Some days ago I bought a book on 3dsmax4—which came with a trial-version of it—and am reading in it since, simultaneously fooling around with the application itself. The book is in German and its subtitle reads “Grundlagen und Praxis der 3D-Visualisierung und -Animation”. The book really features what its title promises. I’m astonished about the complexity and possibilities of professional software like 3ds. If this isn’t capable of producing art, I don’t know what on earth actually is.
    Wook didn’t reply to my last e-mail yet. I’ve sent it on Thursday 16. Yesterday I saw a post of him in the now nuked forums. It showed two screenies of the newest feature he had pulled of with the MPengine: An enemy who is in ‘stealth-mode’, nearly invisible. It looks just beautiful, but I’m not sure yet how to integrate it into the storyline I’m writing for the Lightsaber-TC. But somewhere I’ve read that the Sith actually had developed some cloaking-technology for spacecraft. So the feature Wook has cooked up fits. Furthermore he had written (in the nuked forums) that he for the first time had managed to put a character from 3ds into Max Payne—he meant the cloaked TIE-pilot. It seemed to be quite a hassle to get the vertices assigned in Remedy’s ActorFX.
    Interesting aspects which hit my brain in the last time:—it seems that the builders of professional software implicitly tolerate the use of pirated software in modding-communities and the like. Maybe I can verify this when I do interviews with representants of the software-corporations. My guess is: It’s tolerated because 1) there’s no economic damage done 2) to prosecute this kind of software-piracy would be too much of an act. And the prospects towards a substantial result are not very promising. 3) most important: The next generation of 3D-visualizing-professional already learns the usage of the software. Example: One of the guys out of a modding-community makes it into a career as a 3d-illustrator, modeller, or animator. While modding he already has learned to put 3dsmax to good use. Which program will he be using in his professional career? Additionally: His employers won’t have the hassle to teach him—he already taught himself. Instruction costs substantially decrease. The benefits of ‘open-piracy’. (c;

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