R9 vs Meshsurgury modeling

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  09 September 2004
Originally Posted by rgwarren: What is it with plug-ins and MAXON? It seems that with EVERY release the SDK radically changes and everyone has to re-write their plug-ins. This seems counter-productive and not really cost effective to be in the plug-in business writing for C4D.

I remember the troubles with the bhodinut stuff when 8.0 came out. I seem to remember Darf talking about how the API was totally different for that release. Is this the case with R9 as well?

These are the issues that keep me from purchasing plug-ins for C4D. I never know when support will drop with a new version of C4D.

well dont forget that the update from 8 to 9 is a very big one - a lot of stuff had to be rewritten, for example to incorporate ngons
 
  09 September 2004
Originally Posted by rgwarren: What is it with plug-ins and MAXON? It seems that with EVERY release the SDK radically changes and everyone has to re-write their plug-ins. This seems counter-productive and not really cost effective to be in the plug-in business writing for C4D.

I remember the troubles with the bhodinut stuff when 8.0 came out. I seem to remember Darf talking about how the API was totally different for that release. Is this the case with R9 as well?

These are the issues that keep me from purchasing plug-ins for C4D. I never know when support will drop with a new version of C4D.
R8 saw significnt changes to how things worked, this is a fact of life when you make all thigns non modal, change how the niterface works with things and such, change how objects are linked (remember prior to R8 all things werre linked by names now they use ID's) Yes it can be difficult for thirdparty programmers, but even maxon themselves have to face the same difficulties. A lot of the new modeling tools I think are there as much because they had to be rewritten as they were fro mere improvements.

With R9, the biggest reason MS has issues is because of the drastic changes under the hood to modeling, and the addition of the ngons. Imagine how much nicer a lot fo the MS tools could be now too once they support ngons. Plugins developers though will see just how much the modeling SDK has been affected, hopefully making their lives a little easier in the future, but it does affect previous versions. Plugins not working in newer versions happens a lot with all the apps, have you ever read the maya forum when new versions come out. Man look at the free mel scripts and such, there are maya 4, 4.5, 5 and sometimes maya 6 versions of the same script, all ever so slightly different. Fact is progress often means changing the way things are done and that means plugins working off of those things need to update as well.

Ever notice how when a new version of windows comes out, a lot of programs are no longer supported and need to be updated, like maxon when OSX came out too. Welcome to the life of a developer, I don't envy them at all.
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  09 September 2004
I think it's even more confusing when Maxon distributes a plugin themselves (Golum...CA plugin for $300!), then stops supporting/distributing, then comes out with MOCCA which I then have to purchase at an even higher price. Shouldn't there have been some kind of discount there?

I can't afford the upgrade right now, so I'll be sticking with MS anyway...
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  09 September 2004
Originally Posted by rgwarren: What is it with plug-ins and MAXON? It seems that with EVERY release the SDK radically changes and everyone has to re-write their plug-ins.

'seems' maybe, but its not as simple as changes in the SDK, the SDK itself actually is backwards compatible in most cases, and even with XL7 to R8 which had major SDK changes was a fairly simple renaming task.

CINEMA XL7 to R8 was a fairly major update, the changes required to plugins depended heavily on what they did and how they wanted to update. The major change affecting plugins from XL7 to R8 was the UI, plugins did not have to change to modeless and the AM, but to do so needed extra coding.

Changes from R8 to R9 are not that many in the API, there are lots of new areas but most plugins should still work unless they directly used modeling tools (which have all now changed). This is the main area that has been affected, if they did not directly use the pre-R9 tools than there should be few if any changes needed and XL7 and R8 plugins can still run under R9 without any changes at all.

Sometimes plugins don't work simply because they used hacks into the API or made bad assumptions. Sometimes they don't work because an area of CINEMA had to be changed to extend what CINEMA can do. Its not as simple as blaming the SDK.

Writing plugins for commercial gain is always a tricky and delicate situation and no matter what API you are using (MAXON or others) at times you must simply make rewrites or changes. An API changing should rarely (if ever) mean you need to rewrite something from scratch unless you are only using the functions/tools available from that API, your own code/algorithms are not affected at all.

One of the main reasons I've seen for plugins not working in R9 is simply that they have their serial numbers locked to the CINEMA serial number for protection.
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  09 September 2004
How about releasing the working tools

In the short term if the MS team could just strip-out the non-working parts and include what seems to work in v.9 I would be short-term happy. I use the XYZ perspective views all of the time. Even if none of tools worked I want to see those beautiful MS icons on my toolbar.
 
  09 September 2004
I would really like to able to use the Hinge tools in MS, they are incredibly useful, I hope they can be released seperately, I would even pay a small upgrade price to use these on their own. If this is the end of MS it stinks, and some arrangement should be made between plug-in developers and Maxon in future where the intensions of each are made known to one another to avoid disputes like this, and to stop the end user getting ripped off!

Peter
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  09 September 2004
I would find it a pity if it doesn't get updated, it is a fantastic plugin, but in the end it is up to Per and Paul to decide whether or not they want to develop it further. In the meantime I find "I can" work very well with the tools in R9 even if there are a few things from MS I still like to have back.
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  09 September 2004
The surprising thing to me is that just about every other plugin I know of still works fine in R9. It's not surprising that MS got broken, since it's all about modeling and the modeling core had to be rewritten to support ngons.

You either get new features in the core program or endless plugin compatibility--you can't have it both ways.
 
  09 September 2004
I've written plug-ins for After Effects and Director. Those API's haven't changed much for a couple of versions. But then again there wasn't a need to change the API because the core app didn't radically change. Cinema offers so much with each release I guess it's foolish to even think that the SDK would be the same when TONS of new features are added.

Hopefully, the SDK and details were communicated to developers during the beta phase. I think a strong plug-in community will help grow Cinema just as much as new features. I know a few people that measure an application's popularity by how many plug-ins are available.

Personally, I think a plethora of plug-ins might just indicate the app is lacking. Two sides to every picture.
 
  09 September 2004
Personally i think businesswise it's not ok, people will buy plugins less often from a certain developer when they know or assume their plugs won't be usefull in future upgrades. Me for instance love MS and was doubting to buy storm tracer also, but now i am going to wait and see what happens with MS.
Again MS really rocks and would love to see the upgrade... respect to the developpers.
 
  09 September 2004
Just to put in my two cents; I love C4D and MS. I cannot affordto upgrade to V9 at the present, but I certainly hope that when the time comes, I will be able to take MS with me. I would have no hesitation in paying for an upgrade to MS for Per Anders and Paul have put a lot of fine work into the plugin and deserve to be compensated for any required rewriting.

Like Flingster, I am concerned about C4D's stability. One more reason I won't push to get V9 in a hurry. Am willing to wait for a patch from Maxon should it be necessary.

I'm thinking positive.........I want C4D 9 and MS both!
 
  09 September 2004
Originally Posted by rizon parein: Personally i think businesswise it's not ok, people will buy plugins less often from a certain developer when they know or assume their plugs won't be usefull in future upgrades. Me for instance love MS and was doubting to buy storm tracer also, but now i am going to wait and see what happens with MS.
Again MS really rocks and would love to see the upgrade... respect to the developpers.

I feel exactly the same. I'd love to buy StormTracer, but i'm not sure about what the future brings. I have MS and i definately want to use it in R9. But the comments by paul on 10comm (no further updates) and the recent (truly understandable) words about maxon let me hesitate and evaluate other ways. I simply can't understand why there wasn't even a symbolic payment to 3rdparty for some MS integration to make this understandable for the users and encouraging for plugins devs. All this talk about its not an exact copy of the tools is blabla for me, sorry.
 
  09 September 2004
Pretty much sums up my thoughts, Siddhy...
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  10 October 2004
Smile Hmmm...

Well as long as we're putting our 2 cents in, I gotta say I find this whole thread a little bit silly.

First off, I find it kind of strange that there's this attitude that Maxon "ripped off" Mesh Surgery. If you've ever worked with any other 3D packages, a core program that incorporates workflow enhancements that have been developed by third party plugins is the norm, not the exception. More importantly, things like Ring Selection, Loop selection, Loop cutting, a good Slice tool, Normal move, rotate and scale tool, etc. are things that have been available in other 3D apps for a while now.

So how should Maxon handle this? Maxon Dude #1:"Let's see...every other 3D app can do loop cuts and slices and stuff like that. Let's add it to the next release."

Maxon Dude #2: "No, we can't. There's a third party plugin for C4D that does that already."

Now I'm not trying to minimize the importance of Mesh Surgery. Yes, I bought it, and Yes, I will gladly pay the update fee if and when a v9 MS upgrade is announced. But if Maxon avoided adding any new features to the core functionality based on the fact that it does the same thing that 3rd party plugins have done, that would just be screwy.

The important thing is that Mesh Surgery did, and still does, offer workflow enhancements that go beyond C4D's base abilities, as it should be.

It seems like being a 3D software developer is a no-win situation. If you don't upgrade and improve enough, your user base will bitch endlessly about how you are falling behind. If you DO make major improvements (which will invariably break a few things) everyone bitches because their old plugins don't work. It's not an enviable position to be in.

And as for the people that say they won't buy plugins because they don't know what the future holds, I can't say as I really understand that, either. Plugins are like Shareware in general. You pay your money, and you take your chances. There is no guarantee that any piece of software that you buy is going to be supported in the future. In the case of plugins, if you buy one for a job or two and it really helps you out, then it will probably pay for itself very quickly. If you're a true hobbyist and you have no intention of going Pro or even making some cash on the side, then it becomes a more difficult decision...is it worth it if it's just something you're going to play around with? Only you can put a value on that.

I also don't see why Maxon owes any kind of payment to a 3rd party developer. Should Maxon pay every plugin developer whenever a new plugin is developed? Or every time something in a plugin is duplicated in the core program? Is it a two-way street? Should plugin developers be forced to pay a percentage of their sales to Maxon since the plugins are "riding on the coat-tails" of the core app?

Ok, that turned out to be more of a rant than a 2 cents worth, but I was kind of discouraged by what looked like mudslinging, which doesn't accomplish anything concerning either Maxon or any plugin developers.

In the meantime, I look forward to all the cool things we'll be seeing in the future brought to us by those awesome plugin writers, and also all the cool stuff we'll see from Maxon in the future...even when the 2 cross paths and overlap.
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  10 October 2004
It seems as if the primary concern of not updating Mesh Surgery for version 9 is the question of profitability. Will the financial reward be worth all the hard work it takes to update Mesh Surgery? I personally don't own Mesh Surgery, but I have hear wonderful things about it including people claiming that Cinema 8.5 w/ Mesh Surgery is the best modeller out there. It also seems that while R9 has incorporated alot of the functionality of Mesh Surgery, it's still not as efficient as using Mesh Surgery in terms of workflow. In addition, many of you have expressed the willingness to pay for an update. That being said, maybe a petition/thread can be started so that those of you who want and are willing to pay for a Mesh Surgery update can post your support for development of this plugin. If enough interest is shown, perhaps Per-Anders and Paul Everett can be convinced of the financial viability of updating the plugin and then everyone in the Cinema 4d community can be happy.
 
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