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View Full Version : What would you pay Newtek if LW were open source?



Speedmonk42
03-29-2006, 08:04 AM
Just a thought, perhaps a crazy one so don't flame my butt too much.

Has anyone here ever contributed financially to an open source project?

If LW were open source and newtek the principle developer would you pay them for the continued development of LW? I know I would, and I am willing to bet so would most of their current customers.

Could they not make money off of:
direct user support
distro
service
enterprise version
education all aspects
resources
customization for specialized projects
....ect....

Be nice, I am not begging for a free program.

gjjackson
03-29-2006, 08:08 AM
It wouldn't be a good business decision. I was concerned that they decided to cut their price in half. There's plenty of free and open source 3D software out there as it is.

Pavlov
03-29-2006, 09:04 AM
yes i agree, hope price will be raised again as soon as LW comes back to be an actual tool. More money more resources the better the software; pro users are not concerned about a few hundred dollars if the tool is effective.
nothing against hobby-users but a tool which aims to high end should imho care more about pros.

Paolo

-EsHrA-
03-29-2006, 09:49 AM
blender is going strong.


mlon

mrunion
03-29-2006, 09:52 AM
I don't think open source is a viable option for NewTek.

But to answer your question, I have contributed to open source software -- namely Blender. I sent some money back when they were trying to "free Blender" from NaN. I don't regret it one bit! I even got one of my images on a shirt they gave out -- though the image wasn't all that great. I was happy though!

Speedmonk42
03-29-2006, 09:55 AM
yes i agree, hope price will be raised again as soon as LW comes back to be an actual tool. More money more resources the better the software; pro users are not concerned about a few hundred dollars if the tool is effective.
nothing against hobby-users but a tool which aims to high end should imho care more about pros.

Paolo


My question is not really about economics. I agree with what you are saying. I will pay twice the price if it does what I want, and I am not even a pro/commercial user at all, I am a hobby-dude.

I have no idea what the economics of LW/Newtek are. I guess I am wondering if it is possible to keep up or ahead depending on your perspective.

This is not meant as anti-LW or critical of Newtek. I am curious what people think would happen development wise for the diversity of interests and applications, and also the possible business upside of it.

hrgiger
03-29-2006, 10:07 AM
I think that Newtek should at least consider raising the price to at least $1,000 for a new license and probably just a little bit more. I think there is a stigma that goes along with being under a grand. I'm not saying I agree with that mentality, but it would be nice to avoid that kind of bs in general. Plus, I think it would be good for Newtek to have more disposable income to put towards research and development which in my opinion, is very much needed.

Kuzey
03-29-2006, 10:13 AM
Well, you never know, if they get Inspire 3D off the floor then they could double the price of LW. One pro app, one consumer app.

Kuzey

jeremyhardin
03-29-2006, 10:31 AM
It's funny. I've observed something.

I don't want a free AOL cd (those cd's in the lines at wal-mart). It's free, ergo it must be rubbish.
But a $10 sampler cd, that I would buy (albeit not an AOL one, but you get my point).

That said, I think living in a capitalistic society comes with it's own stigmas. Free equals bad or too good to be true. But cheap we like.

I think LW as open source is in no way a viable option. But I like LW cheap. I personally disagree that LW's lower prices [alone] give it a 'consumer' stigma. I think that this stigma is mostly the product of it's excellent toolset for an individual and slightly less open toolset for a medium/large production pipeline, as well as the politics of the industry. The price definitely factors in, but I wouldn't call it the deciding factor.
And hey, Maya and XSI have both come down pricewise in recent years; one can assume it's to take some of LW's market.

Gettarobox
03-29-2006, 11:08 AM
well said Jeremy.
I think that stigmas should be ignored at all costs. When it comes down to it isn't it the artists job to use the tools and push them to do what you want? And shouldn't the price of the tools be basically irrelevant to the artist? When I first started doing 3D I was using Anim8or. The reason I was using it was because it was free. That didn't stop me from trying to push it as far as I could. I realised that Anim8or could do everything that I wanted it to if I tried hard enough.(even though some faking was required(I still do faking in LW all the time i.e., spinning light trick)). Anyway I hardly think anyone cares about my opinion here (especially in comparison to someone like Jeremy) from what I've gathered so I guess I'll let Newtek have the headache of figuring out how much to charge etc...

darkChief
03-29-2006, 02:38 PM
Open Source isn't such a bad idea . My opinion is that it would be a good idea to open source only specific parts of Lightwave. The third party development tools could really grow in the opensource community. Newtek can't make every feature every body wants available, so opensourcing feature concepts that NewTek know they are not planning to work on any time in the near future would be a good idea for several reason: Firstly there's a great potential for innovation in the opensource community because it's open to anyone capable. If something innovative pops up NewTek can snatch it up and add it's own polish.
Secondly if a opensource project is managed well it gets a very good code base and all at the price of nothing, there's many examples of this, Blender being in that category.

Of course a lot of disadvantages do exist and that is why I think opensource would be good only on certain parts of lightwave.

Mambo

jeremyhardin
03-29-2006, 02:40 PM
you don't need open source to have an open SDK, which is what LW really needs. with an open SDK, users can fill any gap they want, and Newtek can still profit the way they do.

Amurrell
03-29-2006, 03:15 PM
I'm just a hobbyist, and therefore not really rolling in the dough like some of the pros, so I like the price. I think it's fair.

I would have to point out that XSI has a rock bottom "Foundation" form of thier software out there, that gives up some functionality and they sell it for $495. Sure there are a lot of cool tools that Avid put into their app, but lets look at the other side. The NewTek side.

If everything that was metioned to be in development for the 9.x releases of Lightwave, such as the new shaders, modleing and animation tools, and new rendering engine core, already on top of a solid foundation, one would then concieveably be buying industry standard software once again at one heck of a price.

However I do agree with the idea of having an open SDK for third parties, for all of the smarties out there with the great ideas :).

SplineGod
03-29-2006, 03:30 PM
I dont think theres enough large studios to pay for a more expensive Lightwave. I think the decision to lower the price and make money on volume was a good one. What I do hope is that Newtek doesnt waste resources on something like a dumbed down version of LW like Inspire3d. At that point it makes more sense just to get Blender. :)

darkChief
03-29-2006, 03:39 PM
Just woundering, in order to setup a Open SDK that allows users to add anything wouldn't it require NewTek to realease a great deal of info and support on how Lightwave's designed and operates under the hood?

jeremyhardin
03-29-2006, 03:48 PM
Just woundering, in order to setup a Open SDK that allows users to add anything wouldn't it require NewTek to realease a great deal of info and support on how Lightwave's designed and operates under the hood?
yes...which is why they haven't yet (as i understand it). with team changes at Newtek, code isn't in a state to be opened up totally. but 'a good deal of info' and 'open source' are still drastically different.

take MEL for example. everything you do in Maya's interface is running a MEL script. Maya is very open. but email autodesk/alias and ask if Maya is open source. ;)

Maxx
03-29-2006, 03:49 PM
Just woundering, in order to setup a Open SDK that allows users to add anything wouldn't it require NewTek to realease a great deal of info and support on how Lightwave's designed and operates under the hood?
I don't know all the under-the-hood workings of what's going on with LW, but aren't NT working already on opening theire SDK further by going with industry standards like Catmull-Clarke sub-d's, a nodal shading tree, and true shader support, and render ... er ... rendering stuff? As I understand it, they're not so much giving away the information, just beginning support of what people already know how to program. Their object format has been open (as I understand it) since the revamp in v6, and some of the stuff that you couldn't access through LScript (Hypervoxels, the original sub-Ds) I always assumed were unavailable due to the fact that they were proprietary. But some of that's starting to come away, isn't it? Or am I just reading the tea leaves wrong?

Lamont
03-29-2006, 05:14 PM
pro users are not concerned about a few hundred dollars if the tool is effective.
nothing against hobby-users but a tool which aims to high end should imho care more about pros.The software can still be "high-end" and still be available to everyone. Your method is just not all that bright. I'm a "Pro" user and I am always concerned about a few hundred dollars towards software.

Maya costs a h3ll of a lot more than LW, I'd never buy that unstable crap. Am I any less of a pro because I don't use it? Are LW users any less "pro" because our software is affordable?

If you have money to throw around, cut Newtek a check for development costs, OR fund your own project and get the plugins you want.

People pay what they want to pay, any more, and they'll just download it. Simple as that.

If you equate the price of the software with the quality, go buy XSI or Maya.

Speedmonk42
03-29-2006, 08:39 PM
Well, open source does not necessarily mean it's only about being free. People can make money, a lot of money. This is sort of just sitting on the topic of price.

Do you want 100 Worleys working on LW or one?

How do you keep developing with wider and wider feature sets and still compete feature wise in diverse areas? Maybe the SDK people mentioned earlier is the answer, I am just speculating and curious.

Open source is not throwing in the towel and running away.

Decouple VTEdit and you have the start of Open Studio. Newtek could be the leader of developing what would surely become the number one media content creation tool on the planet. Are you saying that you can't make money from that?

jeremyhardin
03-29-2006, 08:51 PM
a lot of money huh? i'd be curious to compare blender's total revenues with LW's.

100 worleys? it's debateable whether 100 worleys even exist. he's done things that no one has done...for any app.

sdk is the answer, IMHO.

jameswillmott
03-29-2006, 09:28 PM
I think that Newtek should at least consider raising the price to at least $1,000 for a new license and probably just a little bit more. I think there is a stigma that goes along with being under a grand. I'm not saying I agree with that mentality, but it would be nice to avoid that kind of bs in general. Plus, I think it would be good for Newtek to have more disposable income to put towards research and development which in my opinion, is very much needed.

I agree about the stigma, there is much to be said for perceived value as well as actual value. People like to think they're getting a good product, sometimes if the price is too low, they'll think it's inferior.

Speedmonk42
03-29-2006, 09:44 PM
a lot of money huh? i'd be curious to compare blender's total revenues with LW's.

100 worleys? it's debateable whether 100 worleys even exist. he's done things that no one has done...for any app.

sdk is the answer, IMHO.

LOL That is soooo true. There can be only one...worley!! My apologies for suggesting otherwise.

I agree with you on the SDK. I am just throwing some what ifs out there.

That said, I think there would be a huge difference between blender and LW though, and Newtek could do it anyway they please.

Speedmonk42
03-29-2006, 09:49 PM
I agree about the stigma, there is much to be said for perceived value as well as actual value. People like to think they're getting a good product, sometimes if the price is too low, they'll think it's inferior.

I keep hearing this, but I think it applies more to ice cream that something as specialized as a 3d app.

I am not sure the same thing applies to significant purchase like this that people will dedicate so much time to learning.

I think it would have more to do with looking at the 900 schools that teach max/may ect... from small night school course to a 2 year intensive program.

If I hadn't been an Amiga geek I am not sure getting started today I would be here, mostly because of the educational angle.

loki74
03-29-2006, 10:13 PM
I personally disagree that LW's lower prices [alone] give it a 'consumer' stigma. I think that this stigma is mostly the product of it's excellent toolset for an individual and slightly less open toolset for a medium/large production pipeline, as well as the politics of the industry.

I personally couldnt agree more. I think another good example of price not necessarily reflecting pro or consumer status is Andersson Technologies SynthEyes--it is apparently a very good 3D tracker for synching 3D elements with footage. It costs only 400 bucks, but has been used in quite a few professional productions. (http://www.ssontech.com/seenon.htm)

Likewise, LW may be affordable, but it is by no means not professional.

and lets not forget--sometimes cheaply priced products have cool things that more expensive onces dont. Ie, LW has textual buttons as opposed to annyong icons, and Animation:Master has a native hair system, and a very slick texturing system. And lets definately not forget--Blender has physics-based fluids.

It is true, Maya and Max gain a lot of popularity and a pro image from being used in not only so many schools, but by industry pros. However, price does have something to do with many peoples attutude, and making LW free in my opinion is a HUGE NO-NO. (not to mention massively far-fetched).

However, to answer your original question, yes, I would pay NT if they made it free and accepted donations. I feel that LW is a great product with loads of potential. I am very psyched about the upcoming 9 cycle, and I am looking forward to staying with LW for a long time to come... even if when I get to college I'm forced to learn Maya as well.

Wickster
03-30-2006, 12:28 AM
Remember the legend, "Lightwave was the off the shelf software that can do what Softimage and Power Animator can do for a fraction of the price." ?

Now Maya and XSI dropped there price significally, along the same price of the old Lightwave price. This kinda forced NT to drop the price a little as well. They don't want studios thinking that "Hey isn't Maya/XSI that sloftware that used to cost half my house? It's the same price as LW now maybe we can try it." So in the end...well today...Lightwave is still the app that can do what the other apps do for half the price. The legend stays true.

About open source...i don't know...I have to admit I did download Blender and installed it...never touched it for a weeks/months and uninstalled it. Then a new feature of Blender comes along, downloaded it installed it, never touched it again for weeks/months and uninstalled it. My ppoint here is that I could answer your questions because I paid $1,500 for Lightwave back then plus $$$ for upgrades and honestly I don't look at other apps if it can do what my app can do...even if it was free. If I'm not a user of any 3D softwares then I might check out blender, meta seqioua and other free apps. But lightwave does what I want it to do so that's good enough for me.

My .02 cents.

Nemoid
03-30-2006, 01:15 PM
Open source has a sense to me, if the app is developed by several people like Blender is this is open souce and freeware/shareware software. an open source Lw is not a viable option, i think.
as for lw's price : raising the price a bit is a valid point , but you have to convince newbie people your app IS actually capable to do what those other apps can. so, for example if its $2000 they can compare it to Maya.

Lw actually can do what high end apps like Maya and XSI do in many areas. but for now its not modern like especially XSI.
Those high end apps have in certain areas a complex workflow, but if they would focus even more on workflow, particularly modelling wise, they could blown Lw away quite easily, again, especially XSI, that tends to offer more than maya out of the box.

Now, foundation is $500.

i personally like the current Lw price tag,maybe a bit more pricey, but less than 1000 would be good, considering that to work very proficiencly in Lw you may like to buy Fprime, G2, and some other commercial plug that not only raises the price, but also the overall quality of the app.

Pavlov
03-30-2006, 03:16 PM
lightwave has a lot of features, it's the architecture to be too old.
no stacks/histories, no procedurality at all, two modules and so on.
Cinema has about the same features - some better, some worse - but a much better and modern architecture. It's costly but it sells, because these features are usable and not buried under an old interface or not connected to all other tools.
It's not for 200-400 $ that one will choose an app, maintenances and node licenses are more an issue even for pro users.
Since in LW there are no maintenances, there are several free updates, there's no rendernode limitation, LW could be competitive also if it costs 1000-1200 $. Not a substantial difference for users, maybe a *huge* difference for NT which could double upgrade pace with that income.
As soon as architecture begins to improve and become modern, i'd be happy if NT raised its price to 1000, then after core update process is complete it could be offered for 1200 and stay competitive. Imho, btw.

Paolo