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  09 September 2013
Yes, unfortunately there is no smooth way to transfer all the customization to a new version. I contact Maxon every major version release and they tell me "that's a great idea and we've put it on the list" but still nothing. I was just putting the new installer in my Maxon folder and was marveling that I still have the v9 installers in there, so I've been doing this a while.

I'll make the suggestion again to Maxon and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Here's the link to the suggestion page:
http://www.maxon.net/support/suggestions.html

Tick "Other"

And here's some copy you can cut and paste into the suggestion box:

New version customization

Please make it really easy to move all the customization I've done from an old version to a new version of C4D. I've spent a lot of time customizing the interface, colors, layouts, and menus and would like to be able to move as much of that as possible to the new version without having to completely redo it every major update. Having the ability to customize the interface but not be able to port that over to a new version is something that really needs to be addressed.
Thanks.
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  09 September 2013
Not had a great deal of time to play yet, just been working through the "what's new' list in help.

Very impressed with viewport performance. An R14 scene that runs at 4fps is playing back at 30fps in R15.

Bevel and slide tools are nice, kerning is well implemented, fit deformers is great.

Embree has just saved me 6 minutes on a 22 minute render, very impressive (although the standard renderer takes just 8 minutes). That said I never use the physical renderer, its either VRay for realism or the standard renderer for speed.

As a VRay user that isn't happy with the loss of Net Render this release does feel a bit thin now I'm using it (I realise that for some users the rendering improvements will be a boon).
I'm hoping that the little things, and improved viewport performance, will really show their worth over the coming weeks and months.
 
  09 September 2013
Testing out the new team rendering on the RenderFriend network here, and so far so good. I'm liking what I'm seeing, especially a speed increase transferring data between clients. I render a lot of very high resolution still images here and it looks like the team render may handle them much better than the tiled camera methods. I'll be testing that more in the next day or two.
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  09 September 2013
Did anyone have any encounters with cached GI - irradienace cache with high number of frames?

I had setup 500 frames with 10 frame step and it generated a 300MB cache file, which causes 1 minute of preparation time before every frame when rendering the final animation...

Cache is set to Auto Load and Skip Prepass, it makes no difference if its physical or standard, or if there is any object in the scene, so I am pritty sure its the cache...
even chunking the cache and rendering into 5 x 100frames starts faster, takes like 10 seconds of prep before every frame...

Is this normal behaviour, or am I missing something?
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  09 September 2013
Distributed Rendering is a welcome but long overdue feature for C4D. It's marketed as their main feature update, where as in my view, it should have ranked maybe 4th in a release where a few more user requests were met.

I've played with the new GI and I'm moderately impressed with the results I can achieve with interiors, the speed increases etc. Though with a material system that's still years behind the competition, I don't see myself adopting an R15 GI workflow. I'll perhaps familiarize myself with the settings, in case a client requests it.

At the moment, a good percentage of my plugins are not working in C4D, so adopting R15 into my pipeline is not a possibility just yet. Plugins are the power behind C4D for me now, and represent the only real innovation and source of continued excitement that I get as a C4D user. Tools like X Particles and Effex, the upcoming Krakatoa connection and all of the other great work the plugin devs do for the community.

A bevel tool, a few GI improvements, updates to a sculpting system (that I rarely touch) and multithreaded deformers aren't worth the headache of moving my workflow to R15 right away. Team render will doubtlessly prove useful down the line and in the interests of staying current, I'll adopt eventually. But not with a great sense of urgency.

Maxon. You should introduce point releases again. We'll end up at R18 and users will still be begging for changes in 2016 that they expected in 2010.
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  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by ThePriest: A bevel tool, a few GI improvements, updates to a sculpting system (that I rarely touch) and multithreaded deformers aren't worth the headache of moving my workflow to R15 right away.


I think that's the case for most users really. Only the hobbiest users can afford to switch to the latest version right away. For others it's too risky to switch right in the middle of a project. For me I installed R15 the other day, installed a couple of plugins that I know do work with it, and went back to working in R14. I do exactly the same with new versions of Maya, in fact I'm often working with versions that are a couple of years old as many clients don't update right away. 'if it ain't broke..' and all that.

Re point updates, I get your point (no pun intended) and I do enjoy the SAP versions from AD (3 more days to Maya 2014.5 being released with Disney XGen tech incorporated.. whoot! [Edit- actually it's released early, just downloading, double whoot!) but I think the point fives are usually more a test bed for new features, at least until those versions themselves have had a service update. With Maxons smaller development team I think the point fives might just slow them down possibly and a six month development cycle is probably not practical for them. The end users would probably end up experiencing more stability issues with new features (often a factor with Maya .5 features) and that's not something Maxon or the user base probably wants.

[Edit 2 - yeah, now that Patrick said it, I remember the C4D point five versions were every second year, not half way through a yearly cycle like with the AD apps, so really they were the same development cycle as the current 'full number' releases, just a different label I guess. Maybe there's a psychological expectation from users though that a 'full release' should be a bigger step forward than a point five, but possibly marketing prefer not to have them (totally just guessing here).

Overall though, for me R15 is not really a major update either, but again that totally depends on the kind of work you do. (I use ZBrush here so have zero interest in C4D sculpting for example). I keep it up to date so I can stay current with my clients in the future, more than I 'need' any of the new features really.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 09 September 2013 at 05:47 PM.
 
  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by ThePriest: Maxon. You should introduce point releases again. We'll end up at R18 and users will still be begging for changes in 2016 that they expected in 2010.


I'm sorry, but reintroducing a "point release" would do nothing to speed up development or to change the development roadmap.

This is just a false statement.

As it stands MAXON used to release on a tick-tock schedule of 2 years (more or less) year 1 was a full point. year 2 was a half point. and then there may have been 1 or 2 small features between.

The only thing that changed were the laws and an arbitrary number preceded by the letter "R"

So even if they switched back to the old system, people could still be waiting.

As far as plugins go...every application that is not already a plugin relies on plugins. Although even V-ray has a market for plugins.
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  09 September 2013
No, I understand that introducing a .5 system does nothing for development speeds. With that I absolutely agree. What it does for the user though ( at least for me), is give the impression that we're stepping up in increments, that these improvements come in time.

Now they're quickly going in the direction of other major 3D Apps, like Max. They give you a handful of improvements and call it a whole new release. I just don't agree with that marketing strategy.

Plugins are great, I welcome them. What I don't welcome is all of the pissing about that is involved in managing them. I've said this before, but I paid almost 2k for Craft animation tools (car sim plugin) and a handful of presets. They stopped supporting that in 11.5, so I keep 11.5 installed for the rare times that I need to run an accurate car sim. This is true for other plugs, will the developers support them into the end of times? Or in 5 years, will I have R11.5 through R19 installed, to use a feature here and there that's no longer supported in the latest release.
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  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by chi: I'm sorry, but reintroducing a "point release" would do nothing to speed up development or to change the development roadmap.

This is just a false statement.

As it stands MAXON used to release on a tick-tock schedule of 2 years (more or less) year 1 was a full point. year 2 was a half point. and then there may have been 1 or 2 small features between.

The only thing that changed were the laws and an arbitrary number preceded by the letter "R"

So even if they switched back to the old system, people could still be waiting.

As far as plugins go...every application that is not already a plugin relies on plugins. Although even V-ray has a market for plugins.


so if i understand it right - maxon (and other companies) cannot add new features to a product without charging for it? (is that right?) that is why the new long waits for .0 releases and only bug fixes with no new tools or features with interim updates like in the past

if that is so - then maxon should go back to some paid point releases or whatever point number thing and this way they could add a new feature here and there - but keep the update cost reasonable like $49 or $149 or something - this would allow the new features to be added here and there and legally paid for but not keep everyone waiting.

and of course some paid updates in between all these .0 versions would add value to the MSA users as these paid updates would be now included free for our MSA cost

this could add a couple benefits - it allows maxon to get some new tool or feature out to market without being held back to the whole .0 release a year or more away - plus it should give more justification for users to go for the MSA - because i admit is does seem kinda weird to be told to pay for an MSA so that all updates for the next year are free - when there aren't any. (other then bug fixes which are free)

so i'm not a lawyer, and i don't fully know what that whole "no new feature law" thing is or how it exactly works - but i sure would love to see some new functionality added to Team Render without waiting a whole year or two to see it. i'm sure there are other users that would like something new in between too

just my thoughts, i'm sure within seconds someone will tell me how wrong i am, but the way i see it is if i am right this adds value for both the MSA and users - if it does work as i am guessing

dann
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  09 September 2013
@ stuart - really we just need to change our own perceptions on what an upgrade is.
but really, whether you count updates in integers, floats, or with a suffix based on the year, the effect is the same. New features are added and the suffix increases.

I also can totally forsee some backlash from the community when AE 13 is a "mediocre" release as most features that would have been saved for that release were trickled out over time...this decreases the over all value of a full point update. Again...this means users will have to adjust the perception of what the value is.

Next, just because a release doesn't cover the things you want does not make it lackluster overall, or that there wasn't any work put into the release. (Like there was a tonne of work put in under the hood for R15, but that doesn't equate to sexy bullet points...and then people don't see the immediate value)

Next, MAXON is not going the way of AD...first and foremost MAXON is actively recruiting new developers rather than laying staff off.
They are also showing continued development in some areas where they have managed to allocate dedicate development (see modeling, sculpting, rendering, etc)
They have also managed to hit a few key areas that had been thorns in the sides of users for years, and they will continue to do so.
They also don't just buy plugins and wrap them into the app and then sell that as an upgrade. (save for the texture manager...)

@dann - In short, if a publicly traded company (which MAXON's parent company is) adds a new feature mid-cycle they have to withhold a portion of their earnings from that release, while some companies (APPL) have deep enough pockets to handle the loss, I doubt this is something MAXON is willing to go through.

That said, yes, they could charge a nominal fee to side-step this (remember the first iOS upgrade )

Also, Rick has mentioned that technically MSA could cover this, but currently there is no way to track this directly within C4D.

Adobe has worked around this by ONLY having subscribers.

Either way, I would totally applaud MAXON if they released a TR / NET update at a nominal fee mid cycle. I am rarely disappointed with releases, even when they change things I used to love...but this is one area where I feel some action should be taken.
Especially given the benefits that R15 offers as a whole in the field of rendering.
I only wish I had some say in things like that.
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  09 September 2013
@ThePriest...I have to totally agree with your last couple of posts, couldn't have stated it better myself

The R15 box was sent to me at the start of the week and it is still sitting there...unopened. The same thing happened last year when R14 arrived and it took at least 6 months for me to get motivated to install it. A few studios I was freelancing at this year were using R14, so I weaned myself off R13 and soon found out that R14 is the most unstable release I have used (on Mac and PC) and I have been using C4D since R8.

Lots of random freezes and crashes that I can't pinpoint to a specific bug, so registering a bug report seems pointless. Before someone points out that it is a GPU driver issue, I have had these issue on various workstations on both platforms. Certainly finding myself saving more often and hoping that the scene has been autosaved in the bugreports folder. C4D is still quite stable compared to other apps, but doesn't feel like the rock solid C4D I had grown to love! Can't say I have found any of the new R14 features particularly compelling, but sure there were some useful additions like Alembic. I used to get excited about a new C4D release , but now they feel somewhat like new AE releases...half assed. Much more interested in new developments in other apps I use such as ZB, 3DC, Blender, Vray , etc

Meanwhile R15 will most likely sit there until I need it for a client. The combination of R14 and R15 features would have made for a decent update if it came in one update, but still not much to get me too excited, I must say. C4D feels like the innovation peaked at R12/R13 and most of the new features were already covered by cheap/free plugins and Zbrush. I really wish that Maxon would have spent time on the features that their core audience (broadcast/animation/motion graphics) use very day and have been neglected for so so long....enhancements/upgrades to the cloner/effectors system system(which has barely been touched since launch), particle system, shading system, expresso, volumetrics, passes/AOV's system, viewport playback speed, cloth, unified dynamics, sketch/toon etc. Can't say I am too thrilled about Netrender being given the chop either!

All I can really do is write another "Dear Santa" letter to Maxon and hope for a surprise next Christmas ...cough....Siggraph in addition to having a whinge on Cgtalk
 
  09 September 2013
Patrick, from my small experience(6-7 years in cg), newtek lightwave has support to hold old plugins and scripts.
Maxon is s_cked company of developers(ok, one of) which dropped most plugins and entusiasm of 3d party devs
 
  09 September 2013
On the question of transferring layouts. I loaded one of my R14 layouts and some icons go missing in the dropdown menus. I think it's pretty much the new stuff, grass, camera crane etc.
I just checked R14 and the same thing has happened there as I had used an R13 layout. I've been missing icons all this time. Hardly used R14 to notice though. Well you live and learn.
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  09 September 2013
"live-selection" in ogl-viewport is laggish

in comparison to r13, r15 doesn´t performs well, when you try to select any object with the "live-selection" tool in a scene which has many objects with proper poly count (maybe its also the case in r14). I disabled the outlines-feature (highlighting silhouette on objects) too, which gives you a boost of maybe 5%, but it does n´t reach the performance of r13. Thats what i expirienced. (tested it with the newest availible c4d release)

my hardware specs:
win 7 64bit
8gb ram
i7-3630qm
nvdia gt650m

Navigation in the ogl-viewport performs very well ! Only the live-selection tool was tested here. If you have a chance to test a heavy scene from your old project in r13 inside r15, it would be interesting to know if you also recognize this behavior.

Btw, the cursor of the live-selection now has a radius. If you move your cursor, the "radius" (small circle) follows the cursor immediately, but laggish / delayed. This is also the case in a new scene with less objects. But it has a big impact in a heavy scene. Is there any possibility to turn off radius for simple object selection ? (i know you can set the radius to "1". but you will still have this radius: on)


Can anybody confirm this, or has experienced the same behavior?




Cheers
Des.
 
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