how hard is it to move from lightwave to C4d


hi there,

i have been a lightwave user for almost 10 years now and lately there i have been hearing alot of good things about C4d? can i ask in particular from users crossing from lightwave, how hard is it to learn C4d coming from lightwave and what do you think of the program itself? as there are so many negative comments made about lightwave 8, do you think C4d is capable of doing architecture visualisation, illustrations and how capable is it when comes to character animation? from what i have seen, the renderer is fast and quality wise is good too. any advice and comments is greatly appreciated.



I am finding the migration pretty easy.

C4D is rock solid stable. There are some new things to learn, but in all honesty, there is a lot of power under the hood.

My suggestion is to download the demo, give it a test drive for a while, hang out in these forums and ask questions. The C4D crowd is just as passionate about 3D and quality work as the LW crowd is. I expect great things from Maxon and C4D in the near and foreseeable future.

I am most anxious about Siggraph and what they have in store for us.

Hope to see more of you around here.



hey policarpo,

thanks for your reply. i have seen you around the lw forum before. can i ask if you mainly use c4d exclusively now or both lightwave and c4d? did it take you long to get your head around how c4d operates? i have seen the program running on my friend’s g5 as he downloaded that last weekend and had a toy with it. i found the interface and program itself is abit getting used to, coming from lw. as a lot of it is drag and drop.

can i also ask if the program is used for architect visualisation a fair bit. i get the impression the industry uses max a lot more for that genre of work.


I am not sure about the architectural stuff you are asking about, but I know that Maxon is very aware of this market and are doing their utmost to cater to it.

I primarily do 3D for print and a bit of motion graphics here and there and I find Cinema 4D a nice compliment to my workflow (it has made animating a cheer instead of a chore for me). I figure with some diligence, you’d be up to a comfortable speed in C4D in a few weeks if you hit it a couple hours each day…it’s really a nice workflow once you understand where it’s coming from (window management isn’t an issue as it is in LW, and a few C4Ders have made C4D feel like LW via its customizable UI).

Feel free to ask questions or email me in the next couple weeks, as I will be @ Siggraph all of next week (soaking up all the goodness these developers can give us).

Hope these insights help.



thanks policarpo for your prompt reply.

i too haven’t done much 3d work accept for some 3d illustrations for advertising companies and to some extend, a few animations. recently, i did an animation of a ribbon falling down to form a logo in lightwave and as you might know that is a difficult process as there’s no such thing a as a spline deformation within lightwave. i had to resort to a plugin and it was kind of tricky to get the look i desired. but with frustration, i managed to get the job done but one would think that it would be an easy task to create.

policarpo, can i ask how hard to get into doing 3d work for print on a full time basis? as my primarily work is abit of designing, retouching and finish art and is keen to do 3d on a more permanent basis rather than the odd job here and there. as i am based in melbourne, australia, there’s hardly any work for a 3d artist (lightwave and probably no work for c4d) but for a freelancer, how would one find a gig doing stuffs for print work. hope you can give me some advice this aspect of the industry. you can email me directly at if you wish.



There are a couple of Australian C4D users on this forums so they may be able to help out a bit more than me regarding your situation, but please, feel free to email me @ my address through my site to remind me to keep in touch with you. I most likely won’t log on to CGTalk until the 14th of August since I will be @ Siggraph (but I will try).



have a good time at siggraph. wish i could be there but unfortunately i’m living on the other side of the planet. bummer.

i will definitely keep in touch with you, policarpo. and hope you can give me useful advice on the 3d scene. it’s pretty sad that i have been toying with 3d and in particular lightwave for almost 10 years and haven’t got into the industry yet.


First App was TrueSpace.
Second App was Lightwave.
Then I Got Body Paint for TS,LW.
Liked BodyPaint so much got C4D.
Depends on what I am doing as to what App I use.
But if you can run Lightwave you can run C4D.



can i ask is most people using C4d are mainly using it for hobby or professionally. in regards to lightwave, it is hard enough to find work and i’s assuming it is probably more difficult for C4d artist looking for full time work. but if one is using it on a freelance basis like policarpo, it may be alright as you can get to select the right program you feel most comfortable with.


It’s very easy to learn C4D from LW as C4D is the most intuitive 3D package in the market IMO.

C4D R8 is at least as powerful as LW8 if not excel it, but wait few hours, Siggraph is coming, and maybe Maxon will have something cool as usual to excite you at that moment!

C4D is very good at doing architecture Viz, (check out this link for example: ) . Currently, C4D’s CA part is not as good as those CA monsters such as messiah or maya but can do some great CA staff upto the user himself ( check out this C4d CA example: ), maybe this part will be better in the future.

C4D’s render is one of its real weapons, it is super fast and provide very good result, but honestly, I prefer Vray for Max in the render area.

C4D’s toon module is the most powerful toon render in the market. And bodypaint2, the most powerful UV and mesh paint tool in the market too.

Of course, you should check out the C4D demo version by yourself from Maxon’s site.


From what I know, pro jobs opportunity for C4D is not much as those for maya or max, but good news is that it seems growing.


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