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OMG, Allegorithmic Substance was acquired by Adobe!

Discussion in 'The Meadow' started by Ken1171, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    The thing about Substance is that, as opposed to Photoshop or Illustrator, it ended up spreading all over the 3D world in the form of plugins. Almost all professional 3D applications support it, and even not-so-professional ones like Character Creator and iClone. It has become an industry standard in the movies and gaming markets, mostly because it can store dynamic and interactive PBR or standard materials. That's a revolutionary concept even nowadays.

    By acquiring Allegorithmic, Adobe is now the owner of that technology, which will give them a lot of power because of how widespread Substance has become. I can see them abandoning standalone, isolated programs like Substance Painter and Substance Designer, and integrating them into Photoshop, which already [poorly] supports 3D painting. The movies and gaming industries are some of the most lucrative markets in the world, and Adobe wants a share of that. Since most people who use Substance already uses Photoshop, I can see the integration as the next natural step.

    Not for me, though, because I use Corel Paintshop instead. It supports Photoshop filters, but not automations.
  2. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    I nearly cried when Adobe swallowed up Macromedia, but I'm still using the apps I was using back then, I just can't upgrade them. Luckily enough, the ones I used most often haven't really needed upgrading, so I'll make do.
  3. It p!$$es me off that after spending all that money on Substance, specifically because it's supported in Poser 11's mat room as a preset and PBR was new to my way of thinking; that it is now effectively a dead end product for me. I cannot afford subscription services as a senior who just messes with this stuff for fun. Adobe's 3d painting is a joke. That will surely change, but not for me.

    Micro transactions. That and software lease like supplied by Adobe; are the way of the future for most of us. Pay as you go whether or not you actually go. Pay up front.

    I think of it like a bus pass. You buy a monthly pass for your local transit to get back and forth to work. You might also use it for shopping or a trip to the movies. It's a pay up front type of thing. Go on vacation for two weeks in the middle of the month. You have effectively doubled the trip cost of your transit on the trips you did make, because you didn't need the pass for two weeks. Would I have paid up front for a monthly pass when I knew I'll be out of town for two weeks? Not a chance, but the pass is a subscription and the cost is paid up front before the month even starts.

    Extract that into the situation of a small Poser/Daz artist trying to make a few bucks a month. A small Mom and Pop graphics company. An independent artist. They are no longer going to be using subscription based services, or are goint to have to pass the cost on to you, the consumer. Big companies like game makers and movie effects will continue on as they have always done. Small business gets plowed under yet again. (Snowfall reference due to storm outside ATM)
  4. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Indeed I was happy with my Substance "Indy Developer" plan because it was a 1-time payment with benefits. Like the name says, it was meant for small businesses like you've mentioned, but soon after they changed their mind and put everyone into forced subscriptions. The only alternative was no more updates, which I had already paid for in the Indy plan. I have refused to pay again, and now I am stuck on the 2017 version.
  5. Bonnie2001

    Bonnie2001 Extraordinary

    I have Substance Painter and an not at all happy that Adobe bought it. :(
  6. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Because of the buyouts, or is it for something else?
  7. kobaltkween

    kobaltkween Brilliant Contributing Artist

    Adobe has stated that the Allegorithmic tools will be incorporated into Creative Cloud, and the team has been incorporated into Adobe as their new 3D arm. I've been poking around the internet, and I've yet to see more than two positive reactions from average 3D artists. That's out of hundreds. All the positive articles I've seen has been the sort of half 3/4 marketing, 1/4 information pieces that generally comes out about technical products in any field. The Allegorithmic team sounds really positive about the opportunity for themselves, but they also sound naive at best. They seem to view this as an opportunity for themselves, and are ignoring how Adobe treated the Macromedia managers back in the day.

    Or really anyone who ever sold their successful business like this. Pretty much everyone from individuals to major companies ends up complaining about how they thought that some how they were going to retain control and identity, unlike anyone else before them.

    IMHO, the biggest issue with this isn't even the software. It's their library of "substances." Right now, you can get things for a good price and you own them. But many are observing that Adobe prices stock content high and doesn't tend to allow you to own it, exactly. They force you to lose access to content when you cancel a subscription. People are speculating this will happen to the Substance library in the near future.

    Actually, I'll state what I really think is the biggest issue in the long term. My understanding was (perhaps erroneously) that Allegorithmic was a private company. That it might have had venture capitalist money, but not stockholders. Adobe depends on stockholders, which means they need investments on top of profits or they'll die. Well, stockholders only invest in something they think will make a greater profit in the future, no matter how well it's doing today. No matter how much money a company makes, if their profits stay level, investing in their stock won't make more money (other than dividends, but still). For example, Facebook's stock tanked recently due to their growth slowing. Not losing users. Not keeping a constant level of users. Just not growing as fast as it did before.

    Adobe is close to a monopoly, with a customer base that's pretty much as big as it can get and a core stable of products that are about as packed full of features as they can get without being unusable. This acquisition will only buy them so much room for product growth, especially since it's a bit like a car company buying a motorcycle arm. Worse, because average investors understand what a motorcycle is. Average people don't even understand what 3D art _is_, let alone a 3D material painting tool. Adobe will still live and die by its main original tools (maybe even just Photoshop), and they're close to maxed out in terms of what they can do and who buys them. They're going to need resources to keep their flagship products in their flagship positions.

    It's not impossible for the 3D tools to become their core products, but, well, Macromedia was beating Adobe in popularity and growth when they were purchased and now Acrobat has a higher profile than Dreamweaver. I wouldn't count on the Allegorithmic team and tools finding a better home than Macromedia and Flash did.

    Even if this works out today or even next year, I think the odds are pretty high that Adobe will eventually have to squeeze its customers, especially its 3D customers, harder or die.
  8. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    I find it funny that so many defend Macromedia, but didn't care for Flash when Apple and Google decided to kill it on their own behalf.
  9. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    I only used Flash back around 2001-2004 while I was taking classes to get my Web Designer certification. I just checked, and they're not teaching any Flash classes anymore, though not sure when they stopped, as I haven't taken any classes there in a number of years.
  10. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Adobe was pushed against the wall to terminate Flash, or face boycott, the usual slander campaigns, and having their own customer base thrown against them. Adobe took years, but finally counted their losses against Apple and Google, and declared the official end-of-life for Flash to 2020, which is next year. This is why everything Flash-related has been dropped - there will be no Flash on the internet next year. It will be replaced with... nothing. According to Goggle, HTML5 cannot, and will not replace Flash - they tried really hard, but failed. SMS has also tried to replace Flash with HTML5 on the Poser 11 library, but they still couldn't make it work 100%, and probably never will. Everything Macromedia and Adobe did for Flash is going down the drain with applause, because Google and Apple said so. That's the price to pay for progress.

    Looking back in history, people will only feel the loss when it's too late. People tend to take things for granted, only missing them when they lose them. I can be hopeful that something else will eventually come to replace Flash, but so far all attempts have failed. The problem with artist-friendly multiplatform development is that it creates competition for app stores, and they managed to convince people that we don't want that to ever happen again. Flash has to die, and nothing can replace it - unless it can only deploy contents for certain app stores. This is actually quite old: if you cannot control or buy it, kill it. In 2020, Apple and google win, and we, the artists, lose.
  11. carmen indorato

    carmen indorato Extraordinary

    I still do NOT understand why Flash plays such an important role in Poser Library?
    It sucks to sit down and start working only to find your library doesn't open because the damn Flash utility incorporated needs to be updated! SO, no replacement solution can be found to work within Poser as an integrated function?
  12. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    I think Poser has 2 different libraries: the integrated one, and the "external", detached one. Until Poser 10, the external (detached) one was build with Adobe AIR, which is not Flash, but uses the same programming language (AS3). Adobe AIR receives regular updates, but mind you, you can keep using the library with or without them. Updates are suggested, but are not mandatory like the ones from Windows 10. I have used Poser since version 1.0 and I was never blocked from using the library because AIR had an update. You can cancel installing updates whenever prompted if you'd like to, but updates are usually beneficial.

    As opposed to Flash, Adobe AIR can compile native platform code, which makes it as fast as if created with any other native programming language, but with the added advantage of being multi-platform. The external (detached) AIR-based library was fully functional in Poser 10, and then was replaced in Poser 11 with a partially working HTML5 one. Keyboard navigation is broken, the interface tends to load with a random layout at whim, and some features we had with the AIR library are missing, such as the ability of stepping back to a previous folder while preserving the navigation history. The HTML5 always backtracks to the root node, ignoring where we previously were. But perhaps my biggest gripe with the HTML5 library is that it requires a 3rd party "CEF" tool to manage the communication with Poser. Quite so often, CEF looses communication with Poser, making the library freeze up. The only way to recover from this is to restart Poser. In addition, CEF runs multiple instances on the background, sometimes causing significant CPU usage even when idle.

    I am reminded of how well the old AIR library worked every time I run Poser 10. Google was the biggest proponent of HTML5, and they tried to replace all of their web services with it for a whole year, and at some point they lost so much money that they officially gave up on it. They claim HTML5 didn't work for them, and moved on. They couldn't make it work for them, but keep saying it's good for the rest of us. No wonder SMS was unable to make it work with the new HTML5 library either. They had ample time to fix all the issues, but were never able to, so like Google, they also seem to have given up on it. We still have to deal with it, because the AIR library is not coming back, but SMS will not fix the issues or add the missing features. They tried, and couldn't do it.

    That's about it in a nutshell.
  13. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    It depends on how old a version of Poser you're using Carmen. I had to install ShaderWorks Library Manage 2 for my P9, but that doesn't bother me, because once I have that entire Runtime moved to my PoserPro 11 Runtime, I'll be uninstalling it.

    With PP11, however, there's another option. You can view your Library externally, so I use my Firefox browser to view my PP11 Library, and I like it because there's soooo much more room. :)

    I don't recall whether P10/PP2014 has that option or not, as P11/PP11 may be the first version that offers the External Library.
  14. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Poser had the external AIR library since Poser 8 or 9, I think. It's not particularly new. But only P11 has the partially working HTML5 external library. If you know the IP address, you can run it on a regular browser, since it's standard HTML with JavaScript.
  15. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    Yes, and I like all the extra room I have for viewing folders with a large amount of thumbnails in it, instead of the 2 per line I usually see with the Internal Library.
  16. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    The external library, both the AIR and HTML5 one, they have controls to set the thumbnail size to anything you like. I also prefer the external one because the embedded library doesn't preserve the viewport size, which is important to me. The external one also allows me to collapse it to get more real estate when working with materials. I haven't used the default (embedded) library since Poser 7. :)
  17. Bonnie2001

    Bonnie2001 Extraordinary

    The buyout. Substance Painter was reasonably priced and was upgraded often and with input from users, something I'm not sure Adobe will do.
  18. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    Ohh, I didn't think of that. I am still using an old Photoshop version before they started the subscriptions. I haven't bought anything from Adobe ever since, so I don't know how they have been handling updates regularly or anything else. As you can imagine, I am not a fan of subscriptions.
    KageRyu likes this.

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