Unethical? Companies charging for the use of additional computers 4 rendering


#21

Thanks for that :thumbsup:
So how is a distributive renderer more of an advantage? I’m supposing it is quicker or something… although wouldn’t a network renderer be better alround? like being able to send a frame over the internet or whatever? looking forward to a shellacking for not having a clue what I’m talking about!


#22

You keep talking about morals and freedom, but this isn’t a moral argument and you are giving no consideration to the freedoms endowed on the software developer. A person is free to develop a product and sell it at whatever price they see fit. You aren’t gauranteed any freedom to cheap or even free software. These developers aren’t evil or immoral, they are just doing business.

To a point I totally agree with you. But just because something is legal or ‘just doing business’ doesn’t make it right or justified. Women weren’t allowed to vote and black people were considered second class citizens until people argued for change. And still all of that WAS LEGAL and allowed under the same constitution and bill of rights. Extreme, but just trying to exemplify a point about established moral conduct and new standards of moral conduct, despite the way before being the norm and totally acceptable until it’s challenged despite it all.

I know things are somewhat arbitrary, but still, that doesn’t mean people should be taken advantage of you know?

Like usury. Charging interest on a loan is fine and legal, but only up to a certain point, then it becomes usury.

And not all software companies charge like this, so it really makes it look like other companies that do are really trying to take advantage!

I think this kind of rendering node type of charging only exists because the movie industry was/is a cash cow that companies can take advantage of like that and so could afford it. And because of that history, it’s become like an established way of doing that kind of business.

The other thing is the distinction between a modeler and renderer, and the distinction between a network render and a distributed renderer. Rendering is a very complicated and expensive problem to solve, and what you are advocating is that these developers basicly give all that work away for free. Do you think it’s fair for a production house to spend $5,000 on a single render license, then use that single license to render hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shots over a 12 month period? I don’t think it is. Remeber these guys aren’t making software for hobbyists and one man shops. Their software is built for large scale productions and is priced accordingly. They aren’t ripping you off or cheating you. They are just doing business, that’s all.

I have no problem paying extra for a renderer that is distributed or network capable. But I also shouldn’t HAVE to pay for every computer that I want to use in aiding with the rendering. Why should I be charge again and again, each time I want to expand and grow my network? That’s like penalizing me for just wanting to add more hardware power to the rendering software!

Isn’t what you are saying like saying it’s ok for someone to sell water in the desert for whatever price they want because people don’t have a choice? It may just be business, but not very ethical you know?

And just because someone can afford this kind of behaviour doesn’t make it ok, it just makes it absorbable, so people don’t really complain.

You soundlike a hypocrite and a communist, really. You expect you should be able to use someone else’s work for a small onetime fee with free and unresitricted access, but I 'm sure you would not extend the same courtesy to any client with your own work. You set your price; you determine the allowable usage based on that price, that’s all Microsoft, Pixar, Avid, or any other software house is doing.

Right… Regardless if you produce a movies, commercials, or just are a hobbyist making nice pictures, Discreet just sells 3dS max for a set price. According to your arguement they should have a some kind of flex pay where the amount of work derived out of their software should be charged dynamically; which they DON’T do. And not ALL rendering companies do charge on extra rendering nodes. And even the ones that do have VARYING methods of node licensing. So it’s not like there is some kind of established business ethic here!

What’s with the hypocrit and communist comment?!

I’m not saying people shouldn’t pay for software at all. I just think some of the pricing schemes are taking advantage of a people.


#23

Originally posted by googlo
And not all software companies charge like this, so it really makes it look like other companies that do are really trying to take advantage!

I’m happy to see some of the companies that develop renderers charge on a per-node basis and don’t see it as taking advtange, immoral, etc. Am I correct if I am to assume you have no prior experience in running a business, complete with employees, etc. ?

Here’s my view on it, based on my own business experience over the past 15 years. We don’t develop renderers but if I am going to suppose, for sake of argument, that we did, then my cost factor of developing one would be the number of employees times their salary + overhead + operating cost + a lot of other things. Let’s assume rough figures based on the concept of developing a renderer with a minimum of 8 employees and a development path of 30 months between start and first shipping copy. At the very least the cost will have been $2.000.000 in order to get that first copy shipped.

How many copies am I going to sell? Well, hard to say but let’s suppose research shows there are potentially 2000 customers. Not all will buy a copy so lets target 10% of that market. That’s 200 customers. That means the product would need to be priced $10.000 a copy in order to regain the cost it took to develop it. Of course it will probaby take a year before you’ve sold a copy to all those customers so add another year of operating cost, salaries, maintenance, etc. I may even take 2 years before a product becomes profitable. At such a price point I doubt we’d sell many copies, don’t you agree?

Now let’s look at the idea of node licensing. If we were to look at the 200 customers and the potential sales it may be safe to say that many of them would be running at least a farm of 20 machines. That makes $2m/$4k = $500. Great. That’s a good price that isn’t over the top, will make it easier to sell, but of course it’s per machine… so perhaps there may be a handful of people who’d make a fuss about it, calling it unethical and immoral. :slight_smile:

What I see here is a definite advantage, good business, and a high degree of ethics because node licensing (in this scenario) helps grow the industry and supports smaller start-ups. It allows small shops with only a handful of machines to get their hands on the technology for not too much money. They can decide how many nodes they need and can afford without having to fork over $10.000 for a copy you can run on any number of nodes. It makes it accessible to a larger mass of customers and helps the small guys compete (assuming of course the renderer provides a quality that is competitive at its price point). If there wasn’t node based licensing the cost of a single copy would be many times higher. Of course it’s up to the company to decide how to offer their licensing and cost model but I would frown upon a company that wants to charge excessive amounts for a single copy and applaud the ones that manage to spead the revenue over multiple node licenses because they offer a way into it for those less financially able to compete.

As for your example why some companies don’t follow the node licensing model. That’s easy. In the case of MAX it’s alwasy been, from the very first inception, a good marketing move in order to gain a large user base. Other products may be in the commodity market, offering renderers that are adequate but not in the league (features, performance, achievement, extensibility, etc.) of those that charge per node. The ones that do charge per node are companies that have staff and cost specifically associated with that one rendering product, thereby spending as much in development cost on their renderer as other companies might do on their entire 3D product. You can’t compare such products, nor its costs, or its business model, because they are inherently apples and oranges.

On top of that, cost is based on volume and you’re going to sell a higher volume of 3D products than specific renderers (if you were selling node-free licenes at a price point that is required to break even with your investment), so a company making a renderer will have to charge accordingly in order to sustain business and I frankly like to see companies charge what they need to sustain and guarantee continuation of products instead of doing crash-and-burn cost models that work great for a short while before a company has to fold due to underearning, missing their mark, or simply not being able to keep things up.

I don’t see anything immoral or unethical with offering lower prices for nodes in order to make it more accessible. If they weren’t doing that the whole cost model would be one that sustains the notion of “high end” because then fewer companies would have the financial abilities to buy into such products.


#24

Well said. It’s an interesting read too, seeing the business side. I can’t say I’m very knowledgable about the business side, but I had a feeling it’s a better idea to spread out your costs isntead of having one single package at an insane price :slight_smile:


#25

Originally posted by StefanDidak
At such a price point I doubt we’d sell many copies, don’t you agree?

Maybe. But for a market that’s limited to 2000 customers, it might be a reasonable price.

That makes $2m/$4k = $500. Great.

But companies don’t charge $500. They still charge $2000. The margins in this case are more flexible because products are unique, have a certain exclusive feature set and there’s not much else that gives the same result. So, there is no need to charge cost+1 fractional margin.

Plus, if they did charge $500, they would attract more than the 200 customers simply because of the price point. The Price/Demand curve isn’t a straight or simple curve. When you are considering a product with unique characteristics and a niche market, I doubt the economics mimic those of physical tangible objects.


#26

Thank you StefanDidak for taking the time to fully explain it. I’ve noticed a trend on forums. Sometimes when topics that need a more in-depth explanation come up. Most of the posters don’t have the time, will or literary talent to type out a full thought out explanation or idea.

Then what you end up with is a bunch of short posts that pretty much add up to being some sort of argument about the topic instead of fully expressed ideas, opinions or viewpoints.

No offense to anyone this is just an observation.

peace,
-jscott


#27

Originally posted by Gyan

But companies don’t charge $500. They still charge $2000.

I was trying to keep things simple in my example, but… ok, you’re right, they don’t charge $500 per node but often more. If you increase the cost factor, number of employees, etc. you’ll easily get higher numbers in order to justify cost. The two leading renderers do actually have teams working on it that are bigger than the 8 heads I used in the example. :slight_smile:

There’s also a volume factor that would need to be taken into account. While the base price per node is leveled off at a certain point to keep initial cost down there’s also a very different cost model for purchasing multiple copies. I can’t really dig into specifics but at least one of those leading renderers comes down to roughly a $500+ price point if you’re talking about volumes (that aren’t in the 100’s of nodes). Most companies will discount on volume, rendering products not excluded, but it really depends on the negotiation skills because after all is said and done nobody ends up paying exactly the same amount. Then again, that’s the free market part of doing business. That basically helps to assess any sales curves without having to plan or guesstimate how the curve will actually look with fixed pricing.

The other issue that needs to be taken into account when dealing with “at an even lower price there’d be many more customers”. While it’s a textbook case of economics there would be a second curve that comes into the picture; maintenance and support. The more customers you have the more effort you will have to do during maintenance and upgrades to satisfy the demands and wishes of all those customers. If your products gets into a very broad market then the curve for revenue and maintenance might no longer be at a level where it’s possible to sustain an equal ratio. Unfortunately that always ends up being a situation where customers feel neglected or feel the company is no longer meeting their requirements. That situation is similar with support. The more customers, the higher the cost factor will be on support, so there’s a third curve as well. The balance between initial price point and cost of keeping up with the user base is easily lost and it doesn’t take huge mistakes to break that balance.


#28

Am I correct if I am to assume you have no prior experience in running a business, complete with employees, etc. ?

Yes.

What bothers me is that even though it does make sense for companies to spread out their costs like you have stated, not all companies do it that way (quality between similar products with different strategies can be debated, especially now I think). Not all rendering companies charge for additional render nodes. Not all plug-ins charge for adding use of that same plug-in across a network while others do. I agree a part of it is because of somekind of cost recovery/profit strategy. LIke using your business example, after the company has recuperated it’s initial start up costs through their rendering node licensing scheme, what then? Do they reduce the price after their start up expense has been recovered, or do they maintane that same price anyways? I don’t think companies think in terms of ‘fairness’ like that, at least it doesn’t seem that way, not usually, unless they have to or as part of a stategy to gain customers by being friendly.

But regardless of all of that, it’s not my fault they have their expenses. Why should I be charged JUST to add more hardware power for their software solution? I understand the perspective you have put forward from the business end, but what about the customers perspective? I think what makes me feel so impassioned about this is the variability on how different companies go about this (and other things like this that happen). It’s like I’m being charged for my own choice of hardware improvement (at my own expense) to their software solution. It’s like a luxury taxation (not really, but the way it makes me feel, like I know why there are taxes, but is THAT particularly kind of taxation really necessary or is it just really another avenue to tax?), that’s kind of how I feel about the node licensing scheme.

I don’t know why someone said I sounded like a communist! I think I’m sounding like a consumer in a capitolistic system personally, I want the most and the best for the least :).

You know, I just thought of something. I think this kind of discussion is here because use,compensation for, and ownership of physical property is very different than use, compensation for, and ownership of intellectual property. And in a case like this the two worlds collide in a wierd amalgam making it hard to discern rights, fairness, etc… . I think it’s a cool issue though :slight_smile:


#29

Originally posted by Fasty
Thanks for that :thumbsup:
So how is a distributive renderer more of an advantage? I’m supposing it is quicker or something… although wouldn’t a network renderer be better alround? like being able to send a frame over the internet or whatever? looking forward to a shellacking for not having a clue what I’m talking about!

Well there’s a lot of reasons why a distributed renderer is better, especially when you are talking about large scale production.

For one thing, it’s easier to have processors drop in and out of the queue without negating used processor time or losing work. Each machine is tied up for minutes or seconds rather than potential hours because they are working on tiny chunks of the same thing. So a machine can crash or a user can pull a machine out of the queue to use as a workstation without disrupting the job or even losing any work or processor time. Say you have a network render going, and each frame takes 90 minutes on any given machine. 88 minutes into a frame one machine crashes. You lost that frame and you’ve lost 88 minutes of processor time. That shouldn’t happen on a distributed render.

Secondly, the distributed render is also much less taxing on hardware. A network renderer requires the entire scene to be sent to every machine which means all the machines will need lots of memory, decent CPUs, and storage. With a properly set up job on a distributed rendering system, even the lowliest workstations can be thrown in the queue, and work effectively and efficiently on the render, because they don’t need all the scene’s data to do their job.

Lastly overall efficiency. Suppose you work in print or are a lighting TD. You’ve just finsihed working on something and you and you want to render a final full res image to get a look at the results and decide what changes to make. Any single machine in your company could take potentially hours to render this one image, but you’ve got a distributed rendering system, a render farm, and all the guys who are out of the office have thrown thier workstations into the queue. You click the render button from your workstation, and your software goes out and grabs processor time from all those available machines on your LAN. The final image pops up on your screen in a minute or two, rather than hours.

@Googlo,

Your argument is taking a turn towards the absurd. Extorting money from people for necessities or due to dire circumstances is profiteering and it is illegal. This is simple economics, and has nothing to do with civil rights or anything remotely like it. Stefan explained it pretty clearly; the total cost of development and support and the potential market dictates the price. I would love it if companies gave away free rendering licenses, and most of them do if you buy in quantity, but I understand the point of view of the company.

Eventually the prices will come down some more. I mean, the market has expanded greatly over the last few years and look what’s happening. Prices on software are falling across the board.


#30

LIke using your business example, after the company has recuperated it’s initial start up costs through their rendering node licensing scheme, what then? Do they reduce the price after their start up expense has been recovered, or do they maintane that same price anyways? I don’t think companies think in terms of ‘fairness’ like that, at least it doesn’t seem that way, not usually, unless they have to or as part of a stategy to gain customers by being friendly.

Googlo, business have running expenses. When you have sold enough licenses to pay for the initial 2 million, your other expenses will have wandered off so you must make more money to pay for that. It’s always a race to catch up with your expenses :slight_smile:

Hopefully I’m making sense…

Btw, regarding support etc. This discussion ties into the discreet DCP deal in the cebas final render thread. Discreet takes over support and selling(?) software. This will cut down costs for companies, but then, how big is the chunk discreet takes out of the cake? It’s a very hard feat to balance between reasonable pricecs on the software and keeping the support costs down, fending off bills etc.


#31

Your argument is taking a turn towards the absurd. Extorting money from people for necessities or due to dire circumstances is profiteering and it is illegal. This is simple economics, and has nothing to do with civil rights or anything remotely like it.

Well yeah, I wasn’t making the comparison literally! It’s the concept of being able to question what is considered the norm that I was exemplifying! Moral concepts exist and form the basis for every kind of human interaction and sometimes we become so accustomed to a certain way of doing things that we can’t think of doing it any other way OR that their should be another way.

Extorting money from people for necessities or due to dire circumstances is profiteering and it is illegal.

Oh, so you don’t believe in capitolism totally? Should I say that makes you sound a like a communist then?..:argh:

I mean that totally rhetorically. I just thought this issue is an interesting one because of it’s philosophical value and how it dances around issues of intellecutal property, physical property, how compensation and etc differs between the two AND HOW I HATE HOW SOME COMPANIES CHARGE EXTRA FOR IF I WANT TO USE MORE COMPUTERS FOR RENDERING OR SOMETHING SIMILAR

Sorry, that was my Eric Cartman coming out, at least I edited out the cursing!:slight_smile:


#32

Originally posted by googlo
What bothers me is that even though it does make sense for companies to spread out their costs like you have stated, not all companies do it that way (quality between similar products with different strategies can be debated, especially now I think). Not all rendering companies charge for additional render nodes. Not all plug-ins charge for adding use of that same plug-in across a network while others do.

Very true. But why compare them all by the same standard? It’s sort of like comparing cars… why does a certain Italian brand has to be so much more expensive than a Japanese brand, for instance. Yet, still they are all “cars”.

If I look at the ones that do and those that don’t I see a big difference. Those that do are generally medium sized companies (or medium sized divisions of even bigger companies) while those that don’t are, without getting into naming specific products, nearly all small companies with 2 upto 5 people working on a specific rendering product. That what is enough for those that do and those that don’t will be different by a large margin. Then there is also the location of the company and its staff. If I look at the salaries in excess of $100k I pay to employees in California vs. the $40k I pay employees in Eastern Europe and India it’s easy to see how location would have a very big effect on the final outcome of a cost model. Quite a few of those that don’t charge per node are located in areas where cost of living, cost of doing business, is infinitely smaller than the few who do charge per node. A two head team doing a renderer for a single $500 unlimited license might sell a 1000 copies and be considered “filthy rich” in their area wheras a company with 10 heads in an entirely different area wouldn’t even be able to pay the rent with such a sum.

And that’s more or less the concept of competition and export. Bright minds in areas with lower cost of living, taking in sufficient money for their needs, can at certain points compete with those who are in different circumstances. And that’s a good thing. :slight_smile:


I agree a part of it is because of somekind of cost recovery/profit strategy. LIke using your business example, after the company has recuperated it’s initial start up costs through their rendering node licensing scheme, what then? Do they reduce the price after their start up expense has been recovered, or do they maintane that same price anyways? I don’t think companies think in terms of ‘fairness’ like that, at least it doesn’t seem that way, not usually, unless they have to or as part of a stategy to gain customers by being friendly.

The definition of what fairness might be could differ. It may seem fair to lower the price after getting a sufficient ROI, yet it may also seem fair to keep the cost model for as long as the market can bear it in order to expand the business, hire more people, actively help create jobs for people, all in order to gain more funds to do even more useful, cool, or fun stuff. It is debatable what is useful, why it is cool, of whether something is fun, because there’s always a gap between the point of view of a company and the customers even though in a number of places they do coincide nicely.

It depends largely on what the company wants to do, what their goals are, and how much they might need to fund new developments. Since end users are mostly not privy to such details it may often seem that a company is just trying to fill their bank accounts while in reality a lot of that ends up being spent on new products, improvements, etc.


But regardless of all of that, it’s not my fault they have their expenses.

You’re right, but vice versa it then also makes sense for a company not to be at fault for you not being able to afford a certain product they make, right? :slight_smile:


Why should I be charged JUST to add more hardware power for their software solution? I understand the perspective you have put forward from the business end, but what about the customers perspective?

I think the customer perspective (and influence!) is even simpler. A customer can vote with their checkbook and decide to buy and support a product/company or not at all. If there’s no market and no sales because a cost model isn’t working then changes will happen switfly or the company will fold. In the end it is the consumer that keeps things going and with a few companies that still sustain a successful business based on per-node licensing it shows that market still exists.

And, then there’s also different types of products aimed at those different types of customers. Exclusive or luxury items are always aimed at a market that can bear the cost, whether it be cars, properties with a great view, furniture, you name it. Those who don’t like the price tag will either not consider it or hope to some day own or get such a thing, or simply end up being satisfied with what they have and can afford. In all cases it’s usually a known cost factor and not a hidden cost.


I think what makes me feel so impassioned about this is the variability on how different companies go about this (and other things like this that happen).

I think the variations between companies and products is a good thing. If they were all the same and charged the same there wouldn’t be much point in having competition or we’d all end up with renderers that don’t mix and match that all have varying feature sets without having any clear high-achievers. :slight_smile:


It’s like I’m being charged for my own choice of hardware improvement (at my own expense) to their software solution.

But that is not hidden or surprise-sprung cost but something everyone knows upfront. So buying into such a product allows the customer to decide upfront whether to go with it or not, knowing that future expansion of a render farm will come at an additional cost. The best thing to battle such a thing is to not spend any money at a company that has a strategy you don’t agree with. That’s where companies feel it the most.

And in all fairness… companies that make renderers that work on Linux and Windows tend not to charge extra for the Linux versions, which from the perspective of “making money” could be done by such companies because there’d be no OS cost involved for each of those machines (and based on the concept of how the Linux version takes up extra time and effort and thus increases the cost for the company). :slight_smile:


I want the most and the best for the least :).

How much would you like to pay for a Ferrari? And how much for a 20-room prime location luxury home with a view in the most beautiful place you can imagine? But, how much would be realistic? :slight_smile:


You know, I just thought of something. I think this kind of discussion is here because use,compensation for, and ownership of physical property is very different than use, compensation for, and ownership of intellectual property. And in a case like this the two worlds collide in a wierd amalgam making it hard to discern rights, fairness, etc… . I think it’s a cool issue though :slight_smile:

IPR always ends up a very thorny topic because IPR is something you can’t touch, feel, etc. much like how software is nothing more than a specific unique sequential ordering of bits. Though just as with those things there are products in both intellectual form as well as physical form aimed at different types of markets.

Personally I feel that cost, in a very wide and overall form, has come down an awful lot compared to what it once used to be. I don’t cringe when I look at the cost of a good workstation these days and compare it to the prices I once paid for SGI Iris/4D workstations or an SGI Crimson. The same goes for software. While it may still be out of reach for many it has come down a lot compared to the past two decades. I’ve always run the business based on “buy what we need now, buy what we don’t need later when we do need it” and “how much will it cost and how soon can we break even and make a profit”. In a lot of cases the expense of a large network with per-node priced software may never pay off, yet in a lot of cases it can pay off on a single contract or job. It depends too much on the places buying it and their customers, and their customer’s customers, etc. Purchasing such products for personal use only is a slightly different thing and depends largely on how far someone is willing to go and how much one can spend. Then again, a lot of professional products on the market aren’t really geared towards that market because it’s such a minor mass that it wouldn’t pay off well to try and gain such a market as a customer base.


#33

Originally posted by urgaffel
Btw, regarding support etc. This discussion ties into the discreet DCP deal in the cebas final render thread. Discreet takes over support and selling(?) software. This will cut down costs for companies, but then, how big is the chunk discreet takes out of the cake?

I have no idea what the percentage is but I can see how this move by Discreet saw the light of day. The last I heard was that there is no developer relations manager anymore since a lot of former business relations went sour and the 3rd party market has collapsed for a great part (compared to what it once used to be). For the 3rd parties involved in the DCP deal I hope the percentage they have to give up is small, yet for Discreet I hope the percentage is humongous because they certainly need it… they are laying off people again (I believe Fred Moreau was one of them, the main demo guy/expert).

The DCP concept also isn’t all that surprising or new. Over the past years many 3rd party developers had already suggested similar approaches to Kinetix/Discreet. Especially the part about certification, marketing support, etc. but those ideas ended up in the bin or underneath the stacks of chaos or were simply never taken up because there was no need for Discreet (which, of course was their right to do since it’s their business). Now while the 3rd party market has slimmed down there’s the DCP concept to coincide with the rumored ‘issues with’ and ‘problems at’ Digimation. No surprise at all but I can’t help but feel that this might be one of those “a little too late” situations.

Another factor for DCP might have been the potential demise or disinterest of 3rd parties to continue development and support for their plugins. This has also been an ongoing tremor for the past year or two in the light of stagnating sales and the desire for the small groups or individuals to move on to more fun or interesting new developments. I can tell you it has been one of the main reasons why a number of such former 3rd party developers ended up joining my company and thus I assume these levels of demotivation and disinterest in keeping the plugins going have, or still are, also affecting other 3rd parties who are still active in that neck of the woods. If that is the case with some then the DCP concept would allow Discreet to keep certain key plugins alive for a while longer because as we all know the main product, MAX, without certain key plugins would loose a lot of its perceived value in the market.


#34

I have nothing to say to all this except that the entire idea that per-node licensing is “immoral” is bizarre.

The original author simply wants something for nothing and has confused his personal desire for more with a moral imperative.

– Mark


#35

Originally posted by googlo
[B]
Or a company could offer there rendering software (or whatever applicabla type of program on this issue) as normal, just have ability to hook up as many machines as you want FOR FREE!

Since other simliar companies don’t do that, and if their product good enough, people would go in droves to use their software over the render-node-charging others!
[/b]

You mean like Cebas? NewTek? Maxon (well, Maxon’s isn’t quite free, but it’s very close)?


It would be like stereo makers charging you for every additional speaker you wanted to hook up to their sound system besides what it came with to listen to music by!

No, the analogy is better applied to the amplifiers, since the speakers don’t work without them. Or you could onceivably apply it to the digital to analog converters…

But either way what you’re missing is that this isn’t an unethical practice, it’s a free-market practice.


#36

Originally posted by MCronin
A network renderer sends whole frames to a computer to be rendered. A true distributed renderer uses all available processing power to render each frame. So instead of waiting 90 minutes for a full frame to render on a each individual machine, you render each frame in minutes or seconds using all the CPUs on your network together. Renderman, mantra, Mental Ray, and some of max’s plugin renderers can do this. Mental Ray for Maya, Maya’s default renderer, Max’s scanline renderer, most software infact, just pass entire frames to each machine.

In fact, so can RealSoft4d… even for in-editor preview renders (that’s a feature I’d like to have :bounce: ).

BTW, that’s also commonly referred to as “bucket rendering” or “box rendering”. Just FYI.


#37

The original author simply wants something for nothing and has confused his personal desire for more with a moral imperative.

yeah, you’re right.

And questioning anything the president might say makes me guilty of treason and anti-american…

But either way what you’re missing is that this isn’t an unethical practice, it’s a free-market practice.

And you’re right too, free-market practices can never be unethical…


#38

Originally posted by googlo

And you’re right too, free-market practices can never be unethical…

Actually that’s true. Once a society adopts a free-market system, any practices that conform aren’t unethical. Whether a society should adopt a free-market system is a different question altogether. Contrary to popular western belief, the jury’s still out on that one and will be for about 50 years atleast.


#39

Originally posted by googlo
[B]yeah, you’re right.

And questioning anything the president might say makes me guilty of treason and anti-american…

And you’re right too, free-market practices can never be unethical… [/B]

Oh, grow up!


#40

OK, I do have something to say after all:

  • The biggest priority in pricing software is covering the developers’ costs. Profit margins in the 3D software area are not high because development is expensive and there aren’t many customers.

  • Per-node render licenses are actually the MOST ethically valid way to license software, because it recoups much more of the cost of development from big customers like Sony that buy a thousand licenses or more, and much less from the hobbyist who saves pennies to buy a single license with no support contract.

  • Copyright holders have a right, under the law, to distribute the product of their work however they like. Furthermore, many people (including me) believe these laws are generally a good thing because they encourage people to create. If you don’t like copyright holders having these rights, you’ll have to get the statute changed, or possibly the Constitution.

  • The “fair use” argument set forth in the copyright statute could not be used to defend an attempt to circumvent built-in controls to defeat per-node licensing, because the courts have repeatedly held that realizing significant commercial value for nothing is not “fair use.”

  • While shrink-wrap licenses have generally been upheld by the courts, they cannot be used to impose certain kinds of terms. For example, a principle called the “first-sale doctrine” permits several activities including the secondhand resale of licensed products, regardless of the text of a shrink-wrap license. To overcome this rule, a software company (I think) could enter into a specific, written agreement prior to software delivery with the buyer’s representative, but that causes a different set of rules to apply than in the commercial, mass-market case.

  • You have recourse if you think a particular software manufacturer is licensing software in an unfair way: don’t buy the product. This is what has restrained Microsoft from leasing licenses on a time-based scheme for their office products.

– Mark