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Autodesk Cloud Credits and Rendering in Autodesk 360

Starting on or around April 12, Autodesk will roll out a new charging mechanism for rendering services. The new system is designed to allow you to:

1) Continue to take advantage of cloud rendering in a free or very affordable way for simple renderings
2) Pay for current, planned and future premium services when you need them

Payments for these services will be via cloud credits. Cloud credits are allocated to Autodesk Subscription customers as part of their Subscription entitlements. Subscription customers can purchase additional cloud credits when they need them. Cloud credits may be used for Autodesk 360 Rendering services, as well as other cloud-based services as they are released.

Rendering services will use cloud credits according to two criteria:
1. The size of rendering requested, measured in Megapixels (MP). (A 1000 X 1000 still image = 1 MP)
2. The "quality" or "type" of rendering requested, expressed as a rate per MP. (For example, a final-quality still may cost more than a standard-quality still of the same size.)

We know you value the option to send test renderings to the cloud while you continue to perform design work in your desktop application. We want you to feel free to continue to use cloud rendering this way. Accordingly, Subscription customers can continue to render images smaller than 1MP in size at our new Standard quality setting without charge.

There will soon be two render quality settings, "Standard" and "Final". Here is a summary of the new charges for Subscription customers that will take effect soon.
• “Standard” Quality: 0.50
cloud credits/MP, but
• “Final” Quality: 1 cloud credits/MP
• Solar Studies &Panoramas: half-price (I.e. 0.25 cloud credits/MP for Standard, 0.50 cloud credits/MP for Final)
• Illuminance studies will be charged at “Final” Quality rate

Questions, comments or concerns? Stay tuned to this discussion thread for more information!
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  • I’m Uninformed!
    THIS NEEDS TO BE SENT IN AN EMAIL NEXT TIME. Rediculious lack of communication on your part!
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  • I’m frustrated
    What does this mean for subscription users?
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  • There is a new Rendering help topic "FAQ for Rendering cloud credits" that explains what you need to do if you are a subscription customer. Try the link below and if it doesn't work look for the topic in your Rendering in Autodesk 360 help:

    http://docs.autodesk.com/ADSK360/help...

    Basically, you can continue to work for free at quality level for regular images, but if you need larger or higher-quality images or other premium services, it will decrement your account. It is explained in the FAQ. Ask back here if you have any more questions.

    Ryan- I think you make a good point and we will try to do this next time. Technically what is happening is that the Free Trial period is over, but as mentioned above we have made allowance for you to continue to use the service for test renderings etc. But since the trial is over, you will have to be a subscription user to continue to use the service for high-res or premium services.
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  • Wow, just saw that it's 100 cloud credits flat across all subscription levels. Not sure how logical / feasible that is for a Firm with a 130+ license package. I just used 16 credits for a single image.

    I think this was a cool experiment while it lasted, now that the true marketing sales implementation has rolled out, we will need to find some other alternative
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  • Ricardo- are you saying you have 130 subscription accounts and you don't think it allows the firm as a whole to render as much as you need? What about the option of rendering smaller images for free until you need bigger ones- we thought we were accommodating that in the charging.
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  • Well we are a 130+ firm, whether those seats translate into a subscription account for each of us, is still unknown for me (I'll research it a bit further). The thing with the cloud renderings is that our interior designers use them quite a bit during their design process. The "standard" ones don't really cut it, you could achieve the same quality with other more traditional rendering software (which also allows for network rendering). We had been using the "best/final" settings as our test ones, because they were decent enough to present to clients. When a client wants a true rendering we produce photo-real renderings through 3D StudioMax.

    That was the advantage that we saw with the cloud platform, and that you "free" up your workstation to keep working along.

    Now that the fee structure of this service is on a credit/per image basis it looses its flexibility and becomes unrealistic for us. The quality is not comparable with a true rendering engine, there are very minimal settings you can actually control to acheive good results.

    Rather, if Autodesk would have chosen to have a fee structure based on "access" to this service, then you got my attention. It actually brings me back memories of AU a few years ago when your CTO said that the industry was turning more into an "access / subscription" based platform, rather than ownership. Forgive me for pointing it out, it seems this latest implementation is actually the opposite of those ideals. More so, it just adds another level of cost to the software.
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  • >>Forgive me for pointing it out,

    No that is perfectly fair to point out and this is a helpful dialog so I appreciate your explalning in detail. We could do an "fee-for-access" service as opposed to a "fee for consumption" service, but we are trying to get the dynamics right for the end users. For example, the ability to do higher-res images was not one that we could have offered up to this point and could not have offered under a fee-for-access arrangement because as you know the hi-res images take much, much more resources, and leaving it ungoverned would have left the service vulnerable to low response times for others who just needed a quick render. We got a lot of feedback that users wanted to pay for more when they needed it, and this is what we are attempting to do. So we decided pricing was a good fair governor between big huge requests (that cost more) and smaller quick sketch requests (that cost little or were free). And we think always-free test images are a good compromise but I see your point that for interiors the graininess impacts their use as "tests".
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  • I’m Disappointed
    I really like the cloud rendering option and have used it quite a bit over the past several months. It has solved a huge problem of rendering time (and wasted computer time). Prior to the cloud it was virtually pointless to render anything in house. It took way too long (even on the low end settings). You could basically only start a rendering before you went home for the night. Then when you actually would see the rendering in the morning (if it was done by then) you would realize that a material didn't turn out right, a texture was poorly aligned, the colors were way off, etc. etc. etc. This would then necessitate changes and thus additional render time. Again, having to wait until the end of the day to start the rendering and then you could only do one at a time anyway. So the cloud idea is awesome. It allows you to render multiple views at one time and see how the materials, colors and shadows are working before producing a final render.

    The problem I see with changing to the credit option is that the "Free" rendering levels are worthless. They are too grainy and the quality is too poor to adequately evaluate. Prior to the cloud credit change, we would have to render using the settings of "Best" with the resolution set to "maximum" to get anything that could be adequately evaluated. I'm not opposed to the cloud credit idea, but the level of credit usage needs to change. Make everything up to what used to be settings of "Best" with 2000 px wide free. Everything above that could be charged cloud credits if you want. I do like that there are higher resolution options now and those can be used for final renderings and as such, could warrant a cloud credit charge.

    However, I still think the whole thing should be free. The software costs an incredible amount and the built in rendering platform is too slow and impractical for any real world use. I thought Autodesk was onto something with the cloud render idea. It seemed they were actively trying to solve problems with a reasonable solution. So, I hope the process can be changed to give us better options for preliminary renderings and then only charge for the high end ones.
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  • Thanks Tyler (after this I'm going to go get some lunch, so bear with me everyone!)

    Here's my question, as a former production render guy myself: why is the graininess at the "Free" level inadequate for seeing, as you say, "the materials, colors and shadows are working before producing a final render."? To me, the new Standard setting is just what the doctor ordered: allow for a little graininess in the shadows, an occasional texture map artefact, and high aliasing than you would want in the final?

    Have you tried the new Standard level? Not sure if you are saying "I have tried it and it is not good enough" or if you're saying "the previous low quality settings weren't good enough"?
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  • This reply was removed on 2013-04-12.
    see the change log
  • Yes, the quality of the new standard level rendering is too low. For a large building when you render with this setting the resolution is too pixilated or blurry to evaluate the textures and material alignments. Good examples are stone, brick, metal panels or anything where a bump map is used. The colors and shadows seem to represent ok at this level. One other thing I forgot to mention that needs to be incorporated into the base rendering level is some form of reflection. Right now there appears to be none. That is a big deal. Sometimes the reflection of a tree, car or other element can be distracting in the view, so getting a sense of how that is going to show up is critical before stepping up to the charge level of rendering. I still think the previous settings of "best" and "2000 px" should be the cut off point for free/charge. My biggest complaint with those settings before is that they were not good enough for a final rendering, so now that higher settings are available, I think charging for those is ok, but give us what we had for day to day evaluation purposes.
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  • Got it. Now there should be reflections in both modes. Engineering made the attached sample comparison for the online help. But maybe your experience is you're notting seeing them sharply enough?



    Which is the greater pain point do you think- that you can't get above 1K for free, or that you can't get Final quality for free?
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  • In your example the reflections seem ok. However, when I did a rendering of a buiding exterior with glass windows on the standard settings there was no reflection in the glass. At the higher settings there was.

    The bigger pain point is getting above 1k for free. That image size is so small that showing it to clients and getting their approval is going to be difficult as they will struggle to see past the poor quality and unresolved artifacts. So, we need good quality for free and then can pay for when we need high resolution.
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  • OK- I really appreciate your getting into those details. I think I understand where you're coming from. We'll be discussing all sorts of feedback when the dust settles a little...
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  • You bet. It's really a great service and I just hope it can remain beneficial to all in the end. Thanks taking the concerns seriously.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Nobody tell you that by email or by accepting new conditions. Yesterday I was working on my stuff and at one point I was not able to do anymore rendering! I have find the problem today, I have no more cloud credits but I didn't know that I was using them. Now I am in a very bad position because I am a student and my final project is due next week and I can't do anymore rendering with a good quality for free. How I am suppose to do?
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  • Miguel- though the previous free trial period for commercial users has ended, there is no change in educational accounts, so this change will not affect you. However, we are having some technical issues with the service this weekend and it may be that educational accounts are being more affected by this. We have teams working on this as hard as they can to restore the service to its previous level.

    But long story short- if you have an educational account, the change to cloud credits has no impact on your account.
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  • I’m Unsatisfied!
    Give me a monthly unlimited plan or another yearly subscription fee so that I can control my costs for this- Autodesk is not an Apple product- we pay the large fee every year for the upgrades that honestly have no benefit to our business other than being able to open "new" Revit files- the lack of innovation on the software side in my opinion was made up for by the upgrades to Autodesk 360. On a side-note are these considered seperate entities by Autodesk? Because if they are then I do understand the need to create revenue to continue providing the service. If they are however, all one in the same, give me the options I have requested and I will go on using the service. Monthly service fee or a yearly fee is all I am asking for- I dont want to feel like we need to limit my creativity because of constant fees and taking the time to order more "credits" which should just be called "dollars" - so when does the price go up to $1.29 per song- woops I mean per MP :) On that note - Autodesk is not providing an entertainment service - the people you are dealing with are businesses that need to control costs- fix this or I am part of one company who is already looking elsewhere for quality service and value.
    • Ryan- as to the unlimited plan, we have discussed this internally and we'll take your comment under advisement. Any other details or ideas about what you would be looking for in an "all-you-can-render" plan would be appreciated.

      As to the costs of rendering and costs-- from surveys with Rendering customers we got two very strong messages from users:

      1. Cloud rendering saves us costs (capital costs for computers, staffing costs for lost time in rendering/design, etc.)
      2. When I want more, let me pay for more.

      So there will always be the issue of what is free and what you should "pay more" for, and the split is reflected in the current pricing model. There is a lot of rendering you can always do for free and the rest you pay for, and the more you need the more you pay for.

      I think I understand your issues and it may be that it is best to leave it there, but if you would like the opportunity to discuss in person I would be happy t do that. You can reach me at noah.kennedy@autodesk.com and we can set up a phone date.
    • I completely understand- If I were to look at this a year ago when this all started I would laugh at myself for thinking I deserve more. Its been a great year so far with this enhancement to the software - problem comes when I try to explain what was free is no longer free. Right or wrong you guys got us all hooked on this new capability- tough to pay for something after it was free for so long though. Honestly we all owe you a thank you for developing this so heres mine- "thank you" The ability to create higher resolution images than before is definitely worth the update.
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  • Oh no! This is so unfortunate. We have been using this service frequently and it has allowed more people in our firm to have the ability to render. I am fairly disappointed that the better quality renderings are not free, as this is how I was testing lighting. The test or draft quality does not render it even close to what the final will render as. -A Very Disappointed Customer & Frequent User
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  • Hi, Elizabeth- sorry that you are disappointed. Are you sure you know how the new quality settings work, and what allowance has been made for free renderings to test and visualize work underway? You might want to review the FAQ in the Rendering online help:

    1. Go to http://rendering.360.autodesk.com
    2. (If you are already logged in and go straight to your Render Gallery page, click on your name on the top bar and "Log Out")
    3. Click on the link "Go to the help to learn more about Autodesk cloud credits"

    There are some sample images comparing the new Standard vs. the new Final quality settings. Standard is much better than the old draft quality settings.

    This FAQ is also now available in the interface whenever you are about to start a rendering.
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  • You should also be able to link directly to the help topic Noah's referring to at: http://www.autodesk.com/adsk360-rende....
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  • Any update on the problems with the educational accounts? I still can't log into Autodesk through Revit...and I really need to start rendering very soon for my final project.

    Thanks,
    Victor
    • view 3 more comments
    • I've logged into Revit successfully for the past 2 years. I followed the instructions you gave...and I can not still log onto Autodesk through Revit.
    • I retract my last statement...I had to hit the the update on the resynchronize several times before it worked...and I can now successfully log on. Thank you for your help.
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  • I am having the same problem Mildred is... I am a student, with a student account, and it is telling me that I have used all of my cloud credits allotted to me under the "Free Trial." Has anyone found a solution for this yet?

    Thanks,

    Ryan
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  • I am also a student and am limited to 25 cloud credits. All of my classmates have unlimited! Now my projects don't look as professional. I need help!
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  • I’m irate.
    It is tough to stomach when given absolutely no warning. I received the email today saying this goes into effect on April 12, 6 days ago. As mentioned earlier, we pay ridiculous fees to upgrade revit every year, and see very little if any actual upgrade each year. Last year, we finally saw a really nice new feature, the cloud. Now it turns out that it is not an upgrade at all, but a free test drive of an up-sell?

    On top of all of this, the cool new LT version that was just released requires you to use the cloud to render, but those seats don't come with any credits.

    Now I have to go check and make sure none of my users have sent anything to render in the last 6 days.
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  • Jesse- I'm sorry you are disappointed and I do think we could have done better on the communications end.

    The rendering portal did say very clearly that we had a trial period running wherein you could do 15 rendering jobs for free. We ended up not enforcing that cap, and my perception was that as customers learned to use the service, we learned about customer usage and also spent several months just developing and improving upon the service.

    With this new setup, we were very careful to allow users to continue to use the service for free for basic renderings. The charging for the renderings appears in the UI before any of your staff submits something to render, as well as a link to their account info so they can monitor their usage. It is easy for your staff to reset the rendering settings to <1000x1000 resolution, in the new Standard mode (which is pretty good quality for test and design validation renderings) and continue to use the service for free.

    Our hope is that you will continue to use and benefit from the service as you develop your designs in this free mode, and perhaps occasionally burn a cloud credit or two when you want to command more resources for a particularly important rendering.
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  • Noah-I for one really appreciate the possibility of continuing to use this service for free at a 'test' level ability. I have one question though. I've heard that we can not go over 1mb and this is accomplished by using the 'standard' setting at 1000x1000 or lower. I completed a test render with these settings, but it came out slightly over 1mb. I have not seen any credits reduced on my account. So which setting or rule should we go by? Most of the time using 'standard' and 1000x1000 produces an image just under 1mb, but when you start adding complex lighting and such they can go over. Is the 1mb gray area as long as the settings are as said above?
    • Michael- the limit is not in megabytes (file size), but in megapixels (image size in #pixels). So that's how the cloud credits will be calculated, which should make it easier to predict ahead of time.

      If your image is equal to or less than 1,000,000 pixels and in Standard quality mode, you shouldn't get charged.
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  • I like the cloud rendering; I have been using it quite a bit.

    But, I have just tried out the new system and I have to agree with Tyler. To evaluate material, textures, and reflections, what is now free is just not adequate for testing. This is a huge problem because, on average, before I get my rendering to where it looks good, I may render 10 or 20 test renderings. This is the great thing about the cloud rendering; It renders so quickly, I can test a lot.

    I have taken a look at the new settings and tried them out and it seems like "Final" quality and and "Extra Large (3000px)" is the minimum that I could use to evaluate my tests and that currently costs me 7 units each! 2000px could be adequate for testing; maybe you could bump the large size up to 2000px.

    The "Standard:" vs "Final" tests that your FAQs have shown look fine. But that is a close proximity of large items; when you render building facades, it's much more detailed and the standard doesn't provide enough detail to evaluate. I assume that is why your examples are of little detail.

    I don't mind paying for the large renderings, but I need an adequate free size for testing. Right now, this will reduce my testing, thus ending in a less satisfying end result.

    Main need: "Final" quality and 2000px for free.
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  • When will translate to the 2012 render Add-In? The settings available there don't match what is available in 2013. (Standard/Final, new max size..)
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  • Hi James,

    We have no plan to update Revit 2012 now, but we will propose this requirement on our meeting.

    All draft and standard quality renderings send from Revit 2012 will be 'Standard', and all high and best quality will be 'Final'.
    And you can re-render on web portal with the max size.

    Regards,
    Sally
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  • I'm not going to say anything new that hasn't already been said, but I too am mostly dissappointed in the new cloud credit system. Noah, I appreciate you apologizing for Autodesk falling short on the communicationd end. It took me all of last week to finally get someone to point me to the FAQ for Rendering which explains the cloud credit rates. Till then, nobody seemed to be well informed on the system - reseller, Autodesk livechat rep., my regional rep, etc. While its not fair to expect everyone to know everything, the cloud credit system is a fairly major change that affects a lot of firms.

    Representing a small firm (approx 10 revit users), I've been very pleased with the improvement to our rendering capability by way of having access to 360 rendering. Being a small firm, our employees are exposed to a wide variety of tasks. Or rather we don't have people that specialize in rendering. That being said, I think we tend to make more tests before we're satisfied with a final image than perhaps a person designated as an image production specialist.

    At first glance, I find the rates to be a bit too pricey. That being said, I have no way of evaluating this. Autodesk appears to have wiped the usage report history from prior to implementing the cloud credit system. If there was a way to evaluate our past history and understand how much our prior usage would cost our office, then I might be in a better position to evaluate the rates. I'm mostly coming at this from the same perspective as Ryan Hoffman stated earlier - the need to control costs. If there's no way around Autodesk charging for cloud rendering, I'd rather it would be via an all-you-can render plan versus a pay per render plan. I don't want to be the one that has to tell fellow employees you need to render less or you need to render more efficiently in order to produce your project.

    Of course, it would be great if cloud rendering just came free with subscription. It already costs an arm and a leg. Costs continue to go up. I believe this past year we weren't able to renew our Revit Architecture Suite licenses and instead were forced to upgrade to one of the Building Design Suites, an increase of approximately $200 per license. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it does add up and we get basically nothing out of the upgrade (except for access to software we don't use).

    Very dissappointed customer,
    Matt Inpanbutr
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  • Matt- thanks for your note. I believe there is a way for you to get past detail on your usage, by exporting the transaction repot from Subscription Center. This is something only the Contract Administrator with your firm can do, Try:

    Contract Administration -> A360 Services Usage -> Export a Report on all the Autodesk 360 activities for this contract.

    This should show cloud credit usage as well as the previous Cloud Jobs that were performed during the previous trail period. Let me know if that works or doesn't work for you.

    >>That being said, I think we tend to make more tests before we're satisfied with a final image than perhaps a person designated as an image production specialist.

    I couldn't tell from your note, but are you aware that we have been careful to allow test renderings for free? All basic renderings <1M and at Standard quality are free so you can continue to test that way with no charge.
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  • In a E-mail sent by Autodesk it says:

    We also know many of you may need the ability to perform high-resolution renderings for display and printing. With the introduction of cloud credits, Subscription customers will now be able to create renderings of images at up to 4000 X 4000 pixels.

    It sounds great but my question is, where can I find the settings that could allow me do 4000 X 4000? It seems that I can still only get 2000 X 2000...
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  • I’m frustrated
    Hi Noah. While we are fine paying for the renders, it is extremely disappointing the way it has been imposed. We have following pain(and it hurts big time :-( ) points:

    1) First, the cost for up gradation to new versions of revit is enormous and and almost forced! Since we can not save files in older version, the cost of new hires increases tremendously. It will make us upgrade all the systems. It means we can not afford to hire more people (which also means Autodesk can not sell more licenses!) It also reminds me of monopolistic days of MS!
    2) It does not make sense to take subscription anymore as we shall get only 100 cloud points per year which will translate into 20-30 renders a year per seat! It is ridiculously low! Any firm will require this number every month if not every fortnight.
    3) The standard options are too grainy for any large or complex render to be meaningful. One can not see the texture, colors and shadows clearly in standard option so we will have to go for best option every time just for test renders exhausting all the cloud credit even before we have a presentation!
    4) The cost of renders is so high that it makes sense for us to create a rig with GPUs. The ROI will be a year!
    5) We had migrated from Archicad to Revit becuase of the amazing features that you offered with cloud. Now, with the new cost associated, it does not make sense for us to use revit. We will have to again migrate back to Archicad. Feel kind of cheated, you got us hooked and then started charging big money!
    • Magam- I get that you are unhappy but your points are a little confusing to me. You feel forced to upgrade, and that forces you to hire entirely new staff? But you can't afford to hire new staff because the upgrade is so expensive?

      On your second point, I think you are saying that the only benefit you see to subscription is free rendering. We hope the affordable way to stay current with software is more of a value than that. But there is still a free render button in Revit that does not require subscription. But I don't mean to dismiss your point that 100 cloud credits is too constricting- I have heard that frequently on these feedback forums. I've also heard the feedback on the standard quality- it would be helpful if you could share some standard quality images you've done since the change to show where we're falling short.

      You are of course free to rig up your own service. We have invested heavily in cloud rendering and continue to invest very heavily in it, and I'm confident that the service will continue to expand in capability in some very interesting ways.
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  • I’m still frustrated.
    Magam makes sense- we all feel defeated. I could understand if Autodesk wanted to add the ability to create larger renders and charge for them but to charge for what was free before left us all unprepared - I truely believe Autodesk could create more revenue charging for higher resolution renders instead of nickle & diming us for every single render.
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  • I’m Frustrated!
    Revit subscription is expensive enough. Now we have to pay additional fees for something we have been able to use for free. Paying the subscription fee was truly justified because Autodesk allowed rendering in the cloud at all quality levels for free (included with subscription). Now we have to pay even more.....Autodesk, shame on you.....I will not be renewing my subscription if Autodesk continues to tease us with tools and then charges us more money....Extremely upset.

    You just lost lots of subscription customers I'm sure.
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  • Hi,

    I have only done 2 cloud renders and now it says I have used up all my credits?? Can someone help me please as my final project for university is due next week and I am unable to render!!

    My e-mail address is cpl@deakin.edu.au
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  • I have a proposal for a possible happy medium.

    Let's say we create a grainy image with the free render settings. Would Autodesk 360 allow a free final quality rendering of a small portion of that image? You could let us place a 200x200 square on that grainy image and final-render that section so we can test critical areas without using up so much memory on your end.

    You'd still sell cloud credits for the overall image, but we can see where we need to make adjustments for free. It's only fair to set yourself up so that we pay only when we're ready--otherwise it's a gamble, and users don't take well to that.

    Thoughts?
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