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Fastbee

Leaving or staying with C4D for what and why?

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I have been using c4d since the v5 demo but actually made it my main 3d app until R9.6, and it's until this year that I have a steady job doing 3d. 
Now, I don't think I will jump ship just like that, I am way too  used to c4d right now, and my job requires speed. but I will start learning modo, and let's see what happens. But I can tell that unless R18 is the bees knees I can see myself and many others leaving.  

 

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I feel this post from Kai Pedersen is very clarifying. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=8073979&postcount=34)

Basically, if the clients (from studios and such, that meet MAXON on a regular basis) are happy with what they are getting, there's not much to do. Forum is a minority. I'm sure my opinion is not that important, even more since I only own a student version.
Being honest though, I really like Cinema 4D. I want it to shine, even more because Autodesk is a greedy corporation that killed Softimage, which I was learning before I bought my C4D student license. :)
 

3D started as a hobby for me, that I hope someday to turn into work. I was really impressed by the type of work done by Tiny Inventions and the trio Job, Joris and Marieke. This is the type of stuff I want to do (plus modeling crazy characters). Tiny Inventions already switched to Maya for animation, who knows if the trio won't follow? While I respect and stay in awe with the motion graphics I've seen done in Cinema 4D and while I'll continue to watch the Siggraph, Nab and Ibc presentations with interest, I'm not a motion graphics guy. I wish I were, but I'm terrible! :D
Anyway ... I'll continue to post here because I like the community. But I just won't be using Cinema 4D (for now). Maybe in the future I'll be back.

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I feel this post from Kai Pedersen is very clarifying. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=8073979&postcount=34)

Basically, if the clients (from studios and such, that meet MAXON on a regular basis) are happy with what they are getting, there's not much to do. Forum is a minority. I'm sure my opinion is not that important, even more since I only own a student version

I'm pretty sure the number of hobbyists and freelancers who use C4D are far much bigger than the few studios MAXON met, so I don't think their voice are so much more important than others. Also one thing has to be clear, from what I read it's not much about the R17 features, that are quite handy for nearly everybody, than the pace MAXON takes to develop them since a few releases as they were often long overdue, this release would have been much better received at the time of R15. I understand that studios are happy with this one after the R15 and R16 (Maybe even R14 as a lot didn't find the need for the sculpting tools) but is it enough after 3 or 4 years of development? I mean regarding to the competition you could nearly make one release with the last three C4D ones, at least in term of useful features. Like many others, I am convinced that MAXON put some of their ressources elsewhere to something much bigger but they must at least communicate better really quickly.

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I'm pretty sure the number of hobbyists and freelancers who use C4D are far much bigger than the few studios MAXON met, so I don't think their voice are so much more important than others. ...

I agree Edouard. I don't see where the math comes from when Kai says "miniscule fraction". This is a niche market, as far as know. This isn't like Photoshop where there are millions and millions of registered users all across the world. The number of studios who do this kind of work for television and cinema is actually a miniscule fraction of the larger "graphic design / digital arts" community. MAXON then visits some modest fraction of those studios, right? I would bet in any given year MAXON visits and speaks directly with maybe 50-60 studio artists who use Cinema for CG, tops? I don't know. . . maybe I'm off my rocker but I'd be surprised if they had time to do more than that, given a 12 month dev cycle, and the fact that they're a pretty small company. 

Based on the number of people who frequent (inlcluding lurk in) forums each year, I'd wager the absolute numbers are in the forum dwellers' favor. We probably are a larger percentage of the overall user community than the studio people who get MAXON visits / focus groups.

THAT BEING SAID, I do understand what Kai is saying about the importance MAXON assigns to those studios / artists who they every year. Those people probably DO get preferential treatment in terms of feature requests, and it's probably also true those people are rarely in forums (most likely because they're working 60 hours a week and sleeping / eating / doing normal people things the rest of the time before the next 60 hour week). I don't have a problem with MAXON paying close attention to those people because those people can showcase MAXON's product in ways none of us can (freelancers or whoever). . . generally. There are always exceptions / outstanding freelancers who do big ticket work.

The important thing is that MAXON pays attention to freelancers (that means forums) going forward, and integrates their feedback whenever possible. The reason forums exist is because freelancers don't have the support structure around them to collaborate and answer questions on a daily basis. If you're working in a studio of 15 CG artists, you would have zero need to come to this or any other forum – you just ask your coworker right then. So the argument "many artists don't visit forums (therefore forums feedback is less important)" is misguided and misleading. Studio artists don't visit forums because they have a "live forum" sitting all around them, at all times. I would think that should be obvious to the studio types making those kinds of observations.

 

 

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I thought Arail's post over at CGS struct the perfect tone.

If we as freelancers, small business owners and hobbyists are somehow seen as less important customers then please MAXON come out and make it perfectly clear we are not their target market. 

I've owned C4D since R10 and upgraded religiously, I think I've paid enough to voice an opinion, for the most part I have been extremely satisfied in fact I've been a strong advocate of C4D in working life not just on the internet. Since R14 my satisfaction level has dropped and the Team Render fiasco and now this very light R17. Are we really supposed to sit in silence and hand over our hard earned green and not voice an opinion? No. We just have to make our opinions felt without resorting to rudeness but no one can be held responsible for someone being overly sensitive.

MAXON should realise the fact people are motivated to vent their frustration is actually because they care and rather than running away from the feedback they should be encouraging it and dealing with it head on. Most forward thinking companies are using social media exactly this way to directly take views from their customers and improve their offerings.

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I agree Edouard. I don't see where the math comes from when Kai says "miniscule fraction". This is a niche market, as far as know. This isn't like Photoshop where there are millions and millions of registered users all across the world. The number of studios who do this kind of work for television and cinema is actually a miniscule fraction of the larger "graphic design / digital arts" community. MAXON then visits some modest fraction of those studios, right? I would bet in any given year MAXON visits and speaks directly with maybe 50-60 studio artists who use Cinema for CG, tops? I don't know. . . maybe I'm off my rocker but I'd be surprised if they had time to do more than that, given a 12 month dev cycle, and the fact that they're a pretty small company. 

Also from this niche market, I'm sure MOST already rely heavily on external solutions wherever C4D falls behind and MAXON makes no secret of that fact anymore, the Aixsponza's Seed on the R17 main web page is the perfect example (Arnold, Softimage ICE, Houdini, ZBrush, Modo), those studios just need a hub, no more. So when Kai says that forums are biased and not representative it's everything but fair as talking about studios is already biased from the very beginning.

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Add all the freelancer and hobbyists up and my guess is that it will out number the studio 'seats' many, many times over.

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Like most software companies they have a roadmap for upcoming features and which release will have them. I am surprised why this release was light compared to R16 and some earlier versions.

I wonder if Cinema 4D is getting to be like Adobe Photoshop where there are fewer features on the roadmap so they spread it out with subsequent versions. I don't think Cinema 4D is at the feature saturation point that Adobe Photoshop is currently but if you look at Maya releases the past few years the number of new features has been slim also.

Well....there is a part of me that also "hopes" that MAXON is doing a balancing act between the old and new architecture.  I have no idea if a new architecture within C4D can be rolled out piece meal or whether it needs to be implemented all at once.  For example, could you completely rewrite the modeling core but leave the animation and/or texturing core with the old architecture.  Is the new take system part of the new architecture?  I would assume that if it truly is a new architecture, everything is interconnected and therefore the new architecture needs to be rolled out all at once.

With that said, remember that every new feature added to the old architecture will need to be reworked in the new architecture. So with every release prior to the new architecture,  MAXON just makes more work for themselves with every feature that is added.  Maybe the lackluster features added in R17 are indications that MAXON is running out of changes that they are willing/capable of making in the old architecture? Again, it is a balancing act between old and new and I would imagine sometimes difficult to manage.  I would also imagine that the product development road maps are well defined years in advance of each release and that the Product Managers new that the release prior to rolling out the new architecture would be weak.  In short, they probably new around R15 just how weak R17 would be.  

What I fault MAXON for is thinking that you could still give us half an upgrade and charge us full value.  I also fault the marketing team for their hubris in thinking that they could put the words "Landmark release" on R17 and get away with it.

So what does this mean?  Hang on because R18 will knock our socks off?  Sorry....not drinking that cool aide because some of the trust has been lost with how MAXON has handled R17.  Their continued silence is not helping matters.  

I am on the fence about whether to upgrade or not.  I do have modo 401 and the cost for me to upgrade to modo 901 is less than the Studio MSA.  But the modo interface really kills me (I just can't get the hang of it).  Also, while their particle system looks really interesting, they need a fluid simulation program to go with it (what's the point of showing a tornado in their particle demo if you can't realistically shade those particles to render as a tornado).  If Jawset started to make a plugin for modo, I might be tempted.  I am also not too thrilled about abandoning all my investment in C4D plugins, models and libraries from C4D Depot, Pixel Lab, GSG, etc.  All this stuff is what they refer to as a "software ecosystem" and C4D's is a bit more developed than modo's .... and probably part of the reason why MAXON thinks they can weather the R17 storm.  

I don't know.  A little love from MAXON right now in the form of getting the Houdini Engine for Studio users would help.  Remember that is a win for Side Effects as the HDA's are not all free.

Dave

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Every C4D artist I know demanded render layers for years. Demanded modeling updates and got them in the last three upgrades. Ok we do not us TR since we do not consider MAXON an network software developer and have 3rd party managers for the farm. And we use 3rd Party renderers like every studio.

It is worriying that guys here celebrate maya for its modeling upgrades while they simply catch up with C4D. Same with Houdini modeling: catching up.

Modo? Half the package of C4D.

Well, render layers looks very useful, and I read somewhere that TR works without issues with R17. Im looking forward to work with render layers.

But, you cant say Houdini is catching up, because of Houdini nodal approach, even one little modeling update means a lot. You just cant edit model history in Modo, Cinema 4D, 3DS Max or even Maya / XSI if you collapsed your history because the model gets too complex. With Houdini, you can do lots of variations of your model just tweaking parameters, so each update counts a lot. Just a copy node and the new modeling tools, and I can see myself building the terrain of an alien planet in half hour. And then some more time to make it editable as an asset.

Anyway, im also trying Modo, because learning modeling can be applied to any software, and its kinda cool. I miss the right click quick menu C4D has, and I also miss pressing space to toggle your last tool. But the action center, falloff and symmetry tools are really great. They are the best time savers one could get when modeling. I do however encountered 2 crashes in four hours of work (I find one crash in a week with C4D).

For me, there is only two possible ways: Either modo gets Mograph, or C4D gets modo viewport. Next year well see.

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Every C4D artist I know demanded render layers for years.

The Cafe is overflowing with threads that list people's wish lists for upcoming releases and these threads have been popping up for as long as I can remember. I don't remember render layers being a recurring theme.

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