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hvanderwegen

Blender 2.81 released

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It is good to see Blender doing well, gaining a strong following and seeing Toby moving away because of subs should send shivers down Maxons back. Houdini latest release has a ton of features, they are improving their modeling tools, they release bug fixes, some times on a weekly basis and do release a .5 version (remember those?) about 5 months later. I am really starting to get hang of procedural modeling, it really makes sense and logical.  SideFX support is amazing, I emailed an issue I was having Saturday night at 1900 hrs Central US, and within 20 minutes had a response. 

 

C4D is still a really strong package, but with weak release, costly subscription plan and people trying out other packages, MAXON had best up its game to stay in the game.

 

to quote Dave:

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.

 

 

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On 11/30/2019 at 2:55 PM, 3D-Pangel said:

Based on the backlash to R21  and subscriptions, does Blender sense a shift away from loyalty to C4D and  adapted their development plan accordingly?

 

I doubt very much that Blender adapts their development plans to target C4D users specifically. Stuff like an improved Outliner were on the wish list of Blender users for a long time. That the 2.81 came out relatively fast after the 2.80 is more due to the fact that the 2.80 took longer than expected, and there were features in the backlog already being developed but not making it to the 2.80 so now they start to appear all over. I am fairly sure that we will see more of these in the 2.82, and that the 2.82 will get out speedily as well.

 

It is pretty natural if Blender developers have their sights on other DCC programs as well, to check out what's on the market and what users really desire, but I doubt they even need to target specific competition. They are already growing. The needs of an open source program are different.

 

What will get interesting: sooner or later, Blender will need a serious and thorough core revamp. Which will break many many things, and require a concentrated centralized effort, instead of just tacking on a new feature. I'm curious how well that will go, and when it will happen. I whould certainly hope for a program philosophy that combines the strengths of C4D, Houdini, and Blender itself, but sadly these are not always valid combinations 😉

 

On 11/30/2019 at 2:55 PM, 3D-Pangel said:

stability is important, but this is just DCC software

 

Huh. I have worked with instable software, and it is a nightmare and a money sink. Stability and reliability are fairly important, and you can only achieve these with the right structural development method. Imagine you develop a character for animation, and when almost done, you find that under these specific circumstances sadly the jiggle deformer doesn't work at all (when all the documentation and all your previous tests told you it would). And you really need the jiggle deformer. And it's too deeply entrenched in the program's structure to be farmed out to another DCC app. So, you go back to your director and say... "Boss, we can't have Father Christmas' belly jiggling, the program doesn't do it". Uh. Not good.

 

Yes, features are important too, and users are falling for the shine and gleam of many a feature. That is a downside of the market, actually. The possibility to safely and variedly combine features is actually more important in my eyes than singular features.

 

...I think that we're not even close to the optimum, in any program (maybe Houdini...), and that the "optimum" in that respect will ultimately look more like a programmer's IDE than an artist's app. Duh. Dunno.

 

On 11/30/2019 at 2:55 PM, 3D-Pangel said:

Toby Pitman, saying " Sorry - I can't do subscriptions" in his Twitter feed and moving to Blender

 

Not sure what to think about that. Personally, I hate subscriptions and will avoid them like the plague. (I don't hate paying for new stuff or even maintenance, but the concept of "pay forever or you lose everything" is a peeved poor choice, and I will not do that.)

 

But currently there are still Perpetuals for C4D, and I'm on the fence about what message moving away sends. Will MAXON rethink their (projective) pricing and make the Perpetuals affordable on the MSA level (we don't have final R22 prices yet)? Will Perpetuals stay forever? I'm not going to warm up the whole discussion again, but I would like to express "Hey MAXON, I'm willing to stay on board but I don't do subscriptions and expect Perpetuals to be handled with the same attention and a comparable pricing as the subscriptions you think you can push..." Not just "Hey there's Blender too, goodbye thx". There are, after all, serious losses involved with changing the app.

 

Although, in the end I wonder how this all will play out.

 

Maybe I should start programming a MoGraph-like feature for Blender. Think anyone would be interested in that? May take a while as I haven't yet looked at the Blender API.

 

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  • 7 hours ago, Cairyn said:

     

    What will get interesting: sooner or later, Blender will need a serious and thorough core revamp. Which will break many many things, and require a concentrated centralized effort, instead of just tacking on a new feature. I'm curious how well that will go, and when it will happen. I whould certainly hope for a program philosophy that combines the strengths of C4D, Houdini, and Blender itself, but sadly these are not always valid combinations 😉

     

     

    Blender already went through two complete overhauls so far: 2.49-->2.5 and 2.79-->2.8

     

    The core got a major update and modernization in 2.8. 2.8 broke everything (plugins, things like accelerated openSubDiv), and now we are seeing the fruits of these updates.

     

    It will only get better with each release. Already are plugins available which allow for a nodal modeling workflow, similar (but not as advanced yet) to Houdini.

    For example, Sverchok :

     

    I played with it, and it is loads of fun.

    7 hours ago, Cairyn said:

    Maybe I should start programming a MoGraph-like feature for Blender. Think anyone would be interested in that? May take a while as I haven't yet looked at the Blender API.

    If you do, and it is as easy to use (or better) as MoGraph, you probably have a winner on your hands, and could sell it on the Blender Market. But you might also destroy that market for MAXON. :wackywink:

    Or become a Blender developer and integrate your work in the core!

    Anyway, I am pretty convinced that someone, sooner rather than later, will implement a similar feature in Blender. Seems a logical progression to me.

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    11 hours ago, Cairyn said:

    Maybe I should start programming a MoGraph-like feature for Blender.

    There's a free node based addon (plugin) called animation nodes that has similar functionality to C4D mograph. I heard on a padcast that the developer of Animation Nodes now has full-time position at the Blender Institute, and is working on updateing the particle system within Blender amoungst other things.

     

     

     

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    I plan to put a big effort into learning Blender this winter. I am on V19 and will stay here until C4D becomes a better product for me again or until I switch to Blender completely. I was very excited about the ability to turn tri's to quads in this new version. Evee is really something, one big problem C4D has in my workflow is that I have to turn off so many things to animate more than 2 characters in the viewport efficiently and Blender might not have that problem. I'll find out this winter. 

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    I want to learn Blender as well. I have a license for R21, but cannot use it, as I only have a Vray license for R20. I mostly work with R18 today, as I have some other plugins that would need a new license key for R19+. R18 is still working fine. I do not miss the new features since R18 a lot.

    On the other hand, there is a Vray plugin available for Blender, which means that Blender may be a competitor for all kinds of CG software in future.

    Functionality can be added easily in Blender, as the source code is available. 

    I see interesting times ahead.

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