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View Full Version : Has anyone successfully used LWPassport?



Carm3D
05-29-2009, 07:36 PM
Hi,

I paid a good chunk of money for LWPassport back when it first came out. I finally got around to trying it out. But all it does for me is crash!

Save Pass as Scene: Crash
Render Pass Frame: Crash
Save Curent Settings: Crash

This effectively renders passport useless for me. Has anyone gotten their money's worth from this plugin? Is there a trick to it?

prometheus
05-31-2009, 03:21 AM
I think cageman has some free tutorials on passport...look his threads up.

Michael

Carm3D
05-31-2009, 03:27 AM
I found out from the author that in LW 9.5 the scene file format changed, so LWPassport only works with 9.3 (Although the website says 9.3 or higher). Let the buyer beware. I didn't get a lick of use out of it. :(

Chris S. (Fez)
05-31-2009, 12:57 PM
Newtek needs to integrate robust channel/render pass management into Core. No more excuses.

bassmanjam
05-31-2009, 01:03 PM
Newtek needs to integrate robust channel/render pass management into Core. No more excuses.

I fully agree.

toby
05-31-2009, 10:32 PM
Newtek needs to integrate robust channel/render pass management into Core. No more excuses.

Damn skippy.

From what core sounds like this should be easy.

jameswillmott
05-31-2009, 11:17 PM
I want custom buffers, I needed a buffer that rendered the distance a reflection ray travelled for a recent job, had to do it manually, would love Core to be able to render ANY thing I like as a buffer...

pixelgraft
06-02-2009, 07:29 PM
I use Janus and love it. Lernie is great to work with and has put the module through several versions recently that make it a very robust system. Custom pases, light passes, partial surface overrides, custom scripts you can write, etc. He has a few tuts up there, and I have a video he posted showing a simple setup.

He will be porting janus over to core as he finds out more on core.

his site:http://janus.faulknermano.com/

calilifestyle
06-03-2009, 12:56 AM
Yeah Janus is always gets updated. at lest ever few weeks, from what i can tell.

Carm3D
06-04-2009, 05:32 PM
Yeah Janus is always gets updated. at lest ever few weeks, from what i can tell.

Looks like I bet on the wrong horse and lost. :(

jeremyhardin
07-13-2009, 02:14 PM
Buyer beware? Sheesh.

PassPort does what it says it does. 9.3.1 is the system requirements. Only in the disclaimer did it say 'or higher' as it was written when there was no 'or higher'. That disclaimer has been changed, and you (Carm3d) received a very generous offer that, if taken, would have come out of the pocket of developers. Literally.

So buyer beware? Yes. Beware that you should try the software before you buy it, or even when you buy it. Not a year later on two versions up of the host's software.

dandeentremont
07-13-2009, 04:39 PM
Try Denis' extra buffer nodes:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71751&highlight=extra+buffer

Carm3D
07-13-2009, 04:45 PM
PassPort does what it says it does. 9.3.1 is the system requirements.

Jeremy at the time I wrote that, your website did say 9.3.1 or higher. That has since changed.

calilifestyle
07-13-2009, 05:00 PM
Yeah sounds kind of like some one did the good old bait and switch.

jeremyhardin
07-14-2009, 12:17 AM
Bait and Switch? Oh man.

Here's the system requirements in 2007:
http://web.archive.org/web/20071019050735/http://www.lwidof.net/PassPort/PassPort/Welcome.html

And in 2008:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080208131458/http://www.lwidof.net/PassPort/PassPort/Welcome.html

dandeentremont, I don't know man. We all have to have thick skins to make it through this life, but here are the facts from a development point of view.

I developed a tool that should have been viable through 10.0. There was no reason to suspect that NT would change the scene file format.
All third party developing is filling a gap, and therefore a gamble. If the host app fills that gap, or changes the hooks you use, you're screwed. NT changed a fair few hooks. Good for them. Bad for PassPort.
PassPort did not profit. I put many many hours into it, used it on a few projects and sold a few copies. Those copies still work with the system requirements documented in 2007 and 2008.
A year or more later, people are asking for refunds because of the way the dice fell, accusing me of bait switch scamming.
And all that aside, what is my userbase? What incentive do I have for spending that crazy number of hours (after hours from my 12-16 hour a day job)? I have gotten feature requests from one person. One. And he was a betatester. I have gotten zero project profiles. It seems PassPort's biggest fan is yours truly. I set up support forums over at forums.lwpassport.com. How many posts there? By whom? One. Me.
As a business, should I invest more capital into such a product? Time is capital.


It's this internet anonymity that's making this whole thing worse. Carm3D contacted a developer, asked for a refund for a product that he bought fairly. A product that has a demo to test functionality. That developer has no way of knowing if Carm3D has made millions from PassPort on dozens of projects or not, but either way, bought it bought, fair and square, and it was many months ago that the exchange was made.

The interaction was polite. More than it would have been had it not been someone I recognised from the forums.

And I go online to find myself being 'buyer bewared' and 'old bait-switched'.

All I can say is, I can see why so many developers (Cantarcan, etc) try their hand at LightWave developing. And I can see why they leave it.

Carm3D
07-14-2009, 03:35 AM
I've already moved on from this issue.. But I stand by my original warning to people for buyer beware because when I posted it the website said it worked with 9.3 and higher. Obviously it's a moot point now because the website page changed.

Lightwolf
07-14-2009, 04:34 AM
Mike and Dagmar have also probably made squat with exrTrader - though I did just get two more licenses - and I wonder how long THEY will continue to support it.
And thank you for that.
Inside information:
To make a living we'd either need 5-10 times the amount of products, or 5-10 times the user base.
Having said that, exrTrader is doing quite well, and we do get lots of a feedback as well (which are one pre-requisite to designing features for updates). It did take us roughly a year to get the initial time put into development (which is more than just coding) paid. That excludes any time put into updates.
But, we're also in this for the long run. If you're in production and release a product in your "spare" time - kudos. There's a massive load of work involved (my estimate is: from an in-house tool to a product to be sold - Double the development time. And then there's support and updates).

I understand both sides... but "bait and switch" is surely a bit harsh, especially as there's a demo. It's not like Jeremy tries to rip people off.

Cheers,
Mike

jeremyhardin
07-14-2009, 04:47 AM
And just to clarify, for all those 'bewaring buyers,' Carm3D bought PassPort over a year before posting here or contacting me to ask for a refund. Before 9.5 was even in beta, much less in the wild from what I can tell.

And changes to the website (which I mention openly in my first post in this thread) were made in the disclaimer to prevent further misunderstandings. Not to cover my tracks. The web archive at archive.org (which I referenced above) prevents any such covering of tracks, even if I wanted to, which I don't. It also shows that on the very front page, PassPort was always being sold for 9.3 and 9.3.1 (as I linked above).

Also, as I've referenced, Carm got very polite email replies and an offer that would have come out of developers pockets if he did take it. He did not rebut any of those replies, and to my knowledge he didn't take the offer. Instead, he came here with an axe to grind.

Carm3D
07-14-2009, 05:01 AM
Jeremy,

I wanted to warn people not to buy something that wouldn't work on their Lightwaves. Just trying to help my fellow man. I spend a few hundred and got nothing for it.. Didn't want that to happen to any one else.. Is that so horrible a notion? You got my money.. What's the problem?

jeremyhardin
07-14-2009, 05:05 AM
And you got your PassPort.

LightWave 9.3.1 is available in your NewTek registered downloads page. Feel free to use PassPort as much as you like, or sell it to someone that does use 9.3.1 and I'll transfer the license.

It's unprofessional, man, taking this stuff to a public forum.

Carm3D
07-14-2009, 05:14 AM
And you got your PassPort.

I surely did. I just didn't get a chance to enjoy it before the expiration date. Pity.


LightWave 9.3.1 is available in your NewTek registered downloads page. Feel free to use PassPort as much as you like, or sell it to someone that does use 9.3.1 and I'll transfer the license.

It's unprofessional, man, taking this stuff to a public forum.

At the time, your page said 9.3 or higher.. I was not going to sit silently and let someone else flush their money away.. I didn't enjoy it when it happened to me. I don't have the heart for silent complicity. unprofessional or no. Sheesh.

cagey5
07-14-2009, 05:39 AM
I'm guessing your first port of call then was to Jeremy to highlight the fact the website could be misleading before you raised the matter here?

Carm3D
07-14-2009, 05:56 AM
No I'm not that professional. ;D

Matt
07-14-2009, 06:05 AM
I don't even know what a "bait and switch" concept even is!

Lightwolf
07-14-2009, 06:24 AM
I don't even know what a "bait and switch" concept even is!
Now you do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait_and_switch

The NewTek Forums: Entertainment and Education in One(tm) :p

Cheers,
Mike

borkus
07-14-2009, 08:34 PM
In Dan's defence, I don't think he attacked you, personally Jeremy. Unless I'm missing something in that long thread. He was simply offering a different path to take.

Carm3D
07-14-2009, 09:11 PM
Now you do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait_and_switch

The NewTek Forums: Entertainment and Education in One(tm) :p

Cheers,
Mike

I like how the bottom of that wikipedia page says, "See also: Rickrolling"

evolross
05-13-2010, 12:13 AM
This was a HELPFUL thread. A few days ago I realized I needed to start rendering in layers using a single scene on a project I'm doing that has a tight deadline. I know LW doesn't do this internally.

I google, the first thing I find is the current Passport website. It has a slick website, demo videos, all things that would lead me to believe this is current software. My first instinct after seeing the videos and features, "Ah, this is EXACTLY what I need. BUY!" :tongue: No need to research anything else, this is it. I see you have the "Add To Cart" button right there. Now, I did notice that it says clearly on the front page, for 9.3.1. I just assume, like many Lightwave-related webpages, this was last updated around the time of 9.3.1 and it will work in 9.6. As a normal Lightwave user, I assume 9.6 was just a maintenance release and that major plugins wouldn't break (obviously that's a mistake on my part).

However, the hefty price tag made me hesitate. So I check the ever-dependable Newtek forum and read about another product called Janus. So now, which one to buy? Well, the clear winner is Janus, obviously since it works with 9.6.

I will say this, as a fresh unknowing consumer, from your current website for Passport, I totally assumed it would work with 9.6. You have a disclaimer warning, but I just assumed that was boiler-plate legal stuff that is usually ALWAYS too much to actually read. Upon actually looking at your disclaimer, it says it only works in 9.3.1... again I assume the page just wasn't updated.

You really need to put a note right in the disclaimer and on the FRONT PAGE that this doesn't work in later versions than 9.3.1. You should be clear. It feels misleading to me, especially knowing that the site is updated. Then you have a "purchases are final" message... :stumped: That just seems like a recipe for conflict. I know you say to try the demo, and I'm sure I would have, but for a larger-budget studio or quick-buyer who assumes it would work as shown and is on a tight deadline, well we would buy a plugin like this instantly...

Since you're plugin simply doesn't work in 9.6... why not be up front about it? Unless you are hoping people will fire up 9.3.1 after they buy it just so they can use it? 9.X were all free upgrades, so most places aren't going to still be using 9.3.

Finally, I'm not trying to be negative. I think it's awesome you wrote this plugin. Writing a plugin for Lightwave and actually selling licenses is pretty cool in my book. And I'm sure it's not an easy or fruitful endeavor.

Phil
05-13-2010, 12:28 AM
I imagine that, if it had been profitable, the plugin would have seen updates. Since it hasn't, it wasn't. That's not unusual - LW plugin sales have only really worked for a relatively small number of shops, particularly those who set up in the late 90s when LW was more of a presence (Worley, Dynamic Realities). Even DR shut down in the recent past. Worley is the last remaining 'big' name and they haven't pushed out any significant updates to their product line in quite some time.

That all said, I agree that a big banner stating the requirement to be running 9.3.x in the case of LWPassport would be a reasonable thing to do.

geo_n
05-13-2010, 02:20 AM
You should check out Mike Greens layersmc.
It can be used to render passes. And according to Mike he has a new version that has some presets. Its not in his webpage yet though.:D

Castius
05-13-2010, 02:56 AM
Carm3d comments were on the verge of slander. And it's a shame this thread is being brought up again.

If you read system requirement and assume there not true that's your problem. And your responsibility plan and simple. The fact is there are productions that may still be using 9.3. There is also nothing preventing anyone who owns passport from using 9.3. No one drops $300 without proper testing. So please refrain from presenting a situation that is completely ridiculous.

This isn't a steak dinner that came out cold and overcooked. He bought his steak, took it home and left it in the fridge for a year. Then called the restaurant a sham. Even after he was offered a refund of some kind.

Cageman
05-13-2010, 03:21 AM
I can't believe the slander done towards Jeremy in this thread.

Back in 9.3.1 I was beta-testing PassPort and gave alot of feedback to Jeremy, and he was really good at taking it all in for concideration. He is a great guy, and sad to see that he has more or less left LW. I bet that Jeremy could develop PassPort to support LW9.6, but as he have stated, too many hours put into something that didn't give much in return.

It is very solid in LW9.3.1 and for those who are still on that version of LW, make sure you download the demo and test it!

Cageman
05-13-2010, 03:24 AM
You should check out Mike Greens layersmc.
It can be used to render passes. And according to Mike he has a new version that has some presets. Its not in his webpage yet though.:D

Not to put down the efforts done by Mike Green (he is a great developer), but LayersMC is not even close to offer what PassPort or Janus does. I tend to use LayersMC for displaypurposes to easily manage groups of objects for different shadingmodes (Wireframe, Solid etc), which it is really good at btw!

:)

geo_n
05-13-2010, 04:57 AM
Not to put down the efforts done by Mike Green (he is a great developer), but LayersMC is not even close to offer what PassPort or Janus does. I tend to use LayersMC for displaypurposes to easily manage groups of objects for different shadingmodes (Wireframe, Solid etc), which it is really good at btw!

:)

Janus and passport are very powerful indeed. But for some maybe exrtrader, layermc is enough to get the required passes.
Not to put down any efforts of developers too but there's so many plugins in lightwave that you buy that are built-in in other packages. Rendermanagement is one those things that I requested in lw hc.
Mike's layermc is a good base for newtek to copy and its easy to understand maybe because I use max and they're similar. ")

erikals
05-13-2010, 05:05 PM
it would be better if there was a warning on the page,...
does not work with LightWave 9.5 or higher

it's easy to miss that it only works for LW 9.3.1.

i see no problem with Carm giving a hint to other LW users that otherwise could easily be overlooked.