PixelPlow Render Farm for Cinema 4D
PixelPlow Render Farm for Cinema 4D

SIgor

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  1. Review by Brady Betzel http://postperspective.com/ Each year I get to test out some of the latest and greatest software and hardware releases our industry has to offer. One of my favorites — and most challenging — is Maxon’s Cinema 4D. I say challenging because while I love Cinema 4D, I don’t use it every day. So, in order to test it thoroughly, I watched tutorials on Cineversity to brush up on what I forgot and what’s new. Even though I don’t use it every day, I do love it. I’ve reviewed Cinema 4D Release 15 through R18. I started using the product when I was studying at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California, which coincidentally is about 10 minutes from Maxon’s Newbury Park office. Each version update has been packed full of remarkable additions and updates. From the grass generator in R15, addition of the Reflectance channel in R16, lens distortion tools in R17 to the multitude of updates in R18 — Cinema 4D keeps on cranking out the hits. I say multitude because there are a ton of updates packed into the latest Cinema 4D Release 18 update. You can check out a complete list of them as well as comparisons between Cinema 4D Studio, Visualize, Broadcast, Prime, BodyPaint 3D and Lite Release 18 versions on the Maxon site. For this review, I’m going to touch on three of what I think are the most compelling updates in Release 18: the new Voronoi Fracture, Thin Film Shader and the Push Apart Effector. Yes, I know there are a bazillion other great updates to Cinema 4D R18 — such as Weight Painting, new Knife Tools, Inverse Ambient Occlusion, the ability to save cache files externally and many more — but I’m going to stick to the features that I think stand out. Keep in mind that I am using Cinema 4D Studio R18 for this review, so if you don’t have Studio, some of the features might not be available in your version. For instance, I am going to touch on some of the MoGraph toolset updates, and those are only inside the Studio and Broadcast versions. Finally, while you should use a super powerful workstation to get the smoothest and most robust experience when using Cinema 4D R18, I am using a tablet that uses a quad core Intel i7 3.1GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and an Intel Iris graphics 6100 GPU. Definitely on the lower end of processing power for this app, but it works and I have to credit Maxon for making it work so well. Voronoi Fracture If, like me, you’ve never heard of the term Voronoi, check out the first paragraph of this Wiki page. A very simple way to imagine a Voronoi diagram is a bunch of cell-like polygons that are all connected (there’s a much more intricate and deeply mathematical definition, but I can barely understand it, and it’s really beyond the scope of this review). In Cinema 4D Studio R18, the Voronoi Fracture object allows us to easily, and I mean really easily, procedurally break apart objects like MoGraph text, or any other object, without the need for external third-party plug-ins such as Nitro4D’s Thrausi. To apply Voronoi Fracture in as few steps as possible, you apply the Voronoi Fracture located in the MoGraph menu to your object, adjust parameters under the Sources menu (like distribution type or point amount) add effectors to cause dispersion, keyframe values and render. With a little practice you can explode your raytraced MoGraph text in no time. The best part is your object will not look fractured until animated, which in the past took some work so this is a great update. Thin Film Shader Things that are hard to recreate in a photorealistic way are transparent objects, such as glass bottles, windows and bubbles. In Cinema 4D R18, Maxon has added the new Thin Film Shader, which can add the film-like quality that you see on bubbles or soap. It’s an incredible addition to Cinema 4D, furthering the idea that Maxon is concentrating on adding features that improve efficiency for people like me who want to use Cinema 4D, but sometimes don’t because making a material like Thin Film will take a long time. To apply the Thin Film to your object, find the Reflectance channel of your material that you want to add the Thin Film property to add a new Beckmann or GGX layer, lower the Specular Strength of this layer to zero, under Layer Color choose Texture > Effects > Thin Film. From there, if you want to see the Thin Film as a true layer of film you need to change your composite setting to Add on your layer; you should then see it properly. You can get some advanced tips from the great tutorials over at Cineversity and from Andy Needham (Twitter: @imcalledandy) on lynda.com. One tip I learned from Andy is to change the Index of Refraction to get some different looks, which can be found under the Shader properties. Push Apart Effector The new Push Apart Effector is a simple but super-powerful addition to Cinema 4D. The easiest way to describe the Push Apart Effector is to imagine a bunch of objects in an array or using a Cloner where all of your objects are touching — the Push Apart Effector helps to push them away from each other. To decrease the intersection of your clones, you can dial-in the specific radius of your objects (like a sphere) and then tell Cinema 4D R18 how many times you want it to look through the scene by specifying iterations. The more iterations the less chance your objects will intersect, but the more time it will take to compute. Thin Film Render If you are an Adobe After Effects user, don’t forget that you automatically get a free version of Cinema 4D bundled with After Effects — Cinema 4D Lite. Even though you have to have After Effects open to use the Cinema 4D Lite, it is still a great way to dip your toes into the 3D world, and maybe even bring your projects back into After Effects to do some compositing. Cinema 4D Studio R18’s pricing breaks down like this: Commercial Pricing/Annual License Pricing/Upgrade R17 to R18 pricing — Cinema 4D Studio Release 18: $3,695/$650 /$995; Cinema 4D Visualize Release 18: $2,295/$500/$795; Cinema 4D Broadcast Release 18: $1,695/$400 /$795; Cinema 4D Prime Release 18: $995/$250/$395. Another interesting option is Maxon’s short-term licensing in three- or six-month chunks for the Studio version ($600/$1,100) and 75 percent of the fees you pay for a short-term license can be applied to your purchase of a full license later. Keep in mind, when using such a powerful and robust software like Cinema 4D you are making an investment that will payoff with concentrated effort in learning the software. With a few hours of training from some of the top trainers — like Tim Clapham on www.hellolux.com, Greyscalegorilla.com and Motionworks.com — you will be off and running in 3D land. For everyday Cinema 4D creations and inspiration, check out @beeple_crap on Instagram. He produces amazing work all the time. In this review, I tested some of the new updates to Cinema 4D Studio R18 with sample projects from Andy Needham’s Lynda.com class Cinema 4D R18: New Features and Joren Kandel’s awesome website, which offers tons of free content to play with while learning the new tools. Summing Up I love Maxon’s continual development of Cinema 4D in Release 18. I specifically love that while they are adding new features, like Weight Painting and Update Knife Tools, they are also helping to improve efficiency for people like me who love to work in Cinema 4D but sometimes skip it because of the steep learning curve and technical know-how you need in order to operate it. You should not fear though, I cannot emphasize how much you can learn at Cineversity, Lynda.com, and on YouTube from an expert like Sean Frangella. Whether you are new to the world of Cinema 4D, mildly experienced like me, or an expert you can always learn something new. Something I love about Maxon’s licensing for education is that if you go to a qualified school, you can get a free Cinema 4D license. Instructors can get access to Cineversity to use the tutorials in their curriculum as well as project files to use. It’s an amazing resource.
  2. Hmm, strange, demo shouldn't have any restrictions except saving files and rendering. You should report that to Maxon or upload for me few screen shots of what you think that's missing or it's different.
  3. So far so good, keep us updated! :)
  4. Would something like "Quantize" help? Once you setup your numbers you can use Shift key in the viewport to trigger Quantize.
  5. Its the first time I hear that there are sound ADs. I never seen those and once again, you can report every AD so its not shown anymore for you. I will probably remove those side AD on the end of the month as they really dont make any money, just few euros in total.
  6. Lets hope she doesnt see this topic then...
  7. Webinars from Maxon now available!! If you have doubts and you are not sure what renderer to choose, here is something that could help. Corona, Maxwell, Octane, VRay
  8. Yea, like teknow suggested, it would be fairly easy to make this with sculpting technique! :)
  9. I dont know why, but I dont like node based stuff. I dont enjoy it at all. But who knows, maybe RS changes my mind once is out and ready to be tested. :)
  10. Thanks Dave, very much appreciated! :)
  11. Yea, many renderers demand from scene to be optimized etc. With Maxwell for example thats not the case, you really dont have to care about polygon count. :)
  12. Hehe, really no need to be scared of Hrvoje as he is one of the most peaceful and reasonable people I ever met. ;)
  13. Great looking renders, thanks for sharing. How complicated are those materials to make?
  14. You can actually click on the AD and report it and choose to see it or not in the future. I had few of those AD and now when I report them, I dont have them anymore.
  15. Amazing ! :O Thanks for sharing!
  16. I can confirm that! He also was taking classes in Krav Maga when he had some free time... :D
  17. Oh, tell me about the spam emails, so many to block every day! Yes, indeed and we try to compensate for your effort to our best possibilities as we find it fair (to all Cafe Contributors). So I would understand that you guys are angry on me for having those ADs there. I am sure you know that I am listening to every one of you and trying to balance things, at least I hope you can see that, but have in mind that sometimes I am just unable to do it.
  18. Those are default sizes and they are best fit on every platform as far as I know. If I change size of the Google ADs then those ADs can become much much more uglier. Thanks for the support Daniel, its always a plus and its very rare to read, so thanks! Doing my best to stay positive no matter what, but sometimes its hard. :) Looking at my screen, I really cant see what is that big of a deal with those ADs. http://prntscr.com/ebqfgl
  19. Yes, disappointed, not angry. Those ADs are Google driven and I am unable to control it, because they are based on your surfing history, or something like that. :) ADs like render farms etc. are always on the same place on the top of every forum, so every other AD you see are from Google. Well, times are changing obviously. In Nigel time I never was even thinking to complain about looks of the forum as everything else was great, like content, help from others and free stuff like plugins and tutorials. I was happy to be able to learn from all the talent there was in that time!
  20. Simply brilliant! It would be nice if you would share some more info on how you did this and what software you used!? :)
  21. In this kind of situation is hard not to get at least little bit disappointed. So in this kind of situation I tend to look things from user perspective...which means I try to put myself in user skin. So, when I see those ADs they dont bother me because I know every single site uses them and on C4D Cafe I dont find them so terrible that I would not come here. We provide so much help and free stuff and if few ADs are problem for people who come here, takes free stuff and then go away, honestly that person should ask herself what kind of person they are. If we are not fair enough I dont know who is. We do things Nigel never did. We doing upgrades, balancing things, giving free stuff etc. and its still not enough? Few ADs are problem? Those ADs keeping this Cafe going on, specially now when we had to upgrade the servers, two times already!! I could go on and on, but I dont see how this could end well. Ill see on the end of the month are those ADs giving any money at all and then decide will I remove it or not. I am sure you guys noticed that we removed most of the ADs you didnt want, but please, have in mind we need ADs, otherwise we cant move forward!
  22. It has something to do with how this system works as everything is automatically shrieked.
  23. Not much I can do here. On mobiles everything is fine. Obviously some tablets have issues with it.