Need advice on moving from Max

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  03 March 2018
Need advice on moving from Max

Hi, All

I do medical and scientific animations. Not really character animation so much, but plenty of arbitrary soft tissue deformation and stuff like that. I've been using Max for over 20 years and I'm burned out... on the bugs, the features that don't play nicely with each other, the painful workflows, the pricing games, etc.

Can anyone here tell if they think I'll fare any better using C4D? I need good skinning and morph tools, in addition to as many non-destructive, parametric deformation modifiers as I can get. Rendering tools that allow for quick visualization of lighting or reflection changes, etc. And a good render layer system that even supports different frame ranges per output.

Thanks!
__________________
Jon Huhn
www.jonhuhn.com
 
  03 March 2018
Also, I'd like to know the general feeling that users have towards the software. Is there optimism and excitement in the community, or is everybody as jaded and frustrated as us Autodesk users?
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Jon Huhn
www.jonhuhn.com
 
  03 March 2018
Hey Jon,
Been a long time since the Interact days! Always liked your work, man.

Glad to see you are interested in C4D. I never used Max and only Maya while at Interact, so I can't comment too much on comparisons, but I think you'll like C4D for medical work. It keeps getting better and better. I'll be happy to answer any of your questions as best I can. PM me if you're interested.
Arik
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www.scientiaviz.com

Last edited by ScientiaViz : 03 March 2018 at 02:10 PM.
 
  03 March 2018
Hi, Arik

It has been a loooooong time. I hope things are going well for you.

Thanks for the feedback and kind words. I will certainly hit you up as needed. Right now the biggest barriers to entry are finding time, the upfront cost, and the fact that their demo download is corrupted (ha ha). I'm sure you'll be hearing from me at some point. Thanks!
__________________
Jon Huhn
www.jonhuhn.com
 
  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by Jon-Huhn: Hi, All

I do medical and scientific animations. Not really character animation so much, but plenty of arbitrary soft tissue deformation and stuff like that. I've been using Max for over 20 years and I'm burned out... on the bugs, the features that don't play nicely with each other, the painful workflows, the pricing games, etc.

Can anyone here tell if they think I'll fare any better using C4D? I need good skinning and morph tools, in addition to as many non-destructive, parametric deformation modifiers as I can get. Rendering tools that allow for quick visualization of lighting or reflection changes, etc. And a good render layer system that even supports different frame ranges per output.

Thanks!
Hi Jon,
I think you will benefit a lot using C4D. The points you are mentioning C4D is very strong at. I used 3D Max only in the early days of my Career. But C4D felt to me nicer to use.
Stong points of C4D:
1. Deformers/Procedual Generators
2. Easy and quick Workflow to setup complex scenes. (Objectmanager and Tagsystem)
3. Many Renderengines available
4. Morphtools are also at a good place now with R19 (good working Corretional Morphs, Morphdeformer (procedual Morph Falloffs).
5. Good Viewport (fast with many Polygons), Good Reflections preview.
6. The best Renderlayer (Takesystem) that is out there. You can overwrite basically any parameter. It is compareable to Houdinis Renderlayer System but even better.

C4D Cons:
-Many Objects make C4D Viewport Slow...but only above 10.000 Objects or so.) Maxon is on the way of fixing this issue.
- No good UV tools
- Xpresso Nodesystem is singlethreaded
- No good native Particle System (there is X-Particles which you should get for medical Animations
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HB_ModellingBundle
 
  03 March 2018
As a C4D and 3ds Max user myself I kind of have to disagree with@HolgerBiebracha bit No offense dude!

Stong points of C4D:
1. Deformers/Procedual Generators (Depending on the complexity of your scenes you won't be able to have a non-destructive modeling workflow. There are no "Edit Poly" equivalents in C4D so modeling is pretty much permanent unless you are doing simplified shapes with a tapers and booles (which are non-destructive but can be slow on larger scenes. The deformers / procedural generators that are in are pretty much the same as in 3ds Max if a bit more simplified sometimes. There is a lot less technical generators.)
2. Easy and quick Workflow to setup complex scenes. (Objectmanager and Tagsystem) (Totally agree!)
3. Many Renderengines available (Kind of disagree here. Yes we have options but the implementation almost always lags behind 3ds Max. Redshift, Arnold seem to be the exception.)
4. Morphtools are also at a good place now with R19 (good working Corretional Morphs, Morphdeformer (procedual Morph Falloffs). (No idea, guess so, heh )
5. Good Viewport (fast with many Polygons), Good Reflections preview. (Probably very useful for medical "mograph" type of stuff, indeed!)
6. The best Renderlayer (Takesystem) that is out there. You can overwrite basically any parameter. It is compareable to Houdinis Renderlayer System but even better. (True story )

And I totally agree with the cons

Ultimately though if you are doing medical animation I do think you'll really like C4D. I don't think you generally need access to a lot of the more "technical" options for that kind of work and C4D is really great when animating anything that even remotely resembles your typical motion graphics. If you are doing complex hard surface models you'll obviously really miss your edit poly, HSDS and even a shell modifier that can select inner and outer parts of the mesh. Since that isn't part of your daily work I think you'll be really happy with C4D as the animation workflow is really a lot easier to grasp imho.
 
  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by nejck: As a C4D and 3ds Max user myself I kind of have to disagree with@HolgerBiebracha bit No offense dude!


1. Deformers/Procedual Generators (Depending on the complexity of your scenes you won't be able to have a non-destructive modeling workflow. There are no "Edit Poly" equivalents in C4D so modeling is pretty much permanent unless you are doing simplified shapes with a tapers and booles (which are non-destructive but can be slow on larger scenes. The deformers / procedural generators that are in are pretty much the same as in 3ds Max if a bit more simplified sometimes. There is a lot less technical generators.)


No Offense taken ;-).
Can you explain with an Example what this "Edit Poly" means? With an Example maybe? It sounds to me like the Correction deformer in C4D. But not sure. I am actually quite happy with C4D Procedual Modelling. You need to know the Tricks. Especially using the Connectobject and Correction Deformer. But I dont know 3D Max so I can not know what I am missing here.
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Cinema 4D Studio MSA, Zbrush, CS6, 3DCoat, Moi
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www.c4dStuff.com

HB_ModellingBundle
 
  03 March 2018
Here is a setup how you could mimic a Shellmodifier where you can select inner and outer Polygons. Of course a dedicated shell modifier would be nice.
http://gofile.me/3nBqZ/n2RhIOhs8
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HB_ModellingBundle
 
  03 March 2018
Absolutely! I actually recorded a quick demo for you. Its better to show it than "telling" it heh I suggest watching the video till the end.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2mmi6t1o...VgM5iFlqna?dl=0

So as you can see its like an advanced version of the "correction deformer" but it gives you an insane amount of control when modeling. You can delete polygons and at any time you can go back and edit that "hole" you created a few modifiers back - presuming the topology didn't change too much. Its REALLY useful!

You can also combine it with any other deformer like a taper so then you can adjust the tapering, put an edit poly on top to edit the topology (create holes, symmetry or whatever) and then if need be you can go back and change the taper. It works without a speed penalty too unless you are working with meshes that have like millions of polygons.
 
  03 March 2018
Originally Posted by nejck: Absolutely! I actually recorded a quick demo for you. Its better to show it than "telling" it heh I suggest watching the video till the end.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2mmi6t1o...VgM5iFlqna?dl=0

So as you can see its like an advanced version of the "correction deformer" but it gives you an insane amount of control when modeling. You can delete polygons and at any time you can go back and edit that "hole" you created a few modifiers back - presuming the topology didn't change too much. Its REALLY useful!

You can also combine it with any other deformer like a taper so then you can adjust the tapering, put an edit poly on top to edit the topology (create holes, symmetry or whatever) and then if need be you can go back and change the taper. It works without a speed penalty too unless you are working with meshes that have like millions of polygons.


Thanks Nejck for making this Demo. I see. Thats of course not possible in C4D. It looks very handy indeed. Is that whats called Construction History in 3D Max? I often hear that.
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Cinema 4D Studio MSA, Zbrush, CS6, 3DCoat, Moi
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www.c4dStuff.com

HB_ModellingBundle
 
  03 March 2018
Well its just called a modifier stack most of the time so I'm not sure about that. Essentially its like nesting deformers and generators inside C4D.

Thanks for sharing the shell example, I checked it out. It does look interesting indeed I do think we'd need a more robust shell modifier / deformer in c4d. The one in 3ds Max comes with like 15 parameters but all of them have made the job really easy for me - once you take the time to learn about what they do. That seems to be the idea with 3ds Max in general to me, you can do a ton of stuff but you must be willing to learn the technical aspects of it.

Granted, animation for the most part (flying logos etc...) is way easier in c4d from my experience. Quick turnaround jobs are just more suited for a less "technical" workflow I guess. Complex jobs, well, then I think you start appreciating all the crazy parameters in 3ds Max.
 
  03 March 2018
Joel Dubin's team over at Mad Microbe uses C4D exclusively for their medical imaging work:http://www.madmicrobe.com/

As far as pros and cons - it's really a case by case / person by person basis IMO. Different users have different workflows with different needs. What one user feels is lacking, another will find it to be a perfect fit.
 
  03 March 2018
Jon-Huhn you have several medical presentations in Cineversity https://www.cineversity.com/search/tutorials
 
  03 March 2018
I don't work in the medical field myself but I've been using this plugin today for another use. I think it has a lot of relevance to medical work as well:
https://code.vonc.fr/?a=67
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Cinema 4D R19 Studio, Octane, Z Brush, Mudbox, Adobe CC
 
  03 March 2018
Im a Max -> Cinema convert so I'll toss in my thoughts:

I was a Max user from the very early days. I even used 3D Studio a bit when it was still a DOS program (pre MAX). I switched to Cinema when R14 came out and never looked back. The prime reason for the switch was that our studio has a Mac/ProRes based pipeline and I was really tired of having to have a PC workstation to run one program. Was looking at Maya as an option but found Cinema to be much easier to use, much quicker to get good looking results and the clincher was the very solid AfterEffects integration.

There was a bit of an adjustment period, but not too bad. Once I got over that, i never looked back. Much of what I do with cinema is product visualization for medical devices as well as some occasional anatomical stuff where we show the device in use. Ive found Cinema to be very powerful and useful for this kind of work.

+1 for the Take system. This is insanely useful and i cannot imagine having to go back and live without it.
+1 for xParticles. This is almost a necessary add-on for Cinema.

If you are doing your rendering in-house, you may find Cinema's Team Render frustrating, but if you stick to the Server/client implementation, as you are used to with Max/Backburner, you will find it manageable.

Finally, i'll second LukeL's recommendation tocheck out Mad Microbe's work for a really great example of Cinema in the medical vis field. In particular check out their blog which has some very usefulCinema case studies, showing how various features were used

Good luck in your investigations!
Travis
 
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