Cycles Anyone? (And reaction to x-Particles maintenance costs)


#1

I don’t often hear of anyone using Cycles these days. In my mind I’d relegated it to an X-Particles add-on. It’s not nearly as fast as Octane and I’m not crazy about the user interface–which requires nodes for even simple things like diffuse color.

For obvious reasons it was well-integrated w/XP, and that was for many a chief selling point.

Today, while doing some x-particles work, I fired it up again… and was quickly discouraged.

-I no longer was able to get networked rendering to work properly. It worked in one file, but threw up asset errors in other cases, or passively failed.
-I couldn’t change the resolution of a texture. A pop-down simply wouldn’t accept anything but 512. (the texture was 2k)
-Most disheartening…when I went to see if there was any updates that might resolve the bugs…I was notified that my service agreement has expired

It looks like I’m done with Cycles , and my investment in the renderer and extra nodes is sunk. I’m not crazy about paying annual fees and there just isn’t enough there for me to want to upgrade. I’d like to continue using it w/XP but that’s not sufficient to pay $122 a year for a product that just doesn’t seem to be going in a compelling direction and only has niche usefulness.

I’m curious if anyone out there is using Cycles and their current thoughts on the software.

I also noticed that x-Particles “Annual maintenance” is running $244. Whew. This while the company’s engagement w/the community by way of free tutorials has really dropped off. I’m less in love w/Insydium these days.


#2

Sorry to see you are having problems with your Cycles 4D, a new update is in the works and we will be announcing it as soon as possible. You can use the Cycles 4D forum (https://insydium.ltd/support/forums/), this is still available but will be replaced after June. The Cycles 4D update will also have the new Cycles core:

https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.80/Cycles

We are releasing information about how and why we have moved away from big updates every couple of years. If you look at the gap from XP3.0 to XP4.0, it was big, XP3.5 only covered smaller feature updates just as XP2.5 did. Applications have moved away from this long development cycle to more frequent and open updates, this benefits users and developers. As a developer it is extremely frustrating having new tools or speed improvements that can’t go out to users for a very long time.

See the new features that are coming out next week in our Early Access:

https://www.facebook.com/XParticles
https://twitter.com/insydium

If we didn’t change we couldn’t offer this sort of big update so early, and we have more coming.

See the news we posted here:

https://insydium.ltd/news/latest-news/annual-maintenance-info/

If you don’t need any of the updates we release or tech support then you don’t need to extend your maintenance, your license still remains valid. If we then release something you are interested in you have 2 years from first purchase to maintain your updates and support. For most users this is cheaper plus you get more updates.

As for tutorials, see our team:

https://insydium.ltd/about/our-team/

Our excellent trainer Bob is working on a training series that will be freely available soon.

We will continue to do everything we can to support our users, we also have to adapt to the changes in what users expect and development pressures and costs.

We have other big news out soon so keep an eye on our social media and site.

Thanks.


#3

The new xParticles features and improvements look really super.


#4

Did the Cycles crash problem get fixed when installed with Arnold?
Have a nice weekend,
Steve


#5

Is it Cuda only? Or will the new core bring AMD rendering?


#6

I’m not sure if this question is directed to me. I use Octane primarily and a once in awhile still some VRAY. I didn’t get a resolution w/my Cycles issues and seeing that I must upgrade to continue getting the latest version…I uninstalled it.

I’m sure the issues could have been resolved but I need to focus funds and time on tools I use regularly.


#7

My take on Cycles, GPU slower than Redshift / Octane, CPU slower than Arnold, and is not wacom pen friendly for navigating the nodes interface (I cant zoom with ctrl alt click), and because I changed my 123 keys from default settings I have to use a mouse for zooming, and I really hate the mouse. I dont have any crash with Arnold, but I had a relative huge scene of a mecha Im working, on that Cycles couldnt render because I got an out of memory warning (Redshift did the job). I really like the direction of the new patch so I still have faith in Cycles.

Simplicity is the key. I think right now Cycles takes too many steps for certain tasks (for example, and environment map needs to be added to a hdri dome, and it should be connected by default). Also, icons are way to big, cycles interface gets really big.


#8

Cycles is a half-finished render engine because SolidAngle/Arnold hired the main developer of Cycles away back in 2014, probably for a lot of money.

I’ve tried Cycles GPU rendering on an Nvidia 850 GTX mobile, and it really is not very fast at all.

The probable reason is that the main developer left before he could spend a year or two speed really optimizing the Cycles rendercore.


#9

Definitely letting my Cycles and X-Particles licenses expire now that this new yearly ransom has been introduced.

Cycles still feels like an early access alpha, and X-Particles feels janky and slow as hell whenever I go near the new features like the cloth/fluids/explosia stuff. If you’re in a production workflow you are much better off going for Turbulence FD or Realflow.

Adobe CC and MSA represent good value for money and are affordable if you’re regularly using the software., but X-Particles is just too niche and undeveloped (bugs, lack of speed, dated UI) to demand a yearly sub. I can’t remember the last time I used it for anything that C4D’s native emitter and a bit ox Xpresso couldn’t handle. Cycles isn’t even a contender.


#10

Isn’t that a tad unfair? You’re trying to use a GPU render engine on an old, 2/4GB, lower end, power reduced, heat restricted mobile GPU. That’s a bit like rendering on a single core CPU and being surprised it’s slow. IMHO GPU rendering really only makes sense on machines with at least 2000 cores, your laptop has at best 640 and even then they will be underclocked to keep the heat and power usage down.


#11

Why is the UI dated?


#12

I’ve never used X-Particles. But I’m assuming that they used the SDK to build it.
And one of the huuuuuuggggggest negative parts of the SDK is how old and out dated the GUI stuff is. It was written way back in the late 80’s - early 90’s. And it shows.
If you use the SDK for your C4D plugins. It’s going to look very dated and old fashioned. And there is nothing the plugin devs can do about it.

This is why I like to use Qt for my C4D plugins whenever I can.
To make GUI stuff that doesn’t look like it was written on an Amiga by a kid with a mullet.

-ScottA


#13

I’m a fan of x-particles but I do agree it’s pricey for a niche software…if we are talking $244 annually. I’d like to know explicitly when we’ll be seeing GPU acceleration w/ it’s sims. TurbulenceFD has had that for several years now.


#14

I like where X-P is going, but it desperately needs GPU acceleration (or at least heavily optimised multithreading) across the board. As soon as you start pushing the newer features they just bring a CPU-bound system to a grinding halt. And we all know CPU upgrades are going nowhere fast these days.