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MAXON Prices - Give us your feedback!

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The thing that keeps me with MAXON and the MSA is the perpetual license and the hope that with R21 we finally get the things I've waited for a long time (SDK for node based material, improved Bodypaint, better asset management, improved import/export options). If MAXON no longer provides a perpetual kicense, I will probably change to Maya, as I'm focused on characters lately.

 

I am not a professional, but did some work for friends, which they used in their companies. If I cannot afford the MSA any longer, I can still stay with my perpetual license. A real problem in the past have been the plugins that have to be updated with every MAXON release. I'd love to get a more stable SDK or at least some backward compatibility, by providing a backward compatibility layer. I'm still using R18 today because of some plugins that are more important than the new features. R21 may be the next version, I go for.

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The pricing of the program closest to C4D that I like better than C4D is Houdini.  Houdini seems to have pretty much the perfect pricing system.  With their system if you are making money and have money they take more money and if you don't have money they take very little money.  If I have money I don't mind spending it on the tools I use to make that money.  If you really are a hobbiest with C4D making no money with it you will pirate it.  This is something they are forced to do because they have little money.  With Houdini's system the software is free to learn,  $75 to rent per year for schools, inexpensive for the hobbiest at $279 per year when making under $100k, can also be bought by a single artist to own, and has the studio price when making over $100k.  This way they get a little money from hobbyists instead of zero money.  It's smart.  Yet another tier could be added for those making less than $50k per year for like $139 per year.  Sidefx is doing everything right from their pricing structure to the direction their software is moving.  Sidefx improves on their tools every year making small improvements to a lot of things while adding huge new features.  In contrast it seems C4D works on something then stops for years sometimes being just short of something that could have been really cool.  Some places where some smaller things could make tools way better are steady stroke in Bodypaint, stamp previews in bodypaint, ability to make overlapping UVs for things larger than 1 poly, mirroring UVs, better retopo tools, sculpting with dynamic meshes.  Not huge overhauls to tools, but just enough on things that would be used a lot.  The bevel tool is good, but could be improved to make it so it always makes good geometry even in tough situations.  For example when text is beveled with constrain on or when using the edge selection for bevel from a bool.   A fully rigged character in C4D is really slow.  The whole character animation system needs huge improvements with smaller improvements for years to come.  I could list so many more things that seem to be ignored and way more I could think of that would be amazing making C4D the best program.  There is so much good stuff in there, but it could be sooo much better.  It also seems silly Cineversity a subsidiary of MAXON Computer GmbH is not completely free.  I've never personally given them any money and only used it when it was free with my MSA.  If people know your program they will use it and pay for it.  This means more overall money for MAXON.  By throwing all those videos up on youtube the hosting fees could be cut down to zero saving money.  By streamlining Cineversity a bit in other ways it could be way more affordable to fund directly from software sales.  The overall result would be free C4D tutorials for all, increased software sales to fund the tutorials, and low cost of making and hosting the tutorials.  I'm getting side tracked from pricing here, but felt it was my chance to voice some things I've seen year after year that bugs me a lot directly to the CEO.  David if you read this thank you for reading.  I wish you the best in the huge amount of work in front of you.  Feel free to PM me to hear more.

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Quite simply, they've driven me away with the pricing. I'm not upgrading anymore and I'm slowly drifting away from CGI as a way of making a living. And that's a shame as I really like it as an art form.

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The different tiers are make little sense. As a now pretty new freelance motion designer/3D Generalist I pretty much need studio which should be a tier only set up for Studios. (Dynamics, Hair, Character tool are tools I use regularly)

 

I feel like Studio and Broadcast should have feature parity but Studio have access to 4k or some other "Studio" type restrictions like unlimited Team Rendering or some such.

 

Since I left my last job I'm getting by with Houdini Indie and Blender for personal projects and using whatever in house Cinema when I work on site.  I'm holding off till I get my next big work at home job that requires Cinema for my purchase but I'd rather not, especially as each year release features get less impressive (Where's updated UV tools?).

 

Feature for feature Blender leaves Cinema in the dust and it's a real shame that Cinema is industry standard in my field but I'm glad I'm not tied to Maya.

 

I was hoping for a good black Friday deal as well, still there could be Cyber Monday....

 

(EDIT: Phrasing)

Edited by Oakley
Phrasing

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4 minutes ago, Oakley said:

I was hoping for a good black Friday deal as well, still there could be Cyber Monday....

 

If I remember correctly, there was a price drop and if I am not wrong, Studio was 1000$ cheaper!! And folk"s, please keep this topic civilized, no need for any kind of "bad" words here.

 

Cheers

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Some great and detailed points made in this forum.  What I would like to lend my support for changing:

  1. Not being penalized for missing an upgrade.  Honestly, I believe this will generate more sales than it losses as people hate feeling locked in to anything.  Also, there have been many times where the majority of new features in a release don't benefit Studio users but I upgrade anyway because the cost NOT to upgrade is higher.....now that is feeling trapped!
  2. Special reduced pricing for hobbyists.  Limit the output resolution for hobbyist licenses to no more than 1280 x 720 and remove net render capabilities, but other than that keep all features intact.

A few new ideas:

  • A customer loyalty program of some sort.  If you have faithfully been a customer for X consecutive years and kept your MSA current each year, then your maintenance price in the X+1 year should be discounted.  You would need this incentive if you allowed people to miss upgrades without being penalized.
  • The temporary license fees are (IMHO) too high if they are geared towards those who have previous licenses, did not upgrade but need a new feature for a short period of time.    For example, the Studio three month short term license is $600...which is about equal to the $750 annual MSA price.  If you are one license behind but cannot afford the MSA for the next version, this option makes no sense - there are cheaper options with better benefits.   For those who are only 1 revision behind, that temporary license cost should be significantly reduced and viewed as a more affordable way to pay the MSA in installments (eg. $225 every 3 months - $900 total for the year - only $150 more than the MSA price).

All-in-all, I agree with all the comments made here.  MAXON pricing needs some work.

 

Dave

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31 minutes ago, Igor said:

If I remember correctly, there was a price drop and if I am not wrong, Studio was 1000$ cheaper!! And folk"s, please keep this topic civilized, no need for any kind of "bad" words here.

 

Cheers

 

I think I saw ToolFarm had an offer for us US cousins but no such love for us here in the EU yet.

 

I did not see any use of bad words on my part, maybe some frosty opinions - I  did not intend to offend so apologies if I did. ( I have also edited my original post to be more concise on fact and less of my more colourful quips)

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I think allot comes down to where your from, your circumstances in life, and if your making regular money from it.  The other thing that hardly anyone mentions is time and money invested into training, and plugins.  Its not the easy choice to make to simply move on to other software once you spent years learning C4D with hundreds spent on plugins, not if you invested your time and money into learning the depths of the software.  

 

At the moment MAXON has the rental system as a short term licence, this makes sense if you are not sure if C4D fits your needs long term, yet gives you the time to learn it.  Up to 75% of the rental fee can be put against a perpetual licence, this to me seems like a nice option added to the perpetual offering a decent discount of up to 75% of them fees against a perpetual licence, but this is meant to be a short term licence, not a on going pay out.  I worked it out that 2 years of a Studio rental would be a good time to upgrade to a perpetual licence if given 75% of the rental fees towards a perpetual licence.

 

Assuming the position of someone who has invested their time and money into C4D and wish to remain with it and are in the position where they cant afford the on going MSA this is where things need change.  The penalty for missing a upgrade is to high because the upgrade price is too high.  The upgrade price is used as a offset against the MSA  which makes the MSA the only viable option which until this year was a reasonable price while still on the border line of some users budgets.  The higher this offset the more one feels  its more like a ultimatum than and feasible choice.  If one can not afford the MSA then there is no chance of getting back in when the upgrade costs are substantially more.   £858 for a single studio upgrade, otherwise costing £630 while getting cinivercity for free, thats a £228 penalty not counting the costs for cinivercity if you use it.

 

 The reward of producing  a good upgrade should  equals more sales, but the current system is making customers pay for upgrades on the basis of the finical ultimatum, not necessarily because the upgrades are offering all users at least something they want. This to me distinguishes the split between the hobbyist and the Commercial user, and the user like me somewhere in the middle where its just manageable, but tight.  For the hobbyist in particular every single feature added counts as there is no financial return, and if you happen to be a Studio user them features has better hold up for that  £630 upgrade.

 

As it stands C4D Studio stills offers the best balance for the ease of use department and features even for character artist that must have a perpetual option and as a central hub to add the render engine and plugins of their choice.  The price increase may not be much to some, but if there is nothing of significance in that upgrade it may become the tipping point where people say enough is enough.    Chaosgroup have pushed me out the boat for Vray with its rental system, this makes it even more difficult to contend with upgrading C4D more than ever, although its not Maxons fault but with the price increase to the MSA this year its making me rethink my plans altogether.

 

Dan

 

 

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Just now, 3D-Pangel said:
  1. Special reduced pricing for hobbyists.  Limit the output resolution for hobbyist licenses to no more than 1280 x 720 and remove net render capabilities, but other than that keep all features intact.

That would be a far too restrictive output resolution and not in tune with the times. Compare Houdini Indie, taken from their FAQ:

Quote

When rendering image sequences, you are restricted to 4096 x 4096 pixels. There are not restrictions for still images. The image sequence restrictions apply to Mantra and any third party renderers supported by Indie.

 

If MAXON is ever going to contemplate an 'Indie' version (which I highly doubt, because they don't seem to understand that market very well if at all, and they would collide head on with the combined walls of Blender and Houdini to overcome!) they will have to match that.

 

Just now, Rectro said:

I think allot comes down to where your from, your circumstances in life, and if your making regular money from it.  The other thing that hardly anyone mentions is time and money invested into training, and plugins.  Its not the easy choice to make to simply move on to other software once you spent years learning C4D with hundreds spent on plugins, not if you invested your time and money into learning the depths of the software. 

I agree. It hated having to give up Cinema4D at the time, and moving to other software (Lightwave back then), just because as a freelancer with a limited number of 3d related jobs I couldn't afford MAXON's upkeep anymore. The transition to Lightwave was very, very painful for me, even though many other Lightwave users insist(ed) that it is easy to learn and use, my experience was a very different one. Mind, I was familiar with Lightwave since Amiga times... But Lightwave never clicked with me the same way C4D and Blender did, or even Houdini.

 

MAXON instilled a certain feeling of animosity in me at the time when they got rid of the possibility to upgrade from a lower version to the newest at the time, because I had expected to return to C4D at some point. With Lightwave languishing, and the frustrating Modeler<->Layout separation, and destructive modeling made me try out Blender 2.4 series, as well as a short stint with Modo. While Blender was crude compared to C4D at the time, its workflow clicked with me, and I never looked back. Houdini Indie makes for a nice combo with it.

 

I recall MAXON's free .v5 releases, which generated a LOT of goodwill with C4D users. MAXON got rid of those, of course. I still think up till this day that that is a mistake. Looking back this last decade, I now realize that leaving Cinema4D, while painful, proved to be the best course of action for myself personally (and in no uncertain terms financially!!!).  As a designer, 3d is only a small part of my work, and as a 3d hobbyist Blender plus Houdini is a great alternative (with free ProRender access and free updates when released! :wackywink:)

 

Aside from the high costs of upkeep, I feel C4d's current line-up makes no sense any longer. They really need to look into that. But that's been discussed before. Anyway, times are a-changing, and MAXON better keep up.

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15 hours ago, Fastbee said:

If you really are a hobbiest with C4D making no money with it you will pirate it.

I don't accept that. There are plenty of us hobbyists paying for our 3D software as we can afford it. What I spend on my 3D hobby is peanuts compared to my cycling hobby.

 

Studio is way over priced in my opinion. It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to supplement it with X-Particles and some other UV editing and 3D painting software.

 

At the end of the day people should vote with their wallets and use / pay for whatever suits them. For me this is currently Modo but I'm tinkering with Blender as some things it does really well and of course it's free. It's certainly well worth keeping an eye on over the next few years.

 

Nigel / 3DKiwi

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