Autodesk announces their 2010 product line

loocas | 3ds Max,Maya,opinions,software | Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Following the announcement, Autodesk revealed the 2010 product line.

Hands down, the updates are really not about new big features at all, this time. Well, maybe except for Maya 2010, which’ll, for the first time in years, come in one version only, just Maya 2010, no Unlimited or Complete (which was confusing anyways) and will include Toxik (altough called Maya Composite) and MatchMover.

I still haven’t seen any presentations of these new features, but I’m really looking forward to that. Even though I really dislike the idea of having Toxik inside of Maya by default. I never liked that compositor, always felt very “Flame-ish” and therefore “odd” to me, being used to Fusion or Nuke. But still, I’ll save my judgement after I see a demo.

Autodesk also announced a 3ds Max 2010 SP1 release, which is always good, if it wasn’t for “subscribtion customers only”, which is, in my opinion, bullshit!

Then Softimage 2010 with some minor additions and bugfixes. Notably f-curve editor really needed that sweet touch and Scintilla, which I really felt in love with after it was included in 3ds Max, is also a very nice additon.

They’ve also announced digital production Suites, which seem to be a great idea, possibly taken from Adobe, that you’ll be able to buy a bundle of 3ds Max/Maya, Motion Builder, or even 3ds Max/Maya, Motion Builder, Mudbox. If the prices are “reasonable”, I’m sold!

As I’ve said, I’ll wait for tomorrow’s demos to pass my judgement on these new releases, so, stay tuned…

Containers are not a solution to retarded XRefs, unfortunately

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,technical | Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

It is sad, but the promising concept of Containers introduced in 3ds Max 2010 is lacking fundamental functionality. It’s lacking so much I can hardly see a benefit in using them instead of XRefs.

(more…)

3ds Max fur is really badly implemented

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,technical | Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Have you ever experienced, all of a sudden, Max to stop rendering furry objects? No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, no nothing, it just won’t! Also, another great thing is the shading of the fur. You can setup fancy lights, fancy shadows, nice speculars etc… and then you realise your fur is totally overbrightened from… hell I know?!

I really envy the 3Delight implementation of Shave and a Haircut’s hair/fur geometry and the shaders, they work beautifully and exactly you want (obviously, you wrote the shader so if it wasn’t working the way you wanted, it’d be a huge bug).

Anyways, 3ds Max’s hair and fur is really, really, bad. It’s not even good for low-budget, low-end productions, it’s completely useless. The only thing that might have a chance of pushing it a bit farther was mrPrim rendering. But then again, mental ray is also such a terrible renderer (at least in 3ds Max) and then again, hair and fur is so buggy in Max it isn’t even worth mentioning.

Man I hope Autodesk does something about this issue soon, or everyone will have to move to proprietary solutions for hair and fur stuff. As they’ve been doing forever anyways… *sigh*

3ds Max 2010 ini changes

loocas | 3ds Max,software,technical | Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Autodesk has changed the way inis are being loaded up in 3ds Max 2010. I didn’t know (even though I was on the beta program) about this new feature until I bumped into a problem with it. Namely, plugin.ini seems to be loaded at startup no matter what, which means setting up various flavours of 3ds Max requires an additional step that wasn’t necessary before.

I also beta test finalRender for Cebas and I heavily customize Max beyond the UI, which means I load up certain plugins at certain times, when I need them. Up until now it has been the way that by default (without specifying a different ini file), Max tries to load up everything that’s in plugin.ini, which worked perfectly for a full-blown installation whenever I needed it. But since 3ds Max 2010 it seems that plugin.ini is being loaded up every time no matter what I specify during the startup. This means that I have several other ini files with various configurations and plugins I want to load up using the -p parameter for 3dsmax.exe, like this:

"C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2010\3dsmax.exe" -p myConfig.ini

Now I bumped into a problem when Max was trying to load a full, retail, version of finalRender Stage-1 R2 as well as my beta version of fR (specified in a different ini) at the same time, which caused a conflict. So essentially, for a full version of fR I run Max with fR_RETAIL.ini settings and for a beta version I run fR_BETA.ini settings. Now I only keep stuff that I want to run every time in plugin.ini, no matter what configuration I’m using. This is a bit of a change and I though I’d point that out for anyone interested in customizing the hell out of 3ds Max 2010 ;)

Autodesk Toxik is out

loocas | opinions,software | Sunday, May 10th, 2009

toxik_banner

I’ve given Toxik a spin and I’ve found it unusable for my particular needs (but that was kinda obvious almost from the very begining).

The cons were namely:

  • Awkward user interface
  • Strange and unfamiliar compositing paradigm
  • Owned by Autodesk
  • Dubious future
  • Newly revamped compositing package from a dead end concept
  • Seemed to be aimed at larger, primarily 2D, post-houses

While the pros were:

  • Built-in revision and versioning system
  • Built-in connection to Oracle database (perhaps other DBs were supported as well?)
  • Collaborative compositing design
  • Fresh, modern architecture with HDR and 32bit compositing in mind
  • Python scripting
  • Seemed very robust and fast

As I said, those pros or cons reflect my particular needs. While others might or might not agree with me, it’s their problem :) I found Toxik unusable for my needs and thus I ruled Toxik out of my pipeline development process.

The kitty is still missing?!

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,software | Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

This is weird! Autodesk broke its unwritten rule by NOT including CAT with the standard installation of 3ds Max 2010. Why is that? Well, I admit it makes a bit of sense, however, this makes CAT hardly “main-stream” in the 3ds Max field, thus making it harder to count on when working on collaborative projects with freelancers or studios around the world.

CAT is available as a download to those who’re on the subscription program, which isn’t that cool! I personally don’t have subscription as I can hardly justify the cost vs. benefits, especially since the price for a single seat of 3ds Max 2010 is almost twice as expensive as in the US and I can’t buy a US license! :(

Quite frankly, it’s BS and I’m not very happy about how things turned out, really. I’d rather see Biped go and kept CAT as the core of character animation pipeline in 3ds Max.

3ds Max 2010 is now available for download

loocas | 3ds Max,software | Thursday, April 9th, 2009

max 2010 splash

Autodesk made available a trial version of 3ds Max 2010 and 3ds Max Design 2010 for download. Head over to their site, fill out the form and give Max a spin ;)

Autodesk Introduces 3ds Max 2010

loocas | 3ds Max,software | Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

max 2010 splash

Yesterday, Autodesk introduced a new version of 3ds Max 2010 with its flashy new features, one of them, most noticeable, is the introduction of Ribbon as well as direct integration of beloved PolyBoost, now called Graphite Modeling Tools.

(more…)

3ds Max 8 is inofficially dead…

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,software | Monday, March 9th, 2009

3dsmax8_splash

Autodesk hasn’t announced anything officially, yet, but it’s been quite quiet for the 3ds Max 8 on their site. No updates, no FBX plugins, everyone seems to have moved on to newer versions. It’s sad since I very much loved 3ds Max 8 and if there was a x64 version I think a lot of folks would have stayed with it. Which is bad for Autodesk, of course ;) But, to be fair, it’s always a good thing to move forward, especially regarding technology, be it software or hardware. But definitely not just for the sake of moving on. It has to make sense and it has to be worth it.

The thing is, I felt in love with 3ds Max 8, loads of my friends and colleagues loved 3ds Max 8 and now, since Autodesk doesn’t release any more software updates to Max 8, no more plugin updates, nothing, we have to move on. We have to supress our tears and finally say bye…

Here’s a minute of silence for the great, stable, rock solid and reliable 3ds Max 8, we loved you!

Can’t wait for Max’s new kitty

loocas | 3ds Max,opinions,technical | Sunday, January 18th, 2009

cat_banner

Great news, at least some, that came from the Autodesk aquisition of Softimage is that it plans to include CAT in the upcoming 3ds Max version (3ds Max 2010), which I consider being fantastic!

CAT will finally mean a lot of time and effort saved when dealing with character rigging, setup and animation. The layering system is fantastic as is the rig itself. I don’t know how far will Autodesk push the interoperability of the rig and MotionBuilder or Biped for example, but knowing Autodesk, that’ll most likely be up to us, the end users and TDs. I’m planning to base my complete character pipeline around CAT, of course, only under the single condition that CAT works the way it should! and tie everything up to MotionBuilder rigs, possibly Biped (but probably not as I don’t use Biped at all), and other modules and areas of 3ds Max. The next step will be interoperability with Maya, which’ll allow me to utilize Maya’s fantastic cMuscle and nCloth.

I have the tools pre-planned here mostly on paper. The overall pipeline will be revolved around XML and MySQL, as much open source as it gets. So the core, proprietary components that are CAT and other pieces will have to work perfectly in order for me to go into this venture. But the fact that every seat of 3ds Max 2010 will have CAT is a very solid and good foundation. I like this idea, it’ll definitely save me tons of work and time, which is crucial. It’s the one and only new feature I’m actually very excited about.

But, if all fails and Autodesk (again) proves itself incompetent, arogant and stupid, there’s always a fantastic solution from Kees Rijnen as he announced his amazing Puppetshop to be available for commercial use for free! He’s awesome!

In the mean time, get to know CAT and learn it in and out as that’s gonna become the one and primary solution for complex character animation work in the near future. I believe it, you should too! ;)

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck