AD subscription

General discussion about 3D DCC and other topics
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steven07
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AD subscription

Post by steven07 » 13 Nov 2012, 20:10

Hey all,

I'm been using the learning edition of SI for a while and was wondering what the big deal is about the AD subscription. Everyone seems to complain about it.. do they force you to update each version? I just have no idea about it since I've never had it.

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: AD subscription

Post by Hirazi Blue » 13 Nov 2012, 22:50

For the commercial edition of Autodesk Softimage the yearly update path you buy into when you “get” subscription is the cheapest way to “stay current”, especially now that Autodesk changed their upgrade policy once more, making upgrading (without subscription) a (financially) less attractive proposition, when compared to staying “on” subscription. Some of the additional benefits are continued use of previous versions (as long as those are considered to be still officially supported) and extra-territorial activities you might want to undertake. And if and when Autodesk releases a “subscription advantage pack” or an “Extension” in between major releases these become available exclusively to subscription customers as well.

There are several reasons for complaining about this system. One of the complaints heard in the Softimage community is that we only have the option of “Gold” subscription and support, while Autodesk offers a lower (and thus cheaper) tier of subscription and support as an option for “our” friends over at Max and Maya.
Another hot topic always is, that a business model based on subscription “forces” Autodesk to release new versions every 12 months, which doesn’t always benefits true development, which might result in “meager” releases.

The above statements as to benefits and complaints are far from complete, obviously, I've merely tried to give an impression of both side of the argument...
#:-s
...

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Daniel Brassard
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Re: AD subscription

Post by Daniel Brassard » 13 Nov 2012, 22:53

I will assume here that you read the AD subscription description so I won't reiterate that.

Most of the complain I have read are around the high price/low return value of the subscription, especially in Europe where the subscription fee is higher than in North America.

No, AD does not force you to upgrade at each version. If you are in the middle of production it would be too risky. The upgrade is their for you to grab and install if you choose to proceed. They are full install and can work side by side with your old license, allowing you time to migrate to the new version at your own pace.

In some occasion you will be given a SAP (Subscription Advantage Pack) version that is not available to those not on subscription. The SAP are tools/enhancement that will appear in the next version so you get it some time 6 months in advance. We did not get a SAP this year, AD is trying to get away from that which I kind of agree, put the time to developt and enhance Softimage properly (more bang for the buck so to speak)

It give you access to teaching materials and AU (Autodesk University). There is some good stuff there but it's a bit lean for Softimage specific material.

You have access to Service Packs and the next version up as well when that become available at no extra charge during the duration of the subscription. Withour subscription, to get the next version, you would have to purchase a new license.

One of the big disadvantage that I found is that their is no guarantee that the money provided under subscription goes to the Softimage dev team for improvements and upgrades. I have to trust AD that my money will be used wisely (big trust!!)

We don't have a say on where the development should go or where the priorities are. But that is no different than the other applications out there. Big studio obviously have bigger voice but you can make a difference if you send your suggestion for bugs issues and enhancement to the dev team.

I am sure some people will add to this. I have found the subscription model working for me (i am in Canada, so in the same region as you). Before that, I was waiting every three to four years and upgrade, but at 3000K+ a license, it was more difficult to find the money than $800+ year (I create a little bank account that deposit a $100 buck a month and voila, enough money for renewal).

I purposely purchase my first licence with subscription in end july so that new AD announcement at SIGGRAPH or 3Dec where coming to me under the subscription (SAP, SP and other goodies) and new version in April. So time your purchase right if you can.

There are still studios out there that uses 7.5, albeit on subscription, but their production is long and they will not upgrade until the end of the cycle. So no pressure, really.

Choose wisely,

Cheers!
$ifndef "Softimage"
set "Softimage" "true"
$endif

luceric
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Re: AD subscription

Post by luceric » 14 Nov 2012, 01:59

there are a few benefits that people forget about, the main one being the right to run older version of the software. if you're not under subscription and just buy the upgrade every few years, when you buy the upgrade you lose the right to run the previous version you had. (It's not really going to break your existing installation, it's more of a EULA thing.) Also, rights to a home license or multiple locations.
But maybe you're a student and none of this is relevant?

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ActionArt
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Re: AD subscription

Post by ActionArt » 14 Nov 2012, 03:38

The biggest issue for me and subscription is this: You don't know what you're buying.

On other software, an upgrade becomes available and you decide if you want it or not, usually at a reasonable upgrade price.

With AD, you buy your subscription and wait to see if the upgrade that year has any relevance to you. If it doesn't, you're screwed, maybe next year will be better. And if you let your subscription lapse, you can't upgrade at all! You have to buy a whole new license.

So in a way, AD is intimidating/bullying you into paying for the upgrade before you even see it, whether it has anything you need or not on the threat of really sacking you down the road if you don't.

As Danial has mention, perhaps the solution is to strategically plan your date of purchase so you can see if the new upgrades that are coming are actually worth the subscription price to you.

Although I think this is a rather dirty business practice by AD, in the case of SI I have found the upgrades to be, for the most part, quite worth while and would not really want to pass them over, given the choice. I would like the choice though.

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ActionArt
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Re: AD subscription

Post by ActionArt » 14 Nov 2012, 03:44

luceric wrote:there are a few benefits that people forget about, the main one being the right to run older version of the software.
This I find incredible. So they're trying to tell us that software customers paid for they can no longer use because they bought a new version. Wow, that's just incredible.

Somehow I don't think that would stand up in court, just like their stupid idea that you can't sell your license to someone else which was struck down (or maybe that's changed again, I don't know).

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steven07
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Re: AD subscription

Post by steven07 » 14 Nov 2012, 03:51

Ah alright makes sense.. So basically instead of paying the $3,145 each time you pay the extra $800 and get the "point releases" plus the upgrades when they come out? Doesn't seem too bad.. I guess it is a pain not knowing what you're getting though and if it's worth the $800. I know probably not every point release is worth $800 though.

I'm just wondering how many render licenses come with each seat. If I want to build a small render farm with my 1 seat how many extra computers can I have on 1 seat? Does it depend on which renderer you use? What is mental ray's policy?

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Re: AD subscription

Post by EricTRocks » 14 Nov 2012, 04:15

ActionArt wrote:This I find incredible. So they're trying to tell us that software customers paid for they can no longer use because they bought a new version. Wow, that's just incredible.
That's incorrect. With subscription you get to use the versions that are older with your new license. So for example you have a 2013 license that also runs 2010 instead of just 2013 and 2012. 2010 I believe will become unsupported in the next year or so anyway.

Your license is a license to use the software for a certain amount of time. You don't actually own a copy of the software.
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steven07
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Re: AD subscription

Post by steven07 » 14 Nov 2012, 04:23

I think ActionArt meant that it's unfair that if you pay $3000 for SI 2010 and upgrade with subscription all the way to 2013 and let your subscription run out you can't run the SI 2010 that you paid for. That's a huge problem. It's great that one license can let you run all versions.. but they shouldn't limit that use if you paid for older versions too.
It doesn't really sounds like they're making decisions to the artist's favor.. it more sounds like they're trying to secure an income.. I mean.. i understand a big company needs to pay their employees.. but I think if you side with the artists they'll support the company..If anything.. these restrictions repel users..

I'm not really surprised though.. this seems like common decisions big companies make when they monopolize.. they can basically make the rules since they "own" the market..

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ActionArt
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Re: AD subscription

Post by ActionArt » 14 Nov 2012, 04:32

EricTRocks wrote:
ActionArt wrote:Your license is a license to use the software for a certain amount of time. You don't actually own a copy of the software.
This is the part that was, at some point struck down in court as total BS. Like I said, I haven't followed the subject much lately so maybe that was overturned, I don't know. I remember seeing the news that (at least in some state) AD lost that one.

Personally, I think it's just plain stupid attitude on their part but whatever. If that's the way they want to be...

Looking at their stock recently, it seems some other customers think so too. Maybe falling stock price will eventually wake them up but probably not. They'll just lay off the next best person like they did Stephen.

How can you tell I'm not a fan of AD as a corp. ;)

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Re: AD subscription

Post by EricTRocks » 14 Nov 2012, 04:39

AD should wake up because other options are coming into being. Fabric being one main one but also all of the other larger studio's deciding that they don't' want to keep waiting on AD to develop what they need and would rather have full control of this.

Their position on moving things to the cloud is also confusing. I feel that AD in general will kill / purge the M&E side of things if it doesn't start reacting like they should and start churning out some cool new tech and maintaining their products properly.

Not sure what "state" had the legality of it decided but I think it was probably in Europe not North America. If it was a different pricing model, I think it would be a lot more expensive. I don't mind it as long as I get significant value for the cost. Also I hate the reseller crap as well which I would have hoped they would have phased out by now and just replaced with an online order system. Resellers get money for doing 0% work.
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Daniel Brassard
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Re: AD subscription

Post by Daniel Brassard » 14 Nov 2012, 04:43

I'm just wondering how many render licenses come with each seat. If I want to build a small render farm with my 1 seat how many extra computers can I have on 1 seat?
Good question, it certainly not clear on AD website. Stand alone/network licence used to have 5 render seats (satellite rendering) and I think it is still the case, but I cannot confirm. Maybe somebody in the know can confirm. There is no mention of the other more advance Softimage package with batch rendering, maybe they dropped it, it is difficult to determine from the AD site.

Anyway, the plan for AD is to push the creative suite which come in stand alone, network license, student and educator and the free trial version. So, you can test one of the suite to see what fit your studio needs. Your reseller should be able to inform you on these purchase options.

Does it depend on which renderer you use?
Apple and oranges: Soft come with mental ray and the 5 satellite rendering (I think). If you purchase a separate renderer (3Delight, VRay, Arnold, Renderman, etc) they will have their own licensing contract. 3Delight is an interesting one as they offer a first license for free (dual core computer) so you can try before you buy sort of thing.
What is mental ray's policy?
It depend, if you buy Mental Ray as the stand alone renderer, they will have their own licensing for that but this is not a subject I know much so I will let somebody else provide you with the correct answer.
$ifndef "Softimage"
set "Softimage" "true"
$endif

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ActionArt
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Re: AD subscription

Post by ActionArt » 14 Nov 2012, 04:46

steven07 wrote:i understand a big company needs to pay their employees.. but I think if you side with the artists they'll support the company..If anything.. these restrictions repel users..
Yes. AD execs would sell their mothers if that made more money but the only think that might change their minds is a reduction in customers...which (again judging from their stock price vs other CAD vendors) may just be happening.

I fully understand a company's need for profit but some decisions don't end in profit in the long run, all they do is create animosity with their customers who will jump ship at the very first opportunity. Looks like their decisions maybe haven't been the best they could be:

http://www.google.ca/finance?q=autodesk ... caliQLvmQE

Try comparing to Parametric, Dassault etc. :)

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steven07
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Re: AD subscription

Post by steven07 » 14 Nov 2012, 04:49

Daniel Brassard wrote:Good question, it certainly not clear on AD website. Stand alone/network licence used to have 5 render seats (satellite rendering) and I think it is still the case, but I cannot confirm. Maybe somebody in the know can confirm. There is no mention of the other more advance Softimage package with batch rendering, maybe they dropped it, it is difficult to determine from the AD site.
Ah alright yeah I was asking about the policy for mental ray IN softimage. 5 seats sounds about right. I think I heard that mentioned before but didn't know if that was true. I know lightwave has unlimited (well.. 999 technically) nodes. I imagine I could have a pretty decent farm with 5 seats though.

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steven07
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Re: AD subscription

Post by steven07 » 14 Nov 2012, 04:50

ActionArt wrote:Yes. AD execs would sell their mothers if that made more money...
LOL!

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Daniel Brassard
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Re: AD subscription

Post by Daniel Brassard » 14 Nov 2012, 04:56

I imagine I could have a pretty decent farm with 5 seats though.
That is what I have, built over time with left over workstations and some dual processors servers that I got for cheap. All Linux driven with only satellite seat and some custom tools. Work like a charm (until one fry...shit happen, normally on friday after hours).

Keep my room warm in winter though! :D

P.S. And noisy! Can't ear the wife complain .... =))
$ifndef "Softimage"
set "Softimage" "true"
$endif

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