The Day the Music Died


Hello Srek,
thank you very much, that must be the first time I ever heard something like this from Maxon representetive.
And I really believe that a little bit more of this, in combination with the right, timely corrections of the offers might be a way to calm emotions.
best regards


The 1 year release cycle was an entirely Maxon invention. No one would’ve cared if the MSA period was longer than a year or even 18 months if certain features needed more time to develop. Not one user would’ve cared.

The reason for the yearly MSA like the new Subscription service is to ensure regular income, shareholders love regular guaranteed income. If Maxon as a company hated the yearly release cycle then all they had to do was change it.

Now you’re free from those self imposed constraints tell your customers that they’ll receive much faster updates. It also means you’re no longer constrained by the Sarbanes-Oxley (Enron) ruling, so publish your development roadmap. Be open about what’s coming down the pipe and when. I would happily bet my house you’ll never do it.

Delivering the absolute bare minimum features you can get away with on a yearly basis has seen C4D fall further and further behind competing application and features like BodyPaint and Xpresso become an industry joke. Maxon has changed the way users pay for the software but can it as a company change the value offering and to catch the competition? I don’t think Maxon can, it’s too set in its ways to change and the Subscription service just makes it more comfortable rather than to pick up the pace and take the fight to the likes of Houdini, Maya and Blender.

This greedy Subscription money grab has only lost Maxon the most valuable asset a customer can give, their goodwill. It happened to Newtek.


I perfectly understand the pressure and Maxon’s need to better phase features but come on, Maxon will still need the big marketing burst to advertise power features and raise people’s awareness. There are still key dates like Siggraph where you get massive visibility, receive awards etc. This is Marketing 101.

Even if the workload is better spread out you will still be required to deliver at least 1 killer feature per year with Marketing, sales and all support functions forced to crunch.

I might be wrong but Adobe CC, despite its subscription model still works pretty much like this doesn’t it?


Licence business is difficult. It is much better to sell Cinema 4d courses than try to sell standalone licenses. Rival competitors like autodesk also have suscription model. You kind of have a rental agreement and not license ownership. Old users can still own old cinema 4d versions. Nobody is forced to subscribe anything.


With Houdini, give me a break. When comparing complex not user friendly program to user friendly interface it is far fetched. Of course you cannot do all in one software but have effects imported from houdini to cinema 4d with pipeline. With Houdini you have to open many locks to escape from it.
Integrating best bits from Houdini you can make c4d a super application and make workflow more minimalistic.


With C4D, give me a break. You sound like a frustrated Mac user of old trying to justify no one needing more than one mouse button.

You talk of user friendliness, how user friendly is it to navigate or even try previewing an animation at 1-2 fps in a moderately complex scene and no way to cache the scene that improves playback performance? That’s the reality of working every day with in C4D. The architecture is archaic and is crumbling with the stress that new features like Fields places on it. There’s also no sign you’re even close to having a fix delivered.

With Houdini I can choose at any point in my workflow to cache out geometry, dynamics or particle sims, one playback of the timeline and I can see my scene cached into memory to check animation timing at the target framerate.

Once you’ve invested time in Houdini and understand its workflow it liberates you from virtually any constraint and coming from Houdini to C4D it’s C4D that feels even more strange as it straight jackets you into its inefficient workflow and there’s no way out.

My Vimeo feed is quite interesting, I used to follow nothing but the finest C4D artists and studios who heavily used C4D to keep me up with the state of art in Mograph. In the past 3 years that feed has changed, those C4D artists and Studios have switched to Houdini and my feed is filled with almost entirely Houdini generated work. Maxon is losing the Mograph mindshare and quickly because the boundary pushing and inspiring Mograph is happening in Houdini.

When a young artist has a choice of Houdini Indie or C4D at $200/yr or $740 respectively what do you think they’re going to choose? Maxon can put on all the Motion Tours they like it’s not going to change the outcome in the coming years. More and more positions for Houdini artists are being advertised and pay better than C4D artists.

Maxon can’t even sort their dreadful object handling out in anything like an acceptable time frame let alone taking the ‘best bits’ from Houdini. They don’t have the developers who can pull it off, they can’t even keep their own tools up to date let alone plagiarise Houdini’s toolset. Can you ever see Maxon delivering tools like Vellum or the SOPs context in the next 5 years? I can’t. If C4D has modern cloth and fluid tools I’d say they had a chance but C4D doesn’t even have a modern Particle system just the tired decrepit Thinking Particles which they licensed over a decade ago. Xpresso and Thinking Particles are going nowhere.

Blender stands more chance of becoming the budget Houdini. Right now Blender with Animation Nodes and Sverchok feels a lot closer to Houdini than C4D ever will.

I expect Blender and Houdini will erode C4D’s market dramatically over the next few years and highly specific real time broadcast solutions will account for the rest. The wholesale lack of investment in development that is so obvious to anyone who uses C4D on a daily basis will comeback to haunt Maxon. Blimey, Insydium have built a whole business due to Maxon’s lack of development in a modern particle system.


Sorry but I am not mac user but pc user and nowadays use Cinema 4d only for archviz and illustration. I dont need particle systems for anything.
Just comparing these two systems.

I agree with you thinking particles is a dinosaur, I used to make particle animations with cinema 4d TP but that was good enough to make basic particle effects in commercial animations I worked with three years. Anyway that was 2011-2014.
Maxon has left tp system "as is " and has really not developed it into more efficient but I think its robust.
Mograph crashes way more than tp.

I made also liquid simulation with Blender and imported sequence in c4d because Cinema 4d has no liquid simulation. Maxon relies a lot of using plugins like realfow and x-particles which is thinking particles with balls. Insydium, yes indeed.

What comes to mac user part I bought my first mac 2 weeks ago… lol

I suggest you to read this first before posting in future. Whining does not give anything for c4d user community.


I didn’t say you were a Mac user I said you were acting like one of the fundamentalist one button is all you need crowd of old. User friendliness goes deeper than a well laid out UI.

I can see you don’t want to face the facts that Maxon, despite raking in millions of Euros, has allowed C4D to wither in so many areas. It’s not a case of either or C4D customers of which my company was one up until this year have every reason to expect their application keeps up with the state of art.

How can it be they’re being comprehensively out developed by a small band of Open Source developers let alone the likes of SideFX? Don’t C4D users expect a viewport like this?


I can get your point. Eevee is state of the art in Blender. C4d viewport cannot compete with that. Some third party renderer like Octane can have realtime effects.
I think Blender has also come better tool in archviz. Recently I was in a job interview in a big archviz company that used Blender in their virtual reality workflow. I support getting best parts from different software rather than being a fundamentalist here.


whoops! Ahem - Well I was about to invest into a current C4D perpetual license. But since Maxon adapts Adobe and Autodesk business-practices - will I run into this issue, too?

How perpetual is perpetual for Maxon? I would like to know before I hand over a couple of thousand €s…

Thanks for some statements here!


I have covered this in many forums. We offer and we plan to continue offering perpetual.


Can I ask why it is that perpetual licenses don’t appear to get the same incremental updates at the same time that subscriptions do?


Also covered in other forum posts. So I will keep it short. Perpetual and subscription will get bug fixes. As far as feature updates, there are legal and accounting reasons. Feel free to read about the Sarbanes Oxley act. But the simple fact is paying for a subscription is paying for ongoing feature work. Buying a perpetual is a one time thing.


Guess I’ll just have to wait for annual updates then. Which utterly sucks.


In June 2011 I purchased Final Cut Pro X from Apple, it is a perpetual license and I have not paid a single cent to Apple for 8 years of feature updates and bug fixes. Lists ALL the features added since 10.0.0. Not one person has been asked to pay a cent more than the initial purchase price.

If you think Sarbanes-Oxley stops public listed companies from updating software with features you are being gullible. This grand get out clause is used to justify providing the absolute minimum value for money possible.

If Maxon wanted to offer feature updates during the cycle they could find a legal accounting way to do it just like Apple found a way to do it.

@dmcgavran How about you go one step further and commit to offering Perpetual licences at no greater cost than the old MSA price?


We have found a legal accounting way to do it. It is the subscription. Apple has a very different business model. We have reduced the perpetual price and kept the upgrade price about the same.



Your customers are going to read that. Strewth…


If this subscription system is intended to generate more, regular income, I really hope we see some serious advances in Cinema4D’s development. You only have to look at the latest Maya webinar to see how far C4D has fallen behind in scene management and object handling. I hope you can communicate some elements of the future roadmap to allay further fears after the dismal R21 release.


We have some very exciting stuff coming that we will talk about in due time. The team is extremely motivated and having a lot of fun.


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