Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?



  • Say you would restart from the very beginning, with no ties, no dependencies, which platform would you develop content for?

    Poser? DAZ? iClone? Maya? ZBrush? Something else?

    Which platform you think would give the most $ for an independent content developer, if everything in the past was erased?



  • Hm, i am not a content developer, but i would think, the best way to earn a reasonable profit would be to be present on the major plattforms and also create plugins for software like Zbrush and such.
    A single sided business model would crashing if the prefered plattform disapered.



  • All of them and much more...
    as many different types of software as you can should always be the goal,
    There are too many variables to dedicate yourself to only one platform.
    Why limit yourself.



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  • Okay, so, which platforms are the hot ones for the next 10 years? Can't develop for everything.

    For example, I wouldn't develop for Houdini ($2,000) or Maya ($3,500/year) or Cinema4D ($1,200) or 3DS Max ($3,000/year) or Modo ($1,500), for the reason they are just too expensive to have a casual following, so the market seems to be very, very narrow (although it can probably be quite profitable if one can make inside).

    Then Blender (free), DAZ (looks free but isn't), Poser ($200 or $600, take your pick), ZBrush ($800), Mod Tool (free), Clara (free), iClone ($650 for a decent package) seem to be the ones with chance of a larger market, perhaps some more?

    From these, if one were to chose 2 or 3, what would be a nice set?



  • @fbs7 Hard for me to answer. Twenty years ago, I was doing something completely different, but that drew me into Poser. Maya, Lightwave and 3DS Max were around but way too expensive. Still, If I had the same skillset that I do now. I'd go with Blender. I could still make stuff for DAZ or Poser, but most likely nothing figure specific.


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    Real time game engines like Unity and UE4 is the future.



  • @ghostman said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    Real time game engines like Unity and UE4 is the future.

    Ah, interesting answer!

    So, how would be a user of a game engine, say for two profiles: one for rendering single scenes, one for animation of movies? That is, say I want to make my own animation using a game engine, what would I have to buy? Then, say someone else is the content developer, what do you foresee that user would want - maybe sets, like those in Lego, say a Star Wars set for that game engine for the user to play around? Or something in a different fashion, more like say a boutique?


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    @fbs7 said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    @ghostman said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    Real time game engines like Unity and UE4 is the future.

    Ah, interesting answer!

    So, how would be a user of a game engine, say for two profiles: one for rendering single scenes, one for animation of movies? That is, say I want to make my own animation using a game engine, what would I have to buy? Then, say someone else is the content developer, what do you foresee that user would want - maybe sets, like those in Lego, say a Star Wars set for that game engine for the user to play around? Or something in a different fashion, more like say a boutique?

    Look around in the unity store, then you get a feeling of what is popular, prices and what type of content is needed.



  • Look at this, this is beautiful! Reportedly done by a single person (Peter Monga) in Unreal Engine 4:



  • Game engine use is one good way to go. But I will say right now that I have an ever increasing number of content sales to the Blender community.

    Basic support for multiple non-game engine platforms really isn't that hard. Where it gets tricky are expectations of native system support.



  • @meshbox said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    Game engine use is one good way to go. But I will say right now that I have an ever increasing number of content sales to the Blender community.

    Basic support for multiple non-game engine platforms really isn't that hard. Where it gets tricky are expectations of native system support.

    Hmm.... Blender does have the benefit of being free... and even if one uses Unity or Unreal, they will end up using Blender anyway for the meshes, rigging, uv maps, etc... You think Blender is the safest bet of the bunch?



  • @fbs7 said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    Hmm.... Blender does have the benefit of being free... and even if one uses Unity or Unreal, they will end up using Blender anyway for the meshes, rigging, uv maps, etc.

    Very true, as the Blender class I'm taking is taught by a couple of guys who are also involved with several game engine classes, namely Unreal, Unity, and a few others, including a class for VR. I'm not taking those classes, but the forum they have set up allows you to see posts from all the classes, and those in the game engine classes either start with, or are simultaneously taking, the Blender class.


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    @fbs7 My husband was one of the hard core 3DSMax user. He use Max very long, upgrade regularly. Than they install their subscription service which was for hobbits like my husband not affordable anymore. ( 300 € per month) .So after a long debate with me, (I try to convince him to use LW like me) ,he decide to take up a challenge with Blender. After a few hick ups ( he missed 3DS Max very much ;) ) ,now he use it exclusively. Blender is the Future ,this is correct. Very flexible, huge support ,awesome tools and pipelines and free.



  • I'm a retired graphic artist but spent the last few years of my career in marketing and advertising. From what I've learned, Studio (Daz3D) is the only way to go if I want to sell anything. I'm learning Blender with the new 2.8 Beta with the intention of making some freebies before trying to sell things.
    Poser is a huge question mark right now while Studio is well established. From watching the forums it seems that the number of Poser users continues to slowly diminish while Studio is crazy popular. I would never sell through Daz3D since I abhor their business model and they are obsessively overbearing in moderating their forums. CGBytes seems like a nice place.



  • @baginski said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    I'm a retired graphic artist but spent the last few years of my career in marketing and advertising. From what I've learned, Studio (Daz3D) is the only way to go if I want to sell anything. I'm learning Blender with the new 2.8 Beta with the intention of making some freebies before trying to sell things.
    Poser is a huge question mark right now while Studio is well established. From watching the forums it seems that the number of Poser users continues to slowly diminish while Studio is crazy popular. I would never sell through Daz3D since I abhor their business model and they are obsessively overbearing in moderating their forums. CGBytes seems like a nice place.

    Poser's biggest issue right now is that it is not the star it once was and SM is not a Computer Graphics company. Read any article about them and they tout more for their communications software know how. Poser is lucky if it even gets mentioned. Can Poser be saved? Yes. Will Poser be saved? Depends on how much SM wants to.


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    I have been a 3DSMAX guy for a long time, and I in every company I have worked for, it was usually the required tool. Blender is becoming better, but I still couldn't rely on it to get a job in the industry. However, if all you want is to get a buck selling contents, it might be your best bet because it's free and well supported. I gave it a try several times, but always ended up coming back to MAX because, IMHO, its workflow is the best in the industry. Not to mention I am crazy proficient with it, so for me to switch, the other software would have to be better, and so far what bugs me about Blender is the rather inefficient workflow (comparing to MAX).

    However, if you are not already proficient with another program, I would strongly suggest Blender, because all of Autodesk programs do not support Poser/DS groups to start with. Once the model is grouped, you can no longer bring it back to MAX or Maya. If you need to edit or morph it, you will have to do it elsewhere. You can't even group models in MAX or Maya, because it will split them into multiple parts.

    I have recently started learning Unity3D, and geez, it has evolved light years since last time I saw it in version 4. It can do so much more than before, so it started to infiltrate other parts of the industry where people were using other tools. For example, Unity's Cinemachine has become a standard tool at Disney Animation Studios for creating short TV episodes. Unity is versatile enough to produce 3D and 2D games with ease for all major platforms, and it has a large community of developers creating very sophisticated automation plugins for all the major key areas. Really impressive stuff. If you don't like programming, there are several plugins to allow creating your games with visual drag and drop flowcharts, state machines and diagrams.

    Unity requires 2D/3D artists, programmers, animators, designers, music composers, and writers, depending on what you want to create. If you are a 3D modeler or 2D artist, you will have to wear many other hats if you want to create something on your own. However, you can buy these assets and sophisticated automation plugins from the assets store, but that's going to cost you a pretty penny - more than you are used to in this market. Depends on how much you want to invest on it.

    Personally, I happen to be a game programmer, 3D artist, animator, writer and musician, so Unity is the tool where I can put it all together. Unreal is another option, but not so much for me, because it doesn't allow code programming (visual drag and drop only), which can be limiting for game creators. In general, Unity can create games with more complex interactions, while Unreal is known for producing prettier games, but with simpler gameplay. There is a 3rd party plugin at the assets store that mimics the visual programming from Unreal in Unity, so if you prefer that, Unity has it too.

    I have also been investing in iClone since version 6. The current version 7 is the best ever, now adopting state-of-the-art features one would usually expect to find only in high end application. iClone can be the best tool for creating game assets for Unity or Unreal, and it's also very good for creating all the character animations as well. Add Blender to this and you have quite the arsenal for content creation. Just remember you will first have to learn and become proficient with all these tools.

    Therefore my personal favorites are:

    • iClone: character creation and animation.
    • 3DSMAX: modeling, UV mapping, texturing, etc.
    • Blender: pick this insread of MAX if you are a beginner, or if you cannot afford MAX.
    • Unity3D: put it all together.


  • @fbs7 said in Say you're a Content Developer... what would be your strategy for the next 10 years?:

    Hmm.... Blender does have the benefit of being free... and even if one uses Unity or Unreal, they will end up using Blender anyway for the meshes, rigging, uv maps, etc... You think Blender is the safest bet of the bunch?

    Blender is the one that's almost guaranteed to be around 10 years from now, being open source. Unlike the other programs, it can't be taken off the market by anyone.

    In regards to content sales, it might just be the one with the largest installed user base at 16,000 downloads per day. I don't know how that translates to 3rd party sales though.



  • @stefan

    Hello Stefan, nice to see you here!

    I agree with your opinion about Blender, I just wanted to note that one shouldn't confuse download figures with actual users.
    If that was true all 3D artists on this planet would be using THAS Studio by now.

    It's just that a lot of people just download everything that's free, whether they need it or not.
    Just look at the ShareCG download numbers, and then compare it to how often you actually saw a render where the item was used.

    Some people have downloaded thousands of items and admitted that they never used them.

    The usual comment is:
    "Downloaded, but haven't had the time yet to play with it."

    Fact is: They never will.

    Cheers, and take care! ;o)

    Karina



  • P.S.:

    To get back on topic: My Strategy?

    Watch the market and in the meantime improve my overall skills in 3D.

    I think that the next two or three years will bring a considerable shift in the "hobby" market segment.

    IF POSER doesn't come up with a new P12 that is no less than a revolution, I think it will fade into oblivion, and then THAS will have the market.

    Of course it won't be for free any longer (why should it be? Now they can milk you again for having the privilege to buy their add-ons and stuff to make the program useful...)

    But because (sorry to say this) most of the Poser and THAS users are cheapos, wanting to get everything for free, this could also mean the possible end for the business model from Utah.

    Remember the uprise when THAS wanted to bill for their Studio when the Grey Blob was new, a few years ago?

    They only upheld this a few weeks until they were forced to revert this scheme because the users came towards them with pitchforks and bats...
    And after they reverted it, they had additional trouble with users who paid the price and wanted a refund!

    So I think in essence, neither Poser nor THAS have any clue how this market really works, nor about how it will develop.

    My personal opinion is

    that neither the "pay-thousands-of-dollars" subscription scheme for the "PRO" programs can get a foothold in the hobbyist market,
    nor can any "hobbyist" programs attract new users like they did in the past because those "hobbyist" programs either don't offer modern features, or their business model becomes obsolete.

    What I would resort to right now is to build a portfolio of (high quality!) freebies and share it in many of the currently "go-to" hyped platforms.*

    Once "The Winner" emerges, you have something to reference.

    Good luck to all of us!

    Karina