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MachStudio Pro 2 made available as free download

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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StudioGPU has made its $3,999 GPU-accelerated render engine MachStudio Pro 2 available for free.

MachStudio Pro received good reviews in a range of industry publications, and has been used at both Zoic Studios and on upcoming French animated feature Cinderella 3D.

According to the StudioGPU website, the download is the full version of the software. There is no mention of licence restrictions, and in fact, the site doesn’t even ask users to register their personal details.

A sense of déjà vu?
Readers who have followed the GPU rendering market for a few years may recall that this is the same trajectory followed by Nvidia’s ill-fated Gelato Pro. Initially sold for $1,500, the software was made available for free in 2008, when Nvidia ended active development.

Unlike Nvidia, StudioGPU has not announced that it is discontinuing development of the product.

According to a discreet pop-up on the download page: “We firmly believe that MachStudio Pro is a revolutionary piece of software that will completely transform the way that you work in 3D by saving you both time and money. Based on our confidence in this notion, we think we can create a viable business model from generating revenue from Support, Training and Consulting Services. Please help us change the 3D production world for the better. Take a spin on MachStudio Pro today. You won’t be sorry.”

As yet, we don’t know what those support services might consist of: at time of writing, the StudioGPU website does not advertise a commercial training or maintenance programme. We’ll update when we have more information on this, or on what happens to anyone who purchased MachStudio Pro 2 at full price.

But for anyone not already using the software: that’s a hell of a lot of renderer to get for free.

Updated 31 May: We spoke to StudioGPU VP of marketing Andrew Baum, who told us that the decision had been made to offer MachStudio Pro 2 for free before any sales had been made.

“We never offered MachStudio Pro 2 for sale,” he said. “We decided to make the long overdue release of the product available free right out of the gate.”

The company is now offering per-incident support for the software, among other technical services, with prices starting at $150.

Asked whether, given the product’s unusual business model, users can be guaranteed that the software will be supported for the duration of a commercial production, Baum commented:

“Just like pretty much any software available in the world today, there is never a guarantee of this nature. Especially when it is provided free of charge.”

Updated 18 October: as far as we can see, StudioGPU has now closed. The company’s website has been offline for over two weeks. However, you can still download MachStudio Pro 2 from CNET.

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  • Tom

    This programs has some severe limitations for photorealism but is very fast for animation frame rendering if you are not bothered too much by realism of surfaces or substances like glass. It can simulate architectural materials fairly well, but no better than most game engines doing realtime rendering. It is a great tool for previz, I think. For fast, iterative animation re-rendering. Still, I’ve seen recent products taking over its territory, like TwinMotion.

  • Dreamcube017

    Hm, something tells me they jumped off the money train a bit too soon. .. .just maybe. On looking in the forums, there are very few plugins compatible with MSP2 and no one seems to want to pay for development of new plugins… although you’d think maybe the other 3D companies (Maxon, Newtek, etc) would want to. I’m all for it being free, but something tells me things aren’t going so hot… especially since there are other products out now that do the same thing and more. (In honor of the article favoring StudioGPU, I won’t mention the names,but I’m sure you’ll find them if you look around….What? … a ball wth hair on it?)*nudge nudge*

  • Dreamcube017

    One other thing that could’ve possibly hurt is that the program is in favor of ATI graphics cards… ATI is ok, but many people use NVIDIA cards, so that would’ve been a better choice. Also you need a GPU that fully supports DX11, so that cuts out another section of people that don’t yet own these cards. … and even if you do have an nVidia DX11 card, you still can’t use some of the MSP2 features… where in every other program, if you don’t have an nVidia card, you can use everything (aside from CUDA and PhysX… and that can be run by the CPU) So it seems that the softwrae requires a lot of setup in order to use. Right now as I can see, one of the only things it’s got going for it is that it’s free. I’m not trying to down or knock MSP2. I remember when MSP was first announced and I’m still keeping my eye on it. I just feel that if things were different, the program could’ve done a little better.

  • Nic Knowland

    Seems like they’ve closed up shop. And I just got a new computer to try it out.. got the download and got it working but not got all the tutorials and extras for importing from softimage etc.. Shame it looks quite good up to a point. If any one who knows anyone who has it working and has the tuorials etc would love to hear from them..
    Best wishes all.. Nic

  • Mark Bryan

    i need to studdy this program and to knough how to make something of my life using pro2 can you lel me have it markvoltagerat at yahoo.com thank you all god bless

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