Autodesk's Fix for Slumping Special Effects Industry ("standardize")

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  07 July 2013
Maybe Autodesk can help fix by making their software much more affordable for starters.
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by EricM: Standarization does make things easier, but it also stiffens competition since there are less entry barriers too and proprietary competitive advantage.

And just like everything in CG, when something gets quicker, cheaper and better, you just add more of it!

So if anything, standardization will only make the end result better (more shots in less time for lower budgets) but I fail to see how this will help the industry financially.


Good point, well made. It is like with the financial crisis: It isn't about how much money there is in the world, it is how that is structured and about preventing people from abusing the system or being abused by it.
 
  07 July 2013
Quote: Maybe Autodesk can help fix by making their software much more affordable for starters.


I am not sure that would really fix the problems that are facing the fx industry.
What do you think would be a good price for their applications? Dont forget that maya for example used to cost a whole lot more than it does now.
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  07 July 2013
maybe to fix this, Autodesk could put in place an odd idea: reduce alot the cost and maintenance of their products.
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  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by melvinch: Maybe Autodesk can help fix by making their software much more affordable for starters.

Actually if the software was more expensive and less available VFX shops could charge a lot more since there would be less competition and the capital investment to start up a VFX shop would be so huge that not many new players would enter the field..

That was pretty much the situation in the 90's

I'm not saying its ever going to happen again but this rampant democratization of software and hardware has increased the competition a lot.
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  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by mustique: ADSK can help the vfx industry by giving maya away for free like blender

I think Maya can be given away but not 3ds Max
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by Lomax: To quote Booger from Revenge of the Nerds 2 - "and who decides the standards?!"

When they say open and standardized, I have a feeling they really mean between their products, and not according to the needs/demands of the industry. If they actually listened to us, Max, Maya, and XSI might've all been combined and phased out by now, and we'd get crazy new features each year rivaling those the major studios have to write for themselves. Or at least features based on the white papers those studios release.


I thought, and if I remember correctly, the reason why it still separate is that because the artist wanted it to stay that way. Besides, from the forum of those days, neither camp want to throw their experiences away and learn a new 'super app'.

(but I think Maya camp was stronger, since AD was the one doing the buying, and they afraid the super app is more close to Max compared to Maya, since MAX will just absorb Maya code and capabilities ,and of course, programmers).

In a matter of fact, AD have to release a press release to stem this fear.
 
  07 July 2013
Instead of fixing the FX industry, why don't they just buy it like their other products?
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by hrgiger: Instead of fixing the FX industry, why don't they just buy it like their other products?


Yeah and once they do, the industry will virtually stop getting developed like the apps they bought.

Seriously this industry's failing is it's own making. Better management, more regulation, having realistic staff levels will probably be a good start to fix the issues it faces. ADSK can't offer to much help otherwise. Software isn't the issue here.

Last edited by grafixsuz : 07 July 2013 at 06:16 AM.
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by fablefox: I thought, and if I remember correctly, the reason why it still separate is that because the artist wanted it to stay that way. Besides, from the forum of those days, neither camp want to throw their experiences away and learn a new 'super app'.


Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but I'm fairly certain most artists wanted the super-duper app... just with their app of choice being the dominant source of features & UI.
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  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by Lomax: Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but I'm fairly certain most artists wanted the super-duper app... just with their app of choice being the dominant source of features & UI.


Ha! I almost wrote something until I've read your second line.

CORE debacle happen because most people prefer Lightwave and the way it is instead of CORE.

Maya users are not the only one that vocal and doesn't want anything to happen to their Maya, Lightwave users too. Change is hard, I guess.
 
  07 July 2013
There is absolutely no business logic behind merging the 3 packages.

If you own products A, B and C, and your competitor owns product D, why on earth would you want to discontinue two of your products?

There is no guarantee that users of existing products will migrate to your new product; you only stand to lose customers, rather than gain new ones.
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by lo: There is absolutely no business logic behind merging the 3 packages.

If you own products A, B and C, and your competitor owns product D, why on earth would you want to discontinue two of your products?

There is no guarantee that users of existing products will migrate to your new product; you only stand to lose customers, rather than gain new ones.

This!

It seems to be popular to bash Autodesk, I suppose it makes people feel part of the crowd and like they can "stick it to the man". But in many respects, with the share they have, Autodesk IS the industry. Decisions they make heavily impact everyone and if they go down so will many businesses.

I think, with regards to "standardizing", they are on the right track. But they should not forget this: http://xkcd.com/927/
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by fablefox: Maya users are not the only one that vocal and doesn't want anything to happen to their Maya, Lightwave users too. Change is hard, I guess.


When your wrench does what you need a wrench to do, you don't necessarily want someone rolling in and forcing you to use a new one with a weird handle. Point being folks work out pipelines to get work done, not to use the latest and greatest (with its legion of new bugs to be trouble shot and work arounds to be discovered.) Will that "new app" be better? Perhaps. I'm sure it'll have a MAKEART™ button as well <.<

What I would like to see Autodesk do is follow suit with SideFX and offer some starving artist level licensing. That way independent artists don't have to kill themselves maintaining their legal licensing and skillsets while the studios shuffle them off to poverty. That hits ADSK's bottom line though, so I wouldn't count on it. Their educational offerings are currently pretty generous. So I suppose you could view taking a pass fail at your local community college to qualify for educational licensing as a form of starving artist licensing.
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Last edited by nimajneb : 07 July 2013 at 03:10 PM.
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by nimajneb: What I would like to see Autodesk do is follow suit with SideFX and offer some starving artist level licensing. That way independent artists don't have to kill themselves maintaining their legal licensing and skillsets while the studios shuffle them off to poverty. That hits ADSK's bottom line though, so I wouldn't count on it. Their educational offerings are currently pretty generous. So I suppose you could view taking a pass fail at your local community college to qualify for educational licensing as a form of starving artist licensing.

To my knowledge starving artist isn't a commercial license, it's a limited (but not crippled) learning license for those who're willing to part with a hundred bucks to not have watermarks and are OK with rendering engine locks and a max res to work on learning Houdini or their own personal project.

Autodesk equivalent to that is all their edu licenses being free, employees of a licensee company being able to require tokens for home, non-locked non-limited (time-limited) trials, and a rather liberal approach to NFRs for prominent artists.

It's very easy to qualify for an edu (36 months) for a couple hundred bucks or less in most countries, but agreeably more annoying/involved than just paying 100$ to someone.
In the context of this thread though, which is about the mid to large scale VFX industry struggling, I don't think any of this is key, or even particularly relevant though.
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