Cinema 4d is lost


#1

Who will hear us, surely not maxon and specially if we dont make any statement, maxon is way out of reach for here users comparing to other platforms, every software out there is pushing further and further, listening to feedback and adjusting accordingly, at least understanding the core users, c4d seems biased in a sense, as if it’s gatekeeping the development only toward things that are already good, the community pushing plugins and scripts right and left just to do some basic stuff, and have to update for each usless releases, so in other words the user if having to upgrade is gonna lose more features and gaine none until that X plugin get updated, so many potential but no ears, the modeling tools have a good foundation but after a good time of work you start to notice that its almost half developed, having a live symmetry only on sculpting tools, axis broken for ages, snapping tools that are lacking, no multithreading, viewport broken and the list goes on, and after all of that you get a a new Ui just to handicap you a bit more and than they say to you “the best ui just got better” i mean if it was the best why wast resources on the bloddy thing, if you had ears you would’ve seen that the community is furiously questioning if there’s even devs anymore on there studios, yes the scene nodes is great as a final product not as a demo thought, so why makie a compain and a release based on a demo each time, i can talk for days but never less, C4d is doomed sadly and they dont seem to care. I love the software an i hate to be forced out of it, So much potential but no ears…


#2

Pretty sure C4D has been topped out for some time the newest I use is R17 & the oldest XL7 (2001). Maxon did some great legwork 15-20 years ago hell maybe even 10 years ago but that’s about it…
You know Cinema 4D was acquired by Maxon by a hostile takeover of 3DGear back in the nineties…So who are they really…
Alot of this is very relative in perspective…I like to work in XL7 because it was somewhat a different C4D from nowadays but then it makes R9.6 seem amazing…
Wasn’t it a few years ago that 3DKiwi moved onto maya or some shit? He said he could go no further in C4D…
I guess it’s what you like to do & do the tools fit…In the old days it was figuring out the ‘workarounds’ a pleasant mechanical mental challenge…That is why I still use OLD C4D-

Working in XL7 makes R9.6 like a dream & R9.6 still 15 years old so unless there’s some pro reason why sweat it?


#3

@akram-fex

I feel your pain. I first started using C4D with R6 about 21 years ago. Back in the day, I had even written product reviews for R8-R10. I have long since abandoned C4D and I’ll tell you why.

  1. COMMUNITY RELATIONS: You’re 100% right. MAXON doesn’t listen to it’s user base. Not anymore. They once did. Oh, did they ever.

Years ago, after having bought R11, they called me at home just to ask if I was pleased with my purchase. They weren’t trying to sell my anything else. They literally just wanted to know there was anything that they could do to improve my experience. Boss move, right? If you had a problem or suggestion and put it on a site like CGTalk, one of their reps would politely chime in and help or happily offer to pass on your suggestions to the rest of the team.

Flash forward to now. Forget about them calling you to check in. You could literally scream bloody murder and they wouldn’t care. Complain here or offer up a feature request and they could not give two sh**s. Nope. IF you’re lucky, former MAXON Quality Assurance head Bjorn “Srek” Marl might make an appearance and have something to say. However, as I said, he’s the former QA head and hasn’t worked in that department in 8 years or so. Only so much he can say or do. Short of chanting MAXON’s name 3 times in a row like Beetljuice and sacrificing a bag of Skittles to a goat, you’re not going to get a response from anybody in any position of authority.

Complain about a bug? Nobody cares. Suggest a new feature? Nobody cares. Ask to buy a new seat? What are the digits to your credit card? :confused:

  1. LACK OF INNOVATION: Real talk here. Cinema4D is and has ALWAYS lagged behind the competition.

Even back when it started blowing up and developing at a rapid pace (circa R7-R12), it was always ALMOST as powerful, but never quite. Apps like Maya would always be a few versions ahead in terms of feature set and performance. That’s not to say that C4D was a bad app. It’s super ergonomic & capable of quite a lot. It’s just that, bad UI/UX aside, the competition like Maya was always capable of more. Still is.

There was one moment that, to me, just screamed, “Oh. They’re out of ideas.” That’s version R16 and the introduction of the cogwheel/gear primitive. I kid you not. They promoted the hell out of that stupid little feature. There was so little going on with R16 that they tried SO hard to convince new users that a gear primitive was a ground breaking innovation. In fact, it’s something that one might have expected - FOR FREE - from the plugin community. It was there, in that moment, that I realized that they had spread themselves too thin and were desperately grasping at straws.

Here’s the source of the problem. Until R12, MAXON was on a 24 month release schedule. Even years would have see a a major full point release while odd years would feature the x.5 point release. Examples:

2004 - R9
2005 - R9.5
2006 - R10
2007 - R10.5
2008 - R11
2009 - R11.5

Those half-point releases added SOME new features, but generally just helped to make the full release that much more stable. That’s why they (the x.5s) usually only cost about $99. However, some genius must’ve figured that moving to annual releases would earn them more money and create an illusion of being more competitive. More money? Sure. More competitive? Probably not. That bullsh** cog primitive in R16? That was the icing on the cake. That proved that they were spreading themselves too thin and that lots of half-baked releases coming out of MAXON since they moved to an annual schedule.

The kick to the groin? They’re still behind the competition and falling further behind every version since they no longer listen to feature requests or miscellaneous critiques. Bottom line here? Cinema4D is missing a LOT of features that even Blender users get.

  1. ANCIENT FEATURES: Anybody else remember when Pyrocluster and BodyPaint first came out? They were the balls, right? Super innovative. Super powerful. Total must have for anybody looking to upgrade. Flash ahead 18-20 years. Those features have long since rotted away due to neglect. Super slow. Clunky. FAR worse than some of the open source alternatives with comparable goals. Joining them over the years have been the equally neglected cloth and character animation tools. They’re happy to add new functions. Don’t get me wrong. However, there’s a lot of stuff there that hasn’t been addressed or fixed in 10+ years. It’s sad, really.

  2. THIRD PARTY WOES: Major 3rd party support has always been a big issue for them. I remember when I first got Shave & a Haircut for C4D years ago. It was, tbh, fantastic. It was C4D’s best 3rd party plugin for a while. Then, probably due to lack of interest, Joe Alter & Co just abandoned C4D support. So, once I moved to the next C4D version, I was down the hundreds of dollars I paid for that plugin. It no longer worked. And that was the trend. Buy a plugin? Pray that it’ll work in the next version. It’s like that with a lot of apps, but it has always been a big issue for C4D in particular. I stopped buying plugins at one point because I couldn’t have my projects depend on something that might disappear at any given moment

  3. CHANGE OF MARKET: You long time users know EXACTLY what I’m talking about here. At some point, it really seemed that MAXON was out there to challenge ADSK. They were in it to win it. With some previs credits from Sony Pictures and brand new character animation & texturing tools, it really looked like they wanted to target film and even game artists. Then came MOGGRAPH. They spent so much effort refining those tools that this became their new focus instead. If you were a C4D user who wanted to also do film or game art, a lot of doors closed for you at that point. So many more jobs opened up for motion graphics artists and, as a C4D user, if you weren’t into that sort of CG then you were plum out of luck. Time to change apps. Time to go over to ADSK where the jobs market offered the type of work that you were looking to do. MAXON pivoting from character/film oriented functionality over to motion graphics ended up alienating a lot of C4D users.

  4. SLOW TO NODE: It’s nice that C4D finally adopted some node-based functionality from 2018 on. However, by then, it was too little, too late for a lot of users. Nodes offer a super powerful sort of workflow and MAXON really ignored them for far too long when they had long become standard in many other apps. Did they really need to wait til R20 to finally move toward node-based materials? That’s just too long.

  5. UPGRADE PRICING: This one’s a killer. I remember buying R11. Loved it. Used it. Still have it archived “just in case.” I rembember R11.5 coming out. It wasn’t all that impressive. It didn’t add enough to warrant the $99 they were asking for it. So, I skipped R11.5. It’s a cheap minor version. It shouldn’t have caused a significant issue, right? Wrong. When R12 came out, I was ready to upgrade. … … … Until they told me the price. Skipping the $99 R11.5 update took me out of the uprade path. A stupid half-point release. Now, instead of paying $750 (??) or whatever it was they were asking for the usual full point upgrade, I was told that I’d be asked to pay almost $2k instead. Miss a $99 x.5 release & pay $2k instead? What sorta bs is that, right? ZERO flexbility from them. Didn’t matter that I had been a loyal customer of theirs for 10 years. So, I hung on to R11 for another 2 years and, in 2012, gave them the finger and moved over to Maya - which I replaced several years back with Blender.

I dip into C4D territory now and again with the Lite version, but you won’t catch me dealing with them again beyond that. The MAXON of 2021 is a totally different beast from the Maxon of old. They don’t seem to care about the app or the customers as much as they once did. At least that’s MY opinion. Not an uncommon one though.

On the issue of plugins… Don’t. Just don’t. You can’t and shouldn’t rely on them. Do as much as you can with the core app. If the core app isn’t cutting it, roll your own solutions. You can’t control 3rd party plugin developers, but you CAN control your own solutions. I get the frustration, but you always take your chances with a plugin if you didn’t develop it or it didn’t come bundled with the app.

Yeah. I’ll be generous and say 10 years. That’s more or less when the last of the big, big features like sculpting & physical rendering got added in.

Really? I don’t disbelieve you. It’s just the first time I’ve ever heard that story in the past 20+ years. I’m guessing that accounts for the move away from the Amagia platform. Hostile takeover or not, the people working there were really great and receptive to community input right up until about 10 years ago. Something changed internally? What? I’ve got no idea. The vibe was different since though.

Yeah. I think so. I had the same issue myself. For a LONG time, from v1-v7, I was a Caligari trueSpace user. I loved it. However, as I grew, the program didn’t. I hit this functional ceiling where the app started to hold me back. Thankfully, at the time, I was using C4D also. So, when I dropped trueSpace, Cinema4D was there and I started to grow again - requiring fewer workarounds than before.

However, due that issue of stagnance and lack of innovation from MAXON, there were a lot of things that I really wanted to do in Cinema4D and the app just kept of fighting me at every turn. I hit a ceiling again. One of the other reason why I finally stopped working with C4D and then moved to Maya.

The only reasons why I stopped using Maya were because…

  1. The subscription model rubbed me the wrong way. I like perpetual licenses. I like being able to look at my old, old copy of C4D R9 on CD and know that, if I wanted, I could still use it today. There’s something immensely satisfying about that. With SO many other services in my life squeezing me dry of cash every month or year, I didn’t like the idea of paying nearly $2k every year for something I didn’t actually own.
  2. Maya feels really old and clunky in some places. There’s some incongruent design and functional redundancy that’s hard to ignore. The app feels new and super old that the same time. Also, it’s quite a resource hog in places.

I still maintain a current license to Maya, but only the $280 Indie license - which is fully featured, but has a revenue cap. I use it FAR less than I do Blender these days. The BF devs are killing it. Really. They can’t keep that pace up forever, but, for now, Blender is just fantastic and so surprising that it costs $0. Love it.

I’ve tried to rid myself of subscriptions. It’s super hard to do, but totally possible. (Shockingly, moving from Adobe PS/PR/IL to Affinity’s suite didn’t hurt nearly like I expected that it would. Good kit.) So nice that Adobea at least offers perpetual licenses to their Substance products. Costs about the same for all 4 on Steam as it would via subscription, but totally worth having a perpetual license though.

I mean, there are SOME reasons to sweat it. For example, in R11, there’s this lingering backface culling bug that got fixed in R12. So, if you insist on using that older version, you’ll have to workaround or ignore. Also, I think that newer releases also added High DPI support for large res monitors. You could always scale up the UI and text, but it isn’t quite the same. Using an old version of C4D is fine so long as you recognize its limitations.

I will say, however, that I understand wanting to use an old version because it’s super comfortable and second nature. However, there’s also something to be said for moving on. There’s a LOT that you can do with Blender v2.9x that is just impossible to do in older versions of C4D. Plus, ever since v2.8 came out, the UI/UX is super ergonomic and about as easy to use as C4D.

People used to cite the unfathomable number of keyboard shortcuts necessary to be productive in Blender, but that’s not really the case anymore. There ARE tons of shortcuts you can memorize if you love keyboard gymnastics. However, so much is accessible via menu and RMB/spacebar these days that it’s almost unnecessary. Blender has gotten really easy to use lately.

I’ll put it to you this way. Blender is SO easy to use compared to ancient versions that my then 8 year old niece (now 9) learned to model and animate using v2.79 during quarantine last year. I’m SO not kidding. If an 8 year old can learn Blender… :slight_smile: (My only argument with her now is getting her to move from v2.78 to v2.9x. She REALLY loves that old version.)


#4

I’m with your niece on that one, when 2.8 first hit the ether I was totally flummoxed it was like the initial UI/UX redesign for me at least was a counter intuitive journey into misery…and too be honest still do (…that said as a grumpy HS modeler v2.4xx cica 2004)

Anyway OT, it’s a shame MAXON dropped the ball C4D is really a straightforward toolset especially for generating hard surface content and personally know of a few pro plus indie artists that stand by it in terms of consistently creating amazing art however one may be two might switch across to Blender in the near future, though.


#5

There are patron saints of lost causes for every wayward app. You see a lot of these types on the NewTek LightWave forums. There’s this sort of denial that also happened when XSI bit the big one. All of them hoping against hope that it’ll come back from the dead, insisting that it’s still a viable app, yet quietly pledging their allegiance to Blender or some other, more viable, alternative. Sometimes, it just pays to go with the flow of the river instead of swimming against the rapids.

That said, even if you have an old copy of C4D, it still remains a solid app for hard surface stuff. Yeah. There are some people who will say that it lacks certain modern conveniences or power tools dedicated to the task. However, the truth is, as a modeler, you really don’t need all that many tools in the first place. Same thing with sculpting. Just because ZBrush gives you a gazillion brushes or ways to start a model doesn’t mean that you even need 1/10th of what it offers. Same with Photoshop, for that matter. MY POINT BEING… C4D is terrible and old for a bunch of things, but is also sort of timelessly capable when it comes to other tasks like hard surface modeling. If you know which tools and techniques to pair up, you can make even the oldest version scream like a muscle car.

I just wonder what the future holds for C4D. I wonder how long they can keep selling it at the price they are. It’s nearly $4k now. Twice as much as Maya and $4k more than Blender. Given the competition out there, is it worth $4k. I’m not so sure. It’s like how LightWave used to be worth as much as Maya when it was competitive and a real market player. However, as other apps blew past it and LW lost its cred, you could literally buy a license for $500 and upgrade for 1/2 that. C4D is, imo, quickly entering into LightWave territory.

That said, don’t agree with my niece. She’s 9 for god’s sake. :smile: Her ego’s already big enough as it is.


#6

Slightly OT, however it seems Maxon has certainly bought into the acquisition trend:

https://pixologic.com/announcement/

Happy New Year.


#7

Yeah. That topic has already been addressed on CG Talk over here:

Maxon acquires ZBrush!

Great day if you’re (still) a Maxon loyalist, but a pretty crappy one if you’re ZBrush user. Long opion short, if Maxon treats ZBrush like C4D or its other acquistions then I’d probably start checking out the alternative apps and workflows. The key words here are: Languish. Neglect. Exploit. Subscribe. Mismanage. Bugs. Make of that what you will.


#8

Ah! then apologies for the derail.

Passing note though…

Personally, I don’t use ZB as part of my workflow for hard surface but this technique peaked my interest a while ago - 3ds Max/Zbrush: Proboolean + Dynamesh hardsurface workflow tutorial so kind of doing a self-exploratory series of tests into what I think may prove a viable substitute methodology working inside Blender or indeed C4D for that matter, since I’ve free time enough atm to deep dive into it.

Thus far primarily fiddling about with the BoolTool + Remesh plus a few promising insights shared by Penfinity over on YT.