What’s going on with HyperShot?

Published 08 January 2010

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rendering, visualisation, bunkspeed, hypershot, luxion, visualise, technology licensing, industry shennanigans

Here’s an intriguing situation developing in the rendering and visualisation world. Bunkspeed broke into the rendering world in a storm, providing an easy to use tool that provided instant feedback on your work and enabled the create of stunning imagery in seconds. I’m a fan and you’re probably a fan too.
What most people probably don’t realise, unless you notice the little tag on the splash screen as it starts, is that HyperShot and the underlying technology is licensed from an organisation called Luxion. This is the tech that makes all that real-time ray tracing possible. The technology is the brain child of one Dr. Henrik Wann Jensen - rendering genius and Academy Award winner. Henrik was also the Chief Scientist at Bunkspeed. The key this to reread is one word: was.

I got wind of a change at the tail end of last year as there were rumblings from all manner of places about all not being well at Bunkspeed and the reasons have now become clear. Essentially, Bunkspeed don’t have the license for the ray tracing components that HyperShot is based on. Meaning they can’t sell it anymore. Effective as of the end of December 2009. What’s more, the HyperShot product is now in the hands of Luxion who will continue to develop and sell it. Who is a cofounder of Luxion? Of course, Henrick Wann Jensen. All very confusing indeed, so i contacted both parties to get official statements on the matter. First up, Bunkspeed:

A key piece of licensed technology is no longer available to us as of January 1st.  This means we are unable to offer HyperShot for sale any more.
We are working on some very cool new product that we will have a major announcement about soon that will put further speculation to rest.  You will be the first to hear!

Philip Lunn, CEO, Bunkspeed

Lunn also cleared up two of the most immediate questions. For those on maintenance and support, they “will be provided with our new generation product that is expected in a few months.” Also, if you’re working on current, long term projects, that data within the existing products will be fully transportable to the next generation products.

Now. What about Luxion. I got a rapid response from Dr. Henrik on the subject, which intrigued me greatly. he has this to say:

Here is the summary. HyperShot will remain available. The situation is as follows. Luxion ApS is a separate company. We are the exclusive developer of HyperShot. It is based on our comprehensive set of rendering libraries that we have developed over a period of more than 10 years. HyperShot was sold by Bunkspeed under a license agreement until last year. We ended the license agreement, since Bunkspeed did not pay us the license fees, that we had agreed to, for more than a year. Instead, Luxion will market and sell the HyperShot software.  We expect to make a release shortly.
Cheers,

Henrik Wann Jensen
Chief Scientist and Cofounder
Luxion ApS

There you go. An interesting thing. Luxion has the product and seemingly, the name. Bunkspeed has the customers. Let’s see who wins. I do wonder what HyperShot users make of this. It has something rather special about it, but that specialness is something quite intangible. There are similar technologies (from Luxology and ART-VPS) and it wouldn’t take a great deal to replicate it. Interesting times indeed. And this is the first week of 2010.

 

Comments:

That's really unfortunate news! It was quite a nice program.

Posted by concerned on 08 January 2010 at 05:56 PM

SpaceClaim sells HyperShot as an extension to our line of direct modelers. HyperShot is a great product, and we look forward to its further development as we continue to sell and support it. Blake Courter Co-founder, SpaceClaim

Posted by Blake Courter on 08 January 2010 at 11:30 PM

WTF? What a nerve that they don't pay their bills yet Hypershot products are sold at a premium. Al I've used Hypershot since v1.1 and am a big fan. I'm just very glad now I stayed at the HD level and not the pro level "with maintenance". Maintenance on what exactly? If it means that Hypershot settles into a single product option now (like Maxwell) and sells for a reasonable price (like maxwell) and continues to support a plug in architecture (like Maxwell). I'll switch to Luxion. Then again we'll see what Bunkspeed brings. On the other hand this is swaying me even more towards Modo....

Posted by Kevin Quigley on 09 January 2010 at 01:31 AM

That explains the delay of HyperShot 10, that I paid good money, ahead of time in October, for an upgrade. This does not sound good and I expect that I have a sizable investment of money lost to this situation. I hope that Luxion makes it right for those of us who just got #%@*&^!. Anna Wood http://www.solidmuse.com

Posted by Anna Wood on 09 January 2010 at 06:24 AM

Regarding "What's going on with HyperShot" I can also assure you that there are two sides to every story. We are taking the high road and prefer not to air dirty laundry in public. I do want to set the record straight as to the development of HyperShot. HyperShot was in fact conceived, entirely by Bunkspeed and was a follow on to our very successful and innovative UDRIVE product. UDRIVE was introduced back in 2003 and was the first simple, fast and accurate rendering that could be learned in minutes and produce stunning results. When we began working with Henrik Jensen, we were looking to improve the render quality, by adding ray tracing. We had maxed out the potential of GPU rendering at the time and Henrik, a university associate professor, had some interesting technology for ray tracing that we licensed. HyperShot actually began inside of UDRIVE where we launched a scene into real time ray tracing, a first in the industry. A natural progression from that was to make the real time ray-tracing element of UDRIVE a separate product. So we got our heads together and came up with HyperShot. In June 2007, Bunkspeed file the HyperShot trademark in the US Trademark office http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4002:kqatpq.2.1, and in November 2007 we jointly filed with Henrik Jenson, Bunkspeed's chief scientist at the time, provision patent number 20090046099 proving joint invention of HyperShot assigned to Bunkspeed http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090046099, the inventor. Henrik coded it. In 2009, we introduced what was to by HyperShot 2010. For any of you who got to see this, HyperShot 2010, interface and workflow was entirely designed, and developed, and coded by Bunkspeed's passionate development team, using Henrik's engine underneath. Just as happened back in 2005 when we implemented CPU based ray tracing because GPU rendering was maxed, we are at a new point in technology innovation. Very soon we will be introducing Bunkspeed's new generation of software that will be poised to take advantage of the coming incredible new generation of hardware. "RIP HyperShot". We are dedicated to taking care of our loyal customers who have supported us and our technology over the years. Every single owner of HyperShot will get our new generation of software to be announced soon, absolutely free. Any of you who pre-paid for upgrade to what was to be HyperShot 2010, will get our new product and also will have a choice of getting our innovative animation tool HyperMove or a full refund. Any customers who purchased our HyperShot Pro and purchased maintenance, we will extend the maintenance contract for additional year no charge. From conception, Bunkspeed's ethos has been to take complex technology and make it usable by hiding that complexity and exposing the cool and useful elements. Bunkspeed's future looks good. Sincerely, Philip K. Lunn Bunkspeed Founder/CEO

Posted by Philip Lunn on 09 January 2010 at 02:49 PM

How fucking #%@*&^! ... bunkspeed must have know that they are going to loose the right to sell this product (not paying licensing cost for MORE THAN ONE YEAR) and yet they waited till the last second to tell their ... I am not going to buy anthing from such a cheating company again (good that hypershot was such a small investment)

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 09 January 2010 at 02:51 PM

Seems messy indeed. I, however, have been a big fan of Bunkspeed for years. It doesn't matter to me who they license bits of technology from as long as they continue to package it into tools that my my job easier. They have been known for innovation. Can't wait to see the next generation.

Posted by Big Fan on 09 January 2010 at 04:24 PM

Comparing Philips comments here and on the Hypershot foum I conclude that the new Bunkspeed product will be GPU based as opposed to CPU based (given that HyperMove is GPU based). I wonder then how this will affect Mac users - given that HyperMove is not a Mac product? Most of this "incredible new hardware" is also very expensive - one of the key benefits of Hypershot was CPU based rendering that enabled fast performance on relatively low end machines. Now it looks like we are reverting to GPU based solutions that demand top end hardware. Begs the question where is the difference now between the new Bunkspeed stuff and Showcase? Time will tell. If there is one thing in this saga it is a reminder that end users should not buy upgrades until the upgrade is a seen product. This issue is endemic in the software business. It is like me offering a product for sale and pre order that I have a prototype for but know is not yet tooled, not yet resolved and potentially conflicts the patents of another who is likely to sue me. How refreshing it will be to find a developer that actually launches a product and makes it available for sale the same day! We are all our own worst enemies though. How many of us pay for Autodesk University or SoldiWorks World or whatever knowing that the main reason is to see what we will be getting 6 or 12 months down the line - what we have already paid for via subs! Software companies bleat on about partnerships and customer loyalty but the fact is there is very little evidence of that in the industry. This is just another example as far as I am concerned....and the list is long.

Posted by Kevin Quigley on 09 January 2010 at 04:48 PM

I've been a user since ver 1.1 I'm not pleased by this news as it is apparent to me that the replacement program will be GPU based and require a substantial hardware upgrade to get real time renders. I hope I'm wrong. It's also apparent to me that Bunkspeed has shifted focus away from entry level programs that didn't require a corporate budget to purchase. For example, HS Web at $200 was quietly removed from the on-line store months ago. If newer graphics hardware will permit real time rendering, then other render programs can take advantage of that as well. That seems to negate a primary advantage HS had in the marketplace. It will be interesting to see the "next generation" HS product. Their web site says it will be "soon". Based on past announcements about upgrades, fixes, and features (such as a HS web site to share materials that never materialized), "soon" can mean one year to never. Again, I hope I'm wrong. Any additional money I'm planning to spend on render software will remain in my pocket until I see where it all plays out.

Posted by HyperUser on 10 January 2010 at 12:10 AM

HyperUser said: "It will be interesting to see the “next generation” HS product. Their web site says it will be “soon”. Based on past announcements about upgrades, fixes, and features (such as a HS web site to share materials that never materialized), “soon” can mean one year to never. Again, I hope I’m wrong." Well, if HyperShot was coded by this Henrik Jensen, and, as you say, fixes, features and upgrades were less than timely, perhaps Bunkspeed isn't the probem... The new interface looks awesome, and Bunkspeed claims this was done entirely in house. I wonder why they felt they had to do that? I think there's more to this story than meets the eye. Lets hope the end result is more great software.

Posted by AnotherHyperUser on 10 January 2010 at 03:36 AM

As a HyperShot user since the first version and a big fan of the product I think, I along with the other users have been treated pretty badly by Bunkspeed. If Bunkspeed knew they were to loose the right to sell HyperShot why not be upfront about it and announce the fact on their own website first rather than have it appear on someone else's site first? Instead, I received this email on the 18th of December (I'm sure others received it as well) http://www.bunkspeed.com/newsletter/newsletters/web-special-1209.html announcing price reductions on Hypershot and Hypershot upgrades, although apparently the offers expired at the end of December, gee I wonder why!! Why was Bunkspeed actively trying to get their existing customer base to upgrade to what was essentially a dead product? This seems a pretty shabby way to treat your customers and will damage the Bunkspeed brand in my opinion.

Posted by AnnoyedHyperuser on 10 January 2010 at 02:07 PM

Philip Lunn, CEO of Bunkspeed says in his post above 'HyperShot RIP'. Is this for real?? How insulting to the huge community of people who love that software and still run their business with it... oh yeh, and kept your business going for the last 3 years by buying it. Let's not forget how this software has transformed rendering for designers, there is still nothing better in my opinion for ease of use and high quality output. GPU renders still look cartoony from what I have seen so far. How can Bunkspeed's reputation remain in tact after this total shambles. Well done Develop3D on picking up on this and forcing Bunkspeed out of the woodwork. I wonder how long this would have taken otherwise. Not often you get scoop like this one Al. I think one lesson here is to buy software for what you can do with it now, not what you hope it may be able to do in future updates you are being seduced with. To this effect there will be a huge community of users who continue to use this software in it's 1.9 version and contiue making great images. 'Long live HyperShot!!!'

Posted by Incredulous on 10 January 2010 at 03:22 PM

Why did Bunkspeed continue to sell the product but not pay Henrik their mutually agreed license fee? This seems the fundamental issue. It explains the incremental product development and why the over-hyped HyperShot 2010, announced in September, had apparently only cosmetic UI improvements transfered from their other HyperMove/HyperDrive products. If Henrik was not being paid, why should he add more core features to the program? In the long run, it may speed up development two competing products. Both companies are clearly capable of producing ground breaking solutions. But it's a sad lesson for all those programmers with a dream to license their work and bring it to a wider audience. Interesting times indeed...

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 10 January 2010 at 03:31 PM

With the elusive HyperShot 10 being delayed time and time again and now with all of this surfacing, I am wondering what the real story here is. Did the development get delayed due to nonpayment or was nonpayment the case due to delayed development? Is this even true or just propaganda? I visited Luxion's site and it's not too impressive. Looks like a small operation. Also, it looks like (it's hard to tell) they may be developing for more than just Bunkspeed. Could this be the cause of the delay? Luxion also lists HyperShot as being theirs when Bunkspeed holds the trademark. How does this work? It looks to me that Bunkspeed was merely licensing a piece of code that helped to make HyperShot what it was and now that that relationship has gone south, HyperShot has too. What a shame as it truly was a great tool. With the talk of next generation software, will it still be HyperShot just with the newly replaced piece of code or will it be something entirely new? Whichever the case, I put my faith in Bunkspeed as an innovative company and have had nothing but a good experience till now. They've done it before, I think they'll do it again and produce something great.

Posted by Cautious Skeptic on 10 January 2010 at 06:11 PM

Henrik is quoted above as saying "...instead, Luxion will market and sell the HyperShot software. We expect to make a release shortly." HyperShot is therefore not dead. I guess it might have to be called something else but otherwise. Why think this software is no longer in development? Look to Henrik's other SIGGRAPH papers. http://graphics.ucsd.edu/~henrik/papers/ No shortage of very cool, proven cutting edge technology there... It will be interesting to see how all this develops for everyone.

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 10 January 2010 at 06:46 PM

Looks like both companies are claiming they own pieces of Hypershot. Even if one or both companies start to sell a derivative product, these types of conflicts usually result in lawsuits that go on for years. I wonder if Bunkspeed can survive financially while a major source of revenue is placed on hold during a legal fight? You can bet in the meantime they will attempt to push users onto upgrading to HyperMove. As for me, I render stills. If and when I need animation I'll farm that out.

Posted by HyperUser on 10 January 2010 at 07:00 PM

Philip Lunn starts out by claiming to not want to air dirty laundry in public, but continues to make his case and conveniently leaves out addressing the core of Henrik's claim - THAT HE WAS STIFFED, while Bunkspeed raked in the loot! So Philip, get off your high horse and address this claim from Henrik. Bunkspeed's survival depends on this. Scientists generate & license intellectual property with the same expectations that artists create art. If you already knew for some time that you were having these difficulties with Henrik, shouldnt you have, as a co-founder and CEO, made this public and stopped seeling the product, instead of being ferreted out by Al?

Posted by WTF on 11 January 2010 at 02:07 PM

Hi! Maybe it would be helpful for the present Hypershot customers to see another product that is currently being introduced: http://www.refractivesoftware.com/ ( the Octane render ) It is near completion and has similar technology as Hypershot 2010. As added feature it can render animation, too. The contra side of it is the ( eventuall ) current lack of features in comparison with other renders. As i am fairly new in that field, i can only say that the price is right for me. Hope that will make you at least a little more happy ( like me ) in the new year!

Posted by haste on 12 January 2010 at 05:41 AM

Hi all! very interesting discussion here but obsolete to my mind. I think that there is always more to a story than meets the eye at first site. In this case I would say that I cannot imagine Bunkspeed being so stupid as not to pay license fees for this product which has becone a central piece of their business. The will be something else behind all this and as in any "marriage" it always takes two to break up. In the end any competition will foster developement so all of us customers will - this way or the other - benefit.

Posted by Unemotional on 12 January 2010 at 05:34 PM

It looks like Octane Render is a complicated attempt at copying HyperShot. If HyperShot is not dead, Henrik is also quoted as saying that it has been in development for more than 10 years. Sounds outdated. Don't get me wrong, HyperShot was an awesome product ahead of the curve but all software technology has its day in the sun. Maybe it IS time for something new. Maybe Bunkspeed found something more up to date to replace the old HyperShot technology. Maybe I'm just hopeful. We shall see.

Posted by Hopeful on 12 January 2010 at 07:10 PM

I'm not fooled at all by what happened here. It's typical. A brainwashed college professor brought his work to an already successful organization to try and make money with it. WHen the product becomes very successful, he thinks it is "his doing" and not the hard work of everybody else (the work he couldnt have done in the first place). When the collision occurs, the brainwashed college professor knows that the corrupt legal system will provide him the tools to disrupt the business in a way that would have never been possible in the past. It has been the downfall of many organizations that didnt deserve it. All it means to the user base, is the next "release" will have a diffent name on the package, and that there will be a technologically antiquated duplicate that will sell a few until people realize there is more to a succesful operation that a bit of code. My money is on Hypershot.

Posted by not_fooled on 12 January 2010 at 08:35 PM

Regarding my last comment...Should have read: "My money is on BunkSpeed!" (Not Hypershot)

Posted by not_fooled on 12 January 2010 at 08:39 PM

@not_fooled You're wrong .. your money is at bunkspeed grin I wonder really about all this speculation what might be ... its dead simple .. just judge the facts ... and the communication behaviour of your business partner ... a software partner is not like the wife you have married ...

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 12 January 2010 at 09:45 PM

Henrik pulled his software because the license agreement with Bunkspeed was not being honoured. For whatever reason Bunkspeed did not pay for his work, and for 'more than a year', for whatever reason, Bunkspeed continued to generate revenue from it and bank the cash. How Bunkspeed come out of this looking good is beyond me. The majority of Bunkspeed's customers were pulled in on the strength of his cutting edge code used in HyperShot. Let's hope whoever is producing the next cool thing will be paid,and we are not faced with the same shambles in a years time.....

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 12 January 2010 at 10:34 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing Luxion and Bunkspeed compete in this realtime rendering market. I always felt like there were some usability issues with Hypershot that could make it so much better, and now that there will be more competition I expect to see some of those improvement happen at a faster pace.

Posted by Michael on 13 January 2010 at 08:43 PM

I think a lot of people have had the wool pulled over their eyes, even those on the inside. As the chief scientist has left BS, along with the 'code' and engine that allows for a CPU based (realtime) system, Luxion have the technology, but bunkspeed have the UI... what do people think is most important here? - which would be easier to develop - the underlying technology (which BS now need) or the UI (which Luxion could do with)?

Posted by whistleblower on 14 January 2010 at 12:39 PM

So now we will get two competing products: Bunkspeed with GPU rendering (not suitable for laptops, perhaps difficult to get a Mac version going). Luxion with CPU rendering (suitable for any computer, and already ported to the Mac). I know which version I want, but Bunkspeed has the licensing, sales, support and development team already in place. Luxioni seems like a very, very small player starting from scratch with a nice idea. They will lag behind for a while. The result is that customers will suffer for a year or more, but in the end have more options.

Posted by eobet on 14 January 2010 at 05:31 PM

I've had the same thoughts as whistleblower. Luxion is science driven. Bunkspeed is marketing driven. Easy to see where the advancements will come from. For sure Luxion will need a sales and support channel in place, but if they organize correctly and give existing Hypershot users an incentive to switch, they can be very successful. Bunkspeed will continue to build an impressive web site and push users toward Hypermove and maintenance fees.

Posted by HyperUser on 14 January 2010 at 06:34 PM

What's wrong with Hypershot 1.9? I guess you all are satisfied till you can get better. But when there's better promised and it doesn't come... it really kills you guys, doesn't it? Render more, discuss less wink (I'm offcourse not talking about the screwed people by Hypershot)

Posted by Marco on 14 January 2010 at 09:02 PM

@Hopeful Octane is not an attempt to copying Hypershot, there is nothing common in the technology and the algorithm used. Octane is an unbiased render, hypershot is a biased one.

Posted by Shimegi on 15 January 2010 at 10:24 AM

Bunkspeed are now saying that the new Hypershot (what will they call it? Hyperphoto?) is both GPU and CPU based so sounds interesting. I've had time to reflect on this a bit more after my initial surprise and "if" waht Bunkspeed are saying is true - that all existing users of Hypershot get the new product for free - then this actually ends up being a good thing for users. Furthermore, I'm not sure what Luxion can do against that? Give away the new product, the new Hypershot, to existing Hypershot users? All in all this adds up to me keeping my money in my pocket until I know the lie of the land and how this is going to pan out. At the end of the day render only companies have a tough job staying ahead as the users can quite easily swap around applications with no serious impediment to their workflow. Compare that to say a CAD business where users might have years of legacy files to consider. With rendering, the job is at the end of the process and the end result is the image. I can't recall a time when I've actually had to return to a BIP file for example, months after the job is done.

Posted by Kevin Quigley on 15 January 2010 at 12:34 PM

Quigley - I'm keeping my money as well because 2010 see new and interesting alternatives, and I need to evaluate the performance and total cost of ownership. Will the CPU give acceptable performance? If not, what GPU is needed to get acceptable performance? Will that GPU be single sourced? Will it be useful for other apps? Also, will Bunkspeed start charging a maintenance fee for Hypershot, as they do with Hypermove? I'm concerned about this because Bunkspeed seems to be targeting the corporate user rather than the individual user (remember, HS Web went away).

Posted by HyperUser on 15 January 2010 at 07:44 PM

The misconception is that the bunkspeed organization is just a website and marketing company. No rendering. The professor and a bit of his code were hired after the fact. There was a dispute, and someone threatened to take their cookies and go home. The finances were halted, and the cookies went home. The only speculation would be WHY the cookies went home. To believe that the cookies were the whole meal is being naive. Trying to make a meal of cookies will leave you very hungry. Finding a new cookie to go with your meal, is very easy. There are many different kinds and flavours! :o

Posted by not_fooled on 16 January 2010 at 12:16 AM

It could be that the cookie maker was not being paid for his cookies, even though the shop was still selling them for more than a year. Maybe that is the crux of the dispute? 'Not being paid' is probably one of the top reasons to pull out of a business deal. Question is will the new cookies be as good? Wait and see. As customers we choose what we want, but it looks like there will be a lot of options open.

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 16 January 2010 at 01:35 AM

"It could be that the cookie maker was not being paid for his cookies, even though the shop was still selling them for more than a year." Again, this is the speculation on your part, as to WHY. You make it sound as if a successful company is just the greedy pig that decides "lets just stop paying this poor, helpless man, creator of all things good, so we can have more money". This is where I say "naive". Some sort of posturing occured, and the financing stopped. This takes 2. Again. the guy that runs out, with a small piece of the puzzle, especially THAT piece, is the poor horse to follow.

Posted by not_fooled on 16 January 2010 at 04:15 AM

It's not speculation. If the quote from Henrik is true. "We ended the license agreement, since Bunkspeed did not pay us the license fees, that we had agreed to, for more than a year" I don't have any reason to doubt it. If the agreement was all ok then this situation would not have happened. We would all be looking forward to the next release. His code was not a "small piece of the puzzle". It was the core rendering technology that made HyperShot what it was and why customers bought it. No one buys rendering software for the interface alone. This is not to take away from what Bunkspeed did, in bringing to to a wider audience and offering very good tech support and training, and in the last throws adding their HyperDrive/HyperMove UI on top. HyperShot is, however, a rendering engine using the renderer that Henrik had developed for more than 10 years prior to BunkSpeed's involvement. The way this story broke and the subsequent fallout is not in keeping with a planned strategic move on BunkSpeed's part. I don't see this as some sort of emotional posturing. Companies do get greedy and sometimes just don't pay, plenty of examples of that if you care to look. Deals do fall though. The speculation remains as to why they did not pay for so long but try to cream as much revenue out of it right up until the last minute before the story broke, presumably knowing the product was no longer able to be supported. I suggest you look at Henriks work, plenty of companies, ILM, PIXAR etc. have been using it for feature films. Thanks to his research we can have believable photo-realistic people and creatures on screen. To represent it as the "poor horse to follow" is like saying the Grand Canyon is a couple of rocks.

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 16 January 2010 at 11:13 AM

bunkspeed only got my money when they had Henriks code- the products that they had previously did not have anywhere near the render quality of hypershot. The gui was/is nice and simple but that is no great leap in comparison to writing greasy fast render code. We/I use hypershot,vray,vray rt,mentral ray,renderman and mantra at work- hypershot is very useful if limited -being limited was helpful in my mind-kept it focused. vray cuda looks very promising as does the possible combination of mental mill and reality server and gpu mental ray from mental images. octane has potential and who knows what else is coming. good times to be a render monkey. Have to say that my money is on the man with the fast code... gui's , marketing etc just dont cut it against greasy fast speed in this field for me. i do feel we only just got our moneys worth out of hypershot but thats due to the nature of my business.. hope both companies realise what made hypershot good..it was speed and quality of image.... udrive always looked like an upmarket video game as does autodesks showcase product (imho)...hypershot looked like a good render... Good luck to both parties. if they both have good products i'll by both- i would not be surprised to see some sort of opensource 'free' blender style fast render coming soon... Henrik is a bit of a star in cg redner terms and a lovely fellow. Got to wish him well.

Posted by jamesb on 16 January 2010 at 07:22 PM

Sounds like not_fooled is a bitter insider from Bunkspeed? It's, without a doubt, much easier to replace the gui than making a fast rock solid render that runs on many platforms. Sounds like Bunkspeed is in deep trouble and is trying to buy time by promising new technology without any specific details? Will I still be able to run "the new technology" on my macbook? I'm more optimistic with Luxion when Henrik is onboard. There're a lot more gui programmers in the world than brilliant cg professors!

Posted by YetAnotherCustomer on 17 January 2010 at 09:41 PM

Bunkspeed has been using Silverlight and Visual Studio 2008 to develop their UI. See Bunkspeed's case study at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000002428 With several new GPU based render programs announced recently, it's wait & see.

Posted by HyperUser on 18 January 2010 at 01:50 AM

Not surprising how Henrik was treated in this matter.....Bunkspeed customers and employees grab your parachutes, the plane is going down...

Posted by watching on 21 January 2010 at 04:48 PM

I see no need to pull chute yet. Bunkspeed has always seemed to deliver (even if late sometimes). 1.9 has been good for me and will be for a while. It is apearent that the next release will be delayed again but now it looks like there will be 2 options. I like options. If Luxion provides a good solution, I'll use it. If Bunkspeed delivers a good solution, I'll use it. Who knows, maybe both of them will deliver.

Posted by patience on 22 January 2010 at 06:30 PM

Seem's to me we have a greedy Professor that wanted out no matter what and is pissed off that Bunkspeed was successful and was the one getting the brand recognition. Bunkspeed must not have expected this otherwise why wouldn't they have invested so much in HyperShot 2010 which hasn't seen the light of day past beta. IMO Bunkspeed must have something pretty amazing up their sleeve to allow this to happen. Maybe they chose to do this and Luxion is just angry? Seems that way by the comments Henrik made to the press. If you think about it, how much did HyperShot change from first release to V1.9. How many new features were there really. Oh cool, we get to texture map in hyperShot now. Did any of you ever try this? Not what I call a real tool for production. Henrik is just one guy, Bunkspeed is developer and marketing comapany that has been in business for a long time. Don't count them out. They must have had a very compelling reason to do what they did.

Posted by waitandsee on 22 January 2010 at 11:36 PM

@waitandsee I think it is a pretty defamatory statement to call someone greedy if you don't know any details. Everything you offer here is nothing else than pure speculation. Why not just stay on facts ... at the moment bunkspeed does not offer anything else than technical statements about a product that might see the light anytime from today until glory doomsday. If the product really exists is yet to be proved and cannot be done by anybody else than bunkspeed themselves. So instead I am really going to look what the market is going to offer in the meantime. Interesting times for artists, wannabes and fanboys smile Peter

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 24 January 2010 at 01:57 PM

sounds like 'waitandsee' is a bunkspeed insider doing damage control....

Posted by observer on 25 January 2010 at 11:13 PM

@observer If observer is right and waitandsee is an insider, we may be getting hints here. I use the Bunkspeed tools for a good part of my living and have been reading this and other posts like on their forum to try to piece things together. I haven't been able to figure it all out as the speculation is all over the board and I can't figure out why a company would let something like this happen. Unless it is truly reactionary, they must be up to something.

Posted by might be right on 26 January 2010 at 06:32 PM

The lack of information is what is frustrating. The Bunkspeed product link says a beta is coming "soon". Bunkspeed likes to use that word a lot. In the past, "soon" has meant anything from 3 months to never. In the meantime they are pushing HyperMove, which forever reason, doesn't have a posted price. It also has maintenance fees. It's refreshing to see there are other vendors who are very open about their products, what they are working on, and the selling price.

Posted by HyperUser on 26 January 2010 at 07:22 PM

@HyperUser I checked that link and it looks like they have posted a picture. I'm assuming it is from the next release that is in the works. It looks good. It IS disturbing that they don't list the price for HyperMove but as far as maintenance, I pay maintenance for HyperShot Pro. You must only be an HD user. I think that all cad companies should do away with maintenance fees and just charge upgrade fees. I never really use tech support anyways.

Posted by screengrab on 26 January 2010 at 07:43 PM

Well after 15mins there is a noticeable moire pattern in the shadows and it doesn't look that impressive. Not exactly photo-realistic. They have got to be able to show something better than this to justify the hype. This really is a wait and see situation. What features will it have and what material types are supported is anyones guess....

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 30 January 2010 at 12:26 PM

The caustics are nice, but yes - that is not a photo-realistic render. I hope that is a test shot and not the typical result. Bunkspeed would be wise to not show an example like that if it's not better than the original Hypershot. I'd really like to see a side-by-side comparison of a car model rendered with the old and the new Hypershot.

Posted by HyperUser on 30 January 2010 at 06:57 PM

Looks like iray from mental will power the next "Hypershot" application.

Posted by renderdude on 04 February 2010 at 04:08 AM

@renderdude That's interesting... I wonder what will differentiate BunkSpeed's Shot product from all the other mainstream 3D applications, Maya,Sofimage, Max etc.., that will automatically get to include an iray rendering option once it gets rolled out.

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 04 February 2010 at 11:22 AM

Interesting developments. iRay is heavily optimized for GPUs (say hello to Mental's Parent Company NVIDIA smile ) so I really wonder how well it will work on standard cpus. But it's hard to judge, we'll see when the product is really out how well it works.

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 04 February 2010 at 01:04 PM

Hello everyone, today I am thrilled to announce that we are integrating mental images iray® technology into our entire product line. The first product will be known as Bunkspeed Shot™. The mental images team is fantastic and is providing us with unprecedented support for our new products. Our development team is working tirelessly to complete this integration as fast as possible so we can get the Bunkspeed Shot to release. We have a lot to make up. Not shipping HyperShot 2010 has been embarrassing for all of us here at Bunkspeed. We know we have to build your confidence in us again. The good news is we now have control over the process and a great development team at mental images® backing us up. Before long you will have a chance to beta test. We look forward to your feedback. You may have noticed we've dropped the Hyper from the product names. We felt that this was a perfect time, now that the render engine will become mental images technology, to bring our Bunkspeed name formally into the product names and give them a shortened version that is fast and simple. Internally we've referred to our products as Shot, Move and Drive for some time now we've made it official. Thank you all again for your support. Sincerely, Philip Lunn Bunkspeed CEO

Posted by From their forum on 04 February 2010 at 08:33 PM

Say goodbye to the bitter professor. He took his marbles and went home. Now his groupies will pay him to sell them his new UI. Writing Render code has nothing to do with application development and business! Looks like the Mental Ray based product will do BOTH gpu and cpu work. Nice. Still on the right horse? You betcha!!!!!!

Posted by not_fooled on 10 February 2010 at 07:48 AM

It seems HyperShot has been reborn/rebranded as KeyShot http://www.keyshot.com/index.html There are no screenshots whatsoever of the interface so there may be no changes at all apart from the name. Although the Pro version is cheaper at $1995. Also there's no mention of an upgrade to KeyShot Pro for HyperShot HD users, maybe that's why the Pro version is cheaper to encourage HyperShot HD users to upgrade. As a HyperShot HD user its good to know that this option is there and I wouldn't be paying anymore to change to KeyShot Pro than if I had Upgraded to HyperShot Pro. As for Bunkspeeds new product I'll adopt a wait and see attitude. After trying HyperMove its obvious that its offline rendering is no match for HyperShot/KeyShot. It has a great interface but it made a complete mess of my .bip files and couldn't produce the photorealism I was used to with HyperShot. It takes more than a great interface to produce great renders, as any 'bitter professor' will tell you. P.S. I'm waaaay too old to be considered a groupie.

Posted by AnnoyedHyperuser on 10 February 2010 at 07:26 PM

The Luxion product, KeyShot is now showing up: http://www.keyshot.com/index.html

Posted by HyperUser on 10 February 2010 at 07:28 PM

KeyShot apparently is free to all HyperShot users and it will honor the existing HyperShot license. Nice!

Posted by YetAnotherCustomer on 10 February 2010 at 11:48 PM

Yes - I see on the KeyShot download page that it's free to existing Hypershot users. It also says KeyShot will use your HyperShot license AND HyperShot will still run. That's very generous and the right thing to do to jump start their product. Now - if we can have a user forum that would be great. Hopefully KeyShot will take this opportunity and establish a better relationship with their customers than Bunkspeed did. I'm not talking about just the recent mess in 2010 - Bunkspeed in my opinon did not give good responses to questions in their forums. One sentence answers, questions about license issues and transfers went days and weeks with no answers. It was like pulling teeth. When an individual user pays $1,000 they expect better support. Finally, it looks like Thomas Teger left Bunkspeed and is now with KeyShot. People usually don't jump ship to go to a worse company. The users will probably never know the full story - I just want to see the product continue to develop in an environment that supports their customers.

Posted by HyperUser on 11 February 2010 at 07:07 PM

I installed KeyShot today and it saw my HyperShot license, so it now runs fine alongside HyperShot. It also reads all my .bip files just fine unlike Hypermove.

Posted by AnnoyedHyperuser on 11 February 2010 at 09:22 PM

I concur. All good with KeyShot. I needed some help getting my license file sorted and it was done very quickly without any fuss. Version2 is apparently not too far off. To support Hypershot customers like this is a shrewd move and keeps everyone productive. Good stuff!

Posted by AnotherCustomer on 11 February 2010 at 10:36 PM

It looks like KeyShot is merely HyperShot with a new color scheme. This is all good to get a jump on Bunkspeed but what is the point of a redundant copy of HyperShot? What will V2 look like? My concern is that Henrik states above that it took more than 10 years to develop HyperShot. How long is it going to take for the next generation of code? On the other hand, Bunkspeed is going to be releasing a brand new product, likely with issues. Or is it just a revamped version of what was going to be HyperShot10 now with the new iray engine. Bottom line is that it looks like both sides are going to take care of the existing user base and I guess it will all come out in the wash.

Posted by Undecided on 14 February 2010 at 02:59 AM

I downloaded KeyShot and ran the migration tool. It pulled in my existing bips, materials, environments and backplates. It feels to me like it runs a little faster. Updates quickly when I move the model. Has additional new materials, environments and backplates. Improved ground shadows too. My Hypershot installation remains functional and unchanged, so there is no reason not to try it out. I'm waiting for news from KeyShot to see what's coming. I really hope they start a forum and release some info soon.

Posted by HyperUser on 14 February 2010 at 03:27 AM

KeyShot = HyperShot. It is exactly the same, except for name, icons, content, and of course improvements as HyperUser stated. Consider it an upgrade to HyperShot. Forum will come shortly - keep checking http://www.keyshot.com. And v2 is also in the works. With many improvements in the pipeline! And yes - you can upgrade HyperShot HD to KeyShot Pro. Just contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We will have a detailed FAQ section online shortly. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Would love to hear from you! Thanks for your support! Thomas

Posted by Thomas Teger on 14 February 2010 at 09:30 AM

Hello Thomas, interesting news for Hypershot Users for sure. Can you tell us how many people is Luxion ? I see you, Henrik and his brother ... and then ? Anyone knows how many people really work at Bunkspeed ? Regards Peter

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 17 February 2010 at 03:03 PM

Right I've installed KeyShot (64bit) and it works great, bump maps seem to work much better and overall rendering quality seems a little faster. But... If it is an upgrade why in my point of view have they not fixed the windows jumping around and textures going really low quality after rendering? 2 major blunders of Hypershot V1.9+ Fix this and make the textures easier to place and you've got a near perfect still shot rendering package.

Posted by S F on 19 February 2010 at 11:55 AM

After reading all the complaints posted recently in the Bunkspeed forum, I think the wheels have fallen off the Bunkspeed Mustang.

Posted by HyperUser on 24 February 2010 at 09:05 PM

"After reading all the complaints posted recently in the Bunkspeed forum, I think the wheels have fallen off the Bunkspeed Mustang." What a Dick!

Posted by not_fooled on 02 March 2010 at 08:55 PM

Nice not_fooled. He probably has a subscription to the Enquirer too. Spends too much time reading gossip and doesn't quite get it. Partnering with nVidia to use iRay will be nothing but a good thing for Bunkspeed IMO. There are some interesting posts here for sure but most of them appear to have come before the announcement.

Posted by Chuckled on 07 March 2010 at 08:03 PM

Also nice Chuckled, besides not_fooleds somewhat outrageous comments yours are also somewhat questionable. I find it hard to judge something that cannot be seen but everybody seems to have an opinion about. What I really wonder about is Bunkspeed's extremly proactive way to tell about all that problems that occur or how they try to put their own customers through all that hassle. Remember that's the company that was never very shy when it came to big marketing buzz but later wasn't even in the position to write a newsletter to their customer base ... instead another marketing blabla movie was put on the website. Why not simply wait until the product can be downloaded and judge then ? Or maybe I didn't get that this is the race to prove who's the biggest or smallest fan boy ?

Posted by Peter Schmidt on 07 March 2010 at 10:02 PM

I think you guys sure are quick to judge. Henrik claims he was stiffed, so he left. Possibly. Or maybe, he thought that his code was so important that he could DEMAND more, because they "needed" him so badly. Once people are in a position of power, as he most certainly WAS, then they can start to feel more necessary than they really are. I'm not affliated with either company, and I wish both of them the best, but I have a feeling the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I'm guessing Henrik and Bunkspeed AGREED to a certain payment, and then Henrik started wanting more, Bunkspeed said no, paid him the same amount, and then Henrik went all pissed off and pulled his code and ran away. And he has a right to do that, and a right to try to compete with Bunkspeed. Me? I'll just stick to 1.9. smile That is my guess, after reading everything.

Posted by Rob Podell on 09 March 2010 at 06:01 PM

Rob, As you can read, Luxion was not paid the license fees for more than a year. How many companies can live with that? It does not sound like he wanted more. If you look at KeyShot now, then the price for the Pro has dropped from $3495 to $1995. Sounds like Bunkspeed wanted more since they did not pay Luxion.

Posted by John on 09 March 2010 at 08:25 PM

Wow, the spammers are in full force now. Any REAL news about Bunkspeed. I've tried contacting them with an issue and they've seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth.

Posted by Bruce Buck on 04 June 2010 at 03:05 PM

can anybody tell me how to provide lighting effects inside some object.....or to increase brightness in partcular places ?

Posted by Zabiulla M H on 09 August 2010 at 09:23 AM

HyperShot is a great product, and we look forward to its further development as we continue to sell and support it.

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