CG Record has been a Media parner for End User Event and today Joep van der Steen will talks with one of EUE 2013 Speaker: David Baker Hi...
CG Record has been a Media parner for End User Event and today Joep van der Steen will talks with one of EUE 2013 Speaker: David Baker
Hi CG Record Readers My name is Joep van der Steen and I’m 52. I live in the Netherlands in a small town, where it is nice and quiet even in an overcrowded country as the Netherlands is. I have been working in the environment of computer Graphics after my education, which had nothing to do with this line of work as I was trained as a civil engineer. Like most people my age it just happened, like most of the things in my working life. I have never set out to have some kind of career, always preferred to do something I like instead of going for a job title and a big salary. After working as a freelancer for 10 years and travelling constantly all over Europe, I ended up in the Media & Entertainment product and the people that come along by doing so. I try to keep this as interesting as possible by constantly finding new challenges, like writing books and organizing things like the End User Event.
The End User Event is something special inside the world of 3D. The atmosphere is next to none, and the speakers I get in are among the best of the world. EUE is big enough as it has around 250 visitors. It is not supposed to make money and it's an event which you need to visit to be part of it. Doing any of the mentioned things, would just take down the whole thing. So as long as I'm organizing this, it will not change in these directions. The thing still amazes me after all the events I have done so far, is EUE is so highly rated. As I still don't realize that it is as special as people try to make it out to be. For me it still is something so obvious and related to the way I like to see events take place. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to be mentioned in one sentence with massive events like Autodesk University and Siggraph, but it is still crazy to be honest ! (but nice of course)
and today on behalf of EUE and CG Record, I have conducted an interesting interview with David Baker (Who will be EUE 2013 Speaker) about his work and his well-known website: www.maxplugins.de
When did you get started with www.maxplugins.de?
It originally started out in 1999 as a collection of links for me and a few guys I shared an office with at the time. In 2000, not long after Max 3 came out, I decided to make a website out of the link collection that kept people up-to-date on new plugins and where to get them.
Why did you do it?
In the early days of Max, it was incredibly exciting to see how many people started writing plugins and giving them away. I was always on the lookout for new plugins to try out, so I thought it would be a good idea to just put all of the things I found on a news site for everyone to read about.
How does it work (as in how do you work with the original writers of the plugin)?
Originally the site was just a news and link collection, but when Max 9 came out I started contacting programmers who had written plugins for Max but had stopped updating them. Some of them gave me the source code to their plugins, and I started recompiling them for the latest version of Max. I also got most of them converted to 64-bit, and did some bug-fixing as well. Since then I've never stopped trying to get hold of old code, and at the last count I'm keeping about 180 plugins alive and up-to-date.
How much time does it take you over a year?
It's hard to put a figure on it. I suppose posting news and updating the database takes up a few hours every week, and recompiling the plugins for a new Max release can take anything from a week of spare time up to a few months of weekends and evenings, depending on how much has changed in the SDK. The change to Unicode in Max 2013, for example, meant that the updating and recompiling took much longer than usual. I'm still not finished with the 2013 plugins, and it was released a year ago!
Do you get paid for it ?
No I don't.
Noticed there is no advertising on the site, is there a reason for this?
When I started the site I really hated visiting other sites with bling-bling adverts all over the place, so I decided that I wouldn't put ads on my own site. Maybe that was a mistake, I missed a chance to earn some money off the site, but I don't regret it, and I still don't have ads to this day.
Noticed there is a donate button, but does this work?
I have received some donations in the 6 years that it has been there, but it's only been clicked around 30 times, and most of the people that donate have done so more than once. So in real terms there are something like 20 people around the world that have actually done something to help keep the site going.
Any plans with Maxplugins.de for the near future?
I've always got a list of things I intend to do to the site to update it a bit, but between doing my actual job and updating all of the plugins, I never seem to get around to changing the site... Maybe one day the site will get a facelift and some new functionality, but I can't say when that will be.
Anything you would like to tell our readers, no matter what?
If anyone out there has old code for plugins lying around, or if you are in contact with someone that used to write plugins, let me know! I really am interested in bringing old dead plugins back to life and keeping them alive. Plus I will doing a presentation at EUE (www.enduserevent,com) which is one of the best CG (3ds Max) gatherings I know and I highly recommend you to come over as well. If you do, don’t forget to let me know you are there and say hi to me !
David Baker has been working as an animator since 1991. He is also a trained (analog) video editor. The majority of my projects are to do with TV advertising and industrial / image films, as well as commercial MAXScripting. I also do a fair bit of work with Macromedia Director, mainly programming. Other skills include compositing (After Effects).
More CG Record Interview