"Get Cartoon Animator 4 WITH FACIAL MOCAP NOW! -----NO NOT REALLY----- NOT INCLUDED WITH PIPELINE!!!!


https://forum.reallusion.com/Topic411519.aspx
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By Peter (RL) - 6 Months Ago
Jerome V (5/13/2019)


I remember that I bought a Kinect v2 (at the time, an expensive PC version of the MS mocap device) to use exclusively with CTA2, because Reallusion had promised mocap in CTA via Kinect v2. It turned out to be a feature reserved for iClone only, and the promise of Kinect v2 support in a free update was broken without any announcement prior to the introduction and launch of CTA, although it was clear that they had already decided to drop direct Kinect 2-support in CTA by that time, and that they would move Kinect v2 support to a seperate (expensive) plugin compatible with a future version of CTA (i.e. CTA3). They did not want to admit that they had already dropped direct/native Kinect v2 mocap in CTA until I had complained about it in the forum. I was extremely disappointed by this, and to add insult to injury, the response I got from Reallusion in the forum (after I had not even received a reply from their customer service) was inconsiderate and unprofessional. I was told that I should have researched their product better before buying dedicated hardware along with their new (buggy) product, despite the fact that the only available official info on mocap was their promise that the feature would be added in a (free) update (which was already abandoned without informing potential customers). It felt as an insult that they simply refused to admit that they had made a promise to their customers and that they had failed to deliver, and had failed to warn their customers in time. Apparently, that was Reallusion's preferred way to treat their most loyal customers, rather than just apologize to them, admit failure, and improve transparency, communication, and customer service.


Thank you for the feedback. This will be passed for internal review.

Regarding the Kinect issue, we did indeed have plans for Kinect mocap as this offered a low-cost solution for motion capture. However, it quickly became apparent that Microsoft was losing interest in Kinect and this left a lot of developers in limbo. Then after a short period of uncertainty, Microsoft chose to cease production of the Kinect which made it impossible for us to continue future development. Obviously, there is no point in continuing development of a mocap system when no one can purchase the hardware required.

It is for this reason that the development team looked at alternative low-cost mocap solutions for CTA and decided to develop the Face3D system which now allows mocap using almost any webcam. 
By Peter (RL) - 6 Months Ago
There's a lot more to it than just making people pay extra for profit. You can find our full explanation about the changes HERE. Hopefully, this will make the reasons clearer.
By Peter (RL) - 6 Months Ago
Jerome V (5/15/2019)
Thanks a lot for your reply, Peter.

Your explanation makes sense. Maybe the Sales department could hire you, because a lot of negative feedback can easily be avoided by honest & prompt communication and you seem to understand that.
Just to be sure, I assume it will still be possible to use the iClone Kinect mocap plug-in in iClone, and then import the iMotion file in Cartoon Animator 4, right?

By the way, I have decided to test the trial of Cartoon Animator 4 to see if it fits my needs, after all, I still have two weeks to make a decision before the 'early bird' offer expires.


Hi Jerome

Thanks for the kind words. You can certainly continue to use the Kinect Mocap Device Plugin with iClone and transfer recorded motions to CTA4 as you did before. As was the case with CTA3 you can only apply these motions to G2 characters but G2 characters are still fully supported in CTA4.
By Peter (RL) - 6 Months Ago
cjab81 (5/29/2019)
I'm really frustrated by this as well.  The promotional email last year stated:

"To celebrate this awesome news, if you purchase CrazyTalk Animator 3 PRO or Pipeline bundle, then you will get a FREE upgrade to Cartoon Animator 4, with 2 bonuses! "
...
"Cartoon Animator 4 is going to bring you the evolution in 2D animation with precise motion editing, 360 degree head turn, webcam facial mocap and more."

No mention that the Mocap would be an additional cost. 

So I paid the $199 price for CTA3 Pipeline and waited for v4 to release.  Now I find that I have to pay another $99 to get the Mocap feature, making the total price paid $298.  I may not have made the purchase had I known the full price.

And had I *not* made the purchase, I could today have bought the CA4 + Mocap bundle for $269, saving myself $30.

(I am aware that I also got CTA3 for my $199 BUT I made the purchase as a pre-order of CA4, did not use CTA3 while waiting for v4 to come out, and can't imagine I'll have a need to use CTA3 in future.  First and last time I will make this mistake of pre-ordering!)


We are sorry to hear you feel disappointed. If you have any concerns about your purchase, please feel free to contact Custom Support using the link below. They will do their best to try and help you.

https://www.reallusion.com/CustomerSupport/UserEx/QForm.html
By NoKat - 6 Months Ago
I can kind of understand the mocap being a separate purchase to keep the cost of the pipeline version lower. I chose to not buy the bundle because I don't currently need the mocap, and I can always purchase it later if I need it. I of course think it is overpriced, because I bought FaceRig several years ago for I think $12, and it works great with a webcam. I like Cartoon Animator for other reasons, and the IK was the deciding factor for me to update.
By connectionsthatwork - 6 Months Ago
While the CTA Pipeline product is great, what isn't is your sales and marketing communication team. I NEVER know which product needs what other product or content to make it work.
For CTA3, I went and bought an iPhone for the first time ever just to use the Facial Mocap. Now through Fuzzy sales communication I ended up trying to upgrade to the "mysterious" right CTA4 and now I do not have the Facial Mocap. Even your communication in the forum to rectify this, doesn't give me confidence I'll not end up paying a bunch. 
This company needs to get a Sales/Marketing team who can clearly communicate these details. 
By Jerome V - 6 Months Ago
I agree with everything you've said in your post. I have invested thousands of Euros in Reallusion software (Pipeline versions for all products, plugins, additional content, etcetera) in the past decade, and I never felt that I had been properly informed prior to receiving 'early bird' offers. Sadly, the same goes for Cartoon Animator 4. If the 2D mocap plugin had been included, I would have bought it immediately; it would have been a no-brainer. I will probably subscribe to Adobe's animator instead, just to have the reassurance that I can use all options of the program without any hidden costs apart from the subscription fee.

I remember that I bought a Kinect v2 (at the time, an expensive PC version of the MS mocap device) to use exclusively with CTA2, because Reallusion had promised mocap in CTA via Kinect v2. It turned out to be a feature reserved for iClone only, and the promise of Kinect v2 support in a free update was broken without any announcement prior to the introduction and launch of CTA, although it was clear that they had already decided to drop direct Kinect 2-support in CTA by that time, and that they would move Kinect v2 support to a seperate (expensive) plugin compatible with a future version of CTA (i.e. CTA3). They did not want to admit that they had already dropped direct/native Kinect v2 mocap in CTA until I had complained about it in the forum. I was extremely disappointed by this, and to add insult to injury, the response I got from Reallusion in the forum (after I had not even received a reply from their customer service) was inconsiderate and unprofessional. I was told that I should have researched their product better before buying dedicated hardware along with their new (buggy) product, despite the fact that the only available official info on mocap was their promise that the feature would be added in a (free) update (which was already abandoned without informing potential customers). It felt as an insult that they simply refused to admit that they had made a promise to their customers and that they had failed to deliver, and had failed to warn their customers in time. Apparently, that was Reallusion's preferred way to treat their most loyal customers, rather than just apologize to them, admit failure, and improve transparency, communication, and customer service.

Despite Reallusion's arrogance at the time, I kept buying new versions of iClone, CTA, as well as expensive plugins, until I recently decided that I had enough of it. Although the new Cartoon Animator looks very promising in the showcase videos, a quick look in this forum tells me that it is business-as-usual, which for Reallusion means: premature release of an unfinished product, incomplete and inadequate product information that is partly just a reprint/rehash of documentation of earlier editions, hidden costs like the expensive 2D mocap, 3Dxchange, and several other essential plugins, inconsistent naming of the products and components which makes it really confusing to browse Reallusion's website, vague GPU & DirectX requirements that may result in inexplicable performance issues and crashes (which means that every loyal 'early bird' customer is in fact nothing more than a Beta-tester who has to pay money for helping out Reallusion's QA-department), incomprehensible system of additional content packages and seperate templates for Photoshop etcetera, fancy looking demos that showcase the main product by using very expensive unspecified additional content that for some reason is not included in the product despite being labeled/titled "Essential" or something similar, incomplete product descriptions like with Crazy Talk 8, which failed to warn the customer that the included hairstyles are limited to just a set of ridiculous wigs and a few messy standard hair models that look really awful (in other words, if you don't buy additional hair content and clothes, you will end up with a bald animated head on top of a nude torso, because you obviously don't want your model to look like a clown or Mr.Bean), I could go on, but I guess you are getting the point.

Don't get me wrong, most people working at Reallusion are talented, hard-working people with a creative mind and the best intentions, but the Sales and/or Marketing department (or whatever department is deciding what business models are being used) is just awful and in my view ruining Reallusion's reputation. They don't seem to care that the optics of their policies are so bad, that many customers now secretly think that Reallusion's management is greedy and insincere when it comes to the sale & marketing of their products. I'm sure many customers would rather pay more for a complete, honest product (including all add-ons, plugins, templates, modules, and more usable basic content) than pay less for a product that only after purchase turns out to be incomplete.

To be fair, if Reallusion would offer a free alternative for the 2D mocap plugin of Cartoon Animator 4 (for instance, a simple import option for prerecorded videos with facial expression & text) before my 'early bird' Premier Plus Membership discount expires, I might consider buying Cartoon Animator 4 after all, but I would still feel very suspicious and also stressed-out, in fear of discovering a crucial omission or flaw in the product that requires yet another purchase of some ad hoc plugin just to fix the flaw that shouldn't have been in there in the first place. I'll wait two more weeks to see if there is going to be a free mocap alternative and/or video import function, but if that's not going to be added, I will switch to Adobe and never look back.
By scribbley3rd - 6 Months Ago
Having experience working in the software publishing industry for many years I too find the whole launch and marketing of CTA 4 baffling.  I get that you have to keep releasing updates and you have to charge an upgrade fee to cover the costs.   I will always debate 75 percent of the release price (sometimes less than a year) for customers who are supportive of you.  This was one of the things that never sat well with me.   I don't think I ever saw mention of Mocap being a separate purchase and I totally understand why customers feel this was misleading.  In my opinion it was and perhaps an after thought by the sales team nearing release. 

I get that you want to add options for customers who want different things but.... You marketed the motion capture within an inch of its life and I would think nearly all customers expected it to be part of the Pipeline purchase.  This is troubling for the future... will you charge 75 percent for CTA 5 and then 75 percent for the plugin for CTA5.  

My biggest gripes are more that I don't believe the product was ready for release.  So many issues for many with the mo cap feature and other issues.   I've had lots of crashes where as CTA 3 was rock solid for me.  The icon is the same and the documentation seems to think it's CTA 3 not a whole new product.  Reallusion have also realised that all this has been handled incredibly poorly with statements etc.  I didn't feel this way with CTA 3 and CTA 2.  So what's gone wrong?   

I'm just hopeful that the software can be improved and bugs fixed.  We deserve a true CTA 4. Smile There is so much to like about CTA4 and you've done a great job evolving the software and I know you'll sort things out and soon Smile 
By Peter (RL) - 6 Months Ago
scribbley3rd (5/9/2019)


My biggest gripes are more that I don't believe the product was ready for release.  So many issues for many with the mo cap feature and other issues.   I've had lots of crashes where as CTA 3 was rock solid for me.  The icon is the same and the documentation seems to think it's CTA 3 not a whole new product.  Reallusion have also realised that all this has been handled incredibly poorly with statements etc.  I didn't feel this way with CTA 3 and CTA 2.  So what's gone wrong?   


If you are having technical issues please contact Technical Support using the link below. The issues you are experiencing are not normal and certainly not affecting the majority of users so this needs further investigation. 

https://www.reallusion.com/CustomerSupport/UserEx/QForm.html
By scribbley3rd - 6 Months Ago
Jerome V (5/13/2019)
I agree with everything you've said in your post. I have invested thousands of Euros in Reallusion software (Pipeline versions for all products, plugins, additional content, etcetera) in the past decade, and I never felt that I had been properly informed prior to receiving 'early bird' offers. Sadly, the same goes for Cartoon Animator 4. If the 2D mocap plugin had been included, I would have bought it immediately; it would have been a no-brainer. I will probably subscribe to Adobe's animator instead, just to have the reassurance that I can use all options of the program without any hidden costs apart from the subscription fee.

I remember that I bought a Kinect v2 (at the time, an expensive PC version of the MS mocap device) to use exclusively with CTA2, because Reallusion had promised mocap in CTA via Kinect v2. It turned out to be a feature reserved for iClone only, and the promise of Kinect v2 support in a free update was broken without any announcement prior to the introduction and launch of CTA, although it was clear that they had already decided to drop direct Kinect 2-support in CTA by that time, and that they would move Kinect v2 support to a seperate (expensive) plugin compatible with a future version of CTA (i.e. CTA3). They did not want to admit that they had already dropped direct/native Kinect v2 mocap in CTA until I had complained about it in the forum. I was extremely disappointed by this, and to add insult to injury, the response I got from Reallusion in the forum (after I had not even received a reply from their customer service) was inconsiderate and unprofessional. I was told that I should have researched their product better before buying dedicated hardware along with their new (buggy) product, despite the fact that the only available official info on mocap was their promise that the feature would be added in a (free) update (which was already abandoned without informing potential customers). It felt as an insult that they simply refused to admit that they had made a promise to their customers and that they had failed to deliver, and had failed to warn their customers in time. Apparently, that was Reallusion's preferred way to treat their most loyal customers, rather than just apologize to them, admit failure, and improve transparency, communication, and customer service.

Despite Reallusion's arrogance at the time, I kept buying new versions of iClone, CTA, as well as expensive plugins, until I recently decided that I had enough of it. Although the new Cartoon Animator looks very promising in the showcase videos, a quick look in this forum tells me that it is business-as-usual, which for Reallusion means: premature release of an unfinished product, incomplete and inadequate product information that is partly just a reprint/rehash of documentation of earlier editions, hidden costs like the expensive 2D mocap, 3Dxchange, and several other essential plugins, inconsistent naming of the products and components which makes it really confusing to browse Reallusion's website, vague GPU & DirectX requirements that may result in inexplicable performance issues and crashes (which means that every loyal 'early bird' customer is in fact nothing more than a Beta-tester who has to pay money for helping out Reallusion's QA-department), incomprehensible system of additional content packages and seperate templates for Photoshop etcetera, fancy looking demos that showcase the main product by using very expensive unspecified additional content that for some reason is not included in the product despite being labeled/titled "Essential" or something similar, incomplete product descriptions like with Crazy Talk 8, which failed to warn the customer that the included hairstyles are limited to just a set of ridiculous wigs and a few messy standard hair models that look really awful (in other words, if you don't buy additional hair content and clothes, you will end up with a bald animated head on top of a nude torso, because you obviously don't want your model to look like a clown or Mr.Bean), I could go on, but I guess you are getting the point.

Don't get me wrong, most people working at Reallusion are talented, hard-working people with a creative mind and the best intentions, but the Sales and/or Marketing department (or whatever department is deciding what business models are being used) is just awful and in my view ruining Reallusion's reputation. They don't seem to care that the optics of their policies are so bad, that many customers now secretly think that Reallusion's management is greedy and insincere when it comes to the sale & marketing of their products. I'm sure many customers would rather pay more for a complete, honest product (including all add-ons, plugins, templates, modules, and more usable basic content) than pay less for a product that only after purchase turns out to be incomplete.

To be fair, if Reallusion would offer a free alternative for the 2D mocap plugin of Cartoon Animator 4 (for instance, a simple import option for prerecorded videos with facial expression & text) before my 'early bird' Premier Plus Membership discount expires, I might consider buying Cartoon Animator 4 after all, but I would still feel very suspicious and also stressed-out, in fear of discovering a crucial omission or flaw in the product that requires yet another purchase of some ad hoc plugin just to fix the flaw that shouldn't have been in there in the first place. I'll wait two more weeks to see if there is going to be a free mocap alternative and/or video import function, but if that's not going to be added, I will switch to Adobe and never look back.


I agree with you 100 percent.  I've submitted a technical support ticket as V4 is just unusable for me at the moment.  I got crashes rigging bones, crashes with live 2D and crashes with puppeteering.  I'd think my computer was on the way out but V3 is stable as is all my other software.  Is anyone else having issues with V4 on mac?   

I wish Reallusion just gave us a license key and allowed us to run on Mac and PC so we can test performance etc not this one platform per purchase nonsense.  Oh and I went to check for updates and again another reference to crazy talk animator.   I still stick by my comments that this product wasn't ready and was rushed out.  Paying nearly the entire price again you expect a polished and fully updated product not this.  I agree that we feel like beta testers and the product is CTA 3.5 not 4.  I also agree that there are hard working developers who really want to push the product forward technically and are passionate about innovation but they're being let down by the sales and marketing team.  Let's not kid ourselves...  9 times out of 10 it's sales who dream these things up. BigGrin 
By ms12 - 6 Months Ago
As a FREQUENT upgrader to the newest version of CTAPro-CT3 and now Cartoon Animator. I am at a loss as to why Reallusion has chosen to make the newest center piece of the cartoon Animator namely the Motion Live and Face 3D features an Add-on for profit? Especially for PIPELINE purchasers. During the WIP's  it has been all about how much better and more cartoon like the finished product will be, but for EXTRA you can do EVEN more! I guess I did not get the memo about the PIPELINE feature set being hamstrung unless you get ALL of the SOFTWARE. Isn't PIPELINE suppose to be ALL of the feature set?

Back in December when I purchased CTA 3 AGAIN (VERY ODD UPGRADE PATH) to buy something you already have purchased, and as a BONUS received Cartoon Animator. Little did I know if I wanted the FULL functionality of the the CA feature set I would have to keep buying more stuff. PIPELINE should be all inclusive since it is the highest price option.

Sorry for rant guys. This just feels like  bait and switch. I can't be the only user that feels this way.
By ms12 - 6 Months Ago
Peter,

Thank you for the reply. By the looks of the link you provided it doesn’t look like there are very many happy people there as well. Not sure if the new rollout of CA, it’s functionality, new plug in architecture, capabilities etc was clear enough during the presage last year. As to cost I believe I as well as others upgraded from previous versions thereby paying a reduced rate for upgrade instead new out of the box price that new buyers are paying. Why not offer pipeline with ALL of the features and plugins then two other levels of software ownership as before. The whole we are lowering the price but are charging for a lesser product is really what the pipeline users are getting.

I’m sorry I’m sounding repetitive, but I Don’t think you are doing your installed base as well as those you might be trying to get to adopt CA any favors with this business model.
By Jerome V - 6 Months Ago
Thanks a lot for your reply, Peter.

Your explanation makes sense. Maybe the Sales department could hire you, because a lot of negative feedback can easily be avoided by honest & prompt communication and you seem to understand that.
Just to be sure, I assume it will still be possible to use the iClone Kinect mocap plug-in in iClone, and then import the iMotion file in Cartoon Animator 4, right?

By the way, I have decided to test the trial of Cartoon Animator 4 to see if it fits my needs, after all, I still have two weeks to make a decision before the 'early bird' offer expires.
By cjab81 - 6 Months Ago
I'm really frustrated by this as well.  The promotional email last year stated:

"To celebrate this awesome news, if you purchase CrazyTalk Animator 3 PRO or Pipeline bundle, then you will get a FREE upgrade to Cartoon Animator 4, with 2 bonuses! "
...
"Cartoon Animator 4 is going to bring you the evolution in 2D animation with precise motion editing, 360 degree head turn, webcam facial mocap and more."

No mention that the Mocap would be an additional cost. 

So I paid the $199 price for CTA3 Pipeline and waited for v4 to release.  Now I find that I have to pay another $99 to get the Mocap feature, making the total price paid $298.  I may not have made the purchase had I known the full price.

And had I *not* made the purchase, I could today have bought the CA4 + Mocap bundle for $269, saving myself $30.

(I am aware that I also got CTA3 for my $199 BUT I made the purchase as a pre-order of CA4, did not use CTA3 while waiting for v4 to come out, and can't imagine I'll have a need to use CTA3 in future.  First and last time I will make this mistake of pre-ordering!)
By Jerome V - 6 Months Ago
Good to know my Kinect controller will be useful in Cartoon Animator 4 after all. Thanks!