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Autodesk Acquires Softimage

118

"SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Oct. 23, 2008 — Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Autodesk to acquire substantially all of the assets of Avid's Softimage business unit for approximately $35 million." (full press release)

Wow. After Maya, they've now gobbled up another high-end 3D app. Users of 3D software around the world are worried and even outright angry about this move. People ask themselves if they should continue investing in (learning) Softimage and they wonder if a move to Blender can be worth their while. With the upcoming 2.50 redesign they might just stick. Thank you, Autodesk!

What do you think will happen to the 3D software market now?

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)

118 Comments

  1. I'm not exactly fond of this occurrence but.... meh! XSI is a pretty good app... not as bad in the UI department as some would make out, and it is certainly very powerful - making a lot of in-roads particularly when it comes to game animation. Considering the features they just released in V.7, I doubt the user base is suddenly going to jump ship just because AD owns it now. XSI is one of the best apps in the industry... you don't abandon it's power, features and your several thousand dollar investment just because you don't like the new owner.

    Not a whole lot has happened with Max or Maya either. And people were going on about the end of the world then, too.

    Besides, enough people are switching to other apps like Blender, but more especially, modo to keep AD a little competitive.

  2. The funny thing about it though, is that Autodesk denies their position as a monopoly.

    Only tried and true applications are used by professional studios the world over. I don't think it's fair that Autodesk can slap any pricetag they want onto their clickwrap license. That is, now that they own the "Big three." I know I'm not the only one sick and tired of silicon valley punishing the artists. 3D art isn't about how much money you have, it's about your vision and your willingness to make that vision come to life. All those images you have trapped up in your mind, you can release onto your 3D canvas... But what if your employer makes you use a certain software you have never used before simply because you weren't going to pay $2000 for a license to use it at home? Your dreams are slashed, and you've got to fall flat on your face a few times taking baby steps to redundantly relearn everything already know. It's like being told "well we only use crayola here..." being handed a box of crayons with the final words: "Sorry to bother you again, but I saw that Mona Lisa you added to your portfolio the other day... Yeah... I uh... want that on my desk in crayon by tomorrow."

    Blender lets you do whatever you want. Use it at home, at the library with the pendrive version... on your laptop... everywhere. Freedom. We have it... they envy it.

    I just wish there was some way to challenge the MAJOR studios to use blender. I wish... if only if only...

    Blender pride,
    yoyofargo

    Random: I ask myself every day... "What does Ed Catmull think of blender?" Curious if I'm alone or not.

  3. anomalous_underdog on

    competition fosters innovation. if they cut the competition, it stifles the sense of need to create new tools (features) for 3d artists. obviously it doesn't mean there'll be no more new features; they still have competition (i.e. blender)

  4. Damn.

    I am glad it is making conditions better for Blender, being a Blender-head an all.

    But this is just wrong. First Maya and now this...
    What is next Cinema4D or Lightwave?

    I have not used Softimage a lot, but seen a lot of nice work with it, like Pigeon Impossible.. And now it is going to be stalled or frozen just like Maya.

    This acquisitions have nothing to do to improving technology, just to control the market .

    And softimage had few nice ideas too, like XSI mod tool , which was free for game developers.

    $h!t.

  5. Also. Autodesk has one of the worst agreements possible on student versions. They sell it for a year or even a semester and force students to buy new each semester. And they also chop it into small parts for engineers or design.

  6. This is bad news all round.

    It means that Autodesk have even more experienced programmers to call upon, stacking the odds initially in there favour.

    It also means that there is less real competition in the field of 3D. In the long term it will mean slower development in the area. Truespace has went with microsoft and now Maya and XSI are with autodesk.

    In the short term it is good for Blender, which I hope the development team will capitalise on. In the long term it is very bad, as Autodesk are rapidly becoming the microsoft of 3D. There is a reall danger of creating a monopoly situation in 3D, which is bad for everyone.

    3D is an area which relies heavily, on fast development of new ideas. A behomoth will kill that and ultimately slow down all areas in 3D, due to sheer scale of its market share.

    Regarding Blender. I hope it has NURBS, something like XSI's ICE, amongst a lot of other things in its next release, as now the pressure will really be on.

    There is a very real possibility in the future, of this turing into a straight out fight, between a heavyweight commercial company such as Autodesk and open source, such as Blender.

  7. anomalous_underdog on

    "I just wish there was some way to challenge the MAJOR studios to use blender. I wish… if only if only…"

    that's what Blender Foundation is more or less doing

  8. What on Earth are the Federal Trade Commission doing allowing this? Madness. Three of the big six applications now owned by one company, and XSI is one of the top two for movie teams along with Maya. Bad for the industry's users.

    Blender is not competition for Maya or XSI. Both of those applications have facilities for managing projects as a team, so a Technical Director can keep track of who did what, what needs doing and where all the assets are on the server. Blender is not yet designed to cope with a production requiring a hundred people working on the same project, it's designed to let one person do the whole job. A team can certainly make something with Blender, but if it could do all that XSI or Maya can do then effects companies would already have switched. Blender is mighty, but equal to Maya or XSI it isn't.

    This is 3D news, but it is neither good nor bad for Blender, it will have no effect at all on how many people use Blender at least in the short term. If Autodesk acquire many more of the major 3D applications then they may be able to drive prices up, and *that* might bring Blender more users, both home users and small studios. The big boys though, need the features that XSI and Maya have to get their work done, so they'll continue to pay the thousands of dollars per license to use them. For now, who owns XSI isn't important.

  9. I can't help but look at this as a good thing. I've known for while that XSI is much more Blender user-friendly and wanted to learn it rather than Maya, but there's only a short trial version of XSI out, where Maya has a PLE. Now that Autodesk owns it, not only might they put out an XSI PLE, but it will probably become as widely accepted as Maya and Max in the industry.

    Even though I don't like their notion of buying everything up, I think this could be good for Blender users in the long run.

    Plus, for some reason, this has made me want to download Truespace 7...

  10. My only concern is that one day Blender will be added to their "collection".

    But honestly, if I was Ton and Autodesk approached me with 50 million to cease development... I don't think I would say no. Would you?

    Let's hope that day never comes :)

  11. " But what if your employer makes you use a certain software you have never used before simply because you weren't going to pay $2000 for a license to use it at home? Your dreams are slashed, "

    Well, happened to me (my 3d tool was not Blender, but neither Max) , and needed to learn well Max. Which is not the bad tool some people think, and has evolved a lot. (in other occasions, learned only what was needed in stressed environments, of XSI and Maya)

    Indeed, am an XSI not experienced user,(Foundation 4) tho never had a crazy passion about it..

    Learning new tools is not bad. Let's you have a quite wider understanding of 3D, and faster ability to learn, when you get back, at home or after sometime, to your tool of choice.
    The big monopolies can do whatever, but 3D is closely merging in ways of doing, and your mind is capable of filling the gaps and translations...

    I personally think the 3 apps will keep being in the market depending on how strongly the studios and companies push for it, buying new licenses, etc. After all, stuff is about money. It's possible that there might be some dark plan of not investing as much in Maya or XSI as in Max (which would benefit me professionally as I mainly know Max deeply) , but while one never knows, I'd doubt XSI would go away, nor Maya, any time soon...as those do produce quite license sells. At the end, companies will observe the tendencies of development of Autodesk on each package, and surely, as usual in industry, will bet for a combo of " right tool for the task" (uber complex tasks, often) , custom tools made during the years for an specific application, and also will consider the tendency of Autodesk to develop further a tool or let it die(and will consider other factors..). People say here about frozen Maya, but I have heard of some Maxers be angry of lately less important updates. As a Max user, I can say Max 5, 6 , 7 , 8 (don't know latest 9) have been huge improvements over previous, but imo. Majority of people have the old feel that transmitted Max 2 - 4, and compare to modern competitors(?), and rarely they know deeply Max to make a critic, which isn't very realistic analysis, today... I totally agree on the huge price tag, and how much was a better approach the Foundation versions, that I hope every one had noticed how near in time had been the cut of the Foundation cheap line... That says quite.

    I have it really difficult to believe what would happen one way or the other...Though I'd probably expect a slight more push to Max, to let it be slightly dominant, but not the uber king some are afraid of. They couldn't kill Maya (I think they did not tried and dedicated similar resources than to max..or that it does seem...) , among other things, because such a big amount of movies and big console tiltes (PS3, etc) use heavily for animation wonder, team features, powerful mel scripts already made during years...

    Imo this should not affect much Blender. Unless Autodesk try to buy it as well, lol...

    With no special fan feeling, as am not very passional with softwares, what I see as a clear thing is the extremely good health of Blender project. I am personally tired of trusting(and purchasing!) comercial packages wavings .

  12. Seriously guys, to those of you who are upset by this move should really grow up. If any of you actually worked in the film industry like I do (& which I believe 97% of you dont) you have to understand that, and especially under the current financial climate, the continuation of user support for a product like XSI is utterly imperative.

    Softimage needs to look out for that current userbase. If it were to succumb and fold financially because of all the economic riff-raff going on, then it will DESTROY the current users support base. If the software screws up and users have no-where to get support for it, they will be in big trouble. Alot of companies spend millions on films and games in this area of production. A financial crunch of Softimage will cost film & gaming industries in every country millions of dollars, collectively speaking, to reassign these production companies to brand new software, buy licenses and the subsequent training of all their staff in that software.

    Professional production companies dont use Blender because the professional support base DOESNT EXIST fullstop. It is a mish mash of users contributing to software support but no direct line of contact to the Blender creators themselves unlike what Maya, 3DS and XSI have. That's where a large portion of the licensing money goes. User support is no.1 in these companies, it outranks software development 10000:1 in terms of their priorities.

    The move by Autodesk is a good one. Im sure Softimage didnt make the sell to them with a gun to their head, that is absolutely absurd. They have to consider their current user base first and foremost, and continue to support them so that we can still be exposed to great artistic talents in future films and gaming. I believe the merger between the two companies is a frugal one. Softimage are only looking at the bigger picture

    As for Blender however, it will still continue to grow and be the great piece of software it always is. Maybe it will have its own professional user support base too. Something to consider Ton... :)

  13. Stunning that they bought the company for just $35 million. If the economy wasn't so bad they could have fetched hundreds of millions for it, if not a billion. They were probably running out of cash to hand over the company for a mere pittance.

    Anyway, it's positive for Blender since it will yet again gain marketshare, get more publicity and attract new developers from the academic world (since universities and colleges will be switching to Blender, due to its cost advantage). I believe in the end there will be only two camps, open-source Blender and AutoDesk.

    Blender is already a billion dollar product, fortunately for us it's wrapped in a non-profit organization and open-sourced under GPL.

  14. I think in the short term things wont change too much, XSI will of course continue to exist and people will continue to use it. I do feel sorry for the user base though - from all I've seen XSI is a great product, at the cutting edge of 3D, and I'd hate to see Autodesk screw it up.

    One thing I think I can predict though, is that good FBX support will become a lot more important for Blender. I fear that it's going to be a lot harder to interoperate, for apps that aren't under the Autodesk umbrella, and it wouldn't be good for Blender to become isolated and pushed aside. Being able to work alongside other applications is crucial to helping studios integrate and transition their pipelines towards Blender - the thought of FBX becoming the .DOC of 3D worries me, if we aren't in a position to play along too.

    redbyte: Although Ton and the Blender Institute do an enormous amount for Blender, they aren't the only ones. Probably the majority of development comes from volunteers worldwide, and even in the ridiculously unlikely case that Ton gets taken away by men in black suits, Blender will go on. You can see the contributors to 2.48 with the highest number of commits here: http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-248/features-and-fixes/ and an ongoing overview here: http://www.ohloh.net/projects/blender

  15. i hope something like this never happen to blender. thats why i love blender and i would also pay for this. autodesk is another microsoft! :(

  16. @HRTC,

    >> Not a whole lot has happened with Max or Maya either.
    >> And people were going on about the end of the world then, too.

    That's the problem, when AD buys an app they don't really improve it anymore. Development stalls and only newly bought products are added.

  17. I don't like this ... I don't like this at all, one bit. The reason why each of these programs were doing so great was because they WEREN"T PWNED BY THE SAME COMPANY. Oops, I mean, OWNED. This is going to stifle innovation and instill complacency.

    This is all good for Blender, but that's what it *looks* like. I just don't have a good feelingn about this in general, it's a bit too fishy ... they claim they are not a monopoly? Everyone has played Monopoly at some time in their lives and the way that you win is by owning all the property to drive others out of business.

    Obviously, the most famous "monopoly" is/was Microsoft, which I guess would make Blender the underdog, i.e. Apple. Bah, but I'm just rambling.

  18. Although some people might be happy with news like this. Something terrible happened... For something like autodesk can buy other softwarehouses to prevent some nasty concurency. When all the major players are bought it's time for foundations.... like blender. They will be a lot harder to take over (since the nature of open source). BUT there's probably some code, functions en design in blender that conflicts with the many patents AD has aquired. Since buying an application (and it's developer) implies that patents go to the new owner.

    So I'm not worried by actual aquire but I'm truely concerned by the enormous amount off patents AD must have by now...

  19. I work as a 3d artist in a firm with 10 employers. we do 3d architectural visualizations. I m working with 3d studio max 7 since august 2008 and I guess max will never be my friend ;-) max is to complicated without a reason. blender is so mutch more simpler to use and makes the workflow mutch faster than max does. I hope i can persuade my boss to start working with blender. We render with vray and doing highend animations with it. I guess thats the hardest part to get the same highend quality with blender and the exportscript for vray. Maybe in a year blender is ready to quarante us a professional workflow and highend quality.

    We will see :-)

    Kind regards
    Alain

  20. Wow, this sucks. As a person who works in the CAD/Visualization world, I use Autodesk software, and am very glad to be able to make a living in this field. Recent history has shown Autodesk gobbling up many small, medium and large companies and taking over their clients and software. Some, as in the case of Navisworks, they basically bought them and released the first Autodesk controlled edition to less than happy customers. They took a great piece of software and made it a little less nice to use (any of us use it daily and have no choice, as it is vital to the proper design of complex buildings/systems). The point I am trying to make is that it may be good for Blender, but on the whole it is bad for the industry; when does a company go from being acquisition crazy to being a monopoly? Autodesk owns 3DS Max, Maya and now XSI (amoung others); Who's really left to compete? Houdini? This is depressing news.

    And, yes, I do work hard to integrate Blender into our pipeline, but the lack of reliable .dwg and 3d .dxf importers really cripple my attempts, so don't think I am anti-blender.

  21. Carsten (the other one) on

    It will be very interesting, how they will handle development decisions of 3 major 3d packages on the market. At the time as they have been real competitors, creating new different features that differs from the others or were better implementations defined their business - just to gain more customers. Now it is interesting how one company handles this.

  22. I think I'm going to withhold judgment on whether this is good or bad for Blender...my only concern is the one already stated regarding FBX becoming the .DOC of the 3D world, but we'll have to wait and see...

    One (slightly) off-topic thing, directed at a question asked by YoYoFargo...You said:

    Random: I ask myself every day… "What does Ed Catmull think of blender?" Curious if I'm alone or not.

    I can't tell you what he thinks, but how I found Blender sort-of relates. I was bouncing around the Internet, Googling 3D as I'd wanted to get into it for ages. I was looking specifically at web forums. On one there were people talking about where to go to get "free" (read illegal) copies of Maya, Max, etc... One guy on one of the forums gave a number of reasons not to do this and recommended Blender (he posted a link to the website).

    The guy said that if you're looking to learn 3D, all of the concepts learned using Blender translate to other software. Oh, I forgot to mention...the guy worked at Pixar...

  23. sorry, i am a softimage AND blender user for years, infact i have used blender already as it was not opensource. blender is a nice thing, sure, and i liked its old userinterface, but theres a *lot* more to do as redesigning the userinterface for blender, to compete with something like softimage.

    @tidbit: you obviously forgot, that the 3d world has more than two d's ;) - there are a lot of 3d apps out there, and a lot of them are better then blender, houdini, cinema, modo (which lacks a few features.. yet), animation master and more

    dont get me wrong, i like blender, i especially like its cross plattform effort (infact i use blender on all platforms it is available, and i would like to see it on more - amiga os4 please ;) ) - but blender is not on a point, where developers should lean back and say, hey look, we only have one competitor, so just copy them and everythings fine

  24. This is very,very serious and it will effect blender in days to come.I predicted this move 3 years ago and was laugh
    at and crit and now you all are notice it now.Ton have to make a decision now whether sell blender or make a stand and fight to keep it free for the blender community.Now the blender institution have to create a new constitution were it will grant free use in private and commercial license."We as commonwealth share holder"
    The Mayans empire is growing and coming and we all will be under their supremacy rule.

    I will not be a slave,I rather die fighting!>>>>>>>>>>>>WAR!

    This will make a good video game some day.

  25. @tidbit: Autodesk vs. who ??? Who is Blender in the CG-Industry?? :-))
    Blender never will have one of the first positions of cg-products (the reasons you can read above)!
    Right now nobody in CGFX is working or will work with it!
    Give to everybody of the Blender-Team € 10 Mio and they will leave!! That's it!!
    But this is for our world-community a bad thing! (the minds of all humans involve bad things naturally!)
    I think the future-war is Autodesk vs. Adobe! And Autodesk will loose (1.7 Mrd against 5.4!!).

  26. I remember the same kind of complaints when Autodesk bought Maya, and Maya was not ruined. In fact in the final two years or so Alias had been slipping in their ability to provide competent customer support and each Maya update was causing an uproar within the Maya communities when it came to how sparse the new features lists where. In the end Maya has not died, it isn't perfected but what truly is? For every complaint with Maya I can find an equal complaint with another 3D package. As for XSI I haven't used it in a long time and am not familiar with the new ICE feature, but I will hold off on any woes and wait and see what actually happens.

  27. i don´t think that blender can be sold like maya and xsi. because there are a lot of peaple who spend a lot of time and work in blender. that a bit different then maya or xsi. that wasn´s a open source project!

    i hope this day would never come. i love blender and 2.5 will be a big step. autodesk is for me another ******* microsoft. i loved maya and xsi to, but no more :)

    and if blender will be sold that means out for me wird 3D :D

  28. A better comparison would be AutoDesk/Blender to Microsoft/Apache.
    Apache supplies needs and develops at a quicker pace than Microsoft's servers, but it will always be an open-source project. Blender can takes risks in its development--Verse, anyone?--that Autodesk cannot.
    I don't see Blender taking over an established field, but instead becoming the new software platform for emerging technologies. For example, who is going to be writing the 3d software for spray-on self-organizing-matrix OLEDs? Not Autodesk.

  29. Very unfortunate. As someone said it is competition pushes innovation. Which I think is good for everyone including Blender

  30. Someone should make a Softimage XSI to Blender guide to help the transition. Like the Lightwave one.

    I would do it if I knew Softimage XSI better, but I have only used it twice.

    --
    Kevin

  31. RNS "Ton have to make a decision now whether sell blender or make a stand and fight to keep it free for the blender community" Get over it. Blender is GPL. xD

  32. " Give to everybody of the Blender-Team € 10 Mio and they will leave!! That's it!! "

    There may be some point I am missing... Blender is totally open source, so, while the injury would be **huge** to loose just any of the core developers(and the non core) , let alone all at a time, (that's too many millions ;) , a piece of gold like XSI was purchased by just 35 ) ...but...unless I understood it badly all these years, the warranties open source gives, anyone of the HUGE mountain (its main strength) of Blender followers, lovers, however called, will replace the persons. Painfully, and most of all full of sorrow (yet I'd be happy knowing Ton or the others got great cash!! heck, good for them...) yep, but there are waay more people than millions of dollars, and lately is more the case... You can dry em in millions, indeed, as a technique fo killing the giant...there's neverending quantity of blenderheads, I can confirm that, lol (all this last matter is in joke tone, but definitely nothing to fear...)

    If I stay with Blender,(for personal projects, uncapable to convince my old game bosses to use anything than Max or the other two) while having had extensive experience with several commercial tools , is, as I see, the main advantage of Blender...is the long life and endurance. Sort of the Linux concept. But it is proven more and more, that this was not an unpractical point of view...And I was quite more skeptical long time ago...But getting convinced by pure facts. Specially on how much more one has to migrate between comercial ones UIs, etc, as companies die easily, products get abandoned by just the company in favour of others (and code is closed, so, no way, even with large users bases)

    I agree on some recent points. I strongly doubt a mass of XSI artists will jump into Blender wagon for their professional work. Apart from having their jobs demanding only maya or XSI (and capability to handle custom tools, in my field of games I know how true is this, in movies, I've been told) , there are still several features and workflows they will not be wishing to loose...

    But main reason is they eat everyday. Same reason why I at least try to keep up to date with Max...(companies at my country bet a lot for Max, and when not games, the architecture ones... I don't mind working at all that, or web design, is food on the plate... )

    well, about not being related to Blender...Is 3D, and imo is not good to stay totally disconnected to what happens in the rest of the world, plus is a pleasure to check the stability , solid status of Blender, instead...

  33. I don't think XSI will be "merged" into Maya/3DSMax. What I DO expect, however, is the development of XSI will slow down. Competition is a strong motor to drive development. XSI was competing with Autodesk Maya/3DSmax. Now all three applications are under the same wing (or must I say - strong arm) there is no reason to compete any longer, ergo - the "drive" to develop is suddenly gone. This will undoubtedly have consequences in the long term.

    Blender is at this moment not a real threat to Maya/XSI/3DSmax, but Blender has still one very strong point. Blender will be developing at the speed we see now, and undoubtedly (in my vision) will grow stronger and stronger (at a faster speed than Maya/XSI/3DSmax) - to some point in the future it WILL be a real competitor to the named applications.

    I am not afraid Blender wil taken over by Autodesk, simply because the full source code is freely available. The moment Autodesk would (try to) take over, the community will simply fork the code and keep developing this code. There is nothing Autodesk could do against that..

    Also I am not afraid of IP threats. The Blender foundation is (as far as I know) based in the Netherlands. This is a part of Europe and software patents (the IP people talking about) are simply not forcible here.

    Just my 2 cents...

  34. "People ask themselves if they should continue investing in (learning) Softimage and they wonder if a move to Blender can be worth their while. With the upcoming 2.50 redesign they might just stick. Thank you, Autodesk!"

    Hahahahahaha! :)

  35. If I was Autodesk and owned 3 competing products, there is no way that I would support all three. First thing I'd do is to spend some time working out which one is giving the lowest returns, then drop it. Bad luck if you happen to be a user. I've been on the receiving end of a similar situation in the past.

    Very good news for products that are not susceptible to this sort of thing, like Blender !

  36. This isn't really healthy for the 3D graphics software market. Prices could be inflated artificially (if they are the only supplier in town, you have to buy from them, kinda like OPEC). Also, innovation will suffer. Why have 3 products doing the same thing? I'm guessing softimage will go the way of FoxPro (Foxsoft) when Microsoft bought them (first version after acquisition had serious bugs, they later got fixed, but FoxPro basically got killed off), or Linksys after it got acquired by Cisco (Linksys still has some pretty good stuff, but support isn't quite there, and if you want to do slightly more than 'home network' they immediately try to push a big Cisco router at you (costing thousands). I have Blender and its GPL so (like Linux) it can't be 'bought out' unless every last contributer agrees to the license change (in the case of the Linux kernel there were more than 20,000 past and current contributers/developers the last time someone made an offer, and they couldn't all be swayed). I have a fear that commercial innovation will slow down though (microsoft didn't update IE for literally more than 10 years until Firefox 2 came along, then they had to re-assemble a team and once again compete). Its just all speculation of the future based on the past, but its a set of reasonable guesses.
    Bob

  37. @tidbit, RNS and others who "*pray to god Blender never gets sold.*"

    It is impossible to sell blender because it is on GPL license.

    This licence clearly implies that once a piece of software is released as free software, its source cannot be closed again.

    If the Blender Foundation became a commercial enterprise tomorrow, it would still have to let everyone use, compile, customize... Blender freely, at least the parts that exist today.

    So Blender is virtually impossible to "sell". This is precisely what makes free software special.

    For more information, you can read the file "GPL-licence.txt" in the installation archive.

  38. I think this acquisition is bad news for 3D file interchange, and for COLLADA interchange format in particular: XSI was a good COLLADA supporter.

    >>the thought of FBX becoming the .DOC of 3D worries me
    There is all reason to worry, because FBX IS already the .proprietary DOC of 3D for too many.

    COLLADA, the open free alternative and .ODF of 3D, needs more support then ever.

  39. They can't buy Blender. If they did, with goat blood and magic spells, someone else said it before, we'll fork the development. Considering how many other people they'd be able to buy faster before hand, they'd be fighting the small dogs, and not interested in developing fast, so the free side of the fork would probably progress faster and make them look like chumps.

    But seriously, ICE was good stuff. I hope they don't completely screw it up.

  40. I get the feeling that not too many people know what they're talking about on this topic seeing as XSI is $295.00 with a student discount, and... let's face it... Blender users are cheapskates.

  41. I knew i wasn't the only one who wanted to see an Ice system implemented into Blender. Anything that takes some of the coding out of developing complex system gets a thumbs up from me.

    A Node system would be amazing, but i'd be perfectly fine with an After Effects' style "pickwhip" system. Click and drag parameters into an expression, etc.

    Making Blender easier/quicker to develop and design in can only help to gain ground in the professional market.

  42. "I will not be a slave,I rather die fighting!>>>>>>>>>>>>WAR!"

    Good thing we already have weapons, first show your friends VLC media player ("yes it does reproduce anything you throw at it"), then OpenOffice.org ("It's like Word, but it never crashes"), next thing you know, they are asking for help to install Ubuntu ("yep it is easier to use than windows, and you can make it look better than vista").

    What this news tell us is that, since Autodesk is the new monopoly, the next blender project shouldn't be a movie, it should be format compatibility (I've gotten around 100 people to switch from Micro$oft Office to OpenOffice.org just because it can open *.doc files).

  43. Microsoft Windows does not cost like 3d Studio Max or Maya ? Microsoft is not so bad!
    Think you pay 300-400 euro for Photoshop , 100 euro for Microsoft Windows but for 3d Studio...3000 euro is kinda not so nice.

    If Autodesk continue this strategy will end abruptly, maybe they buy all the development studios to make a new suite ?! With more expensive PRICE.

  44. Sorry for the double and off topic post, i had not read this comment:

    "I get the feeling that not too many people know what they're talking about on this topic seeing as XSI is $295.00 with a student discount, and… let's face it… Blender users are cheapskates."

    For some of us it is an ethics issue, we believe in a free world beyond software. And we will collaborate with our hands and minds, donate money, teach and spread the word.

    And you seem to forget that many people live with less than 1 dollar a day, are we gonna deny them the tools to improve themselves and get ahead in life?

  45. For anyone saying that they "destroyed" 3DS Max or Maya, I would heartily disagree. They didn't destroy either app, they just stopped improving them. Next to Blender, Softimage had the fastest development and most innovation in the industry (and the most immature advertising but that's another matter). Now that they're under the Autodesk umbrella, their innovation will pretty much cease. There have just been minimal ui changes and a few odd (and small) features added here and there to existing feature sets. Like all of the other property that Autodesk has purchased, it will simply stagnate; but it will not immediately become worthless. Afterall, it's already a good app as it sits today, and for most studios out there it, like Maya, may still be "good enough."

    That said, don't expect this huge exodus to Blender from former SoftImage users. They spent a great deal of money for that software, and it didn't become unusable overnight. They will simply continue to use said software until someone else offers something that SoftImage, Maya or Bax simply do not offer.

    So how much do you want to see this little exodus? There is something that you can do, even if you can't code. Donate to the blender foundation. Given enough donations, this may enable Ton to hire more developers to work on Blender full time, create more open movies to push development with, and push "must have" features through the pipeline.

    The single most important feature that Blender needs, that could eventually take away any edge that Autodesk's products have, is to create a very thorough plugin API; perferably one that won't break when new versions of Blender are released. From talking to fellow artists at Siggraph the last two years, that was the one thing keeping them away from Blender. They just had too much invested in not only their existing software, but in third party plugins that added features they couldn't live without. Of course, the market for Blender plugins has to be there, but this will seriously propel interest. Especially if existing Maya plugins could be adapted for blender with little effort, though I don't know how that would be possible.

    That feature may be useless to most of you, but believe me, the industry would take blender a great deal more seriously if it was there. This falls under the category of "know your users." Does Blender really want to target the mainstream 3D market? If not then keep doing what you're doing; because it's darn near perfect for hobbyists, freelancers, and studios who haven't already invested in mainstream products.

    If you think you don't get anything out of more people using Blender, then think about this: The more people use it, the more potential money there is to support development. And as for the plugin API, wouldn't you like to have stuff like Vue6 integration? How about working with CityGen from right in Blender? Blender will probably never have every imaginable feature out there, especially features as complex as those. (blender has surprised me in the past but we'll see)

    As a former Maya user, I personally want this, but what does everyone else want?

  46. Actually, thats ****REALLY**** Bad news, and here´s why:

    Blender grows bigger and bigger, and is more feature filled than ever.
    Those of you who say it isn´t being used in studios for feature films
    have to get a reality check and get over your personal fanboyism of
    being "industry professionals", I too work in the industry - and have
    used Blender professionally there for many years now.

    The REAL problem that may arise (and WILL arise, rest assured) is
    when AutoDesk have bought up the majority of their competition so
    there are few companies back to support and back up Blender in
    copyright cases that will arise sooner or later.

    Example:

    If there was 6 or more major competitors out there, and say...
    Autodesk wanted to "sue" Blender for "insert-feature-here"
    that is used in one in their applications, patented methods
    etc. (which they CAN patent if WE don´t do it...the first to the mill..)
    then one or more of these companies would sort of "support"
    Blender because "THEY TOO" could be within the firing range
    of Autodesk for "insert-feature-here".

    Now the ultimate nightmare scenario is getting closer and closer
    because Blender is getting so big that it´s a REAL threath to their
    customer base as so many won´t purchase their software anymore
    (10-20 percent less user base equals MILLIONS of dollars)
    and you can bet your little bunny tails on that their lawyers and
    experts are working around the clock, studying code and patents
    getting ready for the "big-wipeout".

    Remember SCO vs LINUX? Even though Blender has many
    faithful users and followers - they´re nowhere near the
    number of Linux users (servers etc.) so we won´t have
    the same protection against the "big bullies" when they
    come raining down on us.

    I Love Blender - excactly because of the community and
    the community effort, it gave me better support when I
    was working with my clients than Autodesk ever did, and
    one of my worst nightmares involves seeing Blenders ideals
    die due to lack of funding for the lawyers, and anti-lawsuit
    & claims that will some day (god forbid) come our way.

    Sure - we´ve done nothing wrong, I´m pretty sure all code
    is original, but we DO have coders from within some of
    those companies that already do work for the "competition"
    even though it´s done in their "spare time" as a "hobby effort"
    it´s still enough to claim likeness to the code contributed
    etc...

    What I want to say with this long text...is that we need to
    prepare for the worst. We need to form a serious
    defense plan just in case this should happen. Relying
    on GPL alone won´t cut it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this besides "don´t worry"?

  47. Again , about selling blender, read on http://www.blender.org the story of blender, it can not be sold why ?

    The people around the world pay`d the source of blender and bought the blender base and even the name Blender is a Public Domain , you can`t sell the thing bought by a majority of people around the world.

    So no worry about Blender getting down due Autodesk , Ton made blender to version 2.48a with long run and help from developers around the world not alone , Blender is more profitable GPL than an app sold cause it has a big user base and get interest in the University around the world and if the Foundation will continue to make good movies and other technical demonstrations in years to come we will see more and more media made with Blender.

    The only software I don`t see to be bought by Autodesk is Houdini and Renderman/Pixar but others ....... that`s bad

  48. Well, as the saying goes, "if you can't beat them, Join them" (and if you can't join them, buy them out :P )

    oh yeah, and another comment on a comment :

    "Professional production companies dont use Blender because the professional support base DOESNT EXIST fullstop. It is a mish mash of users contributing to software support but no direct line of contact to the Blender creators themselves unlike what Maya, 3DS and XSI have. That's where a large portion of the licensing money goes. User support is no.1 in these companies, it outranks software development 10000:1 in terms of their priorities."

    There's the Blender Professional stuff, but yeah, besides that... its a mish mash...
    who wants to re-work that documentation? :D

  49. JoOngle - I agree what you had written and some of those sleeper whom rather join autodesk big move don't understand the level stability of the GPL
    license ,we need to prepare for the worst to come. Let cut the bull @#!%%$^and start shooting.

  50. @JoOngle

    "Remember SCO vs LINUX? Even though Blender has many
    faithful users and followers - they´re nowhere near the
    number of Linux users (servers etc.) so we won´t have
    the same protection against the "big bullies" when they
    come raining down on us."

    "Anyone have any thoughts on this besides 'don´t worry'?"

    I think you're wrong about protection. The Free Software Foundation has an equally large and skilled band of lawyers that work around the clock to completely nullify these bullies complaints. They work on a case by case basis and are willing to help any OSS program that is being bullied. There is a large shift - especially in Europe, where everyone is realising that these software patents are stifling innovation.

    You should see what Microsoft is doing - they're attacking Linux (and OSS in general) and failing, damaging their reputation in the process and completely validating the idea that the Open Source alternative is really a true competitor - with very strong reasons to use their truly free product.

    Autodesk may try the same stunt as Microsoft - but in the end, as with Microsoft, it only damages them more and validates the OSS program as a better choice.

    So yeah, as for 'protection' - there is plenty of it. "No need to worry." =D

  51. Not to be insulting, but here is some perspective:

    People die of AIDS all over the world, while the ability to help them exists.
    Millions starve while we throw away cubic yards of food.
    9 out of 10 babies with down's syndrome are aborted, next step: genetic cleansing for all.

    But yes, Autodesk is evil.

    I always find my self struggling with getting the proper perspective, but perhaps you have got the hang of it better, in that case just laugh at the world we live in. :)

  52. None of this is important, in the longer term. When stuff like this happens with apps people depend on, it only makes open source more attractive. No one can ever take it away from you, it's free, and in the case of Blender magnificently supported.

  53. Jo0ngle, the patent threat isn't quite as scary as it might seem. Work that has already been published in academic papers is not patentable (researchers of patent-worthy stuff are best advised to patent before publishing). Patent seekers have to at least have a reasonable claim to having invented the thing they want to patent, it's not simply a race. Most of Blender's innovations come from published sources such as Siggraph papers. Autodesk can't simply run off and patent everything that comes out of Siggraph.

    Here's another thing to set your mind at rest. Nobody has every seriously tried to crush an open source project with any success. Certainly if it could be done, Microsoft would have liked to do it with Linux (or FreeBSD, the basis of Mac OS X) or Firefox, the main competitor to IE. If Microsoft never felt it was realistic to smash Linux, I'm sure Autodesk will never even dream of trying to smash Blender. And if you think about how incredibly difficult it would be to even attempt to stop a large, international open source project, you can imagine that their resources might not be well spent trying to do that.

    The issue of file exchange is much more of a concern, IMO.

    Overall I agree with Lee Latham, this kind of change and uncertainty makes people nervous, and it is one of the reasons why Open Source feels more stable and comfortable. Will Autodesk decide to put one of the big 3 out of its misery? Who knows. But I don't think Blender needs to worry.

  54. Wow. As son as they try to buy Cinema4D and Softimage as well I'll migrate to Blender completely. X__X
    That's insane. Hw much more 3D Apps do they need to sell????

  55. I'm not worried. Blender can't be bought out and a bigger monopoly by AutoDesk will mean more Blender users and developers. It's only a matter of time before some young kid, who grew up with a free version of Blender, makes a hit-movie or computer game with it and earns a lot of bucks. I'll bet you a fortune that that will start the train rolling on the fast track since losts of professional users will then consider switching.

  56. Blender forever! now I have two monopolies to hate (adobe and autodesk), Blender used to shine as a gem in my eyes, now it shines even more! it's like a Sun! Go Blender! it is the future! And I think that Blender already has huge fan club that would go crazy mad with anyone who would try to hit it and make fall, even Blender idea as one thing makes you wanna support it and fight for it.

    Blender forever!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, the situation with XSI made me a bit sad but then blender received better colors in my eyes than ever before, blender seemed to be so good, now it is the only one that is good and best choise!

  57. I was actually not surprised by this. Once I heard they bought out Discreet and Alias I knew other software was on it's way. They also have Mudbox, which is their attempt to pull in the 3D sculpting world. I wouldn't be surprised (though disgusted) if they purchased Pixologic next.

    I wouldn't call Autodesk a monopoly. Their are still other options out there. Blender, Carrara, Cinema 4D, Bryce .... only the fact that none of them are touted around as "industry standard". Blender could easily do things that I see in games, print and television. The only drawback (to the industry) would be the GUI. Not being standard makes it harder for people to toss it in the pipeline.

    Yeah, it does sadden me to see yet another software being gobbled up by the money monster. When Adobe bought out Macromedia I was extremely disappointed. But this is called business - and people buy and sell all the time. I guess we got to realize nothing is set in stone.

  58. well! I see a dark future for proprietary software! I see a rising of several big monopolies. Who uses proprietary software maybe will pay a fortune to work. Some samples are: ADOBE, MICROSOFT, and now AUTODESK. It's a very dark future, without competitions. Well, I hope a fast evolution of other opensource projects, like Gimp and Inkscape to be matures applications like Blender.

  59. For one, I'm not surprised. Avid is starting to go the way of SGI--an overpriced monolith from a day gone by that probably won't make it another ten years, at this rate. Unless the core of their business, their non-linear editing systems, become price competitive with Final Cut Pro, they're just flat out not going to survive. Interestingly, SGI used to own Maya (via Alias), and Autodesk obviously ended up with them too.

    That's the key phrase we have to understand here. In the case of both Maya and XSI here, Autodesk has not taken out strong competitors with strong balance sheets like Microsoft. Instead, at least in these two instances, they have swooped in like vultures, buying up software from competitors teetering on insolvency.

    I use both Blender and Maya, and one thing I have to say is that I'm not sure that I miss SGI/Alias over Autodesk at all. Autodesk's official learning books are substantially better. What Alias would drag out into eight high-priced, but fairly hard to follow books riddled with errors (which my instructor would end up pointing out and correcting for us), Autodesk has consolidated into three equally-priced and highly detailed, full color texts. Plus, if you follow Maya's pricing structure, you'll notice that the price has taken a well-deserved drop. Maya Unlimited now costs half of what it did under Alias only a few years ago.

    I'm not sure about XSI's future, frankly, since I'm not sure where its market niche is in the professional world, but Maya likely isn't going away anytime soon under Autodesk. It is still the standard for Hollywood 3D work, and they're not likely going to be foolish enough to squander that kind of market away.

    Blender, as an aside, is a real game changer, and I'm still very impressed at how far it has come in such a short amount of time. It is definitely emerging as a worthy competitor in the professional world.

  60. Softimage won´t change anything, they will keep it as it is, and many companyes relies on it.
    have used softimage myself, the old Softimage 3D 3.7, and i haven´t seen nothing so advances in characted animation, blender is very close to have what softimage had in 1997, but blender constraints works FAST, that´s what I LOVER about it.
    Blender is far from being complete, but is much more ambicious because of the comunity, the benevolent (and effective) dictator which is focused in the project goals, and the flexibility to work with python to try new features that may be added later, these things give for granted the blender growth in the future and its independence, but professionals already exists, and works with certain toos, why change?

    FBX will be THE file format to have interoperativity, so the blender pro can work with other studios.

    Marquitux from argentina
    (a former 3D Max, Softimage 3D user)

  61. 35 million is not a lot of money. to me it sounds like xsi was tanking and the was a serious danger of it dying out, considering microsoft sold it off to avid for over 200 million. Autodesk dominance truely lies in the cad sector as long as they have a cashcow like Autocad around the will have enough in the war chest to swoop in and buy out companies in the 3d sector.

  62. Woah. Autodesk is out of control. Alias, Skymatter, and now Softimage? The image of Autodesk as a vulture seems to be increasingly true, and it's a scary image indeed.

    Will Autodesk monopolize or even consolidate a large part of the 3D industry? And which company will they set their sights on next?

  63. JoOngle, I don't agree, sorry...

    Patents in Europe are not like in USA. And being so much of th ebase of the thing related to Europe (and whatever needed could be moved there...)

    Besides, if that dark vision on software (I agree with some poster, there are much more terrible problems in the world..) were true, then the absolute Mordor Reign of Adobe would have eliminated Gimp of earth surface when aquired by 3.5 Billion (not the 35million for xsi) macromedia...well...a mater of mine went to a recent show of the new cs4 presentation, saw Flash..he knows quite the stuff, like most designer we need to, and was specially amazed on the improves of teh old Macromedia product, way way more than Adobe CS4.

    Consider as well, when people speak about no progress the huge amount of features and power in packages like Maya (and Max, tho most ppl don't see it...) , is easier to detect big jumps in tools that don't have that large feature set already there...

    nah, no trembling of the blender floor, imo. More a good thing than any other. ppl see from outside the stability and strength of this project, compared to comercial stuff..and by far, not only happening with Blender. And am deinitely an open source fanboy, while I say this. Cold observer, that's all.

    BTW, maybe in movies..I recon I am not in big contact (more than a pair for friends, one working at TV production, other for 3d film, but not "hollywood"...Both comapnies use Max, btw...and only Max. ) with that industry. But *a lot* with games one, having some ppl working right now and since some years in consol titles. Some great friends. And I can asure you, in games there's not even the shadow of aiming towards Blender for any reason. I am not saying Blender is bad, simply, to convince them you need years, and I'd say is not easy to climb that hill: you need to replace the mountain of mel scripts, or max complex plugin, script combos, bridges in c++ direct to the engines.... Imo it is not competing with the big houses in anyway there. Of course it is in video, flim, ads, Tv, I am happy it is doing there.

    But I see no sort of danger for Blender, by that reason, sky would have fallen so many times with many previous bigger things...Imo, for example, when Autodesk purchased Maya. It was the big competitor, indeed. But I am hearing too many more angry maxers for lack of updates, than angry Maya people...

    Imo the hobbyst totaly tired of seing their comercial tool of choice more and more static in technology, would definitely end up moving to Blender (if they can skip the UI diferences prob)

    Anyway, imo is quite quite hard to guess what'll happen from now on... But Ithink more important thingshad happened in 3D field and there was not so much excitation around...

  64. "" I get the feeling that not too many people know what they're talking about on this topic seeing as XSI is $295.00 with a student discount, and… let's face it… Blender users are cheapskates. ""

    No...I purchased long ago XSI Foundation 4... Extremely nice bunch of docs, videos, lots of learning stuff, a book (quite basic) , and the linux dvd install... All packaged with lots of care, a luzury thing for a bargain price, imo. Just I did not have hair (one of the reasons I went back to Blender) rendering.

    Besides I purchased several softwares... all specialized task tools, being XSI the exception. I DID make a direct question to Softimage for the *.x export inside, and they INMEDIATELY, lighting speed response,(and embarrased to admit they disturbed someone else to help me ;) ) (clearly somebody with quite technical knowledge) solved my doubt entirely (and I provided some feedback that maybe was as well useful, I helped as "power user" with several x exports for not only blender) , I noticed they really wanted to help. To such a huge company, with the loads of nobodies like me asking, just indy pros or hobbyst out there that might have made questions by loads in the very first times of Foundation 4 launch at those ~500$ , the level of attention and personal uber kind treatment left me with *no words* ... Thanks to that I learnt the tiny tips (but crucial, a bit different than the usual x export issues in Max, Blender, cfx, etc) I was leaving out for good x export in those times, from that app. Simply, they sent me several replies till thing was ironed totally, and didn't want to stop it till be very sure it was solved!!! .Man.

    Heck, I can tell the amount of mails I sent for license issues, and other matters(rarely technical) to other companies, other tools, and no sort of response... Another nice exception here I must say was Zbrush (also have it) customer attention, and very specially that humble, small, but total jewell that have been in the early years (and yet now) Ultimate Unwrap.. One only man, but extremely kind.

    So, nope, we're not all againts buying some software, and some did use extensively these tools...

    For XSI users (I did learnt the general use of XSI, but have quite a warmer feeling with Blender...is sth strange... so went back to it. ) would not worry a single bit, if it is true that the staff has been simply moved to Autodesk, that are same people... If that's so,only they'd may fear is chair decissions, big bosses at Autodesk, but they're not as silly as to stop making big bucks of selling XSI licenses for many stablished studios and years long workflows...heck, what was that.. Dominant market in Japan? and ... Lastest metal gear solid, and half Life 2... and surely a large number of porjects running secret or publicly said, that move and generate loads of money...

    in the longer shot...yep..maybe danger for them there...
    For Blender...I have a hard time to see any prob related with this for Blender... :?

  65. Autodesk is following the steps of Adobe...

    3d production today is much more professional and restricted than 10, 15 years ago. So, there's no more room for a high number of 3d software companies in the market. This is a fact. A 3d package demands high costs of development and support; there are very good open-source free options, like Blender; and, of course, there's the question of piracy, too.

    Is it bad for the professional customer? I don't think so. Consolidation will stop the software development? No, it all depends on customer demands.

  66. I saw some on the forums post a pic saying Sony would buy Blender? That is so dumb, I don't think Ton would sell out to anyone. If he did majority of the community would turn on him.

    Anyways I like blender over the rest because of the work flow.

  67. Akhenathon, I agree with that...

    I myself if gotta hunt for 3d job again, would LOVE it only be one software for all companies.I freaking don't mind if is XSI , Maya or Max..but one, and concentrate on it for would be demanded at any place...(if it's Max I'd get the advantage, but wouldn't mind other to get predominant and learn the differences... )

  68. @Oin

    "And I can asure you, in games there's not even the shadow of aiming towards Blender for any reason."

    I have to disagree with that. I have a close friend working in a game development company and he is using Blender for their work. In fact, he has stated that it is far quicker and more efficient in getting the job done than the clunky interface on Max and Maya - once you know how to use it.

    I agree though, that for companies that have invested heavily in creating custom scripts and hooks for specific proprietary software would find it 'laborious' to switch. But then, I would consider it a bad business decision to build my business around another businesses software - because then you depend on them. At least with Blender you know its not going to die, go away or cost you an arm and a leg. On the contrary, its going to constantly improve - for free.

    For anyone getting into the industry - this is something they have to seriously weigh up. Companies come and go, but as long as humans and computers exist, Blender will improve. It is also something for larger, more established companies to consider in this economically unstable environment - cost cutting is becoming increasingly important. Blender would save literally millions on license fees per year for larger companies (note: there are costs for training and commercial support - if needed - but this is something needed for even proprietary software)

    Now, if only we can get some really good commercial support for Blender! This is the last step for a lot of big-wigs to be able to take the plunge with confidence.

  69. "I have to disagree with that. I have a close friend working in a game development company and he is using Blender for their work. In fact, he has stated that it is far quicker and more efficient in getting the job done than the clunky interface on Max and Maya - once you know how to use it."

    I know the use of both (not so much of Maya) , but i was referring to it as general statistic. I also know some very few cases of somebody using Blender for a shareware game (heck,me.. ) , or for a no AAA games, taht still make decent bucks. But was speaking as general move, as something actually happeningor having at least a 20% of the big companies in games using it. Is not that. I have one friend in a ps 3 title, and certainly is not even possible to imagine that they'd move from maya to anything else. Neither Max or XSI. They need loads of team work and they have years and years of mel scripting doing functionality of every complex super freak thing one could imagine. And nope, you can't port all that to other package. You can *always* but would need a crazy amount of very qualified ppl dedicated to that years... And if sth happens with games, is are every time more demanding, developments of 5 years and more, very hard tomaintain the investment so long ,as a game is not making money in the way like other business...

    Same way, other companies withother kind of games and workflows, like the old Blizzard, or others, do depend a real lot on Max. But if you look closely, since years, in job offers, they do ask "Max, Maya or equivalent" : several reasons for this: They already have a bunch of seats of each, for needs arised in stage whatever of the game...and even for simply using some aces of A or B package... Other reason is that is a matter of fact that once you learn deeply a tool (experienced and seen many ppl doing it too) , is not such a problem to get to speed to a new package. What companies aim at is tools witha rich feature set and very solid workflow. And of course, industry-proved. AAA games have been done, largely with all those 3! even with Lightwave (Serious Sam comes to mind, but several others). That last part is really mor eimportant than many people from Blender think, I have been in several game staffs, and none could be convinced, trust me, not only about Blender but any free software. They did let me use my tools as saw the result, but I could not avoid needing provide them with final Max or Maya file. I just handled the conversions with no hassles.

    So, yep, I think is not going to reach easily that exact world. Or it will, but it willnot be fast, and now is quite far from that part. Trust me , I don't say this happily.

    About them building their business around busines of closed source comercial packages, with riskof those getting bankrupcy etc...it rarely happens (is more aquirements, like now . Adobe only trashed Freehand afte rth epurchase, but the populear way...slooowly... they dont wanna be too unpopular all of a sudden. Now you mainly here bout Illustrator and Indesign, in print design (my field now) .Not casual, imo... ) If Maya would fall now, yep, would be TERRIBLE for more than one ps3 title, as far as I now certain internals... But they risk waaay more in many other matters that are not much well known.... There are several other kind of game companies that work hybridly, ie, doom3 latest news I had is was used at least Lightwave, and Maya... And surely also Max... Several of those companies would bea ble to move assets to other package, what would totally kill them is, for example, moving to a package that did not have A or B feature (required for AAA games) , not so much prob if the artist gotta recycle, and put to speed in a a month, and get the warm feel of it in some months. Not more as 3D is 3D, *always* , everywhere. Trust on what has "the excelency of the industry" is absolutely key for the game sector I know. The money handled is way way bigger in other matter than in the actual licenses purchases of the softwares...

  70. I'm wondering if Nvidia/Mental Images (Mental Ray) was a part of the picture...as Max, Maya and XSi all ship with MR as the GI/high quality renderer. The other big ones (Modo, C4D, LW) don't. Now that Autodesk is the only way to get MR as a pre-installed renderer, I wonder how it will affect things.

  71. Not sure this is legal under european law.

    Some companies have been told to split up because of becoming monopolists, I wonder who will take the trip to Brussels? Anybody in Brussels already called their congressman?

    If Autodesk is no longer allowed to sell products in Europe because of this then horray there is blender.

  72. We all share this feeling that total monopoly is never good and "alternatives" need to be kept alive.
    So here are a couple of ideas I wanted to share and suggest for Blender to stay in the harsh battle of 3D apps :
    There are still some fields to push in the 3d app development where 3dsmax and Maya are not perfect :

    - HLSL / GLSL / Cg integration : (well, not HLSL as Blender is on OpenGL only but we never know...)

    Nvidia seems to be pushing on that front with OpenGL and Collada's CgFX, bringing everything together with a very complete FXcomposer and Mental Image tools , ATI's ASHLI is odd but Rendermonkey is quite stable and simple with cool UI, 3dsmax is still kind of slow at rendering these shaders and you might need Lumonix shaderFX plugin for tech artists, etc...

    In other words : it's not quite yet very consistent, plus Microsoft has stopped supporting their "Content Creation Tools" in DirectX SDK : they only maintain the Photoshop DDS exporter. (lame as they kind of over dominate already with DirectX as well : so they could at least make a little bit more efforts...)

    - Facial animation capture through direct video tracking :

    This might sound very specific, however convincing characters are the cornerstone of 3d anims (games and movies) and motion capture pipelines are critical for production speed : we've seen some extremely powerful results with Contour Reality or Image Metrics (the "Emily Demo", which is kind of half faked by the way : it's only the face remapped onto a real actor footage and camera doesn't move around...) : all this is just about great "After-Effect-like" pixel tracking expertize by the way.

    I tried to reproduce this kind of stuff at home with something called Eyesweb : this Italian research program is impressive to play at catching any video stream and transforming it into any sort of output especially sound : I tried to get a MIDI signal through MIDI-OX to control animation in Max's MIDI controller (which is dating back to Kinetix by the way and hasn't seen any improvement since but could be very powerful though if they actually wanted to put more effort into it)

    MIDI is the kind of stuff used by DJ's only anyway : so it has always stayed in the shadow and quite ignored by the 3d world.

    However, I believe anyone could animate an "Emily demo" with only a webcam and some better tools though : and it could unlock an inimaginable amount of creativity.

    The only last standing licensed product is probably Houdini now.

    XSI's complete suite used to be $90k if I'm not wrong , so maybe the best that could happen to Blender would be Autodesk increasing its price to get returns out of their investments : a lot of indie developers could then investigate even more and more what cheaper solutions are available out there...

    Cheers
    Seb.

  73. After the history of Autodesk as far as keeping their product without reselling and after keeping updates on products, I think that it will do well for the people using softimage possibley even better However there is one thing about their product mergers that I have noticed especially with Maya is that the community sites that existed were altered then abolished so if you really like what softimage has created as far as a website it will get smashed or just only available to a select few who pay extra for it. The Maya site went from having all this free help tutorials and scripts and etc. to having to pay for some of it then having to pay to access it to not existing without platinum membership. Anyway it will probably be a good thing because the company was losing the fight for sales and income. So this will be a way to keep it going. Just make sure autodesk doesnt buy Blender and I'll keep my sanity.

  74. darkcgi wrote:
    > Just make sure autodesk doesnt buy Blender and I'll keep my sanity.

    How about an Autodesk Blender fork and distro? ;)

  75. Quote:
    "Whats next, Zbrush? =,="

    Autodesk already bought a similar package; Mudbox:
    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=10707763&siteID=123112

    If you check the products (and companies) that Autodesk has "acquired", you can easily understand how desperate they are to get rid of any competence:(CAD, Video, F/X, 3d, fields)
    List of products in alphabetical order:
    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=8909451&siteID=123112

    oh boy!, am I glad Blender is "non-purchasable".

    Poor XSI users will have to get used to paying for every breath they take, or get a sucky yearly subscription plan to keep getting the same software fried and re-fried over and over again..... living hell!

  76. *hello
    *my opinion is that:blender foundation should start thinking about teaching blender-development as a discipline and sow the development's seed in every blender user so that one day there will be millions of blender distros (like linux) that will make all monopoly mongers go at a loss...

  77. Well, on CGTalk, the "winner" was Houdini judging by interest showed by members. Not too much for Blender. Because it still have a difficult user interface and hard to model. And internal render engine is not suitable for that kind of animations made in small studios without render farms.

    I hope 2.5x will make the difference. With a good interface and render API. The speed of render engine and easy to use and model remain the main "keys" in evaluating/adopting a product. The target are the big companies? Well, inside them are artists (human factor?).

  78. Blender users, you suck! what the fuck is wrong with you? Blender is the worst 3d app out there, everyone nows this, and the only reason it has some popularity is because its free! but it sucks nonetheless!!!!

    begin using maya/3ds/softimage instead of this crappy blender shit!!!
    u assholes!

  79. Jake and Snakes on

    Yep, capitalism sure is bad. Darn that Autodesk for making any kind of move that will benefit them. Now I won't be able to do ART anymore :( .

  80. Softimage XSI showed real competition for 3Ds Max in the Game industry, as I know games like Assassins Creed, Project Gotham 4 were utilizing XSI, and you could see how those games looks fantastic no doubt Autodesk thought Max is slipping slowly if they let XSI move right along, after all this is Autodesk it's world biggest CGI solution supplier noway it's gonna let XSI get over MAX.
    Guys let's be realistic I like Blender but I guess for big projects that require VFX the big names comes first, Blender sure powerful but too much work to be done, but sure if I work in a studio I would use both Max and Blender simply because the way blender bevel and extrude is super fast ;)

  81. Im not sure what all the fuss is about. Avid could not afford to develop XSI any further as it represented less than 1% of Avid's turnover, yet it ate into avid's coffers. what would you rather happen? that the product is killed of or a strong company takes it over and keeps it going? Maya is kept going and is cheaper now than it ever was. Max is still going strong and so will XSI. XSI now has a future. You should be happy that Autodeks purchased it, saved it and will keep it going! Yes autodesk buys companuies, i dont see anyone shouting at adobe for filling the web market with the purchase of dreamweaver and all of macromedias assets!

    Blender is great as a free application but come on guys lets get real here

  82. i agree that xsi is a awesome app, i would have bought foundation if it hadn't been killed off (no dought by autodesk) xsi is new and fresh' i would give anything to have it but i'm just a hobbiest and too plain poor. gigapolygon core and can render anything you can imagine throwing at it (if everything was for free no one would make a living in this world, but that is why foundation was justifiable, it was a hair/fur, rigid body disabled cut down, that you would only buy if it was all you could afford- but if it was all you could buy, at least it would have been another sale for avid that would not have been had there been no option. with this sort of thing you want it all, so you can't say a pro would cheat avid and buy cut down foundation. foundation was a foot in the door for hobbyists and students that would have weaned them into life long customers. that is gone now, and shame on them. leaning 3d apps is too tiring, you want to find something that can solve all your problems with no switch overs- that is probably what autodesk will eventually do, xsi would not go wrong with 3ds max's shell modifier or excellent cloth and sim tools. (max could take xsi skeleton building tools!)

    but naa, i'll take this free app with weak polygon cutting tools and no incidence(xsi)/fall off mapping (3ds max).

    blender dose have something great about it though-it can simulate inter-colliding soft/cloth/rigid bodies-xsi can't! it has a cloth simulator that works- xsi doesn't (drop a cloth on a cube and see how much work you got to do before the cube stops peaking through) it can simulate water and har/fur, blender's game engine can enable you to control characters or objects and record the actions for a movie- like drive a car in a chase- xsi can do that but only with rigid bodies, blender can do it with soft/cloth/ and rigid bodies and even enable you to make your own games! if further releases refined these features- as they will obviously do you could make professional games even if you are no good at scripting (maybe). what ever weak points blender has- they are always going to improve like any othor app. its creaters are global heroes for anyone using blender but i wouldn't say i wouldn't want a copy of xsi if i was asked!

  83. I'am maya/3dsmax and i earn my living with them, =) since 2years i am blender too! (and i'am fan)

    And I am blender will become a great software.

  84. I bought foundations and on sale from softimage still cost quite a bit, just before the buy out (I dind't know this was coming) by auto desk. Now I can't run it becuase the licencing server web site no longer exists. I wanted to be working on a project right now but intead I'm waiting...and waiting ...and waiting for Autodesk to give me a way to run my expensive soft ware they don't want to support. I had backed up my Key files but oh no they are encryted with random data every time you install and having the license key , my e-mail and softimage account , the key files and the original installation disc I can't use it.

    Dear user you are not connected to the internet , please connect...or perhaps our company is defunct/bought out in which case please use a time machine to travel back to when server was on line and somone gave a crap about this version of software you paid thousands of dollars for.

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