Stereo M.C.

In those now almost 19 years doing 3D I’ve used a ton of programs, but in addition to my still beloved Lightwave, one rather stable constant has also been Cinema 4D. Back then with v5.21 I loved it, because naturally at the time its procedural approach was quite unique and new in a time when literally you knitted every polygon by hand in other apps, I still loved it in v6 and v7 for the renewed interface and the then new modules like Advanced Render and Sketch and Toon and then something went wrong. Somewhere along the lines Maxon lost control of the whole thing with a rather obvious lack of progress in many areas, questionable marketing, development and pricing decisions and a never-ending stream of the most atrocious, yet unnecessary bugs and misbehaviors. With the exception of my short stint with R9.6 doing those MoGraph tutorials, I never really considered the program fit for my work anymore between R8 and R11 as it had hopelessly fallen behind in critical areas, most importantly for me rendering quality and speed. Only with R11.5 and several crucial enhancements beginning to seep in did it become more attractive and so with R12 I decided to finally give it a spin again.

And it seems my gut feeling was right, after all, as now with R13 my most wanted new feature, a better renderer, is there. Seems like getting that MSA was one of the better decisions I made this year and the money was invested in the right spot. I finally had a chance to pick up my upgrade package from the post office today and of course installed it right away. Playing around with the new renderer is really fun, as even the simplest MoGraph cloner setup looks so much better with proper motion blur and a bit of the new subsurface scattering shader. Also the speed is now much better even with global illumination renders and other complex shading. I’ll have to do quite a bit of testing and throw some heavy CAD scenes at it, but if the quality holds up, switching to Cinema 4D even for those demanding visualization projects becomes a feasible option. One thing I’m definitely gonna need soon is the Stereo 3D stuff. With our first "serious" such project on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be better. No more flying blind and rendering endless test files. Looking through these goggles still makes me all wuzzy, though…

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