A short tutorial discussing shader effector, use of gradients to control displacement, using the colorizer to build alpha maps etc..
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A lot of my favorite jobs are setting up and fixing stuff for people. So i figured i should have a reel which demonstrates that part of my work with cinema4D. so here it is:
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I do all kinds of rigging and setups in c4d. So if you have a project that you’re having trouble with feel free to reach out.
This article is my personal opinion, this question comes up a lot, so I’m going to try break it down here.
I wrote this article quite some time ago, now I’m coming back to update it and I decided to add a bit more about what you should pay attention to when picking a render engine, rather than just listing off pro’s and cons. (Since they change quite often)
This is important because it affects a couple of things. Firstly, if you render stills it’s not such a big deal to wait 10 minutes for a final render, even waiting an hour for all the noise to clean up isn’t such a big deal. However in animations, you need atleast 24 frames a second, so it adds up very quickly and speed will be more important. Furthermore if you don’t render animations, you don’t really care that much about render farms, or render node licenses that come with the render engine. So for stills octane for example is great. I’d say its the one to beat, especially since it’s now just $20/month for the 2 gpu version. It has great inbuilt post effects, so you don’t really need to do post work in a 3rd party app and there is a huge amount of tutorials on it. Generally learning curve is quite easy. But you also have things like Maxwell, which is really slow, but produces results that are hard to match for anyone else.
However if you are doing animation you have to pay attention to other things. First speed is waay more important to you, and something like Maxwell is a dead end. Unless you like spending thousands of dollars on render farms. And in an animation you probably won’t be able to notice the subtle nuances that maxwell produces anyway. Octane also isn’t such a great choice, because render farms are a pain with it. You have to use their render farm, and if it’s down, you are out of luck. Which is not good if you have tight deadlines and clients who change their mind a lot.
Does this render engine support the features that you need? Can it render hair? Does it support Mograph color shaders? Openvdb volumes? How about it’s instancing support? How much geometry can it handle? How memory efficient is it? Can it render a convincing SSS effect? How slow is that effect. Does it support motion blur for deforming meshes?
If you intend to do particle work, you should check how well it integrates with x-particles. Cycles 4D is from the same developers, so it supports everything. Redshift and Arnold also do a pretty good job, but i recommend testing it yourself. Octane isn’t falling far behind, i regularly see articles which explain how to get certain parameters out of x-particles in Octane.
This is another important feature. You might like nodes, you might hate nodes. Most renderer with node based materials now have “uber shaders” or something similar, which means you don’t have to build things with nodes if you don’t want to, but it’s still some thing you should pay attention to. Some render engines don’t have node based materials at all, should be something to keep in mind. If you want to know why you would want node based materials check out my “Node’s like you are 5” video.
This is something that Arnold and Houdini’s Mantra are famous for. They can handle Astronomical sized scenes without crashing. Which may or may not be important to you. And something you should definitely consider. When going for a GPU render also keep this in mind. Most engines now can offload textures to the ram, but as far as i know they still keep all the geometry on board, so make sure your video card has enough ram, and your render engine can handle that much geometry. Have a look at my GPU picking article.
You might here these terms regarding render engines thrown around. In short. Unbiased render engines are brute force light calculations. Generally most unbiased render engines will have a very similar look and feel to them. So Octane, Arnold, maxwell.. etc. While biased means that the render engines cheats in order to increase speed. So it throws more power at the areas with more details, and less at smooth surfaces, and then averages stuff. This is the reason you get splotchy renders and flickering in animations. Modern days biased render engines have ways of overcoming these shortcomings, with relatively little effort, but nonetheless, its still an issue sometimes.
Many render engines now have inbuilt denoisers, this is definitely something you should pay attention to, it can save LOTS of render time.
Does the render engine have render nodes you can buy for a discount? Or are they rentable? For example, scaling octane can be easy at $20/month for a 2 gpu machine. But more expensive if you have a machine with 4 gpu’s for example. Redshift has a deadline integration where you can rent nodes and pay for just the time you use the license.
Vray – the grand daddy of 3rd party render engines for c4d.
Price: €60 (68USD)/Month or €340 (382USD)/year ( no perpetual license )
Arnold – The new big gun.
Price: 45USD/Month or 360USD/year ( no perpetual license )
Octane – The first GPU render, with super fast growing popularity
Price: 20USD/Month for 2GPU limit OR $619 perpetual
[edit2]: RNDR octanes render cloud/farm thing is live. It renders right from c4d. Awesome! BUT you need to upload orbx files. which is pretty much alembic.. which means all the animation is baked.. which means a 10mb file can become a 22gb file which you have to upload… fun… ( they seem to have improved this recently, but be aware).
Redshift – Biased GPU render engine, very very popular especially in production houses.
Price: $500USD – permanent, includes one year of updates. $250 per year after that
Cycles 4D bridge – From the developers of x-particles
Price: 185 GBP (~$237USD) – permanent, includes one year of updates. 90GBP (~$115) per year after that ( bundle with xparticles gets you a discount 50gbp(~$64) on top of your xparticles subscription)
Here are some more renders, that I’ve heard very little about, but i felt like i should mention them: Corona, recently bought by chaos group ( the developers of vray) People seem to be loving it, especially for architectural renders, i still haven’t tested it out ( it’s in beta for c4d and currently FREE!). Indigo render, only seems to have an exporter. so its not a native implementation, also plugin doesn’t seem to have been updated since july 2015. Maxwell is basically Octane/thea but only on CPU, so it makes really pretty things, but its kinda slow. Im not sure what is market position is right now.
Update 2020: I’ve been using Octane for the last year and loving it. It does crash often, so don’t forget to save, but with it’s price and the quality it produces it’s hard to beat. If you are working on time critical productions I’d still recommend Redshift. Also redshift has been recently purchased by Maxon themselves, so it’s integration should be even tighter than before.
Also as a Bonus I made a light kit for Octane that you can purchase to speed up setting up your scenes 🙂 Click on the image below to check it out
Hey! Recently was working on a project. And well I felt like this was a necessary tutorial.
I cover using the tracer object, spline point distribution types and using spline IK tag to control more complex splines.
So i thought i’d use my blog to write little pieces about stuff happening in my 3d/vfx/mograph world.
Finally had the combination of free time and motivation to work on some personal projects. Decided to make a monthly wallpaper for Smashing magazine. While working on it realized that working on personal projects somehow manages to be a lot more stressful than on paid work. On paid work i understand that i get paid not only for knowing how cinema4D works, but also for knowing how it doesn’t work and how to get around its shortcomings, and when on a job, i just find a work around and move on, because time is money 🙂 But on personal projects my mild OCD doesn’t let me just leave it and i have to dig down and find exactly what is causing the problem… so something that i could finish in a couple of hours ends up taking days..
Dropbox, i love dropbox, but it really failed me this week. I found that some files from a rendered sequence where missing from the folder… And i definitly, didn’t delete them, coz why would i go in and delete frames 16-20?
After a lengthy conversation with support, after them saying the files where never uploaded, and then after i showed em logs which say they where indeed uploaded, they say that I deleted the files, my faith in them is severely diminished…
Here is the entire conversation if anyone is interested, with screenshots
No idea what to do about this… They refuse to take responsibility, and i really don’t like that not only it doesn’t work as a backup, it just straight out eats my files… Here it was just a few frames, but at another point in time it could be more important stuff.
Rediscovered this plugin, i just love it! Get it here: //www.welter-4d.de/fplugs/freeplugins_en.html
There are a bunch of nifty things in there, but Transform is my favorite
3d coat is $100 off!
And Thea render for c4d is 95 Eur off, so its only 300EUR till the 12th January! Read my review and then go grab a copy! You wont be sorry!
yup, yup, a node material system for cinema4D!
super great stuff, get the plugin here: //www.cmstuff.com/article/1012/cmnodes+for+r13
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Thea is a hybrid GPU and CPU renderer with plugins for a bunch of applications. I use cinema4D so that’s the awesomeness im going to cover here.
The GPU part (the super fast part) is CUDA based, so you will need an Nvidia card. so if you have a new mac pro, this isn’t going to be super useful to you.
Read my hardware building article here //ace5studios.com/hardware
Grab the full functional ( watermarked) demo here: https://www.thearender.com/site/index.php/live-plugins/thea-for-cinema4d.html
[note]: you have to install both the c4d plugin and the standalone studio. Or you will experience crashes and other strange behaviour
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Lets get started with a quick video overview of how Thea render works inside cinema4D.
So that’s awesome right? But how does it handle large scenes with forests you may ask? Well have a look here. It does it amazingly!
Ok that’s great, but what if i want to set up a studio for my product shots? Also easy as pie!
Something that i missed earlier ( too many new features coming in) Is that if you tick “continous with material change” in the “ir” drop down menu of dark room, you dont have to re-transfer the scene to see changes you made in materials!
And what about the materials? are they difficult to set up? Nope, pretty straight forward.
And some love for the mograph Color shader! Thea supports the color shader in all its loveliness. The mograph multi shader is in the works apparantly. Hopefully that will come soon.
Can’t be this great and not have any draw backs can it? yeah, there are some things it can’t do yet, but they are working on it really hard.
So how do you actually render out animations with Thea in c4d? Well here is a quick guide of stuff you need to know
Yes there is a pretty large collection here://www.thearender.media/site/home.php
and other resources here:
But unfortunately there is no way to get the trees they have on the thea site into c4d. they are only for thea, and programs that support thea instance objects ( sketchup apparantly is one). But hey, there are plenty of places on the internet to grab trees. Cinema 4d’s content browser has a bunch that ship with it!
Also there is a Substance -> Thea converter. It’s still not 100% accurate, but they are working on it, and it looks really promising!
One of the other big advantages of Thea over its competition is the availability of 3rd party render farms. And the ability to purchase render nodes at discounted prices. You get 2 included with your purchase, you can buy extra ones either for 49 euro per node. or 30 nodes for 395 euro.
Some other engines, don’t provide or sell node licenses. so you have to buy a separate license for each computer you are using to network render. This also makes it prohibitively expensive for render farms to support that render.
You can find a list of render farms here: https://thearender.com/site/index.php/resources/render-farms.html
Newton render farm is by far my favorite. The guy is super helpful: //www.newtonrender.com/
And finally, the conclusion. I love thea render. its crazy fast. It has a tonne of supported features, with more constantly coming in. Great developers, reasonably priced. And most importantly there are render farms that support it, so you are not stuck building your own farm or tied to the developers service.
So go grab a trial version from the link below and tell me what you think of it!
In this tutorial i go over how to use the PSR constraint tag to pick up and place objects.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and i’ll try and help.
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Hey guys, so i’ve been asked what kind of input device i use for working with Cinema 4D. and well here it is. Its the Razer Naga 2014 edition. I’ve been using this one for just over a year, and had the previous version of this for about 3 years, before the right click stopped holding. So im a pretty big fan of these mice. This one as you can see has sustained some damange on the buttons, but i only noticed it now when i started taking photos 🙂 just some of the paint coming off, i guess because of all my body oils and sweat, from all the hard work i do =)
Originally the 12 buttons on the side where intended for gamers so they can cast spells, or whatever they do, but i find them just as handy in every day work.
for example i have the tilt of the Scroll wheel set to copy and paste, ) it can tilt right and left as well as scroll and middle click.
Then i have the top row set to Num Enter ( comes in handy in many places, but the Num one is used because in photoshop it lets you drop a transform quicker), left, right arrow keys for browsing through image galleries
Row after that is mouse button, 4,5 ( the regular back forward commands, rectangular selection in c4d, v key radial menu). 8 key is bound to F9, so i can set keyframes quickly.
Then the row at the bottom, so the Numbers 1,4,7 are mapped to F8 to play timeline in c4d ( with ctrl it does a render region), F6 top open picture viewer with ctrl.
The rest get mapped as i need them Sometimes i find myself pressing the same thing a lot. so i map that button/or command to one of the other buttons. Its pretty organic.
Really important feature, especially if you are working on multiple screens, or just a really big monitor. what it does basically is this: the slower you move your mouse the less it moves. But the faster you move it, the father it goes. So that way, if you need to click something small, you move your mouse slowly and its very accurate, and when you need to access something on the other side of the screen, you don’t need to do the awkward lift and move thing, you just flick it between your fingers.
Hope this was helpful, if you have any questions shoot.