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Cinema’s (Self-) Image

CGTalk (no, I’ll never call them the CGSociety forums) is certainly an interesting place to pick up on random threads and one of those was titled Cinema 4D’s “Mograph” Image Problem?. Before the bashing begins anew – it was started by Cinema 4D users, so don’t blame me… ;-)

Does the program have an image as a “motion graphics”-centric 3D app? Absolutely! Any claim to the contrary would be a lie. Cinema 4D has propped its butt quite nicely into that niche and there’s a ton of plug-ins that help you grow weird swirly extrusions, create abstract wrinkly polygons or colorful particle swarms. Combine that with its parametric objects and you couldn’t have it easier to create animated logos, inserts and lower thirds for broadcast or generally bring your colorful, abstract illustrations to life.

Can you do other things with it? Sure you can. As my reel and other clips illustrate, you can do technical visualization with it. Other people do medical graphics and we all know those cool Red Bull Formula 1 promos from Aix Sponza. The question however is what effort it takes to get these results and that’s where it gets dicy. Many of those things can only be achieved with a lot of additional help by ways of alternate renderers like VRay or Octane, you need plug-ins for particle simulations like X-Particles and so on. And then of course ultimately all those limitations that annoyed me no end like the scene graph evaluation issues or the file exchange.

In the end that is what stops Cinema from entering certain markets. There is a reason why everybody uses Maya, MAX and Houdini for VFX work, many TV series’s effects are done with the same tools plus Lightwave or games are created with anything but Cinema 4D. It’s not a pipeline tool nor do many of its included features live up to what you would expect today. So while everybody may hate Autodesk for their policies, the mass migration to Cinema 4D as once more predicted by some in that thread won’t happen. Cinema has a long way to go before ever becoming relevant for some of that work…

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One comment on “Cinema’s (Self-) Image

  1. Absolutely true, very insightful as always.

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