EIM Resurrection - Your opinions needed


#1

Speaking of changes…

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There’s obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a “primary” app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
  2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
  3. Would you want it offered standalone?
  4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
  5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
  6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
  7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

We want to hear from you.


#2
  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS
  2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
    $200/$250 = new tools + bug fixes
  3. Would you want it offered standalone?
    Yes, EIM 6.6UB and a upgrade bundle later with EIM 7 + EIAS 7
  4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
    $500
  5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
    EIM, then get the EIM structure and add a new framework based in EIAS with a new GUI.
  6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)
    like I answered in the last question… if EIM could add a way to edit polygons + ACIS… will be perfect.
  7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
    Right now?, no. If EIM become the next EIAS appl. sure.

Tomas


#3
  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

  1. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

  1. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

  1. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn’t have to…but not opposed to it either.

  1. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI’s material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

Paul


#4

At #7 - allow for imported polys/models to have materials added and also be rendered within EIM.


#5

#7 - Modo basically started out using this approach. It’s renderer is superb quality, with top notch GI. If EIM was a starting point using Modo’s approach, this might be a great idea. I personally would buy EIM in a heartbeat if it had the ability to utilize an EI-like material and texturing scheme with the addition of a UV editor and access to Camera. Most of my work right now is not animation work, so take my point of view as such.

There are so many benefits to having the modeler integrated into the rendering/animation application that it makes more sense to me to follow this model.


#6

…and don’t forget how bad we need a kick-ass openGL implementation.


#7

[QUOTE=PaulS2]1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

  1. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

  1. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

  1. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn’t have to…but not opposed to it either.

  1. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI’s material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

Oh YES YES YES!!!
Sitting here modeling in EIM, waiting for a save to complete on a big project, when I spotted this. EIM with the ability to edit polys. I’m salivating all over the keyboard.
Mike.


#8

[QUOTE=PaulS2]1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

  1. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$200 -$250

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. Make it available to users of other 3D animation packages.

  1. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

$500 or $700 with camera and materials function included.

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

Sure - pull everyone off EI to try to develop something new:-) I think staying with EIM would be the right choice.

  1. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

It doesn’t have to…but not opposed to it either.

  1. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Absolutely! EIM should have EI’s material attributes, lights and have camera to render stills with. I would absolutely love this. Keep the interface as-is, keep the materials clean and allow hi-res illustrations right out of EIM.

Allow for export of EIM project files in a format EI could read if the project needed to be animated.

YES YES YES!!! Working right now in EIM (waiting for a large file to save).
EIM with poly editing capabilities. I’m salivating just thinking about it:-)))


#9

This is a tricky issue: I’d love to have EIM back, but I just bought Amapi+Shade for about $180 (there was an special offer some weeks ago, so I decided I’d try to adapt to its 3D cursor GUI, which I don’t like very much) and being currently exploring its feature set, I believe EIM ought to get an assortment of new tools (and resolving the outstanding problems in some of the current ones) to be able to compete with the Rhinos, Concepts and Amapis out there.

Getting to the questions:

1.- Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

2.- What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

If it was just an UB port with no new features… Let’s say $70. It is just that I hope to be able to run it on either Rosetta or Parallels, so there is not so great an appeal.

If we are talking some new features (the easiest to implement as derived from the latest ACIS engine tricks, perhaps) and a bit of GUI renewal (there are some really small things that would help a lot, for a start), then I think these $200-250 would be pretty decent in exchange for your commitment to further develop the app.

3.- Would you want it offered standalone?

EIM as a standalone app? I wouldn’t mind EITG selling it as such. Whatever works best. Discounts for EIAS-EIM combo upgrades would be nice, though.

4.- How much would you pay for a standalone version?

I don’t know. One would have to compare it with the rest of the conceptual modeling apps out there, performance/price wise. As it is right now, it being comparatively so spartan tools-wise, it ought to be priced lower than Rhino ($895) and Amapi ($750 including Shade, a complete 3D package posited as its render engine, which is a bit of a mess of an idea, but
). Say, $400. If we are talking an enhanced revision of the app with some significant new features, I guess we could talk $600+.

5.- Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

I like EIM a lot, even if it frustrates me a lot, too. Go for something entirely new? I don’t know: I wonder what such a thing would look like, and how much of a market there is left for each style of modeler (conceptual, CADish, SDS, classical or some hybrid). As I said, I got Amapi because it looked like a possible EIM substitute, but one of the things that attracted me to it was that it looked like being a through-the-looking-glass Alice to Hexagon. Hexagon is a SDS modeler with conceptual design-like tools (Coons, Gordon, sweeps, construction history), while Amapi Pro is a NURBS Surfaces-Poly (no true Solids, I believe) modeler with some SDS-style editing tools (v.8 will get more Hexagon-like, it’s been said). I like the idea of having the cleanliness and precision of NURBS modeling as a nucleus, so whatever gets developed I wouldn’t want to miss that (if anything, I’d kill for being able to not deal with NURBS at all, as I am a Bezier guy deep down. I know, I know… :smiley: ).

6.- Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?).

EIM as an animation package? Mmmm. If EIM turns into an standalone app, it will need some animation and render options (at the very least, animation ones for doing basic fly-bys and things, say, Form•Z-style. Render ones could be a Camera module or ways of interfacing to popular renderers such as Maxwell). EIM as EIAS’ heir, a NURBS animation package? I don’t think it would work without having poly tools or at least poly model importing capabilities too.

Also, your question could be interpreted as: do we want the Holy Grail of full modeler/animator integration into EIAS, like Cinema4D, Maya or 3DMax do? Yes, that would be absolutely great, but is it achievable with your resources?

If this is simply an innocent “do you think having to deal with separate EIM and FACT asset files, model tesselation and such is bad for your workflow” question, then I would say I can think of some ways to improve it, like, say, having some sort of fused EIM/Fact single container file format and some other things.

7.- Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Yes, actually, because it implies that we should be able to texture our models inside EIM. Texturing while modeling is usually easier than only being able to deal with it after the fact. Also, if EIM becomes an standalone app, it’ll need texturing tools and the ability to invoke a renderer, be it Camera or others.

And what if EIM simply gets UB’ed and development gets restarted? Well, I’d be very happy, too. :slight_smile: (Has the ACIS licensing issue gotten a bit less insurmountable somehow?)


#10

Would I like an UB of the existing… YES!!! I work daily with EIM on MacIntel. and, would be worth a modest upgrade price…
1:YES
2: with no new features and just UB, a similar price to EIAS seems reasonable.
3: The ability of a stand alone modeler is helpful to me, but I would guess integrated wouldnt be bad if it could import/export well.
4: I would like an upgrade path, but given a strong stable app, $350 would be reasonable.
5: PLEASE KEEP EIM… efficient interface, good tools
6: I know some are interested with keyframe modeling… only thing that would help me would be EIAS’s deforms in EIM
7: Camera would be nice, but not in itself important to me… but the lack of a quality preview can be troublesome sometimes…

FYI, I use eim to model object which are milled out into foam… a non-standard use, but it has proven very adept.

Cj


#11

FormZ actually now can animate anything, even down to the parametric level of ACIS objects. Version 6 was pretty major.


#12

Really? Wow!


#13

[QUOTE=Vizfizz]Speaking of changes…

The Advisory Board would like to begin discussions on EIM and its potential resurrection as a separate application. There’s obviously a need for a full fledged modeling package included with EIAS in order to return EIAS back to a “primary” app status and thus compete with the likes of other packages that include modeling tools.

Discuss the all the possibilities:

  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

YES

  1. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

its worth at least as much as Silo, and more because its an ACIS solids modeler

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Much better integrated

  1. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

Less than Modo which is overpriced for a standalone modeler

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

EIM was a great modeling application with an excellent GUI.
The hidden away SDS toolset (Ubermesh) was well ahead of its time and even tho ‘unfinished’ was very intuitive and remains unsurpassed, the feature list is a tad inadequate tho.

If EIM is not integrated into EIAS, then the sds (Ubermesh) toolset should be.

There is no way that without this foundation for character animation in EIAS, that properly designed deformation, bone driven morphs or selection set editing at vertex level, can be successfully or competitively implemented. Modern sophisticated character models are much more demanding of deformation correction.


#14
  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
    No

  2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
    $0

  3. Would you want it offered standalone?
    No

  4. How much would you pay for a standalone version?
    $0

  5. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
    Don’t waste precious resources on modeler, concentrate on better import tools and improving Animator and Camera.

  6. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA?
    Depends on how well it supported imported geometry.

  7. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
    If EIM was to make a comeback this should be a requirement.

There are so many modelers out there right now (Modo, Rhino, Amapi, Hexagon, Silo…) not to mention cheap complete packages with good modelers (Lightwave, XSI Foundation, C4d core) that I don’t think EIM could compete unless it was REALLY cheap (<$150) or it were bundled with EIAS.

What I would really like to see is re-engineering Camera as a plugin renderer to other apps but I’d settle for better geometry import. FBX support was a huge improvement and one of the reasons that I still use EIAS but I’d like to see a better process for importing models with textures as the current process is still pretty ugly.

A.


#15

1.Yes
2.$150
3.Depends if it can compete with modelers out there already in features and price. EIM would have to improve it’s import and export capabilities.
4. $200 as EIM stands now. If it was brought up to the capabilities of Concepts 3D, then it would be worth $500-700
5. Stick with EIM as the base. Re-inventing the wheel would take too many resources.
6. That would be interesting, but I prefer a separate modeling environment (call me old fashion). If it leads to a knock-your-socks-off application then full speed ahead!
7. Could be useful.


#16

Discuss the all the possibilities:

  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

  1. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?

$99 – with stability improvements.

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes. New users should have the option of a bundle.

  1. How much would you pay for a standalone version?

If brought up to the robustness of Concepts 3D, I’d like to see it priced at <$500. (C3D isn’t perfect, but a lot can be done before getting any errors) C3D is currently $495. It’s been acquired by Punch Software – people have been predicting a lower price as a result – but Punch isn’t listing it on their site yet. I would really like to see snapping like C3D implemented. EIM’s layer manager is WAY better than C3D’s.

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?

If the quirks can be ironed-out go with EIM.

  1. Due to the base differences between EIA and EIM and the way the two handle geometry, should EIM evolve into the next EIA? (In other words, should EIM eventually include next gen animation capabilities?)

For me, I don’t see this as a good use of resources, unless there’s programming circumstances that make this practical.

  1. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?

Like others have mentioned, it would be good to texture while modeling.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

I would be happy with EIM in it’s last incarnation w/ fixes.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide some input.

Paul


#17
  1. as a pc user i have to say: i don’t care if it is UB :wink: but just bringing EIM back to life is a very, very good thing. for some projects EIM is still my modeler of choice.

  2. somewhere between 100 - 250$. i don’t get any benefits from the UB conversion, so it just depends on the amount of bug-fixing and added features.

  3. yes. it’s true that EIM lacks some features that other, comparable packages offer, but it also has some strenghs that could very well penetrate the market apart from traditional EIAS users.
    actually, i think EIM should be marketed completly seperate from EIAS (together with a bundle of EIAS and EIM, of course). EIM, as it is right now, is a very specialised app. It’s no poly modeler, it is’nt a CAD app, but it’s great at what it does. In my opinion it just doesn"t make sense to market it together with EIAS, when you can’t modify geometry that EIAS exports -> Polys. EIM is a different market than EIAS, they work well together, unfortunatly only in one direction.

  4. it is worth 500$ i think. together with a direct camera connection 700$.

  5. stay with EIM, it is great, but to really be an asset to EIAS (or vice versa) it needs poly editing. if it is seperate from EIAS, then that’s a different story.

  6. hard to say. i don’t really think that ACIS is a good base for animation. i might be wrong, but i don’t think so. even if EIM would evolve into some form of hybrid ACIS/Poly modeler, i guess the amount of work to open the framework to animation needs will be a huge effort. This amount of work could be spend on a complete new EIAS framework with intergrated Poly modeling toolset and leave EIM as a kick-ass ACIS modeler. (Maya and Studio are seperate apps, why not join them? because the market is different. Before anyone shouts, i am not comparing Maya with EIAS and i am not comparing Studio with EIM. Just the markets.)

  7. if it is sold standalone: YES. maybe even a stripped down version of camera will be enough. or a module based scheme, buy the render power you need.
    EIM basic - just clay renders
    EIM Visuals - full featured camera access with material system (+200$)


#18

here my thoughts about EIM developments:

  1. there is currently a boom of excellent and cheap modelers on the market. that’s why, imho all the energies of EI developers should focus on developing the core features of animator and camera as much as possible. only features like multiprocessor support for camera, a better shading/ texturing system, layered photoshop export, better import translators, etc. will bring animator and camera to the next level.
    EIM was a great modeler when it came out, but at least engine-wise today it is is obsolete because of the old ACIS engine.

  2. personally, i’m using formz, modo and LW modeler, so i’d not invest into another modeler right now.

  3. maybe a good solution for anyone interested into it.

  4. with a new ACIS engine, EIM could be sold for at least at 200 USD, considering the tough competition.

  5. if EIAS really needs a dedicated modeler, then it makes much more sense if will be integrated into animator, with animatable modeling features.

  6. Yes, see point 5.

  7. Yes, for rendered model previews or stills work, this could be useful, but i’d like to insist for point 5.

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.

could be an alternative solution for everyone loving EIM, so why not?

my 2 cents

markus


#19

I’d hope that the reason this poll is being done is because resurrecting EIM has been asessed as a very reasonable effort investment. As much as it is important to devote attention to Animator, not having a companion modeler makes EIAS more difficult to promote. That far better model import features are needed is a given, anyway.


#20

Please bear with me my thoughts are only from a hobbiest viewpoint,
but i thought to reply as well.

  1. Yes, even if i don´t have an Intel Mac, i understand that it´s vital
    to stay healthy/competitive.
  2. somthing like 99 USD as reg. EIAS user, >149 as non reg. user.
  3. Yes, with .sia i/o support please, like Cheetah 3D.
  4. 149 USD.
  5. Port MoI to the Mac (if it´s possible) and half of the work is done.

>edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation,
with bug fixes, but as UB.

cannot say much about it´s features/workflow since the dvgarage demo bombed
too much under Tiger, but the interface of EIM looks nice.

Regards
Stefan