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Frankg

Dongle Free Animator | Multicaustics

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Hello,

happy seeing Animator in the hands of practically proven people I would like to see a dongle-free version ;-)

I use EI with my laptop and always fear to lose this f*beep*ing dongle.

I would be very happy to the multicaustics shader again. Would you please make ist available again? I use it for my jewelry designs.

regards from Bavaria

Frankg

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Hello,

happy seeing Animator in the hands of practically proven people I would like to see a dongle-free version ;-)

I use EI with my laptop and always fear to lose this f*beep*ing dongle.

I would be very happy to the multicaustics shader again. Would you please make ist available again? I use it for my jewelry designs.

regards from Bavaria

Frankg

Frank,

I use EIAS on a laptop as well. I took the the lanyard from a thumb drive and attached it to my EIAS dongle. It's a whole lot easier to keep track of the dongle now that it has a long tail.

I'm not a big fan of the dongle, but understand why they use it. I've had friends offer me fully functional copies of the latest Max and Maya programs (which I've declined). I'd hate to see the same thing happen to EIAS, when we all want them to succeed well beyond v.9.

Ross

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Hi Ross,

you're absolutely right about copy protection. But perhaps there is another as secure option like adobe's online registration procedure?

And I will try your lanyard-idea.

Regards

Frankg

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Hello

A discussion "does app need a dongle?" can be very long and very philosophic :rolleyes: So let us avoid it but say about other (pure technical) aspect: it's a really huge work to remove dongle (same as to add it, not less). Plus after (imagine) dongle is removed - we can see other probs (that we can't even predict now). Thus we prefer do not wake up a sleeping dog and use months for a productive development instead of dongle-fighting.

But there is a rational kernel here: EIAS should have an attractive demo version (of course without any dongle). That we 100% agreed and already working with it.

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Indeed, in fact, various other 3D packages are adding dongles, not removing them.

Though, of course, a good solid demo/ learning edition is certainly on the cards,

Ian

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Hi,

Oddly enough I actually prefer the dongle set up. I regulary jump between several computers on a network via KVM. I'll run EIAS on whichever machine is best at the moment depending upon what else I'm doing. I decide what I need to run that day and the resources that are available and I can choose a computer for EI cause EIAS is on all the machines and I just choose which to plug the dongle into.

The restrictions of the other systems can be problematic. Each company has a different system so crash recovery can be a challenge. Many apps make running other software simultaineously difficult. Also I've found with Zbrush the key issues are a total pain logistically. I had ZBrush crash and when I tried to get it back up and running I got a support email telling me I needed to have my original version 1.55b copy installed. Well that was downloaded years ago and I have misplaced it.So far I can't get support to help me in a meaningful way. I also hear stories of problems reloading other non keyed software.Transferring license to new machines can also be interesting based on a few conversations I've had. EIAS is just install and plug it in and it works every time and I find this very flexible.

I did have a dongle emergency a few years back when we did some construction and a box that I put all my important things in ,including dongles, was thought to have been accidentally placed in a dumpster and hauled off. turned out it was safe but quite a scare.

Igors seem to think it is difficult. I have no issue with a dongle free option but I personally prefer the status quo over one of those internet systems or machine locked copy protection that have on occasion failed me.

I think a demo version is a good idea. I tried EIAS years ago using a demo version and its ease of use and speed sold me then and there.

Bill

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Count me in as a dongle fan. I spend my time 50-50 between laptop and desktop and it's nice to have access to my software where ever I need it.

Propellerheads.se has an interesting copy protection method - their software is dongled but allows for temporary access with an id and password over the internet. So when you start the software and you don't have the dongle plugged in it connects to the propellerheads site, asks you to enter id and password, and activates your software for the current session. If you're not connected to the internet you use the dongle. I really like this method of protection.

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i Dont like dongles in general because of the "fear factor" of breaking or losing it and i mentioned getting rid of the dongle a few times, but the more i think of it the more i think the easy access to EIAS on my PC and then MacBook Pro on the go is awesome. So im kinda okay with the dongle now.

I have to admit though i sometimes forget my Dongle on my Work PC and cant run EIAS at home so i just don't use EIAS. The EIAS app just looks at me (almost mocking me). It does frustrate me a bit at those times and thats when I yell in the air...damn you dongle damn you.

Its hard to say what to do. I understand the igors point of view. Security is always the deep underlying code (so i've been told) and removing it is not an easy task.

How about this. EIAS Animator doesn't need the dongle but camera does. that would allow me to work on project on the go, but only with the dongle can i actually output projects. That would let me work on projects on the go without the dongle and keep it on my Render machine. Best of both worlds.

Also i just want to add: its great that an EDU version and Demo will be coming back. I think people outside of current users need to be able to test and run EIAS to want to buy it.

anyone know how the DVgarage version did back in the day ? (that version didnt need a dongle)

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I'd chime in as well as a dongle advocate. I was pretty livid when a coworker ripped off my Primatte install number (which I had just spent $400 to update) and promptly put it on his laptop running a pirated version of AE.

Strangely, Red Giant didn't even care.

But I think EIAS would.

Also, this reminds me what an enormous pain in the ass it is to have to reinstall the Adobe stuff after a system reinstall. First I have Microsoft trying to extort yet another license for XP out of me (I've probably bought 4-6 at full price over the years), then the Adobe license manages to see just enough of its former self, so that it neither installs properly OR licenses properly - leaving half my apps in limbo, where depending on the whim of the system sometimes AE/PS/Ill just decide not to run.

My FormZ dongle once broke and had to be replaced, but other than that I know that I'll be able to install and run my apps that need keys - regardless of the state of my system or internet access.

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Count me in as someone who thinks keeping the dongle is the way to go.

I've seen just about every application out there get cracked (I work in the software industry). I have not, however, seen a 100% successful crack of EIAS. I think there was one close around the 2.7-2.9 days, or thereabouts... but every other crack/dongle emulation for EIAS that I know of caused the application to break in such a way that make it impossible to use in a production environment. I've always been a paying customer, and realize the value of EIAS... and it's not something I want to see vanish because of bunch of hacks start flooding the market with a bunch of pirated working copies. I wonder if the huge price tag associated with MAX / Maya isn't in part to make up for the lost revenue due to all the pirating of their software.

As far as a product demo goes... that would be nice. Not sure how you're going to pull it off without the dongle (if it is really hard to remove the dongle code) but I wish you the best of luck.

I do think, however, that you should consider maybe re-introducing a "broadcast" version or a dv-Garage version. When EIAS Broadcast came out I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and started saving up my pennies to buy my own personal copy so I didn't have to spend 20 hours a day at work. Later, of course, EIAS because a single product -- and the price was even more reasonable. So, maybe a trimmed down version of the software at a greatly reduced price would help to bring more lower-level people into the mix? More users certainly wouldn't hurt -- word of mouth is what really helps to sell products.

Also, it I were running the show, I would greatly consider some free or very cheap copies to be personally given away to art students who show great promise/talent. Having an extremely creative person using your software will do more for selling that product than a hundred grand in print-related advertising. Just my $0.02 there.

I've actually sold a few copies of EIAS myself. People would look at some of my work, become amazed (they were easy) and they would do what everyone does -- ask what tools I used. Then they went out and purchased those tools (including EIAS). Never mind the obvious -- it's the artist that makes something cool, not the tools (they only help the artist), but still... I guess my point is, the more copies of EIAS that are out there in creative hands the better it will be for sales. Every day people see Maya and Max creations posted in all the forums, so naturally people starting out in 3D will WANT to use THOSE tools. EAIS doesn't have much of a shot, simply because they've never seen it in action.

I think the dv-Garage version of EIAS went a long way to getting some people interested in 3D. I know my best friend purchased a copy of it, which I think was just a slightly older version of what EI was selling at the time (I think the dv-Garage version was 2.9). Regardless, it was another example of someone who liked what they saw of my work (and not because he was my best friend) and it inspired him to want to do the same. He couldn't afford the full-meal-deal, and even if he could he wasn't willing to risk that much money just to test the waters. The dv-Garage version (which was either $99 or $199) was worth it to him.

Those are just a few of my thoughts. It's all about getting EIAS out into a LOT of creative hands. HEY... that kind of brings us back full circle to the dongle talk. Do you think MAX became one of the most popular 3D programs because it was so heavily pirated? Young slackers pirating 3D software will often grow up to be decent 3D artists... and when they get a job at some company and offer to do 3D graphics, that company is going to ask them what software to buy... (just a thought -- I still prefer the dongle).

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I personally don't mind the dongle, I've been in places that practically run on dodgy software, it makes me quite angry as I am involved in software development myself. However I live in the UK, if I'm working on a project and my dongle is lost or damaged, I'm really stuffed, by the time I get a replacement it'll be too late, I hate taking it anywhere . . .

What I would like is the availability of a second dongle, one for home/emergencies, one for travel, as I am one of the people that buys his software I don't have the money for 2 copies of it! Perhaps the hardware at cost and a small fee for a second license. Although as I type this I can see the problem with this due to it amounting to 2 copies. Perhaps a second dongle with a 'time out' feature to cover delivery times of a replacement?

There must be some clever backup that you smart people can think of!

You definitely need a trial version, I wouldn't buy anything unless I tried it first...

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Add me to the list wanting to see the Demo or feature-limited version. I got sucked in with the DVGarage version. It got me hooked and I'm using v.7 AND v.8 now. I just finished with H&R Block yesterday, so I should be ordering my v.8 in 2-3 weeks.

Now with v.8 on my work computer (they bought it for me after seeing what I was producing with v.7 on my personal laptop for them), and soon v.8 on my laptop, I'll be in rendering heaven.

Ross

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Indeed, in fact, various other 3D packages are adding dongles, not removing them.

Though, of course, a good solid demo/ learning edition is certainly on the cards,

Ian

Ian or 3d Toolkit users,

Just wondering 3D toolkit from DV garage was one of my dongle free versions of EI back in the day and still works in Leopard. Just wondering is there a way to open those projects in v8? I've tried adding the prj extension and merging scenes with no luck. Is there a process I may be missing?

Thanks for any suggestions guys (gals if any)

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3D Toolkit projects were never compatible with EIAS I'm afraid.

Though you could export everything out as Facts...

Ian

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Wilson,

Toolkit was my first version of EIAS. Learned a lot from Alex at DV Garage. I think Toolkit was a 2.0 version stripped of plugin support. You could open Toolkit projects with EIAS but not the contrary. Everything worked well up to the version (insert # here) where "Ubershapes" replaced "Standard Shapes" For a while it was working with a special version of "Standard Shapes" that Matt Hoffman graciously provided. With every new incarnation of the software it became increasingly complicated to open those old files up to the point it was often faster to redo them.

If you really really need a Toolkit project, I suggest you open the original, replace all your Standard shapes with Fact files, save it and then go from Toolkit to EIAS 2.5, from 2.5 to 3 etc.

This way, last december, I opened a 10 years old project (a book opening with flipping pages) in V8 where I could render but not save... Saving made Animator quit.

It is rarely worth the trouble. I did the same animation in V8 in 2 hours, less time than it took to convert it...

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If you really really need a Toolkit project, I suggest you open the original on an old system, replace all your Standard shapes with Fact files, save it and then go from Toolkit to EIAS 2.5, from 2.5 to 3 etc.

This way, last december, I opened a 10 years old project (a book opening with flipping pages) in V8 where I could render but not save... Saving made Animator quit.

It is rarely worth the trouble. I did the same animation in V8 in 2 hours, less time than it took to convert it...

Hey Richard,

I tried going through the process you described f hoping versions but I have a gap from v4 to v8. All shapes were fact already not Uber/Standard. I recently took the leap and I'm re-learning v8 up from v3/v4 so I'm trying to re-render old projects in V8. I guess removing shaders, and plugins would be an option in some cases I just have massive parent child links that would be painful to re link.

Thanks for the information through I already started re-importing old projects and using newer materials and learning the refined process. As you mention better than converting it.

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I also started with the 3DToolkit and made the jump to 7.0.1. I just got spousal approval to buy 8.0 with my tax return.

Just for fun, I've been playing around with Toolkit projects and getting them into 7.0. I created a new project in the Toolkit with 19 grouped objects. I applied master materials (both bitmap and DVG shaders), animated the camera, animated the grouped facts (position and rotation). I even tried a standard shape.

I began by merging the Toolkit project into a project in 7.0. As expected, the standard shape wouldn't come through. It gave an error, but otherwise the project did successfully merge. DVG shaders opened the "Cannot Find" dialog, but I was able to "Find" the equivalent shader in the 7.0 Shaders directory and have the shader work. Bitmaps came though okay, as did the master material. Both camera and fact animation channels came through okay as well.

After trying these different things, I tried opening the project directly into 7.0. It kicked out the standard shape again, but the textured, animated objects opened just fine.

I remember trying to open Toolkit projects in 7.0 when I first purchased it without much success, so this was a nice surprise for me. (I was probably fighting standard shapes vs ubershapes without knowing it)

I didn't play around with light settings, so I can't comment on that, but otherwise I'm pretty happy. 7.0 did hang once, but merged the same settings on a second try. So anyway, it might not be necessary to progress through each version. I've now opened a couple other projects successfully, though one with a Big Dipper galaxy won't open.

Ross

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I hate dongles, but it is the best for now unless you have a very slim macbook with only one usb for charging.

Online verification is annoying, and I even experience a server not responding so I could not open the software for a day.

I would prefer a bluetooth or wifi dongle (a la chrome-cast).

One major pros of the dongle is that if one day EIAS inc. close it's doors, EIAS3D will still work forever.

The day you remove the dongle protection, everyone will start using EIAS3D and stop paying, then no more updates.

Even if EIAS was 30$, people would still steel it. Sadly humans are born sinners.

Count my vote for the f... dongle.

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It's difficult for me to say that I approve the dongle because I am waiting for it right now instead of working right away during my holidays break.

I will receive the dongle in 4 days.

One day I did a quote for a 2D Drafting job and the other guy was charging half of the price.

I had to pay for my software (Cycas) and it was 400$ while my competitor was using a brand new Cracked/Illegally Downloaded Autocad 4 000$.

He got the job and there is no laws against it (there are but they are not applied). It should be prison.

People prefer to crack MS Office than use Libre Office and they prefer to steel Maya than pay 100$ for Cheetah3D or any other reasonably priced applications.

Have you noticed that all mid-range 3D animation software are gone? There used to be plenty in the 90's to the early 2000.

EIAS is not expensive, but eventually it will if you buy all the amazing plugins and shaders.

It would be nice if EIAS could sell older versions at reduced price for amateurs or curious people with no support.

Right now there are no one in the known world selling their EIAS.

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I wish there was a dongle-free version of Animator. In transit I seem to have misplaced my old blue dongle -- and need to order another but have had to use other applications until then. It's an absolute pain. As much as I have loved EIAS over the years, it's not very flexible -- I can't go from my various machines without remembering the dongle, and if it gets lost I'm screwed. I do remember several people who used cracked versions of EIAS back in the day, but after they learned to use the software they all purchased valid copies (the cracks were not good, I think, but were enough to learn on). I know they have demo versions now that don't require a dongle -- just wish my paid version was similar. 

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People will pirate software no matter what. But I remember 3D Studio Max being one of the most pirated software programs a long time ago. All the kids that pirated it learned to use it, and when they went on to do more professional work what did they end up buying? The software they were most comfortable using -- 3D Studio Max. I don't approve or pirating, but it doesn't mean a lost sale forever. Sometimes it gives someone an opportunity to use it until the day they can afford to purchase a real copy (which usually happens when they get a real client/job). 

2 minutes ago, ShaddamIV said:

Can't you buy more than one dongle? One for each computer?

That's a good question. If you can, maybe that's what I need to do. It would at least give me a backup if I lost one again (I've had my old one since they moved to the blue dongles -- I even have a few old versions with the old gray dongles -- so it's not like I lose them often). 

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The best way to prevent pirating is the Houdini way, they give a fully functional version for free with limited rendering capability (for non commercial use only). For 200$ they give full (for commercial use) version with 1080p rendering limit for company or individual under 70 000$ revenues. Otherwise the software is 8 000$. Houdini is a fantastic program, it's the best 3D software (of the big ones)... If you are a 400+ employees studio.

I tried it multiple time and it is fantastic,  but it took me 5x more time at each step to do simple things. I had to check in the manual and tutorials at every step, every time. Just to render you have to look for a tutorial and the next day you have to look again because you forgot how to.

Big software like Maya, Houdini, 3D Studio, Cinema4D and Blender? are so complex, tedious and boring that each module/step : modelling, uv, rig, animation, lighting, material, simulation, shading, and rendering require a separate department with tons of people. Those software are like the military. EIAS3D is a one man army superhero like Quicksilver.

For people like myself doing everything from concept, modelling, uv, rig, animation, lighting, materials, shaders, textures, scripts, simulation, rendering, compositing, sound sampling and video-editing a software like EIAS is perfect fit at a perfect price. And I did not even mention that Camera has the best AA/AAA (Antialiasing) AAver. In my 25+ years of experience with 3D CG, it is best to master a software with less features than to use a software with tons of features that you will never master. And when you watch animations made by amateurs with big software, you can see that the user was "controlled" and oriented by the software and not the other way around.

EIAS workflow feel like a toolbox with self contained tools that do not leak across the software. So you never see what you don't need to see until you need it. Many simple, small and efficient tools that rarely if ever require the manual or a tutorial. EIAS is the easiest 3D software and I have tried them all since Real3D/Sculpt3D/TurboSilver. EIAS is the motorcycle of CG : best power to weight ratio.

PS : I did not mention LightWave because to me it is a dead software stuck in the past. They should get rid of their modeler like EIAS did and their user interface is unusable with a anything above 1080p and the company does not give a flying f...

Did I say I am waiting for my dongle and it is torture? Small price to pay to keep the pirates away.

 

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Ola David and Jean!

Our goal is bring the best new tools built-in in EI and don't rely in 3rd party tools.. we are running for that!

i know Dongle somehow have Cons, but right now, we can't abandon it ;(

thanks

tom 

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