Why use C4D in a MAX / Maya world?

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Old 10 October 2015   #31
thats lookin nice horgan
 
Old 10 October 2015   #32
Thanks, it's very simple in how it works really, just blendShapes and inverted shapes to work off the base pose for fixes. The script just makes it a lot less tedious to do as it handles all of the creation/connections/keyframing etc.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 10 October 2015   #33
Originally Posted by SonicBlue: The funny thing about Pixar using Maya is that they don't use it for animating but for modeling, while other studios prefer to model in 3ds Max rather than use Maya.


yep I'm one of those people too... modeling in maya is fun.
also, maya is what I'm most comfortable in...
since I haven't used 3ds max in a long time
and that I learned more stuff in maya over the past year(s)
now it's 3ds max that feels like the "scary" one
before it was Maya... XD
(I'm talking about the interface... all the buttons, Oooh how scary...)
 
Old 10 October 2015   #34
you're asking this in the Cinema 4D forum so you're going to get a bit of a skewed crowd for answers, I think. I'm a Maya user who also knows some C4D and knows its strengths and weaknesses. Loosely speaking:

Maya is better at:
- modelling
- character animation (no app touches Maya for this)
- plug-in support (it's getting better for C4D but since it's not the same film VFX crowd using it, you don't get stuff like Fracture FX or Yeti for C4D. The V-Ray that's available for C4D is not as good as the official version.)
- scriptability and wealth of free scripts (many of the things you have to buy as a plugin for C4D are available as free scripts for Maya) – Maya has support for MEL, Python (scripting and API), C#, C++ and PyMEL. Depending on your needs, that's a lot of power.
- particle animation (2D/3D voxels)
- game development (baking tools, topology-oriented stuff)
- Diagnostics. If you have a giant scene, you can diagnose bottle necks
- New technology support. You will always get Alembic and other tiled UDIM texture supported in Maya first
- Much better dynamics tools
- History, history, history. Maya is not as good as Houdini for proceduralism but it's a bajillion times better than C4D this way

Cinema 4D is better at:
- Easily making motion graphics. It's so easy to do this that I don't see Maya getting better at this without a significant retooling
- Simpler workflows / very approachable
- Way simpler renderer that gets nice results (not amazing but good enough for motion graphics). mental ray is a mess. It's more powerful than C4D's renderer but it's a complete chore to use, which is why I use V-Ray for Maya
- Better Bullet Physics. Maya's Bullet is a bad port from AMD that has a lot of issues.

Both are closer for 3D viewport display now that C4D sped theirs up so significantly, although Maya's is more accurate.

Cinema 4D is great and makes you feel empowered until you reach a point where you need those production-level tools that just aren't available. The addition of Houdini Engine to C4D says that both companies are so confident that these products don't overlap that they don't risk poaching customers by offering it officially. Houdini competes directly with Maya in the VFX and game production world so you would never see this happen in Maya. So this is why Maxon embraced Houdini: because, once you hit that wall of "shit, I need some serious power that this program doesn't have", you can get it in a big way while still using C4D as your host. The motion graphics stuff that you can do with Houdini is mind-bending but it's even less approachable as a modeler than C4D is, due to its procedural nature.
 
Old 10 October 2015   #35
Excuse me, but I beg to differ on a number of points.

Maya clearly has the upper hand on a few key points (viewport, animation and simulation in general, like ncloth, bifrost) but...

Plugin support : How is it worse in C4D? Some maya plugins aren't available for C4D and vice versa (DEM earth, Turbulence FD, XParticles, Forrester). Actually maybe the opposite. C4D is probably the 3D app with the widest choice of renderers, you can name almost any and it's either available or in development. Have you seen Arnold integration inside C4D? And they've announced a Realflow integration, and we have Krakatoa, and Houdini, and next fabric engine...

Speaking of which : VrayforC4D has the same core as the other ones plus some extra features specific to C4D, how is it worse? Granted they are a bit late on releasing V3, but otherwise it's on par (or will be again very soon). You can follow a tutorial for Max and apply it almost 1 for 1 in C4D if you know the interface.

Scriptability : Xpresso, Coffee, Python, C++... Xpresso is plain awsome by the way.

Particles : Thinking particles has its limits, and no volumetrics built in, but X particles certainly rocks...

Proceduralism : I'd venture to say C4D workflow is in a way more procedural than Maya, with it's generators, modifiers, tags etc... so you don't really bake that much stuff and commit, hence no "history stack". History is actually the anti-proceduralism (where everything is always live).

Houdini Engine integration: How is that a sign of weakness from C4D and strength of Maya?
 
Old 10 October 2015   #36
^ See this is where the conversation turns into an argument usually.

Personally as someone who works with both Maya and C4D I think cgbeige made some valid points and EricMs arguments against them are factually incorrect in some areas.

Don't want to go down the road of picking things apart though as it only leads to more arguments so I'll leave it at that.

For me it all comes back to this - if a package is right for YOU then it's the right package for YOU. If you intend to be flexible in a broader industry then don't get hung up on one package, learn a couple or more and focus on principles more than specific programs. Learn to code, hell, learn to draw. These are skills that will serve you no matter what you do.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 10 October 2015   #37
Not wanting to create an argument there. Not saying Maya is worse, but some of those arguments didn't really connect with my own limited experience. Please correct me (genuinely) were I'm wrong :

Plugin support : C4D plugin scene is kicking. We get new stuff every week, some of it isn't available on Maya.

Renderers : C4D native + Physical, Sketch and Toon (now Birender), Vray, Arnold, Renderman, Octane, Iray, Redshift, Corona; Krakatoa, etc... you name it. They're all in dev or available already. VrayforC4D V3 is using the same core as the other ones.

Scripting : Python is Python, Xpresso is really simple and powerful, and then you have coffee and an API...

Proceduralism : is maya more procedural?

Houdini Integration : Is it a weakness to have it ?

My point was : Maya certainly has the upper hand on quite a few things, but I don't really think these were maya's key strenght vs C4D. Now if we talk about FBX support, Mocap, cloth, UV (incl. UDIM), Viewport etc... that's another story.

Last edited by EricM : 10 October 2015 at 07:24 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2015   #38
I wasn't suggesting Houdini Engine support as a weakness. I was saying that it is confirmation by Maxon that C4D doesn't compete directly with the big dogs of VFX feature-wise since Maxon agrees that they would benefit by adding an Houdini extension to make up for its weaknesses.

And to be clear – I know that Cinema 4D has a lot of plugins but they fill holes in functionality that Maya doesn't have or that are available as a free script for Maya (Voronoi shatters for example.)

And no VRay for C4D is not as good as V-Ray for Maya. First of all it's based on VRay 2, not 3. And it's support isn't good

Last edited by cgbeige : 10 October 2015 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2015   #39
Originally Posted by cgbeige: I wasn't suggesting Houdini Engine support as a weakness. I was saying that it is confirmation by Maxon that C4D doesn't compete directly with the big dogs of VFX feature-wise since Maxon agrees that they would benefit by adding an Houdini extension to make up for its weaknesses.

Sorry, that is pretty crappy logic. By it every attempt by Maxon to better integrate in existing pipelines would be an admission of inferiority, instead of empowerment for the user.
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Old 10 October 2015   #40
Originally Posted by cgbeige: I wasn't suggesting Houdini Engine support as a weakness. I was saying that it is confirmation by Maxon that C4D doesn't compete directly with the big dogs of VFX feature-wise since Maxon agrees that they would benefit by adding an Houdini extension to make up for its weaknesses.

And to be clear – I know that Cinema 4D has a lot of plugins but they fill holes in functionality that Maya doesn't have or that are available as a free script for Maya (Voronoi shatters for example.)

And no VRay for C4D is not as good as V-Ray for Maya. First of all it's based on VRay 2, not 3. And it's support isn't good


Houdini Engine isnt a confirmation of anything, because Maya has it too. That is a smart move from Houdini part <--- Maya / C4d / Unity and Unreal have the Houdini Engine.

Once again, to answer the "why use Y in an X world":

C4D and Maya, both are great packages, and without plugins -in "theory"- Maya can do a lot more. But thats the beauty of theorycrafting: There are amazing, talented people "ignoring" what "should be used", artists who make excelent work and they dont care if their softwares arent the best for X, Y or Z, or if it crashes all the time, or if the interface sucks or whatever. They just choose a tool they feel comfortable with, and thats it. So, you can either be an artist doing 3d work with the tool you like to work with, or you can be a forum theorycrafter, telling people why they should or should not use X, Y or Z.

You use X in a Y world because it suits your needs and you feel productive with it. Tell that to your students. Ask them, why use Linux on a Windows world? or why Nintendo in a Playstation/Xbox world? The future isnt written yet. Teach them the basics and the tools available, let them choose.

edit.. I edited a personal opinin who can be fuel for flames. My mistake.
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Old 10 October 2015   #41
Originally Posted by EricM: Scripting : Python is Python, Xpresso is really simple and powerful, and then you have coffee and an API...


Maya has Python (it can be argued that C4D's implementation is more 'pythonic', it can also be argued that the documentation for Maya is far better than what we get with C4D), as well as MEL (like COFFEE in C4D I guess as it's the native scripting language, much more flexible though and has deeper integration and again, much better documentation), PyMel, PyQt (very easy to create custom GUIs with QT designer without even needing to code), Expressions, direct connections and C++. Maya's script editor is also much better with tabbing, code highlighting, and the console gives you much more information as you work, which makes it much easier for a non coder to create their own macros just by copy/pasting chunks of code it spits out. By contrast, C4D's script editor only got Undo support in R16.. something extremely fundamental (and something which caused much swearing in the past, one false press of the back-space key could do a lot of damage!)

Xpresso for me is a double-edged sword, yes it's simple to use and you can create cool stuff with it, I've built lots of rigs that way myself. But it has lots of limitations too - it's slow to calculate, it's prone to priority issues if not managed correctly, it's very tedious when you want to make connections between a large number of objects, and the biggest one for me - when you open a rig created by someone else with Xpresso tags spread all the way through the file it's an absolute mess trying to figure out what is driving what, especially with those classic 'one frame late' refresh issues we run into with C4D rigs. You can waste a lot of time trying to track these down on a complex rig if you are unfamiliar with how it was set up.

By contrast, with Shading Nodes in Maya I've yet to encounter something I could do with Xpresso that I can't do with them (they have many of direct equivalents - range mapper is a remap value node, mix node is a blend colors node etc etc). Shading Nodes though calculate faster and when you need to see what is driving what it's very simple to get a birds-eye view of the rig/scene through the node editor, because unlike C4D you are not dealing with just expressions connecting objects (which is what Xpresso is really under the hood - it's just a visual way of creating expressions), you are dealing with direct connections between objects. Might seem like a minor distinction but it's really quite a significant one in practice.

One of my jobs these days is maintaining the character rigs for one of the major online animation schools, I regularly get sent rigs the students have managed to break or found a bug with to fix. These are feature-level rigs and are very complex in some cases but 9 times out of 10 I'm able to trace the connections in the rig and find the problem. Those are all Maya rigs, I'm honestly not confident I could do that task if they were C4D rigs and I've been rigging for much longer in C4D than I have been in Maya and I reckon I'm a competent C4D rigger (I've made my living out of it). I can fix my own C4D rigs of course because I built them and I know how they work, starting from scratch with something someone else rigged is entirely different.

So for me Xpresso is great for something quick but the more complex things get the more of a mess you have when something breaks.


Originally Posted by EricM: Proceduralism : is maya more procedural?


I would argue that in some areas, yes it is. Say for example modelling commands - in C4D if you apply a bevel to a mesh and then do some other tasks to it you can't later go back and change the bevel settings. In Maya if you haven't deleted the History on the object you can, you can even animate the settings if needed.
C4D is trying to improve in that area, now in more recent versions we have Deformers like the Bevel Deformer which achieves a similar thing, but only if you leave it live, same as with History in Maya. But we don't have deformers in C4D for every single modeling task.

Another example would be situations like say mixing Cloth and Skinning in the same rig, in C4D once you apply a Cloth tag to an object that's it , the Cloth takes over the mesh entirely. With Maya because it's nodal you can drive a cloth mesh with joints and using the Input Attract parameter you can blend how much influence the joints have vs the cloth. That can make simulating clothing for an animated character much simpler.

While we're on dynamics- I'd totally agree with CGBeige that Bullet is a mess in Maya, it's much cleaner in C4D, on the other hand nDynamics is more integrated in Maya so you can have cloth, hair and particles all interacting with each other, in C4D you have several dynamic systems that are all completely independent and don't talk to each other at all.

On the other hand you have things like Mograph in C4D which is highly procedural, but again there are limitations there, there's no priority controls over Mograph effectors (which is something I've often wished for, you could do some cool stuff combining the effectors and character deformers if there was control over the calculation order).

So on balance, I would say both C4D and Maya have areas where they have the 'procedural edge' but I think Maya goes further in key areas.

Many of these points won't matter to a majority of C4D users though, so it comes back to what I keep saying, if C4D works for you then great - stick with it. Stop looking over the fence and get back to work! But dismissing other options without knowing what those options really are is short sighted IMO.

The OP owes us all coffee and donuts now though I reckon for starting this argu.. eh..discussion

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 10 October 2015 at 09:38 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2015   #42
What often strikes me when reading these threads is that those who are most concerned about which software is 'best' are often those who have exploited the power of whatever software they have the least...

Brian talks a lot of sense in this thread - as normal : )
Don't worry about what software you're running. Just go make something good.
 
Old 10 October 2015   #43
Originally Posted by Horganovski: Yup, it sure does. With CD Morph you get a better workflow for corrective morphs than either Maya or the native tools in C4D.


It seems weird to me that with the native tools in C4D you have to select the 'post deformers' option in the morph tag to get correctives to work. That seems the opposite to what I'd expect, since I want the base state of the mesh to be affected by the morph and then that new state to be deformed by the skin deformer, which is what happens when you use the 'front of chain' option with Mayas blendShape deformer, the blend shape (aka morph) is calculated first and then the skin affects that result, not the other way around. So shouldn't the option in C4D be called 'pre deformers'?


Cheers,
Brian


I really dont know, Brian, the term *corrective* suggests to me that it happens to correct something that came before it, so in my logic, a corrective morph always takes place to correct an unwanted deformation...afterwards.
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Old 10 October 2015   #44
Howdy,
Originally Posted by Emmanuel: I really dont know, Brian, the term *corrective* suggests to me that it happens to correct something that came before it, so in my logic, a corrective morph always takes place to correct an unwanted deformation...afterwards.

Yes, that certainly sounds logical, but that's simply not how skinning works programatically.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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Old 10 October 2015   #45
Originally Posted by Cactus Dan: Howdy,

Yes, that certainly sounds logical, but that's simply not how skinning works programatically.

Adios,
Cactus Dan


It doesn't really matter how it works programattically if it's not presented in a clear way. The logic is in line with how deformer/expression priority is presented to the user in C4D so it makes perfect sense.
 
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