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Everything posted by 3D-Pangel

  1. Ahh...my assumption was that I could reverse engineering the materials in the starter pack but it sounds like that is not possible and better to work with the sample scenes. Relative to tutorials that go beyond learning the UI, any recommended sites? I had a quick read with this site which is good as it shows the effect that changing certain node values have on the render, but again defaults back to the cookbook format for the more complex shaders. Anyone have any other Blender Cycle tutorial recommendations? Dave
  2. Well said. I do believe that ultimately we will all have to learn the logic of a nodal material system as I would expect that is in MAXON's development path. Hopefully, MAXON implements nodal materials similar to how they implemented Xpresso: something that "under the hood" to the existing interface and there if you need it to go deeper. So far, some of the Cycles 4D tutorials just kind of role out the nodes in a cookbook fashion: open these 7 nodes, link them this way and viola you have great art. What I am looking for is a deeper explanation behind the "why" of each node....maybe even a discussion of all the different ways to accomplish the same effect and then why some methods are better than others. If you are just going to slap nodes up there, I get quickly lost. But it is a mental shift as you alluded to. So the big question is how many mental shifts do you want to make if (like me) you believe that C4D will also one day implement a nodal material system? Also, should MAXON implement a nodal system, then that is one less annual maintenance fee I have to pay if I don't purchase Cycles4D.. I would be enticed to gamble on Cycles4D as I would love to play with materials being able to emit light. Also, I would like to know what is in the free Starter Pack you get should you order prior to 1/31/17. But so far, Insydium has yet to post any links to the content of that starter pack. I have written them twice about it and they keep promising to post that information...but so far nothing....which kind of works against providing the necessary motivation for purchasing before 1/31/17. Overall, nothing is moving me to rush out and make a purchase. Dave
  3. People do NOT place enough value on Cineversity when they consider the overall benefits of an MSA. Gifts like these (along with the ease of getting them via the CV Toolbox) is pretty outstanding. While I have not done an exhaustive study, the combination of tutorials and tools with your service agreement is (IMHO) pretty unique in the industry. One of the reasons why I not only paid for my 2017 MSA agreement but jumped in an purchased an 2018 MSA agreement during their Black Friday sale (30% off). I am with you for the long haul! Please try to contain your excitement and/or utter disappointment! Dave
  4. Okay...new member to the Cafe (0 posts) and his entry into the forum is with a well rigged, modeled, textured and animated spider-bot. Yeah...like that happens everyday. So before I comment on the work, I need to know if you are just new to the Cafe, new to C4D or new to 3D modeling and/or animation. In fact, on second thought, don't answer that. I don't want to hear the truth. I don't want to hear is that you are 17 who just picked up C4D Prime for Christmas. Why? Well, speaking for myself only, seeing so much talent in someone who is young is very discouraging to an old duffer like myself who has been banging away at this as a part-time hobby for the last 15 years. So let's just assume that you are a 25 year professional in cg and character animation, with the last 15 years working with C4D who just recently found out that the C4D Cafe was a pretty cool forum. Okay...relative to comments, I do have one. The design of the robot is pretty cool but it looks like the legs are supposed to fold back into the shell. Based on the design, I don't see how that is possible as the body cavity for the legs does not look like it would allow enough room for the leg joints. Maybe it does as I have not pushed it around enough to check, but I always love seeing cool designs that also look like they could really work. Seeing a little pocket for the leg pistons to fold up into when the legs retract would really help sell that this robot was designed by engineers rather than a character created by artists....and as such, read more "real". Small criticism to an otherwise really nice work!! Bravo! Dave
  5. Very nice....not much more I would add. I also love the controls for adjusting that rig to other car types. Very handy. One thing I have never seen in a car rig is something to control the tail lights. Car comes to a stop and the tail lights glow red and stay red until the car starts moving again. Yes....you could key frame it, but that would be a bit tedious if were animating a group of cars in traffic....bumper to bumper traffic jams. Speaking of which, a whole plugin could be developed that animates such a simple thing as cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I guess my point is that there has been a tremendous amount of work done on car dynamics....but not a lot done on traffic dynamics. For example, say you have 3 cars following each other and the first car stops. There will be a slight delay before Car 2 stops and yet another delay until Car 3 stops after Car 2. The reverse happens when the cars start moving again. Car 2 will not start moving until Car 1 is some distance ahead and Car 3 will not move until Car 2 is some distance in front of it. Next time you are way down the line at a traffic light and the light turns green, watch how long it takes before it is your turn to start moving. This behavior is called queuing theory and the math is a little bit complex (read up on it here). Couple car dynamics with traffic dynamics and now you have something that I don't think has been done before. I could be wrong. The closest I have seen to that level of animation came out of Massive --- which is a bit overkill. Dave
  6. Yes...I have Forester. Purchased last last Christmas (2015) when they were giving it a really good discount. One of the major reasons why I gave up on Plant Factory is because of Forester. Much easier to use with quicker results in C4D. Looking forward to Forester 2 (hopefully released later this year) where I hope they add local (rather than global) wind forces. You can get wind effects out of Plant Factory into C4D but it requires either the top studio version (big money) or Vue xStream. Dave
  7. Wow. That is all I can say....just wow. Amazing modeling, texturing and lighting. Question: The best way to date the Empire State Building is by the spire...what antenna's and gear are placed on top. Not sure if I saw any cellular antenna's and/or microwave horns so it is hard to place the date. What date were you shooting for? Regardless, I think you hit a perfect balance with the top because if you look at an actual photo from 2007, the top of the building is just littered with antennas: All that antenna gear really kills the aesthetic beauty of the building...something your model preserves but still has the building looking "real". Honestly, if you were ever to sell this on Turbosquid, I would buy it just to look at it!!! It would be like owning a fine piece of art! Great stuff. Dave
  8. e-on just released Vue 2016 and Plant Factory 2016. The big new improvement is a heightfield terrains (with better erosion algorithms), GPU rendering, and better export capability. Overall, it feels very R17-ish in its feature list but I would imagine that either e-on wasted a lot of time with the Bentley merger and/or it takes a great deal of core rewriting to incorporate GPU rendering. While they did release something, my concerns remain. I also think the industry is moving away from them as well. In their "showcase" section, they would constantly be showing the major movies Vue had been used on. Well, the most recent movie listed is from 2012 (The Hunger Games). That's a bit too old. You would think they would keep that portion of their web-site up-to-date especially if they are slow on updating the software so I am inclined to think that Vue is not the de-facto go-to app for creating lush natural environments. All-in-all, Vue is feeling more like Lightwave to me...both are struggling and losing their once prominent positions in the industry. Dave
  9. That comment struck a nerve because I do remember a particular discussion in a trade journal about the "next big thing" in CG. I mean, what is really the next big thing? We've successfully crossed the uncanny valley and can render trillions of polygons (the space station model in Star Trek Beyond topped out at 1 trillion). Speaking of which, the technologies to handle massive data sets are reaching such a nice level of maturity that we can convincingly simulate armies of all sorts of terrible creatures, conjure up fully realized fantastic worlds of incredible detail and richness and then dispatch them with equally graphic world ending disasters. Honestly, what is left in the imagination that CG cannot make photo real? For a number of years, there was always "the next big thing" coming in CG. So when asked what the next big thing was in that article, I was stuck for a moment wondering what it would be but was surprised by how deceptively simple the answer was: "Do everything we can do now, but only faster and cheaper" And I think that is why the focus has turned to GPU based render engines. Dave
  10. I would like to know what Cycles 4D users think of this development? Cycles 4D is also a GPU renderer but with the added benefit of a nodal material system. But I have heard some troubling "rumbles" about the speed of Cycles 4D IRR and the need to increase samples significantly to get acceptable render results which in turn removes any speed benefits from GPU rendering. So will MAXON's implementation of the ProRender not be hampered by these same issues? Not sure. But I would imagine that Radeon resources exceed those of the Blender foundation with respect to engine development and MAXON's resources exceed those of Insydium's with respect to implementation. Also, lets assume for the sake of argument, that the ProRender implementation provides better quality at faster render speeds than Cycles 4D. Would you still get Cycles 4D for the nodal material system (all things being equal in terms of feature sets of both renderers....which do seem pretty evenly matched)? You know, I would not be surprised that the ever secretive MAXON is more forth coming about the development of ProRender because Insydium annoucned Cycles 4D. Had I no knowledge that ProRender was coming, I probably would have purchased Cycles 4D by now. But right now, I am going to wait. I have no idea how all of this is going to play out!!!! What is everyone else going to do and why? Dave P.S. To be fair, knowledge alone that ProRender is coming is NOT the only reason why I am not running to purchase Cycles 4D. Their annual license maintenance fees are very high and I have no idea about the pace of development from Blender to insure that high cost is justifiable. The render times at high sample rates to get acceptable results is troubling. Plus, after following a few tutorials, I have to say that nodal material systems have a steep learning curve...a very steep curve. Should ProRender be the much better and faster renderer such that I stop using Cycles 4D , that would a lot of wasted effort (along with cash too). As a hobbyist, time is on my side....so I wait.
  11. Does anyone have any information on exactly what type of materials are included? The Insydium web-page for that product provides no further information (at least as I can tell) which is odd as most shader vendors always provide a grid of material samples. Also, for those who have purchased, did the materials arrive with the software or is an additional step required? Thanks, Dave
  12. 3D-Pangel

    Cycles for C4D

    Downloaded the demo and installed in R18. No other installs were performed (e.g. it was not installed on R17, R16 which also reside on my machine). All was working fine until Win10 went through a huge update today (Win 10.1607) and now I get this message when I activate C4D: I sent a support request to Insydium but the acknowledgement message states that technical support for the Demo is limited and could take up to 5 days for a response. So I thought I would post here and the Insydium forum in case anyone else ran into this problem and has an answer. Thanks, Dave
  13. All, Quick update which I should have provided about 3 weeks ago: e-on has released Vue Infinite 2016 and Plant Factory 2016. Still no word yet on their other products. New features for Vue is GPU rendering, height-field terrains, etc. Dave
  14. Ahhh....that might explain why I have not noticed it on X-particles because when I do get home and power up the workstation to use it, I am always on-line. Thank you for the quick answer. Once you understand what is meant by that statement, it makes sense but on first read it can lead to the wrong conclusions as it initially sounded that if you don't use C4D and the program for 30 days (even if on-line), something happens to the license. You may want to put some clarification into the fine print there such as: "Cycles 4D licensing is done online so you need an internet connection for normal use. You can use it offline, but only for 30 day periods at a time after which you must reconnect to the internet to refresh the license for the next 30 period of off-line use" So when will the demo be ready? This weekend? {keeping fingers crossed}. Dave
  15. Okay....all I need is the demo and time to go through the tutorials and I will be making a purchase. As next week is the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US, that is a perfect time to learn as I will finally have some time at home to focus on it. Will the demo therefore be released soon? Also, one more question: The nature of my work has me doing international travel quite a lot lately (I have been in Mexico working with our manufacturers since September...and now you know why I am looking forward to taking all next week off). My travel for 2017 could potentially be China, Malaysia, Thailand, Poland, etc. So this is what I read on the Insydium order page: "must have a connection at least every 30 days (you can only be offline for 30 days)." As a hobbyist who is out of the country a lot, this is going to happen. Therefore, what happens when it does? Dave P.S. And now you know why my skill as an artist take soooooo long to develop. I cannot wait for retirement.
  16. Hmmm.....I say we start a "Go Fund Me" page to "Bring Nigel to America" for some future Siggraph conference!!! ;-)
  17. Ouch! Let's not go there....but you are always welcome to NH. Dave
  18. Recommend skipping ahead to 5:16 minutes as that is when he actually starts talking about Cycles 4D.
  19. Given all that shifting of land, I am waiting for the seismologists to determine if stress was relieved on the fault lines. A chilling fact with the Haitian earthquake a few years back was that even though one coastline sunk 20 feet and the other coastline rose 18 feet, the fault line was completely intact. No movement thus no stress relief. Go back into the historical records and you read reports that Haiti had a big earthquake in the 1800's and then 20 years later a really massive earthquake occurred. They are seeing repeat of that same pattern. They call it the zipper effect where the tectonic stress shift along the fault line rather than get relieved and then build again to something even more horrific. So again, hopefully the seismologists are looking into this and give an "all clear" for New Zealand. Nigel...if you don't get the "all clear" I would look into moving to New Hampshire...we are the Granite State after all....nothing moves that much!! Dave P.S. I wonder how WETA is doing? You will probably hear that Jame Cameron is once again postponing Avatar 2...this time due to the earthquake! ;-)
  20. Hmmm....250 materials if you purchase before 1/1/2017. Now that is tempting. I hope one of them is that cool lava material used in Mike's tutorial. I would assume that each material can be examined in the node editor (not sure if there is the ability to use the material but lock out viewing/editing for those who wish to sell Cycles material sets in the future). Being able to examine other materials really helps with the learning process. Can materials created by the Blender users also be used in Cycles 4D? Dave
  21. So if it is "all over the place" then is it the render engine or the user? I agree that some of the stuff you pointed out is pretty bad (in particular the jet...what was going on with that reflectance) and the AA on the Lamborghini but the XP stuff is pretty good! Yes...not all of it was show reel worthy and for a product launch they should have been more discerning but I don't think you should write off the Cycles render engine just yet unless you see a good quantity of Blender/Cycles show reels with the same issues. Personally, I haven't looked as I am thinking of sitting this one out until I understand more about either or all of the following: 1) how to use the nodes from the demo/tutorials, 2) whether Cycles delivers on their development plan as promised and 3) what MAXON has in store with their GPU rendering solution. So it could be awhile. Dave
  22. I never doubted their ability to release a solid product. But not all things are in Insydium's control...namely the pace of development of the Cycles render engine. That needs to be proven to me to be pretty robust with some level of predictability regarding timing and features to make me pay $110 USD a year for a maintenance plan on a $220 USD plugin. Never said I wouldn't purchase it. Just said I would be cautious about purchasing the maintenance plan and favor re-purchasing new licenses every 2+ years until I am convinced that the maintenance plan provides a better value. Now, that is just me....but if others are making the same value judgments then that is a risk to Insydium as their development costs are the same each year but their expected revenue becomes unpredictable. Better all around to lower the maintenance costs so that it is predictable....that is, people keep signing up each years because the price is low enough that the value of doing so never comes into question given the unknowns about Cycles development schedule. Dave
  23. I actually like that clause that they give you some time to rethink your maintenance plan after the deadline has passed. But their whole maintenance pricing is just very risky because of so many things that need to be proven to the C4D community to just assume we would jump in each year for 50% of the original purchase price. Here are (to me at least) the unknowns: 1) What is the Cycles release schedule? Is it annually? Bi-annually? 2) How long after Cycles releases a new update will we see Cycles 4D be able adopt that new release? 1 month after release? 3 months? 3) How many new features does Cycles add with each new release. The 2017 development plan looks pretty hefty, but that is just a plan. How many of those features were originally included in the 2016 development plan? Do they hit their development plan all the time? Again, no idea. 4) Say that Cycles releases a new update towards the end of our maintenance plan but the maintenance plan expires before Cycles 4D gets updated? What are we entitled to? No word on how that works. That may be why they have the 3 month grace period....but then what happens if Cycles 4D does not get updated after the 3 month grace period ends? So Insydium is dependent on the release schedule of an open source program --- and I have no idea how consistent open source platforms release updates nor how much is in each release to make me feel that paying 50% of the purchase price for a maintenance plan is a wise decision. That is out of Insydium's control which means it is out of our control as well. So the smart thing to do is to wait and see. And I mean wait for 1 year after your 12 month maintenance plan expires with the original purchase. Waiting that extra year to see how this goes and then buying a new license does not cost you any more than paying 50% each year as that new license still comes with another 12 month maintenance plan. If the pace of updates or the amount in each update is not worth it to you, then you wait longer. That is why I said "how does Insydium want to see their revenue? Consistently year after year or in lumps?" Lower the maintenance plan to something much more reasonable and people are more motivated to just keep signing up. Keep it where it is and the motivation is to wait as buying a whole new license at some point in the future is less risky (because you now know what you are getting) and potentially cheaper if it is more that 2 years between purchases. That is lumpy revenue because maybe they see some maintenance purchases in 1 year....but then again maybe not and they have to wait 2 or more years to see some additional revenue. Hey, they development costs are the same to them regardless of our buying patterns. Businesses love predictable revenue models. They can plan and invest on a predictable revenue stream. This will NOT be predictable for the reasons I stated....so they take on risk. I wish them the best of luck if they hold onto their current maintenance pricing. But right now, given all the unknowns, it is a big bet they are making for a new business. Dave
  24. Wow...well...on the plus side, it appears that you still have basic services like power and internet otherwise you would not be able to post to the cafe. I would also assume that the rest of your family (children, parents, in-laws) have checked in an they are okay as well. Next big question, are the roads in and out of town okay? Will there be disruptions in food to the supermarkets, gas to the gas stations, etc. I mean, you could be perfectly fine but still be in a pretty rough spot like these poor cows: There is only so much grass left that they can eat! Dave
  25. Okay.. just checked out the Cycles home page...so some of my questions have been answered. I will admit that the yearly maintenance cost of 90 pounds is a bit excessive as that is 50% of the purchase cost and 60% if you are an X-Particles 3.5 user. Think about it. Even C4D's Studio MSA is only 18% of the new license cost...so at those costs, you are strongly motivated to renew your MSA. But at 50% of the cost, I could afford to miss a few years and just buy a completely new license in the future. So how do you guys want your revenue stream to be managed in the future? Consistent or lumpy? The development effort and your costs are all the same but I would imagine people will not signing up for the maintenance program unless they saw a huge benefit...and that benefit is tied to the Cycles development pace and Insydium's ability to quickly keep up. So the big questions are: 1) If Cycles is cranking out a significant hunk of new and more powerful versions with each release (such that it is worth half our initial costs as that is what the maintenance program costs), 2) If Insydium can keep up and 3) Even if Cycles does pump out huge updates, that is a lot for Insydium to digest and integrate into the plugin so can it still be done quickly within the maintenance cycle. That is a lot of "if's". So for me, I would buy Cycles 4D now and then sit on it for at least 2 years....just to see how things go. That might be smart given what MAXON is working on with their own GPU rendering solution (which also has similar features). Now, reduce the maintenance costs to 30 pounds (20% of the initial cost), and you have me for life. So as a I said before, how do you want your revenue? Consistent or lumpy (30 pounds each year or "maybe" 180 pounds every 2+ years). I don't know. Charging 90 pound maintenance fee is a big bet for a new venture. Dave
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