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Phildon

C4D vs Vectorworks and AutoCAD for set design

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I just wanted to get some other people's thoughts on this.
I guess I consider myself a C4D veteran now, still not well versed in every aspect of the software, but fairly proficient I would say.

So I jumping ship from advertising into set design for film and TV where the industry standard is Rhino, AutoCAD and Vectorworks.
I have played with Rhino and yes it's very good.
But for draughting, most productions need CAD so I have been getting my head around AutoCAD and VW ...
... I am so disappointed!

I simply cannot use AutoCAD it is so clonky and impossible to work with when you have used C4D for many years.

Vectorworks is better, but lacks so many of the slick and well rounded efficiencies that C4D has: mograph cloning tools, symmetry, the modelling tools, the boolean functions and that's just the tip of the iceberg, it just makes everything so much more convoluted.

Of course I am not practiced at using this software and it's all very alien at the moment, I expect as I get my head around it, I will speed up, but you can't even manually scale objects, you can only do it numerically ... CRAZY!

Many draughters in the film industry still use a drawing board and pencil, it seems that the move to computers is being resisted and I have to say I completely understand - I think that something is always lost when traditional methods are deposed. I have spent a few months on the drawing board and I love it.

I know that C4D and Vectorworks are both owned by Nemetchek, so I am wondering why we don't see more integration and function sharing between these two industry leading applications.   

As I see it, I am going to be modelling in C4D, then exporting into Vectorworks, tweaking the sizes for accuracy and dimensioning for output to draught. I don't want to sound cocky, but when I am up to speed, I will be interested to see how much quicker(slower?) I will be than my work colleagues.

.... and I have always wondered why the C4D acronym looks like CAD - it was intentional right? So why do we not have a CAD plug in - why do we not have a Vectorworks plug in for C4D that bridges the gap?

I have only spoken to one art director who uses C4D, but has anyone on here had a similar experience? I am missing something or is C4D light years ahead of the majority of CAD applications (yet falls short on accuracy and dimensioning).

Thoughts???
 

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6 hours ago, Phildon said:

C4D acronym looks like CAD - it was intentional right?

No, I don't think so. CAD is doing a different thing altogether - Cinema has never been about replacing that or competing with it. So that is coincidence alone I think.

 

6 hours ago, Phildon said:

So why do we not have a CAD plug in

We have a pretty decent CAD importer now in R21, but that did  only come in quite recently so may not be in your version.

 

I work with one Theatrical Production Designer quite a lot and we both use Cinema for those projects.

You're right, it is lacking a bit in quickly setting up and maintaining real-world precise dimensions, but he always seems to manage...

 

CBR

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Hi again,

 

You have to keep in mind that Cinema is a polygon based modeler and Vectorworks is a NURBS based modeler.  You will find that moving your Cinema models into VW beyond frustrating.  They will only import as generic meshes which are heavy and will bog VW to a grinding halt.  Altering those models within VW is almost impossible.  Sorry for more bad news.

 

The general workflow is to model in VW - use that model for your drafting plates and move it to Cinema for texturing, lighting and camera work.  VW moves models into C4D pretty well - it still triangulates a lot of stuff, but it works.  Going the other way is a nightmare.  Modeling in VW is a totally different game then Polygonal box or hard surface modeling in Cinema.  VW was a 2D CAD program for a long time and then added 3D.  Cinema is a 3D DCC app that can import Cad data.  Apples and Oranges.  I'm not saying it's perfect - far from, but I haven't found a better combo for drafting plates and getting good renders from the same model (without going to Autodesk (see below).

 

Agreed on AutoCAD.  My frustration with VWs direction has made me re-evaluate AutoCAD recently and....no way.

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2 hours ago, Cerbera said:

No, I don't think so. CAD is doing a different thing altogether - Cinema has never been about replacing that or competing with it. So that is coincidence alone I think.

 

We have a pretty decent CAD importer now in R21, but that did  only come in quite recently so may not be in your version.

 

I work with one Theatrical Production Designer quite a lot and we both use Cinema for those projects.

You're right, it is lacking a bit in quickly setting up and maintaining real-world precise dimensions, but he always seems to manage...

 

CBR

Thanks for your comments Cerbera,

Yeah I'm on R20 - trying to avoid subscription based software, Adobe has been sucking the life out of me - lean times my friend!

I'm just hoping that - moving ahead - I will still be able to use C4D, just love it. I don't really struggle with maintaining dimensions, though it doesn't have to be pin perfect for set design.

Cheers!

 

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1 hour ago, EAlexander said:

Hi again,

 

You have to keep in mind that Cinema is a polygon based modeler and Vectorworks is a NURBS based modeler.  You will find that moving your Cinema models into VW beyond frustrating.  They will only import as generic meshes which are heavy and will bog VW to a grinding halt.  Altering those models within VW is almost impossible.  Sorry for more bad news.

 

The general workflow is to model in VW - use that model for your drafting plates and move it to Cinema for texturing, lighting and camera work.  VW moves models into C4D pretty well - it still triangulates a lot of stuff, but it works.  Going the other way is a nightmare.  Modeling in VW is a totally different game then Polygonal box or hard surface modeling in Cinema.  VW was a 2D CAD program for a long time and then added 3D.  Cinema is a 3D DCC app that can import Cad data.  Apples and Oranges.  I'm not saying it's perfect - far from, but I haven't found a better combo for drafting plates and getting good renders from the same model (without going to Autodesk (see below).

 

Agreed on AutoCAD.  My frustration with VWs direction has made me re-evaluate AutoCAD recently and....no way.

Ah so we meet again Evan!

Yes I have been trying to import models that I created in C4D into VW and yes, it's veeeeeeery drawn out and painful, so I guess I will have to abandon that and learn VW properly.

I think that VW developers should take a good look at Adobe Illustrator and C4D and take note.

BTW have you looked into Hotdoor CADtools for illustrator? What are your thoughts on that?
https://www.hotdoor.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4Y7yBRB8EiwADV1haQZyxIjyGjM7Pp9G035E6ZFThRkpO65Kvb6nqaIin5OFcB1LpZ43nhoCMB4QAvD_BwE

Thank you

Phil

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Hi Phil,

 

That looks like a nice plugin for Illustrator.  I don't actual do much work with illustrator anymore and do almost all of my vector work in.....Vectorworks 🙂

 

Not sure if it's still being developed, but there is a version of Lightwave CAD for Cinema4D: http://www.lwcad.com/html/main/new.php  Though this won't help with you VW workflow, but worth mentioning.

 

Good luck on your journey - let me know if I can answer any questions along the way.

 

e.

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12 hours ago, EAlexander said:

Hi Phil,

 

That looks like a nice plugin for Illustrator.  I don't actual do much work with illustrator anymore and do almost all of my vector work in.....Vectorworks 🙂

 

Not sure if it's still being developed, but there is a version of Lightwave CAD for Cinema4D: http://www.lwcad.com/html/main/new.php  Though this won't help with you VW workflow, but worth mentioning.

 

Good luck on your journey - let me know if I can answer any questions along the way.

 

e.

Hi Evan,

Yes I spoke to an art director who swears by Hotdoor tools, I've been using AI since it came to the market, so it would be perfect for me ... but I need to constrain to industry standards I guess.

Many thanks for your help and advice, gratefully received.

Best

Phil

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Can I chip in my thoughts?

 

I agree with VW not being that intuitive to model in.

 

Have you considered Sketchup?

 

The architectural practice where I used to be the head of the vis. department used VW as their main draughting software, but Sketchup for massing models and detailed 3D models (or rather we eventually persuaded the architects to start using Sketchup!). Depending on the project we would either take their model into C4D and carry on modeling, rendering, etc. or model the design ourselves in Sketchup from their VW drawings. And apart from the usual ridiculous deadlines it all worked pretty well.

 

I would say the combination of Sketchup, C4D and Layout (Sketchup's side-app to dimension and layout drawings and export as DWG/DXF files) would suit you perfectly. Nothing I've used beats Sketchup for quick architectural modeling. It's very easy to learn, and it's as accurate as any other CAD package. You might even find you don't need C4D for rendering if you use Vray in Sketchup. Not much good for animations, but great for stills. It even does lighting analysis which may be useful to you.

 

Hope some of that's useful

 

Cheers

Pete

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:07 AM, pcoombes said:

Can I chip in my thoughts?

 

I agree with VW not being that intuitive to model in.

 

Have you considered Sketchup?

 

The architectural practice where I used to be the head of the vis. department used VW as their main draughting software, but Sketchup for massing models and detailed 3D models (or rather we eventually persuaded the architects to start using Sketchup!). Depending on the project we would either take their model into C4D and carry on modeling, rendering, etc. or model the design ourselves in Sketchup from their VW drawings. And apart from the usual ridiculous deadlines it all worked pretty well.

 

I would say the combination of Sketchup, C4D and Layout (Sketchup's side-app to dimension and layout drawings and export as DWG/DXF files) would suit you perfectly. Nothing I've used beats Sketchup for quick architectural modeling. It's very easy to learn, and it's as accurate as any other CAD package. You might even find you don't need C4D for rendering if you use Vray in Sketchup. Not much good for animations, but great for stills. It even does lighting analysis which may be useful to you.

 

Hope some of that's useful

 

Cheers

Pete

Pete - I'm so sorry for not replying!

Even though I have notifications set, I'm still not getting emails from C4D cafe.

Unfortunately the business that I'm entering into sets the bar and I don't really have any choice as to what software is best. Yes a lot of people are using Sketchup and I will need to learn that too. It just seems such a shame when C4D blows them all out of the water and I am super comfortable with using it.

Hey ho ...

Phil

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:04 AM, Phildon said:


I have played with Rhino and yes it's very good.

 

If you are working with Rhino you do not need AutoCAD or Vectorworks. 

Rhino is a CAD program and capable of doing solid modeling, exporting production blueprints and everything what is needed to build things. We work a lot with agencies who use Rhino for interior architecture. And Grashopper is a bit like Houdini...

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