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Autodesk Acquires Alias

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the as-the-corporations-turn dept.

325

eggegg is one of many readers to write to tell us that "Autodesk, of AutoCAD and 3dsmax fame, is reporting that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, makers of Maya and MotionBuilder. Will Autodesk use the inherited expertise and codebase to finally develop their product line for the platforms most of their customer base would prefer, or does this mean the end of development of Alias products on OSX and Linux?"

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Well... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719513)

"... does this mean the end of development of Alias products on OSX and Linux?"

Hopefully.

Re:Well... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719518)

More likely "the end of development of Alias products."

well... (3, Insightful)

TRIEventHorizon (744457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719516)

If they made 3DSMax, then more than likely what will happen if they gobble up Alias products instead of just letting alias run as whatever, then Maya will become degraded, slow, and horrible like 3DSMax is.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719866)

degraded, slow, and horrible like 3DSMax is

Degraded? in terms of what, exactly?
Slow? upgrade your piece of shit computer
Horrible? now you're just being whiny.

Nice... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719520)

I bet the Hulk has a huge cock lol.

Prime time, no doubt (1, Funny)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719524)

"Autodesk Acquires Alias"

You sure ABC was ok with this?
(waaaait for it....)

Re:Prime time, no doubt (1, Funny)

detlev409 (673380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719590)

The sad thing is I'm so bushed that for a moment or two I actually wondered what a TV show was doing with a CAD program.

Bed. Now.

fuck you and fuck your free ipod spam (0, Troll)

Spam Sig Opt Out (869192) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719661)

eat a dick, shithead

----> 8=======D
Thunk! Cockslap!

They're OK with it. (4, Funny)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719834)

You sure ABC was ok with this?

Jennifer Garner's contract with her current production company (Disney) expires in November and she'll begin working at Autodesk after that. Her job duties will include product demonstrations and killing people.

Re:They're OK with it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719852)

I'm sorry, were you trying to be funny?

End of the Line (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719528)

Autodesk will kill other platforms and there'll be crazy anti-piracy attached to all the aquired products.

Re:End of the Line (5, Insightful)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719580)

...there'll be crazy anti-piracy attached to all the aquired products.
As a registered Maya user, I can tell you that there already is. Usually it's FlexLM [macrovision.com] , which gets bound to your hardware (or can run on a license server) or a bonafide hardware dongle. No changes expected there. Alias is just as careful (paranoid) as Audtodesk.

Re:End of the Line (4, Informative)

HMC CS Major (540987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719648)

When you're dealing with niche tools (like 3D and CAD), and you rely on licenses from very expensive software, the licensing stuff is expected.

Mayas is slightly less intrusive than 3DSM, but the real winner (in my eyes) is Cinema 4D, who's network rendering has the most painless licensing terms.

Re:End of the Line (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719694)

but the real winner (in my eyes) is Cinema 4D,
I went from C4D to Maya and I would have to totally agree with you there. Maxon has awesome (and inexpensive compared to Maya - geez!) support too.

Re:End of the Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719813)

Worst-news-ever if it means Maya takes on any characteristics of 3DS Max. The consolidation in the graphics software industry is getting ridiculous now. I guess the best we can hope for is that this story is somehow wrong...

Re:End of the Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719871)

Not really, I have pirated Maya 2 or 3 times now, and each time I found a crack, which was ust a file to put in C:/flexlm/ and then open it up and change a certain number to my MAC address I believe.

It's just that simple folks.

Re:End of the Line (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719675)

Right, because nobody pirates AutoCAD and 3ds max?

Re:End of the Line (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719715)

Autodesk is known in the CAD world as being very proactive about coming after users who are using the Student Version for commercial work and pirated copies.

At least it was in the 90s when I worked with Autodesk tools.

Re:End of the Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719760)

That's funny, 3D Studio Max is one of the most pirated programs out there... Go to any CG forum and look at the sub-par work done with one of the most expensive mainstream 3D programs out there.

AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (5, Informative)

MrCranky (187240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719534)

to get built for Linux. The whole product embeds every microsoft technology possible, including basing core functionality on IE6. The most likely outcome will be that Alias products will become Windows-only. I give Linux and MacOS Alias products one more rev before it goes strictly Windows.

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719560)

Yeah but the majority of Maya's userbase runs it on Linux.

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719711)

I find that very unlikely, considering that most plug-ins are Windows first or Windows only.

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (2, Interesting)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719864)

Maybe it's more accurate to say that most of the large scale Maya deployments are on Linux. You know, at real [pixar.com] studios [ilm.com] doing [wetadigital.com] real [pdi.com] work [disney.com] .

The proliferation of windows-first/only plugins is pretty obviously a sign of the small scale of studios using Maya on windows. If Autodesk were to drop the Linux version of Maya we'll probably be seeing a lot of the big studios, if not all of them, dropping Maya.

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (2, Interesting)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719730)

You're right about the AutoCAD situation, but seeing as how Maya relies on very little from MS, and does pretty much everything in a cross platform way (The UI is built with Maya's own MEL script, the documentation uses Java, the built-in browser uses Mozilla, etc.) it would probably be more work for Autodesk to convert it all to MS-based technologies than to continue to support other platforms.

Whether they decide to cancel them for other reasons remains to be seen. Keep in mind that Alias just recently discontinued the IRIX version, but that probably had more to do with less users compared to Linux than actual porting issues.

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719765)

including basing core functionality on IE6

This part is so damn annoying I just want to pull my hair out. There are few things worse than losing hours of work because you get "The has been a script error, do you wish to keep running scripts on this page" when trying to plot #$%*!!!!!!!!!1

Re:AutoCAD is too far up MSs back end... (4, Interesting)

demachina (71715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719796)

The most likely outcome is Alias products get put on life support and in a year or two Autodesk announces there next generation package, and tries to force all of Alias customers over to it and then slowly kills off the old Alias product line. Thats what happened when Wavefront bought TDI, and then basically what happened to Wavefront when it was on the bottom end of the SGI/Alias/Wavefront merger.

There is way to much overlap between Maya and Max for them to carry both product lines forward forever and I doubt they will ditch Max in favor of Maya.

Mergers like this are usually to get rid of a competitor and take their customers. It is a market in need of consolidation because there are to many packages selling to relatively few users for not enough money. The execs of the company being bought do it because they get rich cashing out and could care less about either the employees or customers both of whom usually get screwed.

It will be interesting what happens to Maya's use at high end studios. The high end business commands a lot of prestige and companies want bragging rights that they are used at them, so every 13 year old aspiring animator will want to learn Maya or Softimage. In reality its a terrible business, because studios buy a relatively small number of seats infrequently, they develop a lot of their own software and they constantly play the software companies off against each other. If Autodesk is thinking business they will let the high end business fade away, if they are thinking prestige they will try to keep it and it will probably cost them a lot of money.

the end of alias (0, Redundant)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719535)


autodesk is so 'un-alias' -- its the end of alias...

Some useful information... (5, Informative)

USSJoin (896766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719536)

Background on Alias's history can be obtained here [wikipedia.org] , and background on Autodesk, here [wikipedia.org] .

Hope for the future of Maya on Linux, can be found at /dev/null.

Incredibly cheap (4, Interesting)

timeToy (643583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719538)

Alias sold for $182m in cash ! Wow that's cheap, given that Maya is THE software used to create all theses 3d animated motion picture that each gross several multiple of that.
Now if Autodesk is discontinue the Maya line, that is going to be a huge lost to the industry, I rather like Autodesk to use their newly acquire Premium product (Maya) to make a coherent product line, 3DStudio Max in the cheap low end, windows only and Maya for the expensive high end, with pricey Linux-clustering support.

Re:Incredibly cheap (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719604)

And sold for $57M in 2004. And yes, Autodesk could royally screw up the film industry, but then the film industry has been cruising for a bruising. You think we have problems with nVidia. The film folks have to be really nice to nVidia for fear that the company will just walk away from that market.

Open Source might end up being the studios salvation. It'll be an interesting few years.

Bruce

Re:Incredibly cheap (4, Interesting)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719654)

And sold for $57M in 2004.
The thing is, that was to an investment firm that would be hands off. We can only hope for the same from Autodesk, but they were the competition in many markets (especially game design - boy did they just become the 800lb Gorilla there too). My hope is much like the grandparent, that Max/GMax becomes a real-time platform and Maya becomes the film production platform. Those roles are already quite estabilished (within film and gaming at least) and a smart company would play those strengths.

Re:Incredibly cheap (1)

vought (160908) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719665)

And sold for $57M in 2004. And yes, Autodesk could royally screw up the film industry, but then the film industry has been cruising for a bruising. You think we have problems with nVidia. The film folks have to be really nice to nVidia for fear that the company will just walk away from that market.

This could mean good things for RenderMan and Pixar, though.

Re:Incredibly cheap (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719729)

Pixar has bigger fish to fry than the market for Renderman. They probably made more from showings of The Incredibles in San Francisco than they have ever made from Renderman.

However, Pixar has not had the easiest time with studio tools. When I left there, the studio tools had been in continuous development for 20 years, no kidding. It showed. They actually simulated the E&S picture system calligraphic API on top of OpenGL. I hope they've been able to get out from under that. At times, they considered giving up and just using Maya. However, I'd imagine Alias had been offered to them a few times over the past few years, and they must have chosen not to take it.

Bruce

Re:Incredibly cheap (1, Interesting)

UpLateDrinkingCoffee (605179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719666)

Yeah, by pricing Maya at $5000+ makes their market pretty small... I wonder how many hobbyists would buy it if they had a reasonaby featured version that was affordable? Yeah, they have a "personal" edition but the very obvious watermarks make it pretty annoying to use.

Here's a hint to software companies like Autocad and Maya: Would you rather have a guy like me spend $200 or $300 just so I can play with a tool the pro's use, or would you rather do without that revenue while I make due with open source? In fact, I'm sure the same Ivory Tower attitude with unix back in the day led to a small revolution you might be familiar with: Linux.

Click here for state of the art open source 3d modelling/rendering in java! Art of Illusion [artofillusion.org]

Re:Incredibly cheap (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719839)

Maya isn't "THE software used to create all theses 3d animated motion picture". Its one of many applications used by the movies studios, they use Softimage and Houdini and probably Max and a host of other commercial applications. More importantly the big studios develop a LOT of their own software in house. Studios tend to use whatever does a particular job best for them, and for which they can find operators who are skilled and who comfortable with a particular app. Fact is every app is stong in one area and weak in another. Maya is good in animation, and programmability, weak in modeling and rendering.

Animation studios should be prime candidates to switch to open source and cooperation, they duplicate massive effort developing in house software. They cling to the idea the software is a competitive edge, maybe it is but I doubt it, at least not for the money they sink in to it. They also routinely get burned by proprietary software companies as they will probably get burned here when Maya gets put on life support by Autodesk.

Re:Incredibly cheap (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719895)

Actually, I suspect that Autodesk will be foolish and will announce that in 2 years time, they will kill the Linux Maya. At that point, the Movie industry will go bonkers and build a new OSS competing product. In fact, I would not be surprised if they are not heading that way now.

Good by, free Maya.... (-1, Flamebait)

Stu L Tissimus (873928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719541)

Hello, Gmax!

Oh, wait a second, Gmax is entirely dumbed down. Oh well. Yay capitalism!

Autodesk Acquires Alias (0, Offtopic)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719557)

They are now doing business under an assumed name, selling software at low low prices out of the trunk of their car?

Expensive and pirated (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719558)

The likely outcome is that the Alias products will get really expensive, become very widely used, and be pirated.

Kill Maya Linux? Nope. (4, Informative)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719559)

Maya Linux has been a long time coming. Alias has proof that not only do regular customers want Linux, high-end studios demand [millimeter.com] it. OSX is in an even better position. The architeture of Maya (a scripting language called MEL [amazon.com] on top of a "kernel" of sorts) makes it quite portable I would think.

Re:Kill Maya Linux? Nope. (2, Insightful)

Mingco (883841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719626)

The architeture of Maya (a scripting language called MEL on top of a "kernel" of sorts) makes it quite portable I would think.

I would hardly call MEL an architecture. In fact, I would hardly call MEL a programming language either.

However, Alias/Maya used to run on Irix, an SGI Unix variant (maybe still does). So, I wouldn't be surprised if the codebase was easily portable to other -ix platforms.

Re:Kill Maya Linux? Nope. (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719724)

I would hardly call MEL an architecture. In fact, I would hardly call MEL a programming language either.
It may not be an OS, but it certainly is an API [google.com] that can control every part of Maya from the GUI to dynamic animations to the tooltip bubbles. By the way, I called it a "scripting language".
However, Alias/Maya used to run on Irix, an SGI Unix variant (maybe still does).
Oddly, 6.5 was the last [alias.com] Irix version (Maya is now on 7.0). Hmmm..... Maybe that's because they were no longer owned by SGI as of July 2004. Then again...

jesus. h. christ. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719562)

Will Autodesk use the inherited expertise and codebase to finally develop their product line for the platforms most of their customer base would prefer, or does this mean the end of development of Alias products on OSX and Linux?

How the fuck do you know that their customer base doesn't want to use Windows? Most of the folks I have talked to that use Maya day-to-day like using Windows for the workstation, and Linux for the render farm.

The new improved fuckwad equation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719567)

College kid + blog + news cribbed from AP + angry socialist bias + audience = fucktard

i liek jennifur garner (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719570)

shes reel purty

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Rough times at Autodesk.... (1, Funny)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719575)

I know they've produced a few questionable products in the past, but is that really enough to require an alias?

And what is it for that matter?

ManualChair (R)?
BikeSofa (R)?
StickOttoman (R)?
AutoCrap (R)?

A bit more information, please....

-Chris

What about Rhino ? (4, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719593)

Interestingly that Rhino 3D is picking up users.

Does anyone know how the big 3 modellers compare? (I know a lot of game dev studios use Max and Maya.) Also, what about Blender?

TIA.

Blender (1)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719627)

On the topic of Blender, how is the documentation going? :)

Re:Blender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719908)



Pretty fucking good.

Blender 2.3 manual: Buy it, learn it, love it.

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Manuals___Books.111.0 .html [blender3d.org]

Btw Blender is maturing nicely and is up to 2.37a stable version. Big improvements and stability happenned around 2.34-2.35 or so and the Python scripting framework rocks the house.

Re:What about Rhino ? (1)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719628)

Rhino is kind of small in comparison. The third Big Modeler is SoftImage|XSI, which has incidentally been gaining a lot of momentum in the game industry lately (most notably, Half Life 2/Source).

As for Blender, it just doesn't reside in the same league. Its capabilities are for the most part adequate, but the...shall we say, controversial interface is a permanent barrier to its real adoption.

Re:What about Rhino ? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719751)

And I guess SoftImage survived an interlude of being owned by Microsoft.

Bruce

Re:What about Rhino ? (1)

Lucractius (649116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719742)

Blender is still out there but while ive been trying to learn it. While ive learned enough to create simple shapes, its interface still leaves me scratching my head and trying to work out what to do to make what i want happen. I want to use it, but the interface seems to need work before i realy can.

Re:What about Rhino ? (2, Informative)

robson (60067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719744)

Interestingly that Rhino 3D is picking up users.

Does anyone know how the big 3 modellers compare? (I know a lot of game dev studios use Max and Maya.) Also, what about Blender?

While Maya is great for modeling, it's the animation and dynamics tools that really make it stand out. I don't know what apps are best positioned to take Maya's place in these areas. How do Blender's [blender.org] animation tools stand up to Maya's? Anyone tried Project:Messiah [projectmessiah.com] ? Maybe this will be just the thing to push Softimage [softimage.com] back into the spotlight...

Re:What about Rhino ? (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719836)

[QUOTE]Does anyone know how the big 3 modellers compare? (I know a lot of game dev studios use Max and Maya.) Also, what about Blender?[/QUOTE]

Blender has been pretty much only been freelancers and hobbyists thus far. It currently lacks some neccessities for game modeling that are pretty important for widespread game industry adoption - smoothing groups, baking of lighting, mulitple and overlapping UV maps, and tangent space normal maps.

Blenders animating tools on the current release cycle have just caught up to some of the best in the industry going from barely usable to kicking butt in the space of six months.

Over the next six months Blenders render and compositing tools will likely experience a similar revolution.

Also Blender has acquired quite a few 'high end' tools lately - including soft body dynamics (cloth, rubber, etc) fluid dynamics (water type liquids only though), and hard body dynamics (physics based collisions), hair system.

Within a year, expect Blender to be competive with highend tools on most feature sets, and to offer all of the essentials.

LetterRip

Enough /. FUD about Blender (3, Insightful)

IoN_PuLse (788965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719867)

Whenever anyone mentions Blender here, it usually ends up in trolling about it's "crappy interface" and other fun opinions. IMHO, Blender's interface is extremely efficient, and I've worked with 3dsmax and Maya in the past...I could always get stuff done in Blender faster than the other two products. Blender by no means has a comparable featureset to 3dsmax and Maya, yet it is great at a LOT of stuff. Take a look at the gallery at Blender3d.com for some of the great work that's been done with it.

Some really great features that Blender has over the competition:

  • Open-source (obvious, but a plus)
  • Embedded python scripting (can import other modules, cross-platform)
  • Cross-platform to a ridiculous extent
  • Platform consistent (meaning it looks the same whatever you run it on), OpenGL-accelerated user-interface
  • Less than 10 megs for any platform!!
  • Loads in a few seconds, compare that to the behemoths Maya and 3dsmax are
  • No funky copyprotection servers/dongles to worry about
  • Runs well on older hardware

Heck there is even a ton of free documentation, ranging from a wikibook [wikibooks.org] to other books and guides [blender3d.com] .

It was used for previz stuff on Spider-man 2, in case anyone asks if it has been used in the industry.

Say What? (1)

mistermund (605799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719607)

Autodesk acquires Alias?

Imagine for a moment, what would happen if Adobe decided to take over Macromedia. It's a silly, far-fetched idea.

Wha? Oh, nevermind. [adobe.com]

If Cleaner is any indication... (2, Interesting)

mr.dreadful (758768) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719610)

The product will be allowed to languish for years, squeezing [sorensonmedia.com] every last drop of usefulness out of a once mighty product, compressor(ing) [apple.com] a once large user base on2 [on2.com] other software solutions.

dang if I can figure out how to work Divx [divx.com] into that sentence... ;-)

Re:If Cleaner is any indication... (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719737)

There is now a new Windows version called Cleaner XL.

Re:If Cleaner is any indication... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719906)

... as Autodesk rolls out Combustion 4 for Apple...

Going to raise game prices? (1)

suineg (647189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719615)

Autodesk now owns Alia and 3dsMax so is this going to bring up game prices etc other things that utilize these tools for their design??

Re:Going to raise game prices? (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719842)

I doubt they will change the price, but even if they do, it will not affect game prices at all. The big cost is the talent.

A seat of Maya and/or 3ds max costs a few grand for the seat and about a grand a year to keep it current.

The person who uses this software costs many tens of thousands of dollars per year, some cost hundreds of thousands. The talent is orders of magnitude more expensive than the software.

clustering (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719617)

given there is no such thing as windows clustering, and maya uses large rendering farms, i doubt they will kill it off. huge movie studio's will move to something else if they do and that's a big loss to them.

The slippery slope for apple started years ago (3, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719619)

when they came up with Final Cut Pro. The video monsters collected their strengths and are now slowly pulling the wings off of Apple. First Adobe cut Premiere off of Apple, and now their video suite is Windows only. Next thing, Autodesk buys Alias. Bye bye Maya. More will soon follow. The future of Apple? SGI. It doesn't have to be this way, but that's the way it's going. Bummer, 'cuz I love Apple machines. RS

Re:The slippery slope for apple started years ago (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719662)

Umm.. The problem with your scenario is that you're ignoring how FCP is eating Premiere and Avid's lunch. Apple's selling enormous FCP/Xsan/Shake/Xserve/SXserve raid packages every day. As for Maya, Autodesk is in business to make money, not to throw away huge revenue streams just to spite Steve Jobs. Maya will stay on the Mac, unless Apple ships an app that tops it.

-jcr

Re:The slippery slope for apple started years ago (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719722)

You are correct: FCP ate Premiere's Lunch, and rightly so - Premiere 4 (which is where it was at the time of FCP 1) was a roiling turd. Avid was not inferior technology: just wildly overpriced.

The problem is this, and I've seen it happening on other fronts behind the scenes: It's very clear that Apple has the better OS. However, they keep insisting on eating their developers. IIRC, there was a search engine that was better than Sherlock, and Apple went and co-opted it, for example. There is a kind of lingering distrust and resentment. Pro level 3D apps are WAY too expensive to develop, and the market is WAY too small. And Apple can't seem to get the best and fastest video cards in their machines, which makes developing for the Apple Platform a "problem".

It's true that Apple is selling piles of gear for Maya, but it's a fraction of what moves on the Windows platform. Adobe is ALSO i nthe game to make money, and they're not just spiting the owner of the Apple RDF, they're seeding hundreds of art schools with the Adobe Video solution, which only runs on Windows. The net result? People use what they learn on...

Right now I am teaching at a mid-level art school and the pressure to conform is Great. It's not a pretty sight. Apple is beig cornered into the "Photoshop / Dreamweaver / Flash / InDesign" corner and while FCP rulez, our dept. is all AVID all the time and all PC...

I'm not saying Apple's days are numbered, but they really need to counter the movement in education. They used to rule the roost, but now it's not the case... And: people use what they learn on. That's what killed FreeHand, and what is killing Quark.

RS

Re:The slippery slope for apple started years ago (1)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719681)

"First Adobe cut Premiere off of Apple, and now their video suite is Windows only."

This is a good thing. The less available it is the better. Premiere mangles audio (re-samples _without_ sample rate conversion) when you import different sample rates. Worse, it doesnt tell you it's doing it. I've even seen programs on BBC TV with audio grated in this way. It most commonly happens when a 44.1KHz CD is imported as backing music to a 48KHz project.

Most video engineers I know don't seem to be able to hear this happening. They use small PC speakers for monitoring.

At least Final Cut Pro sample rate converts when it needs to.

Re:The slippery slope for apple started years ago (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719752)

After using premiere to cut a single project back in 2003, I said never again. I was even using it on a mac. The interface is weak, the effects and titling tools are cumbersome (no livetype)...The one redeeming feature was good deck control. I could use a consumer Mini-DV camera as a deck in a pinch and grab my footage painlessly.

FCP is god compared to Premiere. In terms of learning curve, FCP is significantly better then the AVIDs too, which is important when I am dealing with a bunch of university students at work.

... April fool's? (1)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719622)

Come on, please someone tell me this was just a poorly timed April Fools' joke.

Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (2, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719625)

Is the manufacturing and design industry as stuck in a rut as the Graphic Design industry is with Quark? I mean seriously, there are so many better products out there that are cheaper, less buggy, and most importantly dont require a bloodsample of your entire production staff and 1 million dollars in cash to run, why do people STILL use this POS?

Honestly I thought at this point Auto would have already burried its self so deep into adding more junk onto the same original program that they would just fade away into nothing while VectorWorks and other programs took center stage, I certainly didnt see them buying out THE best comercial 3D program out there let alone buying it out for really what amounts to chump change and is certainly 1/8th what I expected.

Re:Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (1)

Maxim Kovalenko (764126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719659)

From what I have been seeing in the manufacturing industry is that most people are buying the LT version of Autocad because they do not need the functionality of the full version.

Either that or you are seeing a lot of people buying things like Autocad's Inventor, BobCAD or MasterCAD

Just my two cents....

Re:Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719749)

Because alot of us have trained on AutoCAD, I trained on AutoCAD 10 and worked with 10-12, and when I use another tool like VectorWorks I can't understand why anyone would use anything but AutoCAD, it's easier to use and much more powerful than the other tools out there.

I guess once AutoCAD, always AutoCAD

Re:Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (1)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719821)

I think what he was getting at is most the engineering world has left autoCAD type apps and moved on to Pro/E and Solidworks.

I've tried all 3 above. I can't stand autoCAD, I feel like i should be at a computer that hooks into some mainframe with a mono chromatic screen, and have a slide rule at hand when using it. Solidworks I used when in school and like a great deal. I use Pro/E at work, 2001 was ok, but Wildfire is very nice (made it more like solidworks).

I think the only reason AutoCAD survives is the install base, with lots of companies having a lot of drawings they still need in AutoCAD. The only industries I know that still use it a great deal is Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Re:Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719838)

Alot of folks use it in industrial and process pipe work.

I've only done industrial, process pipe and Arch, and all I've used is AutoCAD professionally.

For my hobby work, I prefer AutoCAD since I'm used to the toolset in there.

Re:Ugh why do people even BUY AutoCAD anymore (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719794)

Because it's a staple to every design/engineering community out there? I know someone who just got done with school, CAD/CAMcentric classes. His education consisted of several drafting/design/3d/etc packages out there. He too went through this stage of AutoCAD just sucks. This sentiment mainly came from his teachers of the other packages. Which is odd because Clackmas Community College where he studied is considered one of the best places in the country to study using AutoCAD. Most of the big authors of text books were on staff there, but I digress...

I told him he'd better get familiar with it because it's not as bad as people make it out to be and because it's the one app that most drafting shops have. Now that he's done with school he's come around all on his own. As powerful as some of the other apps are, they have their own limitations. He finds himself in AutoCAD much of the time now as it's just easier to get certain things done quickly.

Now personally, yeah, I think the upgrade time requirements and prices are way too high. But if you compare AutoCAD to the likes of KeyCreator (formerly CADKEY) and other products truly in AutoCAD's class, it's definitely in the same game. I'm also very aware of ACAD's shortcomings. But I'm always amazed at the lengths people take the bashing to. I was responsible for a good portion of the detailing of the main structure for the http://www.emplive.org/images/visit/about/final_bl dg.jpg [emplive.org] Experience Music project in Seattle. Yeah, AutoCAD detailed that. Sometimes it's not the drafting package, but the guy at the keyboard that makes things happen.

The author kind of misses the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719632)

"...or does this mean the end of development of Alias products on OSX and Linux?"

Autodesk has many products running on IRIX and Linux (Inferno, Flame, Flint, Smoke, Burn, etc...). The important aspect of this acquisition is the future of Maya and Autodesk's 3dsmax. What matters most is that a quality product continues to be developed, whether it's based on either application, not what OS it runs apon.

-D

If Autodesk _does_ kill Maya for Mac and Linux... (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719637)

...it would be a good opportunity for Blender to step in and fill the gap. I wonder if it's up to it?

Re:If Autodesk _does_ kill Maya for Mac and Linux. (2, Insightful)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719670)

I wonder if it's up to it?
No. No it is not.

How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719638)

I have some artist friends in the entertainment industry. Every so often I hear about great Maya is from some, and how great Max is from others. So I know that both have their fans.

But my question is: How does the open source Blender [blender3d.org] modeling and animation package compare to Maya and Max for creating content for movies, animations and games. What is it missing, what does it not do as well, what would it need to be able to compete? Is Blender even a worthy substitute for Maya or Max?

I'm new to all of the above don't know what the strengths of all these different programs are - besides Blender being $0 and the others being $haha for someone on a budget.

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (1)

teknomage1 (854522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719706)

Blender still isn't up to the standards set by the big guys (it's getting there but still needs work), but it doesn't really even matter feature-wise because every school for 3d anim. either teaches MAX or Maya with a small minority still teaching Lightwave. Regardless of Blender's cost or features, there's no one in the industry now with the skills to use it, no comparable training programs for Blender, and most importantly, no massive hype machine to convince people it's worth looking at. Trust me, I have a BFA.

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719750)

Trust me, I have a BFA.

So does goatse!

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (1)

CreateWindowEx (630955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719885)

Unfortunately the "standards set by the big guys" aren't that great. My experience, at least coming from the real-time side of the coin, is that MAX, Maya, Multigen each suck in different ways; usually something that is easy on one package is hard on the others, maintaining plugins is far harder than it should be, plus they all seem surprisingly buggy for "professional" software. Maya has what looks on paper as a "pretty" architecture that sounds appealing, but in practice it seems to devolve into a twisted morass of nodes because they are missing a secondary layer of organization--it's like debugging large programs in machine language. MAX seems pretty slapped together and has its own share of bone-headed problems. All the packages seem to be poorly-performing resource hogs. It'll only get worse for next-generation stuff. Plus I don't even really use these things, I just have to watch the artists using them.

Occasionally I wonder what a "iApp" style 3D modeler would look like; sort of like a GarageBand, where you would sacrifice some advanced functionality to make a slick and easy-to-use package that can solve 90% of people's problems. I think it would require some amazingly clever re-conceptualization of the editing problem...

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (2, Informative)

Medieval_Gnome (250212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719723)

Is Blender even a worthy substitute for Maya or Max?


No.

For one, its builtin renderer is complete crap when it comes to anything nearing physical accuracy (such as reflections. Yuck), and Yafray, while it's nice, has nothing on Mental Ray when it comes to speed, image quality, or ease of use. Admittedly, on price, it wins. And the LCSM unwrap in blender is quite nice, and I don't know of an equivalent in maya. But I'm a major n00b.

Not to mention Hypershade owns me. It makes it so easy to make complicated shaders for objects, and do things that you wouldn't think possible.

So yeah, blender is really nice, and I still prefer poly modeling in it compared to maya. But maya is so much more featureful, it's no competition.

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719764)

Blender is much more than just 3d modeling. It is a full suite of 3d modeling, sound syncing, animation, physics, great scripting capabilities, game engine, and an extremely fast renderer. It was used in parts of the development for Spiderman 2, so its obviously starting to catch the big guys' attention. Quite a few professionals already use it [blender3d.org] . It really is quite a product, and although its gui paradigm is different than most are used to, it turns out to be extremely effective. Other than that, blender has all your standard features, it can render to a cluster, it can do just about anything you want it, its just a matter of getting schools to start teaching it.
Regards,
Steve

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (1)

Vyyper (83684) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719766)

To sum up my response to the whole, "Is Blender up to it?" question.. the answer is a resounding, "No."

3D Studio Max and Maya have millions of dollars of research and development invested in to them. Feedback from the game and film industry as to what to add and what to get rid of.. and extremely useful scripting languages (MAXscript and MEL respectively) that allows people/companies to cater the program to their specific needs. "Ok, we need to get Maya to do this specific task that it doesn't do right now." "Ok, we'll write a script to do this for us." Stuff like that is a life saver in production pipelines. Being able to modify the programs so heavily that it's not even recognizable as the out of the box software anymore is extremely useful.

It's been a long time since I've played around with Blender... but can it animate fluidly? Can it render using the latest and greatest renderers? (RenderMan, MentalRay, Maxwell, Brazil, VRay, etc) Can it do dynamics and simulations? Does it have complex textruing utilities and abilities? Can you set up complex rigging solutions with it? I'm guessing the answer is no to a lot of those questions. And even if it does do some of that in some fashion or another.. I guarantee that it's not nearly up to the quality the people using Max or Maya would expect.

Now, this acquisition doesn't mean the end to either program. Autodesk has stated that it's not going to interrupt the progress of either line. I know that's kind of a bullshit line most companies would give right after acquiring something... but Autodesk has done well in the past with not screwing things up. Look at Combustion for example.

If anything, I view this as a good thing. This coming from a former Max user who was converted years ago to Maya.. but I use both in my every day production pipeline.. I hope that everything will "stay the same" or "business as usual" or whatever Autodesk has said.

Personally.. I'd love for Max to start being geared more towards the game industry and Maya geared more towards the film industry. That's how it already is basically.. but Maya has been taking over a lot of ground in the game industry as of late.. and I can only thing of a few places that use Max for feature films. (not that it's not qualified to do so, just the flexibility of Maya is more of a selling point for effects studios)

Re:How do Maya and Max compare to Blender? (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719849)

It's been a long time since I've played around with Blender... but can it animate fluidly? Can it render using the latest and greatest renderers? (RenderMan, MentalRay, Maxwell, Brazil, VRay, etc) Can it do dynamics and simulations? Does it have complex textruing utilities and abilities? Can you set up complex rigging solutions with it? I'm guessing the answer is no to a lot of those questions. And even if it does do some of that in some fashion or another.. I guarantee that it's not nearly up to the quality the people using Max or Maya would expect.

So... you haven't used it in a long time, don't know its capabilities, yet you feel that it's not up to the standards of Maya or Max?

Anyone with working experience in Blender and Maya have an opinion?

Let me speak for every Maya Mac user (0, Redundant)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719653)

OHH SUN OF A BEOTCH!

damnit damnit damnit damnit....

crap.

CRAP!

Screw you guys: i'm going home. And i had JUST gone totaly Microsoft free...

Re:Let me speak for every Maya Mac user (1)

Medieval_Gnome (250212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719728)

Let me speak for every Linux Maya user, and say this:

NO FAIR! They make us use a Motif interface, and just when we started hoping that they'd update it sometime, it ends up looking like it won't exist for us anymore. And just after I kicked the blender habid.

Life's a biatch.

From The Depths Of My Soul I Spit At You Autodesk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719707)

Rot in fucking hell you talentless scum.

One of the greatest software packages in the world gets fucked just because you miserable piece of shits can't write your own 3d package that isn't a digital TURD like max.

Fuck you and your garbage software.

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!

they will trash it (2, Interesting)

trapine (615869) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719718)

Like every other aquisition, Autodesk will do a terrible job of implimenting the better features of the product, and then shelve it until it dies. Meanwhile they will continue on the long standing tradition of Windows only, and worse performance. Autocad is the only program that has a reverse Moore's curve. They've already ruined autocad, lightscape and revit. They've done little to improve 3dStudio. Now that they have Alias they have even less incentive to improve their products and even more to make subscriptions mandatory, and they yearly update even more underwhelming. -can you tell I'm an irritated, but trapped user?

I'm sure it wont be long... (3, Interesting)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719732)

Before Maya is as of a high quality like several of Autodesk's other recent product releases, like Raster Design 2005 and Map 3D 2006. ::rollseyes::

I'm so sorry for you Maya folk. I really am.

And yes, Autodesk is in deep with Microsoft. They got tons of cash 10 or so years ago to kill off their Unix variants of AutoCAD (not like there was a whole lot of demand anyways). But there is just about no way they could get AutoCAD or any other vertical to run on any non MS OS (tight integration, lots of hooks for .NET and VBA). I've seen an AutoCAD install running on Virtual PC on a Mac, but that was painful. I really wouldnt expect future versions of Maya on linux or mac unless the community revolts.

Just got the Memo (4, Informative)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719736)

Here's the customer announcement. Funny enough, the Slashdot article is what I saw first. Some geek I am, not checking my mail...October 4, 2005

From: Alias
To: bryn
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 00:49:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Autodesk Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Alias

Dear Alias Customer,

Today Autodesk and Alias announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Autodesk to acquire Alias.

Alias is a leading developer of 3D graphics technology, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Alias develops and delivers software and services for film and video, interactive games, media and the Web. It also develops software and services for consumer products, industrial design, automotive, architecture and visualization customers.

With more than six million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, infrastructure, building, digital media and wireless data services fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers to create, manage and share their digital assets more effectively. The acquisition of Alias will continue to round out our product lines across industry segments.

As many of you are aware, in the media and entertainment industry, most leading film studios, game developers and high-end visual effects companies use Alias' Maya®, MotionBuilder® and FBX® software. Most also use Autodesk's complementary Inferno®, Flame®, Lustre® and 3ds Max® products. The most demanding industrial designers in the world use Alias' StudioTools(TM), primarily in the automotive and consumer products segments. Bringing this technology to Autodesk will strengthen the manufacturing business by integrating conceptual design as a front-end to Inventor Series and the PLM solution.

The acquisition also brings to Autodesk a highly talented group of individuals, a wealth of technologies and a great set of products. By combining the technology and talents of two successful, financially healthy companies, we will be better able to continue delivering solutions that address your ever-changing and increasingly complex needs. And yes, Autodesk plans to continue to support and develop Alias products as well as utilize the strength of the combined organization to provide customers with continued innovation and technology development.

The transaction is expected to close in the next four to six months. Until that time, Autodesk and Alias will continue operating as independent companies and will remain focused on our current customer needs. We do not anticipate any changes with respect to planned product releases for either company. Please continue using your existing contacts for sales, services and support. We will update you on the progress of this acquisition, both directly and online at http://www.autodesk.com/autodeskandalias [autodesk.com] .

On behalf of Autodesk and Alias, we would like to thank you for your business and reiterate our commitment to ensuring that this event which is exciting for both our companies will prove even more so for you.

Sincerely,

Carol Bartz
Chairman and CEO
Autodesk, Inc.

Doug Walker
President and CEO
Alias

What about IRIX? (3, Insightful)

milatchi (694575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719747)

"does this mean the end of development of Alias products on OSX and Linux?"

What about IRIX? Let's not forget about it. It was the first OS that any Alias software ever ran on. If memory serves, Alias was spun-off from Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Answers.. answers (4, Informative)

jamezilla (609812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719772)

From the Acquisition FAQ [autodesk.com] (warning: PDF):
Q5: Will planned product releases for Alias or Autodesk be affected and will Autodesk continue to support Alias' products?
A5: We do not anticipate any changes with respect to planned product releases for both companies. And yes, Autodesk plans to continue to develop Alias products and utilize the strength of the combined organization to provide customers with continued innovation and technology development.

Q18: Will Autodesk sell all of Alias' products?
A18: After the transaction closes, Autodesk plans to continue to sell all of the products currently offered by both organizations.

Q23: What platforms do the Autodesk® 3ds Max® and Alias' Maya software support?
A23: 3ds Max and Maya software products differ greatly in supported platforms. Maya software supports Linux®, Windows® and Macintosh® operating systems, making it the top choice for platform-sensitive segments like high-end film, whereas 3ds Max software is a Windows application that is used most often in world-building for games. We expect customers to benefit from the wide range of platforms upon which the combined company will offer its products.

From this info, it looks like they consider Maya and 3DS Max to be in separate market segments - which indeed they are. For cryin' out loud, Pixar uses parts of Maya in their workflow. Who would want to kill that? Maya's the crown jewel of Alias. You can't compare this to the Macromedia acquisition. This would be more akin to Macromedia buying out Adobe to get Photoshop.

Re:Answers.. answers (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719872)

This is also very predictable language designed to calm the fears of the affected customers and get them to sit tight for a while. It is no indicator at all as to what Autodesk will actually do with these product lines in a year or two. Having expensive, overlapping R&D efforts and teams scattered around the globe almost never works out in the long run and eventually there is streamlining(layoffs) and consolidation(end of lifed products) to improve business efficiency.

It's not about Linux/OSX... (4, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719797)

But it may be about the death of innovation in the area of 3D animation.

Autodesk bought Discreet quite a while ago and is actively supporting and developing *nix and OSX versions of the Discreet products. Autodesk's AutoCAD may not be so friendly, but the Media and Entertainment division goes where the money is, and a lot of the creative types are on platforms other than Windows. Judging from history, I suspect that will continue to be the case.

The thing that frightens me is that the two most popular 3D applications will now be under one roof. This could mark the beginning of Autodesk staging a Microsoft-like dominance of the 3D market, and the marginalization of the remaining players.

As someone who owns seats of both 3ds Max and Maya, I should be happy, but instead I have a pit in my stomach. I'm not sure if this is a good thing at all for the 3D community.

Re:It's not about Linux/OSX... (2, Interesting)

nurble (583473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719835)

Well, Combustion and Lustre are the only Autodesk products currently available for OSX, and Combustion isn't (or wasn't until very recently) developed on Macs, just recompiled for and tested with Macs. The Autodesk you know from Autocad probably won't be given the reigns for Maya, that will fall to the former Discreeters and the 3dsmax guys, many of whom are now cohabitating in Montreal. You'll hopefully see better integration between Max, Maya, and the effects products, inferno, flame, toxik, and smoke, which will be a good thing, and you'll most likely see maya get rolled into Toxik, the next gen pipeline compositor, whereupon Autodesk will try and kill Shake. If Autodesk starts killing off versions of Maya, as some here have suggested, people will just switch to Softimage and it will all end in tears. but what do I know? prolly nothing.

Autodesk does Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719856)

Not much, granted, but if you drill into the product offerings you'll find a few things there already.

Well on the upshot SoftImage should do well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13719886)

Well hey, we can kiss Alias|WaveFront goodbye, but on the upshot, maybe Avid SoftImage|XSI will get back in to prominance. I always felt SoftImage was a better all around package anyway.

Bullshit (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13719889)

Speaking from someone in the industry, you're all over hyped/worried about nothing.

First of all, the suggestion that Autodesk pro MS is complete bullshit. More than half of Discreet's products only run on Unix.

Second, speaking as a user of both Max and Maya, the two could see a bright future in collaboration. The two interfaces are just about identical thanks to years of blatantly ripping one another's innovations off. The two have been fighting so long that many of the programmers that developed ground breaking features for one, are now working for the other. Case in point, the lead programmer responsible for Maya's IK and rigging system was hired by Discreet to then implement the exact same functionality in MAX.

The third point I would like to make is that Alias has been bought and sold by so many people over the last couple of years, that finally settling down in a company that at least appreciates the 3d and film industry should do nothing but good things for it.

The industry pipeline is so firmly developed around Maya, there is no way that autodesk could cancel development just to simply kill its competitor. What most likely will happen is Alias will continue to exist just as it does today, or else some sort of HyperMerging of some of the best packages available today into one psychic lens of perfection. I would bet on the latter.
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