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40 minutes ago, hobbyist said:

 

The new Asset browser is online and requires assets to be downloaded. Unless the default models are available on release to download and they make future models only available to subscription? Not a good sign for perpetual anyway.

 

I'm very happy with R23 but have some plugins I need to go back to R20/21 from time to time. 

 

Can we get some clarification on this from anyone who works at Maxon?  Is the Asset browser going the way of Cineversity for perpetual license holders (eg. not available)?    

 

Honestly, most companies operate under the philosophy that creating customer loyalty via providing outstanding products and services is the key to their success.   How often do we hear the words "unparalleled customer service is what we strive to provide".  Well, making training and assets free to perpetual license holders is definitely one way to make them "unparalleled" services to the customer.    Unfortunately, I fear Maxon no longer thinks of us all as "customers".  We are licenses and we come in two classes:  subscription and perpetual.   The subscription class is more valued to Maxon than the perpetual class.   Perpetual license holders are the lower class and that is why things are taken away from them in favor of the subscription class.  Why the disparity?  Why are the two classes treated differently?  Well, you can monetize every service with a subscription license on an annual basis.   If you want to keep using the software, you are forced to accept this monetization of services  in a subscription license. That could be their end-game once ALL licenses are subscription.  The people who don't think that will ever happen probably also thought that Cineversity would always be available to perpetual license holders.  

 

Honestly, if Maxon is doing this, then why are people thinking that an "Indie" license is a realistic expectation?   

 

When companies lose touch with "customer care" and only think about product and service monetization, then they also risk losing big to their competitors that do put the customer first.   Blender's rapid development schedule definitely speaks to their customer commitment.  How we have wished the same from Maxon and the comments on this thread such as "how long have I waited for..." again support this point.

 

Dave

Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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Sadly this is the truth now. I also know many developers who have left C4D plugin development. With the cost of subscriptions and the fact that nobody wants to pay to help develop a plugin to its full

+1 on your entire post. Since the release of R21 I seem to have noticed quite a decline in plugin purchases ... that was until I entirely stopped the business due to costs rising way over benefit

Are they really?... Xpresso is a basic, easy, clear piping of position X into position Y that mortals can comprehend.   Scenes nodes is.... decomposing a global matrix, splitting a matrix in

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26 minutes ago, Cairyn said:

 

Actually, the difference is only that XPresso is doing the splitting and reassembling of the matrix already for you by offering sub-elements of the matrix to set as input and output. It looks more complicated in Scene Nodes (and takes longer to set up) but essentially it's the same.

 

(I'm currently more miffed that I seem to be unable to apply any viewport operations to Scene Nodes. Still on R23 so I don't know whether it's not implemented yet or whether I'm just too dumb to find it in the help, but without interactivity, it feels like POVray all over.)

 

The fact that you and Mododo can't understand that it is not the same thing, and that  the difference is not trivial, maybe explains what Maxon was thinking when they decided to ditch Xpresso for a much more complex scripting language. Yes, behind the scene is the same thing, but for the end user is not. The Xpresso example (as posted by Imashination) is intuitive, very easy to grasp and to use. Meanwhile, the Scene Nodes example (posted by Mododo) requires the user to think like a programmer.  Most artists don't. 

 

The fact is that most users of Cinema 4D chose the program because it's the most artistic friendly general 3D app. If we wanted a more complex solution we have plenty of options. I am equally skilled in Maya as in Cinema4D, but I mostly use Cinem4D in my personal projects because it's more user friendly. But Maxon seems really focused on destroying this (curiously, Autodesk took a hint from Cinema 4D and made Maya way more friendly since 2016).

 

2 hours ago, srek said:

No, they are not. There are similarities, but the differences are fundamental. Xpresso adjusts the parameters of objects in an existing scene graph, scene nodes define the scene graph itself. Where it is easy to reference the same object multiple times in Xpresso, this just doesn’t work in scene nodes since you do not work with references, but the scene graph elements themself. Scene Nodes are NOT an expression system.

Thanks for an official clarification from someone at Maxon. But if Scene Nodes are not an expression system like Xpresso, why are you guys ditching Xpresso? Why not update Xpresso with Scene Nodes behind the scenes? Doesn't Maxon realize that killing Xpresso (or just abandoning it) is a good reason for us to NOT learn the Scene Nodes? Why should I learn if it could be abandoned a few years from now?

 

Scene Nodes are much more akin to Max Creation Graph or Softimage's ICE - which is much more complex than the typical Cinema4D user wants. Just gives us a multi-threaded Xpresso, a proper scaling of Xpresso UI.

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12 minutes ago, srek said:

How components are accessed is just ui, nothing fundamental that makes a difference on a structural level.

scene nodes controlling lights is currently not possible, except if you use node materiales with luminance for the lights, but even then the control would be per material.

I don’t have Cinema in front of me right now, but if you can iterate through all lights using a Hierarchy or List iterator you can change parameters individually by using the current index as a seed for the randomness.

Ahh....good point...and then if the seed values create too drastic a change, you clamp the values to within the ranges you desire.  Now for a LOT of lights (like 100's in the tunnel example), clamping a random value to a minimum or maximum of a range is a lot different than randomizing within a set a range.    Groups of lights could still have the same minimum or maximum clamped values.  

 

You are on a roll Srek....any work arounds to getting true randomness within a set range using index driven seed values without having to clamp the results?

 

Dave

Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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3 minutes ago, hikarubr said:
2 hours ago, srek said:

 

Thanks for an official clarification from someone at Maxon. But if Scene Nodes are not an expression system like Xpresso, why are you guys ditching Xpresso? Why not update Xpresso with Scene Nodes behind the scenes? Doesn't Maxon realize that killing Xpresso (or just abandoning it) is a good reason for us to NOT learn the Scene Nodes? Why should I learn if it could be abandoned a few years from now?

 

Scene Nodes are much more akin to Max Creation Graph or Softimage's ICE - which is much more complex than the typical Cinema4D user wants. Just gives us a multi-threaded Xpresso, a proper scaling of Xpresso UI.

Xpresso has not been ditched and afaik there are no plans to get rid of it any time soon. As long as the old object system has a part to play in Cinema 4D it makes sense to keep Xpresso. Please do not take the unfounded assumptions of some people as actual fact. 
Anything else regarding the Xpresso interface is mostly a question of priorities.

Scene Nodes are actually closest to how Houdini works, max as well as XSI have a core that is not node based, the nodes come on top. With Scene nodes you are really directly working with the scene graph.

5 minutes ago, 3D-Pangel said:

any work arounds to getting true randomness within a set range using index driven seed values without having to clamp the results?

I would not clamp but remap, that way you avoid visible clustering.

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23 minutes ago, srek said:

Xpresso has not been ditched and afaik there are no plans to get rid of it any time soon. As long as the old object system has a part to play in Cinema 4D it makes sense to keep Xpresso. Please do not take the unfounded assumptions of some people as actual fact. 
Anything else regarding the Xpresso interface is mostly a question of priorities.

Scene Nodes are actually closest to how Houdini works, max as well as XSI have a core that is not node based, the nodes come on top. With Scene nodes you are really directly working with the scene graph.

Since xpresso isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, why not give it some love? After all, this is what people are using for the foreseeable future. As@hikarubrsuggested, proper scaling UI, colored ports, mini-map navigation, etc. Just some small tweaks really. Or just keep developing a system that people aren’t using 😑

 

Just look at material nodes. They look really nice, but what percentage of folks are actually using them? Hardly anyone, because people are using Octane, Redshift, etc. I fear the same exact thing will happen with scene nodes.

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45 minutes ago, srek said:

Xpresso has not been ditched and afaik there are no plans to get rid of it any time soon. As long as the old object system has a part to play in Cinema 4D it makes sense to keep Xpresso. Please do not take the unfounded assumptions of some people as actual fact. 
Anything else regarding the Xpresso interface is mostly a question of priorities.

Scene Nodes are actually closest to how Houdini works, max as well as XSI have a core that is not node based, the nodes come on top. With Scene nodes you are really directly working with the scene graph.

I would not clamp but remap, that way you avoid visible clustering.

Thanks again for the clarification, about Scene Nodes being closer to Houdini than MCG. As I said before, it seems very powerful and cool - it just a little bit more low level programming than most C4D users want. 

By the way, when I say that Xpresso was ditched, I mean that Maxon won't update it anymore, not that it will be killed. Similar to what happened to Body Paint 3D. 

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4 minutes ago, hikarubr said:

By the way, when I say that Xpresso was ditched, I mean that Maxon won't update it anymore, not that it will be killed. Similar to what happened to Body Paint 3D

Xpresso draws its power from controlling other features, while some structural improvements might be nice it is more important that new features are supported by it than that it gains new features by itself. Since it’s introduction in R8 Xpresso has always grown in power and it is still relevant. 

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4 minutes ago, srek said:

Xpresso draws its power from controlling other features, while some structural improvements might be nice it is more important that new features are supported by it than that it gains new features by itself. Since it’s introduction in R8 Xpresso has always grown in power and it is still relevant. 

But don't to you agree that we need some UI improvements? The scaling is horrible - you can't read the Node title and contents depending of how much you are zoomed. Also, the connections are not the best. A lot of times I have to try twice or thrice to make a connection in Xpresso - this never happens in Octane Node Editor, for example.

 

Also, would be possible to have a multi-thread Xpresso using the new core in the new future? If yes, that would be amazing. 

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12 minutes ago, hikarubr said:

But don't to you agree that we need some UI improvements? The scaling is horrible - you can't read the Node title and contents depending of how much you are zoomed. Also, the connections are not the best. A lot of times I have to try twice or thrice to make a connection in Xpresso - this never happens in Octane Node Editor, for example.

 

Also, would be possible to have a multi-thread Xpresso using the new core in the new future? If yes, that would be amazing. 

As i said, ui improvements are a matter of priorities, that is nothing i can comment on.

Scene Nodes are multithreaded to the highest possible degree. Xpresso depends on the old object manager and the old scene graph, both do not lend themselves to multithreading easily. Scene Nodes have been developed as a long term replacement for the old object system for this reason. So sadly no, trying to improve the threading of Xpresso would not address the fundamental problems.

A future Xpresso, that would be based on the new core, would by default be multithreaded.

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Within nodal context it would be really difficult and complicated for user to distinguish some "Xpresso" or expression layer derived from nodes when nodes are in fact the scene itself. Looking at same data and same UI but abstracting that those are two different things is not something I would be in favour off...

 

@hikarubr

 

Xpresso requires objects or parameters to work. It needs geometry or some sort of data to act upon. Scene nodes are the scene elements themselves, you can generate objects or components with it. Regarding set driver / set driven - sure, a command for something that is commonly used. Xpresso uses two nodes and is accessing vector components directly from node, where in nodes separate nodes are used. We could think in direction of making that the same in nodes, that is just a UI change

 

@mrittman

 

Nodes are not used that much yet simply because they are new. It takes time for people to get access to them given that not everyone jumped immediately on 24, training material is scarce, and in general such changes need time to get traction. Same with MoGraph for example, it simply took time for people to explore it and start producing content

 

I would really like to see more questions about scene nodes if you guys are hitting roadblocks with them. It is scary big system with a lot of nodes, but so was MoGraph or ICE for example when they came out

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