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PI Product Line Future...

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Michael Mould
PI Product Line Future...
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:21:14 pm

Alan -

PI is a great product and over the years I have enjoyed working with it. I fully understand that you have moved forward with other projects, but it seems it has come with a cost to your PI users.

At best, I'm certain it is difficult to wear so many hats... but to in essence neglect your PI product is not sitting well with up to now is a very loyal user base.

In these times of deadlines and critical revenue generation, it is apparent that PI is not the "cash-cow" it may have one time been or was envisioned to be, but to seemingly put the PI product on the back-burner is not (to us who use your product) sitting well.

Since your move to Gen-Arts, while it may be beneficial to you both on a personal and professional level, your PI product commitment has suffered.

I can accept if you are moving in a different direction, away from PI - fine, just be straight up with your users. Change happens, I think we all understand that - but communication is key. Your last post (regarding PI emitters was they would be coming mid to late June - we are now in July - at this point, I think you should just make a choice of either supporting future development of your PI emitters or simply announce that you are no longer going to be providing emitters for insertion into the PI library.

At least with such an announcement, we don't have to seemingly be waiting for releases that don't seem to materialize.

Again, a great product (PI) but unfortunately it appears the glory days of PI dedication by you have ceased. Too bad.

As stated, I understand other priorities have taken over your schedule - it happens, but please, just let us know your realistic strategies for continued support and development of the PI product line. It would be appreciated. Thanks....


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David Malcom
Re: PI Product Line Future...
on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:52:32 am

I would like to see more cartoon emitters added to the library.

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Alan Lorence
Re: PI Product Line Future...
on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:51:36 pm

The next emitter library is coming. Release schedules are tricky especially when a single individual is key, more so during the summer when vacations and holidays interfere. I'll stand by what I said earlier:

As many of you know, we've been releasing free emitter libraries for particleIllusion every month for the past several years. We will be continuing these periodic releases, providing all users of particleIllusion with fresh ideas and an ever-growing collection of presets, but we are reducing the frequency of library releases; you can expect a new high-quality emitter library roughly every quarter in 2012.

I guess I should be flattered that some people are so eager for new emitter libraries, but way I see it, the delayed release of more emitters (on top of the 3000 already available) isn't stopping you from using the application. I don't think you should read into the fact that we're late on a library release and assume anything about pI's future.


Alan Lorence
Product Manager
GenArts, Inc.

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Philip Knight
Re: PI Product Line Future...
on Jul 13, 2012 at 9:00:49 am


I get both sides of this issue or perceptual stakes. The quarterly emitters doesn't bother me for as I've said, we have more than what we can use, I mean... really :) Besides, frankly, I was so impressed with the quality of some of the later ones such as the Clouds, I'd prefer a "quality over quantity" approach anyway.

Where I do agree with the concerns or what's-really-going-on part of the inquiry is that emitters are one part of the equation; the other just as important part is development and upgrade of the engine that makes all this magic-making possible -- the PI software.

Apart from some more or less orbital improvements, PI hasn't really changed in the 6 years I've had it. I started with v.3, we're at 3.4. In one sense this reflects that the changes have been overall small. And I also am well aware that Alan has in one sense carried most of PI -- there isn't a penthouse suite with 100 coders at his disposal. And its a one-of-a-kind and rather complex program under-the-hood.

But even the GUI looks dated in a way, and there have been no new features that stand out. Maybe that's what the opening post was about... is PI ever going to go to v.4 or version PI Pro or whatever and take on a whole new look with new user-friendly features?

It doesn't have to look like a high-end Mac workstation or have Aero glass icons, etc. -- this is a workhorse program, not a phone app. Yet improved GUI's do matter and can give users a boost, a sense of "Yeah, I'm driving my new baby now..."

Last but not least and as mirrored by the inquiry of this thread, I or we are only seeing things from our side of the fence -- as users. You have priorities and have to do things we don't have a clue about.

And as you also well know, I am very, very grateful for even having PI for the reason you know know well from back 6 years ago. It's helped me really continue to fine-tune my signature visual style as well invent stuff I never thought I could make up.

So none of the above is some complaint-fest and my/our respect for you is unwavering, but I hope that you can also see it from our end. In other words, we would love to know if there are some plans for, pardon the Star Trek analogy, a "PI - The Next Generation."


~ Philip Knight

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