Has Maxon Hurt It's Customers and Business With It's Bespoke Product Strategy ?


#1

It’s been some months since Maxon changed everything, not to mention the upgrade costs, so I thought I would throw these questions out there as I’m sure Maxon are looking to grab more users before the year is out and hoping that people throw their pennies their way to either upgrade or adopt Cinema 4D. For me personally, I can’t in my heart say to one of my mates that they should adopt Maxon’s R12 product since they changed to this bespoke product model considering the pricing of upgrades now. There is no freedom that there use to be to buy what you want when you want from across the board and save yourself money when buying the XL package for instance that there once was. People who want to animate characters are going want to use hair, and if you want hair anyway for grass for instance ( see what I did there :wink: ), you are gonna have to pay for studio. I think almost all 3D apps these days have the capacity to generate hair and be able to use tools to manipulate strands. Even Blender as illustrated in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn1ujPlJbJI has this ability.

What’s your view on all this and have you stuck to your guns and decided not to buy into maxons new product range?


#2

Hi its not a matter of “sticking to your guns” Mate
3D app are tools. you buy what you need for certain and what you think you might need going forward.
and do so without all the needless Emotionalism& Bloody Drama.

Cheers


#3

Maxon is offering a 50% upgrade price with MSA - so that to me is a pretty good deal coming from R11. I would go from 11-12, and get 12.5 (if it is out in time) rolled into the cost of the MSA, effectively buying the upgrade upfront and incurring MORE cost now. Granted, that is one large chunk of change even with the discount, so I’d have to put off getting a new computer. That makes me take pause.

And that is why I am still very much on the fence. I don’t feel that the packages are a bad thing, but no GI in Prime, IMO, will come back to bite them. And hard. Modo will gladly grab some of the Prime market from Maxon (again, my uninformed personal opinion).

I would love to continue to pursue character animation in Cinema, but that means I would have to get R12 to use the amazing hair module and the iffy clothilde. The tools are generally amazing, but there is still so little character training available for C4d. I fear I am not smart enough and/or driven enough to learn it almost entirely on my own. The same thing scared me off from lightwave 3d.

I’ve always loved cinema. It just makes so much sense to use. But it is getting expensive as a hobbyist to maintain this software. My gut feeling is that for those who make a living with Cinema 4d, the upgrade will have to be R12 studio. I think a couple of years from now you’ll see less packages - it will whittle down to 2, then it will only be studio that is offered. And studio costs more than any Autodesk product.

All that said, they don’t offer different featured versions of XSI or Maya anymore. I think it’s an old way of doing things that has gone out the window. I remember using Maya 7, and bitching about how Maya 8 didn’t bring anything for Maya Complete users. It’s the same thing Maxon has to fight with now. You can’t keep everyone happy when your customer base is fragmented. It’s tough enough to keep your users happy when they are all using one version. Just take a look at the Maya/Max forum sometime. Every release they users get angry!

:wink:


#4

I was a little bit pissed about losing the module options but I bit the bullet, upgraded to Studio and I have no regrets.

I have so many more tools than before. I use C4D for commercial illustration and I am able to create more work faster with Studio.


#5

We at Maxon got a very positive feedback on the new product structure from customers, distributors and resellers, confirming our belief that it was the right decision to make.
I would have been surprised if there weren’t customers that are not happy with the decision, but the growing complexity of the modular system raised some very ugly issues. We had a lot of customers that simply did not get along with the modular system and weren’t happy campers. Also the modular approach bites you in the back if you are working with distributors and resellers, like Maxon does.
Since i was one of the original proponents of the modularity back in 2001 when we decided to go that route i am a bit sad to see it go, but the simple facts of life and sales told us to make the change.
Cheers
Björn


#6

The thing that i am not really getting though is why there has to be a whole productline instead of just having one solid app that covers all? I understand the argument that some people might not need all functionality but as uncluttered as the UI is in C4D its just a matter of not using what you dont need. If the price was met halfway between the least and most expensive deal of today, i think you would probably gain alot of users, keep old users happy and have a really solid package. Im not going to go into a functionality debate here, but having GI as a modular feature is just plain unacceptable in 2010, imho. It should be mandatory. And so does alot of the other modular features.

To answer the the original topic question. I have opted to go for Modo 501 at this point in time. For me it wasnt a question of price structure but features. For the stuff i enjoy the most (modeling) i find C4D to be lacking - alot. Since i moved from MAX two years ago i still am not even close to the speed i was back then. I also find there are to many workflow-issues with C4D (from a modeling perspective, material editor, and a UI) that i just gave up. I am really glad they fixed the world space switch (axis orientation) in r12 though (for others to enjoy, im still at r11.5)


#7

Nothing is wrong with Cinema’s UI (in my humble opinion of course), I find its quite a delight. There’s not much wrong with the material editor either, its versatile enough and accessible, maybe a tad slow if you go too deep with the layer editor. And while the modeling tools could use a make over, I can model very quickly in C4D, with only a few minor annoyances - selection based repetitive tasks can be a pain in the a$$.


#8

I still haven’t made the upgrade yet from rel 11 and while the deal is quite good that I got from Maxon, I am still not sure if I can put down the money before the offer they have given me as it’s still quite a chunk of money.
It sounds good as like Venkmen it is essentially a 50% discount on the full thing and the MSA which means 12.5 would be included. It would be great if I could pay it off in three installments or something like that to make it a bit easier, but I will have to see if I can get it once taxes have been calculated and paid.
Bit of a pain though as I REALLY need to get myself After Effects, and I was trying to save up for that, but I don’t want to get so left behind with cinema that I can’t swap files with people and end up with a huge upgrade cost when I have to switch from rel 11 to 13 or 14.

Morph


#9

i also think the c4d interface is one of the best.

i own 3dmax2011, maya2011 and modo 401 and can compare all.C4d is by far my favorite.

of course each other app has its special strength. modo401 is a bit hard in interface and strange workflow to me (even though it looks nice), i dont get warm with it sadly.

what cineam4d really misses in my opinion are pro poly modeling tools like modo or also 3dmax offer them. the poly and spline tools in c4d arent updated for a long time now. i really do hope for next updates here.

from all the rest C4d is a really powerful tool i choose over the others, getting better with each update.

cheers
Stefan


#10

from all the rest C4d is a really powerful tool i choose over the others, getting better with each update.

2nd that as well. Ok I really really really hope to see an overhaul on the model tools in the next update.

Peace,
Rich_Art. :thumbsup:


#11

Let me 3rd that. I’ve not used 3d software for 8-9 years and I decided to get back into the game and after trying out the demo fell in love with the interface, not to mention the great set of mograph tools.

Not being a modeller myself, I’d like to see development of pyrocluster, TP, a nodal texture system and improvements to the renderer to make it more photorealistic. More of a focus on VFX would be my hope for the next several releases.

I think the new packages of C4D are going to fit some people and not others but they are logically organised.

The MSA offer is really good in the challenging financial climate and was a no brainer for me. Long may it continue.


#12

Anyway, the TS was asking specifically about the strategy Maxon has taken and i guess my view on the matter is no, i dont think it will hurt their business, as Srek more or less pointed out. They might have lost a few, but then again gained more. So in the long run i believe their Product Strategy has made life a lot easier for them self and will probably be in advantage for their product line and in the end, the user. But any significant shift in strategy will always cause some turmoil. But remember that change doesnt always mean progression. However, i personally dont agree with the new approach. I firmly believe that one solid package would be much better.

  • Colin

#13

Maxon’s move to get rid of the modules was OK with me but the way it was done is not. I say offer 2 different packages (pretty much like Maya) and be done with. Secondly, lower the price of the software as it doesn’t compete well with Maya, Max, etc.


#14

Hurt or not? That’ll show in the Maxon year end accounting statement :slight_smile:

Personally, I love C4D better than a couple other apps I tried (and had to use).
I make due with what I have and find options to make things work. Not being
able to upgrade has little if any effect on what I do. If C4D should offer better
modeling tools in a future update, I may upgrade, I may not … time will tell.

Best regards to Maxon and the C4D community.


#15

Maxon is looking for lots of new employees in both the programing as well as the business sector. I don’t think that’s a sign of being hurt as a company in any way.


#16

I’m glad they got rid of the modular system. I think it was a pretty bold move by MAXON but it was one they had to make in my opinion. I wish I had the money for the upgrade deal (really a very good deal) but I won’t until the new year. Since I bought V-ray last week. My only complaint is I wish the modeling tools and particle system was up to par with the big guys.

I plan to support C4D until my hands fall off :).

Cheers,
Josh


#17

What’s your view on all this and have you stuck to your guns and decided not to buy into maxons new product range?

Excluding the whole module system vs support headaches/costs excuse, I think the end result, whether intended or not is for purchasing Studio to make more sense and the other options less sense. Prime is a joke without GI…a person would have to be an idiot to buy it.

Edit: Just looking at the comparison chart of differences between them and noticed that it shows Broadcast has GI but it doesn’t have caustics? You have to move up to Visualize to get that…is that a mistake on their web page?


#18

I guess that would depend on whether they are additional employees or replacing outgoing talent.


#19

Yes, it is like that indeed. The advandage of the new system ist, that only some features from former modules can be added the new Editions.

I bought Visualize 2 month ago and I am very happy with it. The price of Visualize is uncomparable to Autodesk 3DS Max and I have (almost) everything I need.

What I like about the new Editions is that Maxon must upgrade all of them. In the past times Maxon upgraded eg. only core and mograph. But since the upgrade price for the Visualize is much higher than the upgrade price for the Core, Maxon is forced to do more in my particular field. Eg. to really upgrade the modelling tools, or to add Hair “light” (without dynamics), or to add MoGraph “light” (without dynamics)…

Jiri


#20

Jiri:

Thanks for the verification. I didn’t think the caustics functionality was separate from GI. I guess I figured if you had GI you would have caustics. I don’t recall ever seeing a 3D program that did that. So, Prime has no GI and Broadcast has GI but no caustics…I think both exclusions are nonsensical.