1. Modo 801 is out. And yes, it brings new features, unlike 3ds Max 2015 what is a ‘patch’ for an insane amount of money.
Check it out here: MODO 801 new features
Well, it is not a revolution of course, moreover catching up with other apps. But at least they definitely did something for their money, not just gave a 500 EUR bill for a 20 EUR modifier.

2. I realised that a new version of  Fibix Editor is out. I saw some new videos (looked fine), so I gave it a new chance. It crashes all the time again.

Real-time engine quick reviews – something has been changed

Do you remember for these ‘Quick reviews‘ on real-time engines?

I had to pause it for a while because of other projects  and now it will be finished in a different way.
I planned to write about these apps:

Dedicated apps:
– TwinMotion (Done, read it here).
– Fibix Editor (Done, read it here).
– Lumion3D

‘Game engines’:
– CryEngine3
– Torque3D (Done, read it here).
– S2 Engine
– NeoAxis
– LeadWerks (Done, read it here).
– C4 Engine
– Esenthel (Done, read it here).
– Shiva3D
– BGE (Blender Game Engine)

So let’s see, what will happen:
Thanks to the indie-friendly move of Epic with releasing UDK 4 and its ‘countermove’ from CryTek with CryEngine3 on a very low price, the small 3d tools are literally dead.
I have no doubt that there are loyal users for all of the so-called ‘indie’ engines and they will slow down the agony of the tools, but with rational thinking they are not alternatives anymore.
Let me to be honest on this: it was unavoidable.
There are 2 kinds of developer who could survive in long term: ‘geniuses’ and big development teams. ‘Geniuses’ are rare. They used to invent things or make outstanding implementations of existing technologies. Generally speaking take a look on Brigade engine. Take a look on Corona Renderer.
These things are just awesome.

The other ‘survivor’-type is the company who is big and/or rich enough to solve a problem with brute force (many high skilled employees) or with buying out the technology what geniuses made. Most typical example from a different field of computer graphics: AutoDesk (but their new moves with the upgrade policy…folks, I could buy a full MODO and Lightwave license from their ‘discounted’ upgrade price. Have you seen LWCAD? It is awesome.)

So, I’m sure the most of the smaller game engine apps will be discontinued in a relatively short period. I will not write reviews about these apps anymore.
Specialized apps like Lumion3D could survive. Lumion interface is for ‘engineers’ who shoud not be engineers at all. It offers a massive library of content, could be a complete solution for non-tech guys. But they will bleed customers, too. Anyone who goes for the highest quality of GPU-based archviz with customization needs…. they will be not Lumion3d users anymore.
Why they would be?
For 10-20 USD per month they could get the best technologies today.

I have to mention Blender Game Engine separately.
As a game engine it has no chance and it never had.
But as a complementer visualiser tool it could win a lot with smart developing.
Otherwise, if you take a look on the new implementation of the Toolbox menus in Blender… I doubt it will be developed to the right direction.

I hope my next review will focus on UDK4, although I have to finish some projects till I can deal with it.

It is a shame… Autodesk lost it…

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a 3d Studio Max user. I was part of the subscription plan for a while, what offered me yearly upgrades for an affordable price. Today I got a call from the reseller/distributor that Autodesk changes its upgrade policy.
There is no problem with that, the whole world goes to cloud, so why not?
With the Adobe Cloud even freelancers got opportunity to use the latest apps with almost affordable pricing, so I expected something like this – emotionally. I say ‘ emotionally’, because with rational thinking I had to admit that  Autodesk never – NEVER – did anything for their customers to make their life easier.

I checked their monthly subscription prices a few months ago…. they were like a bad joke. So, the reseller told me that I should upgrade to Max 2015, then pay yearly the double of the last subscription price I payed before. Also told me that I should be happy, because it is a great offer.

Well, I told that Autodesk just lost a customer and they will loose even more. And I also told Autodesk should take a look on Adobe Cloud when they guess their pricing. Or take a look on Modo (which is more and more close to be my new package near Blender).

Of course I will use Max in the future. My existing license will be useful for years; I changed my plans for the future, so I can live with an earlier version.

I think in a few years Autodesk will have serious problems with their competitors, so they will be forced to reduce prices.

Corona renderer for Blender – a promising alternative to Vray?

I found Corona a few years ago as a promising 3rd party renderer for 3d Studio Max.
I made some really quick tests, but I was busy in that period, so I just decided to go back to their site regularly and I postponed ‘serious’ testing.
I never thought that I will make those tests with Blender a few years later.
Let me to be honest, through the years I got really tired because of the fact that so much 3rd party renderers are around without any new features.
There is simple no sense in this ; most of them are average in every aspect.
I would like to see development, not just the implementation of the next shitty-slow unbiased rendering algorithms without any additional value.
Otherways,  offering the most common functions is not ‘real’ development either.
That is copying.
Except if it offers better workflow.
Better GUI.
Speed.  …. Speed, speed, speed.

One of the things I hate in my profession since I started it 20 years ago is that I have to wait for the renders.
My PC is f…ing nuclear reactor compared to the first one (Intel DX-2-66 with 32 MB of RAM) and I still have to wait.
VRay was the first renderer what gave me the feeling that I could have a good compromise between speed and quality.
And now I have the same feelings about Corona renderer.
It could be a game changer for Blender and it could be the strongest competitor of VRay for archviz.
As I told earlier, Cycles is not production ready yet and it is slow like hell.
For all my current Blender projects I use Blender Internal for quick renders.

But the last week I was able to play with the Corona renderer for Blender for a while; moreover I helped the development with some advices and tips.
Guys, Corona will be awesome!
Big thanx for Joel D, the developer of the exporter.
And I have to say that it is quite a loss that related to some legal issues around codes and open-sourcing the developer didn’t had a chance to integrate it INSIDE Blender.

Check the gallery here!

You can download and try Corona for Blender here.

It’s been a while…

I had to deal with other things, but I’m back again. I will try to tell how much things happened when I will have time.  I start with the actual things: I’m evaluating MODO 701 and Cinema4D at the same time. I cannot say much at this stage about these apps: they have their strengths , no doubt.

What I plan to do in the next few weeks: I try to write some reviews about some apps I bought, based on real work experiences. I also plan to jump back to some of my unfinished posts related to Blender and game engines.

I’m happy that I’m here again:)

Yes, this is why coding skills are not enough…

I bought an asset called ‘MegaGrab’ from the Unity Asset Store.
As I mentioned before, Unity doesn’t offer any built-in cutscene tools or output formats as images/image sequences. Some free scripts are available for saving images, but I was not satisfied with them.
This time I will not analyze the main purpose of this plug-in.
I just want to show why coders need skills in GUI design not to upset customers.
Check this GUI!

What the f...k?Yes. You have to type in the path for saving, instead of using a ‘Browse’ function in 2013.
But – and this causes me a brain stroke –  the asset offers a function to upload the result to a server (even the f…ing php script is included for that).
The utility also lacks of possibility to make ‘Render templates’ like 720p, 1080p, Custom size, whatever).

it also would be logical to show the actual units (sec, inch, cm, etc.) instead of pure numbers.