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MAXON announces R17


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"MAXON Announces Milestone Cinema 4D Release 17"

Not the headline I would have picked.

Finally R17 is announced. As most people would have figured by now I'm less than impressed with R17 (and Maxon) hence my decision to jump ship to Modo 901. In my opinion R17 is the weakest full version upgrade that Maxon have put out apart from a couple of .5 upgrades when they used to do .5 upgrades every second year. To me it's pretty much a .5 version and I think Maxon should have called it R16.5. Problem there of course is they wouldn't be able to charge regular upgrade prices and MSA renewal prices.

Let's step back a bit as I'm now in a position to talk much more freely than I have been able to talk. I'm still under the Non disclosure agreement so can't discuss what went on behind the scenes in Beta testing. Pretty boring anyway. With R15 I was really impressed with it as finally the polygon modelling tools were getting some attention and we were given the outstanding new Bevel tool. I was a bit disappointed that Bodypaint didn't receive any attention. At the time I was also running Modo 601, having had all versions from 301 upwards. Because I now thought C4D's modelling tools were getting some attention I sold my copy of Modo 601 since modelling is my main interest. I also packed in being a Modo Beta tester although I hadn't been doing it for long.

R16 came along which I thought was a bit light with enhancements and I was disappointed that Bodypaint hadn't received any love apart from a new UV Peeler. But again, the modelling tools received some love with the great new Polygon pen tool, bevel deformer and Modo 801 wasn't the big upgrade that 901 is. So okay R17 should see more polygon modelling tools and maybe at long last Bodypaint updated since we'd seen something in R16. I also expected the Reflectance channel to be tidied up and maybe the inclusion of a material node system. Nope, nothing.

So my run down of R17:

No polygon modelling tool enhancements of note except new spline drawing tools which are quite good but I found to be a bit clunky to use. If anyone has used the excellent spline drawing tools in MoI (Moment of Inspiration) you'll understand what I'm getting at. Still the spline drawing tools are a welcome addition but I fully expected one or more polygon modelling tools to get some attention. Nope, almost nothing. C4D still doesn't have a proper symmetry system and we're at R17. Pitiful.

Bodypaint / UV editing - zero enhancements. Not acceptable in my book especially considering the price Maxon charges for Cinema 4D. Maxon needs to make a public statement about the status of Bodypaint / UV editing. Are they going to upgrade it?

Take system aka Render layer system. Best new feature / enhancement of R17. The developer has done a superb job. Credit where credit is due. However many people could be like me and not really need a render layers system. Professional users however will love it.

Viewport speed / lots of object handling - no enhancements that I'm aware of. No Open Subdiv.

Material system - Reflectance channel unchanged as far as I can tell. No nodes system.

Timeline enhancements - Good enhancements but years overdue.

Particles, MoGraph, Hair, Dynamics - No changes.

Sculpting - Yet another set of incremental enhancements so good job here.

Houdini engine integration - great but not something that interests me.

Miscellaneous enhancements - yup, a few handy ones but nothing major. Obj support for materials - about time!! New shaders are quite cool.

I can only assume that a lot of Maxon's developers are working on a new core, new Bodypaint, material node system as what's in R17 doesn't reflect the number of developers that work for Maxon or that's my impression. I base that assumption on the number of developers that they have been recruiting over the last year or two (and that's based on publicly posted job vacancies). In my opinion Maxon should do a technology preview at Siggraph of what they're working on. This may stop people jumping ship as I'm predicting some may now do or alternatively skip upgrading. Now is also the time that Maxon needs to start communicating with their users and I mean in social media. We've had a bit of communication lately but users need some actual answers rather than "We're listening".

So for me, I've given up on waiting for Maxon to upgrade the things that I want to see upgraded. Even if R18 is the mother of all upgrades it will be too little and too late. For me I can get most of what I want now with Modo 901. Sure, it isn't perfect but it needs a heck of a lot less than what C4D does to make it truely great. The few issues like stability, lack of parametric objects (e.g. text), viewport speed aren't the huge list that Maxon has with C4D to bring it up to date. BTW since the recent service pack for Modo 901 I've not had a single crash with it so again things like stability are things that can be fixed in a reasonable amount of time. Rewriting the core and Bodypaint could take a long time hence nothing yet again this year.

I'll be interested to see what people who have to pay for upgrades / MSA's think of R17. Do you think you're getting good value for money? I can't answer that as I haven't had to pay for my copies of Cinema 4D since I bought XL 8.5 a long time ago. My guess is it will depend on what you do. I think many hobbyists maybe scratching their heads wondering if it's worth upgrading or not whereas Pro users who will likely use the new Take system will be reasonbably happy. Fun times ahead over the next few days reading people's impressions of it.

BTW I have zero knowledge of what's in R18. Beta testers aren't told what's coming in future versions. Your guess is as good as mine.

Nigel / 3DKiwi

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Take System is nice and it's probably the only killer feature. I don't think a Modo or a Maya user will be envious by this release after their recent massive update. They probably must laugh in reality.

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Haven't been here in quite a while. Had to drop by to see what folks had to say about this release. While I still have a copy of C4D, I jumped ship a long time ago. Probably the weakest version yet! The folks at Autodesk must be dying laughing right about now!!! MAXON does not get it!!! Epic fail as usual!!!

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A couple of features I'm very glad to see like the Euler Filter and fixed Auto Tangents but so much more they could have done while working on the animation tools IMO.

Overall it's a bit 'Cinemeh 4d'.




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 Probably the weakest version yet! 

Yep, that's a very fair assessment.

I don't think value for money is a concept MAXON even considers. If people keep signing up for the MSA they'll keep getting R17s delivered each year while the savvy jump ship.

The trouble with these random feature upgrades is that they are random and I have no faith that Mograph or Xpresso/TP is ever going to get upgraded. I don't know what MAXON are working towards other than be comfortable to follow several years behind the competition.

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Funny, MAXON doesn´t give anymore X.5 upgrades or new features into a current version because the shareholders thingy... but they don´t understand the if WE the users don´t buy/upgrade anymore the product the shareholders can put their money (you know where), really what a shareholder will do if nobody buys the product that he is investing? for me, this is just really blah statement for not giving new features into a current version, like 3DKiwi said, this is more a X.5 release than a full version one.

So, please listen the users and not the shareholders, because without us they do nothing.




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There's definitely some good bits there, 1 or 2 of which I am likely to use (spline and sculpting tools) but is it £500's worth ? I agree with Nigel, it's a slightly underwhelming half-release for me. 

But, I notice Cineversity is now included in the UK MSA which is another small incentive, but whether this and the new bits will retain the hobbyists like me - I'm not so sure on that one.

When the poly pen and reflectance videos arrived last year my hand was automatically drifting to my wallet. I have noticed that it hasn't done that this year, so I will giving some serious thought to whether I'm in this time round...

Still very happy with R16 on the whole.


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What users want:
GPU Render
Node-base Material
Body Paint Improvments (why no symetry painting yet?)
Better Particle system (x-particles native?)

What MAXON gave us:
Anything else...


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Multi-edit reflectance is not addressed in R17, but definitely on the radar.



Could we just have a plugin/ voluntary patch, that pulls out the legacy reflection into the main list? that's all i want. or a plugin that brings back the old material as it was without reflectance? how you have danel and banzi shaders and stuff? Its really sad. 

It looks like a handy release, but i guess its just gonna be on the shelf like r16.. 

its just painful for all this stuff to be going to waste... I mean when i have a choice i dont really use the inbuilt render engine anyway, but for client jobs i do use it, and i simply don't have time to edit so many materials by hand.. 

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Multi-edit reflectance is not addressed in R17, but definitely on the radar.


And can´t be addressed in this R17 later on because it will be considered as a new feature so the shareholders are going to get angry, so it will be "fixed" in one year?




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