Reality Plugin End-of-life notice

Hello everybody.

It's with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that the Reality plugin will be retired in the next few months. 

I am grateful to all of you who used and supported Reality in the past. When I first released it 11 years ago, in August 2010, Reality spearheaded the PBR revolution for DAZ Studio and Poser. At that time almost nobody knew, in these forums, what PBR was. Since then, PBR has become commonplace and both DAZ Studio and Poser have native solutions for that.

The goal of Reality was not only to bring PBR to the masses but to make it easy to use. Still today, people tell me how much they prefer the Reality workflow to the built-in one. That was the result of a lot of very careful design and I'm pleased that it worked. 

Unfortunately, my career brought me to other directions and I have retired from writing code 5 years ago. Reality has been placed in Open Source for quite some time but nobody picked up the torch. 

Updates in the OSes, drivers, and host applications have created several incompatibilities and Reality is not working as well as it should. I have stopped selling it on both DAZ and Renderosity marketplace and I will stop it on my website very soon. 

There is an issue. The software requires server activation to work and because of that, I have kept my server running for all these years. But now it's just costing me money that I can't afford to spend. So, I will shut down the preta3d.com website on March 1st 2022 and that will cause Reality to stop working. 

I'm giving you this notice so that you can find a migration path and start becoming familiar with a different way of rendering your artwork. Again, if anybody wants to pick up the code from the Open Source repository and strip it of the DRM, that would solve a lot of issues. I personally cannot do it.

Once again, thank you very much for your support and your friendship, this has been a wonderful experience.

Best of luck.

--

Paolo

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • I had hopes someone could as I could have used it on the other computer without a Nvidia card, I dare say a lot of people could of but none of us can code. broken heart

  • marblemarble Posts: 6,157

    Hi Paolo and good luck with your (not so) new direction.

    Reality/Luxrender bridged an important gap for me in the time before I had a PC with a GPU capable of rendering IRay. The possibility of running Luxrender over network connected computers and the fact that it could render in the background kept me going for several years. I can't say that it was all perfection but I would probably have abandoned this hobby without that option. 

    So thank you.

  • vrba79vrba79 Posts: 810
    edited November 2021

    Here's hoping someone can fix that source code. Not to sound harsh, but server-side DRM was a bad move to begin with.

    Here's a for instance: Motionartist no longer exists via online retail. SMSI dumped it. However, all of us who bought it, and hung on to our Serial numbers can still install and run it.

    Had SMSI went with server-side DRM instead, it would have become useless junk the second they axed their graphic design software division.

     

    Post edited by vrba79 on
  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 16,163

    thank you as well

  • pcicconepciccone Posts: 660

    vrba79 said:

    Here's hoping someone can fix that source code. Not to sound harsh, but server-side DRM was a bad move to begin with.

    Here's a for instance: Motionartist no longer exists via online retail. SMSI dumped it. However, all of us who bought it, and hung on to our Serial numbers can still install and run it.

    Had SMSI went with server-side DRM instead, it would have become useless junk the second they axed their graphic design software division.

    I sympathize and understand your point. It's hard to make a decision. Reality was extensively attempted to be pirated, for something that was just $30. For a few years, it was my livelihood so I wanted to protect it. When I started I did not see a time when I would not code but it has come and I'm sorry. 

     

     

  • vrba79vrba79 Posts: 810

    Better $30 than $300, which has unfortunately happened to some people with different software.

  • LuxRender is a far superior rendering engine than Iray and I'd much rather be using it. I haven't been using Reality for years because of obsolescence but I've always felt that the results I got with Lux were more realistic and natural and the ability to edit while rendering was very useful. It's ability to auto-save so that renders could be paused and resumed at any time was also a huge benefit. It's too bad there's no currently viable portal from Studio to Lux. I don't mean to suggest that Iray is bad. It's not. I just wish that Lux integration would be an option as well. 

    You are absolutely correct, Paolo. Reality and Lux showed me the true power of realism with PBR. Thanks for that. It was money well worth spending at the time.

     

  • takezo_3001takezo_3001 Posts: 1,470

    pciccone said:

    There is an issue. The software requires server activation to work and because of that, I have kept my server running for all these years. But now it's just costing me money that I can't afford to spend. So, I will shut down the preta3d.com website on March 1st 2022 and that will cause Reality to stop working.

    Or, you can no longer require people to activate the software so it's still working after your server shuts down, as there are a ton of people that paid for it, so it would be fair to not cut them out of their program!

  • pcicconepciccone Posts: 660

    pciccone said:

    There is an issue. The software requires server activation to work and because of that, I have kept my server running for all these years. But now it's just costing me money that I can't afford to spend. So, I will shut down the preta3d.com website on March 1st 2022 and that will cause Reality to stop working.

    Or, you can no longer require people to activate the software so it's still working after your server shuts down, as there are a ton of people that paid for it, so it would be fair to not cut them out of their program!

    I'd love to do that and I would have done it already if possible but that requires to alter the code of the program and to recompile it and i don't have that ability anymore. I did change the server months ago so that it doesn't require any specific licence number any more. But the program does require a connection and a response from the server. If somebody wants to buy the domain from me and run the server, then the program will run just fine.
  • I don't suppose DAZ are willing to host it?

    (I admittedly haven't used it in a long time as I render outside of DAZ studio mostly, Carrara my main choice)

    The Mac users no doubt appreciate it for example

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 1,047

    Paolo:   Thank you for everything, and for keeping Reality going for so long!   You were a true pioneer in this field.  Reality/Luxrender is what made me decide to stick with CGI as a hobby.

    Best of luck to you in your current career!

  • Hey Paolo, thank you for all of your contributions to my 3D rendering experiance.

    murf2k6

  • Thank you Paolo for all your work on Reality. You gave me the first wow-moment in lifelike rendering so many years ago. I will never forget that. Good luck for what ever you will do now!

  • PadonePadone Posts: 2,194
    edited November 2021

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint Donald, just thought you may be interested to help here. I don't use reality myself but for most mac users it may be the only option for gpu rendering inside daz studio. If they don't wish to export to blender I mean.

    Then I understand you have your own projects to deal with and this may be too much of a burden so it's just a head up in case you didn't notice.

    Post edited by Padone on
  • Padone said:

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint Donald, just thought you may be interested to help here. I don't use reality myself but for most mac users it may be the only option for gpu rendering inside daz studio. If they don't wish to export to blender I mean.

    Then I understand you have your own projects to deal with and this may be too much of a burden so it's just a head up in case you didn't notice.


    @Padone Sure. I'd be willing to take a look, but the original dev saying "I cannot do it." kind of scares me. I would think that removing the server comm logic from the client would be too trivial to even discuss, but if it really were, surely he would have already done it instead of locking out everyone who supported him over the last, what, 11 years.

    Before I say I'm willing to learn how to link a DS plugin on Mac, I'd like to know the whole story of what I'd be getting myself into, as I already don't have enough time to even work on Sagan the way I'd like to. Can we have some more details, specifically addressing why the original dev doesn't just do it and be done with it?

    I'm sympathetic to Mac users, though, after Apple screwed them. Can we have a show of hands? How many people depend on this?

     

  • OmnifluxOmniflux Posts: 185

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint

    I think @pciccone no longer has a build environment setup for this and is not currently in a position to recreate one.

     

    I set one up today for Windows - I can build the current codebase, but it does not resolve the issue with launching on the latest builds of Windows 10+. I do not have anything to build for OSX on.

    I hope to have time to look at this over the next week to see if I can resolve the launching issue; If I can, I will remove the authentication components and push the whole thing to github.

     

    I've sent a PM to @pciccone for more details on continuing to run the server. 

  • TheMysteryIsThePointTheMysteryIsThePoint Posts: 2,103
    edited November 2021

    Is this the correct repo?

    OK, I think I see, and it's kind of the same situation with Sagan: I've never compiled it on any dev box other than mine, and there are bound to be issues.

    Maybe if Paolo could at least act as a resource for all my stupid questions that I could waste hours researching, but are obvious to him?

     

    Post edited by TheMysteryIsThePoint on
  • Omniflux said:

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint

    I think @pciccone no longer has a build environment setup for this and is not currently in a position to recreate one.

     

    I set one up today for Windows - I can build the current codebase, but it does not resolve the issue with launching on the latest builds of Windows 10+. I do not have anything to build for OSX on.

    I hope to have time to look at this over the next week to see if I can resolve the launching issue; If I can, I will remove the authentication components and push the whole thing to github.

     

    I've sent a PM to @pciccone for more details on continuing to run the server. 

    @omniflux Thanks for responding. I am happy to let you take the lead.

    I've got a mac mini now and I keep threatening port Sagan to OSX, so it would be useful to learn how to build/debug a plugin on that platform anyway. Is the repo I referred to above what you are building?

  • crashworshipcrashworship Posts: 131
    edited November 2021

    TheMysteryIsThePoint said:

    Padone said:

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint Donald, just thought you may be interested to help here. I don't use reality myself but for most mac users it may be the only option for gpu rendering inside daz studio. If they don't wish to export to blender I mean.

    Then I understand you have your own projects to deal with and this may be too much of a burden so it's just a head up in case you didn't notice.


    @Padone Sure. I'd be willing to take a look, but the original dev saying "I cannot do it." kind of scares me. I would think that removing the server comm logic from the client would be too trivial to even discuss, but if it really were, surely he would have already done it instead of locking out everyone who supported him over the last, what, 11 years.

    Before I say I'm willing to learn how to link a DS plugin on Mac, I'd like to know the whole story of what I'd be getting myself into, as I already don't have enough time to even work on Sagan the way I'd like to. Can we have some more details, specifically addressing why the original dev doesn't just do it and be done with it?

    I'm sympathetic to Mac users, though, after Apple screwed them. Can we have a show of hands? How many people depend on this?

    I think Poalo said he open sourced Reality. As I said in an earlier thread, I'd rather use LuxRender for a number of reasons completely unrelated to the AMD card in my iMac. The biggest advantage to using Iray is that it's integrated with studio but there are features available in Lux which I like quite a lot. And, when I used it, got better renders than I did in Iray.

    Post edited by crashworship on
  • Thank you Paolo for all your work on Reality. I was one of your customers so thank you for atleast making the code opensource. I hope things work out for you. 

  • OmnifluxOmniflux Posts: 185

    @TheMysteryIsThePoint Yes, that is the correct repo.

    I think it has nearly everything included to build for OSX (possibly only missing QT). It is missing all the libraries for Windows. The documentation mentions another repo called reality-libs but I have not been able to find it so I tracked them down at various other locations.

    The documentation states there were some project specific changes made to the version of QT that was used, but they are not documented or included, so they may need to be figured out again.

    The CMakeLists.txt needs some work to genericize the build environment.

     

     

  • This is becoming more prevalent. Software creators who overprotect their works and don't actually sell you anything with their "license". We as consumers should demand the cessation of these practices. Piracy is the vendors' problem, not ours, we buy the software. And the creators make it our problem when they engage in these practices.

    We must demand that if they sell us a product that depends on validations from a DRM server, it is specified that the product will not work when the creator fails. So we assume the risk. But then, remove the "for sale" label because we haven't bought anything.

    A shame and ridiculous these practices. And I repeat, piracy is the creators' problem and not ours. They should implement a solution.

  • takezo_3001takezo_3001 Posts: 1,470
    edited November 2021

    Isazforms said:

    This is becoming more prevalent. Software creators who overprotect their works and don't actually sell you anything with their "license". We as consumers should demand the cessation of these practices. Piracy is the vendors' problem, not ours, we buy the software. And the creators make it our problem when they engage in these practices.

    We must demand that if they sell us a product that depends on validations from a DRM server, it is specified that the product will not work when the creator fails. So we assume the risk. But then, remove the "for sale" label because we haven't bought anything.

    A shame and ridiculous these practices. And I repeat, piracy is the creators' problem and not ours. They should implement a solution.

    Unfortunately, this is the driving force for a percentage of piracy itself, why should someone buy a product with an expiration date when they can get it for free without one?

    A perfect solution to combat piracy effectively is to outsell the potential losses by tying the purchase/program with individually identifying pieces of ID, or its like, that way the individual copy of that program is tied to that individual purchaser, so in order to pirate it, you'd have to host the program with exposing your own personal info, so cracking the software would be moot as the "DRM" would be the user themselves...

    I am not a coder, so I don't know if it's even feasible or not, but the principle of tying an individual with their purchase, (Beyond the normal conventions) and the program itself would be the most effective way of at least putting a dent in piracy, as it will always exist due to rogue insiders within the company itself are usually hosts of the liberated progs for use in hacker forums!

    NOTE: And no, I don't mean SS#, but maybe a photo, or somsuch, hell, instagram surely makes use of "hijacking" people's accounts until they can prove themselves by requiring a photo...

    Post edited by takezo_3001 on
  • GreybroGreybro Posts: 2,169

    Thanks for your efforts Paolo. I imagine folks feel that they've gotten their money's worth at this point.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 2,194

    If I understand correctly from @danielbui78, it seems there's another open source plugin from daz to lux, so mac people may have an alternative.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/514376/iray-vs-luxcore-heads-to-heads-blind-comparison

     

  • takezo_3001 said:

    A perfect solution to combat piracy effectively is to outsell the potential losses by tying the purchase/program with
    individually identifying pieces of ID, or its like, that way the individual copy of that program is tied to that individual purchaser, so in order to pirate it, you'd have to host the program with exposing your own personal info, so cracking the software would be moot as the "DRM" would be the user themselves...
     

    Which is more probable, that a billion dollar industry has collectively overlooked something that is obvious, or that there is somehow a practical flaw in your "perfect solution"?

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 16,163

    What I don't like about these online anti-piracy measures is that they force the customer computers to be exposed to piracy as well. It was always a bad ideal to force online activation and remains so. Really, why not ship a USB dongle with the offline one time activation key for the software in question? Businesses are supposed to be in business to help customer secure their lifes: secure food, secure housing, secure health, secure entertainment, secure work, and so on and far too many businesses are in the business of punishing the entire classroom for the actions of a single student. Businesses need to get smart. You don't create a solution that exposes your entire customer base to the same pirates that are pirating your business as an "anti-piracy" measure. 

  • Padone said:

    If I understand correctly from @danielbui78, it seems there's another open source plugin from daz to lux, so mac people may have an alternative.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/514376/iray-vs-luxcore-heads-to-heads-blind-comparison

    I'm glad to here it, undocumented local mods to Qt does not sound fun at all.

  • danielbui78danielbui78 Posts: 176
    edited November 2021

    Padone said:

    If I understand correctly from @danielbui78, it seems there's another open source plugin from daz to lux, so mac people may have an alternative.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/514376/iray-vs-luxcore-heads-to-heads-blind-comparison

    Just to clarify, there are compiled versions for both Windows and Mac.  Also: although it is a daz to lux plugin, it's not designed to be a drop-in replacement for Reality.  Instead, the goal is to be a drop-in replacement for the Iray Render engine.  The latest version is hardcoded for just LuxCore Render, but the older code base is still in place for LuxRender output.  Eventually, I'll re-enable the LuxRender pathway to allow people to choose between LuxRender or LuxCore.

    Find out more about it here: https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/499531/open-source-release-daz-render-plugin-framework-with-yet-another-lux-plugin/p1

     

    Regarding the Reality End-Of-Life and open-source:  I've tried to get the source code to build, but have run into barriers trying to build or obtain the dependency libraries.  If someone has pre-compiled dependencies, then that would be a major step towards building the Reality plugin, modifying the source-code and ultimately removing the copy-protection system from the Reality plugin.

    Post edited by danielbui78 on
  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 16,163
    edited November 2021

    danielbui78 said:

    Padone said:

    If I understand correctly from @danielbui78, it seems there's another open source plugin from daz to lux, so mac people may have an alternative.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/514376/iray-vs-luxcore-heads-to-heads-blind-comparison

    Just to clarify, there are compiled versions for both Windows and Mac.  Also: although it is a daz to lux plugin, it's not designed to be a drop-in replacement for Reality.  Instead, the goal is to be a drop-in replacement for the Iray Render engine.  The latest version is hardcoded for just LuxCore Render, but the older code base is still in place for LuxRender output.  Eventually, I'll re-enable the LuxRender pathway to allow people to choose between LuxRender or LuxCore.

    Find out more about it here: https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/499531/open-source-release-daz-render-plugin-framework-with-yet-another-lux-plugin/p1

     

    Regarding the Reality End-Of-Life and open-source:  I've tried to get the source code to build, but have run into barriers trying to build or obtain the dependency libraries.  If someone has pre-compiled dependencies, then that would be a major step towards building the Reality plugin, modifying the source-code and ultimately removing the copy-protection system from the Reality plugin.

    I have downloaded what Paolo made available which includes the precompiled libraries and such if that's what you mean. Note: It's as is with no changes by me so you needn't ask if I changed anything from Paolo's original post at the online repository. It was posted on the internet at one of those commercial online CMS archival services unless it's been taken down since. If so, PM me and we can arrange for me to post you a USB fob with that original source.

    Actually, both development archives taken together amount to about 4GB which is small enough to upload to my MS OneDrive long enough for you to download if you are interested in obtaining it that way instead. It won't stay up any longer than it takes for you to download it one time though.

    Post edited by nonesuch00 on
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