The future is already here

Well, that was unexpected: http://news.autodesk.com/press-release/architecture-engineering-construction-civil-infrastructure-and-natural-resources/aut-1

I wonder about lag in multimillion polygons scenes (although with high bandwidth Internet that shouldn’t matter).

Funny that Autodesk is claiming an industry first, didn’t I read many months ago on CGSociety about some software in beta that was also entirely based in the browser (using technologies like WebGL) and was being designed by industry veterans?

Perhaps this could be considered the first ‘released product’ then?

Anyway, there could be good and bad points on having software that’s entirely cloud-based like this, on one hand, it offers a very fast way to obtain a 3D solution and tools for a certain task. On the other hand, they could make it so you need a subscription and the first month you don’t have money for sees the termination of access to the software and your files. (ie. no way to keep a version as long as needed before upgrading).

Funny that Autodesk is claiming an industry first, didn’t I read many months ago on CGSociety about some software in beta that was also entirely based in the browser (using technologies like WebGL) and was being designed by industry veterans?

Silly Ace Dragon, if you’re not Autodesk you’re not part of the industry! Everyone else is just some indie smallfry. Therefore, Autodesk is always an industry first :smiley:

(Mocking aside, you’re right, I don’t recall the name either, but there was a pretty impressive browser-based 3d suite mentioned on the forums a month back or so.)

Its going to be entirely subscription based. They have already said in a share holder meeting that they plan on pushing everyone on to subscription based models, remove upgrades altogether, and generally attempt to control you as the revenue source in as many ways as they can. I love some of the applications under them, but absolutely hate the corporation behind it. They are so untrustworthy and anti consumer that its not even funny, all the more reason for Blender to up its game. A lot of autodesk users are not happy with them and yet see a lack of good alternatives for them.

On the polycount forum, a few of their developers were talking in the Maya LT thread. They said they want feedback in order to make it a better product as well. So they get feedback, and imply that any changes would make the product better. So to show their thanks for feedback, they increased the polycount limit for export slightly and made a few small tweaks, but theres a catch. You can only get the version your feedback helped with if you pay a subscription fee on top of paying for the full license. Its so damn disgusting.

Anyways I digress. I dont trust their reasons for pushing online browser based application usage to be pro consumer.

I wonder, is it plain greed, or is it just too expensive to try an improve their software while maintaining it?

I mean, you don’t really see wacom pull drivers for their old models, even though that’s a market you’d imagine saturates pretty quickly as well. Though, wacom probably has a better business model. (Hook artists on cheap quality tablets, and they’ll upgrade sooner or later)

You’re likely thinking of Clara.io, from exocortex, the guys behind some AMAZING plugins for Softimage, amongst other things. I’ve been in the beta for quite a while now.

As far as poly count woes, there really shouldn’t be any. As long as the host hardware is powerful enough to handle the poly count, all you’re seeing and receiving over your connection is more of a stream of images.

Wait, they put a polycount limit on export? Huh? Was it some kind of demo version?

Lagoa is also pretty impresive but it’s maybe rather about rendering then full content creation toolset.

Hmmm… No thank you. I really don’t want of that “future” which is more or less a return to the past of the mainframes with dumb terminals.

Besides, the security on Internet being so “bullet-proof” that, as a professional, I’d prefer very much to keep my files inside my own computer, thank you. The risk of losing access to my work isn’t negligible, whether it’s a problem of fees, a simple or complex disruption of my Internet connection (update, hacking or worse), or whatever arbitrary policy the company may see fit to institute.

And, as an artist, I think it would lead to self-censorship. There will be some policy as for what contents the company will want to see stored on “their” servers… Meaning: People will be looking over my shoulder to check that what I’m doing complies with their policy. So, we’re back to the part about the risk of losing access to my own work for reasons out of my control.

I repeat “No thank you”. If Blender ever goes in this direction, I will just not follow.

No that was Maya LT, as in Maya lite. As in, Autodesk’s attempt at a “Photoshop Elements”, or rather as in, Autodesk’s attempt at binding the mobile indie game developer market to their products.

As far as poly count woes, there really shouldn’t be any. As long as the host hardware is powerful enough to handle the poly count, all you’re seeing and receiving over your connection is more of a stream of images.

Yeah, you say that, but remember this is the company that has Sketchbook pro, for android tablets, have a resolution limitation of 2560x2560. As someone whose been drawing on 300 dpi A4s ever since I learned what a DPI was, that’s… dissapointing. (Most android tablets can easily handle large resolutions)

Thankfully, there’s alternative applications on android that are, wait for it, infinite canvas. And they are divine.

This will be more than just Autodesk, It’s using OTOY’s ORBX technology for the streaming, the same people who brought us Octane. What they are telling the Octane users is that eventually we will be able to hook Octane up to a whole huge pile of GPU’s to render with. Right now it’s limited to one GPU but soon you will be able to attach hundreds of GPU’s. This will be a huge boon to animation renders as you will be able to render them in minutes/hours instead of days, or weeks. For stills, the render time will be in micro-seconds/seconds instead of minutes or hours. The price looks to be around $1 per hour of use. I haven’t tried it out yet, they are still working out the kinks in the system. But it looks very cool for people who have outdated hardware, or people who need or want to work on a laptop remotely, etc. The OTOY side of the servers are free until Dec 31, Amazon will still charge you for the server time though.

You could run Blender on the server too I would think.

Hi all, don´t forget Otoy Octane Render is also in the this cloud and with the Octane for Blender addon you could render for 1$/H on a GTX 770 4 GB.

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/11/05/mozilla-otoy-and-autodesk-work-to-deliver-high-performance-games-and-applications-on-the-web/

Cheers, mib.

EDIT: Hey, Grimm beat me. :slight_smile:

Grody man, the only point behind putting any software “on a browser” is to control the end-user as much as possible. With that scheme in place they can not only limit use to a specific machine, but also do nastier things like enforce jacked-up subscription prices if you’re in a specific country like Adobe does. Also, collecting all that sensitive credit card and personal information in once place… would be a shame if something were to happen to it, again, like what happened with Adobe’s databases. The future looks grim for anyone who currently relies on Autodesk producs in their pipeline…

The future is 1960’s mainframes with intelligent terminals, rented by hour/MB/etc.

Mad Men, IT version.

Christina Hendricks rack (8U :evilgrin:) not included in the basic subscription.

Looks like if people want more for computing, open hardware will be the solution for a real future, but the costs of manufacture and resources will make that difficult. Anyway, we’ll see how this plays out.

I’ve got to agree with Kaluura and Pesho: Besides the fact that your info is stored in a cloud-base program that could be hacked, your files would be at risk of disappearing if their site goes down (or hacked for that matter), and having someone looking over your shoulder all the time is kind of like having somebody’s head up your ass constantly. Adobe’s recent data-base snaffoo also makes me point out, as a CC user myself, that it was 2 weeks AFTER I found out about it on the internet, that anyone from Adobe bothered to notify me via e-mail about a security risk. A lot can happen in 2 weeks. At least with them, you can take or leave the cloud-based storage.

I believe they don’t have as many users as 2 or 3 years ago…

There are soo much other 3-D programms and when you are not a professional you don’t want to buy a 3000 dollar programm, because there are soo great free programms…

Ok. If we are honest only one:

Blender!!!

:wink:

[/QUOTE]

I have similar concerns, as do others in this thread. I work with products. If I render them “on line” I’m also concerned someone might swipe these renders in the pipeline. On the other hand, my PC might be cracked as well, but I imagine the likelihood is lower.

The 1$ dollar/hour is very tempting price wise, though. I’ve spent a lot of money building a PC for rendering. It’s sunk cost now, but certainly online rendering lowers the up front cost/barrier to entry. Had this been available at the time I started my build, and with all the hassles from hardware companies not delivering, out of stock, faulty hardware, etc, I probably would have gone this route instead. Even if they raise prices, if they have a truly fast rendering farm, it might be worth it.

Losing access could be another concern, but once it’s rendered don’t you store it on your own computer? Or are you saying, if you want to go back an change things, it requires a subscription etc?

I wonder if they require you to already have an up-to-date Autodesk subscription in order to make use of the service?

I too am a bit concerned about the security but honestly, Amazon + Otoy + Nvidia + Autodesk, none of them are stupid and I’m sure they have already addressed those issues. For ultra-high security projects I would probably still use my own/work computer but for regular projects I can see this being perfect.

Also I see only benefits from being able to use the cloud for this stuff. It would enable me to work wherever I am (as long as I have a steady internet connection of course) and it would enable me to access software on Linux that natively is not supported.

I would honestly like to see Blender similarly in the cloud some day. Autodesk’s marketing schemes aside I think that a fully open-source and free software like Blender can only benefit people. It could also be a way for the foundation to bring in the extra money needed to support more full-time developers.

I think the internet is too slow to support thin computing? Not a perfect comparison, but I believed they tried thin gaming and the lag was intolerable even for users close to the servers.

Yeah, there’s still a lot of unknown repercussions and consequences with cloud technology. I interpret the move to subscription-based programs and the migration towards cloud technology, a move to create vendor lock-in. And of course, a company would only do this because they can make more profit. Instead of the user buying the software once or only after upgrades, they need only get the user to buy once and they can profit from them repeatedly. For example, if you move all the existing professional PS users to subscriptions and to the cloud, the profit increase is exponential?

From the consumer POV, the user has to pay more while losing more of their “freedom”, or is the price really worth it?

I mean you’re paying for the service so you have to use whatever options the company provides. For example, if Adobe updated Photoshop, they could require (“force”) users to purchase the new upgrade or they wouldn’t be able to access their data because they need the new version. It pretty much makes the user completely dependent on the company which is a dream come true.

Generally, proprietary file formats “force” the user to use the accompanying program; other alternatives require reverse-engineering and often incomplete. So the cloud technology enables companies to take this a step further where they can influence your need for the program also.

What comes to mind for example, is Red Hat’s subscription-based service where the need for technical support is a “natural” consequence of the software. With what Adobe and Autodesk are doing, IMHO it seems inefficient by creating an artificial need. For example, forcing users to upgrade to a new version when they feel they have no need to. In a traditional model, they’d just hold off on the upgrades until the cost is worth it or they really have to. In a cloud model, they might not have a choice. I think right now they don’t require users to upgrade but I’m sure in the future the policy will change…

From a different perspective, all of this could push users towards open-source alternatives…cloud/server usage means more linux and open-source infrastructure/backends, and users searching for less costly alternatives.