Over the previously noted 2014 release debacle for Creative Cloud (What else is new?) a few discussions unspun in a number of places and since I have commented on some of them, let me summarize a few of my thoughts.

Why are the CC 2014 a full separate install and not just updates/ patches?

Well, because it simply doesn’t make sense. Not the smartest programmer on this planet can create an application core that will last for the next 10 years and build everything else around it as plug-ins using the program’s API. As things progress from version to version, your core app begins to get dated and why would you hinder yourself by hanging on to old code?

Programming tools change, new ways of programming evolve, you learn new techniques as you go along and can do things better than when you initially created the app, new algorithms require new ways of doing things, new hardware and operating systems require adaptations in your code, security issues need to be fixed. That’s even more the case with Adobe apps which are already using a lot of legacy code and in addition rely on third-party code such as e.g. the various native decoders/ encoders for video in After Effects and Premiere Pro. So as you see, there is any number of good reasons to at least once in a while completely replace your programs with a clean, separate install. This will be a recurring theme.

Will this mean that Adobe is falling back into a pre-CC release pattern?

Yes and no. In a somewhat unfortunate post on his blog, Mr. Kopriva furthered this impression with a few ominous comments regarding plug-ins, their compatibility and API lifecycle considerations. Still, they are as relevant as my hubub above, so yes, there will be a new major version every year. At the same time of course there will still be the inbetween releases. From the install and other issues burning like wildfire it is already clear that a bugfix update to address these issues should not be too far away and then of course, with NAB in spring, SIGGRAPH in late summer and IBC in September being fixed dates on the annual calendar, we can look forward to at least one more release this year.

What will the autumn update bring?

Ah, speculation time, is it? While I don’t know all the details, of course there is a pattern, so let’s connect the dots and place our bets.

  • There have been no enhancements to the 3D stuff, meaning a new Cineware is ripe for this release. No doubt it will finally feature OpenGL interaction and since it will most definitely be based on Cinema 4D R16, more goodies shall be in store (see below).
  • There have been equally no enhancements to 3D in Photoshop and since Maxon already have a 3D plug-in for this the pertinent assumption is that we will see Cineware there as well.
  • With those pieces in place, we may see the resurrection of integration workflows similar to the former Live Photoshop 3D. Most likely you will be able to edit a C4D file directly in both programs and use this as the go-between.

Sounds interesting? Definitely. Not only would it put a nail in the coffin on Adobe‘s really, really bad attempts at getting their own 3D stuff going, but it also solves many feature request such as being able to adjust texture coordinates in Photoshop or change the pivot point. Could actually add a whole new dimension (no pun intended) to these workflows.

What’s up with Cinema 4D R16 then?

As far as feature predictions go, this goes hand in hand with the previous stuff.

  • Bodypaint will probably be put to rest or reworked and instead a dynamic bridge put in place to connect to Photoshop.
  • Inevitably for proper texturing work a fundamental overhaul of UV texturing tools is necessary. Let’s not kid ourselves – the program is far from competitive in this area and even most Cinema 4D users use other tools for texturing.
  • Further cross-application features could include some use of the sculpting stuff.
  • For all this to make sense, the renderer will have to receive a performance boost and get some form of GPU-acceleration by ways of OpenCL. This would also at long last bring decent interactive render previews for tweaking materials and lights.

Could there be more? Could this all be nonsense? I guess we’ll have to see, so take this for what it is – some possible scenario based on keen observations…

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