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raycerx
11-30-2005, 01:22 PM
Hello all, I was approached to write a review of Cinema 4D for the ASAI newsletter. About half of the society works in traditional methodes and the other half digital (Max, FormZ, etc.). I was asked to write about the program itself and how it is intergrated into my work/architectual visualization. So my question to you folks is ... What are your thoughts oabout the program? My hope is to create an article thats less about my opinions and a bit more about the general vibe of those who use the program.
I also wish to keep the audience interested and refrain from over technical 'stuff'...
Also, if someone could direct me to that site that had the History of Cinema on it, that would be a big help.
I think the exposure would be good. I had recently lectured about the program at the ASAI conference this past October in DC and was approached by a good many people who had never heard of the program but were intrigued by it.
Sorry long winded, any input, good or bad, would be helpful.
Cheers
D

soccerrprp
11-30-2005, 01:32 PM
Dennis,

Great! I have strong feelings about C4D! In fact, I created and teach a course in 3d modeling and animation using C4D. I was interviewed by 3DAttack (November 2005). We have the interview on our school site:

http://www.parishepiscopal.org/html/3d_attack_article.htm

If I can help in any other way, feel free to contact me.

Good luck!

Richard

AdamT
11-30-2005, 02:00 PM
I would think that Cinema would appeal to that group. Cinema arguably has the best NPR render system on the market (Sketch & Toon), plus excellent support for PS and AE with it's multipass capabilities and flexible file support (layered .tifs and .psds, 16 and 32 bit output, AE export, etc.). And for a non-techy group, Cinema's shallow learning curve would be particularly attractive.

Primitiv
12-01-2005, 12:01 AM
Cinema 4D is a great app. The Studio Bundle add BodyPaint which is probably the best 3D painting system available. What I like the most of C4D is the non-destructive hierarchical tools. The app still lacks in Character Animation but there is some good plug-ins out there like CD IKTools that helps tremendously in rigging. C4D has evolved exponentially since a couple of years and I can't think of any other 3D app that improved so much in such short time.

High Points:

- Fully parametric modeling and animation.
- Great interface, fully customizable.
- Tons of affordable plug-ins.
- Powerful modeling tools.
- Powerful lighting tools.
- Ease of use.
- Very stable app.
- Great scripting abilities.
- Fantastic Multi-pass rendering with support for AE, PSD and Shake.

Low Points:

- Rendering engine could use improvement. Final Render 2 and Maxwell bring better rendering but both seem to be slower, especially Maxwell.
- Character Animation is still behind other apps like LW, Max, Maya.
- Texturing, while adequate, could use improvement. BP adds power but at a price.
- No ports to Renderman or Brazil.
- Maxon seemingly competing with its plug-in developers.
- Hair and fur still difficult to produce even with Shave & Haircut or other plug-ins available.
- OpenGL support needs work.

My 2Ę

raycerx
12-01-2005, 02:17 AM
hey all, thanks for the input and your offers of assistance! I will try to post up some abbreviated bits from the piece once I get started! Or perhaps a link (it may end up on there ASAI website)

Cheers

artzfx
12-01-2005, 02:51 AM
Hi Dennis,

A first impression perspective from someone very new to C4D... 2 months ago I downloaded C4D, LW, MayaPLE and XSI to trial as I wanted to purchase a highend 3D app. I had used Max some months before but couldnt not gel with it. C4D was the best experience for ease of obtaining the program and installation. :thumbsup:

After playing with each without following any tutorials or manuals I found Maya and C4D the easiest to pickup and follow. In my opinion C4D felt the most modern app of all based on the look of its interface and intuitiveness.

After completing the "Jet plane" tutorial by 3DKiwi at C4DCafe.com it only made my experience with C4D even more enjoyable. Some more playing and research of support items like C4D tutes, forums, online magazines, training DVD's and my decision was made. I purchased C4D Studio last week... so my journey now begins.:thumbsup:

I can't offer much in regard to the program, however I thought the insight of a first time users experience might be helpful to you.

Per-Anders
12-01-2005, 03:38 AM
in the interests of fairness, just to clarify a few points on primitiv's list that I believe are not entirely true.

- Fully parametric modeling and animation.

Sadly not yet, C4D still lacks a full construction history, and most tools/commands do not remain parametric after you've finished using them. It does have some parametric modeling and animation capability (admitedly in certain ways more than most), but it's no Houdini.

- Great scripting abilities.

Compared to other high end 3d apps Cinema's scripting is in many ways still woefully weak (imo), COFFEE (Cinema's scripting language) is strong in a number of areas, mainly it's Vector and Matrix math simplicity,but for interface design it's a far greater chore than working with MEL, and while it's close to Jscript, it's not quite the real thing as you ahve in Lightwave for instance.

- Rendering engine could use improvement. Final Render 2 and Maxwell bring better rendering but both seem to be slower, especially Maxwell.

Final Render is actually rather faster than Cinema 4D's inbuilt engine and Advanced Render module under the following circumstances - Motion Blur, Blurry Effects, DOF, Global Illumination, complex/high density scenes, micropolydisplacement, caustics.

Maxwell potentially could in fact be faster at 1.0 (if the hype is to be believed) when handling sufficiently more complex scenes.

In fairness AR is still an exceptionally powerful flexible and easy to use render engine that is capable of great output of anything in the right hands.

- Fantastic Multi-pass rendering with support for AE, PSD and Shake.

Cinema's multipass is very easy to use, and is pretty powerful rendering does have awesome support for third party compositing, but to be honest it's not as flexible as XSI's passes system (and now Maya's since Maya went V7) and it's no-where near as powerful as the one in Renderman. That's not to say it couldn't be at some point, nor that it's not just as flexible/powerful if you know C++, but how many people do?

- no ports to renderman or brazil

is actually only half correct. there is in fact a renderman bridge, as part of the production bundle, this is however only available by direct request. i don't believe that the price has ever been publically stated by Maxon or it's production bundle customers on any forum, so the only way to find out is through a form on their website.

- Maxon seemingly competing with its plug-in developers.

As a third party developer I've seen both sides of the argument on this (and even been involved in both sides). This is however imo more or less bunkum. Maxon are not out to put plugin developers out of business, there simply is no logic to doing so.

They are out to give customers what they want (and have a great track record with this), sometimes that means adding in plugins (which is done via agreements and even purchases), sometimes that means making their own things that might cover some of the functionality that certain plugins cover, often these developments are concieved long before the said plugins even existed yet the public only see's what happens in the end (yup that includes Mesh Surgery), and generally Maxon do try to keep a healthy dialog going on
between themselves and their plugin developers.

moka.studio
12-01-2005, 11:26 AM
Couple of things,

1st off, - OT - as Sadie, says FR is substantilaly faster when using complex effects, expecially GI, than the C4d core engine. C4d is very fast without this.

As far as the original request about the impressions with C4d, I think the ease of use would be a strong point for the Arch illustrator"s crowd. Te modelling tools are adequate for poly modelling (C4d is still missing some basic functionality and tools that would be really needed though for technical modelling)
I don"t think the faft that the CA tools are not on par with Maya's would really makes a difference to them.
A good point as well is how good C4d is for Motion Graphics as well, which may be interesting for people who work in both fields.

The multipass is also quite good, especially for peope who do a lot of their work in post ( photoshop etc...) to maintain flexibility. It would proablbaly be a great feature to show, with separate passes for shadows, different lights, reflections etc...
Sketch and Toon of course is also a big plus for arch illustration.
Another good point would be the bridges to some of the cad apps, that some people may use for their modelling.

Cartesius
12-01-2005, 11:42 AM
Also, if someone could direct me to that site that had the History of Cinema on it, that would be a big help.


Check here: http://maxon.net/pages/contact/history_e.html

/Anders

noseman
12-01-2005, 12:39 PM
I will narrow my opinion down to these points:

The easiest general 3D program
The stablest
Good value for money
Lots of plugins

The best customer service (IMHO)

nutriman
12-01-2005, 01:57 PM
The best customer service (IMHO)

Definetely good customer service and let's not forget about the great community,
something i felt from the start and has contributed a lot to keep me motivated.

Dunno how the community feels like in other apps though.

Kirl
12-01-2005, 03:47 PM
My optimism about the program is now down to one very imprtant point.

It is easy to use.

The value for money argument isn't as good as it once was. For what it's worth, even 3dworld has (IMO rightfully) dropped Cinema's score with one point to an 8 (other software is on the rize as well). This scene is changing rapidly.

I hope Maxon will settle everything with the next big release.

ogresh
12-05-2005, 02:55 AM
I mainly use Cinema4d as the assistance to do games designing on the work. Cinema4d is an extremely excellent 3d software, but there are still some insufficiencies in the specialized work domain. I sincerely hope that Maxon can be improved in the following edition.

I. It would be even more direct-viewing to demonstrate immediately the effect of normal maps in the viewports just like 3ds max and Maya. I remember, in the Edition 9.5, the normal map function is only supplemented in the material channel. That’s not enough, I think.

II. It would be more convenient to adjust the UV positions, if the tiling textures can be shown on the windows of the UV edition in Bodypaint,

III. It would be extremely efficient to unwrap UV if the UV’s function, similar to pelt UV in 3ds Max8 could be supplemented into Bodypaint.

IV .I have been always used a little useful plug-in unit from Cinema4d 6.0, named Center Axis, which would be quite helpful for users to locate object’s center quickly and accurately. It would be better if you can consider to add it to Cinema4d.

V. It would be more effective for Cinema4d if it can preserve UVS when users adjust the structure lines on the surface of geometries, such as we do in the 3ds Max.

VI. We do need more efficient and convenient Skeleton animation and Particle systems.



Thanks a lot!

Best wishes!

moka.studio
12-05-2005, 07:47 AM
I mainly use Cinema4d as the assistance to do games designing on the work. Cinema4d is an extremely excellent 3d software, but there are still some insufficiencies in the specialized work domain. I sincerely hope that Maxon can be improved in the following edition.

I. It would be even more direct-viewing to demonstrate immediately the effect of normal maps in the viewports just like 3ds max and Maya. I remember, in the Edition 9.5, the normal map function is only supplemented in the material channel. Thatís not enough, I think.

II. It would be more convenient to adjust the UV positions, if the tiling textures can be shown on the windows of the UV edition in Bodypaint,

III. It would be extremely efficient to unwrap UV if the UVís function, similar to pelt UV in 3ds Max8 could be supplemented into Bodypaint.

IV .I have been always used a little useful plug-in unit from Cinema4d 6.0, named Center Axis, which would be quite helpful for users to locate objectís center quickly and accurately. It would be better if you can consider to add it to Cinema4d.

V. It would be more effective for Cinema4d if it can preserve UVS when users adjust the structure lines on the surface of geometries, such as we do in the 3ds Max.

VI. We do need more efficient and convenient Skeleton animation and Particle systems.



Thanks a lot!

Best wishes!

Good points, you should send these to www.Maxon.net, they have a request formular on their webpage, so that they may be taken into account for future releases.

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