Why use C4D in a MAX / Maya world?

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  10 October 2015
Why use C4D in a MAX / Maya world?

Hey peeps.
So let me preface by saying I'm on team C4D. Have been using the software since 2005 and absolutely love it.

However, there's no denying the hegemony that 3dsMax and Maya have over the industry. I teach C4D to college and university level students and all too often I hear ''Yeah.... I was looking at what the best 3D packages are, and I see all the pro's use MAX or Maya, so that's what I'm gunna get'.

It's a shame that C4D seems to get left in the dust / so easily disregarded. So my question is... Why?

Do MAX / Maya have some dealbraking aces in their deck in terms of software capability that just blows C4D out the water? Otherwise I just have this theory that MAX / Maya's popularity is more based off a consumeristic sense of 'Ok, I want to get into CGI, so I'm just gunna look at what most people seem to be using and go for that'.

Interested in hearing your thoughts...
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  10 October 2015
[Edit - nevermind.. I can see how this will go..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

Last edited by Horganovski : 10 October 2015 at 09:49 PM.
 
  10 October 2015
Originally Posted by legmog: all the pro's use MAX or Maya
It's a shame that C4D seems to get left in the dust / so easily disregarded.


Maxon / AKA Cinema4d have stolen a huge chunk of the cake. Its defo not the niche product that it used to be. Maxon USA have done an amazing job of selling Cinema4d, to just about every company you can think of. It may have fallen behind in terms of tech, but its user base is now gigantic, with huge names popping up on the radar, every day. From Disney, to The Mill. You name it, they are pretty much all using C4D,for something, somewhere in their workflow. The misconception is that any given institute, uses one specific tool. they use WETFTC to get the job done. Yes C4d lacks a few killer features, but fortunately, none of that seems to matter very much. it is still selling as if there was no tomorrow.

Paul
 
  10 October 2015
Because softwares are evolving all the time. No one can say what will be industry standard, ten years from now. And your students need to know the difference between working in a studio and being a freelancer, and choose their tools and knowledge accordingly. Maya is studio-friendly, while C4D isnt, and on the other hand C4D is freelancer-friendly.

Also, an artist brain is wired in weird ways, so artists can be more comfortable with the drag-drop nature of C4D, and also an artist needs to find two things in a software: 1) what does the job faster? 2) what works for you?

For example: You can do mograph with pretty much every software available.. but you can say C4D does the job faster. If you can work with C4D, is unbeatable for Broadcast production.

My theory, most people think Maya is the industry standard because Pixar used it, and on the other hand, most people use 3d Studio / 3ds Max because it was the most pirated software in 3d history, it could run in a relatively cheap Windows PC and was one of the first affordable packages (back in a time when 3D software was very expensive and you can only use it with a Silicon Graphics / Raptor).

By the way, The Mill used Softimage, who is a fine example of the evolving nature of the industry. Softimage was the industry standard (Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Phantom Menace *Also Metal Gear Solid Saga). And look where Softimage is now.
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  10 October 2015
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.
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  10 October 2015
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...)
 
  10 October 2015
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.
 
  10 October 2015
When I read or hear about amazing feats of driving skill, I hear about ferraris, lambos, Bond's Aston Martin, or a Williams F1 car; because they make for good headlines and stories. Its more difficult to make a sexy story about a ford fiesta that did 200,000 miles of school runs and shopping trips.

C4D doesnt often get used as the headline app in a movie or game, but is has very health sales figures and significant market penetration in the UK. If you go to most studios doing gfx for tv, adverts, music videos, product visuals and design, architectural visuals, POS, experiential work, medical visuals, corporate videos etc, you will find plenty of c4d work.
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  10 October 2015
I'm using Maya for 15 years as a generalist in a one-man-company. 15 Years of struggling, finding workarounds, trying to get used to such an unintuitive and buggy software. (i.E.: to do a mathcalc in a numeric field you have write =+5 in it. Why not +5?).
Now, a friend of mine moved from Max to Cinema and said that Cinema "simply works". No loosing time why things are not working as expected.
So, I read forums, watched tutorials and presentations, and all blew my socks of. So many nice and helpful people, zillions of good tutorials and all in all I always be astonieshed how fast you can do things in Cinema compared to Maya.
Then I got the demo and played a bit around with it. The possibilities to configure the interface are a dream. The logic behind all ist impressive. BUT: The renderer is nice but not as good as I would like it (working with VRay). I wonder why Chaosgroup dont't work by themselves for a plugin.

Anyway; I would like to ask if some of you had a similar experience (coming from maya and get the transition to Cinema done). Any insights or suggestions are welcome.
Thanks,
Marco
 
  10 October 2015
Originally Posted by imashination: When I read or hear about amazing feats of driving skill, I hear about ferraris, lambos, Bond's Aston Martin, or a Williams F1 car; because they make for good headlines and stories. Its more difficult to make a sexy story about a ford fiesta that did 200,000 miles of school runs and shopping trips.

C4D doesnt often get used as the headline app in a movie or game, but is has very health sales figures and significant market penetration in the UK. If you go to most studios doing gfx for tv, adverts, music videos, product visuals and design, architectural visuals, POS, experiential work, medical visuals, corporate videos etc, you will find plenty of c4d work.


...I wanna hear more about that Fiesta... If it can get to 200,000 miles, then my Focus might too!
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  10 October 2015
I just got hired to do some mograph in a VFX shop on a TV commercial. When I walked in, the Maya guy told me he spent 3 days scripting and creating a rig to create a propagating animation, something like the Inheritance Effector animation trigger gag. Working on a laptop for 2 hours over the weekend, I recreated his 3 days of work. I showed him the results, and ran through the flexibility of the effectors, and he was impressed that tweaks would be so easy. Export via Alembic, and they'll render out of Maya. And most of my 2 hours of work involved doing the math on the Cloner Grid array and waiting for my little laptop to churn my cloned objects.

That example is a bit of anecdote masquerading as data, because VFX places aren't the C4D market. But Cinema appears to solve a problem.

When I used to follow forums, this question was always predicated on the poster's particular geography and industry. Stepping into my geography and industry, if you're in the US, and you're in Los Angeles or New York doing motion graphics, you couldn't imagine asking the value of Cinema in a Max/Maya world. It's built-in, it's not going anywhere, designers use it, so it becomes what motion graphics animators use...by the thousands. It's now deeper than I ever imagined it would be, and the standards of new user expertise are now the main challenge for veterans--we're not so much worried about whether we're using the best software package, just trying to keep up with the young C4D geniuses flooding into the market.
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  10 October 2015
Apples n Pears

Its all about what you want to specialise in to be honest. Sure the renderer aint Vray or Octane etc but you can still use them. I have enough to think about getting my head around C4d - I wouldnt want anything more complex thanks.
 
  10 October 2015
Howdy,

Well, that question is as pointless as asking, "Why use Mac in a PC world?" It only serves to start a heated discussion.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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  10 October 2015
I agree it's pointless, but really what concerns me most about what the OP asked is this :

Originally Posted by legmog: I teach C4D to college and university level students.......

Do MAX / Maya have some dealbraking aces in their deck in terms of software capability that just blows C4D out the water?


[Edited at request of OP.. I'm leaving the most relevant part though below and I stand by this opinion..

...

My opinion is that if you use a program for yourself then go ahead and use whatever you are comfortable with, but if you are a teacher you owe it to your students not to shortchange them.
Academic software licenses are easy to come by (particularly for AD apps) so really there's no excuse that I can think of not to have at least a basic working knowledge of all of the main packages used in the industry so that you can give your students a balanced view of the programs they are likely to run into out there when they start looking for work.


Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 10 October 2015 at 03:10 AM.
 
  10 October 2015
Originally Posted by Horganovski: I agree it's pointless, but really what concerns me most about what the OP asked is this :



So essentially the OP is saying 'I teach at a university level, but I have not enough knowledge of two of the major packages that are widely used in the industry to make any kind of comparison myself between them and C4D, so instead of taking some time to learn them I want to take the lazy route of asking people on a forum to confirm my existing bias that C4D is the best program so that I can continue to feel OK about only teaching that one to my students'.

My opinion is that if you use a program for yourself then go ahead and use whatever you are comfortable with, but if you are a teacher you owe it to your students not to shortchange them.
Academic software licenses are easy to come by (particularly for AD apps) so really there's no excuse that I can think of not to have at least a basic working knowledge of all of the main packages used in the industry so that you can give your students a balanced view of the programs they are likely to run into out there when they start looking for work.

Sorry for the rant, but this is kind of a pet peeve of mine, I worked as a music teacher for a long time and my number one rule was always - teach the students the music they want to learn, not what I want to teach them. I'm also consistently shocked by some of the animation reels I see online by people who have 'animation degrees' (which cost them a small fortune I'm sure) that show a very clear lack of fundamental skills and knowledge. There are clearly some colleges and teachers out there ripping students off in a big way. Be a good one, not a lazy one, and put the needs of your students before your own. In the long term it will actually benefit you too, because any time you go out of your own comfort zone you usually end up learning something useful.

Cheers,
Brian


It should be noted that this goes both ways.

Often schools that teach Max / Maya are slow to invest in C4D because of the perceived market.

But you are correct, the package doesn't really matter, it is the theory behind it.
It should not be up to a teacher or a school to chose a package, they should be teaching the fundamentals and then the students can try the various packages.
With all the information on the web, you can learn a package with relative ease. It would be ideal for a school to provide access to all software, and let students choose which they want to use to complete any given project.

That said, there is truth (and bias) to every post so far.
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