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Blender 2.8 test and impressions

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I finally put some time into Blender to see how the new version stacks up to C4D on a small test animation. I made everything in blender but did do a pass with some motion blur in After Effects as well. It was much easier than before to learn but that's not saying it's easy... just better than before. I have 20+ years in Cinema so it's not going to be easy to figure out by comparison. I did get something accomplished though and  that's something. 

Cycles is pretty slow! I'll be using C4D and my 80+ plugins for it in the near future for most things but there is potential with Blender. 

 

My blog post on the subject

 

 

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Did you set cycles to cpu or gpu? It isn't as fast as evee but is about the same as c4d's physical render. I use Blender a lot less than Houdini (so I am no expert), but I thought the rendering options were pretty good (especially as you can use lower quality settings and then add denoise to reduce render times in some scenarios).

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3 hours ago, Isleofgough said:

Did you set cycles to cpu or gpu? It isn't as fast as evee but is about the same as c4d's physical render. I use Blender a lot less than Houdini (so I am no expert), but I thought the rendering options were pretty good (especially as you can use lower quality settings and then add denoise to reduce render times in some scenarios).

I have Cycles 4D so take this with a grain of salt, there might be differences.

Cycles is definitely faster than physical, especially when you compare the image quality. It is slower than other GPU renders by far, but the result is really nice. And considering it's 100% free (in Blender) it's an amazing render engine.

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  • 3 hours ago, Isleofgough said:

    Did you set cycles to cpu or gpu? It isn't as fast as evee but is about the same as c4d's physical render. I use Blender a lot less than Houdini (so I am no expert), but I thought the rendering options were pretty good (especially as you can use lower quality settings and then add denoise to reduce render times in some scenarios).

     

    23 minutes ago, DasFrodo said:

    I have Cycles 4D so take this with a grain of salt, there might be differences.

    Cycles is definitely faster than physical, especially when you compare the image quality. It is slower than other GPU renders by far, but the result is really nice. And considering it's 100% free it's an amazing render engine.

    I tried both cpu and gpu. I also don't use C4D physical renderer much because it is just too slow for me as well. I am not going for realism as a rule so the standard render engine works really well for me and I know how to optimize it to get what I want. I didn't use the Denise setting but I bet you are right they would save a good amount of time. 

     

    Cycles is, without a doubt a good render engine and a great deal. I sort of was thinking it is faster on C4d than in blender because Insydium does an amazing job on everything they work with. Seems like that might be right. 

     

    Evee is perfectly good for a lot of things but pretty inaccurate as final render, but accuracy isn't always the thing you are looking for in every project. 

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    I noticed your comments:

     

    Quote

    Hierarchy is improved but still not modernized enough. You have to parent everything by hand and can’t just drag one object under another in the hierarchy window

    To parent stuff in the outliner, just hold down shift while dragging the object over another object.

     

    Quote

    rendering is slow in Cycles

    If you need more speed, E-Cycles is dramatically faster for many scenes. Worth investing in to half your render times, and even more so on the newer Nvidia cards.

     

    To improve overall workflows, do a little research in the add-on / plugins ecosystem. Nowadays there are add-ons to solve or improve anything in Blender - it's overwhelming.

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  • 8 hours ago, hvanderwegen said:

    I noticed your comments:

     

    To parent stuff in the outliner, just hold down shift while dragging the object over another object.

     

    If you need more speed, E-Cycles is dramatically faster for many scenes. Worth investing in to half your render times, and even more so on the newer Nvidia cards.

     

    To improve overall workflows, do a little research in the add-on / plugins ecosystem. Nowadays there are add-ons to solve or improve anything in Blender - it's overwhelming.

    I will have to get used to the modifier keys in Blender, which was one of the reason I never learned it before to be honest. I am drag and drop kind of guy at heart. 

     

    If I had money to invest and it looked like blender was about to be my main 3D software soon, I think e-cycles would be high on the list. You are so right about the add-on being overwhelming... its amazing and intimidating! 

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    I found the modifier keys and non intuitive/loosely created by committee interface of Blender a put off too. There are a lot of bad tutorials out there for Blender, but if you go through BlenderGuru's YouTube beginner (doughnut) series, the keys are not hard to learn. It is definitely a faster modeler than C4D but less intuitive. It has some features that are a lot better than C4D and some that are worse. If you like clicking, you should definitely love Modo. 🙂

     

    The main issue is that one should not decide to change 3D programs lightly. Most popular programs will do 95% of what one needs, and it is often cheaper to contract for the additional 5% rather than learning a new program. The learning curve isn't that bad for any (unless you are trying to learn substance painter, Zbrush, 3d coat, etc. simultaneously). But it will take many months to recreate what you have done in C4D if you have any mograph, animation, rigging, particles etc. Even with the various export options, there isn't really any good way to move all the software specific features from one program to another. The export/import options will often leave you with files that are difficult to change in your new software. The same goes for users of Maya, 3Ds Max, Modo, etc.

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  • 4 hours ago, Isleofgough said:

    I found the modifier keys and non intuitive/loosely created by committee interface of Blender a put off too. There are a lot of bad tutorials out there for Blender, but if you go through BlenderGuru's YouTube beginner (doughnut) series, the keys are not hard to learn. It is definitely a faster modeler than C4D but less intuitive. It has some features that are a lot better than C4D and some that are worse. If you like clicking, you should definitely love Modo. 🙂

     

    The main issue is that one should not decide to change 3D programs lightly. Most popular programs will do 95% of what one needs, and it is often cheaper to contract for the additional 5% rather than learning a new program. The learning curve isn't that bad for any (unless you are trying to learn substance painter, brush, 3d coat, etc. simultaneously). But it will take many months to recreate what you have done in C4D if you have any mograph, animation, rigging, particles etc. Even with the various export options, there isn't really any good way to move all the software specific features from one program to another. The export/import options will often leave you with files that are difficult to change in your new software. The same goes for users of Maya, 3Ds Max, Modo, etc.

    I have been thinking of learning blender for 10 years and this is the farthest I have got, and it's not so bad now with the new interface. I can not afford C4D anymore and I will hold onto V19 for the next few years and learn Blender the meantime. I have over 80 plugins in c4d and I use most of them quite a bit. It's a huge investment and another reason I stopped upgrading. I am a big believer in doing the best you can with what you have. Blender being free makes it easier to just take my time and learn it until Cinema stops working one day. The studio I worked with for a TV show is also thinking of changing Blender, they don't want a subscription software and C4D is just too expensive for the upgrades they put out for them.  I have been graphic design as well for over 30 years and know Quark (ugh), Indesign and now Affinity Publisher so learning another 3d program as a back up seems fine to me. 

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    Good luck. That sounds like a good plan. The plugins for Blender are cheaper than most for C4D. Blender is a very adequate program these days. I was in the same boat as you. I also used Quark, InDesign, and Affinity Publisher (and Pagemaker, Ventura Publisher, Flare, and Framemaker). But I'm one step behind you and moved one of my books to LaTeX. Free is good.

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    Here is my experience so far. I have only been using Blender for about 2 months now but I am starting to feel empowered. I am absolutely in shock that this amazing software is FREE! It is so powerful with 2.83a. I much prefer UV unwrapping, texture painting, sculpting, and modeling in Blender. I have yet to study animation and several other big areas.

    Animation Nodes are SO wonderful. With them you can do anything that MoGraph does and that is a huge relief. I just finished recreating all the MoGraph effectors starting with the Formula Effector, and Cloner and Matrix object are a slam dunk. Animation Nodes are just like Xpresso and having really gotten into that in the past I think has made Animation Node study easy for me. The tutorial series by Blue Fox Creation is superb for learning animation nodes.

    I  have done the donut tutorial series and highly recommend it but I am currently half way through this series and prefer it.

     

    I am really enjoying Blender! I am at R19 with C4D and will never upgrade again. It is too expensive. What keeps me using C4D occasionally is X-Particles and I go nuts over it. I just redid my Maintenance Agreement and it only cost me $217 with the COVID discount.

    Also the future of Blender is so exciting. They are taking off like a rocket and this is a great time to get on board. The 2.83 release is marvelous. They have just gotten some deep pockets funding, soon they will release a new particle system, and the list of near future amazing features and releases for this free software is so exciting.

    I wonder how much money total I have given MAXON since R6 when I came on board?

    So, for me, my primary software is now Blender and I will use C4D only for those marvelous X-Particles animations.

    I noticed Icecaveman and Mabad and others have also jumped ship and that is a good sign.

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