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MAXON Prices - Give us your feedback!

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12 minutes ago, Visionnext said:

C4D should provide a stable and efficient SDK to support plugins that can do a better job and help them to run on newer versions.

My understanding from my time as a Beta tester is the C4D SDK is one of the best to work with SDK's. Unless you have some actual experience using the C4D SDK then I think you're incorrect.

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5 hours ago, Marander said:

I disagree. 

 

You cannot compare Houdini pricing and licensing to C4D because Houdini (perpetual) is more expensive and node locked. You can not just install the software on a new machine when you need to, you will need to change the activation and as far as I know that's pretty restricted with SideFX Houdini. You cannot just open your projects again years later without paying again and maybe by then the older versions are not even available anymore. You cannot use your scenes created in Indie in the full versions.

 

Just to shed some light on this:

 

1. The cost of a single perpetual copy of C4D (not including the yearly Service Contract) = 13 years of Houdini Indie. Even assuming their Indie pricing goes up gradually through the years, the equivalent would yield at least 8-10 years of Indie. I seriously doubt that anyone who purchased C4D 13 years ago is happy with that version and wouldn't have by now upgraded to a newer version, hence adding even more to the cost comparison.

 

2. You can install Indie on two separate machines with very few restrictions. If you need to deactivate the machines because you're upgrading, it's easy and simple to do. I have done it several times and SideFX doesn't have any issue with it. They are also extremely responsive to license issues and quite helpful.

 

3. Nothing lasts forever, and while yes, you can open projects created in R8 (is that even a thing?) in R20, you might realize that for most users, it's a very rare occurrence. In addition, you can save your projects as FBX, ABC, OBJ, etc. and have access to those elements independently of the software/version you're using.  Lastly, SideFX is committed to supporting USD in Houdini which, I suspect, will become the new standard.

 

4. SideFX offers a free conversion service should you need to open projects originally created in Indie in the flagship Houdini FX. As long as it's not an obvious abuse of the service, they're happy to do so.

 

Lastly, you are absolutely right, one cannot compare C4D pricing to Houdini as the capability of the former isn't even remotely close to the capability of the latter. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison unless one includes pretty much all 3rd party add-ons available to C4D, and even then it still falls far short of what Houdini can do right in the box. The price of C4D would be much closer to $6k and higher if we were try to have a fair comparison between the two apps, and that's not even factoring in the fact that Mantra is vastly superior to PR as a rendering engine.

 

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2 hours ago, Visionnext said:

 C4D should provide a stable and efficient SDK to support plugins that can do a better job and help them to run on newer versions. I'm still on R18, as I cannot afford to get upgrades for all plugins every time a new C4D version is released.

If by stable you mean consistent over time then the C4D SDK is maybe the most stable in the industry. Practically all competitors have changes in the SDK that requires at least a recompile with every major release. The Cinema 4D SDK is usually stable over many years, additions to it don't make a recompile neccesary. It is only every other blue moon, like with R20, that the changes are so substantial that at least a recompile, if not code adjustments, are necessary. The perception of instability is due to the long time of stability, not the actual changes.

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3 hours ago, Midphase said:

 

Just to shed some light on this:

 

1. The cost of a single perpetual copy of C4D (not including the yearly Service Contract) = 13 years of Houdini Indie. Even assuming their Indie pricing goes up gradually through the years, the equivalent would yield at least 8-10 years of Indie. I seriously doubt that anyone who purchased C4D 13 years ago is happy with that version and wouldn't have by now upgraded to a newer version, hence adding even more to the cost comparison.

 

2. You can install Indie on two separate machines with very few restrictions. If you need to deactivate the machines because you're upgrading, it's easy and simple to do. I have done it several times and SideFX doesn't have any issue with it. They are also extremely responsive to license issues and quite helpful.

 

3. Nothing lasts forever, and while yes, you can open projects created in R8 (is that even a thing?) in R20, you might realize that for most users, it's a very rare occurrence. In addition, you can save your projects as FBX, ABC, OBJ, etc. and have access to those elements independently of the software/version you're using.  Lastly, SideFX is committed to supporting USD in Houdini which, I suspect, will become the new standard.

 

4. SideFX offers a free conversion service should you need to open projects originally created in Indie in the flagship Houdini FX. As long as it's not an obvious abuse of the service, they're happy to do so.

 

Lastly, you are absolutely right, one cannot compare C4D pricing to Houdini as the capability of the former isn't even remotely close to the capability of the latter. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison unless one includes pretty much all 3rd party add-ons available to C4D, and even then it still falls far short of what Houdini can do right in the box. The price of C4D would be much closer to $6k and higher if we were try to have a fair comparison between the two apps, and that's not even factoring in the fact that Mantra is vastly superior to PR as a rendering engine.

 

@Midphase

Note, my observations of Houdini are from playing a bit with the Apprentice version only from time to time and what I read on the SideFX homepage.

 

Yes, you have some valid points there and as I mentioned, I will eventually rent Houdini Indie for some time anyway, it's a great piece of software and the pricing is more than fair.

And yes, I'm not saying C4D is cheap and I spent probably as much for render engines and plugins additionally, but hey, it's fun to use - and I can use it whenever and wherever I want. I think C4D will always be my primary 3D app.

 

However what you didn't mention or consider is, that Houdini Indie comes with a few limitations (besides licensing) that you don't have with other "full" software. $100k revenue might not be an awful lot in some regions. It initially didn't support 3rd party render engines and only one machine installation but at least that is improved. About the file type conversion: They offer a one-time conversion upon request. There are render limitations but they are hardly an issue for most. Full price is $4.5k and annual upgrade price $2.5k(!). They already increased the yearly price (nevertheless still a great offer and for two years the price remains the same).

 

From a capability point of view, yes it can do incredible stuff and is very flexible. I like its procedural concept and the possibility to write code everywhere. However I think few users can actually use its full potential and only using shelf tools isn't the real thing.

 

On the other hand, C4D might provide faster results, a quicker workflow and better usability for most users. There are so many great and easy to use plugins that I don't want to miss. Yes I know you can create Houdini Assets but to recreate all the C4D plugins would take a long time.

 

Now what I would like to see in C4D R21+ are

 

- extended  Volume/VDB system for volumetric rendering

- a better fog / atmosphere system

- an improved particle system (because I'm tired of the constant online requirement of XP and Cycles)

- the new Node System available system-wide for XPresso, ProRender and 3rd party renderer engines

- maybe retopo of VDB meshes with a good poly flow and the ability to texture it properly

- Poly-Reduction (which is great!) with quad only option

- improved  and simplified UV mapping (however there are great 3rd party solutions like 3D-Coat or Rizom and for simple stuff I like to use Seamilar)

- Triplanar mapping

 

Bodypaint doesn't really interest me that much because it will be hard for MAXON to catch up with Substance.

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19 minutes ago, Marander said:

@Midphase

Note, my observations of Houdini are from playing a bit with the Apprentice version only from time to time and what I read on the SideFX homepage [….]However I think few users can actually use its full potential and only using shelf tools isn't the real thing.

 Weird how people can pass judgement so quickly on something they know so little about!  ;-)

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14 hours ago, 3DKiwi said:

My understanding from my time as a Beta tester is the C4D SDK is one of the best to work with SDK's. Unless you have some actual experience using the C4D SDK then I think you're incorrect.

Maybe I didn't express myself correctly. I just mean that it should not be necessary to recompile or change the plugin every time a new release comes out. If they keep old functions/interfaces for a while in the SDK, this should be possible. With the last versions the SDK seemed to have always changed, as you always needed a new version of the plugins that I use.

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12 hours ago, srek said:

If by stable you mean consistent over time then the C4D SDK is maybe the most stable in the industry. Practically all competitors have changes in the SDK that requires at least a recompile with every major release. The Cinema 4D SDK is usually stable over many years, additions to it don't make a recompile neccesary. It is only every other blue moon, like with R20, that the changes are so substantial that at least a recompile, if not code adjustments, are necessary. The perception of instability is due to the long time of stability, not the actual changes.

I get a different feeling from plugin providers. They always said in the last 3 years that a new version of their plugin is required. Maybe this is just marketing though.

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4 hours ago, Visionnext said:

I get a different feeling from plugin providers. They always said in the last 3 years that a new version of their plugin is required. Maybe this is just marketing though.

MAXON announced the change to the SDK pretty early so maybe it is just this prolonged time that makes you notice this. Competitors never announce this because it is just part of every release.

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4 hours ago, Visionnext said:

I get a different feeling from plugin providers. They always said in the last 3 years that a new version of their plugin is required. Maybe this is just marketing though.

This was certainly the case for  Vray plugin as it had to have work on it every year in order for it to work in the next version of C4D, however in the case of Vray this makes no difference because a new key is also needed every year which we wont get anymore so our Vray is stuck on r20.   Getting a new key every year causes this issue. Iv had the same key for Zbrush since v2, shame this wasn't the case with C4D.

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9 hours ago, Visionnext said:

Maybe I didn't express myself correctly. I just mean that it should not be necessary to recompile or change the plugin every time a new release comes out.

Things will settle down after everything to do with the new core is rolled out.

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