Dead "Ksenia" and a dusty teapot. Why AutomaticTable is an evil corporation

    Remember the beginning of the movie "Jeepers Creepers" - Every 23 spring, for 23 days, it eats?

    So ... Every year, at the same time, Autodesk releases a new version of all its products, and cuts off the support of old ones. Thus, forcing users to renew their licenses every year ( product pricing - take a look at one eye.). And everything would be fine if the company really thought about users, and not about expanding the market for marketing its programs.

    An example of an excellent design is how to turn a program glitch into a logo.

    I began to write this article very indignant at the current situation with 3ds max, but as I collected material and read various forums, I began to understand that the problem is more global than just with one graphic package. Immediately make a reservation, I write from the point of view of one person, and not a production company. And I'll start, perhaps, with:

    3D Studio Max

    A simulator of your own unexpected crashes, crashes, freezes, damage to saved files and at the same time the largest warehouse of potentially breakthrough, but unfinished and crookedly working ideas.

    Who is 3ds Max for, according to Autodesk

    ? This article was born after I decided to switch from 2013 to 2015 Max. We can say that this is two years (!) Of improvements and innovations. And in all seriousness, in the official document "feature (normal. Language. - little thing-gimmick) and innovations" in the first place is this:

    New arrows for canceling actions. The second. Near the first. Do the same thing. Same as Ctrl + Z !

    Autodesk asks for a penny to upgrade a program from any version from 2009 to 2014 - only $ 2,965 and 98 cents. And as I already mentioned - previous versions are not “supported” (normal languages ​​are supported).

    Of course, there are still “innovations”, and maybe they are not so absurd, but most of the category “Remember 2-3-4 years ago, we added a feature? Well, this year we fixed it! »


    According to unconfirmed reports, a drunken macaque squad burst into Autodesk’s office, connected the programmers, and throwing keyboards at each other accidentally coded a new layer system for 3Ds Max 2015.

    Tom Hudson is one of the creators of the program (it looks like he didn’t work in Autodesk for some time) spoke out publicly about 3ds Max and Autodesk’s policy as a whole:
    “I wrote a letter to Autodesk. He said that many things in 3ds Max are very stagnant, that there is a big field for improvements. And what I already have on hand is some very interesting and useful innovations, which, I am sure, will appeal to users. But I received no response from Autodesk. That is, they did not say, “We need time to think,” or “No, we have other plans,” they simply ignored my letters. ”

    His statement (while I was writing the article), along with all the huge discussion in which serious people from the film industry and even various universities participated, were deleted. Someone ...

    For historical information: Tom Hudson is not just someone from the team of "beginners", he and Gary Yost are two people who created 3ds Max. You can't just ignore him like that. It's just as if Apple decided to fire Steve Jobs. This cannot be.

    The whole situation with the “new features” sucked out of the finger is especially strange, given that 3ds Max probably has the largest community (normal language - community) among all other programs. There is a SITE where "lonely geniuses" write simply unrealistic and useful crutchesplugins for 3ds max. Someone gives their scripts just like that, someone sells. Under 3ds Max created thousands of all kinds of improvements for every need and situation. But it seems that Autodesk itself does not even look at how people who love the product are trying to improve it. On the site you can find a lot of comments like:

    (eng.) Autodesk where are you looking? So SO need to develop tools! ( written about this )

    Does this make 3ds Max a bad program? Not. This is an excellent program with, as I said at the very beginning, great potential, but ... You can very quickly create the basis of a project. It is convenient to work at the last stage, when all the elements are assembled in a finished scene. But the "middle of the workflow", a detailed configuration of the elements - this is hell.

    Numerous glitches, bugs, flaws, ideas not brought to mind, inferior functionality all travels from one version to another. And then service packs go for service packs, then fixes (Hotfixes) go to service packs, then patches. The 2014 version of the program has 5 service packs, and 2012 had already 12 pieces! It seems like Autodesk can't do everything right the first time.

    Personally, as a max user with 10 years of experience, all of this sends me to the country of the keyboard buttons flew out from the punches and the mice smashed against the wall. In a country of sadness and sadness. Although, I must admit, this is not so terrible as:

    History with Softimage (XSI)

    Most multitasking programs, and especially 3D graphic editors, have (or) excessive congestion and a slow process. But after all, creative people think in images, not logic, and this is called “creativity”, and not “analytical actions to create a copy of reality”. What artist wants to program scripts, adjust parameters, move sliders, climb the menu in a submenu, in the scrollbar, in a new window, taking into account the checkmark, which must be put in another menu. And at the same time you will get an unobvious result. You need to suffer half a day before you create a picture that can be drawn with ketchup on a napkin in two minutes.

    And suddenly, like a metal basin falling on a tiled floor in a morgue where “no one is moving”, he burst out:

    It is as if he says: “Brother, I found your creativity.” On, hold

    In 2008, Avid revealed a completely new approach to working in its Softimage graphics package. The system was called the "Interactive Creative Environment", or abbreviated as "ICE" (English - ice). This system made it possible to “program” without knowing any of the programming languages ​​by simply compiling diagrams of functions connected by nodes.

    In other words, visual programming. Artists were no longer dependent on programmers and could themselves “write” to themselves any plug-in they needed, or functionality.

    All this without a single line of code.

    It was a brilliant solution! So ingenious that 4 months after the official presentation, Autodesk bought the Softimage product from Avid for $ 35 million. Which of course immediately caused a lot of negative reviews and concerns about the future of the product. But Autodesk vowed that it would develop the product. And that this new revolutionary approach to work will be implemented in Maya, and in 3ds Max, and in bicycles, and in light switches, and in the ground so that the potatoes grow better. The main thing is to trust us. ...

    6 years have passed.


    The official reason is something like this: “Yes. They made a not entirely successful deal. We bought a product with few users compared to 3Ds Max and Maya. A lot of competing products - this means low cost of each. Control over another team of developers, PR managers, managers. The product does not quite pay back the costs. There is no way to fully focus on their other products. We are forced to stop developing Softimage to give life to 3Ds Max and Maya. ”We start a tear rendered in MentalRay and apologize with honest eyes.

    And in fact?

    In fact, in 2008 Autodesk was very scared. At once, both 3ds Max and Maya, which experienced stagnation in those years, had a serious competitor! With a more advanced approach to the workflow. This intuitive and understandable system could attract a large number of "beginners". Probably all. How much time would you have to spend to develop and implement something similar in your own products? How many resources would have to be invested in order to recapture part of the lost market after that?

    And despite the fact that Autodesk did not need Softimage as a product, spending 35 million in this case is a huge saving not only in money, but more importantly - in the development of promising technologies. And plus they not only did not lose, but even received some part of the market already owned by Softimage.

    After the acquisition, Autodesk began to slowly but surely slow down the development of Softimage from year to year, reducing the updates made to the program. At some point, the entire core team working on Softimage was generally transferred to Maya. And after announcing the execution date, Autodesk suggested users switch to Max, or Maya, for free.

    Sorry Neo, but the red pills of the "truth" are over

    Curious fact. A year after the purchase of Softimage, in 2009, 3ds Max was added more than 350 innovations. Which suggests that the program was previously in a backward state. And in subsequent years, relatively good innovations were also added. Including: an excellent, but kosyachny, bone system for animating CAT characters; Populate module Graphite Modeling Tools. And you know what? This is not 3ds Max development, it all came from Softimage. At first they sold it as parts of one product, and then as innovations in another ...

    Simply put - when they bought a product, they knew right away that they would kill it. They did not put up Softimage for bidding so that someone could buy and continue development, no, they just destroyed it. We took a good (WORKING !!!) idea, clumsily cut out all the “tidbits” from it and threw out the rest.

    According to more accurate, unconfirmed reports, drunk macaques who broke into Autodesk’s office did not aim to create, but copy some functionality from Softimage, and present it as innovations in 3ds Max 2015. The same principle of working with layers, stereo cameras, Python, and advanced work with shaders.

    Yes, from the point of view of the development of the company as a whole, and the capture of the market - everything is played out competently. And from the point of view of users? People who have been using this program for many years (especially the Japanese loved it very much), or people who have been developing Softimage for decades.

    Check out this impressive 2010 video:

    Simulation of tissue, fluid, elastic and sticky (Che? ..) bodies (HOW ?!)

    Lagoa Multiphysics for two years was developed by one person Thiago Costa specifically for Softimage. And this also no longer exists. Like Face Robot , like CrowdFX .

    Softimage is not just a program that is now gone, it is 27 years of intellectual work of thousands of people. This is a multi-million dollar development flown into the pipe, at the request of Autodesk management.

    the competitor is dead

    Perhaps you decide that I am exaggerating by saying that the “program is dead”, that here it is, has not disappeared, and yet with the same functionality? Yes there is. But you can’t buy it anymore, in any form. Autodesk has stopped selling licenses, and accordingly all that remains is only illegal pirated copies. And that literally means killing the product. Do you have the right words for people making such decisions? I am sure that there is.

    Our "everything"

    But Autodesk develops Maya. This is a megaproduct! It is very complex and therefore probably the best. He can do a lot of things, you can succeed with him, and all adult uncles use him.
    Well, like, like, yes ... enjoy.

    Many youtube barolics
    Now you’ll stick for 20 minutes, it’s better to read the article first. At least a part about Maya)

    Creating a crowd of zombies, simulating hair and clothes made in Maya

    Megaproduct, it is. This is a giant "Swiss knife" that can do a lot, but working with it by modern standards is inconvenient. And Autodesk Maya does not develop. Unless of course consider the periodic purchase of add-ons / improvements made by third-party developers.

    So where does all the awed horror of Maya's power come from then? What makes the impression that this is an exceptional product, which has no equal?

    For example, here’s a video on how special effects were made in the movie “New Spider-Man 2: High Voltage”:

    Impressive, right? Calculation of the mass of the physical body for the realistic movement of Spider-Man, muscle tension and their vibrations in a relaxed state

    Only to 3D artists does this have little to do, it is pure programming. And what do you think, if in the production of the film several million were spent on the development of these technologies, then the studio that developed these add-ons will release them “open access” so simply? .. No, of course! If for the film “War of the Worlds Z” a special framework was written for work and the correct selection of fabric simulations, will it be included in the next release of the program? Not.

    In other words, Autodesk uses the achievements of the film industry in working with Maya to advertise and sell it. But Maya's “capabilities” are not entirely related to the product itself, but rather to geniuses working in world-famous film studios. Why is Vasya Pupkin miscalculating the trajectory of physical bodies, or simulating crowds of zombies, if he can do the maximum - is it to make an animation of a rotating cube?

    Autodesk is not at all profitable to invest in Maya development, because smart people themselves will screw everything they need to it. And when they fasten it, then you can try to buy it. For example, more or less adequate modeling tools were added only last year (sic!). Yes, bought on the side. Yes, again everything looks like something wrapped with tape on the side.

    And immediately another question arises. So if there are such difficulties when working with Maya, then why do studios even use it?

    Visual Effects Studio MPC . Working on special effects for Godzilla

    Before answering why large Maya studios, it is worth starting with how these studios generally work. In Hollywood, only exceptional professionals and craftsmen are valued. Dozens, or even hundreds of people, work in the studios, and each of them is a professional in a particular field. For example: Someone feels the movements of creatures well and is engaged in character animation, someone has a well-developed spatial thinking and he can coordinate the creation of a complex scene with many animations, and for someone, the imagination works well with the environment and he can add interesting details for events occurring, etc.

    And precisely in order to satisfy the professional requirements of each of the studio employees, we needed a fairly flexible tool that can be tailored to any task. And most importantly, under the most convenient and means productive workflow of each employee. Here Maya was born. This is nothing but the basis for the organization of the conveyor. But to configure this "conveyor" for the needs of animators, texture makers, or any other studio workers - this is the concern of programmers.

    So it turns out that only the studios with a large staff of highly specialized specialists who expand the functionality only for themselves can work with Maya in full force. And the specialists in these studios are so high-class that they can literally write their own graphic packages. For example, Mudbox (also bought by Autodesk), or Mari, or Maya itself - these programs came straight from the movie studios. And Vasya Pupkin made a rotating cube for three days, not because his hands are bent, but because he wanted to quickly and like in Hollywood, but got lost in the excess functionality, and numerous menus.

    Is this a glitch? Is this a bug? No, it's just a right mouse click.

    This year, Maya 2015 added Naiad (purchased from Exotic Matter), a technology for photorealistic simulation of fluid bodies. Used in blockbusters like Avatar, Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntreader, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    here is a wax rabbit , and here a chocolate elephant

    Autodesk bought Naiad back in 2012. I bought and waited 2 years for the release of this technology on the market. Now they have added Naiad to Maya, in truncated form, and renamed Bifrost. Naturally, next year in the list of “new features and improvements” of Bifrost, everything that they now cut out will appear in order to create a kind of activity and progress. One way or another, the goal of Bifrost is to seriously compete with RealFlow, and strongly enforcing Houdini with its various simulation systems.

    Instead of an elephant in chocolate, RealFlow has a truck in ... also chocolate.

    But the right question is why they “implemented” Maya, although Naiad used to be an independent fully functional product? Most likely, Autodesk thereby plans to increase the functional difference with 3ds Max.

    The main reason for having two practically identical products on hand is the total profit. But how to sell Maya and 3ds max to the same people, if they are so similar? Very simple. Let one program be a curve in one direction, and another in the opposite.

    In 3ds max it is relatively convenient to model and work with large "architectural" scenes, while Maya is more advanced in animations and simulations. Autodesk is so desperately trying to maintain this balance, and not let one of the products noticeably break ahead, that they even have the same prices. Dollar to dollar.

    In general, about Maya, unlike 3Ds Max, one cannot say something categorically bad. In addition, she is confused before bullying. With all its menus, checkmarks, and the need to enter numbers. This is especially obvious for people who first launched it. And now, it seems like, Autodesk is beginning to slowly add to buy spare parts for comfortable work. But the other guys ... Good guys. Those who think more about users, about innovation, and about progress have already arrived.

    Alternatives to Autodesk (s)

    Yes, and not bad at all. For example: Blender is absolutely free and almost (or in general) is in no way inferior to all the others; Houdini with procedural animation, and this program is put as a competitor to Maya; LightWave 3D is a direct alternative to 3Ds Max; Shade 3D is a little-known among us, but very popular in the Asian market application that has special tools for working with 3D printing.

    And there are two VERY promising products at the moment - this is Modo ($ 1495) from The Foundry, and Cinema4d ($ 3,695) from Maxon. Why are they so good? not owned by Autodesk


    This graphic package has recently started working directly in conjunction with Adobe products. Moreover (!) A slightly simplified version is part of After Effects. What does it mean?

    This means that almost all of the "new generation" of advertisers, video makers, video enthusiasts, photoshoppers will begin to learn 3D with Cinema4d. 3Ds Max and Maya used to dominate this niche. But after some time, even well-established video production professionals will switch to Cinema4d. Just because this package is always "at hand." All this frightened Autodesk so lazily that in the new 3Ds Max 2015 they added (after 15 years of coexistence of the programs!) “Normal” interaction with Photoshop and After Effecs. Only now it’s done a bit late, and in the spirit of Autodesk - square.

    Some kind of series. Under the name "Bad Fucking"

    In general, Cinema4d is much larger in its capabilities (hence the price) than the niche into which marketers are trying to shove it. And it’s relatively easy to learn. The only, in my opinion, probable reason why the program was not so widespread as say Maya or 3ds max, is that it was made in Germany. That is, it is just far from Hollywood, and from the American market. But, since Adobe intervened, everything will change very quickly, and the product will begin to “leak out” into large studios.


    The Foundry already has two standards in its cinema industry - the Nuke product for compositing (multi-layer three-dimensional combination of images into a video sequence), which has become de facto in large studios and Mari (texturing of three-dimensional models).

    And it is the product of this company Modo - this is the reason why I wrote earlier that “the interfaces of suffering (LI) are confused.” Because in Modo "simplicity" is paramount. This does not mean that mastering Modo is easier than, for example, 3ds max. Any program for three-dimensional modeling requires a large amount of knowledge, and time for training. But the speed in Modo is simply exceptional. No unnecessary actions and menus. And many, oddly enough, are scared away by the innovative workflow of the program.

    Video of 2008

    In the new version of Modo 801, a direct connection with Nuke via EXR format files was added. Without going into technical details - this allows you to create magic! CGI graphics can now be placed in a video sequence with great visual correspondence. And, again, like the integration of Cinema4d into After Effecs, such a close relationship with Nuke will allow Modo to attract a large number of people who use Nuke. If anyone does not know, then probably 90% of Hollywood films ( habropost ) are now being made with the Nuke program . And soon, a V-Ray render will still be connected to Modo and Nuke, and this will create the shortest production process possible. And "wedge" in this trinity of competing programs will be very difficult.

    Now Modo lacks only a more advanced physical simulation engine. And so, the retopology tools in Modo are better (yes, better than TopoGun), working with animation keys is genius in general, and the interface itself is made by aliens. But not the stoned ones that made the interface in zBrush, but the others, the right ones.

    And the most important thing. Both Modo and Cinema4d, unlike Maya and 3Ds Max, have tools for sculpting (high-polygon modeling) and texturing (painting) models. That is, neither zBrush nor, as an option, Mudbox - you will not need it.

    So what lies there in the AutoTable?

    There is a dead Softimage (purchased in 2008 from Avid), which was the simplest and was more targeted for the gaming industry. There is a dusty 3ds Max (first developed by the Yost Group, Autodesk was just a publisher), which, apparently, Autodesk decided to finally position as a program for architects and toilet furniture interior designersfurniture arrangers in a square room with one window (and curtains, curtains with flowers ...) There is a Mudbox (bought together with the company founder of Skymatter in 2007) which at the beginning of its development exploded, but without catching up with zBrush, now all covered with glitches and flaws crawls next to Max. There is a logical-tactical puzzle-quest-RPG - Maya (acquired in 2005 from Alias), which is better to "play" in the company, and then, using constant tips from smart uncles.


    Yes, there are mistakes that large companies make, there are serious business miscalculations, unsuccessful development paths, but you are unlikely to find at least one more IT company with a similar disregard for their own users, their needs, and in general for people. And Autodesk is a prime example of why and why antitrust services exist.

    This is a giant octopus that grabs its tentacles with innovative technologies in the bud and hides them underneath. And then, controlling their growth, it feeds on users who are “hungry” for these technologies.

    This is a real evil corporation, creating something for the sake of only itself.


    UFO, I believe in your cleansing ray of justice. And may your righteous punishment not strike me, for I do not pursue any mercenary goals and have no thoughts, beside the impulses of an early heart and ... in short:
    SAVE SOFTIMAGE! Petition sent to Autodesk. Habr, a couple of votes for justice, for Half Life 2 , and just to the delight of friends of the Japanese. I myself did not use Softimage, but I saw a lot of great things done in this program. By the way, some companies offered Softimage users big discounts on their products.

    Printscreen petition before Habraffect
    The number of signatories to the petition has not changed for more than a week. Now, go to the site and look - the figure is already different. Isn't it nice to realize?)

    1999 Softimage and Björk

    P.SS “Nice” pictures were made by me specially for the article as a joke. The article itself is not a call to action, and expresses my purely vision of the situation based on my own observations. About what, when and for how much "bought" can be read on the Wikipedia website. And yes, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings as a user of any of the programs, this was not my goal. And Vasya Pupkin has nothing to do with it. He just makes a spinning cube, still

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