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3D-Pangel last won the day on August 18

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About 3D-Pangel

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    Custodian of the (now defunct) 3D World Database

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    R20.026 Studio
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    Christian Theology, the history and future of special visual effects, exercise (weight training and cycling), American football (New England Patriots), MS-Excel programming, financial analysis, any good fiction action novel rooted in science fact, cooking (always on the lookout for a good pasta recipe).

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  1. Holy plugin Batman.....there are only 15 plugins in the Blender Market above $60. The rest (and there are many of them) are all cheaper. For the annual cost of the MSA, you could easily buy more than 12 plugins a year. Now, are they stable and easy to use? Not sure. But I do like the prices. And don't even get me started on the models, shaders, etc. ....hmmmm...I am starting to like the idea of MAXON going to subscriptions....but for all the wrong reasons. Dave
  2. Unfortunately, those plugins have not yet been ported to Blender 2.8. ....but when they do.... Even if I had no interest in Blender at all, I would purchase Khaos. For $35 it looks like it would be really fun to play with in that it seems simple to use with some pretty cool built in functions. The problems with most fluid/smoke tools out there is that you almost need an engineering degree to fully understand them and how one setting could impact the others. But Khaos looks like it is very simple to use with pre-sets for debris, explosion spread, etc. Kind of like the early days of Particle Illusion when it came out (I lost hours playing with their demo....very intuitive sprite particle plugin). Dave
  3. So a couple of things that I wonder about as we try to navigate these very messy waters: MAXON made a major change to their whole pricing model and absolutely messed up the communications on it. Didn't they try their pitch on a test audience of select users ahead of time, collect the questions, listen to the concerns, and adjust? That is just good marketing when making a change of this significance. Or did they just persist by living in their own echo chamber, refusing to take outside input and challenge to their own views on their new business model. Building on Point 1, if the new culture of the new MAXON is to NOT adjust based on market response, then business history has shown they will have a short life span. Companies bigger than them have gone under very fast by refusing to listen to their customers and/or see the macro shifts going on around them (eg. Kodak, Lucent, etc). Blender 2.8 is a macro shift in the market that MAXON needs to pay attention to. Big companies like Ubisoft, etc. are making huge donations to the Blender Foundation. If the MAXON leadership team is feeling secure about the strength and purity of their new core or that they won a technical Oscar award, then they are again living in their own echo chamber. Core means nothing to the user unless they can see it in the features. Feeling proud that some modeling features are now under the influence of the new core? Well don't expect the user to do back flips over faster extrudes. What they really want is Bodypaint being updated to this century. Step out of your echo chamber because that thunder you hear behind you is Blender coming up fast. It may not be pretty by your standards, but it has a building momentum in the race while you are slowing down. There is some evidence that the heat generated over the absolutely mis-guided release of their new subscription model is changing some of their thinking. For example they are re-thinking Cineversity for perpetual license holders. I mean that alone is proof that they were not listening to anyone but themselves prior to the R21 announcement. Other proof is that the new features in R21 have very little to drive people to stay with C4D. If they were listening to the users, they would have made a decision to delay announcing subscriptions until a future release provided must have features like massive object handling, gpu rendering, full multi-threaded implementation across all aspects of the program, and a Bodypaint release that elevated it to best of breed status. So what became of the world tour announced at Siggraph? Didn't they talk about a 27 city tour? I have not heard anything about that since. Could it be that they were once again living in their own echo chamber thinking that the world would reach out to them with loving arms over the subscription plan? That they would be greeted as heroes wherever they went? Did our anger temper their hubris a bit? Good. So MAXON, please step out of your echo chamber. Start listening...and more importantly prove that you are listening. Even your defense of the new subscription model proves that you are still living in your own echo chamber because those arguments are all about how much better this is for MAXON: "It was really hard to maintain MSA licenses for 5 versions of C4D".....oh boo hoo for you. Kodak, Polaroid, Lucent....give a big warm welcome to MAXON. Dave
  4. Subscriptions will change the plugin market. We have already seen it happen with C4DS's plugins who decided that keeping up with the changes to C4D's core is no longer worth it to him. But it was the constant changes to the core that was the final tipping point for him to move on. We need to remember that at some point, changes to the core drop off once it is fully implemented. But relative to subscriptions, I would imagine that the hobbyist on the subscription plan will not be paying $999 for Realflow. That type of investment warrants a longer term commitment to C4D and is a bit incongruous to the thinking of anyone who chooses the subscription plan. But then again, most hobbyists probably would NOT be willing to pay $999 for Realflow even under the perpetual license plan...that is a lot of money for a hobbyist. But, if Realflow offered a per month subscription plan to use Realflow that was actually BILLED monthly for say $40, then some hobbyists might be enticed to try it, especially if that plugin had a demo version to learn on prior to actually paying the subscription fee. So there could be a market for subscription plugins that did not exist before. If MAXON was smart, they would lease out their license servers to plugin developers to actually make this option available to them as the skill/cost of developing a license management program is probably out-of-scope for some of the smaller plugin developers. Similar to how C4D has an SDK, their license server should have an SDK as well. If plugin developers used the MAXON license server, everything would be tied together neatly via the MyMaxon portal. Speaking generally (and there will always be exceptions), not everyone uses every one of their plugins every day. So this scheme makes sense in a subscription world. Just pay for what you need when you need it. Dave
  5. So doesn’t Blender do all this without plugins....for $0 per month or (if you don’t like subscriptions) or for $0 for the perpetual license. And you can either pay $0 a month or the slightly higher fee of $0 annually for the perpetual license as well. Unfortunately, the perpetual license needs to connect to the license server 0 times every 14 days to stay active. You just gotta love 0! Dave
  6. Yeah. If we assume that the cost to upgrade from R21 perpetual to R22 perpetual is $999, then that is a 53% price increase in two years. $280 increase to get R22 over what I would pay this year to get R21....but only because I still have an active MSA program. Now...if Prime users opt for the perpetual option at $250 this year, then they are also signing up to pay 4 times more than what they used to pay via their Prime MSA program for the R22 perpetual upgrade. Now that is a big jump. So the user base for C4D users are going to boil down to three classes of people: 1) People who are not afraid of being locked into subscriptions if they want to have access to their files. They've accepted it, don't fear it and are pretty much confident that paying $720 in perpetuity is just a fine way to go until they decide to leave C4D or 3D forever. 2) People who love C4D more than they hate subscriptions and agree to the outrageous price increases for perpetual licenses. 3) People who have just lost all faith in MAXON and that anger over this "new" MAXON forces them to go somewhere else. So which group do you think MAXON is placing existing C4D users in? Which group do you think MAXON is placing new users in? ...and most importantly (as I really don't care what MAXON perceives at this point)…. ….Which group do you think will make up the majority of C4D users in 3 years? Dave
  7. Craig, Stop sweet talking it...tell us how you really think! Wow...interesting site. I love how they list their benefits as: "proven ways to grow your subscriber numbers, membership base or customer lifetime value" So it is an "or" condition? You can't grow your subscriber numbers AND maximize customer lifetime value? I guess not. Well, we can guess which option MAXON selected. Dave
  8. Glad to know that my confusion was not unique. I originally thought that the 20% discount was a nod to the Studio users having to pay more over what everyone else is getting at a lower price should they renew their MSA. In other words: an incentive for Studio users only to push them towards subscription. Everyone else's incentive is that they get Studio for a lower cost. But that incentive comes at a price: you loose whatever perpetual licenses you have....so in reality it is now more of a dis-incentive than an incentive. That fact was never made clear until you really pushed for it to be answered directly. Everyone having that "ah-ha" moment with the answer only confirms that. Therefore, if moving everyone to a subscription is MAXON's ultimate goal (as all companies love the prospect of reoccurring revenue every year), then the ONLY lever left to them is to significantly raise the cost of upgrading your existing perpetual license to the latest version in future years (eg. R21 perpetual to R22 perpetual). At $999, that is already a 53% increase in two years over the $650 MSA price. I think we can take increases in the cost of perpetual license upgrades as a hard fact at this point. How do I justify this conclusion? Easy. Look at the two hardest pieces of information to get out of the MAXON team: 1) What happens to my perpetual license should I take the subscription? 2) What is the cost of upgrading a perpetual license. The answer to both of these questions reveal schemes that are to MAXON's advantage and not those of the Studio owner who values their perpetual licenses. ...and they wonder why the trust is lost. I hope I am wrong and am willing to give them 1 year to prove me wrong. Dave
  9. Rick, Thank you...so it is conversion from perpetual to subscription via the 20% discount that kills perpetual. That is where my confusion lies. So if I purchase an R21 perpetual this year, then I should NOT take advantage of the 20% discount for two years next year if I want to keep my perpetual license alive. Correct? If I decide in one year to follow the subscription plan, then I sign up for a subscription for R22 (do NOT take the discount) and I will have two licenses in the MyAccount system: 1) one for R21 perpetual 2) one for R22 subscription. So is it correct to assume that only taking the discount to convert from perpetual to subscription that puts perpetual at risk of deactivation. Are there any other risks to perpetual that I need to be aware of (short on you not offering them anymore). Thanks again, Dave
  10. I have asked for this before and I ask for it again... We need to see the R21 Perpetual EULA (end-user license agreement) to fully understand our rights prior to making any purchase. That is the legally binding document that defines exactly what we are buying. I also have asked my MAXON rep about what exactly is "perpetual" and can "perpetual" ever be PERMANENTLY taken away should I decide to switch to a subscription for a short period of time. No clear answer or they answer part of the question such as "Yes....while you are using the subscription your perpetual license will not work". They never discuss what happens after the subscription ends. BUT LET'S BE CLEAR: What I am asking is will my "perpetual license" be re-activated should I decide to no longer renew my subscription. Again....still more clear in the hopes that there is NO way a MAXON representative can answer the wrong question: Consider the following situation: Year 2020: Little Johnny has purchased or upgraded to an R21 perpetual license. Year 2021: Little Johnny signs up for the 12 month subscription plan to use R22 via the subscription plan for the 2021 year but decides NOT to continue his subscription in 2022. Year 2022: Little Johnny has NO SUBSCRIPTION PLAN and no access to R22. And now the big question: Will Little Johnny still be able to use his R21 perpetual license in 2022 under these circumstances? Not sure why this is such a tough question to answer but along with everything else that is going on, it is the inability to answer direct questions like these with equal directness that is killing our trust in the company... ...well...actually....that trust died 3 nano seconds after Dave McGarver started talking at Siggraph. Actually avoiding this question is taking the trust that was already killed, throwing it into an oil drum, setting it on fire, and pushing it off a cliff into a hydraulic car crusher. Something like that...but you get the point. So can someone from MAXON please answer the question directly. ...and when you do.... Please leave out the lengthy preamble about how arduous it was for MAXON employees to manage all those licenses, or how the EU laws prohibit MAXON from not only understanding direct questions but reading them alone without the presence of their lawyers, or how so much better licensing is for everybody, especially MAXON's accounting team. ...oh...and get us a copy of the EULA...I have access to some lawyers too...they live for this type of stuff and tell me that marketing something called "perpetual" has a very narrow legal definition. Thanks and have a nice day, Dave
  11. So we are 52 pages into this thread. Feeling simple and less confusing yet? Not sure why you just couldn't make everything really simple and just have the MSA and subscriptions and both be priced the same. Benefits of MSA - you get to own the software and it NEVER shuts off (no license manager). But essentially it is the same MSA program we have always had. If you leave it, the costs to upgrade can be significant. If this worked for 5 products, then keeping it for just one product is certainly a step towards simplification. Benefits of subscription: Essentially pay for only as long as you need it per the monthly or yearly plan and you get updates faster (MSA owners have to wait until the next MSA period to get an update). Fail to keep the subscription updated and the license manager shuts you down. Want to switch to MSA, you pay the upgrade costs just as before and no different than what MSA owners pay. What really get's people upset is the license manager for "perpetual licenses". Do you really own something that can be shut off remotely? If you don't think that is a problem for some people, give me your RFID codes for your remote car starter. The tripping point isn't subscription vs perpetual. The tripping point is having a license manager for perpetual. If that goes, you will preserve you user base. Dave
  12. Yep....they were forced out by Nemetshek (the true villain here). It is highly unlikely that three people all decide that retiring at the same time is in each of their own mutual best interests. They knew what was coming and I am sure packed as much as they could into R20 as one final gift to their loyal customers. Very glad that they went out on a high note...saw C4D win an Oscar, etc. My heart goes out to them though....because I honestly feel that for them to witness all the anger in the community will be like watching the home you built with your bare hands be over run by rats. Dave
  13. I also fear that more of the larger plugin developers may come to the same conclusion. Again, I expect the biggest churn in the user base to be in the single license PRIME user or single person NEW user. Yes. They will be paying more but they are no longer locked into using C4D. Their overall initial investment is very low and therefore easier to walk away from especially if there are no penalties for letting your subscription lapse for months or years. And as stated before, they may not like the idea of having to pay $470 more per year over their MSA for an annual subscription . This would be especially true if they are not using all the additional features that Studio gives them. Also, if I was a new user, I would NOT sign up for the annual subscription. Not sure if a 14 day trial is enough time for a new user to feel comfortable enough with the program to commit to something that you ONLY get to use for a year. In the past, if you did make a commitment to C4D, you at least had it forever and it was easier to commit to the cost of Prime than the cost for Studio. But not anymore. If I was a new user, I would step in for maybe a month and see how it goes. Some will stay, others will not. So, if the make-up of the C4D user base switches from old-timers like us to NEW or Prime users who just stick a toe in the water for a few months or a year, then those people are not going to be spending big money on plugins. Not sure how much of the user base this represents, but I would imagine the vendors of the higher cost plugins (Insydium, 3D Quakers, C4DPlugin, Paul Everett) may be looking at their user base to determine what part of it is made up of hobbyists. Either way, new user or subscriber, would you buy a plugin for software that you don't own and only rent? That's why the subscription model has to expand to include some of the major plugins as well and be part of the same package at the same price. Then things get interesting. But if not, and we lose our plugin developers, then I think the only people to keep C4D will ultimately be those making a living wage from it. The rest of us will go to Blender. My hope is that the plugin developers view this as an opportunity to seize a new market in the Blender community and look to the ex-C4D users in that community as a built-in word-of-mouth advertising. Either that or they make every upgrade backward compatible to R20...which will get old over time. Dave
  14. While confusion still reigns supreme over pretty much everything (...and this was supposed to be a simplification over having Prime, Visualize, Broadcast and Studio??? Yea..right). While everything other than subscriptions is still uncertain, then you have to think about all the possible ways people could use subscriptions to their advantage and not Maxons: Only go monthly...never perpetual and never buy 12 months all at once. Honestly, for the cost of the monthly price ($82.99) you could keep R20 (that can never be turned off) and use the latest version for up to ($59.99x12)/$81.99 = 8 months a year and save money. 8 months is a long time. Really start to think about exactly WHAT you need from the latest version and how long you will need it. If you can get away with ONLY a month or two of the new features, then you are way ahead of the game. This is especially true for NON STUDIO users. You will be spending more for a subscription than you did in the past. Having Studio is nice, but are you really going to use all those new features 12 months of the year? So be very selective over what you need from the later versions. Can you learn the new features, use them in a new project and take it to final render in less than 8 months needs to be a final consideration. When you finish a project, convert it to FBX so that you can still use some of it in R20. I have been playing around with C4D FBX import and export and it works quite well - especially when it is export by C4D and imported by C4D. Textures and textures channels are preserved quite well whereas FBX import from other programs do require more work to import into C4D. That may be a good strategy to get around losing your work but still benefiting from the new features. Future advancements to mograph, animation, rigging, and texturing will not be able to be saved from later versions in an FBX file in a non-destructive manner. Things will need to be baked or cached prior to FBX export. Stay on this plan for a period of time could save you enough money that in the future you could purchase a completely new perpetual license. But that could easily take up to 5+ years for you to hit a break-even-point and by then they may no longer be offering perpetual licenses. This is some of my thinking on how to AVOID giving MAXON as much money as possible. I used to be loyal and even when some of the releases were not up to par, I still paid my MSA because I knew that in time MAXON would treat its loyal customers well with some really impressive features as they did in R20. But in more ways than one, that ended with R20. MAXON has forced me to think the way their new management is thinking: It is now all about the money. Loyalty has nothing to do with it. That's why I am so keen on what happens with R21 perpetual. I do feel that will be the last perpetual license and it puts me that much further ahead IF R21 LICENSE STAYS ACTIVATED AFTER A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION ENDS and I approaching using C4D as mentioned above. But I fear that because they have this monthly only option, using it selectively is probably why they will not allow perpetual licenses to re-activate once a monthly subscription ends. At which point, I go to Blender. If only Insydium ported XP to Blender....life would again be perfect. Dave
  15. This topic is purely for Studio owners ONLY. We are the ones feeling the pain the most as we pay the most and get the least benefit in this new subscription program. You want to make a MAXON representative dance and sputter: call them up and ask them to explain why everyone else pays less then what you pay for an R21 perpetual license. They do their best, they hate the discussion and my heart goes out to them but that is the situation their management has put them in (let's not forget that). Okay...back to the topic. If you are like me, the whole discussion on MAXON's new subscription program is giving me a headache. But that happens after 40 pages of posts...and I am pretty confident that not everyone fully understands every conceivable permutation of license management that can exist for everyone. Honestly, sometimes it feel like trying to absorb a new set of government tax codes. But in all that confusion, the general consensus remains the same: MAXON is forcing you to subscriptions. Regardless of what they say about perpetual licenses, we all still have that perception. ...and nobody likes to be forced to do anything. So I thought I would open up a topic from a different angle: What would make you love subscriptions as a Studio owner? I ask because honestly, I think MAXON is going to take it the shorts on this whole plan. They most likely have spoken to Adobe and got level set on the plan that Year 1 they lose money, Year 2 they break even and Year 3 onward they are in fat city. But Adobe has more products than MAXON. For the same money, Creative Cloud gives you a whole suite of products whereas MAXON only gives you C4D (remember that Redshift is extra). I am not sure how much of their user base is made up of single seat Studio owners (be they professional or hobbyist), but I would imagine it is not trivial. So what happens when that large based on Prime, Visualize and Broadcast single seat license owners jump into Studio, pay the $720 a year and realize ..... hey....I was kind of happy with my $250 MSA because there are a lot of features in Studio that I just DO NOT USE. Now I am paying $720 a year (and all at once mind you) and I am not using all those new features. Honestly, if you were that good with C4D such that you consumed EVERY feature of Prime, Visualize or Broadcast, you would be using Studio now anyway. That is what happens when your skill starts to be limited by the tool...you get a new tool. But if your skill is NOT progressing with the lower platform versions, especially as a hobbyist, then you probably are not going to be using all the features of C4D Studio on a regular basis as well. You will default to what you know and using the program that way (it is human nature). Ultimately, you will realize that all that has changed is that you are paying more now per year for the same benefit.....and so you stop the subscription. Now, Adobe could weather that transition because if people aren't getting as much from After Effects as they hoped, they could jump to Photoshop, or Illustrator. There are 20 apps that you can choose from so pretty confident that they could find something that fits with what they want to do. Plus they offer cloud storage too! And they bill monthly! Imagine now if MAXON had acquired Allegorithmic rather than Adobe. Imagine if MAXON's "creative cloud" included C4D, Redshift, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, etc. Imagine if you had access to Substance Store as well? All for the same cost? Imagine if over time MAXON started to acquire Insydium, 3D Quakers, GSG. Imagine if for one cost (billed monthly) you got a good portion of what is today the C4D eco-system of plugin developers, model makers, and tutorial developers. You might feel differently about selling your soul to MAXON. But alas, they do not have a creative cloud. By comparison to Adobe, they barely have a Creative Raindrop. Of course, if Insydium ever ported X-Particles to Blender, I would not stick around long enough to see what happens. After all, no one likes to be forced to do anything. So what would make you love MAXON's Subscription program? Dave

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