Blender Foundation releases Attract and Flamenco.

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  07 July 2017
@Tiles

The blender Market has nothing to do with the Blender Foundation, it's a private company that offers stuff for Blender just like Bender Cookie
is a private company that offers paid tutorials for Blender. This only
shows that Blender as a tool is gaining traction in certain markets. The
Blender Cloud is completely optional and you can't blame the Foundation
for the growing economy around their free open source product.
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  07 July 2017
I don't blame anybody here. I just see Blender going commercial. And i personally simply dislike it.

You can't label Autodesk being evil for being uber commercial, and becoming uber commercial yourself at the same time. The two addons here are directly from Blender, they are part of the cloud now. Blender as a commercial cloud service. That's the pay to win business model that we all know from free to play games.

And even the Blender market has its influence, even when it is not directly connected to the blender development. The available commercial functionality will not make it into the master any soon.

I am of course biased here too. Because, as you say, this just shows that Blender has finally traction. Which is a good thing.
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  07 July 2017
I think you are mixing things here, letīs review:

1.- Blender: You donīt have to pay a penny for it, yet you receive new features, bug fixing, the source code, etc...

2.-AddOns: You say you are forced to acquire some addons... can you name them please? We migrated from Autodesk (max, maya) to Blender in a very successful manner without acquiring not even one addon... so I donīt see what you say, but maybe you can tell me what are those addons that are something completely and absolutely needed to make Blender a good tool, and Itīs not a retoric question, I really want you to say to me those addons, they could help us in the end.

2.- AddOns part 2: the AddOns are made by independent developers, once they do those addons they could decide to release them for free or sell them... but they have nothing to do with the BF, so I donīt understand how do you relate that situation with Blender itself, as a free person you could decide what to do with your work, there were addons that today are useless because of new features, you can name for example all those Uber Materials, some were paid and some were free, with the addition of the principled shader they are useless, at least from my POV, one thing less you have to pay for

3: Blender Cloud: someone already told you what you were paying for in the Blender Cloud, but I will name what you may have without paying a penny:

1.- Flamenco: you are not forced to pay and be in the cloud to use flamenco, you can install it completely inside your own server, with the cloud you receive part of the job done and ready to be synced with other services like AWS, but you can setup all that also inside your own local network and sync also with AWS, etc... so not a paid addon or anything similar.

2.-Attract: this is also open source, and AFAIK you will be able to install it in your own server or local environment, in the cloud you receive something ready to use, you donīt need to think, you donīt need to do anything, it just works, but you are free to create your own environment, as someone said... what do you expect? to receive hosting space and everything free coming from a service you donīt own but needs to be paid?

So no paid tools or improvements here, you just have a ready-to-go environment inside the cloud, and you value it or not, your choice, but you are not forced to be in the cloud to use Flamenco or Attract AFAIK.

Apart from those things I fail to see where do you see that Blender has become a paid platform or anything similar, as other said, there is a market now because the userbase is growing, so there are people that are eager to release their addons for free and there are others that want to make some money for their work, donīt you like to do money from your job?

The only thing I can say is that we come from a STRONG Max/Maya background and we completed our migration to Blender with great results, and we are not going to look backwards, not because we are convinced but because we canīt find a reason to think that we should continue paying the absurd Autodesk TAX... please check the new features in Maya for example... and now check how much you have to pay to RENT the software...

Cheers!
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Last edited by CerberusC : 07 July 2017 at 11:06 PM.
 
  07 July 2017
Hey CerberusC,

While i even agree with some of your points, have you downloaded Blender lately? Next step: Blender Cloud. All of that and much more for just 9.99 dollar per month!!!  Ever played a free to play game? And got nagged to spend some money?

While monetizing your hard work is nothing bad in itself, where's the difference to Unity or Unreal for example? They both have a free version too. Unreal is even open source. And the cash comes from the periphery. And that's what Blender does nowadays. They get by the way their load from every sold addon at the blender market. Not independent!

And i simply dislike this direction. The biggest selling point of Blender was that everything was free. Which made 3D affordable for the masses. Now we have a free base software with commercial periphery. Next step? Make an educational guess.

And again, i am biased here too. Money is what makes software growing. The most successful open source projects are the ones where big money is involved. See Linux and Android for example. But here you also see what happens when big money is involved. Which should make my fear a bit clearer.

And i am already locked out. I simply cannot afford to rent the blender cloud or to buy the commercial Blender addons that i would like to have. Before those two paywalls it was your decision if you wanted to spend money to get the development going. Now it's the decision if you need the feature. No difference to other commercial apps. And you run away from autodesk because they want money?


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Last edited by Tiles : 07 July 2017 at 08:30 AM.
 
  07 July 2017
Originally Posted by Tiles: Hey CerberusC,

While i even agree with some of your points, have you downloaded Blender lately? Next step: Blender Cloud. All of that and much more for just 9.99 dollar per month!!!  Ever played a free to play game? And got nagged to spend some money?

While monetizing your hard work is nothing bad in itself, where's the difference to Unity or Unreal for example? They both have a free version too. Unreal is even open source. And the cash comes from the periphery. And that's what Blender does nowadays. They get by the way their load from every sold addon at the blender market. Not independent!

And i simply dislike this direction. The biggest selling point of Blender was that everything was free. Which made 3D affordable for the masses. Now we have a free base software with commercial periphery. Next step? Make an educational guess.

And again, i am biased here too. Money is what makes software growing. The most successful open source projects are the ones where big money is involved. See Linux and Android for example. But here you also see what happens when big money is involved. Which should make my fear a bit clearer.

And i am already locked out. I simply cannot afford to rent the blender cloud or to buy the commercial Blender addons that i would like to have. Before those two paywalls it was your decision if you wanted to spend money to get the development going. Now it's the decision if you need the feature. No difference to other commercial apps. And you run away from autodesk because they want money?

I disagree with your perspective of the things, for a fact, Unreal is not Open Source, yes, you can access and modify the code for yourself, but it's not open in the meaning that you don't own the code and you can't do ANYTHING you want with it, and the results from Unreal leads to the payment of a royalty and that is MANDATORY so... not the same thing.

Secondly, the free version of Unity is limited both in licensing and features, something that don't happen with Blender and with that free version you can't access the source code so... not the same again.

When you download Blender from the site, yes, you are encouraged to subscribe to the cloud... what is the problem with that? Are you willing to donate money every month to maintain the Blender development? then do it and don't subscribe, are you willing to stop paying permanent developers? I bet you don't, so no one is forcing you to subscribe, you don't loose a thing from Blender, you even have access to those named tools (Flamenco and Attract) so I fail to understand your point, there has to be a commercial environment to make Blender grow, but the heart fo the project, wich is that anyone can access to a full fledge featured production tool, does not change, you CAN pay for some other things, but NEVER for the tool itself, and itīs not like a semi-abandonware like Max or Maya that became a platform for plugins and that they doesnīt evolve by itselves, Blender evolves A LOT with each release, from 2.78 to 2.79 has been GREAT additions to the toolset in various aspects, and you also have A LOT of free addons, not just commercial addons, and some of the greatest ones comes pre-installed in the package so I fail to understand your point.

Now you say that there are two paywalls, the cloud and the paid addons... letīs see, the cloud does not affect at all in development, not for a second, as said various times you can access the tools freely so... your point fails here, now if you want to access to other content that has noting to do with development or tools, there you have to pay, but not for the development or the tools, and in reality you donīt need to pay anything because there is plenty of free content out there in youtube or in many other places.

Now regarding the secon paywall, the paid addons... yes... you may want an specific tool that suits your specific needs, but that specific tool is not done by the Blender Foundation or by the Blender team at all, this specific tool is done by a guy in his home, or by a studio in their offices, and they may choose to release it for free or not, it is their decission, so you may argue with them about this, or you may try to tell THEM to release it for free, but donīt mix this with Blender or BF itself.

The userbase of Blender is growing, Blender is being adopted more and more in many studios, and it became an awesome platform to work, but even if it turns to be the most advanced 3d package in the world, you will always be able to access it for free, no hidden conditions, no fees, nothing at all.

Now regarding your fear about "make an educational"... that is simply not possible, the GPL license of blender forbids that, so you may sell blender as many did and do (Blend4Web) but it wonīt be the Blender done by the BF and the BF team at all, it will be a third party that decided to monetize Blender, develop something over it and sell it... ok, they have the right to do this as long as they respect the GPL principles, but Blender and the BF will continue to be Blender and the BF and you will never see an "Educational License" of Blender, it is simply impossible with the change of the type of license, now if you want to use VRAY with Blender you have to pay for VRAY, and you download an specific Blender build with VRAY, but you don't pay for Blender but for VRAY and they have nothing to do with the BF or Blender.

Regarding this "Before those two paywalls it was your decision if you wanted to spend money to get the development going"... I donīt understand it... what changed? you can spend your money in one specific feature if you want, hire a developer and develop it, and keep it for you or make it free for the world or sell it... but what changed?

Regarding "Now it's the decision if you need the feature."... please explain this because again... I don`t understand your point.

Regarding "No difference to other commercial apps. And you run away from autodesk because they want money?"... what?!

Letīs see, I donīt run from Autodesk because they want money, I run from Autodesk because their R&D is practically dead, I run from them because they choose to set a licensing model that not only it's not fair with the users and it's extremely expensive, but also a licensing system that keeps the users as hostages for the future, if you want to access your work you have to pay them, I'm pretty happy giving money to a company that is doing a development I use to earn money, why not? this is how things work and it is a win-win for everyone, but I won't accept a company that try to make me a hostage, that decides to make a slow development to win more money and that decides to abuse with their pricing.

Regarding "They get by the way their load from every sold addon at the blender market." Can you elaborate a bit please? I't because the Blender Market donate something to the BF or they have an arrangement (wich in any case I could thing as something perfectly good), why do you say they get their load from every sold addon?

Regarding " But here you also see what happens when big money is involved.".. I sincerely can't... what happens? AFAIK I still can download Ubuntu, or Debian, or RedHat (the biggest commercial one I think) or any other linux distro... and they evolve, get new features, get support for new hardware, get optimized... so I fail to see your point here to.

Finally, please, can you name those addons that you think are completely fundamental to have a full toolset of production ready features inside Blender?

Cheers!
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Last edited by CerberusC : 07 July 2017 at 11:23 AM.
 
  07 July 2017
Hi CerberusC,

Seems that we agree to disagree

I wish i would have the time to answer all the points. But with this wall of text i can just grab a few important points.

Quote: Unreal is not Open Source,

That's wrong. You have full access and can modify the source code of Unreal in any way you want. For a fact, that's the definition of open source.

On the contrary, the so called open source GPL license from the FOSS arsenal is one of the most limiting licenses around. Where is my freedom as a developer to add the code that i really need? In Unreal you can happily add any proprietary code you want. The trouble starts when you try to add so called free code under an open source license. GPL is imho a nasty license. For a fact: The source code of Unreal is more free than the Blender GPL code.

Quote: Secondly, the free version of Unity is limited both in licensing and features, something that don't happen with Blender and with that free
version you can't access the source code so... not the same again.

I still disagree. You can access the BASE version of Blender for free as you can access the BASE version of Unity for free. Blender as it is now is limited in feature set as Unity Free is limited in feature set. You can do everything with both. You don't have to buy anything for both. But in Blender you have to buy the cloud and the addons at Blender Market to get access to the rest. And in Unity you have the asset store. There is imho absolutely no difference.

Quote: Now regarding the secon paywall, the paid addons... yes... you may want an specific tool that suits your specific needs, but that specific
tool is not done by the Blender Foundation or by the Blender team at
all, this specific tool is done by a guy in his home, or by a studio in
their offices, and they may choose to release it for free or not, it is
their decission, so you may argue with them about this, or you may try
to tell THEM to release it for free, but donīt mix this with Blender or
BF itself.

That's wrong. The Blender Market has a clause that so and so many per cent of the sold addons goes into Blender Development. Blender Market and BF are directly connected. And this means you will not see the features of those addons any soon in Blender trunk. BF will for sure not want to loose the money they generate here.

Quote: Now regarding your fear about "make an educational"... that is simply not possible, the GPL license of blender forbids that,

That's wrong. The GPL license doesn't forbit monetizing source code. Guess what the addons at the blender market are doing. Those addons are under GPL. It would be a simple decision to hide the source code from the public. And give it just away at request and at customers that paid money for the product before.

They could also start to sell addons instead of giving them away for free. And they do, with the cloud subscription. Here we are again at the pay to win business model.

Quote: Finally, please, can you name those addons that you think are completely fundamental to have a full toolset of production ready features inside
Blender

The tree addon for example. Or the muscle system. Or ... what about all of them ?

Quote: so I fail to understand your point.

Then let me repeat it: Blender is business nowadays, not longer non commercial. And i dislike this direction. That's all. And i simply hope that Blender doesn't walk too much into this direction.

Kind regards

Tiles
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Last edited by Tiles : 07 July 2017 at 07:08 PM.
 
  07 July 2017
@Tiles
You keep saying you "have to" buy into the cloud, and when you do not, to me it sounds as if you feel that it turns you into a second-grade Blender citizen somehow? What does the Blender Cloud offer that makes you think so?

As for your "BASE" version argument: a "BASE" version of Blender does not exist. Just 'Blender'. Cinema4D's business model, for example, is very different and Maxon does offer a 'base' version. There is no "limited" feature set in Blender, because commercial add-on developers have nothing to do with the Blender Foundation (also see below).
I would agree with you If 'essential' Add-ons or a different more capable version of Blender were developed by BF separately from Blender AND sold by BF through the Blender Cloud/shop - but that is simply not the case.

All add-ons on the Blender market are put there by individuals/small teams who do this independently from BF.

What is more, your "second paywall" argument in regards to the Blender Market falls flat on its face when we realize that CG Cookie is the company behind the Blender market, and they have, as far as I am aware, no official ties at all with the Blender Foundation. Only official BF sites may carry the Blender logo, and the Blender Market does not. CG Cookie, and therefore the Blender Market, is an INDEPENDENT commercial company.
It is stated at the bottom of the page: "The Blender Market is a project from the humans at CG Cookie."
( Find out more about the people behind the company here: https://cgcookie.com/what-is-cgcookie )

CG Cookie is a company located in Geneva, and they have become a (NOT 'the') main sponsor of Blender's development. The way this works is UP TO THE ADD-ON SELLERS: their sellers decide whether they want to sponsor the Blender Foundation with a contribution of up to 30%, or not. Products on the Blender market that do so are indicated with a heart. CG Cookie motivates their add-on sellers to sponsor Blender's development. They even go as far as stating this:

"It is important to support and show love for the Blender Development Fund, and this is reflected in the sites layout and design"

You can't define a commercial company's add-on market place as a "paywall" to additional Blender functionality when that company has no official ties at all with the Blender Foundation. That makes little sense. Blender Market is run by a separate company that just happens to fund Blender development through its sellers. And that is all there is to that.

*EDIT* I do agree with you that Blender has matured, and is making good progress into studios and "mainstream" projects. That also means more professionalism, and yes, more paid-for add-ons. Blender is no longer the 2.46 lone rebel with a rebel community. Do I like this? Yes, I do. Things change - that is just how it is. Changes are just changes.

Last edited by hvanderwegen : 07 July 2017 at 08:17 PM.
 
  07 July 2017
Hey Hvandevegen,

Quote: What does the Blender Cloud offer that makes you think so?


The same things that are listed as an argument to rent the cloud when downloading Blender. +100s hours of tutorials,Textures & HDRIsCharacter RigsShot & Render Management, Image Sharing within Blender. All of that plus much more for only $9,99/month. Pay to win

Quote: As for your "BASE" version argument: a "BASE" version of Blender does not exist. Just 'Blender'.

Indeed. There is also no base version of Unity. Just the free version without any technical limits. But for both exists an asset store (plus the cloud in Blender) where you can extend the functionality a lot. Which makes the Unity Free version a base version for selling the functionality in the asset store. And makes Blender a base version for selling the functionality from the asset store. Well, maybe it's really just me, and maybe i exxaggerate a bit here, but i can simply see no difference anymore.

Quote: What is more, your "second paywall" argument in regards to the Blender Market falls flat on its face when we realize that CG Cookie is the
company behind the Blender market, and they have, as far as I am aware,
no official ties at all with the Blender Foundation.

Again, they spend a fixed percent of the earned money from the addons to BF. And you name it, they are sponsors for the Blender development. And some of the folks are not only sponsors, but also Blender developers. That's a fat connection i would say, and what i would call a conflict of interest.

Note that i don't even think of it as a bad thing. It attracts users and developers the same time. But the Blender market is simply the asset store for Blender. That's my opinion at it.

Quote: their sellers decide whether they want to sponsor the Blender Foundation with a contribution of up to 30%, or not.

So this one is opt in? I stand corrected. I thought this one is automatically. Thanks

Quote: *EDIT* I do agree with you that Blender has matured, and is making good progress into studios and "mainstream" projects. That also means more professionalism, and yes, more paid-for add-ons. Blender is no longer the 2.46 lone rebel with a rebel community. Do I like this? Yes, I do. Things change - that is just how it is. Changes are just changes.

Yeah. Just that i dislike this change since it cuts me off from the commercial addons now ^^

Blender had one big selling point. It was free, including the whole periphery. And now this selling point starts to vanish. And Blender gets into the trouble that it needs to compete with the commercial solutions. It became a commercial solution.

Which raises the question, when i have to buy periphery to get Blender somehow production ready, why not spend a few more bucks to get one of the much more powerful industry solutions instead? We talk about business here. Blender has still a pipeline problem. There is still no useful particle simulation available. No substitute for addons like Forester. The bones system is aged. No PBR workflow yet (this one luckily arrives with Eevee, yay). And so on.

As much as i love Blender, it is crossing thin ice here. It is simply not nearly as powerful as their fans thinks it is. I have seen quite a few Autodesk users heavily and angrily moaning about Autodesk, trying alternatives like Blender with the will to even make big trade offs just to escape Autodesk, and then coming back to Autodesk since they did not get their things done.

It reminds me about the Linux story a bit. Where its fans also declares this year to the year where Linux will finally overtook the desktop. Since 30 years. I hear the same from Blender and the industry since 15 years now ^^

Kind regards

Reiner
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  07 July 2017
I was going to respond, but I feel we just have very different views. Let's agree to disagree

Cheers Tiles! Best of luck to your BforArtists branch.
 
  07 July 2017
Heh, i thought the same, but did respond then. Sorry bout that ^^

All the best to you and your projects too
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  07 July 2017
Same thing here XD 

I think we just have very different ways of looking at the Blender ecosystem, so that si all, we agree to disagree and everybody is happy

Cheers guys!
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