Sub-Surface Scatter, son.
It’s a Thursday night. I should be asleep because I have to work at 7:30 tomorrow. But my mind is elsewhere. This night I will be writing about something near and dear to me. Cinema 4D. That’s right. I am that big of a nerd/geek/unbelievably sexy designer. I know.
But seriously. Over the summer, Maxon announced their latest version of Cinema 4D, entitled R15. I have no idea what the R stands for. Does anyone at this point? I don’t know. They announced it before or during (I can’t remember) the start of Siggraph, which is a large computer graphics conference held each year. The person they got to talk it up? One of my favorite designers and all around cool guy, Nick Campbell. Also know as Grayscale Gorilla. Most of what I will go over will be a recap of him talking about C4D, but in a much more condensed way. If you really want to get a great understanding about the new additions to Cinema, I suggest you watch his talks from Siggraph 2013.
Anyway, enough fanboying.
What’s so new that makes R15 so amazing? Well, unlike the recent Apple iPhone 5S and 5C announcements, R15 is sporting some major improvements to make your life easier. We’re talking some major advancements in the world of 3D. First up is a favorite of mine. The GI settings.
As you may or may not know, GI or Global Illumination is the process of using bouncing light particle to make our 3D scenes look more life like, and add details like realistic shadows. The main problems facing C4D users in the past were render time, and not getting a realistic look. R15 has good news for you.
Not only are we able to achieve more realistic light, it won’t slow down your render times. Using a new feature called Light Mapping, Cinema is able to bounce more light throughout a scene to give it that natural look. It will also build upon past renders to speed up render time and spend less time calculating where the light bounces. You also get some new presets which make life a lot easier as well. You can choose between interior lighting presets, exterior, even some quick progressive settings.
The Old vs. The New
Which brings me to our next big addition.
We all love using the net render that is so lovingly provided to us by our teachers in New Media. However, it can be a bit of a hassle uploading files to the net render and them same goes for getting your finished renders off the net render.
Enter: Team Render.
Set up similarly to the old net render, Team Render allows you to keep all your files locally, use your own machine to add to the render farm, and allows you to use it for stuff as simple as preview rendering. It will shell out frames or even parts of frames to computers on your network and have them help with the work. That’ll come in handy for those nights in the lab when not a soul is there, and you have all of those beautiful machines to help render out that animation for Adam or Jason’s class.
These and a few other additions make R15 my new best friend. I love going into Cinema with no real plan of action, and just playing. The real beauty behind Cinema is how simple it is to work with, yet has quite the depth. I can play around with it for hours, and achieve some pretty amazing results in such a short time. And if there is something I don’t know how to do, chances are someone else has done it, and made a tutorial about it. There are so many great resources for Cinema, and I may have to gear my next post towards those. Until next time, enjoy Cinema.