Let us discuss free CG software in general


(esimacio) #1

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(joseph raccoon) #2

Audacity is fairly decent for doing audio work, all things considered. Just make sure you keep all of its temp files in a directory that you can find, but if you need to clean up an audio track and match your levels it will do quite well.


(BeerBaron) #3

The number one reason for me to use “free” software is I don’t have to deal with licensing bullshit. Most software labeled “free” doesn’t actually fit that criterion, however.

For instance, to call Unreal Engine “free” is quite a euphemism. It’s a gratis download, but that’s about it. I don’t like the idea of giving EPIC (a subsidiary of some chinese government-owned megacorporation) the right to “audit my facilities”. That’s literally communism. Paying royalties to communists? Bullshit! You gotta ask yourself, do I really need a AAA game engine for my hentai tentacle simulator? The freedom-loving patriot says: No!

Free (gratis) or not, every commercial piece of software is bound to have some licensing bullshit that may not even be legally enforcable, but hey, at least they tried, right? If the product is gratis though, they’re much more likely to put in more bullshit, because the money has to come from somewhere (i.e. selling your social profile to advertisers, banks, insurance companies and the CIA).


(esimacio) #4

BeerBaron, I am agree with you that most CG software labeled Free is actually free, But we have a few such as Unreal Engine, DAZ 3D Studio. Other is free but with some restriction is Houdini Apprentice (resolution limit) and Vue Pioneer (rendered with logo)

But is it realy so bad that you get money from somewhere, like Daz Studio take it from selling content, You can’t expect them to just give out a software, they to need to live. But others like Autodesk is pricing their products ridiculously high.


(BeerBaron) #5

But is it realy so bad that you get money from somewhere, like Daz Studio take it from selling content, You can’t expect them to just give out a software, they to need to live. But others like Autodesk is pricing their products ridiculously high.

You’re completely misunderstanding me. I’m all for paying for software. That’s not the topic of this thread, though.

Autodesk is not pricing “ridiculously” high, you just have no idea what software really costs, because all you ever deal with is “free” or inexpensive (i.e. likely subsidized in some way). 3D software is highly specialized software, which is going to be much more expensive than something that sells 1,000,000x more licenses (e.g. Office). Software like Maya used to cost 100,000$, running on equally expensive workstations - and clients paid that! It’s cheaper now because the market is bigger (workstations are cheaper), but it’s not going well below 1000$. For that, the market is just too small.


(Ace Dragon) #6

From what I can tell, UE4 is free for commercial use until you get past 3000 USD in income, then you have a royalty payment based on how much you earn.

It may sound like a good deal, but then you find how money tends to be very tight among many indie studios and the money spent on the payment can mean having to make painful cuts (because you don’t have enough to sustain operations). So far, the sale of Epic Games to the Chinese has not seemed to seriously impact its userbase (what seems to have the greater effect is the fact that feature development appears to be far more centered around what Epic needs for their games rather than based on what users want, noting that it’s becoming a tactic for users to try to sell their pet feature as useful for the company’s projects in order to get it included).

If you want a modern engine with no strings attached, then Godot 3.0 is your best bet (the only requirement as far as I know is to mention the Godot engine somewhere in the game like in the credits screen).

Other good free pieces of software is Audacity for audio-editing and VLC for media content, Krita has also become powerful for painters and Inkscape is starting to get to where it looks really useful.


(oct) #7

As “free” CG programs go, Blender is the best one in every aspects. Especially with many innovated add-ons from indie developers, Blender is pretty much up there with 3Ds Max. I wouldn’t be surprise if Autodesk trys to buy Blender so they can kills it off, like Adobe did to Macromedia. Because Blender will started eating into 3Ds Max and Maya market share significantly, if it hasn’t already.

I looked at 3Ds Max, Maya and Blender back in 2010 when I set a goal to learn polygonal modeling. Back then Blender was somewhat limited compare to the other two. But it has caught up significantly when I looked at it again two years ago when the whole subscription base plans kicked in. Subscription makes sense for corporations, but not for indies. I’ll resist subscription plan even if it means I have to go back to Windows XP. lol

When it comes to subscription, no one is worse than Solidworks. It’s an amazing program for its purpose. But they’ve decided not only go with subscription based plan, but also retrospectively. Meaning if you stop the $12k annual subscription in 2015 and want to start again in 2018, you would have to pay $24k for two years you’ve skipped plus another $12K for 2018. Files saved in newer version cannot be opened at all by the older version, it’s one way they force people to stay on the subscription plan. Really shady business practice. I’ve recommended my clients ditch Solidworks and move to OnShape.

Back to the free programs, technically it’s not “free” rather an honest system. One should donates to the dev team on regular basis, even if it’s just price of two starbucks coffee a month. Especially for indie studios that has a positive bottom line. It’s the only way to keep the industries from been monopolized by a few big players.


(SaintHaven) #8

I recommend upgrading one last time for version 10 or 11. Modo upgrades up to this point do not penalize you for skipping versions. You could go from version 401 straight to 10 for the same price as someone going from 901 to 10. Its not too expensive if you are upgrading every few versions. It will be good to have 10 or 11 in your CG arsenal, especially with the autotopology, viewport, procedural modeling and mesh fusion options that are present. If you still have 601, def get current once more. This isnt an arbitrary recommendation.

What is your opinion about othe free software, what software do you use beside Blender? what is your experience with those. I you feel for it , it would be nice to know why you landed on Blender.

I still like going back to xnormal for some baking features. For video editing and after effects like compositing, Hitfilm Express is a great option.


(shawn.kearney) #9

I wouldn’t place Daz in the same ecosystem as Autodesk, Modo and Blender.

As far as I can tell, it’s mostly just for pinups.


(esimacio) #10

I have a pretty clear view of what they cost, I keep to my statment that they are priced to high. 3DS Max is also one of the most pireted software out there, it is a reason for that. I do not like Piracy, so all software that I own do have a license.
If Autodesk had a free version for hobbyist like me, or a low cost version for Indie thy would do them self a favour.


(esimacio) #11

hmm…
Shawn, we discuss free CG software here, so DAZ is a CG software. Daz is much more than pinups, it is also used for illustrations, animation and so on.


(esimacio) #12

Thanks SaintHaven,
Yeah I am aware that i can upgrade from 601 to 11, but 500.- us is too much for hobbyist like me. If I did works like I did before, it maybe would be a deal for me.
Foundry should also have a free version for non commers


(moony) #13

Sculptris is pretty decent - if a little temperamental.

http://pixologic.com/sculptris/

Sketchup is good if you want to model accurately - can export meshes in formats that Blender can import.


(Lostscience) #14

Blender cannot be bought by autodesk because it is opensource software.That would not be fair if it were possible.


(Helmut S.) #15

Seriously?
Damn.

So, there seem to be not too many paths left for a freedom loving patriot except the Blender, Krita and generall FOSS route, because almost everything else means pumping money into a emerging neofascist … ah well.

Sorry, but your kind of argument has lost its teeth a bit, recently.

In particular when it comes to reliable availability, I don’t see much of an alternative to FOSS in the longer run. With closed source software, there’s just no warranty your favorite software tool will still be around in one, two or three years … you might lose the capability of accessing your own work from one day to another, with all those predatory mega corporations around buying technology off the market … not to speak of what trade regulations could do to your business, if your site happens to be on the wrong side of the border.
All that can’t happen with FOSS, as it is free, knowledge-wise, and thus can’t be taken away.


(Romanji) #16

Excuse me, but that is simply wrong.
If anything that applies to rental or subscription license, but if you own a permanent license, nobody can take that reliable availability from you.
Why do you think Autodesk is so aggressively pushing Maintanance owner to subscription? Because they know very well that alot of Companies do not upgrade every year, because shit is breaking.
The latest Batman Lego movie was made with Softimage, yes, Softimage that dead software that hasn’t get any real update since 2012.
And its not the only movie in 2017 made with a 2012 software.
Same is true for Maya, i would really like to know how many big companies like Weta or Pixar are using an older more stable version of Maya completely ignoring newer releases.


(Richard Culver) #17

Free software is just another business model. Nothing is free. Not even Blender. You may not pay for a use license, but someone does. All free software uses some kind of business model where the freee use of a product is used as a marketing tool for other products or services.

This is how Blender started out.

How and why it became open source is another story.

But regardless, each business model even open source, which is a business model, is beholden to budget constraints, competition and all of the rest of it.

There is no way to escape this.


(Ace Dragon) #18

DAZ tends to spend far more time and money on their virtual doll business than actually developing their software (seriously, when was the last time you saw a major update to Cararra and Bryce, which they own)?

All of their development seems to go toward their own DAZ studio, which happens to be the product centered most around their dolls and the accessories for them.


(esimacio) #19

I am agree with you here. But when something is “free” you don’t have to buy a license to use it. Blender is not free if you think about the content that you can buy for it, or you can donate money. With Blender, Daz 3D Studio and Unreal you have don’t have to own a license and they will work just fine without buying any extra addons or content. Remember we discuss the user side.


(esimacio) #20

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