So, C4D… where next?


#1

C4D R21 was, it’s almost unanimously agreed, a fairly lame update. So here we are, nearly six months in to Maxon’s brave new world of subscription software, and apart from a bug fix, there’s no sign of any R21.x updates.

In the mean time, Blender 2.82 drops next week with a new fluid sim system, improved cloth dynamics, tweaks to Cycles and Eevee, UDIM texture painting, sculpting updates and UI fixes. And then there’s 2.83 on the horizon with yet more goodness.

The Blender ecosystem is smashing it at the moment, with tons of tools, addons, tutorials and new features. Blendernation.com has new stuff to look at every single day – meanwhile C4D just plods along at this glacial pace. I wish Maxon would open up a bit about its future plans, at least give us some hints about timing of releases. It feels like C4D is slowly sliding into obscurity, and I really don’t want another LightWave3D on my hands…


#2

Not another C4D vs Blender thread, they’re springing up around the web on forums and social media with increasing regularity!

What do you expect from Maxon? They’ve painted themselves into a corner, they can’t now become more open about development because that’ll show their hiding behind Sarbanes-Oxley for what it is.

Is there anyone who still seriously thinks Maxon has a plan? ‘3D for the World’ was the plan, a strapline and subscriptions. That was it.


#3

It’s not a Blender vs C4D thread. It’s a WTF is going with C4D thread (in the face of free and increasingly powerful competition).


#4

You know what’s going on with C4D though. It’s going nowhere fast.

I hear pennies dropping and I see light bulbs switching on all over the web as people come to the above conclusion.

All those years expecting that Maxon was working on a core rewrite that would see the viewport perform significantly better were a waste of time.

The sooner you come to that conclusion and make alternative arrangements you’ll greatly lessen your chances of finding yourself in the same position as LW users that hung on hoping that Newtek would finally deliver. Maybe C4D will be bought by VizRT…


#5

I can now comfortably wait and see. I bought R21 Cinema 4d and not a subscription. There is no longer any pressure to update with MSA come September. If I need the new version, I can try the demo, rent it for a month and try it out, or ignore it completely with no extra cost associated with a deadline like in the old upgrade cycle.

Cinema has to make some moves in the next release (hopefully before then).

Blender is advancing and is freely available, so I’m really not rushed to do anything besides learn and do my little projects in C4d while Blender’s tools and training community continue to develop at a blistering pace. If I need to switch in a year, Blender will be even more ready with training classes and additional features/tools.

In the mean time, I really enjoy using C4d and it’s a ton of fun for my use case. I don’t face the pressures that a full time 3d artist does, though.


#6

Yep, exactly the same here. I’m toying with Blender but still feel happier in C4D. If R21.x or R22 fail to deliver, Maxon has actually made it easy to just ignore it and wait until it comes good – which I still hope it will. But it feels like the clock is ticking quite loudly. I’ll certainly be keeping up with the Blender updates and trying out the new features, but I have too much invested in C4D now to simply jump ship. For the time being…


#7

It certainly is a better feeling than forking over $$$ in advance and hoping there is something in the new release that will be useful.


#8

Dave McGavran hinted this week that lots of cool things are coming. But he would say that, eh?

No need to rehash the Blender stuff but more things seem to happen in Blender land every two months or so than C4D has managed in some years. Like this last year.

C4D surely has some nifty things coming, but I actually wouldn’t put it past Maxon to release zero updates other than bug fixes for many more months and then finally bring out something new in August. :crazy_face:


#9

Relax, Maxon is hiring… cool stuff is coming… :wink:


#10

How long should C4D users relax for?

Those posts are not filled BTW.

Any developer hired today will take many months to become useful and it may be years before any useful features arrive in the hands of users.

The problem for Maxon is C4D’s viewport/object handling should’ve been fixed years ago, C4D should’ve had its own modern multithreaded Xpresso and Thinking Particle replacement years ago. C4D should’ve had its own fluid systems, UV and texture painting tools updated years ago.

How many more years should C4D users expect to wait for features they should’ve had years ago? R21 was a joke of a release and what happens if/when R22 is an equal joke? Should everyone just relax?


#11

Why fix/update these things when the Mac OS Die hards &Mograph users continue to support Your company Financially, No matter the comparitive state of one’s
feature set.??

Not a rethorical question Mate,
Honestly if ones business is surviving by appealing to a dedicated demographic for whom the need for a modern Viewport & Viable Character animation & VFX tools etc. etc.,
are not as important as “ease of use” or continued Mac support then why endure the costs of developing these tools.


#13

A very good point well made.

There’s probably much truth in your point. Why would Maxon want to do better when their legion of customers cough up for upgrades no matter how lacking in content they are.

This myopic business practice has served them well over the last decade to provide the customer with the absolute bare minimum they could get away with but can this continue?

As long as C4D is seen as the de facto standard for Mograph then yes but in recent time Houdini is eating into this market. I believe once Blender’s Everything Nodes project begins to deliver you’ll see C4D’s market eaten into by Blender. Blender is in no way a threat to Houdini but Blender will be a much more approachable option for those who want many of the Houdini style procedural workflows and performance a more XSI than Houdini.

Once a well known Mograph artist started using Houdini and giving presentations the mindshare moved quickly and many others followed that lead. I predict the same thing will happen with Blender but it’ll have a much more profound effect on Maxon’s business.

To make this post more on topic and answer where next? Maxon needs to deliver at twice the output, immediately fix the performance issues and replace all the old features with modern high performance replacements and be very quick about it. Is Maxon up to the task? Probably not.

I have very little sympathy for Maxon, for many years I used to lurk on this forum and watched as those people who dared criticise the state of C4D were hounded out. Even Maxon staff who were moderators used to pile in. It’s not like they weren’t warned…


#14

Honestly, I think McGavran has set the wheels in motion for lots of cool stuff to come. But I think a lot of that stuff will appear in 2021 or later, simply as that’s how long these things take if you start them at the beginning of 2020, which he probably did when he brought all the Red Giant guys on board, including Disco Stu.

Just use Blender and Houdini if you feel inclined and jump back on board the Maxon train once they sort their development hurdles out, which they will eventually. Probably.

Even playing with Blender and enjoying the big dev push it’s seeing, I do wish it was as polished as C4D. It isn’t.

If Maxon ever bother to pair up their great UI/UX with some long awaited new features they’ll really have something. Hopefully they do it soon as they all seem like nice guys and the doom and gloom posts have been reiterated so many times they’re really covering old ground. Infograph, you make good valid points but didn’t you say a few months back you were leaving this forum? Not intended as snark as I also find myself hypnotised by the rolling train wreck of Maxon’s never materialising new core features. Can Captain Dave McGavran steer the ship back on track and rescue the girl in time for next week’s episode? Some people say he can!


#15

Hell yeah, that’s my main beef with blender, it always feels like a beta software, no matter what.


#16

Having spent the last 8 months using a combination of Houdini and Blender together I had the misfortune to have to open C4D R20 to access an old client project and I was shocked how dated C4D feels in comparison, the blurry UI was just the icing on the cake. It feels like an application from the last decade, very tired like a once great racehorse on the way to the glue factory.

I’ve been using 2.81a and it has been stable for me, I have been testing beta and Alpha builds especially the Mantaflow and Function Branches and these have been less stable but these are experimental builds. The main source of crashes I’ve experienced has been ProRender 2.0 which is still disappointingly buggy on nVidia hardware. The odd Addon will crash Blender but this is the Addon not Blender e.g. Sorcar but it’s early in its development.

The crashaggedon that popular opinion suggests of Blender has not been seen by me, in my experience Blender is no less stable than Houdini in my usage cases. I can’t vouch for every function of Blender being stable but in my work I’ve never once thought screw this give me C4D back. YMMV.


#17

It is My observation that the people who leave a software package for dispassionate, real world technical reasons, very rarely return unless the package to which they have migrated, becomes unavailable in some permanent fashion.

I Do not beleive in “Software as Religion”

I was Mac/C4D user since I left the Professional Graphic Design for print, business years ago.

I switched to Windows because of certain windows only realtime Character animation& retargeting software (Iclone Pro) enabled me to get my work done in the way I preferred

Not because of any insipid feelings of “Betrayal” By Apple regarding poor support of 3D/CC in favor of luxury consumer smart phones etc.

For me ,changing software /OS was simple technical decision based on my creative objectives.

Much in the way Carpenters & Plumbers Choose better/different power tools based on the work needing to be done.

I wont again detail the long list of Character & VFX related features I feel Maxon has ignored in the decade since R11.5 Studio ( My last version of C4D on OSX).

It does not Matter ,as I have found my solutions elsewhere and wont be returning for pure technical objective, pipeline reasons.

We all have seen the shrill angry former “true believers”
who were tireless Maxon Apologists , who instantly, and very publicly, left for Blender when Maxon Commited the “monsterous
betrayal” of going subscription.:roll_eyes:

Suddenly the same company they worshiped so fervently became a wretched hive of scum & villainy and their once beloved software became rubbish overnight??

This is a common phenomenon with emotionally driven
Tribalists ,Group affiliation to computer software😌

I was consider migrating to Lightwave3D for technical Character/VFX.pipeline intergration and Viewport look dev reasons, despite the childish, snickers & ridicule I received for even suggesting so.:rofl:

Blender 2.8.x with EEVEE has finally settled the matter for me.

Again not because I was embarrassed by the " vestigial Has-been" reputation of Lightwave3D and Jokes about “Babylon5” and the “Titanic propellor guy” , anger at Maxon
or any canting, quasi Religious Devotion to FOSS

But because of Blenders ,interface re-design,viable pipeline integration and its feature set ( Current&Future projected), regarding my personal/professional objectives going forward.


#18

We were ALL believers at one stage and we’re all on a journey and get to the destination at various different times by different means. I convinced many fellow animator friends to give C4D a go because at the time I thought C4D was utterly brilliant. R17 was the turning point, it was obvious then that the wheels had come off.

It wasn’t Subscriptions alone that caused the furore among some of the users it was the completely almost vindictive way Subscriptions have been implemented. There was no reason why Subscriptions and Perpetual could not have coexisted without Perpetual upgrade owners being so badly treated. The longest and most loyal Maxon users shafted in favour of Johnny come lately so no wonder people were so irate because the change was all so transparently about one thing, corporate profiteering. Giving even less back to the user.

So here’s another thread asking about the future of C4D, customers want to know where this thing is heading, they crave information and reassurance. But these questions are being asked of a company that appears completely indifferent to its userbase’s thirst for information. I just don’t think this play will work well for long in the world where that jokey little amateur 3D App is rapidly blossoming into a very serious contender, being taken seriously and incorporated into some of the biggest 3D pipelines in the world and its developers are completely open about its development and future plans…and it’s free if you want it to be.

You’re right @ThreeDDude, once customers leave they stay gone in general. The new home has to do at least as bad to get them to leave and that doesn’t mean they’ll be back to C4D anytime soon. We’re all emotionally driven to varying degrees, so once the trust is broken it’s very easy not to come back just like any other relationship. In those terms does that make Subscriptions the worst possible pre-nup? At the end of the relationship you get nothing, not even your own files.


#19

It’s not just about stability/crashes, it’s about the quality of the software itself…
Most things in blender feels half-assed and unpolished as hell. It’s like, they add stuff and then move on to the next thing, without refining what’s already there.

I wish they had a proper UI/UX team.


#20

Most things in blender feel half arsed? Really? Got any solid examples because I don’t get that impression at all?

I think William Reynish has done an excellent job in the short time he has been with BF as resident UI/UX designer. Compare 2.82 to 2.80 and it feels like a much more polished application. When Epic Games were demoing their Blender to Unreal Addon and had Blender side by side with Unreal Engine Blender looked much more consistent and user friendly.

As a users of Blender you are encouraged to get involved in making Blender better, if not with code development by submitting suggestions and bug reports. Very often community developers who are looking to learn about developing Blender will pick up interface and feature tweak patches, many of such patches have been given shoutouts on Blender.Today to my knowledge.

Blender is not for everyone like Max and Maya are not for me…


#21

Blender is stable, sure. But - and I’ll try to phrase this point without it becoming overly app vs app, this is just about specifics -

You start playing around with Blender. It’s fun and the UI is nice, and like Infograph said, it’s not crashing. Great. You have a cube or cylinder in the viewport and delete it. Done. You chuck some more objects in, play around with things in the Outliner (Blender’s object manager). You hit the delete key and they won’t delete. You Google the issue and see others have raised it. You find out that you need to hit the X key on the keyboard to delete stuff there, and that still doesn’t delete it. It brings up an option asking if you really want to delete things, and you have to reconfirm that yes, you really want to delete the object.

Then you read further and see that (a.) in one thread about the issue a guy is passionately arguing that using the DELETE key is counter intuitive to delete stuff and Blender’s method of hitting X in the Outliner and confirming it is much more natural, and (b.) a developer in another thread thanks someone for pointing out to him that DELETE doesn’t delete in the Outliner, and he’ll try and fix it at some future point. It’s on his list so maybe when he has time he’ll tidy it up at some point.

And all this is separate to the discovery that the delete key, when it does work in Blender, doesn’t work on a standard iMac keyboard, it only works using the additional delete key found on the extended Mac keyboard with a number pad on the right, possibly as no one bothered to test things out on the regular keyboard. And this whole trail of discovery and learning came out of something that wouldn’t arise on nearly any other 3D app, because on those the delete key just deletes stuff, rather than just deleting it sometimes in some places if you have the right keyboard.

So half-assed is a word that does come to mind, and the impression is that Blender has a huge gang of devs working hard on things, and a bigger community of folk also chipping in to help out, but sometimes they’re each at the opposite end of a rope and pulling hard in a tug of war with a heap of energy wasted. And this is not a deal breaker, and I still like Blender, and I’m keeping it on my machine, and the UI is super polished. There are indeed parts where you can see big sections of the new UI seem better than what C4D has. But C4D doesn’t quite have the issues like the one I described above. That’s a characteristic Blender thing, and even Andrew Price, the Blender Guru guy, did an interview where he was shaking his head with frustration at various half-assed or unfinished features. But possibly this is all fine, and I don’t dislike Blender. But C4D does things differently, and if it ever gets some of the features that are closing on their 20th anniversary of use up to date, it will be quite something.

The PDF linked further up of proposed new features was really cool, but for some reason I got a chuckle out of the bit where the guy asked for an update to Pyrocluster. I dunno why.