3ds Max Indie $250,- / coming August 7, 2020

That’s just bonkers. Autodesk really needs to acknowledge that the 3D landscape has drastically changed since the heyday of Max. If their crippled management goes on like this, they will keep losing more and more users to other 3D tools, particularly Blender.


AD made a brilliant move and we are just dumb spectators. We can’t do anything, just sit and guess.
Alone the fact we spend our life-time here interpreting their entrefilet, the insets, shows how superior their position is. You can’t argue about it, you must admire it.

Instead of explaining exactly what it is, AD throws a vague statement. It is a D-Day message: somewhere, sometime but nothing we can relay on. They have total air control: an Artist does not know if he is doing anything right or wrong and he lives in a constant fear he might be hit as soon as he leaves the bunker. Except he waves some Fan-Art flag, he is never in secure zone.

As long as we are on this low evolution stage (and we are, i call it Amoeba), nothing will change.
Once we leave this evolution stage and progress, let say we get immune to manipulation and our brains realize there are other environments that are not so hostile, we will evolve into a next, higher being. At the moment GFX Artists are the lowest item in the food-chain. :slight_smile:

(except blender artists; they have apparently left the sea water and crawl slowly across the sand beach, somewhere… :slight_smile:

Sorry to say this, but if I work for an project wich makes more than 100 k, I’m pretty sure my customer can shelf out the money to rent a commercial license for the time working on the project. …
And as far as I know SideFX has a similar clause for their indie license.

And its still a zillion times better than the legal bending wich happened with the edu licenses over the last few years…
I’m not a fan of autodesk products, but this time they got it right.

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I did not expect that, my bad. Well played Autodesk, I salute to your evil ways - never change.
So they fucked over the smaller professionals (again) and it seems like they want to have hobbyists to pay for their software since they make it nearly impossible to earn money with it.
The same hobbyists who abused their Edu license program or straight up pirated Maya/Max.
That’s a very clever strategy that will totally work. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It is not about how you trade with your customer and with your “Selbstständigkeit” in order to define the profit limits and project values. Naturally, if the movie is Avangers 17, there is no doubt there is enough money to finance the commercial subscription.

It is about how they have conducted this Indie issue. This is what i was writing about, i am sorry to see you have to derive from my replay that there are doubts if commercial, expensive productions should be indie-prohibited or not. There are no such doubts.
It is all about the vague license method and description they have introduced. If i have a model store at Cubrush and earn 5000$ with my 3d models made in Max in a year, and one of my models lands in IronMan XII, the license states there will be a problem. There are many similar cases (just read in reddit) where an artists is in very uncertain position if he may or my not use his indie license.

Ok, makes sense. Sorry…in that case you have to rent a commercial version…or use blender for those tasks…simple as that.

My POV for this angry post was, that there are enough companies out there wich try to reduce costs by encouraging artists using a cheaper (semi-legal) version (in that case indie). wich might bring the artist into legal problems on the long run, and not the company wich can insist not knowing about the fact.
And that in the end the artists has to insist to get payed more for the commercial license.

I see indie as a way to get to know the program better, and do some projects with overseable income along the way. Its not a version for people trying to get an price advantage on projects, wich will only fuel the race to the bottom on commercial projects.

On the other hand having the abillity to use a commercial license for a short period of time, while maintaining a indie license for the rest of the year, should keep you out of legal problems and keeps you budget plans much more controlleable.

AD is using similar strategy for Fusion 360 to gain market share from Solidworks by offering Fusion 360 for free to hobbyists. So congrats to Blender Foundation! This AD move validates Blender as a legit threat to 3ds max, which most of us knew it long before AD executives’ “Holy $hit, we gotta do something about this!” lol.

I wouldn’t be surprised if AD starts to offer 3ds Max for free to “hobbyists” a year from now when Blender continues eating away a good chunk their market share.

The problem with AD’s strategy is that there’s no telling how long the discount program will last. It can easily end the program once it has gained enough market share. Then you’re stuck with cash-cloud subscription.

3ds Max is a fantastic software. I’ve used it for almost fours years in early 2010 when Blender was still an odd ball in terms of UI and capabilities. Anyways, I’m very glad to see Blender is developing nicely.

What you are saying means that everyone with an indie license of max have to avoid selling their artwork on any 3d markets just in case it ended up in a big production… that’s a big limitation

This would be a sorry state of affairs, for any number of reasons. As a professional you are expected to have your own tools. Imagine a Plumber turning up at your house and then asking you to supply all the tools…

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On larger productions 100k 500k plus cinematographers, gafers, sound, etc (sometimes sound, cause these guys and gals can be super particular about gear) all walk on set almost empty handed, using only the kit supplied by the production.

Most of these guys have the needed kit at home but rarely use it on large productions.

And when working on something smaller, like myself, and using our own gear we still charge an equivalent rental fee which we itemize on the invoice.

Same for a construction site where a lot of the heavier/more specialised tools are supplied by the main contractor, employer, etc…

Yes, but I’m more talking about remote freelance gigs(most appropriate purpose for an indie licence) where the artist is sitting at home and delivering assets online. You’re contacted to deliver assets on ‘X’ 3D program, but have to ask if you can ‘borrow’ that program from the potential client…not a good look. :wink:

It’s really strange watching Autodesk creating these products for indies, but completely failing to understand the sector. First it was Maya LT that completely missed Python support, which is the reason why I’m now using Blender. Second is this, complicated kneecapping, decapitating licensing that makes it completely pointless to invest into learning Maya as indie, as there’s a big likelihood you can’t actually capitalize on that investment in a meaningful way.

For some reason they really enjoy shooting themselves into the knee at the last mile of the run to create these products.

Compared to when Allegorithmic was building the Substance it’s the complete opposite. They did pretty much everything right, and now they dominate the sector.


Do you guys even know the budget of a project? If yes, why do your customers tell you this?

Fair enough. I’m slowly getting a feel for the 3D side of the industry.

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No need to borrow from customer: you just rent the full version of the 3d program from autodesk alongside your indie license for the time you work on the project and charge the customer for it.
To cover the cost of your expenses should allways be part of your budget calculation. If it doesn’t , the gig is small enough to use the indie version, or you are beeing ripped off.

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Sure it is.

Yes, I understand all that. I’ve had a 3dsMax licence since version 4. I was replying to the poster who suggested it.

I think they dominate the sector because they created the best toolset since Zbrush ;), but yes, you’re 100% right.

This is all ‘technically’ talk. In reality, this would be impossible to enforce.

Update: after further investigation into this it seems that it’s not as limiting as the disclaimer cryptically first appeared. It seems that this is more a caveat aimed at studios rather than lone freelancers. This is quoted from Max beta forums from a very reputable Max vet with very solid knowledge of the inner workings of Adesk(not official, just his understanding)

It seems if you deliver renders. “Project” means your project. I mean often there is contract of contract of contract. What’s the definition of “project”? The main purpose of the second sentence is preventing studio telling their artist to buy own lic at indie price. Which Houdini Indie has same limitation. So, if your construction project is 100mil and you deliver viz for that and that viz invoice total is less than 100k/year, you can use Indie.

Houdini’s case they use different format. So, you can not deliver Houdini file in anyway. But, max/maya indie is same file. Autodesk can not prevent that. Therefore, it is kinda honor system


Not really, there were no competition. Except Mari which aimed at large companies.
Right now there is Mixer on it’s way, and I know that this year Mixer is going to get some updates with all the essential features that SP has. And I used Mixer for test projects and in comparison to SP it’s the same or even better in some ways.

It wasn’t about competition, it was about a paradigm shift. They did what only Zbrush before had done. They changed the industry. They didn’t directly go up against Mari/Bodypaint(which were vfx/film tools), they targeted the games industry, where photoshop was THE texturing tool, and sparked the ‘PBR’ revolution, and now that the tools have matured they’ve entered vfx/film.
These factors shouldn’t be underestimated.