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3D-Pangel

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Everything posted by 3D-Pangel

  1. Probably no more work than setting up the whole licensing maintenance system and I view this a critical to subscription adoption rates and therefore critical to MAXON - without it, all previous work to realize this new business model is not a successful. So MAXON better start thinking differently and stop hiding behind accounting rules to do what needs to be done for your own future success. If it is EU laws that hamper you, there are work-a-rounds (create BV entities in other countries and manage the billing from there, etc). Geeze....I thought you people were innovative! You made MoGraph after all!!!! Your competitors do it so why can't you? Plus, you already have worked out the massively complex labyrinth off accounting rules when you offered the $89 per month license plan. So what is the barrier to applying those same accounting practices to the $60/month plan billed annually? Do you mean to tell me that if someone decided to do the $89 monthly plan for 12 consecutive months it would bring MAXON's financial infrastructure crashing down upon you? I don't think so. Not quite following you on the logic of that argument. It is imperative to your success...so you better do it. Dave
  2. What you suggested is the modo model ( all perpetual license upgrades are the same cost regardless of your past version). Not sure how this benefits MAXON but I do agree that it would be a great thing to have. But then again so wouldn't indie licenses, or bringing back the MSA. Unfortunately, while great for us, they are not great for MAXON and I really don't think there will be any movement on this as everything being done today is really about benefiting MAXON. The only thing that will move the needle in this discussion is to propose "win-win" scenarios. I use the term "win-win" because they have to satisfy both MAXON and the user. I recognize that MAXON needs to make money, change their revenue model to make shareholders happy, etc. But what saddens me is that it all just can't be about them to be sustainable. So some things to consider: True monthly billing for subscription licenses. This has already been discussed. Other companies do it, not sure why MAXON cannot do it. No word from MAXON either on this as well. Rent to own model. Convert you subscription license to a perpetual license. Right now, the conversion is only from perpetual to subscription and again for the reasons discussed before in that MAXON wants you to be on subscription models going forward. What would be interesting is the option to convert past subscription licenses to perpetual licenses at a substantially discounted rate. The issue with subscription licenses for most is "I don't like the possibility of losing access to my files when I stop subscribing". So imagine this: You are an R21 subscription license holder. MAXON is now releasing R22 and for extra $XXX, you can get R21 perpetual license at the time R22 is released. The cost would need to be much LESS than the difference between the R21 perpetual and subscription licenses at the time R21 was released because you are not dealing with the current version which is now R22 (which in this example would be $950 - $720 or $230). This is a win-win to me. It removes the user's concern about losing access and therefore makes subscriptions much more acceptable to users (thereby increasing subscription adoption rates which is a huge plus for MAXON). It also has the added benefit of another revenue stream for MAXON over their subscription plan while STILL preserving their current subscription user base. You could also say that this offer IS ONLY available to users who 1) were subscription license holders for R21 AND 2) sign up for an R22 subscription as well (thereby keeping people on the subscription program). If both 1 and 2 were adopted then I would be extremely happy. Imagine now being able to use C4D for $60 a month - PAID MONTHLY - and then, for say an additional $150 a year, convert that past subscription licenses to a perpetual license when the next version is released. MAXON get's both subscription users AND additional revenue. I get to hold onto my perpetual licenses but don't have to fork over $950 every September to do so. True that MAXON could stick to their guns and say "but we want $950 rather than (12 x $60 + $150) $870 dollars for perpetual license upgrade". But then again, you also want a re-occurring revenue stream more than you want perpetual licenses. In fact, your whole perpetual license cost is designed to motivate us towards a subscription plan. Subscriptions and the re-occurring revenue that goes with it is what you want more than anything else. Adopting both 1 and 2 as suggested above motivates me better to jump on subscriptions than a high perpetual license upgrade cost. It still allows me access to my files should I decide to drop out of the subscription, which is a big fear to me and others as well. But when you only have to pay $60 a month (paid monthly) and an additional $150 a year (paid annually) to keep my perpetual license, I am extremely motivated to stick with the subscription plan. If it motivates others as well, please speak up. Now that is true win-win scenario and I would love to hear Mr. McGarvan's thoughts on this proposal. In fact, does this proposal have a significant downside to anyone? Dave
  3. So far, someone from MAXON will gladly chime in to explain some aspect of the subscription plan. They will also chime in to defend the position that Prime MSA holders can get a Studio R21 license via their last MSA purchase for about 1/3 of what Studio users have to pay ($250 vs. $720). Their defense though again gravitates towards subscriptions: "that is why Studio users can get two years of subscriptions for a 20% discount". But what took literally a ton of emails to sort out was that if you should ever take that offer in the future, they will deactivate your perpetual licenses - in essence locking you into subscriptions. They were very shady in divulging that information and it took some robust dialogue and painfully direct questions to get them to finally answer it. Now, where MAXON is COMPLETELY silent is defending why we should accept a 50% increase in renewing their annual perpetual license over what they paid for via the MSA program. Not one word of explanation or spin as to how this is in our best interests. Maybe they can say "well we canceled the MSA program" and that is the price of an upgrade without the MSA program. So we really didn't raise prices, we just cancelled a program. But then defend this: WHY DID YOU CANCEL THE MSA PROGRAM? Well, there is no defense. The MSA program was cancelled because they want people dependent on paying annual subscriptions for the simple reason that a companies "appearance" of value increases with a re-occurring revenue stream. It is a great selling point during quarterly earnings reports to say that subscription revenue growth is increasing and makes up a large portion of their total revenue. So in Nemetsheck's and MAXON's eyes, their thinking is "hey, we will make the annual cost of a subscription the same as the old MSA price so users will eagerly switch over of a subscription model. While it won't increase revenue (this year), changing the source of that revenue to re-occurring revenue is a great message to our shareholders." So again, the benefit is all MAXON and there is no way anyone from MAXON can defend this position on a community forum in any way that users will accept. Shareholders love it, but we don't because it provides us no value -- so why defend it. They tried to put lipstick on this pig by selling it as "3D for the whole world". No. It is "higher stock price for Nemetschek" and don't ever forget that. Again, the only thing they will listen to is a drop in revenue beyond what they forecasted. Right now, we are all exercising our last MSA purchases. The true test will come with what we do with R22. Do we convert to subscription? Do we pay the higher perpetual costs? Do we go somewhere else? That is why R22 will be a critical for both MAXON and for us as well. And don't think for a second that subscription prices will remain the same over time. Trust me, once they have coerced a large portion of their user base to subscriptions, those prices will rise. Maybe not in huge jumps, but they will steadily go up. And now you are really stuck. There are no alternatives but to pay at that point. While I love the fact that we have this great participation from Mr. McGarvan in this discussion, our complaints will make no difference and will generate no discussion from MAXON. Sitting on our wallets is the only voice we have. Dave
  4. Its called Blender 2.8 --- again, not as smooth as C4D but just as capable (even more so in some areas) and very production proven with some good investing from game companies, etc. So it has a strong future and a passionate user community. Plus if you have used Cycles 4D, then you already know how to texture in Blender but if not, there are also some very good free tutorials on pretty much every aspect of the program (Blender Guru is rising to be my favorite instructor). Dave
  5. 850 Euro comes to around $938 USD....which is slightly better than the $999 USD that was the cost of upgrading by one version in the past should you not have an active MSA. Soo.......instead of a 54% price increase from the $650 MSA price it is only a 44% price increase. Not much movement there. Folks, the only way to get price movement is to NOT jump on R22 no matter how awesome it is and you have until right before R23 is announced to sit on your wallet....though I have no idea when that will be. Again, the real test of how successful this whole new pricing plan will be is when R22 is announced as I am sure the majority of R21 licenses were through the final days of the MSA program. MAXON needs to make payroll and needs the revenue from new releases but we don't need to buy the perpetual license as soon as they are released - if at all (don't forget Blender! It is still out there!). Nemetshek may give them a grace period for a downturn in sales during this transition in MAXON's business model so they will be watching R21 subscription performance and R22 perpetual license performance with great interest. But regardless of the grace period for soft sales, no company likes to lose money so if sales are worse than projections then changes will be made. Time is on our side so lets use it. Dave
  6. That would be a very happy day for me if they just rolled the MSA cost as a perpetual upgrade cost and gave us the same benefits. But when you read the FAQ, there is not much there to indicate that hope: Doesn't the last 2 sentences indicate that there will be some variability from release to release on upgrade pricing? The use of the word "each" in the last sentence leaves that question completely open. I would have felt better if they had said "our upgrade pricing policy has yet to be defined". So, well I tend to think the worst now (eg. upgrade costs on perpetual licenses go up each year), I would also like to think that MAXON is going to base their pricing decisions on future subscriptions and future perpetual upgrade costs on current R21 sales. Our complaints and hopes will not sway anyone's thinking so what happens in the future will only be determined by sales. I personally think it will be $999 simply because that was the upgrade cost if you did not have an active MSA. So considering the MSA program is gone, then that is the only option left. But remember, with the loss of the MSA program also means that the time fence for upgrading is gone too. You will save no money by upgrading as soon as R22 becomes available. If you really don't like the officially announced perpetual upgrade cost, then wait. Maybe when MAXON is not getting the revenue they need from R22, they will have a sale. So wait for the sale. What have you got to lose. Dve
  7. I have the MX mouse and keyboard.....very handy when you are dealing with multiple machines at your desk. I have a work PC, graphics workstation and an "every day" cheap PC and I manage all 3 with the MX set-up. All wireless and it switches automatically between machines if they are supporting different monitors (just tell the mouse that if you scroll all the way to the left, then switch control over to the machine that supports the monitor on the left). Also, the mouse has internal memory built into it (up to 500 Mb). Just right click on a file, copy it, and then switch over to the other machine and left click - paste and that file makes its way over to the other machine. The only problem I have noticed is that if you are copying and pasting files on the same machine, then you may have to do it twice as it the first click puts into the mouses memory and a second copy is required to put it into the machines memory. Overall, very handy if you are supporting multiple machines at your desk -- though I will admit that I am in a rather unique situation with 3 machines and two monitors that support all 3 machines. The cable management alone would drive you mad so it was worth the cost of the MX (they are pricey) for solving that issue alone for the keyboard and mouse. Dave
  8. Well, I just have to chime in here as your post echoes a number of themes I have expressed since the day R21 was announced (though I would imagine that no offer for a beer will ever come out of it). I think it is now apparent to most users now that MAXON's new business model gives more advantage to MAXON than it does to the users. Most marketing people will tell you that is not a winning strategy over the long term and I would imagine that Nemetshek has signed off on some sales decline in the short term when they agreed to these changes. For MAXON's long term health, I understand that they need to draw more revenue to keep their current development efforts going as they have a long way to go to catch up to the competition. It is a tough road to create cutting edge features in the stable, easy to use manner that we have all come to expect from MAXON's developers. So I respect their need to generate more cash from operations. I was even okay with the MSA price increase from $650 to $725 - that is the benefit of putting out a quality product after all - but to incur a 53% prices increase from $650 to $999 while at the same time handing out R21 Studio to Prime holders for $250 is an indefensible, terrible move from the perspective of every long term Studio licenses holder. IMHO: That is just going too far and MAXON has over-reached. So with the understand that MAXON needs to increase revenue, I have proposed in previous posts win-win scenarios by which we all benefit. While I will never know what is being discussed, I remain hopeful that they have at least been heard because I honestly want MAXON to make money, be successful and continue on their current trajectory. But I find that recent changes in MAXON's business model are putting that trajectory at risk for the simple reason that the most important thing to MAXON's operations is to make payroll. They have been doing a lot of hiring and those salaries need to be covered regardless of how many licenses they sell. There is always a risk to a companies operations when you change your licensing model: So the big question is will that new model generate enough sales to keep operations going let alone generate a profit. Now, MAXON was an extremely profitable company in the old model and I am confident that they developed sales projections over the next 3 years (probably based on the Adobe model) before they embarked on this new subscription plan. But those are just "projections" which is another term for "educated guess". They really don't know. So there is risk ...and that risk will not become fully apparent until R22 is released. Here is why: It all has to do with how much of MAXON's business is made up of hobbyists or single seat professional users. While every user cares about cost, these are the users who are most concerned about new license costs and the benefits they are receiving. The genius of the MSA program is that it motivated everyone to renew every year. If you did not, you incurred that 53% prices increase (from $650 to $999) because if it lapsed, you had to pay the full upgrade cost. That program has now been removed. From now on, if you want a perpetual license, you pay that cost. But removing the MSA program also removes the deadlines for renewing. There is no reason why I should rush out and give MAXON $999 when R22 is released. In essence I have up until R23 is announced to purchase an R22 upgrade. So there goes potential for any predictable revenue stream. Also, subscriptions do offer freedom to the user as well, especially the hobbyist who is not dependent on C4D for income. Maybe you realize that you are NOT using C4D 12 months out of the year. Well...then don't sign up for the yearly subscription plan. Look at what features you need that are only available in the current release and sign up for the monthly subscription rate to use those features. FBX output is amazing these days and provides an important bridge back to previous versions. I tested it from R20 back to R19 and it works quite well. You could use the latest version for 7 months at the $95 monthly rate (did they raise that price?) and still save money over the annual $720 subscription rate. I am sure that most projects can be completed in 7 months or less. Even if you are committed to the $720 annual subscription plan, there is no penalty for waiting to renew. You can look at the features of R22 and make a decision to jump in again ONLY when you see the need for a feature in R22 that you think you will be using on a regular basis. Again, there is nothing that forces you to sign up as soon as R22 is released. So what all this means is that MAXON's revenue stream went from a very predictable model (they new when everyone's MSA's were expiring) to something COMPLETELY UNPREDICTABLE. That is why they are pushing for the monthly subscription plan billed ANNUALLY. They want their money up front as that insures that they can make payroll for the coming year. R21 was released for the majority of us under the old MSA rules and pricing, so that is why I say that this unpredictability will not become fully apparent until R22 is released. That is first release fully under these new rules for everyone. Well...as users we should all commit to NOT PLAYING BY THOSE RULES as long as MAXON continues to act in their own self interests more than ours. Hey...you folks changed the rules so don't be mad at me for playing by them in a way you don't like. There are also some threats that MAXON has in front of them as well over the next year: Will all Prime MSA holders that were comfortable with their $250 MSA costs be happy with a $720 annual subscription cost or a $999 perpetual license cost? Again, for the hobbyist or single seat professional user, this could be a big hit to their budget. Will they still opt in next year remains to be seen. Will lackluster releases in future years drive people, no longer bound by the MSA deadlines, to renew an annual plan for that new release? Imagine if there was no MSA pricing for R21 nor an MSA deadline to renew to get R21. Would you immediately run out and get it? Probably not. Instead, you might want to sit back and see what MAXON does to encourage sales as waiting is all to your advantage. So the luxury of a predictable revenue stream provided by the MSA program while MAXON continues to roll out the new core at their pace is gone. If an attractive feature set is not there that warrants the current price, people will wait to see if a better price becomes available. Blender 2.8 removed the interface barriers for a number of us. It is now looking like a more acceptable mainstream program. I will admit, it is a little clunky. Using it sometimes feels like you are driving a dump truck compared to the smooth Ferrari feel you get from using C4D...but then again, it is free and it will still get you where you want to be quite well. Plus, Blender usability will only get better and when it does it will still be free. Blender is now capturing mind share. Hobbyists happy with Prime in the past may move to Blender. People new to 3D will probably try Blender first and realize that it is a good alternative to what you have to pay for with C4D. So the subscription growth MAXON was hoping for ("wow! Studio for only $60 a month"), may not materialize. If Blender ever get's a MoGraph module or any of C4D's major plugin developers (Insydium, 3D Quakers, Jawset, etc) ever start to port their programs over to Blender in response to a shift from C4D to Blender among users, then that just makes moving to Blender that much easier. So all I see is risk and this new subscription model is not a slam dunk win for MAXON. It is all about preserving revenue over this transition and MAXON needs to think more about the user if they want to preserve that revenue and survive that transition. Should you ever be in Boston (say during your tour) and want to hear more....let me know. I will buy the beer...in fact, I might even throw in some food to boot. Dave
  9. Ummm…..pay for it yourself and you might just feel differently....and your boss must be paying the "per month" plan. because all other plans are billed annually. Have you even told him about the $720/year plan because if you are using it more than 8 months a year then you are costing your poor boss to pay more.
  10. Okay...If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times: PLEASE STEP OUT OF YOUR ECHO CHAMBER and stop listening to yourselves. Start listening to your customers. Never consider an action that benefits MAXON unless it ALSO benefits your customers and be darn sure that you have asked a good cross section of your customers if that action really is a benefit. The whole thread just shows how out-of-touch MAXON is becoming with the real world as you embrace the "modern on-line world". It also shows the massive shift of corporate culture going on within MAXON. There is a very obvious theme throughout all of your actions of putting MAXON's interests ahead of your customers. That is a losing strategy. We all see it and my hope is that you step out of your own echo chamber long enough to see it for yourselves. Dave
  11. When does your current MSA expire? If it is in 11 months, then you are correct in that you don't need to do anything for at LEAST the next 11 months. Should MAXON release R22 prior to your current (and last) MSA expiring, then I "think" under current MSA terms that you would also get R22. Now if R22 is not released until AFTER your current (and last) MSA expires, then AGAIN you do not need to take any action until R22 is released. In fact, you could decide NOT to upgrade to R22 up to 1 day BEFORE R23 is announced (should you magically know when that day is). The MSA program locked us into renewing at a fixed interval. But with it gone, we are no longer locked into the schedule...it is just a license upgrade as far as MAXON is concerned now. This probably explains another reason why they are pushing for subscriptions....they want a predictable and reoccurring revenue stream. MAXON had that with the MSA program...not so much with the new perpetual license program - we can give upgrade money to MAXON for R21 today but then do nothing for R22 up until right before R23 is announced. That is a two year window (on average) in which no money is flowing into MAXON. If everyone did that, MAXON would have to suck it up because they still need to make payroll. So the revenue gets a little lumpy and unpredictable. Software companies don't like that...thus the hard push for subscriptions and the punitive $279 cost increase for a perpetual license upgrade over the past MSA program. That's just not how to treat customers. You don't punish us with higher costs because you made a change to your pricing model that that creates a bit of financial uncertainty in your cash flow. That's like flipping the middle finger to the firefighters while you are hanging on with one hand to the burning building. So when R22 is released....just wait. Don't do anything for 6 or 9 months. Trust me, the sales team will start a campaign before then. Dave
  12. Wow...and I thought I was snarky!!! Okay. Let's accept it for what it is: Mr. McGarvan is on the Cafe. He is posting. That is huge and unprecedented. Now, unless he lives in his own private world of cognitive dissonance reserved for the truly self-absorbed, then it is a fair bet that he is quite aware of the level of frustration, loss of trust, and overall growing anger against MAXON's new policies. ....but he still bravely posted on the forums. Now, if any of you think that the months of development it took to put their licensing scheme into place, the investment in servers to support it, etc is going to be chucked aside simply because the majority of us are angry and thinking about Blender more than we are about R21...well...let's be realistic. It is going to take more than 3 years of lackluster sales for it to finally sink in with Nemetshek (because this was all their idea after all) that maybe they just screwed up a pretty good thing. But by then it will be too late. You see, we all see it coming. We are more attuned to what licensing means to the users because we are all users. Corporate execs are not users. They are a bit out-of-touch. If Adobe could get away with it (after incurring an initial loss of sales in year 1, breaking even in year 2 and a return to profitability in year 3), then why can't MAXON do it? That is how they think. But the Nemetshek execs do not realize that Adobe has a suite of 20 products to offer for $53/month that is billed MONTHLY. MAXON has two products billed at almost twice that amount (if you include Redshift) billed ANNUALLY. Whatever you may think of Adobe subscription plan, you have to admit that is a lot of capability. Plus they also offer cloud storage. Regardless of the pace of development at Adobe after licensing, you at least have a number of options with their Creative Cloud that you can afford on a smaller financial bite of $53 a month rather than $720 a year. So can you really take your marketing cues from Adobe with that type of offering? I mean really? Plus, MAXON announced their licensing plan on the back of R21 which has less new features than R17. Not sure if Mr. McGarvan was aware of the anger around R17. R17 forced the much respected founder of The Cafe, Nigel Doyle, to leave C4D,...that is how angry we all were with R17. Nigel just had the personal integrity (and foresight) to actually do something about it. And now, here we are with R21 which is even less compelling in terms of new features than R17 and on top of that you add licensing. I mean WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Did the Oscar go to your head? Did you even bother to reach out to a cross section of your user base (both professional multi-seat houses AND individual users) to get some feedback? I mean, the simple fact that Prime MSA users can now get R21 Studio Perpetual license for $250 while Studio MSA users have to still pay $720 should have caused some recognition of the fact that loyal Studio users are getting the raw end of that deal. And please, don't tell me that the 20% discount on a two year subscription makes up for that because with that deal you loose your R21 perpetual license. I mean the execution of this whole licensing scheme was so poorly thought through that I have to imagine that there were some MAXON employee's who voiced concerns. If you didn't get feedback from your users...did you at least listen to your own employees??? So please, if you are going to be brave enough to take the heat on the Cafe, please step out of your own echo chamber and listen. Drag a few of those bean counting Nemetshek execs with you in the process. A few things for everyone to mull over if you really are going to listen: 1) Restore the perpetual license upgrade cost to $720. The disadvantage of perpetual licenses is that users have to wait a full year for updates and you want to the money all at once. The advantage is that we are not locked into a subscription fee to keep using the software. Seems like a fair trade. And don't lie to yourself and say "Paying $999 is what happens when we discontinued the MSA program". Tacking on another $279 is just unnecessarily punitive punishment for not going to subscriptions or just plain greedy. There is no other way for you to defend it so don't even try. That type of behavior is NOT in keeping with MAXON's past culture. 2) Charge monthly for a subscription rather than yearly. You can still have two plans: an annual commitment billed monthly at $60 and a monthly commitment billed at $89/month - but both are charged monthly. I mean what is the point of this whole licensing manager if your cannot monetize it with monthly billing? Miss a payment, the software shuts off and you have one month to get back on to the $60 plan monthly plan. If you miss that, you go to the monthly $89 plan until your original 12 month commitment plan is up for renewal. Advantage: users get interim updates and monthly billing. Again, fair trade for losing the right to use the program after the subscription payments stop. Both of these plans are far more attractive than what you are offering now. Why? Because they offer advantages to both MAXON AND the user. Right now, everything is weighted in MAXON's favor. Don't kid yourself to think that the users are not smart enough to see it....I mean why else would we be angry. But please do SOMETHING...ANYTHING that recognizes that the path you are on is not a successful one for MAXON. Again, we are here pleading with you because we do love the software but we fear for MAXON's future. Again, we all see it coming. You need to open your ears to what we are saying. Also...one more thing.....in case I still haven't gotten your attention yet and this post is just so much long winded chatter in your ears: Please point out to your bosses at Nemetshek that regardless of how precious and in love you are with your new core, that Blender 2.8 IS A SERIOUS THREAT THAT YOU CAN NOT IGNORE. They are getting some significant funding....they are capturing mind share with a loud chorus of approval for their new features that dwarfs whatever noise was made when C4D won an Oscar. Blender is production ready because Blender is used on productions (...so how many Netflix movies, series and shows are made with C4D?). Those new customers you are hoping via your "3D for the whole world" pitch are also looking at Blender. Don't kid yourself. They are looking at Blender 2.8. Blender is now more mainstream in its interface and if you are new to 3D then why would you choose a subscription program at $720 a year over a FREE program that has a pretty good interface, production proven character animation, modeling and sculpting tools, GPU rendering, a fast real time game rendering engine (Eevee) that gives tremendous view port performance, particles, compositing...the list goes on. As you deal with lackluster sales in 2019 and hope for a recovery in 2020, never forget that Blender gives us options. Please repeat that to yourself every day when you wake up: Blender gives us options! Is the hair standing up on the back of your neck yet? Still having fun? No? Well...then you better starting listening. Dave P.S. And let's not even think about the worst case scenario: Someone makes a motion graphics plugin for Blender....or Blender does its own mograph development. Blender has everything else....so why not? Honestly, C4D's future may not be as secure as you think.
  13. Thank you....not sure where the whole Sticky threads moved too. I am probably still getting used to Cafe 2.0 (which I do like better). Relative to this subject of what MAXON's new options mean to all users, may I suggest this rather snarky post found here Yea...I admit it is snarky and paints MAXON in a bad light. But there is some truth to it and MAXON needs to be willing to take the heat for their actions. My hope is that they listen to it, internalize it, and then do something about it. Dave
  14. There was a whole 60 page thread on this (which seems to have been removed from the Cafe site) and it took quite a bit of discussion to sort this all out as the data was not forthcoming in a very straightforward manner (IMHO). That could have been just a pure communication issue given the number of options. But in a nutshell, here is what you are facing: If you have an ACTIVE MSA today, then you will get R21 perpetual. Pure and simple. August 31st, 2019 was the last date in which MSA's were being renewed. Once the MSA expires then you have the following options for R22 and beyond: Option 1 (Studio MSA Holders ONLY): Go with the subscription plan for two years at a 20% discount. Note that if you take this discount, then the R21 perpetual license you have will stop working. That is the trade-off for taking the 20% discount. Option 2 (everyone): Go with the subscription plan (NO discount). You pay $720 USD all at once AND your R21 perpetual license will remain active. Should you stop paying the subscription price, then all versions of C4D after R21 will cease working. Option 3: Purchase a perpetual license. The cost of the perpetual license is exactly the same as it was for C4D Studio users who let their MSA lapse but want to upgrade to the next version....or $999. Think of it as life without an MSA program...which it is because MSA programs were discontinued on August 31st, 2019. Another way to think of this is that MAXON just figured how to enact a 53% price increase on Studio users in the last 2 years (from $650 to $999) if you want to stay with perpetual licenses and pretty much a massive annual price increase for every other non-Studio user else regardless of what option you pick. Yeah,...people were mad...which probably explains the 60 page thread that started as soon as this whole plan was announced at Siggraph and its eventual removal from Cafe web-site. So what does this mean to you (other than higher cost with less freedom)? Well, that is something that you need to decide. Honestly, R21 is such a lack-luster release that I get more excited over Blender 2.8. As I learn more about it, I keep getting more impressed with Blender. I just purchased close to 70 hours of Blender training at Udemy for $27. As far as the new features in R21 goes, It feels like MAXON's development resources went into license management rather than C4D development. Yeah....not a good year for C4D users at all. Dave
  15. I hate to burst your enthusiasm for R21, but honestly, that is not a new feature. I have seen it in earlier versions...for example here it is in R19.
  16. I also have one year to take this course (now on sale for $13.29 at Udemy): Blender 2.8 The complete guide from beginner to pro 35 hours of training and 4.5 stars out of 5 (313 ratings). Is everything with Blender this cheap? It is like a whole new world (cue music from Aladdin ;-),. Dave
  17. I do hope that they are still trying to sort out what the cost of perpetual upgrades are going to be because what I am hearing from MAXON USA representatives is that the cost of upgrading in the future will be as if your MSA program no longer existed. For example: Prior to 9/1/2019, the cost of an MSA was $725 and with that your got the next version. If you did NOT have an MSA, then the cost of upgrading to the next version has been $999. From 9/1/2019 onward, MSA's no longer exist. Therefore the cost to get the next upgrade will be $999. This has been clearly stated over and over again, so I have to assume that is the current policy that MAXON would like to stick to unless there is significant push back from the user community. In MAXON's mind, they are thinking "Well, if you want the same price then go with subscriptions". Subscriptions hold the user captive and free MAXON from the consequences of not releasing new features per any schedule. If you don't like the pace of development and stop paying the subscription price, then you can't use the program. Imagine if MAXON decided NOT to release R22 until 2021. Subscription users are essentially paying $1440 to keep using R21 over that 2 year period. Perpetual license holders of R21 pay only $999 over that same period. That is an extreme example, but you get the point...subscriptions free MAXON from the financial consequences of not delivering meaningful updates on a regular basis. Subscriptions are NOT to your advantage...they are to MAXON's advantage. Never forget that. So MAXON wants people to go to subscriptions or pay a 53% cost increase in perpetual upgrades (from $650 to $999 in less than 2 years). Either path is an advantage to MAXON....none to the user. No matter what type of crappy "3D for the whole world" spin you want to put on it, you need to realize that this is their agenda. It is an agenda that Nemetschek put in motion by forcing the founders out and hiring an Adobe transplant to execute. Disregard EVERYTHING that any corporate shill from MAXON tells you....it is greed, plain and simple. This is a different MAXON. Well, there should be consequences to treating your user base this way and that is what MAXON is going to try an gauge over the next year. What MAXON has yet to figure out is what will every MSA user who upgraded to R21 perpetual will do when R22 comes out when faced with a $999 cost to continue being a perpetual license holder. Yeah, Prime MSA holders are dancing in the streets over getting R21 Studio for $250 today but what they have yet to realize is that their annual costs increase 400% to $999 if they want to keep using R22 perpetual. Even if they decide on subscriptions, that is close to a 300% increase in their annual costs (and again close to 400% if you use Redshift). So again, if MAXON is still "taking their cues from the user-base" concerning perpetual upgrades, they are in fact wondering two things: "Will we get away with a massive price increase on perpetual license sales to pretty much everyone when R22 comes out?" "Will everyone instead move to subscriptions which gives us all the power in deciding how to release new features?" So despite what everyone is talking about, the line in the sand is not today (9/1/2019) but rather whenever R22 is released. That will be the big decision point for everyone because right now life is normal...we are all under the MSA program one last time and paying what we paid in the past. The big decision point is next year and that is why MAXON is listening to us today. So my hope is that a 61 page thread of rage over the "new" MAXON makes them realize that the users are NOT going to take this quietly. I hope MAXON steps out of their echo chamber and listens to our disappointment in them as a company that we trusted for decades. I hope they feel the silent pull that Blender R2.8 is having on us as users and drop their arrogance over the purity of their new core and recognize that Blender has some pretty good features that C4D does not have...and they have them for FREE! The new Blender interface lowers the learning curve significantly so that just makes a decision to forego a future with MAXON that much easier. I hope MAXON takes to heart that the Blender Organization gives us something that the MAXON organization is trying to take away: Freedom from incurring significant financial consequences when deciding how we want to use the program. So if MAXON is truly listening, then let your voice be heard over the next year. Dave
  18. Where can you learn more about this? One of the biggest advantages to C4D is X-Particles. The latest release is just outstanding in that it does exactly what you are alluding to here: integrates everything with everything (particles, object breaking, object physics, spline dynamics, fluids, etc). I would say that should MAXON ever improve C4D's ability to handle massive object counts, then X-Particles will be giving Houdini a run for their money as a much friendlier option for doing some pretty cool VFX work (Houdini will still have the lead on absolutely outstanding jaw dropping VFX work, but it won't be as much fun to create). For me, X-Particles will be one of the toughest things to walk away from should the future force me to into MAXON's subscription policy. Dave
  19. So is this becoming more common? If so, are you letting MAXON know? I was actually a little surprised to see a number of people trying to sell their R20 licenses BEFORE MAXON announced R21 and the subscription program. I wondered why they wouldn't wait to see was in R21 and then make a decision. Well, we know the answer to that question. It was a brilliant move on their part if they actually were able to make the sale for all the reasons discussed to death in another 60 page thread. I just want to know how they knew that it was time to sell. Were they part of the beta team? Were they tipped off about subscriptions? Did they have inside knowledge? We will never know, but it does make you wonder. Dave
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
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