What If We Made Bryce an Open Code Project -- Wait hear me out

jesterhawkjesterhawk Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Bryce Discussion

So, I have been thinking. What if DAZ opened up Bryce code for developers.

First, not all Bryce users are developers so they could still charge for upgrades.

Second, if the code was opened (and I do not mean open source, but some kind of median where the code is released to allow developers to make mods to it and improve it but not lose the rights like open source does) then development would continue. In addition, there would also be enhancements and improvements made. It could really explode the Bryce community beyond what Blender has done.

Third, retaining the rights at DAZ and doing something like Apple does with their apps. You have to become a registered developer and then you get the code. After that any fixes you make, you have to submit back to DAZ where it will be tested and verified before included into a release. Having DAZ be the doorstop for Bryce releases and testing, it will ensure the users that it should be fairly stable releases that get produced.

Fourth, adding subscriptions like their platinum club where you can pay a yearly fee (nothing big maybe $25 a year) and you get the updates to Bryce for that year.

Fifth, Daz could have a special newsletter outlining bugs and issues and changes and updates and perhaps even list what developers are working on.

Finally, it would generate some additional income for DAZ. Official releases require DAZ screening would reduce the chance for bugs and code that is malware because you have to submit your code changes. In fact, they could use something like git or something where a developer who is registered could check out the code and then before check in could test against the latest that everyone has checked in. Then DAZ will do final testing before sending out a release which they could do semi-annually or quarterly.

I know there are obstacles and hurdles along the way. But this could really work and take my favorite project and help propel it forward. I know I would see what I could do to help.

Just a thought,
JH

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Comments

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited December 1969

    So, I have been thinking. What if DAZ opened up Bryce code for developers.

    Bryce would die.

    ... If DAZ opened it up the way you were suggesting, that is.

    Either way, the first thing that would have to happen is DAZ making an extendable product. Currently, it isn't. Far from it. If you're suggesting that they maintain the management of the product, they first have to make the product manageable.

    First, not all Bryce users are developers so they could still charge for upgrades.

    Sure. However, they need to keep in touch with mod developers to give them warning of changes that could affect their mods. Currently, the groundswell around mod development is zero. There are members who read this forum who could tell you stories about how they've lost money in just creating CONTENT for the store. With Bryce's diminishing audience share you're asking DAZ to put an unprecedented amount of money into both re-developing a moddable product, and then attracting mod developers to the new platform.

    Second, if the code was opened (and I do not mean open source, but some kind of median where the code is released to allow developers to make mods to it and improve it but not lose the rights like open source does) then development would continue. In addition, there would also be enhancements and improvements made. It could really explode the Bryce community beyond what Blender has done.

    ...I don't know where you're getting your data to suggest 'development would continue'. You seem to think that Bryce can be handled by C or Python programmers. Not strictly true. Bryce, both PC and Mac, is built on an intermediary coding platform called Axiom. It was developed by Metacreations FOR Metacreations. No-one else uses it. In fact, this is why it's been hard for DAZ to get a Mac programmer for Bryce: not only because no-one knows Axiom, but because even if you did, Axiom was compiled for Mac OS 9, a completely different beast than Mac OS X. The only reason Mac Bryce has run for this long as that coders have managed to use Rosetta technologies embedded in Mac OS X to work around the Mac Classic technologies... Technologies that were discontinued from Mac OS 10.7, Lion.

    The Big Realisation here is that the first step, re-writing for mod developers, is massive. Bryce needs to be completely re-written before any improvements can be made.

    Third, retaining the rights at DAZ and doing something like Apple does with their apps. You have to become a registered developer and then you get the code. After that any fixes you make, you have to submit back to DAZ where it will be tested and verified before included into a release. Having DAZ be the doorstop for Bryce releases and testing, it will ensure the users that it should be fairly stable releases that get produced.

    Apple's formula for success... has its detractors. Some developers have made products that are very vulnerable to system changes - some have lost their businesses because Apple has unilaterally changed an OS technology that the developer exploited. DAZ, for example.

    Be aware that Apple's model was not the model they've had since time immemorial. The model you've described works because they have complete control of their IP, and they've tried a lot of stuff out. They don't have developers 'fixing' their code, as you seem to suggest. Developers develop apps. Developers test THEIR apps against Apple's code. Some large developers might ask Apple if they could change a few things to help them out, but that's not bug-hunting.

    I'll come back to this point later.

    Fourth, adding subscriptions like their platinum club where you can pay a yearly fee (nothing big maybe $25 a year) and you get the updates to Bryce for that year.

    ... What's the attraction? Where's the guarantee that Bryce WOULD be updated? What if a year slides by, where hordes of developers come up with a wide range of mods, but Bryce itself hasn't been updated? How do you justify the subscription?

    Subscription models are based on ongoing service due to the highly technical nature of the product.

    Fifth, Daz could have a special newsletter outlining bugs and issues and changes and updates and perhaps even list what developers are working on.

    You're growing further away from 'Open Code' and more into marketing here. Initially, the focus would need to be on raising funds. And for that to happen, you need to invest in a lot of things to bring about confidence in the product.

    Finally, it would generate some additional income for DAZ. Official releases require DAZ screening would reduce the chance for bugs and code that is malware because you have to submit your code changes. In fact, they could use something like git or something where a developer who is registered could check out the code and then before check in could test against the latest that everyone has checked in. Then DAZ will do final testing before sending out a release which they could do semi-annually or quarterly.

    Again, developers don't bug-check the client. If anything, developers are the loudest shouters at DAZ to get things right, because if DAZ fails in that mission, the developers leave and... no more mods. You're asking developers to register with DAZ for the honour of testing their code?

    A lesson to watch follows. But first, some background:

    Reason is a digital audio workstation (DAW) application. It's a program that allows you to create music by creating synths, drum machines, effects, mixing, and sampling. Reason is an incredibly sophisticated, yet accessible tool for music making. What's more, it has the reputation in the industry of being bullet-proof: it's often used in live shows because it just doesn't crash. One of the reasons it doesn't crash is because all of the synths, samplers, routers, effects, everything, is all built by the company that makes Reason: Propellerhead Software.

    You can compare this with DAZ3D and its product, Bryce, and its components, the various Labs it has.

    Reason isn't the only DAW in the market, of course. Many other apps use what are called 'plug-ins': synths, effects or additions that can be bought and added into the DAW to be used with it. Plug-ins are a fantastic enhancement to a DAW... but there are a couple of problems with them. So Propellerheads went about plug-ins in a different way. They developed a method for other developers to create plugins that not only work seamlessly with Reason, but guaranteed that developers couldn't take away from Reason's core strength, other that great sound: reliability.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziDR9pJOl6M

    Rack Extensions are successful for Reason. But don't get the idea that Rack Extension developers just 'appeared' because Propellerheads let them in. These developers have been successful developers for VST plugins for several years, and Propellerhead provided them a way to port and compile their code for their existing VST products for Reason.

  • jesterhawkjesterhawk Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Never said it was a perfect idea but anything is better than leaving it a dead product which is what essentially Daz has done. Sad.

    And if done the way I was thinking it would not have taken any money on Daz part to begin with. Later, maybe, sure, but not initially.

    JH

  • SilkroosterSilkrooster Posts: 38
    edited December 1969

    The only way, I could see it happen, is for DAZ to release an SDK and allow 3rd party coders to create plugins for Bryce. This would keep the main code behind locked doors but leave hooks open to the public.
    In a perfect world we could have open source code, but in our world, that leads to abuse and there are way to many coders lurking to find a way to abuse the "big man". They could care less how little that man really is as long as they get their point across. However skewed it maybe. It never occurred to them, that they need their own system rebooted. LOL.

  • Eva1Eva1 Posts: 469
    edited December 1969

    Never said it was a perfect idea but anything is better than leaving it a dead product which is what essentially Daz has done. Sad.

    And if done the way I was thinking it would not have taken any money on Daz part to begin with. Later, maybe, sure, but not initially.

    JH

    I don't think you can assume that Bryce is a dead product. Just because there is no current news that the next version is/is going to be worked on soon doesn't mean it won't be. If you gave me money for every time over the past 5 years that someone has said 'Bryce is dead, there's no more development being done' then I would be rich by now....

  • Eva1Eva1 Posts: 469
    edited August 2012

    Oroboros said:
    So, I have been thinking. What if DAZ opened up Bryce code for developers.

    Bryce would die.


    Bryce, both PC and Mac, is built on an intermediary coding platform called Axiom. It was developed by Metacreations FOR Metacreations. No-one else uses it. In fact, this is why it's been hard for DAZ to get a Mac programmer for Bryce: not only because no-one knows Axiom, but because even if you did, Axiom was compiled for Mac OS 9, a completely different beast than Mac OS X. The only reason Mac Bryce has run for this long as that coders have managed to use Rosetta technologies embedded in Mac OS X to work around the Mac Classic technologies... Technologies that were discontinued from Mac OS 10.7, Lion.

    The Big Realisation here is that the first step, re-writing for mod developers, is massive. Bryce needs to be completely re-written before any improvements can be made.

    Interesting information Oroboros, thanks for sharing that. I think 've often thought too that it might be nice to open up Bryce as Open Source, but I don't think this would help or encourage future development especially considering your information about the code. But interestingly Axiom iitself is now Open Source, so maybe that would make a difference?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_(computer_algebra_system)
    http://axiom-developer.org/


    I'm wondering how difficult it would be to re-write Bryce. I think DAZ really should consider doing this going forward to make it easier to maintain and update. Could DAZ not invest in getting someone in to do that? I think it would be worth it.

    One of the biggest problems though I think we have is the marketing of Bryce - I don't believe the user base will grow, and demand for content until Bryce is giving the exposure it deserves. I kind of understand it being advertised here as just a landscape generator as a rival to VUE - but Bryce is so much more than that, and I think is easier to learn how to use compared to other programs - it has a lot of selling points, but those points are not fully sold... >:(

    Post edited by Eva1 on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for comming up with an idea, jesterhawk. I consider this a brain storming exercise. It is important that ideas are coming, whether they can be put to use eventually is not important at this stage.

    Bryce has been developed in phases. Since DAZ 3D has acquired it from Corel with version 5.0, DAZ 3D gave us 5.5, 6.0, 6.1, 6.3, 7.0 and 7.1. To list the dates from the versions I have installed:

    - 4.0: 1999 (Metacreations)
    - 5.0: 2001 (Corel)
    - 5.5: 2005 (DAZ 3D)
    - 6.0: 2006 (DAZ 3D)
    - 6.1: 2007 (DAZ 3D)
    - 6.3: 2009 (DAZ 3D)
    - 7.0: 2010 (DAZ 3D)
    - 7.1: 2011 (DAZ 3D)

    I don't remember when DAZ acquired Bryce from Corel, the larger part of the 4 years pause from 5.0 to 5.5 may be on Corel's shoulders.

    The versions 6.0 and 6.1 were the same development cycle. 6.3 to 7.1 was also a single development cycle that lasted for 2 years. Since that one finished, only exactly one year and 10 days have passed.

    6.3 was essentially a clean-up from unfinished and not correctly working features in 6.1, mostly on the Mac (PC's had fared a bit better).

    DAZ 3D had the intention to go 64-bit with 7.0 but after a few month had to abandon the project because it meant rewriting Bryce practically from scratch. The high costs for that were not budgeted, I suspect.

    The principal hindrance was Axiom as Oroboros correctly points out. Axiom was a cool thing at the time, being a meta language that could be compiled for the Mac and the PC. Write once, have it for both. Axiom is outdated. Bryce is full of Axiom code, also all libraries are Axiom.

    Programers do what they are told. They are usually not artists and very seldom Bryce enthusiasts. The IL is an example how something can go wrong. After that, a steering commettee of Bryce enthusiasts was installed and they gave the artistic input to the programers with DAZ 3D overseeing the project so that things stayed on the time plan and budget.

    This setup proved very fruitful. If Bryce goes partly or completely open source, there need to be dedicated and competent programers, artists knowing Bryce and an entity overlooking and coordinating the process.

    I believe DAZ 3D when they say Bryce will get its time for development again eventually. Studio is DAZ 3D core program. After DAZ 3D acquired Bryce, it acquired Carrara and Hexagon as well. There are now 4 applications to keep updated.

    Bryce 7.1 is full of new features not many have used yet - at least I haven't seen a lot. On the other hand, there are some severe bugs around and Mac OSX 7 is not supported anymore. That ought to be addressed presently. And we still miss a documentation.

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited December 1969

    Eva1 said:
    Interestingly Axiom iitself is now Open Source, so maybe that would make a difference?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_(computer_algebra_system)
    http://axiom-developer.org/

    It's been Open Source for 5 years. And here we are.

    Axiom, like many algebraic languages, is usually used in scientific research and high level educational fields. Bryce is in neither. Finding a programmer that is both fluent in an algebraic programming language AND 3D art is low. Moreover, Axiom is a language that had origins in 1971. Ken Musgrave and Eric Wenger (two big brains behind Bryce) are both extraordinary in that they were both mathematically gifted, studied the work of Benoit Mandelbrot (Musgrave studied under him), and artistically inspired. On top of that, Axiom is a language that has some optimised iteration features that made it a winner for fractal algorithms.

    But Axiom is old. Perhaps newer languages have better ways of applying the fractal math embedded in Bryce. While Axiom is Open Source, development is not fast - in fact, nothing new has been reported in its development for 4 years now. Rather than learn Axiom for a re-write, DAZ3D would be better off looking for math graduates studying modern programming languages.... for very liberal meanings of the phrase 'better off' :)

    I'm wondering how difficult it would be to re-write Bryce. I think DAZ really should consider doing this going forward to make it easier to maintain and update. Could DAZ not invest in getting someone in to do that? I think it would be worth it.

    Well... Again, here we are, so it's not that simple. Or at least, not that cheap. If they've crunched the numbers, weighed up how much they can salvage from the existing code to translate a new system, had meetings to calculate how long the transition would take, how much people would have to be paid to do it, made decisions about what platforms it should appear on... They'd do it if they could make money out of it.

  • Dan WhitesideDan Whiteside Posts: 227
    edited December 1969

    Little bit of misunderstanding here - the Axiom code that we use is MetaCreations proprietary graphics libraries (rwb4 p13) which is OS neutral and used for interface graphics, control gadgets and such. It has nothin' to do with algebra, Mandelbrot or Doc Mojo. It's also still based on the C programming language and has been updated several times.

    The failure of Bryce under OS7/8 has nothing to do with the Rosette emulation software which allowed Intel Macs to run Motorola PowerPC code. The Mac Bryce code was updated to Intel Mac code with Bryce 6. I don't even have Rosette installed on my 10.6 system and B7.x runs just fine.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_(software)

  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited August 2012

    @Oroboros - The Axiom Bryce uses is not that one. Perhaps its a derivate, but I doubt it. It was developed in 1995 by Andre Pessino and copyrighted by MetaTools. In Bryce 4, the Axiom files show this fact (picture 1), in Bryce 7 not (picture 2). The pictures are simple file dumps.

    Axiom2.gif
    634 x 526 - 15K
    Axiom1.gif
    633 x 527 - 16K
    Post edited by Horo on
  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited December 1969

    Dan, Horo, my apologies for the misunderstanding. A little knowledge is always a dangerous thing :/

    The failure of Bryce under OS7/8 has nothing to do with the Rosette emulation software which allowed Intel Macs to run Motorola PowerPC code. The Mac Bryce code was updated to Intel Mac code with Bryce 6. I don't even have Rosette installed on my 10.6 system and B7.x runs just fine.

    I realise that Bryce didn't run under Rosetta, but Bryce sure needed some older tech that Apple did away with. What are the technical reasons Bryce 7 currently gets no love from Lion? What exactly did Apple change that caught DAZ3D off-guard in the 9 months from Apple's Lion announcement to the release of Bryce?

  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    @Oro - if you knew how I searched to get hold of an Axiom tool that works for Bryce. No chance, it's proprietary.

  • Dan WhitesideDan Whiteside Posts: 227
    edited August 2012

    I have no idea what the Mac problem is because I'm crashing as soon as I enter the registration code and hit OK.
    Actually this is the 3rd time an Mac OS update has hosed Bryce, the difference with DAZ is that the no one has been working on Bryce since shortly after the OS7 release.

    Post edited by Dan Whiteside on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,378
    edited December 1969

    But the first thing they will work on once they put Bryce back into the dev cycle will be the Mac problem, Blaine has already said that himself in one thread here.

  • LordHardDrivenLordHardDriven Posts: 917
    edited December 1969

    I have no idea what the Mac problem is because I'm crashing as soon as I enter the registration code and hit OK.
    Actually this is the 3rd time an Mac OS update has hosed Bryce, the difference with DAZ is that the no one has been working on Bryce since shortly after the OS7 release.

    Is there any chance it's just the registration process fouling things up but the rest of the program might work fine if a different registration process could be implemented?

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited August 2012

    I'll bet if the DAZ crowdsourced the problem they'd get it fixed for a pittance.

    Horo said:
    @Oro - if you knew how I searched to get hold of an Axiom tool that works for Bryce. No chance, it's proprietary.

    If what Dan says is true (and I'd be a brave dragon to contradict him deliberately) Axiom handles the interface and not the math.

    I'm starting to get a little miffed now, because this comes down to possibly the thorniest issue Bryce users have about Bryce: preserving the interface. It ALSO means that the development of the product is hindered, not by the fundamental code, but by the code that drives the bells and whistles.

    That's like being stopped from driving your new car because someone far shorter than you has PERMANENTLY locked all seat, steering and mirror configurations for them.

    Post edited by Oroboros on
  • Dan WhitesideDan Whiteside Posts: 227
    edited December 1969

    Is there any chance it's just the registration process fouling things up but the rest of the program might work fine if a different registration process could be implemented?

    I thought (and hoped) that at first but some people with laptop Macs got through the registration OK but Bryce crashed when using any of the controls.

  • Eva1Eva1 Posts: 469
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    I'll bet if the DAZ crowdsourced the problem they'd get it fixed for a pittance.

    Horo said:
    @Oro - if you knew how I searched to get hold of an Axiom tool that works for Bryce. No chance, it's proprietary.

    If what Dan says is true (and I'd be a brave dragon to contradict him deliberately) Axiom handles the interface and not the math.

    I'm starting to get a little miffed now, because this comes down to possibly the thorniest issue Bryce users have about Bryce: preserving the interface. It ALSO means that the development of the product is hindered, not by the fundamental code, but by the code that drives the bells and whistles.

    .

    I'm sure devoted Brycers would support an interface change if it meant improvements overall to Bryce and a movement forward in development:-) I can't imagine that a similar looking interface couldn't be developed using different code. I love the interface but wouldn't object to some changes as long as the ease of use of the application remained the same.

  • LordHardDrivenLordHardDriven Posts: 917
    edited August 2012

    I thought (and hoped) that at first but some people with laptop Macs got through the registration OK but Bryce crashed when using any of the controls.

    Oh well it would be pretty unlikely it had gone this long and it was just that. I just figured it was worth asking since it seemed like everyone got stopped at the registration.

    Post edited by LordHardDriven on
  • rubidiumrubidium Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    Perhaps it would be easier to work in the Bryce documentation... for instance in a wiki style...
    We could ask DAZ to release the official documentation with a creative commons licence and use it as a base to build upon.

    Ramon

  • David BrinnenDavid Brinnen Posts: 2,834
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    I'll bet if the DAZ crowdsourced the problem they'd get it fixed for a pittance.

    Horo said:
    @Oro - if you knew how I searched to get hold of an Axiom tool that works for Bryce. No chance, it's proprietary.

    If what Dan says is true (and I'd be a brave dragon to contradict him deliberately) Axiom handles the interface and not the math.

    I'm starting to get a little miffed now, because this comes down to possibly the thorniest issue Bryce users have about Bryce: preserving the interface. It ALSO means that the development of the product is hindered, not by the fundamental code, but by the code that drives the bells and whistles.

    That's like being stopped from driving your new car because someone far shorter than you has PERMANENTLY locked all seat, steering and mirror configurations for them.

    Yes the interface is a thorny issue indeed. Because it involves workflow and that requires an interface expert to figure out how to do it best. The programmers, bless them, while mathematical geniuses and experts in the field of programming Bryce, were at a total loss when it came to interface - look at IL. Not their fault, not their field. But it shows, it has to be handled by someone who knows what they are doing - otherwise you end up in "spread sheet" land. I think you are right in what you have said, the interface is the sticking point.

  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    rubidium said:
    Perhaps it would be easier to work in the Bryce documentation... for instance in a wiki style...
    We could ask DAZ to release the official documentation with a creative commons licence and use it as a base to build upon.

    Ramon

    There was serious work on the documentation with a lot of volunteer work. However, it was stopped in February last year about one to two labour weeks short. Bryce is not alone, Carrara and Hexagon don't fare better. Neither Studio but there was some talk about doing the Studio documentation first and the other applications will come later.

    The WIP doc for Bryce 7 and the complete Bryce 6 can be found here: http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/software/bryce/start. The Bryce 6 doc is worthwhile to have a look at. The Bryce 7 doc is incomplete but the Sky Lab is complete and up to date to for Bryce 7.1.0.109.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 489
    edited December 1969

    Eva1 said:
    ... Axiom iitself is now Open Source, so maybe that would make a difference?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_(computer_algebra_system)

    From the sound of it, that's a very different Axiom. I may be wrong: I'd never heard of Axiom as part of Bryce before today. I know that Bryce contains a substantial proprietary framework, but I didn't know it was named Axiom.

    Eva1 said:
    I'm wondering how difficult it would be to re-write Bryce. I think DAZ really should consider doing this going forward ...

    DAZ have already made a start on this. It's called Carrara. (ducks)

    Seriously, though, Carrara's landscape and atmospherics features are taking it into Bryce territory. I don't know what DAZ's actual plans are, but if I were them I'd be very tempted to improve Carrara's capabilities in this area rather than expend effort, time and money on reviving Bryce. Carrara has a modern codebase and a team of developers who understand it; Bryce has neither. Carrara integrates well with DAZ's other products and, most importantly, with the content that is DAZ's bread and butter. Bryce is dependent on the notoriously flaky Studio-to-Bryce bridge.

    From the business perspective, this choice should be pretty much a no-brainer. I would not be surprised if DAZ have already made a decision on this point, although nothing has been said.

    Could DAZ not invest in getting someone in to do that? I think it would be worth it.

    I would like to believe you are right, but my back-of-the-envelope guesstimates suggest that DAZ would be hard put to cover the necessary development costs just by selling copies of Bryce, and that Bryce isn't a big enough driver of content sales to make it a priority for future development dollars.

    But I may be totally off the mark on this: I haven't seen DAZ's books, so I have no idea how much development work actually costs them, or how many copies of Bryce they sell.


  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,378
    edited August 2012

    Bryce isn’t a big enough driver of content sales to make it a priority for future development dollars.


    That is really rather a biased point of view, and not at all true imo I am a committed Brycer, if you hadn't guessed, and I would not like to add up how much I have spent here on content, all of which is used in Bryce when it is used.

    I only bought Poser in the first place in order to have figures in my Bryce images,

    It may not seem to generate content sales because most content can be transferred into Bryce, either by way of Poser or by using DS.

    I am not the only Brycer who spends mega bucks on content.

    Edited to add that there are more dedicated Bryce items in the store than there are for Carrara, so you could also say that Carrara doesn't generate content sales :coolsmirk:

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    @angusm - Carrara is a spin-off of Bryce, as Poser is. Look at the interface. I have owned Carrara from v2 up to v8 and there is a reason why I stick to Bryce. This is not to say that Carrara is not a worthy program. It sports a couple of features that makes us brycers drool. There are also quite a few features so advanced Carrara doesn't have them yet. Carrara aims at a different market than Bryce, Carrara as a landscaper and Bryce as an univeral application good for just about any type of artwork. If DAZ 3D had sticked to Bryce and not acquired Eovia as well, Bryce would have been given a bit more attention. Bryce and Studio have been a very nice combination since Bryce 5.5 and Studio 2.3. As far as I know, there is still no bridge from Studio to Carrara.

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,378
    edited December 1969

    I actually bought Ray Dream studio, which was a forerunner of Carrara, and came from the same stable as Bryce and Poser.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 489
    edited December 1969

    Horo said:
    @angusm - Carrara is a spin-off of Bryce, as Poser is. Look at the interface.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'spinoff' in this case but yes, the Carrara interface was clearly heavily influenced by Bryce's. At a time when the standard for 3D apps was a forest of cryptic gray menus, Bryce - and then Carrara, in imitation - tried to make the interface look gorgeous.

    The price to pay for this, of course, is that a completely custom interface is the first thing to break when the OS vendor pulls the rug out from under you. I think this is what happened to Bryce.

    Horo said:
    I have owned Carrara from v2 up to v8 and there is a reason why I stick to Bryce.

    Several reasons, I should think.

    I should say to all the Bryce fans whose ire I've aroused by dissing the program that I'm actually a Bryce user from way back, and am fully aware of its strengths. Bryce was my introduction to 3D, and I still find it a pleasure to use. The interface, which was widely scorned as "quirky" by people from the forest-of-gray-menus school of application design, contains some very intuitive and efficient features. And the underlying rendering and materials engines are extraordinarily powerful.

    My loyalties are kind of split at the moment. I've actually come to like Carrara a lot, and use it for many things I would once have done in Bryce. But then I run up against the limitations of its half-finished atmosphere engine (or it just flat out crashes on me) and I start yearning for Bryce again. At least I finally got around to making Bryce run under Parallels, so I'm not totally Bryce-less.

    Carrara aims at a different market than Bryce, Carrara as a landscaper and Bryce as an univeral application good for just about any type of artwork.

    I would have put it the other way around: Carrara as a 'universal' tool, and Bryce as (primarily) a landscape modeler. But it's true that you can use Bryce to create things that go far beyond simple landscapes (anyone remember Bryan Smith's gorgeous abstracts, which he called 'think pieces'?)

    As far as I know, there is still no bridge from Studio to Carrara.

    You can use the DAZ Collada format, after a fashion. I generally prefer to just pose the figures directly in Carrara. As a figure posing tool, Carrara is almost as good as (some might say better than) Studio.

    I've no idea what the long-term future of Bryce will be. I hope that the technical issues with its codebase don't doom it, and that it survives in some shape or form. As I've said, I'm pessimistic - but I'd be delighted to be proved wrong.

  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    @angusm - thank you for your reply. Perhaps I would appreciate Carrara more of I had invested as mucht time to get the hang of it as I did for Bryce. According to the Wiki "Carrara: Originally acquired from MetaCreations, Carrara is a toolset used for 3D modeling, texturing, animation, and industrial design." MetaCreations brought out Bryce v1.0 in 1994 for the Mac. For the history of Carrara see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrara_(software) assuming it is correct what can be read.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 489
    edited December 1969

    Horo said:
    @angusm - thank you for your reply. Perhaps I would appreciate Carrara more of I had invested as mucht time to get the hang of it as I did for Bryce.

    Perhaps you should. And then I could buy your DVDs and finally figure out how to really use the software. :-)

    For the history of Carrara see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrara_(software) assuming it is correct what can be read.

    I think that's basically correct.

    One thing it doesn't describe in detail is the story of Carrara during the final days of MetaCreations.

    MetaCreations was produced by the merger of Fractal and MetaTools, but the people who were running it at the end weren't the founders of those companies. They were a bunch of business guys - MBA types - who'd been brought in to run the company. I can't remember the name of the CEO at that time, but he'd come from HP, where his big contribution had been to lay off about 1,000 people. (Edit: it was Gary Lauer)

    According to a friend who worked for MetaCreations, management called in the entire workforce one morning and told them "Most of you are fired, get out."

    Carrara 1.0, which was buggy as hell, had shipped shortly before that. MetaCreations was already moving towards focusing on their Viewpoint 3D technology, so they had no interest in Bryce or the KPT tools. Carrara, however, was part of their big strategy: I think they may have planned to sell it to people who might use Viewpoint, as a way of creating Viewpoint content. In any case, Carrara was the one software product that they wanted to keep developing.

    Unfortunately, among the people they laid off were the entire Carrara team. So about three days after the mass firing, one of the business geniuses now running the much-reduced company woke up and said "Wait a minute, those guys we fired, what did they do, exactly?" When they realized that they'd just fired the people who were supposed to be fixing the software that was part of their Great Plan for the Future, they flew into several kinds of panic, and ended up having to hire Antoine and his people back as (very expensive) consultants to work on the 1.1 release.

    They also reportedly sent faxes to their French and German offices saying "You've all been fired, leave now." The French and the Germans sent back faxes that said "I don't think so. Read some European labor law." The business geniuses were very surprised to learn that US law didn't apply to their European employees, and that if they wanted to fire everyone at a moment's notice, they had to give them severance pay. That was another cost that they hadn't taken into account when they put together their big new business plan.

    As the Wikipedia article says, Antoine Clappier and his colleagues then formed Eovia, and were able to buy Carrara back (because now the MBAs really didn't know what to do with it), and then later to sell it to DAZ.

  • HoroHoro Posts: 4,270
    edited December 1969

    Interesting, though unsettling history. Fact is that MetaCreations managed to kill itself by utter mismanagement. Pity, it would have had the potential for a great future.

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,378
    edited August 2012

    Yes one does tend to mutter things about "THrowing the baby out with the bathwater" :roll:

    And then of course Curious Labs managed to do a similar thing with Poser, which was the reason DAZ 3D started working on Daz Studio, because for a while it looked like Poser would go right down the pan.

    Post edited by Chohole on
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