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hvanderwegen

Blender 2.81 released

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After only three months following the last 2.8 release, 2.81 is released with a barrage of new and improved features. This release main highlight are the dramatic improvements to Sculpting! I won't be needing to switch to 3D Coat for many things anymore.

The list of new features and improvements is too long to repeat here, but some highlights:

  • complete overhaul of the sculpting workflow, new sculpt tools and masking tools
  • greatly improved outliner usability (similar to C4D finally!)
  • Cycles: preview passes in the viewport, and various new nodes (noise generators, math & vector math, etc.)
  • Eevee (the realtime GPU renderer) received major optimizations and new features, such as soft shadows, and much better visual matching with Cycles
  • Nvidia RTX support (up to 50%-100% faster GPU rendering in Cycles)
  • Intel Open Image denoising
  • new remeshing: OpenDVB and QuadriFlow
  • Grease Pencil 2d drawing: new brushes, convert curves to GP, isometric guides
  • range of new transform and snapping options, including mirror any axis anywhere for mesh editing and vertex/weight paint modes. Finally it is possible to move origins directly!
  • overhauled Poly Build tool for retopology tasks
  • thousands of bugs squashed

 

There is much more. An exhaustive list and video demos here:

https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-81/

 

And today marks another historic milestone for Blender (at least, it is for me!): custom bevel profiles were integrated in the master, ready for the 2.82 release in early 2020! FINALLY. I really missed these when working in Blender compared to C4D. I downloaded today's 2.82 build, and it works fine for both destructive bevels in mesh editing mode and non-destructive bevel modifiers.

 

ORNuwI4.png

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blender rises with terrible speed. if they can save this speed, they can be better than most of dcc's in 3.0 version release. i think it takes 2 years. so i think we see big price discountes on all 3d softwares. or they falls behind blender...

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  • I agree. It is interesting to note here that the new sculpt mode workflow and tools were developed by a man who is not only an accomplished coder, but also a professional-grade artist with excellent sculpting skills.

    This makes a dramatic difference in the quality of the toolset, and I really have no need anymore to fall back to specialist sculpting tools for this type of work in most cases.

     

    Competition is good. Hopefully it will motivate commercial DCC developers to up the ante, instead of expecting the monthly/yearly rent to roll in while they keep on releasing new versions with a below-par list of new or improved feature sets. If a free open source app is outperforming them in key areas, why pay the rent, right?

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    Early in 2019 I worked through--and repeatedly trumpeted-- the c4d modeling training series, "Making it Look Great: Hard Surface Modeling Tactics for c4D"

    Well...it looks like the instructor, Toby Pitman, dumped c4d for Blender
    https://twitter.com/tobypitman/status/1161699374419927042

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    Nop, he said he is staying with R20, he is not all of a sudden Blender guru. He just dislikes subs! 😉


    | MAXON Quality Assurance Specialist | 3D Asset Creatior | C4D Cafe Manager | Gamer in Heart | :compEnjoy:

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    1 hour ago, Igor said:

    Nop, he said he is staying with R20, he is not all of a sudden Blender guru. He just dislikes subs! 😉

     

    Mid- to long-term, there may not be a big difference...

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    2 hours ago, Cairyn said:

     

    Mid- to long-term, there may not be a big difference...

    Well, whatever is the case, I wish him the best, as to everyone else. I tried many times others 3D apps, but simply cant switch. I am to much into C4D workflows...and ease of use! But I can definetly see why Blender users are so happy. 😊


    | MAXON Quality Assurance Specialist | 3D Asset Creatior | C4D Cafe Manager | Gamer in Heart | :compEnjoy:

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  • 27 minutes ago, Igor said:

    Well, whatever is the case, I wish him the best, as to everyone else.

     

    Seems he was on the fence, but his final decision to  get off the C4d train was at the very least partly to blame on MAXON's 3D rep. In MAXON's defense, MAXON did apologize in public on his Twitter feed. But too little, too late, perhaps?

    It's a real shame, because these type of expert users/gurus create a lot of positive vibe, and should be treated like vips  - basically free advertising for C4d, renewing interest, and drawing in scores of new users as well as keeping existing users happy with their decision to continue to use the software.

     

    His move to Blender was entirely preventable, if only MAXON customer support had kept their eyes on the ball, and realized sooner this guy is one of those key software gurus.

    Instead, now he's driving more people towards Blender.

     

    MAXON support would do well to maintain a list of users who are key user drivers for C4d, treat them well, and prevent this from allowing to happen again.

     

     

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    I look forward to Toby's Blender tutorials. 😁

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    11 hours ago, hvanderwegen said:

    His move to Blender was entirely preventable,

     

    I think this is true not just in this one case. The "we make the rules take it or leave it" approach was a big mistake imho.

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    MAXON did what they did. I'm glad circumstances worked out to nudge me towards Blender. It's a good fit for me and the trajectory for Blender's growth is very exciting. 

    I have a very strong hunch Toby and others feels the same way. 

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    The improvements to the Outliner is a big one for me.  It is amazing the number of features that Blender puts into a 0.1 release after a 3 month period.  By comparison, this number of features is what MAXON would call a full point release after a year of development.  Is the the difference that MAXON has stronger quality controls and extended testing whereas Blender does not?   If true, you can hold onto that strategy as long as the market places a price premium on stability over new features.   They want both (why wouldn't they) but they also don't like waiting for new features. 

     

    There is strong evidence in other industries that access to new features is always more important.  Just look at the telecommunications market in the 1990's.  You had  a big bellwether global telecommunication equipment company, Lucent, that built products for 15 year life with a protracted product testing  phase to insure rock solid stability.  And for good reason: telecommunication products were critical to pretty much everything (banking, emergency services, business, etc).  Stability, not cost or features, was at the core of Lucent's product development culture.  Well, along comes a whole bunch of telecommunication start-ups during the 90's that were pumping out products with the philosophy of "be first to market with the new feature and let the customer debug it" and guess who won?  Well, Lucent, with a rich history of technological innovation in Bell Labs since 1954 (9 Nobel prize winners - one for the transistor) no longer exists.  After reporting a $2 Billion loss in the dot-com bust it merged with Alcatel in 2006 and then completely sold to Nokia in 2015.

     

    So MAXON clings to that same culture on stability that Lucent did when you consider their  pace of introducing new features.  Just look at the lackluster R21 release along with a price increase for perpetual licenses.  I think it is safe to say that  MAXON does charge a pretty hefty premium for that stability.  Hey, stability is important, but this is just DCC software - not something like telecommunications that forms the backbone of a modern society.  So if stability didn't win a long term strategy in the telecommunications market, then it probably won't support MAXON's strategy all that well in the future - especially in the face of competition like Blender.

     

    Is it fair to say that people were loyal to C4D prior to R21 for 3 things: 1) stability, 2) ease of use and 3) a firm belief that MAXON would never follow a subscription plan.  While I don't know what Blender's development road-map looks like, but I do find it interesting that 2.81 has some features that C4D users are interested in.  Based on the backlash to R21  and subscriptions, does Blender sense a shift away from loyalty to C4D and  adapted their development plan accordingly?    Not sure, but consider that Blender 2.8  was released at the same time as R21 and then 3 months later we have Blender 2.81  which makes it easier to use (in a very C4D way) while showing that they have both an aggressive development pace and are quick to correct stability issues.  Most importantly, it is free and requires no server activation.  Blender 2.81  directly addresses the  top 3 issues that kept people loyal to C4D.

     

    Coincidence?  Honestly, I don't know.  But I think it is a safe to say that Blender is a real, serious threat to whatever MAXON has as a long term market strategy.  Stability and feature growth at C4D's price point is not going to help MAXON weather the subscription back-lash over the long term...not when you have options like Blender.

     

    Honestly, given that MAXON pays attention to (but does not support) the Cafe, I would hope that threads like this  give them cause for concern.  Add to that a key instructor, Toby Pitman, saying " Sorry - I can't do subscriptions" in his Twitter feed and moving to Blender should also scratch at MAXON's "belief" that rolling out a subscription plan will "only" result in a short term drop in revenue and that they will make more money in the long term. 

     

    At the pace that Blender is moving, there may be no "long term" horizon that allows MAXON to recoup whatever losses they incur from moving to  a subscription plan. 

     

    That is a real possibility that MAXON cannot ignore.

     

    Dave

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