Moving on

Posted by Ken Pimentel, 10 December 2012 8:49 pm

End of Year, New Beginnings

This has been a crazy year for me, perhaps for you too. After I left on my sabbatical in June 2012, I came back to a much changed work environment and soon after that, Autodesk announced a restructuring that included layoffs. Unfortunately, many of those working for me were impacted, though I wasn’t. However, I did decide at that point to move to the new “Industry Strategy and Marketing” team and leave the product team that had been my home for the last 12 years. It’s taken more months to figure out exactly what my new role is, so I didn’t really want to blog until things got more solid.


I won't bore you with the details, but it involved taking a 40' sailing catamarran from South Carolina up to North of Boston and back to Milford, CT. It involved roughly 1,400nm in 6 weeks, a few gusty storms, minor damage, no injuries, lot's of amazing memories. Here's a peek at what we experienced:

Staten Island, NY

3ds Max

While I won’t be involved from now on, the great news is that Frank Delise is doing a repeat performance. In case you didn’t know, Frank was lead designer for 3ds Max way back in 2000 and saw the creation of 3ds Max 4 and 5 before leaving Autodesk to work on various projects (see for more background). It’s comforting to me to know that the product is in such good hands in these complex times.

My Legacy

I feel my biggest achievement was showing how we could be better at communicating with users. That involved being active on the forums and responding to comments. I also led the adoption of Uservoice so that you can give us feedback and vote on it. This has since been recognized as a valuable tool inside M&E and now all our products use it too. I created the XBR initiative and figured out how to talk to you about the future without violating the internal rules that constrain us more generally about these things. I also drove various user surveys to understand what you all thought to give us better mechanisms for prioritizing our efforts. I then became a principle blogger at M&E by sharing all this information (or as much as I could). Much of this will survive my leaving, and Frank will figure out his own methods of managing the product going forwards. 


It’s up to Frank to decide how he wants to share it with you. I remain excited by what I see in the progress videos that I’m exposed to. I’ve always enjoyed teasing you about what we had cooking in the lab, or doing the sneak peeks before release. I hope Frank has some time to do that too, but be patient with him as he’s got many responsibilities.

My new job now revolves around figuring out how media and entertainment companies can better leverage the rest of Autodesk products (things like AutoCAD and Revit for example). I also hope to lead an effort to develop next-generation storytelling for engineers, designers and those working with CAD data. I also believe that we’re on the early stage of disruption around the capture of physical spaces. I think this will transform many processes and that should lead to interesting times. I hope to play a role in it.

In Closing

I believe I made a difference, and that is always my foundational goal. I truly appreciated the level of passion many of you have for 3ds Max and I tried to show you that we have passion for the product too. It wasn’t always easy being on the forums, but once you taught me how to behave, you welcomed me into the community. Some of you even complained enough on the forums to find yourself in our beta program and now you’re part of the solution to improving 3ds Max. I think I’ve made many more friends than enemies on the forums and I’ll miss the forums until I figure out how to talk to the new community I’m focused on. So please, make a difference with your use of 3ds Max or in your lives. It’s what passion is good for!

3ds Max Rules!

P.S. Conspiracy Theorists

I’ve got a question for you, was the “XBR leak” really a leak? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t fully immersed yourself in all things 3ds Max.



Posted 10 December 2012 9:28 pm

Ken, you did a great job, and I am so sad you leave the M&E Industrie.
I wish you all the best for your new job,
see you


Posted 10 December 2012 10:23 pm

Good times, Ken! And good luck!


Posted 10 December 2012 10:27 pm

Good luck Ken!


Posted 11 December 2012 12:30 am

You did very well for a long time. Good luck to you. We will miss U.


Posted 11 December 2012 3:26 am

I like XBR and love the way you showed us some of roadmap of Max. It also proved that you were listening to users and let the users take part. Thank you and hope to see more improvements of Revit as well.


Posted 11 December 2012 3:51 am

Thanks for everything, Ken. You made a huge difference in communication with users, and I know it was greatly appreciated. Best of luck in your new role.

The Angry Beaver

Posted 11 December 2012 5:32 am

You have done a great job Ken and I know 3ds Max is much better than it would have been without you.

But the big question, are you happy in your new role and will it provide the challenges you crave?


Posted 11 December 2012 10:21 am

Good luck Ken!

Emperor Toe

Posted 11 December 2012 11:08 am

Good luck in the new role, Ken. If in your new Industry Strategy and Marketing team, you could stop them making idiotic decisions like penalising those of us that don't own one of the suites, it would be appreciated.


Posted 11 December 2012 2:54 pm

Good luck to you.
Just wanted to say that you and the 3dsmax team won me back as a customer with 3dsmax2013 recently.
It feels good.

Ken Pimentel

Posted 11 December 2012 3:56 pm

Thanks for all the positive vibes! It really is the most important reward for all the years of work.

Joep van der Steen

Posted 11 December 2012 4:18 pm

Good luck, and of course it was(n't) a leak :-)



Posted 11 December 2012 4:36 pm

Much thanks for all your work Ken. Blessings on you and you family this holiday season.


Posted 11 December 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks a lot Ken. and Good luck in the new role!

I bet it was not a leak


Posted 11 December 2012 8:53 pm

Sad to see you go, your interactions with the 3ds Max community really gave me confidence that the program was going somewhere. Frank has some large shoes to fill.


Posted 11 December 2012 10:37 pm

What's XBR? Ken, thanks for including me. Very fortunate to have worked with you. See you around...


Posted 12 December 2012 10:27 am

Ken, you were awesome!
I hope the whole XBR process which is so important continues and we'll see a fully transformed 3ds max over the next years.

Royal Ghost

Posted 12 December 2012 2:11 pm

Thank you Ken for all this years of hard work. I really like XBR initiative and UserVoice and mostly XBR webinars. You did make 3dsmax closer to users. Good wishes in new work.


Posted 12 December 2012 3:29 pm

Leak, turnip, carrot all the same thing right.

Sad you did not get to helm XBR into port, but Frank has great beard potential so as a capn of a ship already his on an earlier commission he will do nicely to replace max's hull.
Your contribution to a feedback related Max could not have come at a better time. Best of success to you and when the New ship 3DSMax sales I'll make sure to have your name and a few others carved into the mast just under "In Yost we trust".


Posted 12 December 2012 7:52 pm

Cheers Ken!

May your next endeavor be as interesting as the last Thanks for everything.


Posted 12 December 2012 8:13 pm

You truly made a difference. I am glad I got the chance to meet you and share some ideas. Best of luck with your new challenges and I hope you find peace and happiness.


Posted 12 December 2012 10:44 pm

You've always been outstanding; knowledge, help, sense of humor (more!) = the best! Thank You! Good luck with your new endeavours.

Kristoffer Helander

Posted 12 December 2012 11:45 pm

Thank you Ken, for XBR and opening up the dev team to the users, it's all great! Best of luck to you, forever on!


Posted 13 December 2012 1:42 am

Thank you for everything, Ken! Enjoy and best of luck in your future sailings!

Fabian Boll

Posted 13 December 2012 9:28 am

Thank you for your effort, Ken! Your communications really made a difference! Good luck for your future! And always try to have fun! :-)


Posted 13 December 2012 9:34 am

I wish you succes in everything you do. I never write anything in the forums. I'm more a reader. Hope to see you in another interactive role here in Autodesk. Cheers!

Ken Pimentel

Posted 13 December 2012 2:41 pm

thanks for all the positive vibes, I guess you don't know how much support you have until you're gone.


Posted 14 December 2012 8:37 pm

every product should have his Ken Pimentel! Unfortunately we are not all so lucky


Posted 18 December 2012 10:53 am

Thanks Ken for keeping us informed for all the time.


Posted 18 December 2012 12:32 pm

So long captain, i wish you a "stiff breeze" always in the sail.
You have done a lot of good to 3dsmax and your comments and explenations were always very welcome. Can we still follow your tweets ?
In any way i wish you a merry x-mas and a happy and less crazy new year.


Posted 6 January 2013 1:06 am

Thank you for all your hard work. I'm sad to hear that you're going.

I wish you a happy new year and all the best!

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