Going Mental?

Still being stuck deeply in all kinds of CAD visualization stuff has once more raised my desire to go looking for alternatives to Cinema 4D‘s built-in renderers. Now granted, it has gotten better with the introduction of the physical renderer in R13 and some other additions and changes and the more I re-learn the program, the better I get at understanding all the tweak points, yet still I crave the simplicity and quality of Lightwave‘s renderer. In particular the crudeness of many values and how they affect the look in Cinema gets me every time. You know, 30% reflection is almost barely noticeable and then at 40% most materials look like with a gloss varnish coating already. It’s a pretty tricky thing and does not always make sense. That being so, I’ve long been pondering whether to get VRay or anotehr third-party alternative. One of those is M4D, the Mental Ray version for Maxon‘s program and since they now have a special Easter promo, it also became financially more feasible, so i thought I’d give it a spin. With scenes from my current projects readily avialable, there’s plenty to test and in my Maya days I already had been using this renderer when it was still hugely different from what it is today. On the other hand it would appear some things never change – as soon as you use some decent quality settings, it still feels as slow as I remember it. The otehr thing that I’m not really sold on is iRay. Compared to modo and even the old FPrime in Lightwave it just feels slow and not really interactive at all. By the time it shows light changes, you already may have over-tweaked everything. Ah, I’m really undecided on that one. I would love to have alternatives, but throwing out 650 Euros when it doesn’t really speed up things (neither during scene setup nor rendering) just doesn’t feel right. A little more testing is definitely needed…

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