Annual Cinema

Just a few days we were picking up breadcrumbs from some generic article about the new render features in Cinema 4D R15 and just today, much sooner than we anticipated, we get the bigger picture. Yepp, today the new version was announced officially. The full details can be found here and if you search the web, you can find demo clips from Beta testers on Vimeo and YouTube as well.

Overall it doesn’t look bad at all. I already wrote that a decent global illumination mode might actually make it feasible to use it even for some of my projects and having it wrapped in a new network render model should make this even better. The texture manager is a very welcome addition. It’s one of the few comforts I’ve long missed from my Lightwave days and also something I regularly use in modo. Just last week I had this situation where some stuff I imported from another scene referenced wrong texture paths and instead of spending an agonizing half hour to go into each material and adjust the references, having this at hand would have made it a 2 minute thing. I’m glad it’s finally there.

The rest – mmh, well, not particularly exciting, but I guess okay. We’re still battling out  the finer details of whether modo or Cinema 4D R15 have/ will have the better beveling tools on the forums. The R15 demos look excessive and made up to impress and not like anything that would be relevant for my workflows, as I’m actually not friends with all this bevel profiles stuff. I prefer to take an ordered multi-step approach, even if it may entail multiple selections and while I can admit that modo‘s bevel tool is far from perfect, it is robust enough to give me any kind of edge I desire. On the other hand of course if you are limited to Cinema, the new bevel tool will be a quantum leap compared to the old one.

The grass stuff gave me a slight giggle when I read the marketing blurb about being “based on the powerful hair and fur engine in Cinema 4D Studio and then they post a sample image that neither looks like real grass nor real hair and only shows how dated the hair renderer actually is. Not a good marketing move. The sculpting stuff, just like last year, doesn’t really interest me, because, let’s face it, nobody has yet proven that they can do better and knock ZBrush off its throne. In fact I’m a bit disappointed that they couldn’t manage to cram in at least a sculpt particle modifier for Thinking Particles like the one in X-Particles. On balance, though, I feel my MSA money has been put to better use than last year as I’m actually getting features that help me get my work done better and quicker. Well, September luckily isn’t that far away, so we can find out…


2 comments on “Annual Cinema

  1. Even if this dudes get insane and do a weekly release, I think they could come out with stuffs that are at least twice as useful as the raytracing engine inside After Effects.

    Overall this it’s looking good but lets see how fast is the improvement in Ambient Occlusion… I’ve always feel the AO pass in Cinema takes forever and for no reason especially after seeing how fast it is in Mental Ray.

    • Depends. Maxon keeps screwing around with Cinema 4D just like Adobe keep screwing around with After Effects and they just can’t seem to fix many long-standing issues and get a consistent development direction. It’s always like they create one new feature for a release and then never touch it for the next 5 years or so. We’ll have to see how it turns out practically.

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