Seriously considering purchase but....

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  01 January 2006
Seriously considering purchase but....

Hi guys,
Well, I really want to buy EI and I'm very close to a purchase but after doing some more research I'm starting to have my doubts. You see, I know that the software is capable of some killer images with very fast render times; however, it appears that the application is heavily based on 3rd party plugins and shaders. I'm concerned that I will not only have to buy the software but also thousands of dollars worth of plugins/shaders. Is that correct?

Like I said, I'm really interested in the software and its pretty close to being at the right price point. However, I'm not able to spend hundreds/thousands more on plugins as I'm am currently heavily vested in Maya Unlimited and I have no intention of leaving that package. I just want EIAS too! =)

What do you all think?
 
  01 January 2006
If you're seriously considering EIAS, you should get the demo! It may be a tiny bit of a hassle, but it should be worth it to try before you buy. Once you have the demo, play around with it, and ask people on the forums for tips/pointers.

Sincerely,
--ChiralSym
 
  01 January 2006
Hi Brian,

I agree, jump through the hoop and get the demo.

It depends on what you want to get done in EI as oppose to Maya, a lot of the extras are just time savers, there are however some (like mForge) which are truly unique in the 3D universe, and others which provide a way to do a very specific task that you may never come across. EI as a basic package can do an amazing amount, and there are a lot of freebee add-ons out there to expand that even further.

And now with FBX....
Ian
 
  01 January 2006
Originally Posted by sacslacker: Hi guys,
Well, I really want to buy EI and I'm very close to a purchase but after doing some more research I'm starting to have my doubts. You see, I know that the software is capable of some killer images with very fast render times; however, it appears that the application is heavily based on 3rd party plugins and shaders. I'm concerned that I will not only have to buy the software but also thousands of dollars worth of plugins/shaders. Is that correct?

Like I said, I'm really interested in the software and its pretty close to being at the right price point. However, I'm not able to spend hundreds/thousands more on plugins as I'm am currently heavily vested in Maya Unlimited and I have no intention of leaving that package. I just want EIAS too! =)

What do you all think?



Brian...

I understand your situation and I'll try to address it as best as I can. I use both packages too. They make a great combination.

First off, EIAS comes with a number of shader systems and plugins to get you started. Plenty enough to keep you busy while you're learning the software package, and more than enough to create great looking work. Even without a single 3rd party shader or plugin, you would be considerably busy examining everything that Animator and Camera has to offer. I can give you a list of every shader system that is included in the default install if you wish.

That being said, it is true that EIAS is heavily enhanced with 3rd party plugins/shaders. I think EI's "ala carte" mentality with plugins and extra shaders has come out of the program's development history. The good thing about these 3rd party companies are they are directly involved with EITG during the various beta stages of each iteration of EIAS and they offer additional creative spark to the package. I can't say enough about Northern Lights 3D. Blair has created some terrific plugins and is directly involved in creating enhancements for EIAS. Likewise Konkeptione, Triple D Tools, and Onyx has created additional shader and plugin systems that makes other systems in different packages pale in comparision. Pricing for these extra plugins and shaders are well worth their cost. They are affordable and most vendors offer discounted rates and sales throughout the year. If you need a particular plugin, purchase it at the time of need, and factor the cost of the plug into your outgoing billing to your clients. A $100 plugin can be justified and paid for in a couple of hours of work.

Now if you're a hobbyist, I can see your hesitation. Most hobbyists desire their start up package to have everything...even though they may not even use it. They want it so they can learn. Personally, if I were EITG, I would find ways to appeal to these new users by teaming up with EI vendors to create a special promotional opportunity. This brings new users like yourself to EIAS, and forges a relationship between the new user and the 3rd party EI community.

The main question to ask yourself is, what is it about EIAS that attracts you... and why isn't Maya enough? I use Maya ALL the time at work. Love it. Great program. So why isn't it enough for me? Because I like EIAS' Camera for rendering better. Even over Mental Ray. Once you get a system together on how the two packages can work together, especially with FBX, suddenly EIAS becomes an extension of your main platform and in some cases, replaces it for certain tasks.

Its important to be concerned about costs. We all worry about that. But if you can find a way to use it for your client's advantage.. well, then cost isn't that much of an issue any more is it?
__________________
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
 
  01 January 2006
Sweet! Thanks for the replies guys, it really does help. What attracted me to EIAS is the rendering power. I have both Mental Ray and Renderman, both very good renderers and I use them both. I've transended hobbiest and moved more into using this software to make money and that is where the time savings part of Camera really gets appealing.

I've contacted the EIAS group and discovered that they currently have been inundated with requests for the demo and are currently experiencing a shortage of hardware dongles for the demo. This is great news for the community because it shows that there is a lot of interest in the product you guys use. I've been in contact with one of the EIAS people and not only have they been estremely responsive to my emails and questions but they've also been very helpful with my situation. In order to take advantage of the January deal I'd have to jump in at blind faith at this point. Not that I haven't done that before (read Maxwell Render) but that really burned me. So far the company and the product people have been great, it's just that after my Maxwell issues, it's hard to make the leap.

I have to say, I'd have to pick up the mForge shader right off the bat if I end up buying the application.

thanks again guys and I'll let you know if I pick it up.
 
  01 January 2006
Brian...

We want you to feel right at home, so any questions you may have about MForge, or EIAS just ask. There are several users on this forum that can help you. In the meanwhile, be sure to check out this site.. it shows the default shaders that come with mForge. All of these can be modified and tweak till you're blue in the face.

http://www.artimation.com/MForgePresets/
__________________
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
 
  01 January 2006
Originally Posted by sacslacker: I've contacted the EIAS group and discovered that they currently have been inundated with requests for the demo and are currently experiencing a shortage of hardware dongles for the demo.


That has just made my day
Ian
 
  01 January 2006
Hiya,


I think it's worth stating that there are some really cool plugs and shaders that are free:

http://www.triade.es/shaderlab/

http://www.northernlights3d.com

http://www.konkeptoine.com

I also think that EIAS ships with some of the best shaders out of the box, in my experience certainly no worse (imho, better), that say Lightwave or Cinema 4D.

ta

nige.
__________________
--------------------------------
"I'm full of dust and guitars"
-------------------------------
 
  01 January 2006
What kind of work do you want to do?

Just because plugins are available doesn't mean you have to purchase them to get work done.

I came to EIAS after using Lightwave for about 10 years. The only third party product that I've purchased for EI is obj2fact. I've been using EI for about a year and a half. I just haven't felt the need to purchase additional stuff as the basic package comes everything I've needed. The only thing that I miss from Lightwave was a third party product called HD Instance.


Al
 
  01 January 2006
Placer Deposit does pretty much what HD Instance does.
http://www.northernlights3d.com
 
  01 January 2006
[QUOTE=Vizfizz]

Now if you're a hobbyist, I can see your hesitation. Most hobbyists desire their start up package to have everything...even though they may not even use it. They want it so they can learn. Personally, if I were EITG, I would find ways to appeal to these new users by teaming up with EI vendors to create a special promotional opportunity. This brings new users like yourself to EIAS, and forges a relationship between the new user and the 3rd party EI community.

[QUOTE]

They do have the 3d toolkit which is a great starting point (worked for me), then i took the hard route, upgraded and spent thousand's on plugins and shaders LOL


Reuben
__________________
"We're on an express elevator to hell - Going down"


 
  01 January 2006
I think over the past 10 years of owning EI, the total amount I've spent on plugins and shaders is about $1200. I've recouped that several times over. I'm actually itching to spend a little more.
__________________
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
 
  01 January 2006
Well guys, I think I'm going to go ahead and pick this puppy up. The price is right and the community seems to be pretty helpful. I'm hoping that my idea of EAIS working with Maya to help with those times where you need a fast, high quality render is sound. By this evening, I should be part of the user community. God help you all!!!

=)
 
  01 January 2006
Welcome aboard! Be sure to check out this website and the scripts included here to help begin your integration quest between EI and Maya.

http://www.3dmation.com/
__________________
Brian J. Pohl

Previsualization Society - Founder / Secretary
Independent - Sr. Previs & Layout Supervisor
 
  01 January 2006
Originally Posted by NorthernLights: Placer Deposit does pretty much what HD Instance does.
http://www.northernlights3d.com


Yeah, it's in the plan. I have some other upgrades to attend to first

A.
 
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