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Autodesk Announce Indie Versions Of 3DS Max and Maya

Autodesk have announced new Indie version of their popular 3DS Max and Maya DCC applications.  These are full versions, not subset’s like Maya LT, their other indie focused offering.  They do however come with some strings attached.  The new version (3DS in this case) is described as follows:

Autodesk 3ds Max Indie is the same industry-standard product used by professional studios, at a price point accessible to those who are just starting out. If you are a recent graduate or freelancer with less than USD$100,000/year in revenue, you can get started now. Please note that this is a limited-time offer.

The revenue limit is not the only limitation:

  • Your annual gross revenue from design work must be less than USD$100,000/year
  • Only one license can be used per user or organization
  • Offer is only eligible to those based in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK or the US

There is also one very big gotcha people should be aware of:

Note: In order to avoid an automatic renewal at the full subscription price of 3ds Max, you must turn off the automatic renewal once you subscribe to 3ds Max Indie. In order to turn off the automatic renewal setting, you must go to your Autodesk Account, and follow the instructions posted here. This offer is subject to certain restrictions.

So, if you do not turn off automatic rebilling, you could get hit for a VERY nasty surprise on your credit card in a years time, as you get charged for the full, non-indie version of Max or Maya!

It is a huge savings for those that qualify and it will be interesting to see if the deal expands to other markets or is offered beyond this year.  Have Autodesk noticed a new market between students and full professionals, or are they facing pricing pressure for alternatives like Blender?  Or perhaps it’s a bit of both?

You can learn more about the programs here (3DS Max) and here (Maya).

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Humble 2D GameDev Bundle

Another Humble Bundle is running of interest to game developers, this one is the Humble 2D Game Dev bundle, a collection of 35+ sprite and graphic packs from Game Dev Market.  As always, Humble Bundles are organized into price tiers, where if  you buy a higher dollar tier, you get all tiers below that as well.

The tiers of this bundle include:

1$ Tier

  • Game Character Sprite 20
  • Game BG Platformer Tileset 01
  • 10 Game Backgrounds
  • Cute Animals Pack
  • Explosives Pack
  • Water and Fluids Tiles
  • Chests n’ Keys
  • Platformer Game Tile Set 13
  • 18 Amazing Sprite Effects for Your Game

15$ Tier

  • Soldiers Pack
  • Platformer Tile Set Game BG 12
  • Sprite Sheet Animation
  • 10 Game Vector Backgrounds
  • Animated Soldier 2
  • Platformer Game Tile Set 2
  • 32×32 Gameboy Pack 5
  • Cyberpunk Platformer Tileset
  • Cyberpunk Character Sprites Set
  • Platformer Assets Pack 3

25$ Tier

  • 10 Game Sprites Bundle Boys and Girls
  • Game Character Sprite 06
  • 2d Game Obstacles Sprites
  • Mega Projectile Pack
  • Ship Level Construction Kit
  • 2D Fantasy Character Pack
  • Mega Castle and Dungeon Pack
  • 100 Cartoon Characters for 2D Games
  • Platformer Game Tile Set 12
  • Characters Spritesheets 9
  • Six Animated Pirate Crew Characters
  • Folding Platforms
  • Skeleton Army
  • Goblins Game Character Sprites
  • Monsters Enemies 2D Game Sprite Set

If you buy using this link you can choose to support GFS (thanks if you do!) as well as deciding how your money is split between Humble, Charity and the publisher.  Of course, the license of the assets is super important as well, and it’s available here.

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Cinema 4D R21 New Details Pricing and Subscriptions

At SIGGRAPH 2019, Maxon announced details of the upcoming R21 release of their Cinema4D 3D DCC application.  The release isn’t actually coming until September of 2019 we have details of the upcoming new features.

In addition to new features, there were two major announcements, a change to a single version and a change in pricing.  First details on the new single SKU approach:

  • Only one version of Cinema 4D:
    • No more Prime / Visualize / Broadcast / Studio / BodyPaint editions. 
    • All functionality is in the one version, no separate editions anymore.
    • Demo and Educational versions are no longer separate downloads. 
    • Demo and Educational can be upgraded to a commercial version.

    With a single SKU, there is now also a single price tag, however there are now several subscription options, detailed here.

    Cinema4D pricing details

    Essentially you can now pay for Cinema4D via subscription which are cheaper when paid on an annual basis.  Additionally you can continue to purchase Cinema4D with a perpetual licence, but unfortunately it is 3x more money that the most affordable version available currently.  Learn more in the video below.

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    Blender 2.80 Released

    After 4 years in development the biggest version of Blender ever has just been released, Blender 2.80!  Blender is a comprehensive open source and free 3D graphics application with 2D, 3D, sculpting, texturing, rendering and compositing support.  The 2.80 release brings massive new features to Blender including a complete UX redesign, a new real-time PBR viewport renderer EEVEE, 2D drawing and animation support and much more.

    A quick list of major new features include:

    • Completely redesigned user interface/experience
      • Pie Menus
      • Collections replacing layers
      • Redesigned tabs and toolbars
      • Adaptive interface based on resolution
    • Grease Pencil brings 2D support to Blender in a huge way
    • EEVEE real-time renderer
    • Cycles improvements
      • Hair shader
      • Cryptomatte
      • Random Walk Subsurface Scattering
      • Subdivision and Displacement
    • Multi object editing
    • Pixar OpenSubdiv Support
    • Improved COLLADA and glTF support
    • Much, much, much more

    Blender is available for download on all platforms at Blender.org.  You can check out more details of Blender 2.80 in the video below.

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    Blender 2.80 Release Candidate

    Blender have just released the first, and hopefully only, release candidate for Blender 2.80.  Assuming no major show stopping bugs are found in the release candidate, Blender 2.80 final release should be just around the corner!  You can download the release candidate here.  Given the excitement around Blender 2.80 and the fact this isn’t their primary development server, except the download to be quite slow.  Note, even though the file says Beta, this is in fact the release candidate, just be sure to look for the July 11th or later release date when selecting the file to download.

    Blender Download Image

    Blender 2.80 has spent over 4 years in development and is absolutely packed with new features.  The star of the show is EEVEE, the new real-time viewport renderer, but other major features include massively improved 2D creation and animation tools, Cycles renderer improvements and of course a completely new UI.

    To learn more about Blender 2.80 be sure to check out the Blender 2.80 launch page.  Much more in-depth details of the thousands of new features in Blender 2.80 are available in the extensive release notes.  Or you can simply watch the video below!

    Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage when Blender 2.80 is finally released in the coming days!

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    De-Lighter Free Texturing Tool By Agisoft

    Today we are taking a look at a free, cross-platform (Mac, Windows & Linux) texturing tool from Agisoft called De-Lighter.  The purpose is all in the name, it’s for removing the effects of lighting from a texture.  This is useful in removing specular highlights or shadows from a texture captured via photography or 3D scans via photogrammetry such as using Meshroom.

    The workflow is simple enough, you enter a 3D object in a variety of 3D formats with the original texture applied.  You then mark the areas that are influenced by light and the areas that are shadowed and De-Lighter takes care of the rest.  This leaves you with a texture that is then light neutral for use in your own lighting set up, be it a 3D renderer or a real-time game engine.  Thanks to 80.lv for the heads up on this release.

    De-Lighter is available for download, completely free and no registration required, right here.  Watch the video below to see De-Lighter in action.

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    3DS MAX 2020.1 Released

    Hot on the heels of the somewhat underwhelming 2020 release, Autodesk have just released the newest update to the seminal 3D modeling application, 3DS MAX 2020.1.  They have also updated their roadmap, showing future development priorities for the application.  The biggest and possibly most game changing new feature of this release is the ability to detach and support up to 3 different viewports, making multiple monitor configurations so much more capable.

    Primary features of the 2020.1 release:

    There are also several bug fixes and improvements fully detailed in the release notes.  As mentioned earlier, Autodesk also updated their development roadmap, which is available here.

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    Gravit Designer 2019-2 Released

    Gravit Designer 2019-2 has just been released.  Gravit Designer is a vector based graphics application, available both on the web as well as downloadable for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome.  It is available in both free and pro editions.  The 2019-2 release brings several new features, including translations for a dozen popular languages, which should be autodetected in the web based version based off your browser settings.  The release also includes improved PDF support, Unsplash photo integration and more.

    Full details from the release notes:

    New features
    • Hallo, Bonjour, もしもし and Merhaba: As already teased (by accident) in the last release, Gravit Designer now comes with these twelve additional languages, available from Help → Language: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Czech, Dutch, Japanese, and Turkish. This makes a total of 14 languages in your favorite design tool.
      • On top of that, the correct language is automatically detected from the browser language, so you should see the correct translation by default.
    • Unsplash photo integration: To give you even more options to work on your projects without needing to leave Gravit Designer, you can now add photos directly from the Unsplash photos category in the Libraries. Either click on a photo to insert it or drag it to the canvas.
      • When having a shape selected on the canvas while clicking on a photo, it gets added as a texture fill.
      • Additionally, when holding Alt it gets masked to the selected shape.
      • Of course you can also search for photos and for some inspiration the dropdown list lets you choose from a range of categories.
    Improvements
    • To simplify adding images to your designs, JPEGs and PNGs can now be opened directly from File → Open file… without needing to use File → Import → Place.
    • Generally improved PDF import.
    • Multiple improvements to duplicating pages in Multipage Mode:
      • Duplicating with Ctrl/Cmd + D places the page after the last page, not in between other pages.
      • Duplicating with Alt-dragging or moving it places the page exactly where dragging stops.
      • A subsequent number now gets added to the name of the duplicated page (MyPage → MyPage 1). If duplicating a page that already has a number in the name, “.1” is added (MyPage 1 → MyPage 1.1).
      • The bounding box of subsequent pages is now correctly respected.
      • Hovering over pages now shows a selection box to clarify what will be selected when clicking (unrelated to duplicating).
    • The interface font of Gravit Designer no includes Cyrillic characters.
    Bugfixes
    • Fixed some last bugs for printing.
    • Window functions (Minimize, Restore Down and Close) work correctly again in the Windows desktop version.
    • Pages that have a Master Page assigned show the content outside of the page’s boundaries correctly.
    • Solved a problem that JPEGs were exported with wrong header information.
    • Solved some drawing issues with the Freehand and Freehand Shaping tool.
    • Fixed that some categories in the Libraries show a large gap before the actual assets start.
    • Resending the email confirmation works correctly again. DEV-2571
    • The Preserve editing capabilities for SVG files option for SVGs in the Export dialog doesn’t hang the Export dialog anymore.
    • Fixed that certain files show an incorrect warning for missing fonts.

    You can learn more about this release and see Gravit Designer in action in the video below.  You can run Gravit Designer directly in your browser right here.

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    Creature Runtime Licenses Changed To Apache Open Source

    Kestrel Moon just made a change to the licensing of the runtimes powering their Creature 2D animation software.  These runtimes enable you to fully utilize animations authored in Creature in your game engine of choice.  Runtimes exist for the follow game engines and platforms:

    The terms of licensing for the runtimes are now as follows:

    The Creature Runtimes operate under 2 License types depending on whether you own a Licensed copy of Creature or not.

    • People who own a licensed copy of Creature: You use the standard Creature License included with the runtime code. TLDR: You are free to publish/modify/sell your product with the Creature runtimes without needing to state you are using the runtimes/put the copyright notice in your code/app. If you already have been using the Creature runtimes as a licensed owner of Creature, nothing changes 🙂

    • Everyone else: The runtimes are released under the very permissive Apache License 🙂

    Both Licenses allow for private use and do not require any disclosure of your source code.

    The previous licensing required developers to have a license to work with a runtime, making integrating Creature runtimes into various game engines and technology impossible if you didn’t already own a license.  This change should make it easier for example for a game programmer to work with the runtimes using art generated by an artist, not requiring an additional license in this scenario.

    If you are interested in learning more about Creature, be sure to check out our hands-on video available here and embedded below.

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