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  • SIgor

    First Two Volumes of the Siggraph 2016 Rewinds are now live!!

    By SIgor



    This week we have released the first two batches of the Siggraph 2016 Rewinds. Watch how top artist use Cinema 4D in their workflow, as well as some sneak peeks into some of the new features of Cinema 4D Release 18.

    Our first batch of Siggraph 2016 presentations include talks by Athanasios Pozantzis (Noseman), Chris Schmidt of GreyScaleGorrila, EJ Hassenfratz of EyeDesyn, and Melissa Oakley from Capacity.

    • What’s Next in Cinema 4D with Athanasios Pozantzis
    • Creating Advanced Controllable Dynamic Splines and Tentacles with Chris Schmidt
    • 2D Character Animation with EJ Hassenfratz
    • From Sports to eSports: Behind the Scenes of Creating a Broadcast Package with Melissa Oakley


    Our Second batch includes talks by Nick Campbell of Greyscalegorilla, Sekani Solomon of Imaginary Forces, Carlos Ferrer, and Nik Hill.

    • Breaking New Ground in Cinema 4D with Nick Campbell
    • Cinema 4D for Filmmakers with Carlos Ferrer
    • Creating Dynamic Animated Crystals with Sekani Solomon
    • Designing and Modeling 3D Assets in C4D with Nik Hill

    Also, we are releasing a quick tip every day for the month of August! We are showcasing the different features within R18, so come check them out.

    Watch Now: Release 18 Quicktips


    The Cineversity Team
    --------------------------
    www.cineversity.com

    Also, if you're a Cinema 4D user with an active MAXON Service Agreement (MSA) and you're not yet a Cineversity Premium member -- what are you waiting for? No matter where you live, contact your local MAXON distributor for your complimentary premium access coupon.
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  • SIgor

    FREE WEBINAR: REALISTIC RENDERING

    By SIgor

    FREE WEBINAR: REALISTIC RENDERING In his 2-day webinar ‘Realistic Rendering’, 3D generalist Dominik Dammelhart will introduce participants to various render engines and demonstrate techniques with which advanced users can achieve photo-realistic results. If you want to discover how to create realistic-looking shaders, simulate various lighting scenarios and define the right settings for final renderings, this is the right webinar for you! On January 25, 2017 from 15:00 – 16:15, Dominik will focus on Octane; from 16:15 – 17:15, his webinar will turn its attention to Corona. At these times on January 26, 2017, Dominik will cover VrayforC4D followed by the Maxwell Renderer. Dominik will use real-world examples from the automobile world to demonstrate each renderer’s features. Register for free for one or both webinars! Register here for Jan. 25, 2017 (Octane, Corona). Register here for Jan. 26, 2017 (VrayforC4D, Maxwell Render). MAXON hopes you enjoy these informative and exciting webinars!
      About the trainer Dominik Dammelhart, a.k.a. CurseStudio, has worked as a 3D generalist in the field of CG for more than 6 years. Since 2010 he has produced numerous free tutorials for the Cinema 4D community and has worked on several projects for companies such as Lenovo and Siemens. His work and his tutorials are featured on many renowned websites such as 3dtotal, Evermotion and Motionserved.
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  • teknow

    Free Music

    By teknow

    Here's a link to a bunch of music I created recently for video custom soundtracks and personal enjoyment. If you enjoy a good rhythm section and polyrhythmic (read jungle rhythms!) feel free to download any or all. As I create new ones I will be adding them to the folder as time goes along. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6oErO8ecP3_WWpEcGJxeVFIZ0U?usp=sharing
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  • SIgor

    New Series on Creating a MoGraph Sports Intro Animatic on Cineversity!

    By SIgor

    Hey Everyone,

    We've just released a new series by Ray Olsen about how to create a MoGraph sports into animatic. This series will walk you through how to create each shot, from drawn concept to finished pitch-ready animatic.

    Along the way you'll learn how to:
    - Use the mograph module, motion camera rigs, and simple keyframed animation to bring scenes to life.
    - Use primitives and simple modeling to keep the geometry simple to keep the viewports and renders fast.
    - Sweeten the look with R18’s enhanced Open GL options and use hardware previews to output your work.
    - Export to Adobe's Premiere, using basic tools to knock out a rough cut in just a few minutes.
    - Stack tracks for making versioned renders easy to spit out for client review.

    Check it out: Creating a MoGraph Sports Intro Animatic

    The Cineversity Team
    --------------------------
    www.cineversity.com

    Also, if you're a Cinema 4D user with an active MAXON Service Agreement (MSA) and you're not yet a Cineversity Premium member -- what are you waiting for? No matter where you live, contact your local MAXON distributor for your complimentary premium access coupon.   Link to post with video!
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Our community blogs

  1. Hey Everyone,

    We've just released a new series by Ray Olsen about how to create a MoGraph sports into animatic. This series will walk you through how to create each shot, from drawn concept to finished pitch-ready animatic.

    Along the way you'll learn how to:
    - Use the mograph module, motion camera rigs, and simple keyframed animation to bring scenes to life.
    - Use primitives and simple modeling to keep the geometry simple to keep the viewports and renders fast.
    - Sweeten the look with R18’s enhanced Open GL options and use hardware previews to output your work.
    - Export to Adobe's Premiere, using basic tools to knock out a rough cut in just a few minutes.
    - Stack tracks for making versioned renders easy to spit out for client review.

    Check it out: Creating a MoGraph Sports Intro Animatic

    The Cineversity Team
    --------------------------
    www.cineversity.com

    Also, if you're a Cinema 4D user with an active MAXON Service Agreement (MSA) and you're not yet a Cineversity Premium member -- what are you waiting for? No matter where you live, contact your local MAXON distributor for your complimentary premium access coupon.

     

    Link to post with video!

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  2.  

    FREE WEBINAR: REALISTIC RENDERING

    In his 2-day webinar ‘Realistic Rendering’, 3D generalist Dominik Dammelhart will introduce participants to various render engines and demonstrate techniques with which advanced users can achieve photo-realistic results.

    If you want to discover how to create realistic-looking shaders, simulate various lighting scenarios and define the right settings for final renderings, this is the right webinar for you!

    On January 25, 2017 from 15:00 – 16:15, Dominik will focus on Octane; from 16:15 – 17:15, his webinar will turn its attention to Corona. At these times on January 26, 2017, Dominik will cover VrayforC4D followed by the Maxwell Renderer. Dominik will use real-world examples from the automobile world to demonstrate each renderer’s features.

    Register for free for one or both webinars!

    Register here for Jan. 25, 2017 (Octane, Corona).

    Register here for Jan. 26, 2017 (VrayforC4D, Maxwell Render).

    MAXON hopes you enjoy these informative and exciting webinars!
     

    About the trainer

    Dominik Dammelhart, a.k.a. CurseStudio, has worked as a 3D generalist in the field of CG for more than 6 years. Since 2010 he has produced numerous free tutorials for the Cinema 4D community and has worked on several projects for companies such as Lenovo and Siemens. His work and his tutorials are featured on many renowned websites such as 3dtotal, Evermotion and Motionserved.

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    http://www.render-storm.com/promo/promoc4d.html

    WHY US?
    The RenderStorm team has a over 20 years experience within the 3D animation and computer hardware industries. RenderStorm offers support for some of the most popular 3D Applications. RenderStorm delivers simple, secure and automated uploading, rendering and downloading with full control of the service. 

    CPU Rendering
    - AutoDesk MAYA - Arnold, VRAY, IRAY, Software Render
    - AutoDesk 3DSMax - Mental Ray, VRAY, IRAY, Scanline Render
    - MAXON Cinema 4D - V-Ray, Arnold, Standard Render, Physical Render 
    - Luxology Modo - Standard Render 
    - Blender -Cycles, Blender Render

    GPU Rendering
    - Blender GPU Cycles
    - IRAY


    Ease to Use
    - Simple in-application plugins. (3DS MAX, MAYA, C4D and Blender)
    - Feature-rich desktop utility. (RenderStorm Cloud User Interface)

    Powerful
    - 3000 modern Intel XEON CPU (physical) cores. 30,000 CUDA GPU cores
    - Telecom-rated network infrastructure
    - Solid state server technology 
    - 400Mb/s fiber internet connection
    - Secure, encrypted 256bit SSL data transferser

    Flexible
    - Support for a wide range of rendering workflows 
    - On-request 3rd party plugin support
    - In-house custom engineered pipeline development and consulting
    - On-demand or reserved leasing options

    Friendly
    - Email, skype and telephone support
    - We work with you like an extension of your studios' pipeline
    - Strong focus on personable service

     

    RENDERSTORM UPDATE: 

    We are happy to announce that X-Particles 3.5 are added to all of our C4D Render Nodes.

    If you guys experiencing problems or have suggestions, make sure to send us support ticket.

  3. WHAT'S NEW IN MAXWELL 4?

     

    GPU

    Maxwell 4’s major new feature - a GPU render engine! The new engine runs on nVidia graphic cards and uses all the power that GPUs provide to accelerate the render process. All the technology under the hood is identical to the classic CPU engine - which means your images are exactly the same, unbeatable Maxwell quality.

     

    MAXWELL MULTILIGHT™ STANDALONE

    No more re-rendering.

    Save infinite lighting variations and images all from ONE single render. No going back to your scene, re-rendering or waiting. Welcome to Multilight™!

    Benefits:

    • Limitless lighting setups in real time.
    • Work smarter and faster by editing lights before and after the render finishes.
    • Create a lighting catalog for your client.
    • Automatically update your catalog with different lighting positions or geometry.

     

    NEW MATERIALS GALLERY

    The newly renovated gallery features a hand-picked selection of high-quality, optimized Maxwell materials ready to use in your scenes. You can search using the usual tags, such as wood, plastic or metal, but also by performance level - so that you can filter materials depending on your exact needs.

     

    RHINO FOR MAC SUPPORT

    Maxwell 4 brings a brand new Rhino for Mac plugin workflow, providing you with a great workflow via live-linking between Rhino and Maxwell Studio - our sophisticated standalone scene editor. The plugin + Studio workflow is bundled together in one easy installation package, and includes the entire suite of Maxwell tools (FIRE, Multilight™, materials editor, network tools, advanced render extensions, etc).

     

    REVIT INTEGRATION

    Maxwell 4 includes a complete overhaul of the Revit integration, with significant improvements including the addition of FIRE - our interactive preview engine, as well as a re-designed and reorganized toolbar.

     

    LINK to SITE

     

     

  4. Review of Maxwell Video Tutorial by Mihai Iliuta

    BASIC & BEYOND

    Leica Final_bigheader.jpg

    As this is mine first tutorial of this kind, or any kind, its really hard to decide from where to start. In a video tutorial which is a must have for all Maxwell users its hard to decide what to put in it and what not.

     

    Mihai starts really strong by explaining lots of technicalities which are essential to know if artist wants to really take grasp of this wonderful NextLimit render engine. So much to learn and yet so fun to know. Beautiful thing about Maxwell is that its an unbiased real world render engine and if you are familiar with photography, that's even better and makes learning even more easier. Mihai even explains why would you choose Maxwell in front of any other renderer out there like Arnold, Octane etc., for me, that information was really mind blowing, as it has lots of sense when looked from Mihai perspective, which puts Maxwell in some cases better choice for artist's who prefers less buttons to play and more time for render testing. Having less buttons to play with, doesn't mean its less powerful. You can obviously see that from Mihai's personal gallery.

    Mihai Gallery

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    He really nails it with this tutorial, so many great tips, not only for Maxwell, but for Photoshop too, which will have a great roll in making bump, normal maps etc..but its not essential to have PS for this tutorial. Mihai also covers how you would do some things in Photoshop after render is done and how versatile Maxwell can get if needed. Maxwell and Photoshop makes great duo for final renders, so after watching this tutorials, even your knowledge in PS will be better not to mention your Maxwell renders. After he get pass from all the technicalities, making materials are next thing to get excited for. There are few long lessons that covers everything you need to know about materials and how to produce them by yourself. Again, very easy to follow, which gives me opportunity to mention that Mihai English is superb and its enjoyable to listen. His voice is soft and makes this whole tutorial much more enjoyable to watch. For me, not in one moment this tutorial gets boring or something like that. NextLimit should really take good look at this tutorial and promote it as much as possible. Its a simple software seller, or should I say Maxwell seller. Mihai deserves all the attention and I really hope he will get it. This tutorials shows how much Mihai knows about Maxwell and how really powerful Maxwell can get in right hands.

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    Only thing I could think of that is "bad or not good" is price, for some it could be little pricey, but taking into consideration amount of hours put into this tutorial, I would say its really a fair price and if you choose to buy it, you will not regret it as this would be great investment in your future. Good thing is that with price you will get 1 year of private coaching included, which are rare when you buying tutorials.

     

    ADDITIONAL INFO:

    ABOUT INSTRUCTOR: MIHAI ILIUTA

    My name is Mihai Iliuta, and I'm a renderoholic. I caught the render bug around 2002, first using Mental Ray and trying other renderers, until one morning in 2004 when I stumbled upon Maxwell Render's brand new website and saw the very first renders of the early beta. Renders that astounded me and everyone else in the 3D rendering world. 10 minutes later I bought the very first beta and have been using Maxwell Render exclusively for about 10 years on various product design, archviz and personal projects.

    From 2009-2015 I worked for Next Limit Technologies where I was responsible among other things for quality control and testing of Maxwell Render and collaborating closely with the development team on the implementation of new features and workflows. I'm a "Certified Xpert Trainer" for Maxwell Render. I am now running this site, which I hope in time will become a hub of useful information and content dedicated to Maxwell Render.

    TUTORIAL DURATION: 25+ hours

    MAXWELL VERSION: 3.X

    PRICE: $279

    Videos are in 1280×760 resolution and may be either played in your browser or downloaded if you wish to view them offline.

    Video tutorials + 1 year access to a private forum where you can ask questions about topics covered in the videos or get help and tips with your own Maxwell Render projects from the instructor.

    You can check Mihai's STORE and FORUMS if you need any assistance or help from him. He will be more than happy to assist you if you decide to SUBSCRIBE and C4D Cafe members will get 20% discount until August 1st. 

    PREVIEW:

    LIGHTNING

    Lightingbanner.jpg

    I will go through the fundamental lighting principles which are crucial to understand and be aware of if you want to create interesting imagery, regardless if you use Maxwell, another renderer or a DSLR, or wish to create product shots, jewelry or archviz renders.

     

    CREATING MATERIALS

    materialsbanner.jpg

    Having a good understanding of Maxwells material editor is key to creating realistic renders. I take a logical approach to explaining the parameters, not in the order they are listed but in the order that makes sense for you to understand the relationship between the different parameters. Along the way I explain how to create a few typical materials, Layer blending, mixing materials with emitters and lots more.

     

    CHANNELS, POST PRODUCTION, NETWORK RENDERING

    extrasbanner.jpg

    I will go through a few of the channels Maxwell offers, and showing you how to render and composite a typical example of a render with reflections and shadows on an arbitrary background. The post-production chapters will show you a quick way to tweak the render using Adobe’s Camera Raw, then a more comprehensive example using custom alphas, Smart Objects in Photoshop, an extensive look on gamma…and a few important tips regarding Network Rendering.

     

    SCENE MATERIALS

    materialrow.jpg

    All the Maxwell materials created during the training are available in the private forum.

     

    OTHER TESTIMONIALS

    “This is the by far the best course I’ve seen on Maxwell on the web. I loved your top down approach of your teaching and demystifying the theory behind many important concepts.” Numan S.

    -

    “There where so many „AHH- ALL RIGHT” and „OH – THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE“ moments in your course that I am really glad to have purchased it. A big thank you for that from my part. Even though I have been using Maxwell Render since the very first BETA version and kept working with the program on a daily basis since then, your well explained course helped me understand much better how things are supposed to work.” Carsten Q.

    -

    “This is the best tutorial I’ve seen for Maxwell so far, and it should be automatically packed with every license for new users of Maxwell.”Tomas K.

     

    reviewed by Igor Severic

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    R16 Box

    Introduction

     

    MAXON pre-announced Release 16 on August 5 2014. Actual shipping date was on 1 September 2014.
    The major new enhancements in Release 16 are:

    Team Render Server - Net Render Replacement

    Motion Tracker Complete video tracking system. Incorporate 3D elements into video footage.

    New Reflectance Material channel Reflection and specular channels merged.

    Polygon Pen modelling tool

    Bevel Deformer

    Solo mode

    Other enhancements UV Peeler, Annotation tag, Interaction Tag, Enhanced Cogwheel spline and Falloff function for some Deformers.

    As usual there are other enhancements. Here is the full list of enhancements taken from the Release 16 "What's New" documentation.

    • The base grid’s display can be toggled separately from the Workplane. 
    • The global grid spacing can be displayed as a HUD. 
    • MAXON would like your help
    • New process priority option in the Preferences menu. 
    • Several new Timeline options. 
    • New Alembic export options. 
    • New FBX import and export options. 
    • The Boole object creates a hidden Edge Selection tag 
    • Several new options for the Symmetry object. 
    • The generation of specular highlights can be disabled for Area lights. 
    • The Tweak mode can now be turned on and off. 
    • The Solo mode hides disabled options in the Viewport. 
    • Mesh Checking displays faulty geometry. 
    • The object Bake function can now bake all object parameters. 
    • The Friction object now also affects the rotational movement of Rigid Bodies. 
    • Expanded Multi-Pass settings for reflections and specular highlights. 
    • Improved script field for Script Manager. 
    • New Protection tag option for preventing inadvertent duplication. 
    • Several new Texture Manager commands. 
    • The shading models have been moved from the Illumination channel to the Color channel. 
    • Displacement Mode for the Brick shader. 
    • Simplified use of keyframe buttons. 
    • Several modifications made to the Hair renderer. 
    • Numerous modifications made to the Sketch and Toon renderer. 
    • Sketch and Toon modifiers now use Python instead of C.O.F.F.E.E. 
    • Some Deformation objects and objects can be modified using the Sculpt brushes. 
    • Sculpt brushes now offer spline snapping. 
    • The raise direction can be defined even more precisely for the Pull, Repeat and Grab brushes. 
    • All brushes can use shaders for their Stamp and Stencil functions. 
    • New options for the Stencil function. 
    • Modifiers can be used to integrate "foreign" brush effects into most brushes. 
    • The Sculpt feature’s Mask brush can created masks from materials. 
    • The Sculpt Select brush can also select elements symmetrically 
    • New Sculpt function that reverses Catmull-Clark subdivision. 
    • New Sculpt preference settings. 
    • New Ping command for the Team Render computer. 
    • Several new Team Render settings in the Preferences menu. 
    • New command for ArchiCad 18 users. 
    • New executable command line file. 
    • Expanded functionality for the Save Project with Assets function. 
    • Scripts can optionally be displayed with line breaks. 
    • The Content Browser offers a wide range of new content. 

    Click here for a 1 hour 20 minute highlights video of what's new in R16 (Video hosted on Vimeo).

     

    Release 16 only comes in a 64 bit version. If you have a 32 bit Operating System you will need to upgrade your Operating System and or your computer if it doesn't support a 64 bit OS. Plugins that work with R15 should still work with R16.

    What do you get?

     

    Box Contents

    Release 16 Studio Edition Box Contents

    The Release 16 box contains an installation guide and installation DVD. Note that in America, MAXON USA had a download option where people could download the update. The installation DVD has the Quickstart manual and installation guide in pdf format. The DVD has 6.2gb of data on it.

    When you run the DVD the installer asks whether you want to install R16, Team Render Server, Team Render Client or Languages, Help and Content Libraries.

    In my opinion MAXON needs to do away with shipping a box and disc and have things all done by download. With some of the applications that I have bought online and downloaded there is an option to pay a bit more and get a disc. This is what I think MAXON should do. By 1 September the program on the disc was out of date and there was an update out already. Plus, as I've shown in the image above, Release 16 no longer comes with a printed Quickstart manual and no cardboard sheet of hotkeys so there is nothing in the box that you can't get by downloading. Sure 6.2gb is a hefty download but nothing out of the ordinary in these days of fast broadband. I purchased a 5gb modelling tutorial the same day I wrote this section of the review and thought nothing of downloading files totalling this amount. I want to be starting the tutorial today, not waiting 1-2 weeks for the DVD to arrive from overseas. The same applies to software. I expect to be using what I have paid for the same day that I purchased it online.

    Review Format

    In the past our reviews have had a lot of text and images, supplemented by videos. This time around I'm going to try and keep the amount of text to a minimum and have a lot more videos. I reckon it's much more interesting to see Cinema 4D in action rather than reading about it. When I made the Cafe's Release 16 presentation videos for the launch I made them for both the launch presentation and this review. I have supplemented my videos with a number of videos mainly from Cineversity as they've done a great job at demonstrating and explaining the new enhancements.

     

     

     

    Team Render Server

     

    One of the leading enhancements in Release 15 was Team Render. At the time it was touted as a replacement for the aging Net Render. As time has proven this wasn't in fact the case. For hobbyists and those with a couple of computers, Team Render works just fine but for those in studios and or with a large number of render clients a more robust and full featured net rendering system is required. Fast forward to 2014 and we now have Team Render Server, the true replacement for Net Render.

    Console Application

    Team Render Server is a stand alone console application that you run from one of the computers on your network. Typically this computer is not used as a render client but it can be. Below is an image of the console application up and running on my desktop computer. I'm also running the Client application on both my desktop and laptop computers. Getting up and running is really easy.

    Team Render Server Application

    Team Render Server Application

    From here you can launch the more friendly Browser based interface for managing your render jobs although you can manage render jobs directly from the Console application. One copy of the Server application needs to be running.

    Web Interface

    You can sign in from any computer on the network or even the Internet and manage your jobs via a Web Browser. The image below shows the Team Render Server Browser interface. I've set up a couple of jobs, one has finished and the second is part way through. These are still images but rendering animations is just the same. I'm signed in as an admin so I've got full permissions to do everything. You can set up regular users who have limited permissions.

    Team Render Server Web Interface

    Team Render Server Browser Interface

    Demonstration

    I've recorded a 15 minute video of me playing around with Team Render Server. You can download the original high resolution video if head over to the Vimeo page where it's hosted.

    Summary

    Hopefully you watched the video. As you can see, Team Render Server is easy to set up and use. I should mention that I only tested Team Render Server on my home network and only with my desktop and laptop computers. I am aware that users with significantly more render clients have suffered from a range of issues. By the time you read this review some of the bugs that surfaced after the launch should have been resolved thus hopefully making it a fitting and solid replacement for the old Net Render. Time will tell. I never used the old Net Render as it couldn't render still images. If you're a hobbyist like me then you probably won't need to use Team Render Server. Using Team Render from within Cinema 4D is pretty much all you need. No doubt when Release 17 comes out we should probably see a few minor enhancements as we have seen in Release 16 with a few tweaks for the standard Team Render.

     

     

     

    Modelling

     

    I am very pleased to see the modelling enhancements started in Release 15 continued in Release 16. There is still plenty left to fix up but what MAXON have done is top notch.

    Polygon Pen Tool  Polygon Pen Icon

    The old Create Polygon tool has been done away with and replaced with the Polygon Pen tool. The new tool is pretty much a Swiss Army knife modelling tool in that it does a bit of everything. As part of the Cafe's Release 16 launch I recorded a 55 minute tutorial on using the tool. If you head over to the Vimeo site where the video is hosted you can download the high quality video rather than watching the low quality streaming version.

    This is a superb tool and the developer has done a great job with it. There's room for a few improvements like support for tablets for pressure sensitivity so that you can define the size of polygons as you draw in polygon mode.

    Bevel Deformer  Bevel Deformer Icon

    In Release 15 we got the awesome new Bevel tool. Now in Release 16 we get the same tool but as a deformer. This allows for non destructive bevels and you can easily change your bevel settings. The deformer pretty much has the same settings as the Bevel tool but has a couple of settings where you define how the bevel is defined. The image below shows a comparison with the Bevel deformer enabled and disabled.

    Bevel Deformer Comparison

    Bevel Deformer Comparison

    Here's an 18 minute video of me playing around with the Bevel Deformer. This is a streaming video only and is the same video from the Cafe's Release 16 Highlights video.

    Symmetry Object  Symmetry icon

    The Symmetry object has received a couple of handy enhancements. A couple of the enhancements essentially do what the free "Symmetry Clamp" does meaning you don't need to use this plugin anymore. The enhancements are:

    • Clamp points on axis - Points that are on the mirror plane or within a defined distance can't accidentally moved away from the mirror / symmetry plane
    • Delete Polygons on Axis - If you do an extrude for example, you won't get coplanar polygons being generated
    • Flipping - This can be manual or automatic. In automatic mode if you rotate your view the mirrored geometry will flip over to the other side

    I found the automatic flipping to be a bit buggy in that you had to refresh the viewport by pressing the ©A© key or just slightly altering your view to get things to update. Below is a short video of me demonstrating the new options.

    Enhanced Cogwheel

    The Cogwheel spline object has been significantly enhanced. You can now create technically accurate cogwheels using a range of very technical sounding parameters. If you find all this confusing there's a Legacy mode with the old settings. I had a lot of fun playing with the new Cogwheel but struggled a bit with the settings as changing one parameter often changed another. One thing noticeably absent is an option to chamfer the teeth. I would have expected this. The work around is to make the spline editable and then manually chamfer the teeth. The following 6 minute video shows me playing around with the Cogwheel spline.

    Boole Object  Boole icon

    The Boole object has a new option that creates an internal edge selection. What this means is you can apply a bevel using the Bevel Deformer without having to make the Boole object editable and making an edge selection. The letter ©I© is used and you can just type this into the Selection field of a Bevel Deformer. Below is a short video showing this in action.

    Mesh Checking Utility

    Release 16 includes a very handy utility for check meshes for errors and problems. Problem elements are highlighted in colour and you can click a button to select them. This is a great addition to Cinema 4D. Many of us have relied upon the free ©GeomCheck© plugin for years. The new Mesh Check utility is a lot more user friendly. You do however need to know where it is as it's tucked away in Attribute Manager's Mode/Modeling menu. The following is a 11 minute video showing it in action.

    Tweak Mode  Tweak mode icon

    Tweak mode can be toggled on and off now. Recall that in Release 14 and 15 Tweak mode was on all of the time. There's a new mouse icon on the left hand toolbar to toggle tweaking on and off essentially giving us back what we had prior to Release 14. If you're going to be doing much tweaking then I suggest using the new Polygon pen tool as you can tweak points, edges or polygons without manually having to change into the relevant mode. The following short video explains how it works.

    Grid Spacing

    A new HUD element displays the grid spacing. This is something Modo has and is very useful. The following short video shows this in action.

    Deformer Falloffs

    Most standard deformers now offer the same flexible falloff system you've come to enjoy in MoGraph effectors, including the option to animate falloff. You can work completely non-destructively, on any object, without the need to restrict deformers via vertex maps. The following short video produced by MAXON best demonstrates the new deformer functionality.

    Summary

    So, some really great enhancements. I just hope MAXON keeps going with the modelling enhancements as there's tools like the Knife and Extrude tool that are years behind the equivalent tools in other 3D apps. We still don't have proper symmetry modelling and I'm not sure what the issue here is as this is what I would call basic functionality. There's several plugins that offer proper symmetry modelling so it's definitely possible to do.

     

     

     

    New Reflectance Channel

     

    Release 16 has a new Reflectance channel. This replaces the previous Reflection and Specular channels. Here's a short overview video byCineversity that quickly demonstrates the new Reflectance channel.

    So what happens if you load a scene saved with a prior version of Cinema 4D? Don't panic, Release 16 has legacy layer settings and the old Reflection and Specular settings are converted to these. The rendered result should be exactly as it was with the older version of Cinema 4D. The image below is a comparison of the same material loaded in both Release 15 and 16. Settings for reflection are shown. Specular settings are fairly similar.

    Reflectance legacy mode

    R16 has Legacy modes so that materials created with older versions are supported.

    You can see that "Blurriness" is now called "Roughness". This and other parameter names bring Cinema 4D into line with how a few other 3D applications name similar parameters.

    Learning the new Reflectance channel

    The new Reflectance channel is rather complex and if you're like me I was overwhelmed by all of the options. Fortunately there are some free resources that help you get the hang of it. Below is an excellent tutorial. If you head over to the Vimeo site you'll be able to download the video. I suggest watching this one first before watching the Cineversity series videos as it's a bit more beginner friendly.

    Also well worth watching is a series of videos by Cineversity. The following is the first video in the series of 15 videos explaining the Reflectance channel. The first video is a bit of an overview and first time around you won't be able to remember everything. Keep watching the videos as things are explained in much more depth and a bit slower in the following videos.

    You can watch the other 14 videos here.

    In addition to the tutorial videos the material presets in the Content Browser have been updated to take advantage of the new Reflectance channel. Loading and examining these materials is a good way to learn the new Reflectance channel.

    Summary

    The new Reflectance channel is capable of producing awesome looking materials especially metals and fabrics. It is however quite complex and learning it will take some time, something I'm still doing even after watching the videos. For a beginner it's probably overwhelming compared to the old Reflection and Specular channels. That probably explains why when you create a new material it's created using the legacy Specular layer. Cinema 4D now needs an in house material node system where apart from creating cool looking materials you can have Reflectance channels linked so that you can have a master material and changes to the material settings are propagated to the linked material channels. That said, there are copy and paste buttons that allow you copy and paste one layer from one material to the Reflectance channel of another material. This works quite well with simple materials but it becomes a bit tedious if you have a complex Reflectance channel with multiple layers as you can only copy and paste one layer at a time. I would like the option to select all layers and copy and paste them all in one go.

    Here's a render of a watch (from the Content Browser Studio render examples) where most of the materials are using the new Reflectance channel.

    Materials using the new Reflectance channel

     

     

     

    Motion Tracker

     

    One of the leading enhancements in Release 16 (Studio Edition only) is the inclusion of a Motion Tracker. What this allows you to do is combine 3D objects with video footage. The system calculates the original recording camera (position, orientation, focal length) based on the video. The Motion Tracking system uses a few things like planar constraints, position constraints and vector constraints that work much the same as they do in the excellent Camera Calibration system that we received in Release 14 (Camera Calibrator reviewed here). The following video is an example put out by MAXON.

    Below is a short overview video by Cineversity about the new Motion Tracker.

    Next up, a longer video by Cineversity where Beta Tester Josh Johnson shows how the first part of the video at the top of this page was motion tracked (The Motion Tracking part starts at 3:43 and runs until 25.34). I had thought about recording my own video but Josh does a really good job of explaining things plus in the middle of the video he spends a few minutes showing how to use Projection Man to paint out part of the video footage.

    Summary

    If you watched the videos you'll see that Motion Tracking is fairly straight forward to use. I've done a couple of simple examples recording outside my house and adding cubes etc to the scene. One thing, I don't ever recall reading a single request for a Motion Tracking system in the forums. I guess there must have been some requests over the years but I can't recall any. I certainly recall people talking about Motion Tracking in the forums. I'm sure however many people will find the new inbuilt Motion Tracking system very useful.

     

     

     

    Miscellaneous

     

    As usual MAXON has included a number of minor enhancements with Release 16. Here are some of the more notable ones.

    MAXON would like your help

    One reason Cinema 4D is so stable is the excellent crash reporting system built in that optionally sends crash reports off to MAXON. The new user participation system goes a step further by sending anonymous information and statistics about your system, what commands you've used, preferences and what plugins you've got. Review the data that will be sent to MAXON whenever you wish. You can opt-out and delete all data at any time. Provide a peek into your preferences while maintaining complete privacy in order to help make Cinema 4D even better. You can check the information being sent to MAXON via the Preferences. Should you wish to opt out, you can also do that from the Preferences.

    Annotation Tag / Annotation Tool

    A new Annotation tag replaces the old "WWW" tag. You can now add useful labels to your objects in the viewport. You can include clickable hyperlinks on the label that if clicked will fire up your browser and take you to the link. One enhancement that I would like to see is the ability to add annotations to XPresso. Sure we've got the "Remark" node but the annotation object is a lot better. The following is a short video of me playing around with Annotations.

    Interaction Tag

    This tag can be used to create elaborate, interactive control mechanisms. This tag primarily defines what happens when you click on an object in the Viewport (with no object having been previously selected) and click+drag, and then release. This is one very powerful tag and it's hard to describe. It's best demonstrated in a video. Here's a 12 minute video of me playing around with it.

    So a really powerful tag but one that needs some time and effort into learning. I've seen much more elaborate control mechanisms created by other people than what I managed to cobble together in the video.

    UV Peeler & UV Editing Enhancements Uv Peeler icon

    After what seems an eternity, Release 16 includes some BodyPaint / UV Editing enhancements. We now have a new UV Peeler tool for UV unwrapping pipe type objects. The tool is similar to the UV Peeler tool in Modo but with a few more options. Not listed in the Release 16 "What's New" list are a range of bug fixes bug fixes and workflow enhancements. The following short video from Cineversity gives a short overview of some of the enhancements.

    Interestingly MAXON released an update to Release 15 (more information here including UV Editing enhancements) after Release 16 came out. The update included the bug fixes and minor enhancements that were added to Release 16. Release 15 however did not get UV Peeler.

    It's great to see BodyPaint / UV Editing getting some attention but this is only a start. A lot more is required as UV Editing in Cinema 4D is a long way behind where the competition is at currently.

    Base Grid Display

    In the Viewport Filter menu there is a new "Base Grid"option. If the Workplane does not lie on the default XZ plane, 2 grids will be visible in the Viewport which can be disconcerting. This option can be used to toggle the display of the default grid. The split image below demonstrates this.

    Base Grid Visibility Option

    Base Grid visibility can be toggled on and off

    New Keyframing Dots

    Keyframing dots have been given a makeover in Release 16. Apart from looking a bit different you no longer have to press Ctrl / CMD down when left mouse button clicking on them to record a keyframe. For those that prefer having to use this modifier key there's a legacy option in the preferences that puts things back to how they were in Release 15 including how the dots look. The following is a short video where I demonstrate the new functionality.

    Brick Shader

    The Brick Shader has a new Displacement option. This allows for much more realistic bricks surfaces to be created. Here's a 4 minute video of me playing around with the new options.

    Sculpting Enhancements

    Release 16 sees more sculpting enhancements that started when sculpting was introduced in Release 14. The following short video byCineversity briefly demonstrates the new enhancements.

    New Material and Content Library

    Completely re-organized and optimized for Release 16, the preset library contains custom made solutions with specific target groups in mind. Architects will appreciate new house and stair generators, as well as modular doors and windows. Product and advertising designers can take advantage of a powerful tool to animate the folding of die-cut packaging, as well as modular bottles, tubes and boxes. Motion designers enjoy high-quality models made for MoGraph, preset title animations and interactive chart templates. The following short video produced byCineversity gives an overview of the enhancements.

    Okay some very handy stuff and most of the materials have been enhanced to take advantage of the new Reflectance channel. I still think that after the optimization that the Content Browser structure could be a lot better. If you're like me and running the Studio edition then you get materials in the Prime, Broadcast and Visualize libraries. Wouldn't it make more sense to have all materials grouped under an intuitive sounding title, something like "Materials" maybe? That's how Modo does it and is much more user friendly and easier to find what you're looking for.

     

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    The Release 16 update has something for everyone. The new Team Render Server is the true replacement for the old Net Render and by the time you read this some of the bugs that sneaked past testing should have been resolved. There's a few things like the Web interface that need some fine tuning so I'm hopeful Release 17 will see some further enhancements and in response to user feedback. The modelling enhancements are great as they were in Release 15 and I'm hopeful things don't stop where they are as there's still plenty left that needs fixing up.

    The new Reflectance channel enhancements are welcome but it's quite complex and getting the hang of it will take some time. I encourage people to watch as many Reflectance channel tutorials as you can. The new Motion Tracking system works really well and being integrated directly inside of Cinema 4D makes for an excellent workflow not to mention saves having to learn a separate application.

    Totally unexpected were BodyPaint / UV Editing enhancements. I'd almost given up on BodyPaint so it's great to see it getting some love after many years of neglect. What we got in Release 16 is just a start however as the UV Editing tools are a long way behind the likes of Modo.

    So verdict, when you add up all of the enhancement both large and small, Release 16 comes out as a pretty solid update. It is well worth upgrading to. At the time of writing this review in October and November 2014, user feedback had generally been very positive.

    Buggy modelled with R15

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