Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 10/11/07 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

MAXON NEW LINEUP

CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D get major updates By Ko Maruyama
During the past 4 years, there has been a remarkable explosion of growth here in Hollywood for the 3D software produced by MAXON.  Both CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D have helped many Los Angeles production studios win multiple awards.  MAXON has not taken any time to rest on its laurels, but has continued to develop more high end professional tools for serious 3D users.

In the latest new product release for the company, MAXON offers their flagship product CINEMA 4D in version 10.5 and BodyPaint 3D as version 3.5.  Both upgrades feature significant additions and upgrades to the toolsets without compromising the applications' ease of use.




When Release 9 was offered back in 2004, new character tools and shading options were available as an upgrade to users.  In 2005 MAXON created their own HAIR module.  In 2006 (last year), motion graphics artists were amazed by the MoGraph module, which caused a major change in the way motion graphics designers created broadcast elements.
In the first quarter of 2007, MAXON released R10.1, and now, less than a year later, CINEMA 4D 10.5 begins to ship, offering upgrades and new tools for the core package, MoGraph and HAIR.





CORE

In the core package there are several new import as well as export features that will allow you to use CINEMA 4D in almost every workflow pipeline.  One of the new features I'm particularly impressed with is the way CINEMA 4D works with itself.

 The newly introduced XREF tool allows you to reference other C4D projects without having to import all of the geometry into your current scene.   This allows multiple users to work on elements of a larger scene.  This doesn't reduce the polygonal count of the master project, but the tool does allow the user to select different objects to view within the XREF object.

There are many, many other features in the core package which will give users greater flexibility to how they work within the standard tools and other operations that C4D artists use every day.  Some of the new tools will give artists better flexibility with keyframes, easier lighting setup control, polygonal modeling control, and heads up display control (HUD).

NEW MOCCA 3

Since the bundled sets of software (XL and Studio options) come with MOCCA included, many users are already familiar with the character tools that CINEMA 4D offers.  Although many owners of the packaged bundles may not have experience with character animation, the new deformers in MOCCA will change the way even broadcast designers think about character animation.



If you're not familiar with the character tools that make up the MOCCA module, there's a new training DVD that ships with R10.5 that provides several aspects of MOCCA.

While the Painting and Weighting improvements are much appreciated, and although the Point Caching tool appears to be a handy work flow tool right now, the most impressive additions are the Jiggle and Squash/Stretch Deformers.

Two of the new MOCCA tools that are good for everyone are the Jiggle Deformer and the Squash and Stretch Deformer.  Each tool does just what it says.  The animations produced from these tools are really interesting, very easy to use, and not necessarily what you might consider "character animation".  I'm sure that we're going to see these tools used in broadcast animations quite a bit by anyone who has them.

Don't get me wrong - the selection painting and weighting tools will definitely come in handy when using these two new tools, but there will be a great new  crop of fun, cartoony animations coming out with these new assistants.



NEW MOGRAPH

There are so many MoGraph tools that came out last year, there have hardly been enough hours to use them all in actual projects.  The motion graphics possibilities with these tools can be creatively diverting when you play with them - even if just to find out what they do.



So while you may have only gotten through half the list of fun 3D motion graphics tools - hang on to your seat... R10.5 comes with an upgrade to the current MoGraph module, and you'll have your hands full with a flurry of new tools to mix and match.



Volume Effectors and Clone features are really remarkable additions, but the MoGraph Selection tag is truly a remarkable change for this module.  Remember, the MoGraph tools can be used with other MoGraph tools in order to create several different ranges of animation with falloff area.  The MoGraph selection is going to allow everyone to come up with substantially new variations of MoGraph animations.

Volume Effectors will allow artists to produce clones within an object. Which may prove to be a handy cheat or alternative to complex XPresso setups.  Plain Effectors will allow you to quickly modify particles with falloff control, perfect when you only need limited control.



Although these may sound simple, you should remember that these fit within the already massive arsenal of existing MoGraph tools.  I'll have more on these tools soon.

(MoGraph is the one module that you CAN'T get in any bundle.  You need to purchase it separately, but if you're familiar with the tools in the module - especially if you're a broadcast graphics animator - you know how much this means to your production pipeline.)

Overall, the upgrade to 10.5 core and modules is an absolute must for anyone who is currently working with either the XL or Studio bundles (in any previous version).   If you're currently working in broadcast graphics and you need a complete 3D software solution, C4D R10.5 and its complementary array of Modules has everything you'll need to bring your animations to the next level.  

Get MAXON CINEMA 4D R10.5 at http://www.maxoncomputer.com





For rants, ramblings and general announcements - check out a chaotic blog in the BlogZone:
http://blogs.digitalmediaonlineinc.com/ninjacrayon/

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:product review, cinema 4d, C4D, 3D software, maxon, adobe after effects, adobe photoshop, R10.5 new version

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