Yeah, on the list of stuff you mentioned (in email),
Sorry for the deleted post. I was just ranting like a lunatic; Late night post. I was hoping to not subject you to that. Oops! At least I gave you something to read. LOL
Here’s another rant coming your way.
Man…3DSM in the hands of a pro user is, well, it’s just so beautiful to watch how smoothly he handles one task to the next. Amazing!
That’s the thing though. In the right hands, a hammer is a tool and can be used to create. In the wrong hands, it can only be used to destroy. CG apps are just tools. No one app will make you a better artist. Only time and lots of hard work will do that.
I can guarantee you that, unless they’re some damn artistic prodigy, every artist you admire and worship has their temple built on a mountain of far more terrible works than the ones for which they’re most remembered. To put it another way, every successful crop is grown from dirt, manure, and a few seeds.
A 3D app is just a tool. Pick your poison, whatever suits you the best, and just push through. Tutorials. Videos. Little practice exercises. Hell. Even go out and find a competition or weekly challenge to enter. It’s not about the winning. It’s about pushing yourself. I can’t tell you how many inexperienced artists have grown massively overnight thanks to the push of a comp. That sort of thing can motivate you in the same way that school might. It’s all about structure and looming deadlines.
I have high-hopes for Blender 2.8 as do many others. I’d LOVE to get back into C4D, but Maxon just charges too effing much! Their “upgrades” are annoyingly limited (most of the time), and for too much monetary investment.
You know what it is? They want people on a MSA, which is their service agreement. They claim that it’s not a subscription, but it kinda feels like one.
MAXON wants you to buy the full app and the annual MSA addon. Once you’re on a MSA, they want you to keep up with it to get those cheap upgrades. It does make sense in the long run, but the initial outlay is a b***h. Stray from the path by missing your annual MSA and you’re screwed. Damn near back to square one when it comes to ponying up for the next version.
They make it so that you have to stay on the MSA path for the cheapest upgrade price. I get that. I do. It’s just the sort of thing that only makes sense to studios and career freelancers. If you’re a hobbyist or only take on the occasional freelance assignment then it might be prohibitively expensive.
I don’t like subscriptions. I don’t. Software as a service bites. Let me tell you why.
Back in ye olden days, you would buy an app - usually on floppy or even tape. You’d take it home, install it, and it’d be yours forever. Buy. Own. Keep.
Somewhere along the way, thanks to piracy, some genius came up with the idea to copy protect this stuff. Serial numbers. Dongles. Machine ID locks. That sort of thing. Okay. I could deal with that. I could still take cuddle up with my boxed copy at night. It was still mine forever or until the PC or dongle died out. Buy. Own. Keep.
Pirates got more aggressive and developers followed suit. To protect their interests, the devs now required you to activate your license online. Deactivate it when you moved the app to another machine. (If you were lucky then they didn’t limit you to how many times you could do this.) It was still okay though. You could still cuddle up with the box at night, although you’d be a weirdo to so so. The app was still yours. Buy. Own. Keep.
Now comes along that evil prick called Mr. Subscription. Damn him.
The developers are now quick (and right) to point out, “Wait a second, guy. We’re not actually selling you software. We’re LICENSING it to you. You’re not buying the software. No. We still own that. We’re just selling you a limited right to use it. We can terminate that right at any time and for any reason, good or bad. It’s always been that way. You just didn’t notice.”
Because pirates had even figured out how to bypass online activation, the devs would lower the prices, but make you pay forever. They now have complete control over who uses their app, for how long, and under what terms. No more buying. No more owning. No more keeping.
Ultimately, this is fine if you’re running a studio or have an employer who pays for your license. In the former case, it’s justifiable overhead. The income earned outweighs the annual expense. In the latter case, who cares what it costs? Somebody else is footing the bill.
HOWEVER, if you’re a hobbyist or a low volume freelancer, you’re left out in the cold. You’re kinda screwed. If you’re only a dabbler and the developers don’t offer a month to month option then you’re out of luck. No way to learn the app unless you’re a matriculating student or they also offer an indie version. Even if they do offer a monthly rate, well, you still might be screwed. Asking a hobbyist to pay nearly $200 each month (or more) when they already have recurring bills is unreasonable.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to justify piracy. It’s illegal, drives up prices, puts people out of work, and potentially deprives companies of sales. However, I can understand how some hobbyists or very poor artists living in other nations might be driven to do something so desperate. Developers, in trying to combat piracy, might actually be making it worse to a certain degree. (That’s a topic for another thread though.)
My point? Software as a service is bad. A 3D program is a tool. It should be treated no differently than a physical hammer in your toolbox or the car in your garage. Treating it like a utility such as water or electric hurts everybody. It also wrongly shifts the balance of power. My buying power should give me more rights, not fewer. Developers are penalizing paying customers for the misdeeds of the thieves. Different audience. Same punishment.
Just shut up, take my money, give my my software, and go away until I need support or an upgrade. Sounds crass, but that’s what I really want. Sadly, few developers agree with me. Gotta milk that cash cow.
The Lightwave3D Group don’t know what they are doing
They’re running scared, imo. They once had a fairly decent foothold in the TV and film industry, but CORE was such a bungled effort that they lost ground. On top of that, key team members left NewTek to create MODO - which is why there are a number of noteworthy similarities. It’s never easy to recover when you lose people instrumental to your success.
NewTek lowering the price of LW reeks of desperation. It’s desperate bid to bring in new customers and rebuild a fanbase. Unfortunately, lowering the price as they have puts LW squarely in a different tier of apps. It’s priced right up their with other mid-range apps.
Whether that’s justified or not is the topic for another thread, but it DOES change how the app is perceived by the public at large. I put two identical looking cars on a lot. One costs $75,000. The other costs $10. Your first question will invariably be, “What’s wrong with the $10 car?” That’s where your mind will immediately wander.
LightWave can be the most powerful app ever, but people’s perception of it changes the moment the price drops. There’s a psychology to pricing and perceived value. This is the very same problem that Blender faces.
Blender is an amazing app and far more robust than any free app has a right to be. It is now competitive in a way that it never was in the past. Objectively, it’s right up there with the “big boys.” However, because it’s open source and costs nothing, most people who’ve never used it ask, “What’s wrong with it?” Other programs have shortcomings and flaws too.
Defying all logic, because those apps cost more - a lot more in some cases - end users are far less prone to being nitpicky. They’ll look at the higher price as a measure of greater value and accept those flaws even if its begrudgingly. I’ve seen non-Blender users pick at its problems with such gusto that you’d think that their alternative app of choice is flawless perfection. LOL
LightWwave costing what it does now hurts its overall public perception. Costs less? Must be worth less.
NewTek also isn’t doing themselves any favors by sticking with the split design. They waited 3 years between v2015 and v2018 (duh). In that time, they could have something radical. 36 months, in the hands of motivated developers, might as well be an eternity. NewTek could have finally integrated Modeler and Layout. Tack on the time wasted on CORE and the defense for not integrating just keeps on getting weaker - especially in light of lagging sales.
NewTek has made it clear that integration isn’t off the table and probably coming down the line, but not in the immediate future. When it does come, will there even be any users left? I wonder.
FWIW, I do own legit licenses to v2015 and v2018. However, I don’t love the split design. It takes me out of the moment. What I do like is the old school interface. I like being able to see the text buttons. Deciphering goofy icons can sometimes be a pita, especially if they aren’t particularly well designed and look too much like others. That circa 1995 look appeals to me greatly. That’s why I can understand your love for XSI. The UI is direct and to the point.
LightWave’s days are numbered, imo. If they make it past 2 more major releases then I’d be shocked. pmG MessiahStudio saw its price drop radically some years ago in a desperate bid to attract new users and its been near zombieware ever since. Still alive, but against all odds. Most users have moved on. LightWave is probably headed that way.
Anyway…yeah, MODO for now. My MODO year license expires in mid December. Guess I’ll see if I’m switching to Blender 2.8 at that point…
I’ve got a v11 Indie license to MODO just collecting dust on my Steam account. I could deal with the limitations, but the app is still kinda buggy. Blender has consistently been more solid for me.
And, yeah, try out Blender 2.8 when it does go gold. The only thing that it’ll cost you is time. I’ve been screwing around with it for some time now and it’s easily their most newbie friendly release yet. Long time users will probably have something to gripe about, but I’m not in that camp. I think that the new GUI is a fine balance between legacy and modern. I can’t wait until it’s stable.
PS: “Santa, if you are listening, I want a full commercial version of Softimage XSI 2015. Thanks!”
Nope. Sorry. My last name actually IS Santa and I don’t have jacksh** for ya. (Seriously. My last name is Santa. Makes my life hell every Christmas though. Imagine growing up with the name Rob Santa. LOL :D)