Pleasantly Impressed by DS 4.5 RC 2
I have been a very vocal critic of the way in which DAZ handled the recent "upgrade" of the store (and I still believe it to be one of the most incompetently managed web site projects in the history of the internet) so it comes as a very pleasant surprise to be able to report on my experiences with the latest Studio 4.5 Release Candidate.
I have had DS on my system ever since the 1.5 days, and have never been able to get to grips with it ... on no small account because of the constant changes, upgrades, deprecated plugins etc. I am still rather angry about the way in which plugins were constantly rendered useless by upgrades to the SDK (a practice which I note is still happening with 4.x)
Now I come to 4.5 RC2. My main Windows 7 machine has been tied up rendering some large images in Poser Pro 2012, and I wanted to do a little work on something else. So I decided to try installing RC2 on my old Macbook 3. I upgraded the machine to a full memory complement and put a 640GB hard disk in there a year ago, but I was highly dubious that it would be able to handle the CPU-sapping workload of 3D modelling. After all, Poser Pro 2012 slows to snail's pace on it - and crashes if OpenGL preview is enabled!
Imagine my surprise when I first started DS 4.5 RC2 and ... it just worked!
Not only does it work - it works very well. Responsiveness is more than adequate (considering the spec of the machine), rendering times are impressive (compared to Poser) and ... the biggest surprise of all ... I was actually able to load complex Poser scenes and, apart from some issues with IK and lights, they came across intact. Intact and completely useable; from posing right through to rendering. Excellent. That has never happened for me before with previous versions.
All very impressive. So impressive that I have decided to continue using it and used the opportunity of the "Sorry we caused our customers so many problems by Screwing up our Web Site" sale to stock up on some Genesis content - something that I have avoided investing in before now.
I think what DAZ needs to do now is to stabilise this program; give it time to settle in and avoid making many more changes so that it can build a reputation and more users can become confident using it as a main stream modelling tool. Especially: stop invalidating plugins that people have paid for!
So ... good job on DS4. Well done to the developers behind it. Keep up the good work.