Friday, July 30, 2010

Who DAT? Yes we are REAL! Just like the M&M's

Thanks to our marketing ladies! We continue to have tons of new features and looks to keep it fun at the NSC Blog. Please keep us on your RSS and stay tuned for late breaking tips and news.

Thanks for your continued views of our blog!


Differences Between 3ds Max and Max Design

I get asked this A LOT!

There are some key differences between 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design

3ds Max Design is intended for architecture and visualization, the tutorials and movies that are included show typical applications and scenarios for these customers. In addition, 3ds Max Design contains Exposure™ lighting analysis technology, which is designed specifically for architecture and visualization work flows. To learn more about Exposure lighting analysis, refer to the 3ds Max Design Help.

The tutorials and movies included with 3ds Max demonstrate 3D pipelines typically employed by artists and animators in films, games and television-related fields. In addition, 3ds Max ships with the SDK which can be used to add your own plug-ins to your 3ds Max pipeline. The only difference that you will notice during the install procedure is that you cannot install the SDK with 3ds Max Design.

It is possible to install both 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design on the same machine—a unique serial number and product key for each product is required to activate the software so that you can run the products beyond the 30-day trial period.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to increase your priority at Autodesk

Should I send the error report or not? You can increase your priority at Autodesk by sending the error report.

I talk to people all the time that say they never send the error report anymore because they never receive a response.

While this is correct, you will not receive a response from Autodesk, I encourage everyone to always send those error reports. "Why?" you ask, because Autodesk uses those error reports to fix things in the programs. Send the report every time. The more times it's submitted the higher the priority to getting the issue resolved. If I'm working with corrupt drawings and get kicked out 20 times I send it 20 times. What? You want "proof" that they fix things using the error reporting (a.k.a. CER or Customer Error Reporting). Okay, then go to one of the service packs for the program you run and view the readme. There will be a long list of things fixed due to the CER. Here's the AutoCAD 2010 readme

Now, that said, sometimes it does pop up with a message that says it's been fixed in a service pack or hotfix that has a link to the update or hotfix. This can be very helpful. Also, I have heard of very rare instances where Autodesk developers/QA contacting the client to help them reproduce the issue so they can fix it.

So, SEND SEND SEND! Always send that CER!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are you unable to plot immediately after sending a plot job?

When you print/plot and you gain control of AutoCAD again but can't plot again because it says there is a plot job in process, there is a setting that can help.

About the Background processing options for plotting:
If you turn on Background processing for plotting, then you gain control of your AutoCAD based program much quicker and the print/plot job continues to work in the background. However, the trade-off is that it takes longer to plot and you cannot send another print/plot job until it is done.

If you leave Background processing for plotting turned off, it plots quicker. However, you must wait for the entire job to be sent before you can do anything else in the AutoCAD based program again.

Go into Options and select the "Plot and Publish" tab
Either check or un-check the Plotting option under "Background processing options" (see fig. 1)

fig. 1

I recommend leaving it unchecked unless you have a lot of plot jobs to do quickly and you are unable to use the PUBLISH command to batch print/plot your jobs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Subscription Tutorials: a Great Resource for Customers

Subscription Tutorials: a Great Resource for Customers
The new Subscription Tutorials have been a great resource for helping customers with issues such as understanding how to access their Subscription Benefits, how to manage their contract, and how to set up access for end users.

Tutorials include:

• Signing In to Subscription Center
• Downloading Software
• Downloading Subscription Advantage Packs
• Extending Your License Rights
• Giving Users Access to Benefits
• Managing Subscription Contracts
• Renewing Your Subscription Contract

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What is cascade licensing?

This can be a difficult topic and when you include all the different version's of Autodesk programs and each versions little differences it can be very confusing.

In a nutshell: Cascade licensing allows a program to check out/obtain a “feature code” (or license) that is assigned to another program/product.

Now, let’s change our way of thinking. No longer think “license” instead, think “feature” or “feature code”. This is important. When you view your license file you will see all kinds of feature codes.

Let’s start with the basic “How network licensing works”:

  1. You install your program as a network version and in doing so it knows what “feature code” it has encoded. We have installed AutoCAD 2011 and the feature code is 85536ACD_2011_0F.

  2. The license manager is configured for a license file that has a feature code in it.

  3. When you run AutoCAD (feature code: 85536ACD_2011_0F) it will ask the license manager if it can have 1 of feature code 85536ACD_2011_0F. The license manager will check its database and if that feature has a seat available it grants it and the program runs. However, if it doesn’t have any available you receive a message.

How cascading works:
You install your program as a network version and in doing so it knows what "feature code" is has encoded. We now have AutoCAD 2011 (feature code: 85536ACD_2011_0F) and AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011 (feature code: 85623REVITS_2011_0F) installed.

The license manager is configured for a license file that has a feature code in it (most likely many feature codes). We've combined out AutoCAD and AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite licenses/Features together so we have both feature codes available n our license file.

Wehn you run AutoCAD (feature code 85536ACD_2011_0f) it will ask the license manager if it can have 1 of feature 85536ACD_2011_0F. The license manager will check its datbase and finds that feature code is not available, now it ill look for (cascade to) another feature code in the license file. So, now it asks the license manaager for an AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011 feature code (85623REVITS_2011_0F) and if it's available it is granted. Otherwise it continues down the cascade list of feature codes until it obtains a license or gives a message that no licenses are available.

Note: Cascading is available in the Autodesk 2007 programs and newer, 2006 and prior cannot cascade.

Autodesk Support has done a great job in posting Technical Solutions about the cascading and feature list.

  • To see the Cascade list for 2011 programs, click here or copy/paste this address:

  • To see the Feature list for 2011 programs, click here or copy/pate this address:
You can also search for “cascading” or “feature code” and come up with the other versions lists too.

Again, this is not an easy topic to conquer, especially if you’re new to network licensing. I hope this helps, if not, give us a call in the National Support Center. 800-808-7645. Remember, contract holders are answered first, then the 1 time free support incident callers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is no longer available

Microsoft has pulled the ability to download and use the tool as it had some unintended consequences from time to time:

Per Microsoft: This article previously contained a link to the Windows Installer Cleanup utility (MSICUU2.exe). If you were directed to this article to solve a problem installing a product other than Microsoft Office, please contact your software manufacturer for installation support on the product.

While the Windows Installer Cleanup utility resolved some installation problems, it sometimes damaged other components installed on the computer. Because of this, the tool has been removed from the Microsoft Download Center. The Fix it Solutions in this article provide the ability to fully remove Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 suites without damaging other Windows components.

As an alternative you can check out the Revo Uninstaller at:

They have a 'free' version and full version that has a 30 day trial for full use of the product.

To get help on this or other issues call us at 800-808-7645.

Friday, July 2, 2010

We're watching Fireworks! ooohhhh ... aaahhh

On Monday, July 5, we'll be taking a break to rejuvenate, practice our pyrotechnic skills and relax. And we're taking Autodesk with us. Just in case something may break, we think you should make a preemptive strike and take a break too!

Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.