R21 Service Pack - When?


#1

Blender has introduced 2.81 with a ton of new features. We are still waiting for the first service pack.
Blurry rendering in the viewport (Windows 10 highres), vanishing UV-transformtool…

  • sigh -

#2

And the moment 2.81 went to Stable 2.82 had about 10 new feature commits to the sculpting tools.

The progress is relentless.
:red_car: :wind_face:


#3

For once we agree. I’m very impressed by Blender – even the viewport CPU rendering is fast. There’s still a lot about the app that’s confusing and in many ways not as good or as easy as C4D, but at this speed of development, who knows where it will be in a few years time. Maxon’s timing for rental/R21 could not have been worse.

I’m still mainly using R20, because R21 feels slightly flaky.


#4

There’s been a couple of funny threads over at BlenderArtists from C4D folk who have migrated to Blender. I won’t beat a dead horse but none were especially complimentary of Maxon or the pace of C4D development.

Three weeks ago Maxon posted a blog about their new R & D department. I found it telling that, as far as I could tell, there was zero interest and response about that post here. Meanwhile over at the Cafe, one of the Maxon guys posted something about how he felt much better about how things were going behind the scenes as - it was suggested - McGavran had possibly helped speed up the pace of development, ‘not much was happening’ beforehand, ‘I feel more positive now than I did before’ and so on. Not to knock at all, as all the folks running the Cafe and posting there are lovely, but it was kind of a backhanded compliment. If things have now substantially improved - and I’d like to think they have - how much worse were they beforehand?

Positive thinking folk have often tried to give Maxon the benefit of the doubt, good things are coming, all these years of effort suggest that something big is in the works etc etc, but posts like that Cafe one really make me pause. Blender meanwhile genuinely does seem like it’s just gearing up for bigger and bigger things.


#5

Well you have to dig to find Maxon’s corporate blog – they hardly PR it when something does get posted. Just read the article and fingers crossed for some positive progress.


#6

Not guilty, I’ve only just created an account over there and haven’t posted yet. I read the thread Icecaveman started and that drew in a few contributions from frustrated ex-C4D users for sure.

I don’t believe anything big is coming to C4D, I think what you’ll find is that the rental model produces is more short and medium term features at the expense of deep architectural level features. Even if McGavran has improved how development functions at Maxon the developers who’ve been there for 10 years working like they’re at a retirement home have to pick up the pace. I don’t entirely buy the glacial development is down to a log jam in the process and with the blockage now relieved features will be flowing out.

I think there will be a couple of updates this year for R21 rental and that will be 2/3 of what R22 perpetual upgraders will get for their $1000 next year. The perpetual upgraders will be running behind the renters, they catch up at the R22 release date then slip behind in a few months time.

Today I’ve been creating a procedural animation from a financial data set with Sverchok Nodes, lighting the scene with Eevee and switched over Cycles for nightly render. The workflow feels like the future has arrived early. I don’t know how C4D gets from where it is to matching this workflow in the next several years. Maybe McGavran is some genius manager-cum-motivational expert and C4D will be transformed in a year or two. I don’t think they’ve got any longer than that to make huge changes.

Once the Everything Nodes project is complete it’s game on, it’ll be like XSI was never killed off.


#7

I haven’t posted there either, just scrolled through the multitude of threads. The thread I’m thinking of had a new user asking whether he should use C4D or Blender for motion graphics. The response was I thought pretty fair to C4D and pointed out its strengths in that area, but then noted how far behind the software was in other areas and how you needed tons of plugins to match what other apps - including Blender - gave you up front. The C4D user kept telling the newbie to just download the C4D demo and give things a try for himself which I thought was fair.

I no longer have any gut feelings about what C4D has in store for everyone as it’s fairly clear the past decade (?) of development wasn’t as productive as it may have been. The dude at C4D posting about how things had only recently improved really put the prior long development trough in perspective. Which is sad to say as his post was quite positive and upbeat, but if you think things have hugely improved then it does suggest that things were previously much worse. Which suggests that Maxon don’t have as many rabbits ready to unveil from their hat as I once thought they did. Hey, I could be wrong and if they have great things ready to drop, then good.

All that is the past and I’m sure the next year of C4D updates will have cooler stuff than what was in R21. But to a certain extent they’re playing catch up and since Blender is here and now free and also running at a fast pace, they really couldn’t have picked worse timing. I don’t know much about Everything Nodes but if people are excited for it then I’m excited too, not least because it won’t cost me a cent and I know development will continue on it afterwards in perpetuity once it ships. If Maxon show signs of wanting to continue development on all sections of the app rather than just updating something once and then letting it sit untouched for a half decade or longer, then this would make C4D more appealing. But to anyone who has watched their activities for a while, they really need to show some new behaviours. And to be honest I think those new behaviours are coming as they have a new CEO and they just crossed some development hurdles with the core - so we’ve been told - and a Maxon guy at the Cafe feels like things are better than they were. I’m going to reiterate that his comments were positive and honesty is appreciated and complete radio silence would be more annoying. They did that in the past.

Sorry to drag the thread towards C4D bashing territory again. I think the air will change a bit once Maxon release their forthcoming update or service pack or R21.5 or whatever it will be called, and everyone can see where the development time has gone beyond just a revamped store and caps on your text. Pyrocluster is approaching its 20th anniversary as Wikipedia says it came out in 2001, back when Pentium III was state of the art, although could anyone put it past Maxon to hold off touching it till its 25th anniversary, so it qualifies for an award from the silver gift shop? I wouldn’t put it past those funny buggers in Friedrichsdorf. Whatever, I think the R22 release will be a happier occasion than R21 was.


#8

I have to agree with some of the comments here. I’m starting feeling comfortable with Blender and the workflow it’s just like a breath of fresh air. But words in this case are useless. When I heard people saying the same thing before I got acquainted with the new Blender I couldn’t fully understand.

That said, things like Everything Nodes or Sorcar will never get my full appreciation. I’m not a tech guy and seeing what it takes to do some simple motion graphic setup with Everything Nodes doesn’t make me to want to use it at all.

In other words, pro & cons. For me, my workflow is now shaping like this: whenever I need to do look dev, modelling, sculpting, texturing, Blender is the way to go. In the motion graphics field C4D is the king for a designer person.

On a side note: I’ve added E Cycles which truly speeds up the renders. And I’ve added hard ops: oh boy! That thing alone takes Blender to a whole new level of craziness! :slight_smile:


#9

If there was ever a justification for the job as UX designer then Blender 2.80 conclusively proves that. You can have a great set a of features but if you insist in going against industry conventions you risk marginalising your software.

I completely understand the Everything Nodes comment, there’s definitely more work involved than the more high level C4D Mograph tools. Entagma produced the Motion Operators to recreate more familiar Mograph nodes and I think that’ll be exactly what will happen with Everything Nodes. There will be a plethora of Group Nodes created for Mograph tasks such a clones and effectors that we’ll swap and store in our Asset Managers.

Everything Nodes is important because it’ll mean Group Nodes will extend the functionality of Blender without the user needing to write a single line of C++ or Python. Once Everything Nodes is in the core of Blender then sit back and watch the Addon developers build on top of it like Hard Ops is built on top of the modifier stack.

Getting back to C4D, I expected a complete refresh of Xpresso that had the same functionality as Everything Nodes, I was absolutely convinced R20 was going to be the BIG one and Xpresso 2.0 would be revealed to the world. OK, so Fields was revealed so it must be R21 for the Xpresso refresh, right? Oh! I have subsequently reduced my confidence level on Xpresso 2.0/ TP 2.0 turning up. I get the impression Fields is the big feature that has been worked on for years and you’ll see other features like Fields Forces bolted onto it. Maybe Maxon don’t think their users want a nodal approach and Fields will evolve into an XParticles like system, Fields Forces kind of hints at that.


#10

In the end, it dependes on how fast is everything nodes. XSI and Houdini arent great because they have a nodal approach, they are great because both can handle impressive amount of data, and XSI could handle a really high poly object plus modeling was intuitive and easy to do. Blender viewport still struggles if you need to edit a high poly object, beyond particles, cant really see how they would implement a Get Data Set Data to modify the object structure without compromising speed.

I used Mops, but Houdini really is counter intuitive for a quick Motion Graphics setup. The tools are there, but the interface does not help at all. You still need to do a lot of setup. Its great if you already have a storyboard of what you are aiming for, instead of doodling directly on C4D and see what you get.

Blender wont get far in MoGraph unless they rewrite the Font tool, wich really sucks compared to C4D (changing fonts is painful, and they dont have the edit option C4D type tool has. I havent found a way to separate the material from the bevel and the caps like you can do in C4D with a couple of clicks. Another cool option in C4D is to put a Rigid Body Tag in the font and crash the letters against the floor. To do that in Blender I would lose the ability to edit the font.


#11

I don’t think Blender has an issue with moving geometry, here’s a pre Alpha build of the new particle system moving and shading a fair few 3d particles with screen space reflections too. The Viewport has no issues only dropping below 30fps when he ups the birth rate to 20,000!

I’m mindful this conversation has strayed from C4D so I’ll end my contribution here. Everything Nodes will be a Tsunami, Maxon should be getting prepared for if they want keep any Mograph mind share.


#12

On a side note, I just discovered the last Maxon Blog post, but I thought Maxon already had an R&D center in Montreal. They even had ex-XSI guys and had a Maxon Lab website. Smart guys apparently, but what came out of that is anybody’s guess.

What happened with the guys hired for the GPU rendering or Bodypaint is also a mystery. They ended up with AMD and Redshift on one hand, and… not much on the other one.

The discrepency between the brainpower available and the visible outcome for a few years in indeed puzzling.


#13

The Montreal office is going very strong and growing all the time. It is in full production swing and a big part of the Maxon development team. I think the results will speak for themself, it is just that things often don’t move at the speed one would wish for.


#14

Yeah people have been hearing that for about 4 years and counting now WRT to the big changes that are “right around the corner”. No disrespect intended at all, but it’s a fact and people are tired of hearing the excuses. Show us with the first subscription update and R22 or stop the PR campaign until you can show us. Again no disrespect just do us the courtesy of stowing the “can’t share anything but almost there now” routine. We’re not almost there AFA anyone outside of MAXON can tell.

The subscription thing then compounded people’s concerns and bad feelings about the lack of innovation because it tends to go the other way once the subs start — see also Adobe, which in the last year or two has made some nice optimizations for select features and workflows but has innovated very little in their core apps, while simultaneously increasing their rates (in 2019). Same is likely to happen to Allegorithmic which is now tying it’s biggest innvoation in years to a sub. No one is surprised at this point. Doesn’t make MAXON evil for going sub, just disappointing because in the end subs benefit the developer far more than the typical customer (corner cases not withstanding like people who only need to rent for a few months and then not again for a long time).


Back to the topic of Service packs vs. Blender point releases (totally valid IMO). I find it amazing that a small group of devs like Blender team literally innovates more in the span of ~ 3 months between 2.8 and 2.81 than MAXON has in the last 2 years (arguably) or 1 year (inarguably). These guys are making serious advances on several workflow fronts in very short time windows. That is not just superficial features but the CORE of the applicaiton’s architecture as well. So there’s no excuse to be made there by MAXON like “oh well it’s because we’re working on the core - not Apples to Apples!”

No, the Blender UI still isn’t as polished as C4D and no, it’s still not as good for making television style motion graphics, but for just about everything else it’s as good or better (or will very soon be better - like within 6-12 months). Been tracking their progress on a new nodal particle system that’s going to be really nice. Their viewport, their new sculpting tools, their renderer, their UV workflow, USD adopton… everything is continuously improving in visible, obvious, and predictable ways. Refreshing, right? The free part is just gravy. Even if it were sold for a modest fee for a perpetual license it’s a no brainer which toolset is the safer investment long term. And the app is getting more and more funding and adoption by bigtime players in the industry. Check THEIR blog if you want to see some serious momentum.

The writing is on the wall folks. I wish no ill to MAXON and may R21.whatever be fantastic for the sub folks, and R22 be world-class and full of amazements for all. Meantime everyone and their brother should be learning Blender. Zero risk and a potentially huge payoff. Houdini 18 looks extremely impressive also albeit much more challenging to learn and a big financial investment like C4D or other apps if you don’t qualify for Indie in your daily work.

Happy holidays to all in US.


#15

Even if you just use Blender as a helper App to C4D you can get an immediate payoff. Sculpting, UVing, plethora of Addons free and $low, you can’t go wrong.

It’s worth getting Blender and buying some modelling Addons like Speedflow and MeshMachine and turbo charge your modelling.


#16

Agreed.
I went with HardOps/Box Cutter, SpeedFlow, DecalMachinie, E-Cycles.
I’m studying HardOps now, while using Eevee for realtime feedback, E-Cycles for final renders. Haven’t had so much fun in a while!


#17

Srek - thank you for the info about the Montreal office. I figured they were still there working away.

The hope remains that Maxon have cool new things forthcoming. The slow pace has been irksome but if C4D bring in some nice new methods or workflow or tools that are a pleasure to use or offer unique features I can see people giving them a go. That’s always been the hope. It;'s just that, while I knew they would take a while, I didn’t think they’d take a looooooong while, but I guess they do sometimes.

C4D despite its faults has various workflow features that do make things easier than Blender and I hope we can eventually see the results for ourselves rather than continually being told that things are in the works. But no disrespect intended and I’m very curious what will be in the next C4D update for subscribers whenever it comes.


#18

I don’t think Blender will replace C4D as my main app for a long time, but it’s very much in Maxon’s hands to get me – and many others – back on side. However, as I paid my final MSA in September, I guess I won’t be getting any serious upgrades to R21 until R22 rears its head next year. That’s a long time to wait when it looks like Blender will be getting solid updates every four or five months. I’ll be watching R21.x releases very carefully.

In the mean time, there’s plenty of Blender addons to check out over Black Friday…


#19

I use boxcutter, hardops, pro studio lighting, text addon -leo moon text counter, Substance Painter to texture and Unreal Engine to render. I also have fluent but is kinda buggy.

For sculpting organics I still use zbrush, because I dont really get sculpting in Blender yet.

I havent opened C4D in one month, the last project I did was a quick Mixamo setup for a crime scene animation for News Channel.

That was some impressive video, but I was talking about surface deformation using everything nodes (like ICE or mountain sop in Houdini).

edit … im 60% of my time in blender, 20% in unreal, 10% in zbrush 10% in C4D. Painter is just smart materials for me at the moment.


#20

Have you tried the Substance Painter Live Link for Blender and/or C4D and Octane?

https://gumroad.com/discover?query=substance%20painter%20live%20link