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3D-Pangel last won the day on March 10

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About 3D-Pangel

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    Custodian of the (now defunct) 3D World Database

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    R20.026 Studio
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    Christian Theology, the history and future of special visual effects, exercise (weight training and cycling), American football (New England Patriots), MS-Excel programming, financial analysis, any good fiction action novel rooted in science fact, cooking (always on the lookout for a good pasta recipe).

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  1. Pretty confident you would get the same experience from X-Particles. I was part of an early beta team and they are pretty strict that their beta team members are regularly exercising the program and posting results/comments/issues. Very well structured and disciplined. I would imagine that MAXON is no different - but then again, they do share a common history. I have a rather demanding day job, so out of respect to those that were putting in the time that was required, I had to withdraw myself from the beta program. But you can see the benefits: Like C4D, XP is just one amazing and stable piece of software. Don't deny yourself the "joy of XP"" (wow...that could be a good book title ;-) if your goal is to keep things stable. -Dave
  2. Don't you feel a little guilty when C4D crashes, you send a crash report to MAXON and they come back telling you that it was due to a plugin? Kind of like the same feeling you would get should you accidentally serve sour milk to your child and they throw up. "I am so sorry Cinema....I didn't mean to feed you that plugin!!" Dave
  3. Wow.....okay....I need some re-assurance from MAXON. Please someone who works at MAXON tell me that this as shocking to them as it is to us and goes counter to their culture. My fear is that once a big company like AD makes the move, other DCC companies wait to see if it tanks their business. This is what happened when Adobe moved to the subscription only model. Once Adobe showed that they survived that move economically, others began to consider it for themselves as it could raise revenues. But Adobe's move was on "future" releases. AD's move is on "past" purchases....which to me violates the contract user's thought they had when they purchased a perpetual license. To violate that agreement therefore puts AD's integrity in question. As such, if any other company considers a move like this, then I hope it raises the same questions about how that move impacts that companies brand and reputation for integrity. I place MAXON in the highest tier of a company with integrity....so please someone who works there please tell me that this move is anathema to their culture. Dave
  4. Excellent topic. CGI is such a massively deep topic that it can be discouraging. Fortunately, you have picked C4D because at least you won't be fighting the software as much as you would with other packages as you try to grow your skills. C4D is the easiest to learn, has an internal logical consistency in its UI, and (most important) is more stable than most where everything just works as expected. Believe it or not, all of that makes a huge difference to me because it means that I am limited by my own skill/knowledge more so than by the software. But, just because C4D is the easiest software to use does not mean that mastering CGI is easy. It takes work, time and commitment. I have been with C4D for 10 years now and there are times when I oscillate from absolute discouragement to unbridled joy. And those swings happen with each render! It was encouraging to hear that even the greats, like Cerbera, get discouraged. I originally felt Cerbera's statement that he still does not know "everything" about modeling was nothing more than humility --- I mean the guy is a master after all (his meshes alone are beautiful to see un-rendered!) --- but then I remembered that there are over 20 modeling styles (according to a YouTube video), so maybe he has a valid point. Yes, the field is that vast. So it sounds like you are a hobbyist and are struggling with how to "swallow the elephant" that is 3D without any formal training. Well, as mentioned by others, focus on what interests you! If you are motivated by motion graphics than start with MoGraph! If you love abstract art, then definitely experiment with form, composition, color and lighting until you find a style that "feeds your soul" after you hit the render button. Don't think you need to start with a great model, then move to texturing, lighting, etc. Play around with primitives! Move lights around! Play with shadows and shapes. Experiment with simple stuff. For example this abstraction started with a cube and a few MoGraph modifiers. But what I like most about it was what I did with the lighting and shadows (I can't recall even if I used any textures). A 20 minute experiment that gave me motivation to keep going. Beeple would be proud! Personally, what "feeds my soul" is creating environments. Now an environment is more than the model because as important as the model when creating realistic environments is the lighting and texturing. In fact, I find that I enjoy the lighting more so than the modeling. Therefore to get to what "feeds my soul" the fastest, I will sometimes skip modeling all together and purchase a model. I really love the environment work done by Stefan Morrel (Stonemason) and his models are pretty cheap from the DAZ site. So I purchase them and convert them to C4D. They come in partially un-textured and completely un-lit so that is where I start and I just love the process at that point. As a hobbyist, it feeds my soul. In short: It is okay to take short cuts to get to what you love if that is what you need to keep you interested, motivated and committed to this hobby. In time, as you have these little "wins" in a key area of interest, you will then feel the desire to expand into other areas. Over time, you won't feel so intimidated by 3D and therefore be more adventurous in what you select next to master. I know this is a bit unstructured, but as a hobbyist you need to stay encouraged if you wish to progress your skills without the benefit of formal training (which will provide structure). For me, CGI is a great hobby that will take a lifetime to master. Fortunately, I have a lifetime ahead of me. It will be a great journey! Dave
  5. To be clear, Gaea outputs FBX or heightfield maps at high resolution so it can work with C4D, but that is about the extent that it will "play" with Forester. To Forester, it will just be a polygonal object that has to work with its multi-scatter engine. My hope is that Forester has more interoperability with Rock Engine --- for example, not only will there be controls that limit auto-tree population to certain terrain slopes (eg. don't place trees on a cliff face), but additional controls that limit the tree's size at high terrain elevations (just as in nature). That "could" be possible with Rock Engine and Forester as Rock Engine could easily pass elevation and scale data to Forester's multi-scatter module but I don't think that would be possible with Gaea and Forester. Also, and again I am speculating, Forester's global wind function could take terrain data from Rock Engine to control which trees get affected by wind forces based on how they are shielded or unshielded by the terrain. Stuff like that could be possible from Rock Engine and that is the type of inter-operability I am hoping for from Rock Engine as they come from the same developer. This may be too much to hope for from 3D Quakers for a first release but it does point to a "potential" advantage that Rock Engine could have over Gaea over time. As for now, let me learn a bit more with the Gaea. At $99, creating 4K terrains of such quality so quickly is a low risk way to proceed while Rock Engine grows into its potential. Dave
  6. Just wanted to ping the community to see if anyone has used Gaea landscape generator (found here: https://quadspinner.com/Gaea). Interestingly enough, it appears to be developed by Dax Pandhi (http://www.daxpandhi.com/#art) who is an outstanding artist with a tremendous understanding of what makes digital nature look absolutely real. His tutorials and work with Vue xStream is pretty impressive. I would gather that as he is making stand alone landscape applications and plugins for World Machine, he is no longer interested in Vue (like so many of us). Read Dax's personal info --- high school dropout that was now a guest lecturer at Harvard....gotta love it!!!! Gaea looks to be a full featured landscape package with three methods to create landscapes: layers, graphs (or nodes) and sculpting. Very intuitive. It either outputs displacement maps or FBX geometry. What I have yet to figure out is how to shade the terrains but then again, I have only been playing with it for a day. For those waiting for the C4D plugin, Rock Engine (made by 3D Quakers - the people who brought you Forester), this may be worth a look. Rock Engine has had a slow and protracted development cycle, and was originally targeted for a late June release which has been pushed to late July. I am not sure how many developers there are but my guess is that it is a single person shop. There is a short tutorial on Rock Engine on YouTube and I have to say that, while the results look impressive, the interface is hard to follow and not as logically designed as Gaea's. There is a free Gaea download available that is fully functioning but limited to 1K in the size/resolution of the terrain you can create. For an indie version, the price is $99 (not bad at all) that limits you to 4K resolutions and the professional version is $199 (no render limit). At those prices, Rock Engine will have some stiff competition. Interoperability with Forester will give it an edge so we will have to wait and see. Personally, I want to see Rock Engine succeed as I just love Forestor, so if those two work well together then that would mean a great deal to me. In the meantime, as Rock Engine missed its release date, I would love to hear what others think about Gaea. Dave Dave
  7. My recommendation....use global illumination. Assume the base texture has the lights as stated. That is, it is a picture of a building at night with the room lights. 1) Put that texture into the luminance channel. Now I also mask out the individual windows and use a Fusion layer with that mask in the luminance channel to insure that ONLY the lighted portions are showing luminance, but that is up to you. 2) Do NOT put that texture into the color channel. In fact, uncheck the color channel. 3) In the reflectance channel, add a reflectance layer and select (my personal favorite) CGX. 4) Under layer Color, add the texture with Mix Mode set to Multiply. 5) Under Illumination, select GI Area Light and set strength to a very high value (greater than 1000). 6) Select Global Illumination under the render settings. Now, of course you will have to play with these settings to meet the desired look. For example, in the image below I set the illumination strength to 10,000. The trick here is that if you put the base texture in the reflectance channel as opposed to the color channel, then Global Illumination renders much faster. This test image took only 2 seconds on my computer (granted it is a simple cube with one texture, but still.....) but it gives the effect of internal lighting without the needs for placing actual lights in the scene (there are no lights used in the image below). Note that with GI, the base texture lights up the sides of the building which really sells the effect of real lights coming out the building windows. I hope this helps, Dave And the base scene file is below (with textures and mask): Example night light.c4d And the textures
  8. 3D-Pangel


    I recall that this animation made the news when it came out because it mixed an environmental message, a catchy hip-hop tune with profanity that many people thought was just unnecessary. So if it was meant to be an environmental message, then Lil Dicky couldn't take a break from the profanity, drugs and sexual references to get his message through to people. In response to that backlash, they did come out with a cleaner version in the hopes to reach more people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2SMvfGe72U Overall though, not my cup of tea....drug references, close-up of monkey butts, plus the main character getting an erection at 4:41 take away from whatever it is the video hopes to achieve: Environmental message, humorous song, montage of cute animals....take your pick because I have no idea what the point of it all was having (like so many other people did) hit the mute button to just watch the animation after a few minutes. Personally, I think he squandered a great opportunity to really make something memorable. But that is what happens when you race to the bottom to get your point across. Dave
  9. Wow...that is impressive. I do agree, TFD is still a great package and I have no idea how Jawset makes money given all the free updates. A very generous developer if you ask me (he must do this a side job and for the praise of those who use TFD). A very crowded field indeed but I am still going with my rank ordering for the reasons listed. I would like to learn more about FumeFX but so far, that intro video (while enticing) is not enough to sway me given that I have XP and TFD. In fact, I would imagine a large base of C4D users who do fluid sim's have either or both of those packages so FumeFX will have its work cut out for them to attract new users. Now, there is a growing criticism against C4D for NOT having its own native fluid package given that all its major competitors at its price point have fluids and for the aging TP module. Not sure how that is going to be addressed, but I suspect it will at some point. Will it be in R21? Not sure. But if C4D does implement fluids at some point, I would suspect that it will also offer similar viewport performance to FumeFX given past criticisms against C4D's viewport performance that they have worked to improve. So will one of FumeFX's advantages (viewport performance) be replaced by C4D's own native fluid package at some point? No one really knows. .....but (as 3DKiwi often says): Fun times ahead! Dave
  10. FumeFX does look like an interesting product, but I would imagine the cost to be around $700 (the same as the Max price). That is less than the X-Particles/Cycle4D bundle price (around $900) but for $200 more you can do so much more than fire and smoke (fluids, grains, fracturing, cloth, dynamics, OpenVDB and a whole new render engine). Now, there are some good controls that I find interesting within FumeFX for controlling the simulation, like C4D's FFD and setting some conditions using effectors within FumeFX itself based on velocity, etc. But those controls pale to what can be done if you use particles to shape your smoke FX. I did not see anything in that video on whether or not FumeFX works with Thinking Particles in C4D. Art directing explosion and smoke effects with X-Particles question/answer structure is just plain powerful and now XP has also incorporated Fields into its particle group structure which just takes particle control to an entirely new level of control. Plus in XP, you can use fluid particle advection to power cloth and physics simulations as well or use it to drive the motion of your MoGraph objects. Plus, you can pass everything through the OpenVDB modifier to get some truly interesting results (like smoke turning into water bubbles as seen in the XP reel). Plus XP has multi-physics capability in that a fluid simulation can drive a cloth simulation which in turn can drive a smoke simulation. That is an advantage over TFD, FumeFX and even RealFlow. Realflow for C4D has multi-physics but only within its own fluid/smoke simulations (true multi-physics capability exists within the Stand Alone version of Realflow, but that would be an unfair comparison as we are discussing C4D plugins). To the best of my knowledge, RealFlow for C4D and FumeFX has no capability to work with other non-fluid dynamic simulations but as XP now has cloth and rigid/soft body dynamics incorporated into its software, those boundaries are blown away. So again, the advantage goes to XP. Now TFD's advantage over FumeFX is that it is GPU accelerated and it works with X-Particles. That was an important capability for TFD before X-Particles incorporated ExplosiaFX. So that just leaves TFD with the unique advantage of GPU acceleration. Given that TFD also works with X-Particles still makes it a smarter choice than FumeFX at this point. But as you can infer, I am leaning towards XP as the best overall solution. So if I had to rate all the fluid packages out there today for C4D, it would be: X-Particles (it just has everything...and I do mean everything) TFD (GPU accelerated makes it unique and it works with XP....sooo…..) Real Flow (great engineering grade software, but too slow). FumeFX (Last place based on the information from the video. Hopefully we learn more in the future that will give it a unique advantage over its competitors). So FumeFX has some tough competition within C4D. The only potential advantage to FumeFX would be the ability to handle massive fluid simulations with less effort than XP. There is nothing to point to that being the case, but I would be interested in hearing about that from others who use FumeFX today. GPU acceleration is important, so even TFD still has FumeFX beat. But compared to XP (both CPU based), XP is (for the reasons listed above), the better choice. Its power, control, ease-of-use and capabilities just can't be beat. Dave
  11. I can confirm that the offer does NOT apply to purchasing just an MSA alone. If you put that in your cart, there is no discount. But if you put a new license in your cart (for example Studio), then you do get this message: Either the wording of the offer was a little vague or my own hopes were projected improperly on how I read the pre-release notices...but either way, a bit disappointed as 30% off the MSA price would have been nice. Dave
  12. So I am little confused by this as it says that this offer is for upgrades, side-grades and new licenses but ONLY available with an MSA. People who are side-grading or purchasing an new license probably do not already have an MSA. Plus don't new licenses always get one year of service or do you have to purchase a new license and then an MSA as well? I don't think so. So apart from people upgrading, then how does this apply? Not sure what this means. Also, if I have R20 Studio with an MSA, then can I get 30% off the cost of a new MSA to be tacked onto the end of my current MSA? Now that is a deal (especially with the discount coupon on Redshift). Can anyone from MAXON (Hrvoje maybe) provide some clarity on this? Thanks, Dave
  13. Well, I think you want to slow the smoke down a bit based on how I interpret "punch" and view the gif. Believe it or not, to slow down the smoke, you need to LOWER the gravity setting. Kind of counter-intuitive but gravity is an overall controller for all the other settings (buoyancy, etc) that are underneath it. Play with that an see what you get. Dave
  14. Very nice....excellent detail. Why do I get the impression that Cerbera created that cave in about half the time it took me to read how he did it? ;-) I am sure that when Cerbera is in the zone, it is stream of conscious modeling where he just wills great art into existence. Sits down, plugs in some good tunes and "poof", three hours later he has created the Empire State Building with perfect quads and polygonal flow and wonders quietly where the time went? Dave
  15. DAZ has a pretty good export function with a C4D preset already. The export format is OBJ for which C4D has improved the import capabilities with each release. To use, here are some general steps in DAZ: Select Export in DAZ and chose OBJ On the OBJ export options, select the C4D preset Make sure that Invert Positive Direction under the X axis is checked. If you plan to render the model in C4D, then make sure that Disable Write Surfaces is NOT checked. Otherwise, you will not get your textures. On OBJ import into C4D, make sure that Flip Z Axis in NOT checked. Now, this is just for the models and textures. I do find that lights do not transfer as well but I always redo the lighting in C4D anyway. I also rework the textures and clean up some of the modeling so it not one-click easy as these directions imply - there is some work to do afterwards. As I do not do character animation, I cannot speak to how well those items can be imported or if they can be imported (Riptide Pro users will need to chime in here). So if you are waiting for a plugin or for the resurrection of Riptide Pro (whatever became of that plugin?), that does not mean there is no path from Daz to C4D....there is a path but you have to work on it a bit....but that is half the fun. Dave



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