How did Autodesk NOT make these?


#1

Can’t understand how one of the largest software companies in the world working in 3D managed to miss the opportunity to create things like Zbrush / Vray / Substance / Lumion themselves. Even the new transfer tool for unreal seems like something they should have managed, considering tTheir entire platform is built around innovation. These seem like incredibly huge / massive misses. Just curious what people’s thoughts are about it, or better, if you know the actual history that would be great too.


#2

They even didn’t implement symmetry modeling (not this symmetry modifier, which isn’t) in 3ds max for decades.


#3

Their entire platform is built around innovation.

This statement is inaccurate (at least on the entertainment side of the house). Their “platform” is built around managing legacy systems and keeping those up and running. It’s been that way for quite a while now. I look at them less as a software developer, and more as a software broker at this point.

In the past they may have “innovated” here and there, but the Entertainment division’s best stuff? Things they purchased. XSI/Maya/Max - all systems they bought. Their one real “innovation” in recent times was the zBrush competitor Mudbox (which a lot of folks really liked), but they didn’t have the resources needed to keep it updated so they dropped it (although I’ve heard it’s making a comeback so who knows).

It’s easy enough to look back with hindsight and say “How did they miss that!?”, but we all know it’s a lot more complicated than that, and the Entertainment division has never really been something that AD really wanted to spend money on (outside of buying the competition). Right now, my guess is that most of their team is up to their eyeballs in crash reports and debugging, and there’s not a ton of time and money left for R&D outside of basic things in Max and Maya.


#4

I agree with Crotalis. Its a cycle really.

Its much easier to create this ‘all-new-crazy’ idea as a software developer ‘start-up’ where everybody’s road-map is the same. The same end goal.
And many folks who work at a large developer when they get an ‘all-new-crazy’ idea but who are not encouraged to develop said idea-may in turn leave and build an all new startup to develop it.

Then developers then just find it easier to buy those start-ups (if proven successful in the industry) later on. Those said start-ups have a hard time walking away from all that $$$ they get so they often are agreeable.

Maybe this all seems pretty lame. But it happens this way with DCCs. Often.


#5

Mudbox was a purchase as well, per wikipedia:

“Mudbox was developed by Skymatter in New Zealand as the founders David Cardwell, Tibor Madjar and Andrew Camenisch were working on The Lord of the Rings at Weta Digital. They created the software to expand their own toolsets, and was first used as a complete product on King Kong. The beta was released in May 2006, followed by version 1.0 in mid-February 2007. On August 6, 2007, Autodesk announced the acquisition of Skymatter Inc.[3][4]”


#6

Well there you go! lol So now I have to wonder what they DID actually make themselves. Smoke maybe?


#7

Ok, so you are asking why others made these programs instead of Autodesk.
zBrush would have been an entirely different beast if anyone else had made it, so there’s no way Autodesk could come up with that same program. But I know you mean how did zBrush, a program originally meant to be a 2D drawing program incorporating normals and layers for the purpose of relighting and depth effects, manage to become one of the most widely known and used programs in the (3D) world.
I’ve always thought that there was a paternal instinct at play there, or at least an extreme case of protecting the cash cow. When I used Caligari and other programs on the Amiga people often asked (usually they assumed) if I’d created my images in 3DStudio and later Max. Even in the '90s I knew they had managed to very successfully associate their name with consumer 3D. If you were using a Windows PC (likely), and you were doing 3D, you were probably using 3DS Max. I don’t even know if that’s true, my reasons for avoiding using it (having been an Amiga user until 2000) were mostly sour grapes.
What motivates a competitor to buy its competitors if its not to put them out of competition? What is the pattern of their acquisition?
Max is their product, and it is not like they do not update it significantly and regularly. I can’t speak for the users as to whether they are keeping pace, nor would I hazard a guess as to whether they retain their dominance for 5 or ten or 100 more years.
Many appear to me to consider Max and Maya as equivalents, at least the hobbyists and modders (and everyone who uses either one illegally) I talk to and a lot of people here even. It’s never made clear what distinguishes them but that one or the other, or Houdini, is the program you really should be using if you’re serious. But how could they have killed it? While Max might have been popular for making game assets and cinematics, it inherited the video titling/desktop video crowd from its previous incarnation. Maya always seemed higher-end, (maybe that’s just me) and more focused. They were just different enough that it made sense for one company to own both of them and keep both going.
Mudbox is interesting because it did seem briefly to threaten zBrush. It did seem strange to watch it fall behind and become an afterthought. Maybe in this case competing against zBrush simply became unfeasible. Pixologic innovated at a crazy pace from version 3 to 4 and now 2018. Where is Mudbox’s place in the market if it’s not being an alternative to zBrush?
I was surprised they acquired MeshMixer, allowed its development to continue and never charged for it. That reminds me more of Pixologic’s acquisition of Sculptris than anything else, the program was acquired when its developer took a position with the acquiring company.
The XSI acquisition is the most troubling, as I was looking pretty closely at XSI when Autodesk acquired it. Did they plan to kill it while they were buying it, or was that decision based on other factors and made later?


#8

Max is their product,

They published it, they did not originally develop it as far as I know. That was the Yost Group iirc


#9

I cant imagine being the dev for autodesk… these things would embarrass me, a lot. For example, max is defacto archviz soft… but it could include lumion type library…animation system with keyshot, vray rendering quality. They attempted to implement a download library system but it’s obvious how shortsided that was. You are probably right . Hind sight is 2020… but still, to me these are things people asked for for years, and they just ignored.


#10

Well there you go! lol So now I have to wonder what they DID actually make themselves. Smoke maybe?

Guess again.
http://www.digitalproducer.com/pages/discreet_at_nab99.htm

Who again no longer exist.


#11

Maybe I’m thinking of AutoCad? I know Max was a rewrite of Studio, and it became their flagship product. I’d never come to think of 3DS Max as an acquisition, and never paid any attention at the time to any distinction between who made it and who sold it. As long as I’ve been aware of Autodesk, I’ve associated them with 3DS Max.


#12

For an archviz soft inclusively, it’s too versatile in its arsenal of tools. It’s widely used in game development. It depends on a geographical region as well. A bit discordant assertion in my experience I’d confess.


#13

Agreed. It’s a versatile software.


#14

3ds max has/had Architectural templates but these have never been improved and are useless because of it. There should be parametric windows with a library of realworld presets. The same for doors and other things. Graphics cards have got slightly better than they were in the 90’s, but those templates seem to have remained the same. The windows should actually look like real windows with profiled glazing bars, double glazing units etc.

3ds is versatile and should never be limited to presets, but then in contrast, why should you have to model a bogstandard item from first principles? Even some online shops have their own software to build a kitchen etc. That is all you can do with the software, build that type of room, but it is a bit embarrasing when you can model your future kitchen faster in an online browser than you can 8n 3ds max.
Autodesk has so too many overlapping products that it doesn’t understand which is irritating because although you can see an amazing application is possible if they combined bits of product ‘A’’ and ‘B’ with ‘C’, you know it will never happen because they lack the means to do it.


#15

Some company out there is going to figure out how to properly utilize WebGL for ArchViz…guranteed, and it’s going to obliterate the competition. http://webglsamples.org/aquarium/aquarium.html


#16

You can model clothes faster with MD, model a character faster with Zbrush, etc. But it doesn’t neglect 3ds max has a raw modeling power, and yet a robust animation.
First you learn a general-purpose software, and then specialise and utilise specialist tools, catering for your needs.


#17

I wish they’d implement a command line system similar to Autocad… for at least simple line/spline drawing tasks. Would improve it a million times over IMO (for me anyway).


#18

Are you implying clever snaps, precision tools, and setting distance and angle? 3ds max indeed was never built with handy precision in mind. It’s more geared towards artists. This is strange, but a lot is strange in 3ds max.


#19

Ah yes, but the mouse -interaction, modelling and animation capabilities that make 3ds max so nice to use were implemented a very long time ago. If Autodesk had done their job properly, a whole load of other companies like Chaos Group or the makers of marvelous designer etc probably wouldn’t exist because no one would have said to themselves “This is terrible, I can do better!”.

Even the modelling tools in 3ds max don’t work properly. Or at least not in version 2016 with which I am familiar. Things like Extrude and Shell don’t account for a “hypotenus distance” on the corners and with splines, the offset doesn’t work very well with curves.


#20

Blockquote

mister3d
Ah yes, but the mouse -interaction, modelling and animation capabilities that make 3ds max so nice to use were implemented a very long time ago. If Autodesk had done their job properly, a whole load of other companies like Chaos Group or the makers of marvelous designer etc probably wouldn’t exist because no one would have said to themselves “This is terrible, I can do better!”.

Even the modelling tools in 3ds max don’t work properly. Or at least not in version 2016 with which I am familiar. Things like Extrude and Shell don’t account for a “hypotenus distance” on the corners and with splines, the offset doesn’t work very well with curves.

Blockquote

Just want to say, I think in 2019 the Extrude bug with hypotenus distance is finally fixed. Been waiting forever.