C4D OK for learning modeling, rigging and animation?

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  02 February 2013
Brian, I asked cus of the general statement made by PhoenixCG saying there are better character tools in maya. what does that person base that statement on? I could post all day long making statements of this is better and so on but someone will hopefully come along and say why do you specifically think something is better. yes, maybe a laundry list would be good. can't be that long or c4d would not keep up. that's all. after hearing another persons view, i may reconsider things and take a different approach to things. Even though I say I am happy with c4d and like it a lot, I am the kind of person who always looks at all the apps, not only for my own work, but to also be on top of things for consulting. I am sure other out there are like me in this regard. I remember reading on the forums when you said went to Maya two years ago for a job.

I probably should have kept my opinion off and just asked the question. :-)

Last edited by oliveoyle : 02 February 2013 at 10:51 PM.
  02 February 2013
Well if you ask for specifics, the main things that I like about animating in Maya that I miss in Cinema :

-Non weighted tangents in the curve editor. Much easier to work with IMO compared to weighted tangents (Maya has the option of either, C4D only has weighted).

-The auto tangents work better in Maya, they prevent overshoot of curves while keeping the curves pretty clean, C4Ds auto tangents don't. (Clamping the curves is not the same thing.)

-Being able to use the scale tool on keys in the curve editor.

-Euler filter command in the curve editor which often fixes gimbal issues, C4D doesn't have this.

-Faster timeline in general, load several rigs in and it does not slow down to the extent Cinema does. Same thing with heavy keyframe data, Maya handles mocap animation a lot better and remains responsive in situations where Cinema will grind to a halt.

-Being able to double or quadruple the height of the timeslider, very handy for seeing the sound wave better while animating lipsync. I know C4D can show the soundwave in the F-Curve editor but I don't use that when blocking, I prefer to work with the timeslider.

- The referencing system for characters is very robust (I believe Cinema gets better in this area each release as the bugs with it get ironed out, but Maya has already gone through that stage several versions ago).

-Viewport 2.0. It's just so nice to look at while working and the realtime Ambient Occlusion makes it easier to assess the contact between the character and the set/props etc. Image attached to illustrate. I can tell at a glance whether his fingers are in contact with the desk or not for example, same thing with foot/floor contact and that kind of thing.

I guess I could even include my bhGhost tool, although this is not part of 'default' Maya, it's a pretty nice add on if I say so myself and has become a big part of my workflow. I believe the basics of this could be recreated in Cinema (I know someone who tried and someone else is currently working on a Blender version) but Maya made it relatively easy to create this with the way it's PFX node works and how integrated MEL is and I'm not sure the other versions will have the same functionality.

There are various other small things I guess but those would be the main ones for me and I should note that they are all very specific to character work.

As for 'Cinema not keeping up' I don't think that's the case at all, it's simply a matter that Maya is very focused on character stuff (with studios like Bluesky, Disney, ILM etc using it to make their movies and I'm sure driving the development to a large extent). Cinema on the other hand is more focused in the motion graphics arena and other areas like medical animation, arch vis etc etc. For mograph artists using Maya would be silly IMO unless they want to spend all day writing scripts.

For my own work I do 90% of my rendering in Cinema, even if the animation was done in Maya as I simply don't like the pain involved in working with Mental Ray for Maya. I believe many high end productions that use Maya are relying on external renderers like Renderman, Arnold, VRay etc. Cinema is almost unique in how well integrated it's renderer is.

So while the list above might look long, it's just the list of one user working in one very specific area and in no ways is meant to suggest that Maya is 'better' than Cinema, I really don't believe that is the case. There are plenty of things in Maya that are maddening but for CA work I find it very nice to work with.


Last edited by Horganovski : 02 February 2013 at 01:32 AM.
  02 February 2013
Brian, thank you very much for taking the time to post these valuable points between Maya and C4D. Your willingness to share your experience and knowledge is appreciated.

  02 February 2013
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