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The post R21-announcement depression

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C4DS

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Well OK, the title of this blog entry might be way over the line, somewhat too dramatic, but still ...

 

Background:

As a hobby user since R9 I was quite happy with the XL bundle, back in those days. When the modules were retracted my only option was to go with the Studio version, and since then paid the annual MSA to stay up to date.

Some years ago, while working on a personal project in Cinema 4D for quite a while, I got side-tracked and started writing some plugins to automate and enhance why own workflow. This side-tracking grew somewhat out of proportions, as I began spending most of my free time working on plugins, instead of creating models and animations.

I then took the opportunity to start up a small business selling these plugins. Obviously I wasn't looking into making a lot of money out of it, but was merely hoping the income from selling plugins would allow to pay for the annual MSA.

 

The 30 July announcement was a bitter pill to swallow.

For whatever reason I was raised with the idea that, when ever possible, you don't buy on credit, you don't rent. If you want something you cannot afford, you save up for it ... or you just don't buy it, until you can afford it.

I have turned down software subscriptions before., for this same reason.

And then this announcement ...

 

For sure, I wasn't losing sleep over it. Or did I?

Day after day my mind kept wandering, traveling the different paths of possible solutions. I didn't think straight and most of all, felt (and was) unproductive.

Then finally, I made up my mind.

For me personally no subscription, nor the "perpetual" (gimme a break) R21 license.

Decided to keep using my R20 license, not upgrade to R21.

By not having an R21 license it wouldn't make sense to keep providing plugins. As such I am stepping down as a plugin developer.

 

Since software development is another hobby of mine, I know upfront that it will definitely itch.

As such, I will probably (need to) keep writing plugins. But probably for my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That's a great shame dude, but I totally understand, and thank you for all the effort you put into developing what you did...

 

CBR

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I was depressed for two days but now am totally STOKED. Here's why:

 

-I'll take the money I would spend towards MAXON upgrades/subscriptions and invest in crazy fun tools. This year I will get a NVIDIA 2080 and a Blender Cloud membership.

 

-Next year it'll be a lifetime license to ZBrush.

 

You get the idea?

 

-Blender has 10 million users and in just the last year they've doubled the funds in their foundation. 2.8 is crazy cool and growth of the software is going to be incredibly amazing in coming years. I'm really enjoying using it already...just after a few days.

 

-It's a new Hobbit adventure

 

If any developer wants to code tools...how about a 10 million user audience!? Just because Blender is free doesn't mean there isn't a huge industry around training, tools and add-ons. The Foundation makes money through donations, the cloud program, conferences, etc. Eevee, Grease Pencil, crisp and responsive UI, a built-in compositor...there is a lot to like.

 

It's an exciting time to be alive!

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Here is a great blender forum.

https://blenderartists.org/

Cycles by itself if way better than Prorender, but I'd recommend getting ecycles to make cycles even faster.

 

The Blender community is so much bigger there are daily great images being posted from the Blender community.

 

Glad to have you Icecaveman.

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Thanks for the replies.

I am not saying I'll never jump ship and switch to Blender.

But for now, while trust in MAXON is gone, that doesn't make R20 a bad product. I will thus, as long as it remains workable, continue using R20 or R19 (or any prior version).

 

And just to confirm: my plugins are not dead, nor dying.

Current customers will continue to get bug-fixes and updates, but on a less frequent time-frame ... and not as an official plugin developer, meaning these will not be available anymore for purchase by the public.

 

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While writing my previous post in this blog entry I was certain not to upgrade to R21. Unfortunately, that was a miscalculation since I (unknowingly) still had an active auto-renewed MSA contract. While I was mentally ready to abandon the idea of upgrading, my local reseller quickly pointed out the active contract. Story short I paid the MSA, and with that upgraded to R21.

Am I happy I did? Though question to answer.

On the one hand, NO! Not at all! On the other hand, YES! I am happy to be able to provide support to my customer by providing them an update for the plugin they purchased and allowing them to keep using it with R21.

After quite some struggles to get R21 installed and working (not to mention getting the development environment ready both on Windows and macOS), I have been able to work on updating the plugins to work with R21.

Seamilar, PolyGnome, Dials, EasyUV, all have been update, for both Windows and macOS. And all plugins have received a new licensing scheme.

I still need to sort out and update the documentation, doing some testing, and finalize the deliveries.

Am I happy to have these plugins R21-ready? For sure! Glad it's behind me.

 

Once all tasks are completed and plugins are ready to be distributed, customers will be notified by e-mail.

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For the past few months I have been updating my Seamilar and EasyUV plugins.
I have been using my R20 development environment to research, design, implement, test, document (and so on, and so forth, and what have you), as this was the most comfortable for me to use after I had set up the environment after that particular version of Cinema 4D was released.
And maybe also for this silly reason I still don't like R21. Call it personal preference or whatever, but using and looking at R21 still doesn't feel "home".
But let's not disgress into that rabbit hole.

 

With implementation finalized and thoroughly tested the next step of porting the code to previous releases of Cinema 4D as well as to R21 was completed end of November (2019). Each version of the plugin (both on Windows and macOS) was then tested to check for typos being introduced during the porting. This minor testing revealed no issues, except for some known drawing artifacts I had noticed back in the days when working on plugins on macOS for R18, and still continue to be displayed as such in the latest release.
For some strange reasons when drawing seam terminator dots in the 3D Viewport these ended up being represented as small squares on macOs, while nicely represented by ellipses on Windows. As the Mac mini I was using for development did not contain a discrete graphic card, which my Windows machine did, the difference in graphical representation of the 3D Viewport on both machines was like night and day.
Therefore, ever since I assumed this dot-drawing issue was related to the graphical capabilities of the Mac I was using.

 

Unfortunately, when time came to test the R21 version I encountered an issue I hadn't seen before, and started looking into the R20 and previous versions of my plugin to check and see if I had overlooked something. I could not reproduce the problem with previous versions and decided to report the issue to MAXON SDK support. They confirmed the problem and created a bug report.
While waiting on feedback from MAXON's developers I tried some things, hoping to find a workaround to the problem. While I couldn't find any solution I stumbled upon another issue, which I also reported and got confirmed as well.
And if that wasn't enough I now also noticed the dot-drawing issue on the Windows version of R21, which I also reported.

 

While I had a lot of mixed feelings about R21, and that after the whole auto-renewal of the MSA had left quite a strange taste in my mouth, these new issues definitely have further strained the already joyless R21 experience. As such I have decided to refrain from providing R21 versions of my plugins to new customers.
At this point in time I still have no feedback from MAXON developers about the state of the issue, or a possible solution (be it as a Cinema4D fix, or as a workaround in my plugin).
With the upcoming holiday season I also do not expect to get any information, let alone a solution, before January ... at the earliest.

An update to EasyUV will be sent out soon to existing customers, and while the R21 version does still experience the aforementioned issues, effort has been made to reduce it as much as possible.
Seamilar customers will be getting an update later on, as I am still finalizing the stacking feature.

 

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As I keep getting requests from potential customers using R21 I have again made available my plugins for purchase.

I still haven't heard back from MAXON about a fix, nor when one might become available. As such I have provided a short video demonstrating the current drawing issues (reported on 2nd December 2019, using R21.026 and R21.115) I leave it up to any potential customer to take a look and decide for themselves if they can live with the current drawing issues. The link to the video is provided on the order page of the website of Tools & Pixels.

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