EIM Resurrection - Your opinions needed


#21
  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?
    yes

  2. What kind of upgrade price would you pay for it?
    100-150USD if included bugfixes.

  3. Would you want it offered standalone?
    yes

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

200-300USD

  1. Should EI go with EIM or create something entirely new?
    Go with EIM, cant see how and when something completely new would show up.

  2. 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?)
    Would be nice, but better integration would be OK with me.
    Update model files, with an update button from EIAS, and no problems with wrong orders in updatet fac files.
    Very nice would be Uber editing-SDS in EIAS. (Cage from EIM, SDS and cage editing in EIAS)

  3. Should EIM be capable of accessing Camera by itself?
    Yes, ofcourse, texture in EIM

edit: Or would you just be happy with EIM as it was in its last incarnation, with bug fixes, but as UB.
Would also be OK, but will maybe only be intersting for excisting user-base.

Extra features for EIM
Some form of point/ face level editing of models, like in poly modelers, but without loosing the independent resolution of ACIS. (if possible)
Import of non ACIS models and conversion to ACIS, so I can work further on non ACIS files.

I really hope EIM can be brought back to live again.
I have ben teaching it on a ceramics school in Denmark, and after some frustration, the students like it.

Arthur


#22

MoI is based on Rhino3D’s frameworks, I believe, which are too Windows-dependent (so no MacRhino either, as its developers regretfully explained some time ago) :frowning:

Will this thread give way to an EIM wishlist one any soon :slight_smile: ? There are a few thingies that would be great to have and possibly very easy to add to the app (like… mousewheel support!!! :smiley: ).


#23

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 I’m a huge fan of EIM - even though I have replaced it with Concepts unlimited I would invest in it again if there was something innovative in it’s approach to nurbs/poly workflow

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

If brought up to date with a feature rich implementation of ACIS $350+

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Yes

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

Depends on breadth of its toolset (along the lines of Amapi/Concepts 3D $700)
If it can bring a new approach to working with nurbs for animation possibly more

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

For most users integrated SDS tools are probably enough - but how would that make EIAS +EIM combo unique?

  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?)

No I think work can be done on the the way EIM & FACT formats share data - e.g. isolines representing a control cage for sds surfaces. So the same data would be nurbs in EIM & SDS polygons in EIAS.

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

Yes and it should be included with the stand alone EIM.

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

Yes it would be a start. I bought EIAS for EIM so it really hurt when development stopped. After moving to alternative modeling applications I have found my use of EIAS severely reduced. That said, much of the damage there has been done, it would probably be worse to neglect development of EIAS for EIM at this stage - EIAS & Camera still require a fair bit of work.

BB


#24

Lets try to avoid wishlists right now. EITG management asked for this thread and they’re simply wanting to get a feel for what people’s opinions are…and there are lots of good points here. It can get mighty passionate when people start expressing their thoughts on the subject of where EITG should focus itself. But the main thing to remember here is that its EITG that makes the final decision. They have to assess their strategy and determine which direction to take.

Whatever their decision is…it will please some and upset others. Seems to be a typical pattern with EIAS users.


#25

Good observation.

Polygons tend to be the current and proper “workflow” for the animation world. No doubt about that. But as we’ve seen in most high end 3D packages, there exists an assortment of modeling capabilities ranging from Nurbs to Polys to SDS. Ultimately, everything gets tesselated at render time. If EIM’s poly tools could be expanded that would be great. Model in solids, sds or nurbs and convert to polys. OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that’s ultimately what it needs to be fed. But what I see in EIM is the potential to handle any number of various modeling approaches and the foundation for low level geometry manipulation is already there. It just seems a more logical transition to turn EIM into the next EIA rather than the other way around. But if that’s not what EITG wants to do then we must turn to the issues with EIA.

How long can EIA go on without seriously reevaluating its architecture? A lot depends on how EITG wants to position EIAS in the market. If it wants to start appealing to VFX studios again, its gonna have to open EIA up a little bit. VFX studios want to get into the guts of the program. Its crucial when working in an environment where every piece of software has to talk to every other piece of software. What’s limiting EIAS in the VFX studio world isn’t the quality of Camera or the lack of a modeler, its the ability to properly bridle the program that talks to Camera. Since EITG doesn’t seem to want to license Camera separately, then getting better access into EIA is critical. This could be done in a number of different manners.

  1. Continue to patch the current EIA.
  2. Create a new EIA with an entirely new and modern open architecture.
  3. Provide additional translators like more advanced FBX tools.
  4. Evolve EIM into the new EIA with these needs in mind.
  5. Provide bridging plugins for other applications to EIA or Camera directly.

But one thing we’re certain about is the limitations that EIA possesses as an animation package overall. It was designed for hard surface animation with an assortment of deformation capabilities to spice it up a bit. Perfect for digital sets, broadcast design, scene designers, architecture, flying X-Wings and so forth…but horrible for organics and character work. Paralumino’s core poly plugins can rightly show what kind of potential having vertex level control over geometry can do for an animation package. The question however is, can EIA’s framework really handle a full fledged internal modeling solution without having to rewrite the program from scratch? I don’t know. That’s a question for higher powers that be.

But I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Character animation is the cornerstone of the entertainment industry. If EITG wants to appeal to that industry, providing enhancements to EIA for that purpose is needed. If not, then stay the course and focus marketing attention on those markets that do not require character work.

Ultimately, there are a number of ways to address EIAS’ future. All of these ideas are viable, its just a matter of funding it and providing the customer with an excellent experience. Whatever route is chosen, I believe the resurrection of EIM by itself (if nothing more) would help EIAS regain its status as a primary application capable of competing with the big 5. (Maya, Max, XSI, LW and C4D).


#26

Not having a modeler of some sort from EITG is very damaging. So yes, EIM needs to be brought back. Probably stand alone at first, but eventually it must be melded into EIAS.

If EIAS itself needs to be rewritten from the blank white board, then so be it, but it must be done. Turning EIM into the new EIAS is an idea I hadn’t considered, but the programming guru’s must know something if that’s a possibility.

Price? Say $250 stand alone, when blended (NURBS, Polys, SDS) into EIAS maybe only a slight price increase.


#27

Its only a concept…not a reality. Turning EIM into EIA may be far more difficult than I realize. I’m not a programmer. I’m just simplying making suggestions to stimulate thought and I don’t think it hurts to promote free thinking. :wink: I’ll never say that I have the exact right answer…

Oh… and like I said…there’s nothing inheritantly wrong with EIA’s framework if the market EITG chooses to pursue doesn’t require those levels of modification. Take architecture for instance…I think EIA in its current form is pretty good.


#28
  1. Would you want a UB version of EIM?

Yes.

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

$300 to $500 – with stability improvements.

  1. Would you want it offered standalone?

Standalone is ok by me…just having it would be great!

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

$500 to $600.

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

EIM is a great starting point.

  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?)

…don’t know alot about this, but it sounds like a good direction.

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

It would be ok 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 alive again in any form.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide some input.

Gabe


#29

Two cents worth with no consideration in regard to inflation…and off the track.

The idea that EI is going to compete with the likes of Max, XSI and Maya in charater animation with or without a rewrite is just not going to happen. To many places are entrenched and committed to these programs.

Hard body, Logo and graphic design, industrial visualization is really where it is at for EI. Get EIM up to speed to be able to import other nurb/design modelers and export to EI flawlesly.

Make logo/graphic design an actuality within EI…and be able to export layered photoshop files as C4D does.

EI is very good in this market and needs to be beefed up and become recognized again. Take something like Brazil or Vray and the buzz it creates for rendering…ensure Camera can do all of that and even more. It’s close. Make EIM as user friendly as Rhino. There is a whole market other than character animation which EI could compete in.

Character animation and efforts spent there, unfortunately, are not going to see EI survive.

Paul


#30

Hey! I brought EIM up! What happened to my questionaire response? I made comment directly after Tomas.

Anyway would EIM pull me away from Maya modeling? NO.
Wouldn’t I use it in if it was a part of Animator? Yes.
I still use Animator.


#31

“OR model in polys directly. Since Camera is poly based, that’s ultimately what it needs to be fed”

Can you repeat this? SDS are great but they don’t render. They a just a modeling type. Renderers only render polgons. UberCage are nice, but in some instance it gets in the way of a basic poly cage model. One thing that bothered me about EIM is that it had no shaded cage mode. No way of looking at the flat shade version of the cage. So I would prefer, as you mentioned, at least 3 model conversion types, starting with a regular poly edit model.

This is NOT my model. In my model I resolved all “T-subs”.


#32

Good points Paul… it may just be wishful thinking on my part. That’s why some kind of transition from today’s animator to tomorrow’s animator is necessary. Maybe EIM can be that bridge, maybe not. I only make my observation from where I’m at in the entertainment industry. We rely on character work and its becoming more and more prevelent everywhere you look in CG.

Edit: But you know… if EI stays hard surface… that’s ok too I guess. I’ll find a use for it. :slight_smile:


#33

Sure. Camera renders polys. All other modeling approaches for EI are methods to obtain a final polygon result. These other modeling methods can make life easier or harder in certain circumstances. Different modeling methods also have their advantages and disadvantages over standard poly modeling. In previs, I always work in polys. No need to model in any other manner. But someone doing architectural visualization…that’s a different story. Then modeling only in polys becomes a complete bitch.


#34

The problem with these questions is that most people answering in this thread will be those saying: “yes”. It will not be representative of how much percent is interested.
I’m in the “no” camp and feel I haven’t got much to say. Wouldn’t it be more realistic to do a poll asking how many people use NURBS, Poly’s or both (with an emphasis on either one)? And how many would want an integrated environment?
One more thing. Rhino costs $895, so I can’t really see a $300 NURBS modeller coming out of EITG anytime soon.


#35

Also a good point Manuel. My feelings are as posted above.

I’d be really happy if EI had a great poly and SDS modeler. I rarely use Nurbs anymore except in Maya…and then I convert them to polys almost immediately. Course I’m one of those weird ones that still likes Nurbs too. But ultimately, for me, its all about poly modeling.

If EIM returned with strong poly modeling and kick ass UV tools and texturing capabilities, I’d be just fine with that. I could still use all the other modeling paradigms when I need something particularly more organic, resolution independant or precise in nature. And if you couldn’t tell… I’m in favor of an integrated working environment. Vertex level manipulation is mandatory. To have that you need to have both in one place.


#36

I think Animator should continue to focus on CA tools. I, for one, have found it’s FBX implementation a workable solution for importing dynamic simulations including 8 legged creatures such as Octopuses, to Cloth simulations. We just need something better than replacement animation for Blendshape talking heads.

Several of us could think of several low to mid range broadcast CA commercial that been buzzing on air that with  character animaton talent, EI could exceed. To compete as a renderer, the demands are CA trends like SSS, or Zbrush subpixels. EI just need to refine was it has. Even Previs, needs decent, not necessarily highend CA tools. It's all about the F-Curves anyway. The custom keys to editable paths are great. I use MA and MB but only to supplement EI anyway. Right now, I'm helping someone else produce their indie film with characters but  fancy deformation is not needed for these characters. I think EIAS is an ideal indie film environment. EAIS may not be about to pull the seat from Maya, Houdini or XSI, but if it could cater to the indie film, Music video, and broadcast CA crowd with expert proficiency, it won't have to.

BTW, forgive my excitement about my first human head. But now that we can make them "Blink" I am free to pursue this in EIAS. This is the workflow I would suggest for an intergrated Modeler. EIM could have benefited from a "wire on shaded cage display mode."

[img]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/AVTPro/GeoConversion4.jpg[/img]

#37

-There being so many SDS modelers out there, even if ideally EIM ought to incorporate poly tools and such, probably it ought to first try catching all these people that just wanted EI to fill the holes and turn EIM into a mature conceptual design/Architecture rendering tool. One remembers their comments in the EITG Modeler forum.

Anyway, the first step would be going UB, plugging in the latest UB ACIS engine available and trying to incorporate some of the easiest to implement new ACIS tools (does it work that way? Are most ACIS modelers’ toolsets directly derived from this engine’s features?). Plus adding a few very easy to code things, such as screensets and mousewheeling for the main tools palette.

-(Wasn’t Renderman able to render NURBS without first tesselating them into polys? Not that it helps at all, unless a future EIM would be able to use RMan as a possible renderer)

-(Not being a character animator, but feeling that EIAS is a great tool for videoproduction facilities wishing to add 3D to their toolset, and being Lightwave seemingly the de facto standard for Television 3D, I’d like to ask: would it be very difficult to bring EIAS up to level with Lightwave CA tools-wise (specially seeing that LW has always had a separate modeler app)?)


#38

heck, I would just like a maintenece release… dont need no fancy buzzwords… you can get that in any package. I just want good nuts and bolts.

oh, bring back Amorphium, while we are in LaLa land

Cj


#39

Ah Cj … You mean fundamental, lean and mean tools that work for artists intuitively and reliably?
Designed by trained professionals who really know what they are doing?
With a mastermind or visionary at the helm?
Didn’t ElectricImage pioneer that sort of thing?

Where there is (renewed) life there is hope … right?

Well a caution for EITG … Professionals dont want software that ‘looks like it was designed by a committee’, particularly if that committee consults all and sundry; hobbyists, enthusiasts, and dilletantes alike!
The real needs have been posted time and again in forums over the years. The beta testers’ site … a place for professionals in the main, lists a swag of well thought out development priorities, all there to be analysed.
A Council of 12 should be more than enough to arrive at a development path!


#40

Whoops. My apologies! Forgot to give CREDIT to the modeler! The sample model I use to clarify confusion of what pro SDS modeler are.

The sample was a from a book/CD that I never got a chance to really look at til this morning. So I can’t fully explain all the details concerning this higher level of edge loop strategy. It’s uncommon for sure, if you’re not at the breaking current of the industry. All I can say is it goes beyond mere animation flow lines (as in my model) and the norm of edge looping to incorporatre several considerations.

So if the edge loops seem foriegn, and you would like to dig beyond the surface (pun) then I recommend his book and CD. It would be easy to spot because this model is on the cover. It’s entitled.

“Secrets of the Pros.” Expert Advice on Acheiving Professional Results" .
The modeler is “World renowned” on the likes of Taron, Bay Raitt and Rick Baker.
He name is Krishnamurti M. Costa.

I simply refer to him as “Antropus”. http://www.antropus.com/

Again, forgive me for not giving credit where it’s due.

(BTW, I really didn’t connect the dots, I didn’t know this was Antropus, until I read the post here. I’m honored. however, if I had seen his SDS, I wouldnt have fully managed the “Stars” the way I did because they don’t really matter.)