FBX support for Blender

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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kflich
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:53 am
Location: israel

FBX support for Blender

Post by kflich »

I have asked for MotionBuilder support for blender on the MB forums. the answer i got was that the blender community can lisence the FilmBoX SDK and develop support, like Wings3d did. only thing left now is to find a developer that willing to work on it. Is someone like that exists here ? i know MB is not free but it's freelancer edition is low price and very capable, and maybe it can be the sulotion for blenders weak character animation controls (without proper ik it's just not the same). so ... let me know if anyone is interested.
http://www.kaydara.com/customer_service ... eadid=1413

Koby
(:

thorax
Posts: 320
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 6:45 am
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Re: FBX support for Blender

Post by thorax »

kflich wrote:I have asked for MotionBuilder support for blender on the MB forums. the answer i got was that the blender community can lisence the FilmBoX SDK and develop support, like Wings3d did. only thing left now is to find a developer that willing to work on it. Is someone like that exists here ? i know MB is not free but it's freelancer edition is low price and very capable, and maybe it can be the sulotion for blenders weak character animation controls (without proper ik it's just not the same). so ... let me know if anyone is interested.
http://www.kaydara.com/customer_service ... eadid=1413

Koby
(:
[pre]
The MOTIONBUILDER™ Personal Edition for PC or OSX gives you a FULL production license for ONE year, giving you time to learn and work with this renowned 3D Character Animation application. There is no better Personal Edition in the industry. No watermarks and no functionality taken out of the product. You will truly enjoy this limited time offer to acquire a full license of MOTIONBUILDER™ for $100 USD. Finally, we have also included two additional items.
[/pre]

This means when you get it into your production process they will jack the price up to whatever they can get.. Or worse yet, remove it from the market.. Then your experience with the tool is lost to history.
No telling what kind of commitment Kayadara can make to
its userbase or potential userbase. This is to encourage the industry
to use their tools, in the interest of cashing in later on its acceptance.
There is no telling what kind of loss they are taking on this.. Advertising normally costs about 30-100 dollars per new client. And software
costs only what it take to develop.

Kayadara like other commercial developers respond to only one thing, consumer interest.. This goes two ways, either someone here has enough interest to develop it or kaydara develops it. They will if there is enough interest, if there isn't they wont.. However a first implementation may spawn their interest in blender as a potential market.. In any case
it may spell future funding for the open development.. Commercial developers look at open source developments as being competitors, unless they can see some sort of "value add" out of having blender.. And I would say blender's value add is a potential for a global market that would not otherwise be possible with purchase of high-dollar packages..

I think there is a market here for them, but we are more finicky and those burned by previous experience..

Anyhow.. not to offload my personal agendas on you..

I would wait until blender is mature enough to have an API to allow such capability to load.. Or Python could be used, but any major commitment from the blender developers would have to match a equal comitment from Kaydara..

Kaydara seems only mildly interested.. This looks liek the normal public relations front.. "Yes by all means, find someone, we are open.."
Of course, they are open to new markets, no they are not going to waste time and money on it until it shows itself worthy..
Last edited by thorax on Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

theeth
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Post by theeth »

Thorax: You're some kind of paranoid-conspiracist-theory guy, right?

If every company who offered a free demo would have vanished from the face of the earth, it would be pretty empty in here...

Martin
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

Hos
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:06 am

Post by Hos »

I contacted Bjorn Gustavson a few weeks ago about
the license they would be using for FBX and he
told me they would be releasing it as a closed
source plugin since the license of the kaydara
C/C++ API does not allow distribution of the
source. For support in blender we would also
have to release it in binary only form, either as
some kind of python module or as an external
program that would produce/consume the
future BlendXML format. Either way, it's going
to be a while...

Chris

matt_e
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Post by matt_e »

theeth wrote:Thorax: You're some kind of paranoid-conspiracist-theory guy, right?

If every company who offered a free demo would have vanished from the face of the earth, it would be pretty empty in here...
Indeed. Heck, Blender was free/closed-source all it's life up until last year, and it didn't stop us from using it.


EDIT: Didn't read Hos' post properly. The question that I asked right here was already answered for me :)

kflich
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:53 am
Location: israel

Post by kflich »

Thanx for looking into it hos. guess you are right, it will take a while ... anyways, there is one thing we can do : iv'e been dabbling with with the blender .bvh import script for the last couple of days, building compatible skeletos to use MB bvh export. it's very buggy and dosent work properly buy i am getting ahead to making it work. atleast i think i do. the skeleton recives the data without the script crashing (and that's after i edited the bvh file in word to remove all >2 decimal places). now i gotta figure out 2 things :
a) why does MB inserts values like "-012" or "-015" after some numbers.
b) how the hell do i fix the oriantation of the skeleton\empties (blender is a z up world while MB is a y up world) cause it screwes them off (i think i can write a macro that will swap y\z values, but ill try manual edit first).

i was able to succesfully use the script one time (!) but ... eh, hehe ... ever happend to someone that you forget what you did a few seconeds after you did it ? ... i can't recall what tweak i did there ... crap. i'll make it work.

if there is someone who understands the .bvh format or had a hand in the writing of the script (AdmSys, DocHoliday ?) - help is welcomed.

Koby

thorax
Posts: 320
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 6:45 am
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Post by thorax »

theeth wrote:Thorax: You're some kind of paranoid-conspiracist-theory guy, right?

If every company who offered a free demo would have vanished from the face of the earth, it would be pretty empty in here...

Martin


I just can foresee possible problems in the future..

Question is how much FBX could be used to leverage blender..

(in teminology: close coupling of technologies.. this sometimes results in vendor lockin)

As for the licensing talk, you can expect this behaviour from the software company, its not a response to pressure from pirating, I doubt any company will post the loss from pirating, it allows them to leverage public opinion onto sales models like this..

By just the selection of this commercial distribution model, you are agreeing to have the software for a year, after which they can raise the price, they can remove it from the market and release a spin-off the original, in any case they may carry their users along or neglect them
altogether. I've seen this happen twice, once with a bible software my sister in-law's father used for his ministries, perfectly good application written in the early 90s, and found a lot of disgruntled users on the net surrouding it (I think the company was sold to Random House) anyhow, the company controlling it was not interested in the consumers opinions
and just pulled the software from the market and released an upgrade. The first time I experienced this licensing backfiring was when Alias/Wavefront did it, after alias merged with Wavefront and convinced all Wavefront's users to switch to Alias packages (even two years before the release of Maya), then they removed all the TDI and Wavefront software line. No matter how much your trust the organization, just by picking software licensing, you are agreeing that they have a right to rip the tools out of your hands.

And you say why would they do this? What if they have a better application with more or less features or they wish to split the package into two pieces? They can do this without you being able to use the previous copy, because you purchased a license not the package, they can disable the license.. So either you pay more, you pay for two programs that are parts of the same, or they can remove it all together
and your can forget about purchasing it later.. There is no guarantee
you will have the tool years from now..

Why would they remove it from the market? Competition with a market they made (competition from a previous version that does the same thing), cost to support previous versions, conflict of interest, etc..

Other methods of leveraging are to change the file format, change the API interface design.. Microsoft has done this for years to developers and users alike.. If you think the ice won't crack where you are, think again..


To Broken:
Blender was freeware, Kayadara is not..

NaN was funded by an angel investor, it wasn't a company developed from the ground up as a software sales company.

The funding came from someone else's pocket, and Ton had a feduciary responsibility to the investor..

When they went bankrupt, the property became that of the investor and not Ton. Ton had to make an agreement with the investors to get blender back..

So in effect, you are taking for granted that you are lucky it was freeware and the investor didn't keep the sources. It was the investors mistake of investing in a freeware app, I'm sure Ton probably used that as a negiotating point for the release of the sources. The investor can make money off blender should a commercial developer want to purchase a commercial license (I assume this to be true).. Anyhow, you are lucky Ton did go bankrupt, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to control the sources himself, this way he gets to continue development on the sources, but its also possible for others.. So Ton didn't give you the sources, the angel investor did, Ton just did what he could to gain control again, but had he not, we including him would not have had the ability to access ro change the sources..

Kaydara on the other hand doesn't sell a freeware alternate, and so when they remove it, there is no way to purchase a copy of the same version of the software, you won't get the sources, nothing, nada, zip. In fact you can just about bet that all their highend commercial software uses a licensing system as well, that's so that owners can't transfer rights to other people, so not even Kayadara's consumers can resell their products (otherwise this would allow competition with themselves). This is the way Alias/Wavefront also does their licensing of the software on the highend I bet.. And the way everyone does it.. You either pay up or get off the platform.. Blender is an oportunity to leverage the market in the consumers favor.. And to maybe boycott controlled licensing of software.. You can accept that this is the way they've always done it or you can think otherwise.. Either way you have a choice..
Either way you get what you pay for..

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