I’m just starting out with Cinema 4D and I have a rendering question. I’m coming from Modo which only has one shader, which integrates with its renderer perfectly. I’ve also gotten used to mental ray’s architectural shaders for working with a linear workflow. So is there a workflow or technique in Cinema 4D for photorealistic rendering without using VRay?


I’m not sure what your question is really. You simply model, texture, light and render. If you’re competent you will get the output you want, photorealistic or not. Asking how to produce photorealistic work is unanswerable, you just do.

   With regards the software limitations it depends what effects you require for your surfaces, SSS for instance in C4D tends to be poor.  All C4D's materials and shaders are completely integrated into it's render engine, so I'm not sure what you mean there with regards Modo. 

By the way BRDF is an umbrella term for surface reflectance illumination models and sampling. All surface illumination models are BRDFs from Lambert and Phong, through Oren Nayar and Anisotrophic models and physical sampling based models. Modo by default uses a Blinn based reflectance model which is a combination of Blinn specular reflectance and Lambertian diffuse components. The same is available under the “Illumination” tab of the default C4D material, the default in C4D is Phong, surface glossiness is not unified as a single setting in C4D either, specular has it’s own separate width control from reflection gloss, or blurriness in C4D, you will find more differences and similarities as you explore the application in more depth.

   It sounds like you haven't yet attempted to use C4D.  Your best bet would be to do so first and then when you come up against problems ask for specific solutions, that way you'll get much more helpful answers rather than opinion posts.



you can render photorealistic in any modern renderer.
in AR it is for sure also possibe, give it soem time to get into.

in soem it is a little easier and you might get a bit better result with less effort.

on c4d from render quality maxwell, fryrender, vray, thea will give you problaky most easiest the best results. Ar will give you best integration and flexibility. vray is a good balance between flexibility integration and physical rendering.

in regard of your needs, all solutions will make it possible to render very photorealsitic, the internal AR and the others mentioned above



Thanks so much for the info. I took some time and played around with the rendering and I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll be able to get what I need out of it. It sort of reminds me of Electric Image Universe’s rendering and shading system from years ago.

SSS at a glance did seem like it needed some tricks to make it work well.


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