PDA

View Full Version : Apple to buy Discreet?



sadkkf
12-11-2003, 08:45 AM
Just throwing this out to the 'Wavers.

Rumors floating about regarding Apple buying Discreet and future of 3DS Max.


http://www.computerarts.co.uk/news/default.asp?pagetypeid=2&articleid=27693&subsectionid=841

anieves
12-11-2003, 09:57 AM
I usually don't reply to rumors threads but can you guys imagine if this was true? The aftershock waves would be gigantic.

Remember what happened when Apple bought Shake? a bunch of studios did one of two things... Bought a new comp package or bought a new Mac.

Imagine that scenario with Max.... wow!

Actually I would like to see that happen:D

Aegis
12-11-2003, 10:08 AM
As I mentioned on a similar thread in the Mac forum, I'd love to see this happen to - if only to see the shockwaves sent through the video game industry which has singularly clung to 3D Studio since its DOS days - I'm still at a loss to understand why...

DigiLusionist
12-11-2003, 10:10 AM
IF this were true:

Existing studios that have hundreds of thousands of dollars tied up in PCs, and who have PC network technicians on staff, aren't going to jump on any Mac bandwagons just because Apple bought Max.

More likely, Apple would continue Max dev on the PC for them, while developing a Mac version for existing and new Mac users.

anieves
12-11-2003, 10:25 AM
maybe so, but that's what was thought when Apple bought Shake but Apple is not developing a PC version of Shake though.

Aegis
12-11-2003, 10:28 AM
Existing studios that have hundreds of thousands of dollars tied up in PCs, and who have PC network technicians on staff, aren't going to jump on any Mac bandwagons just because Apple bought Max.

Exactly my point! Why would game studios that develop predominantly for the PC switch to Mac workstations? It'd create a real s**tstorm, the upshot of which would probably be these studios having to switch packages (would you continue to invest in Max if Apple bought it, based on what they did with Final Cut Pro??).

Could create a nice opening for NewTek... :D

Realistically though I think it's unlikely to prove to be more than just speculation - The stories of Apple buying Alias had more credibility, after all there IS a port of Maya on the Mac.

DigiLusionist
12-11-2003, 10:35 AM
Anieves the big difference between the CGFX industry and the game industry is that game programmers are involved, too, not just network techs.

The game dev industry is 97% PC and console driven. I can't imagine there'd be a rapid exodus to the Mac by programmers who have spent YEARS learning to do what they do best on PCs just because of one app's purchase by Apple.

Besides, most game dev houses have shifted to Maya. So, they still have the PC option with that.

Aegis
12-11-2003, 10:47 AM
Besides, most game dev houses have shifted to Maya. So, they still have the PC option with that.

In the States maybe but here in the UK, Max still rules the roost - there's a few softco's that use both, fewer still that use just Maya but the industry still predominantly uses Max...

Mylenium
12-11-2003, 10:57 AM
Well, if that was true, that hammer once more would come back onto Apple. Personally I think that Apple are still under the wrong impression that having certain software will also boost hardware sales or create a stronger user base. You see, there are still many users of Shake 2.5 for PC but they do not necessarily want to switch to a Mac just to get a newer version. The same would quite likely happen if they bought discreet and kept the products away from PC users. Also what about the highend products (lustre*,inferno*) etc.? All in all, it would be very unwise from Apple to spend millions on buying discreet - it may not pay off and only bog them down (again). They make great software (especially FCP, which always impresses me anew), but should not venture into areas where they possibly would do more damage to an thriving industry and to their own reputation.

My 2 cents

Mylenium

Kvaalen
12-11-2003, 11:00 AM
I know this sounds bad, :( but this is what it seems like to me from people I've met... I think that part of the reason that Max is so widly used is that it is very easy to get an ileagal version of it. I'm afraid that will not last if it will be only developed for a Mac.

As I said before... this is just an impression I get from some Max users I've met, I'm not saying it is a fact.

meshmaster
12-11-2003, 11:10 AM
I hope they go mac only all the way!!! That'll increase Lightwave's sales! :) I doubt it'll happen like that, if anything, it'll probably go down with a mac port to max, but who knows...

bryantreif
12-11-2003, 11:58 AM
But I don't think this is good news. Shake on the Mac is signifigantly slower than Shake on the PC. PC compositors are running out of options it seems. It's certainly not worth switching to Macs though.

Lamont
12-11-2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by sadkkf
Just throwing this out to the 'Wavers.

Rumors floating about regarding Apple buying Discreet and future of 3DS Max.[/URL] There was no mention of buying Discreet in that article. Rather properties of Discreet. Mainly the video software.

My take: I don't care.

Alan Daniels
12-11-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by Aegis
As I mentioned on a similar thread in the Mac forum, I'd love to see this happen to - if only to see the shockwaves sent through the video game industry which has singularly clung to 3D Studio since its DOS days - I'm still at a loss to understand why...

The impression I've always had was that game developers typically used Max back in the early days since it was particularly well-suited for creating models with low polygon counts. Of course, now, things are different: Other packages (LW included) are just as well suited for low-poly modeling, and modern video cards are so screamingly fast that using the bare minimum number of polygons for a model isn't all that important anymore.

Mind you, I'm not a pro game developer, so this is hearsay from reading game developer forums and what have you, but the overall opinion on WHY to use Max was always pretty consistent. My guess is most game companies still sticking with Max are doing so out of habit.

mattclary
12-11-2003, 01:36 PM
I don't think they will buy Max, but if they did, at least it would take Max off the number one slot of "Most Pirated Software in the Universe"

sadkkf
12-11-2003, 01:48 PM
Looking at this from the other side, what's happening at Discreet?

They have some great, stable products, though I only use Cleaner. Are they suffering the fate of Corel?

sadkkf
12-11-2003, 01:51 PM
There was no mention of buying Discreet in that article. Rather properties of Discreet. Mainly the video software.

You're right. My bad. :rolleyes:

Aegis
12-11-2003, 01:54 PM
game developers typically used Max back in the early days since it was particularly well-suited for creating models with low polygon counts.

An interesting theory but sadly not accurate - in its DOS days 3D Studio was no better suited to low-poly modelling than LightWave was.

My take on this (based on my experiences working in the industry at that time) was that there were no "professional" 3D packages on the desktop at that time - LightWave was only available as part of the Video Toaster bundle and 3D Studio was the only PC 3D solution. Graphics tools in general on the PC at that time were woefully inferior to those available on the Amiga (anyone remember DPaint on the PC??) but the whole industry was shifting its focus away from the Amiga to the PC (Commodore was still alive at that point but had fumbled the ball badly).

'Toasters were rare beasts indeed in those days 'cause they were NTSC-only and so completely useless in the UK - we had one at Argonaut (apparently Jez San swapped a few copies of ArgAsm, the ARGonaut ASseMbler for it :)) but nobody knew how to use it... Argonaut was making a few 3D games for the Super Nintendo at the time (they developed the Super-FX chip) - they'd finished StarFox in collaboration with Nintendo and were working on Vortex and Stunt Race FX - all the 3D graphics for these games were designed using in-house tools specially developed for the task.

Rendered 3D graphics really began to take off with games such as Myst, The 7th Guest and Microcosm - Argonaut started work on a game called Creature Shock which followed a similar theme - rendered 3D graphics spooled from CD. It was a natural choice for Argonaut to use 3D Studio - their art tools as well as their development platform had switched to the PC and 3DS was the only game in town at that time. Part way through the development of Creature Shock the standalone Amiga version of LightWave was released (v3.5) - I wanted to get into 3D but found 3DS very clumsy and counter-intuitive so I bought a copy of LightWave (350!!) and started learning it.

Unfortunately, by this time, 3DS was rapidly being adopted as THE standard for 3D on the PC (Wavefront and Softimage were around in their early incarnations but only ran on expensive SGI hardware). Babylon 5 helped raise the profile in the UK of LightWave but by that time I think the battle had already been lost - by the time LightWave 4.0 was launched on the PC, most games companies had already set up their 3D graphics facilities and they were all using 3D Studio - of course, when Max came out, most of these companies simply transitioned to that.

Since then of course, Discreet have realised that they're onto a good thing with the games industry's support and have successfully tailored Max's functionality towards games (as well as other areas) which is something NewTek have never really focussed on - even if they had, I seriously doubt LightWave would have made a greater impact in the games industry here than it has done...

In retrospect, it seems a simple matter of bad timing and from my experience that's really what it was - NewTek's early history was very closely tied to the Amiga and Commodore and design choices for the 'Toaster hardware isolated it as a US-only product. By the time that was unravelled, it really was too late to capture a market segment that had circumstances been otherwise would've been theirs for the taking...

Castius
12-11-2003, 03:17 PM
1) Max had uv's way before LW
2) Max geomatry system was based on triangles
3) Max is alot more developer friendly in the way a developer thinks. With things like modifer stack just the way it works.
4) Character studio it was a POS but for games it ok and was very easy for developers.

A compopany would really have to like LW to ignore these when there were setting up a game dev pipline. Even today it's still an uphill battle.

Aegis
12-11-2003, 04:58 PM
Castius: You're missing the point - I already mentioned that Autodesk/Discreet pushed Max's functionality towards games developers - I was talking about 3D Studio - NOT Max - this was all pre Max 1.0

cresshead
12-11-2003, 05:03 PM
there's a whole host of things that max has which are mainly for game dev.


character studio was/is stunning and still does things only other apps dream of.

so agame developer do not need to export to the game engine to see results everytime:

max has true transparency in the viewports
max has stacked materials in the viewport
max has direct x pixel shaders in the viewport
a "tunable" level of detail modifier that pins uv maps as well as gives you a poy count scalable model/object.
nearly every game engine can use a plugin importer exporter
drive animation via midi commands
record animation with real time motion captuer recording using a mouse/keyboard/joystick or midi device and thin the keys out after the record session.

a huge amount of plugins for max [free and commercial]

surface tools [patching]
you can see proceedual textures in the viewport in many cases.
vertex lighting
texture baking
point caching
robust, predicable particles
maxscript
SDK for max is robust for developers to use to make plugins

that's why max has the lion's share of the game market...

discreet [kinetix as well] listen to the game developers and implement what they need.


in the end max is ideal for game creation..but handles film/t.v not so well.

Aegis
12-11-2003, 05:24 PM
Cresshead: Yup, you're absolutely right about Max but I was referring to the DOS version of 3D Studio developed by Dan Silva (of Deluxe Paint fame) and the Yost group - 3D Studio was a very different beast and was developed up to version 4 before it was re-written pretty much from scratch to become 3D Studio Max 1.0

LightWave was already a very capable package even before Max 1.0 was released - certainly far superior to 3D Studio - The pilot of Babylon 5 was done using LightWave 2.0/3.0 (IIRC) and the first season was done with 3.5 using Amigas - season 2 onwards was done using LightWave 4.0 on the PC - Max 1.0 came out around this time.

Also note that during the time period I'm talking about, there was very little real-time 3D in games (flight sims mostly) - at Argonaut they were using 3D Studio just for rendered sequences. Up until that point, any real-time 3D objects were built using tools specifically written for the project (I remember building shapes for Vortex which had a max poly-count of around 10-15 tris :D)

Beamtracer
12-11-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Aegis
would you continue to invest in Max if Apple bought it, based on what they did with Final Cut Pro??
What's wrong with what Apple did to Final Cut Pro? It was nothing before Apple got it. Apple has made it into the best video editing package the world has seen, conquering all others before it (ie Avid). Apple, more than any other company, has revolutionized the world of video editing.


Originally posted by Mylenium
You see, there are still many users of Shake 2.5 for PC but they do not necessarily want to switch to a Mac just to get a newer version. Shake users don't have to give up their PC to use it. They only have to install Linux OS on their PC.

They'd probably be better off using Linux than Windows anyway. Better multitasking. More stable. Fewer viruses. And maybe with Linux they could also "switch on" the 64-bit features of AMD hardware, that Windows could never use.


Originally posted by bryantreif
Shake on the Mac is signifigantly slower than Shake on the PC That may have been true some years ago, but Shake is now running significantly faster on the new Apple G5 hardware than on a dual 3GHz Xeon.

Shake users just need to go UNIX.
Either Linux on their PC, or the UNIX based Mac OS X.

Alan Daniels
12-11-2003, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by Aegis
An interesting theory but sadly not accurate - in its DOS days 3D Studio was no better suited to low-poly modelling than LightWave was...

Very informative. Thank you! (Like I said, the low-poly thing was hearsay. Alas, I didn't start learning about computer graphics until way too late. If I'd have paid attention a little more, I coulda been a contender...)

Ade
12-12-2003, 01:08 AM
FCP came from macromedia, 3ds came from Atari ST.

Aegis
12-12-2003, 02:52 AM
What's wrong with what Apple did to Final Cut Pro?

Actually, nothing - It's worked out very well both for Apple and for the users - my point was that a studio developing PC games is unlikely to switch to Macs to run their 3D software and if Apple aquire Max they're gonna wonder if Apple will "pull an FCP" on them ;)


If I'd have paid attention a little more, I coulda been a contender...

It's never too late! Sit down, learn the software, do some courses such as Larry's or Dan's, make a showreel and you can still be the champ :)

Alan Daniels
12-12-2003, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by Aegis
It's never too late! Sit down, learn the software, do some courses such as Larry's or Dan's, make a showreel and you can still be the champ :)

Well, here's my story, if you'd care to hear it:

I graduated with a Master's in CS from Georgia Tech about three years ago. When I was there, I took as many classes as I could in graphics. I already had (and still have!) a great job as a software engineer, but games are my passion, so I worked on the degree during the day, all while putting in full work days at my job. It took me three years of VERY long days, and lots of driving back and forth (Tech has a very good graphics program, but they don't teach night classes). :) In other words, I'm already working as a programmer, but I figured to make the leap to GAMES programer I figured I had to have to either experience or a degree, so I went for the degree.

Unfortunately, right as I graduated the economy went into the toilet, and between that and some personal stuff, I decided to stay put in Atlanta. I actually did one real graphics-related interview, with ILM (woohoo!), but their offer was so low that I couldn't have afforded a broom closet in the San Fransisco area (where ILM is located), much less a real apartment or house. I have a dream, but I'm not willing to bankrupt myself for it.

So, I declined the ILM offer, but I still believe this was a wise choice: San Fransisco was basically ground zero for economic bad news, so if ILM hadn't worked out for whatever reason, I would have been stuck in a town with no jobs. And, after talking to various folks in the movie effects industry, I got the impression that ILM's REAL interview is your first year on the job, so they hire you cheap just to see how you perform. Besides, angsting about whether or not to work for ILM helped me realize that it's actually gaming that I love, not so much graphics in itself.

I haven't given up yet, but I see three main obstacles when I look through postings for gaming jobs: 1) You should be young so you'll work for bird feed, but I'm in my mid-30s. 2) About 2/3rds of the postings I see are for San Fransisco, LA or San Diego, so you should already live in California. 3) You should already work at a game company. :rolleyes: Almost every posting says something like "must have worked on one or more published titles". The industry is very incestuous, apparently, and everybody's always hiring employees away from somebody else.

But like I said, I haven't given up hope! :D I figure a Master's, PLUS a good demo reel, will help me to find a job somewhere. If not that, I'll start my own company, maybe writing mobile games since they can be created with one or two people, as opposed to the small army it takes nowadays to publish a title for the PC or PS2.

And I am having fun with LW; it's teaching me as much about real-world graphics than any course at Georgia Tech ever did (the difference between theory and practice, I suppose). And it's helping me to become an artist, something I've wanted to be for a long time. And at the end of the day, it's a nice break from programming. :D

That's it! End of boring personal story.

dwburman
12-12-2003, 08:38 AM
I remember looking at the price of Shake after Apple bought it. The MAC version was $4,500 and the PC version was $9,000. It sort of gave the impression that Apple wanted you to buy a MAC :)

Aegis
12-12-2003, 09:42 AM
Alan: You're right about the games industry being incestuous - it's the same here in the UK. I started out in games and moved into TV and film 'cause it was a great way to learn new techniques and to explore what was possible outside of the technical limitations of hardware at the time. In many ways the job has become easier because of the advances in tools and the ever increasing parity between rendered and real-time (although, of course it's BIG business now - the budgets have ballooned and developments schedules are measured in years) - what I find amazing is the lack of interest the games industry has in people with media backgrounds - ultimately (as far as 3D graphics go) the two disciplines will converge as hardware limitations effectively disappear (we're already using objects in games with poly-counts I'd have been scared to render just a few years ago...)

I've considered trying to get back into games in the past (the games industry is great if you're looking for a creative environment with some degree of job security...), unfortunately the two questions I'm asked the most are "Do you know Max?" and "What was the last published game you worked on?" - :mad:

Nemoid
12-12-2003, 12:56 PM
That rumour and the consequences it can bring in the CG industry are interesting for me, infact I always wonder about if one day Macs will be excellent and productive workstations to do 3D.

from what I know, Mac is not currently a great productive machine for 3D, while is the best for 2D because of PC bottleneck to handle huge bitmaps at a high resolution, also good for print and compositing/editing and sound and because especially of quite crap video cards for 3D Apple puts into Macs. hope not to be wrong in this point.

So what i wanted to say its that it would be great if Macs were good machines for 3D or also if PCs were great both for 2D and 3D, because working with one platform good for everything is better than 2.

About Max I dunno it so well to say smth about it surely is an app good for games,and games is a huge and important market wich I'd like Lw will look at, even if Max is the king. in the features of [8] Nt mention better game tools , so I hope we will find smth interesting. :)

Beamtracer
12-12-2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Nemoid
from what I know, Mac is not currently a great productive machine for 3D Hi Nemoid. I respect your decision to use Windows, but you may be interested to know that there are many advantages to using the Mac.

New 64-bit hardware allows you to use more RAM than older 32-bit systems. Even if you're running a 32-bit app on the Mac, each app can run in its own 2GB sector of RAM, up to 8GB of RAM.

The new Mac OS X is different from the old Mac OS. It's UNIX based, stable and virus free.

I'm using an ATI9800pro graphics card and it works very well with Lightwave on the G5.

As for 3DS max, I don't think Apple would want to buy it.

WizCraker
12-12-2003, 11:01 PM
You people must be smoking a little to much crack. I want to know how you connected Apple buying Discreet from them possibly buying Cleaner. I mean come on, this is two entirely different things here. Buying the rights to software does not mean they are thinking of buying a company.

Nemoid
12-13-2003, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Hi Nemoid. I respect your decision to use Windows, but you may be interested to know that there are many advantages to using the Mac.

New 64-bit hardware allows you to use more RAM than older 32-bit systems. Even if you're running a 32-bit app on the Mac, each app can run in its own 2GB sector of RAM, up to 8GB of RAM.

The new Mac OS X is different from the old Mac OS. It's UNIX based, stable and virus free.

I'm using an ATI9800pro graphics card and it works very well with Lightwave on the G5.

As for 3DS max, I don't think Apple would want to buy it.

Thx for you reply Beamtracer! i currently work in a windows system, also because the majority of users work in intel systems, but I have absolutely nohing against Macs. on the contratry since I am basically a 2D traditional artist, I think I will go in Mac systems as soon as I can work productively with macs both for 3D and 2D, comparing lets say 3D production to that I can obtain with lets say a BOXX workstation, while in 2D we know Mac is the best.
I actually do only 3D with PC, because i work very well with handmade- traditional techniques for drawing and painting, but, for the future I want to work into an unique platform for 2D and 3D.
there's also another prob regarding for example free or good plugs for Lw for macs because basically most plugs come out for intel first.

other example, but illuminating, is that I have a friend wich is a great Lw pro,and works into a company wich make prints for final output. they work with mixed platform PC (3D) and Macs(2D , postprocessing, compositing etc.) for me this is a good sign that Macs are good, but not as good as PCs for 3D.

maybe I'm totally wrong on this though, so, if you have some opinions feel free to post them!! :)

Beamtracer
12-13-2003, 05:33 AM
Originally posted by Nemoid
there's also another prob regarding for example free or good plugs for Lw for macsI never find plug-ins much of a problem. The big ones like Worley etc are all on Mac. It's only obscure ones that may not be there.

Back to Discreet...
3DS Max really wound be the worst choice of 3D app for Apple's needs. Apple needs one that is cross-platform savvy. Apple has made a major shift to 64-bit hardware, so if they buy a 3D app it would need to be 64-bit clean.

3DS Max is none of these. Lightwave would suit Apple better, but I'm not suggesting that would happen either!

Nemoid
12-13-2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
I never find plug-ins much of a problem. The big ones like Worley etc are all on Mac. It's only obscure ones that may not be there.

Back to Discreet...
3DS Max really wound be the worst choice of 3D app for Apple's needs. Apple needs one that is cross-platform savvy. Apple has made a major shift to 64-bit hardware, so if they buy a 3D app it would need to be 64-bit clean.

3DS Max is none of these. Lightwave would suit Apple better, but I'm not suggesting that would happen either!

Ok but sometimes there are some obscure plugs very useful . minor prob though. :)

Hey I agree totally about Lw bought by Apple, surely its a more suitable app wich just need some boost in developing, but with a good base indeed ! Nt is doing a good job, though.

sketchyjay
12-13-2003, 03:35 PM
Macs are great production machines. They are the main stable of the print industry.

I use macs, windows and Linux all the time at work. I like using Lightwave on the PC mainly because any lscripts and plugins that pop into existance show up on the PC side first.

I began compiling a list of plugins I use routinely on the PC and half just don't exist on the mac. Keytrack, KitCut for example. Keytrack may be overshadowed by the built in material in 8. ACS4 took a while to make it over and I'm sure many more will continue to appear on the PC side first so I'll stick to PC as my main production machine. There is a guy in my studio who works exclusively on the Mac and has no problem so to each their own.

sketchyjay
12-13-2003, 03:35 PM
oops...

well as for discreet. I don't see that happening. Getting cleaner just added to Apples video/film editing suite so that makes perfect sense.


Jay

Nemoid
12-14-2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by sketchyjay
Macs are great production machines. They are the main stable of the print industry.

I use macs, windows and Linux all the time at work. I like using Lightwave on the PC mainly because any lscripts and plugins that pop into existance show up on the PC side first.

I began compiling a list of plugins I use routinely on the PC and half just don't exist on the mac. Keytrack, KitCut for example. Keytrack may be overshadowed by the built in material in 8. ACS4 took a while to make it over and I'm sure many more will continue to appear on the PC side first so I'll stick to PC as my main production machine. There is a guy in my studio who works exclusively on the Mac and has no problem so to each their own.

Wow you are truely a multiplatform man!: i appreciate people like you the most, because they are not fanatic of platform at all.and they know advantages of both worlds. For now I have money issues that don't allow me to work in both Pc and Mac,thats why I made my choice but I really think the good way to go for now is this.

You got my point about some plugs and other minor things that Mac users haven't immediately at their disposal. I also know that the porting of Lw for Macs is good, but quite different. there are for example problems working in a mixed way like building your scene in Pc , make a render and compare it to a Mac render. Its different (wich doen't mean not good however). in this case you have to avoid to build a mixed renderfarm, for example, with Pcs and Macs coonevted. you really have to build 2 separate rfarms of its the case.

m_luscombe
12-15-2003, 04:07 PM
I have a mixed Mac and PC renderfarm. No problems here.

The images display a little differently on the mac and PC, due to gamma differences, but LW renders them the same. If you bring all the frames together, the movie is consistent, just brighter on the Mac =)

That's discounting the bug in Mac 7.5b that ignored the diffuse channel. Bad bug, bad.

Frankly, I don't even use my PCs. They just sit on the other end of the Ethernet waiting for LW frames. The best of both worlds =)

Nemoid
12-16-2003, 03:02 AM
I think the best can be doing your animation in PC, then render on it, import your images in Mac, and start tweaking, editing your work (wich is now 2D )there..
I'd avoid mixed renderfarm, because I think rendering must be homogeneous, so that there are not strange flickerings into final animation. :)

m_luscombe
12-16-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by Nemoid
I'd avoid mixed renderfarm, because I think rendering must be homogeneous, so that there are not strange flickerings into final animation. :)

Rendering is homogeneous: they're all rendered from Lightwave.

Lightwave doesn't change your rendered images based on the gamma settings of your video card. How could it? Why would it?

Sample movie (http://www.maumedia.com/images_3d/pathway_comped.mov)

retinajoy
12-16-2003, 11:34 AM
There is no difference in the render from Lightwave on a MAC or PC. I believe there was a slight difference if you rendered on a DEC Alpha processor which does not matter anymore as that platform is dead.