Rhino 8: Status quo and next steps

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    • Official Post

    Hey there,


    we are getting a lot of messages regarding the missing Rhino 8 support in Enscape (both, here in the forums, on social media and by mail).

    So we want to share some internal insights what is currently happening behind the curtains and provide an outlook on the next weeks.


    Everybody that has used Enscape before 2023 should be aware that we are usually shipping a Service Pack to support the new version of a host application 2-4 weeks later at the latest. That's what you want, that's what we want.

    This year, things are a bit different. Some of you might have heard that we are currently working on a major technology change for the software (which you will probably not even notice) that will allow to have one code base for Mac and Windows. This project takes time and eats up a lot of resources. That's also the reason why we did not have as many new features and improvements as we used to have in the past.

    This project has the highest priority right now. We already faced some delays. This 4.0 release is currently planned for end of March 2024.


    But how does this affect the implementation of Rhino 8 support?

    In the last couple of months our development teams have been working closely together with the development teams of Rhino to get some critical bugs fixed that prevent us from shipping the integration.

    But as you already understand, these are not easy to fix. That's why it is taking us so long.

    The issue with that is, that we need to stop shipping Service Packs for the old technology at some point. Otherwise, it will be more or less 'wasted' effort and it would cause a further delay of 4.0 and therefore a delay of the whole roadmap for next year.

    The last planned Service Pack that we decided to ship was released just a few minutes ago.

    That means that we will not have an official version that is supporting Rhino 8 until 4.0 is released.

    However, we are planning to provide a Preview version on the new technology in February that will support Rhino 8, so that you are able to keep using Enscape with your upgraded host application.


    As I stated at the beginning, we know that this is not ideal. But forcing an earlier release will just cause more issues.

    This situation is an edge case and after shipping 4.0, we will be able to return to our usual procedure.

    Our colleagues at Rhino are also aware of this situation.


    I hope you understand. We are open for any further question in that regard.


    Best,

    Product Management

  • I hope you understand. We are open for any further question in that regard.... This situation is an edge case and after shipping 4.0, we will be able to return to our usual procedure.

    - I think we can understand that a new release might not be supported right away, but Rhino 8 has been available as WIP for nearly 3 years.

    - So we tell users they have to stay on Rhino 7, in which case they need to use Enscape 3.4.4, because 3.5.x has been broken in Rhino since May 2023.

    - The same users also need to use Revit 2024 which requires Enscape 3.5.x

    - We cannot have different versions of Enscape installed for different host software.


    The Enscape track record is that the X.X.0 releases introduce new bugs, and it takes a number of X.X.X updates before things are functioning properly across all host software. If the planned release is March 2024, realistically, will we have a functional version before June? Considering there will also be Sketchup and Revit updates in that timeframe. (More opportunities for things to break.)


    If an issue only affected, Rhino, or only Skp, or only Revit, so be it, that is something that could be worked around. The bigger problem is that these issues do not impact just one host software - there is not one good Enscape version that is compatible with all of them. Is there a suggested workaround? Provide two PCs or VMs for each user, one for Rhino, one for Revit? Uninstall and reinstall a different version of Enscape each time they want to use Revit or Rhino?


    Perhaps most of your users are individuals or small firms only working in one host software. But for our firm, this is not an "edge case," this is an ongoing pain point that we devote significant resources to testing and working around ever since v3.0 was released.

  • The issue with that is, that we need to stop shipping Service Packs for the old technology at some point. Otherwise, it will be more or less 'wasted' effort

    I don't follow the logic here. It seems feasible to have developed a version compatible with Rhino 8 months ago, especially given your indication that it could have been accomplished within 2-4 weeks.

    I fail to comprehend why facilitating a significant portion of your user base to seamlessly transition to the latest Rhino release is considered "wasted effort." You could have done this first and then have all the time in the world to develop 4.0 release.


    (which you will probably not even notice

    Your first priority should be the convenience of your user base, not yours.

  • Realistically, we will test some kind of beta Version of 4.0 in March, meaning it will be an indefinite amount of time before a reliable version is running. Given that you failed to fix the problems with 3.5 for more than half a year. This means that there has been practically no running update for a year! (from 3.4 to 4.0)


    What is the timeframe to count on?


    We are now heading to Twinmotion....Perhaps you can convince us at some point with a reliably running cross-hosts software version.

  • This is a notification and announcement. In short its like "yea, we are not going to waste any more time until we finish the XXX"


    Like it or hate it, there really isn't anything the consumer can do, right?

    They can go to D5 or Twinmotion, I saw this stuff coming 18 months ago and moved to D5 and would never come back to Enscape given how there development (or lack of) has been for several years

    • Official Post

    They can go to D5 or Twinmotion, I saw this stuff coming 18 months ago and moved to D5 and would never come back to Enscape given how there development (or lack of) has been for several years

    Hi dev here,


    we are working on things behind the scenes, there is no lack of development ;)

    The issue is that not everything can be done at once. We plan to add Rhino 8 support Q1 next year (maybe earlier via previews if possible)
    but at the same time we had to work closely with McNeal's own dev team to figure out some issues on both sides to make this happen.

    If an issue only affected, Rhino, or only Skp, or only Revit, so be it, that is something that could be worked around. The bigger problem is that these issues do not impact just one host software - there is not one good Enscape version that is compatible with all of them. Is there a suggested workaround? Provide two PCs or VMs for each user, one for Rhino, one for Revit? Uninstall and reinstall a different version of Enscape each time they want to use Revit or Rhino?


    Perhaps most of your users are individuals or small firms only working in one host software. But for our firm, this is not an "edge case," this is an ongoing pain point that we devote significant resources to testing and working around ever since v3.0 was released.

    This is exactly why we have been quiet for a while we are overall improving the stability of the product underneath the hood. I get your frustration but we are by no means slacking of and ignoring you guys, some things just take time.

  • I get your frustration but we are by no means slacking of and ignoring you guys, some things just take time.

    The frustration is that there was a working version w/ Rhino in 3.4.4. Things broke with 3.5. That wasn't anything McNeel did.


    The frustration is (repeating myself, but still no one from Enscape has acknowledged this) - there is not one good Enscape version that is compatible with all host software, and no workaround has been offered.


    Possible fixes:

    - update 3.4.4 to be compatible with Revit 2024

    - provide a solution to allow different Enscape versions for different host software.


    Understanding those are not trivial and would be "wasted effort" on the development roadmap. But they sound more achievable than unifying the code base for Mac + Windows. If updates and "progress" break what was previously functional, then yes, I feel like there is a responsibility on Enscape's side to provide a version that just works like it is supposed to.

    • Official Post

    Don't get me wrong but that is simply not how it works. We are in the process of improving the things under the hood as I said and we will be able to respond to these issues quicker in the future. These things just take time. We are investing into the new code base for the exact reason that we want to serve your needs better and iterate quicker. So all I can say is "it takes time" please have some patience with us, that is all.

  • I am honestly very disappointed. A Rhino 8 update would waste that much resources really ? I don't think the argument holds much. Your software is expensive ($79 per month floating license), it is double the price of D5, and same price of Twinmotion which are both Rhino 8 compatible already (maybe because Rhino 8 has been in the making for years..).
    Personally, I couldn't care much right now about Mac compatibility or improvement under the hood. Rhino 8 compatibility should be your priority, and we should not even have to point it out to you. More generally ensuring software continuity between old and new versions should be a priority. It is basic sotfware product servicing. This lack of update (until March 2024 sigh) disrupt workflows, imped productivity and make us wonder why we spend so much on Enscape. We are paying full-price for an outdated software right now.

    Once again, very disappointed.

    • Official Post

    I am honestly very disappointed. A Rhino 8 update would waste that much resources really ? I don't think the argument holds much. Your software is expensive ($79 per month floating license), it is double the price of D5, and same price of Twinmotion which are both Rhino 8 compatible already (maybe because Rhino 8 has been in the making for years..).
    Personally, I couldn't care much right now about Mac compatibility or improvement under the hood. Rhino 8 compatibility should be your priority, and we should not even have to point it out to you. More generally ensuring software continuity between old and new versions should be a priority. It is basic sotfware product servicing. This lack of update (until March 2024 sigh) disrupt workflows, imped productivity and make us wonder why we spend so much on Enscape. We are paying full-price for an outdated software right now.

    Once again, very disappointed.

    Hi there,


    while I understand your disappointment the argument holds very true unfortunately.


    The thing we are working on now will ensure that we can return to frequent releases and staying up to date with CAD releases and user requests.

    What you are experiencing now is, to put it in an analogy, asking us to change the tires on an old bus that served us well but is being decommissioned while we are in the process of finishing the new and shiny bus that will come with the fresh tires from the get go. Time spent on the old will cut into time spent on the new and comes with diminished returns as work has to be duplicated.


    You and all our users will benefit from the under the hood improvements and platform independent nature of the new code base. Every singe one. If we were just building a new separate Mac version you'd be absolutely right but that is simply not the case. The reason we cannot provide it earlier is not a lack of understanding of the need on your end it is simply that we needed to make a call what to prioritise on to deliver the best possible results for everyone in the end.


    Please believe me that we are putting a lot of effort into this, it's an investment into the future of the product first and foremost.


    Finally, it might be that we are able to release preview builds with the Rhino support earlier no promises though. So in the end only time will tell if you truly have to wait until the full release. Idk if using those would be an option for you.

  • You should invest money in an additional dev team to keep things running smoothly and simultaneously. In the end, you're taking money from your customers, who continue to pay for no service or improvements, but lose time and money while testing beta versions - a pretty risky process!

  • This one argument by far from my point of view is indeed one of worst decision-making from the team. Which put users behind company's capital, financial, work resource. Some users will be affect for at least 3 months for this type of decision.

  • I don't know how I missed this thread for so long. But this now explains why the video editor has gone untouched for years. Why? To focus on a minority subset of Mac users. Yes, there was vocal support but why now?


    asking us to change the tires on an old bus that served us well but is being decommissioned while we are in the process of finishing the new and shiny bus that will come with the fresh tires from the get go.

    The "new and shiny bus" is a shell that's missing everything but its frame and tires.


    This is unbelievably disappointing. Especially, after D.5's update this past week. Look at this list of features that D5 has that Enscape is currently lacking:


    -functional video editor

    -weather

    -volumic light

    -PBR/substance integration

    -water - both flowing and static

    -video texture with alpha options

    -rounded corners

    -uv randomizer

    -an integrated scatter tool

    -asset animation

    -decals

    -real-time vine creator

    - Subsurface scattering

    -manipulatable hedges

    -real-time above-surface caustics

    -Interior Parallax


    That's not even a complete list as I just cherry-picked the major additions over the last 4 updates, mind you that were all added in just over 16 months. These have been what we the users of the forum have been asking for years to be added. But all we got we "That's too complicated for live rendering" or "submit it to our voting black hole". Well D5 just showed you guys up by adding that plus more. You guys haven't touched the video editor in TWO years!!!!  But let's drop everything and develop the Mac side of Enscape so a couple of hundred people can experience the pain all of us PC users have had for the last couple of years.


    Enscape 2017-2020 was amazing. You guys were on top of almost everything. Speed of updates, minimal bugs, and reacting to user feedback. Enscape 2021-2023 has been nothing but buggy releases, minimal feature progression, regression in key features, and a lack of communication. I can speculate on why, but that doesn't fix the problem.


    If Enscape had all the major features people have spent years on the forum requesting but lacked a Mac option, I would be on board. But this is the exact same thing that happened with the site context feature, which I should point out hasn't been touched since it was added.* At this point I'm convinced the Enscape office has a spinner board with all the requested features on it and they just keep replacing the bottom option with whatever a big firm mentions in passing because they weighted the spinner so it only lands that feature (except for color shadows, which doesn't make up for the years of falling behind the competition).



    * As a fun little aside, I went through the last 10 pages of the showcase and all 4 pages of the WIP, and not a single post uses the site context feature. (Two posts had comparable quality site context but I suspect were not from Enscape itself due to the modifications of the site in each case) What a great use of resources and time that was.


  • I have already witched to D5 after seeing 2.6 version

  • I am still so ticked off by this.


    Just for fun let's go through every major update Enscape has made since 3.0 which happened on March 3rd, 2021 (2.85 years ago)((D.5 has had 9 feature updates in the same time frame)):


    3.0.0

    -New look = Subpar video editor

    -Multithreading - Ok

    -Link view presets - Still not implemented in the manner hoped for by the forum


    3.1.0

    -Material library - Hasent hasn't been touched since implementation(except for maybe some added textures)/ missing features that would make it useful to users

    -Material editor overhaul - Same as above

    -View management - Still not implemented in the manner hoped for by the forum

    -DLSS - Had issues but is now worked out

    -Ray tracing shadows - Rocky start, but has been Improved

    -Pano Gallery - Meh

    -Simplified assets - Ok


    3.2.0

    -In-app asset placement - Not needed

    -Batch Pano - Some people speak highly of this

    -Upload management overhaul - Meh

    -More ray-traced shadows - Ok

    -Asset Library overhaul - Needed but not impactful


    3.3.0

    -Site context - Useless and hasn't been touched since

    -Alpha Channel export - :thumbup:

    -Material overwrite - Ok

    -Enscape always on top - Nice to have but a minor improvement


    3.4.0

    -Custom asset categories - Very nice to have but could be improved greatly

    -Save sun position - Would be useful if the view presets worked better

    -Improved mirror reflections - :thumbup:


    3.5.0

    -Adjustable assets - On the right track but not fully implemented in the ways the forum had hoped

    -Improved Indirect lighting and reflections - Ok

    -More assets - Ok

    -Multi-asset editing - Meh

    -Improved alpha export - Ok


    3.5.3

    -Colored shadows - :thumbup:

    -Nvidia shadow denoiser - Good but not fully Enscapes doing


    Almost three years of development and you guys have only added 3, maybe 4, or 5 depending on the person, fully flushed-out features to the program. Now you are adding on an additional 4 months to create a parallel version of this program for Mac with no feature updates and withholding Rhino 8 support. If I could, I would replace any combination of the 3.0 updates with a single D.5 update without a second thought.


    Enscape is getting raked over the coals on this thread and honestly, I think it's justified. If something is happening behind the scenes at Enscape that the forum/user base is not aware of that is impacting the ability of the program to progress competitively with competition. While simultaneously locking people into year-long uncancelable subscription plans (with rate increases); Enscape is traveling dangerously close to the fraud category.

  • Also it is good to remember that up to this date Rhino does not have IES light support. It is said that it is a problem with Rhino software but, somehow, Vray does have it in Rhino.