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Hash Tinhorn

Animation Master license history question please

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I have had AM on the edge of my radar for a while, but could someone please tell me how the licenses used to originally work back in the day before activation ?

Occasionally original AM versions pop up on Ebay and I was wondering how many versions since AM has required online activation ?  I may sign up and subscribe now, but would still like a legacy version fully offline and internet independent which could just be swapped around as I change my machines.  Could anyone please tell me which version was the last of the old school versions that worked in this way please ?

Also, I read somewhere that AM is something of a closed ecosystem because of the specific way it models.  Is that generally still the case ?  Many thanks.  :smile:

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Here's what I know...

I would not consider anything earlier than v11. The interface was too different before that.

Up through v15, A:M required the original disk to be in the drive when you started A:M. The CD was they "key"

The ebay ads I recall seeing say things like "A:M 2002" or "A:M 2004". I don't recall how to correlate that with version numbers.

From v15, onward A:M uses a one-time online authentication. (yes, v15 was available both ways)

 

Here's the problem...

Several years ago Microsoft closed a security bug in Windows  XP and 7 but this also broke the software that made the CD key work. Hash only licensed that software and can't update it. A:M had already moved to online authentication by that time anyway.

To run those old CD versions you'd have to either disable the security fix in Windows XP/7 or go back to something like Windows 2000 (which the programs originally ran on) that doesn't have the fix.

I'm not guaranteeing that will work. I'm just saying that is the only way it could work.

It is much easier to get the current version.

 

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Also, I read somewhere that AM is something of a closed ecosystem because of the specific way it models. 

That is largely true. If your plan is to import polygon models from some other program or a site that sells them that is probably the least efficient way to use A:M. A:M is designed as an end-to-end environment for spline modeling, animating and rendering.

 

 

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That is very informative, many thanks.  Do these forums permit members to sell previous versions, or is that frowned on ?  One thing is I did a self-build PC and it can be a bit temperamental, so I am keen to only own software which can do a swift exodus if necessary.....😀

Btw, is AM capable of doing photorealistic texturing and animation (or close) if necessary ?  I saw there was a painter plugin, and I suspect AM could be pushed a bit further than some of the more cartoonish images, but I don't have that experience with it.

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A:M is capable of some very realistic images.  Of course, the skill of the user is also a factor.

Here are a few things to check:

Stian's Nidaros Cathedral thread

Stian's website Nidaros cathedral

Stian's AVR32 Network Gateway thread

Stian's KM Bismarck thread

Stian's Ecto-1a thread

Rodger Reynolds' site

Rodger Reynolds' street car thread

 

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I still have the 15 cd and it works ok on my Win10 laptop BUT it is not as stable as 19. Having both I would recommend the sub on 19 as it has better stability, much faster rendering and has some new features.

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I recall Martin Hash saying many years ago that A:M could render anything you've seen in the first five Pixar movies. He was being conservative with that. You can get in one pass from the A:M renderer what Pixar was having to use compositing and post work to get. There are things A:M could do that Pixar just didn't have at all.

I think Martin could have said "the first seven or eight movies" and been on safe ground even back then. A:M has added render capabilities since then. If one was willing and skilled at compositing and post work, as Pixar does, you could go even farther in to Pixar-style imagery. A:M is not intended to encompass all possible CG techniques. It was created to give you the tools to do good-looking character animation and story-telling.

The main reason Pixar movies look good is that there is a talented person doing every step of the process in stead of one person trying to do it all.

For the one person trying to do it all, like you or I, A:M is a much stronger choice than what Pixar has.

Pixar movies look good, but they have never made a "photo realistic" movie and i doubt they ever will.

I suggest you look at recent Image Contest videos and you can see a spectrum of work from casual dabblers to serious image makers.

 

Planes Train Automobiles

Summer Memories

Insect Images

 

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Do these forums permit members to sell previous versions, or is that frowned on ?

I think that is indeed frowned on.

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One thing is I did a self-build PC and it can be a bit temperamental, so I am keen to only own software which can do a swift exodus if necessary

Swift Exodus? A:M has an X in the upper right corner.

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On 9/16/2019 at 1:47 PM, Hash Tinhorn said:

That is very informative, many thanks.  Do these forums permit members to sell previous versions, or is that frowned on ?  One thing is I did a self-build PC and it can be a bit temperamental, so I am keen to only own software which can do a swift exodus if necessary.....😀

Btw, is AM capable of doing photorealistic texturing and animation (or close) if necessary ?  I saw there was a painter plugin, and I suspect AM could be pushed a bit further than some of the more cartoonish images, but I don't have that experience with it.

AM is indeed capable of doing photorealistic texturing and rendering (please see the links that Itsjustme posted). 

There isn't too much problem migrating the subscription version from one system to another, you just need to make sure to back up the license file and copy that over to your fresh install.   But you can't use AM on multiple systems that way, you'd need multiple licenses for that.   And yes, reselling of licenses is frowned on, and while there isn't much to stop you from buying a copy off Ebay, you will run into the bugs that Robert mentioned, due to the way modern versions of Windows handle the old CD key system.   Besides, don't you want the cool new features that have been developed in the many years since the last CD version was sold?   AM is $80 a year for a web subscription license.  That's less than a Netflix subscription.   You could use it for 30 years and still pay less than you'd pay for a 3DS Max license from Autodesk :D

I will say that while you can do mechanical modeling with AM, please be advised it is not an engineering app like CATIA or Pro/E, there are no solid modeling features or polygon tools.   While you could use it for prototyping (it will output .STL files and can be used with 3D printers) that is not its main use case.   

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23 minutes ago, Roger said:

There isn't too much problem migrating the subscription version from one system to another, you just need to make sure to back up the license file and copy that over to your fresh install.   But you can't use AM on multiple systems that way, you'd need multiple licenses for that.

Thanks Roger, that sounds quite promising, I am really tempted to buy the $299 non-expiring version and back up the license file you mentioned, but if my computer dies how does the activation code on the original invoice enter the story for a fresh install on a different machine ?  Surely some additional step is required ?  Thanks again.

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A subscription (and the non-expiring version) will work on the computer it was installed on and that computer only. It can not be simply copied to another machine.

I strongly recommend the annual subscription, then you can always run the most recent version.

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39 minutes ago, robcat2075 said:

A subscription (and the non-expiring version) will work on the computer it was installed on and that computer only. It can not be simply copied to another machine.

I strongly recommend the annual subscription, then you can always run the most recent version.

Hmm, I could have sworn I moved my license from my old workstation to a new one, but I could be mistaken.  It may have just been a new hard disk in the same workstation. 

I would go with Rob on this one, he is the more authoritative source.   
I'm not sure how the $299 version handles the node-locking, but unless you plan on hanging onto that system for ten years, you're better off with the annual subscription. 

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4 hours ago, Hash Tinhorn said:

Thanks Roger, that sounds quite promising, I am really tempted to buy the $299 non-expiring version and back up the license file you mentioned, but if my computer dies how does the activation code on the original invoice enter the story for a fresh install on a different machine ?  Surely some additional step is required ?  Thanks again.

If you want to switch the computer (for instance you want to upgrade to a new one or something) you will have to send an email to the hash support and they will give you instructions what to do. It should be an more or less easy process, but it has to be done by the Hash support.

Best regards
*Fuchur*

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