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November 2014
Issue: January 1, 2010

REVIEW: MAXON CINEMA 4D R11.5

By: David Basulto
PRODUCT: Maxon Cinema 4D R11.5 Broadcast Edition

WEBSITE:
www.maxon.net

PRICING:
Broadcast Edition (Includes MoGraph 2): $1,495; Core: $995; MoGraph 2 Module: $595; XL Bundle: $2,495;
Studio Bundle: $3,695 (includes MoGraph 2)
- allows 3D export to Apple’s Motion
- faster renders
- updates to Picture Viewer & MoGraph

When I was offered the opportunity to review Maxon’s Cinema 4D R11.5, I jumped at the chance. Being a C4D user since Version 9, I knew Maxon was one company that would not release an update just to fix or patch something.
I became a huge fan of Cinema 4D years ago when I was searching for a 3D application that was 1) easy to learn, and 2) powerful. I always wanted to add things like 3D titles, motion graphics and objects to my work. After spending a ton of money on some other 3D apps and getting nowhere (some seem to be made for rocket scientists) I downloaded a demo of Cinema 4D and have been happy ever since.
The C4D user interface is easy to get used to and understand. Animating is very simple to do in this program. Lastly, something I never thought I could do, modeling, is very straightforward and with practice I have learned to create anything I want.

MOGRAPH 2 & MOSPLINE

A huge reason to upgrade to R11.5 is the introduction of MoGraph 2. For those not familiar with Cinema 4D, the MoGraph module powers the artist with an awesome toolset enabling them to create everything they could possibly dream up — from flying logos to cloning effects to abstract visions.
MoGraph 2 is MoGraph on steroids. Why? One word: MoDynamics. MoDynamics is the new physics simulation package included in MoGraph 2 that contains more than 40 animated backgrounds, motion graphics material libraries, over 350MB of royalty-free sound loops and samples, and a massive archive of ready-to-use animations.
Need to blow something up? Simple. MoGraph 2 now includes PolyFx, which will enable you to do quick and easy explosion effects. Of course, any presets are highly customizable as well.
There is another huge new feature in MoGraph 2: MoSpline. MoSpline enables artists to clone existing lines and animate them using forces and effectors. MoSpline will increase the speed of your workflow.

AN APP WITH A VIEW

Maxon really outdid itself this time with the new Picture Viewer. Cinema 4D veterans will be blown away with this new upgraded and powerful tool. The Picture Viewer in V.11.5 now allows you to compare test renders. What’s so great about this? Imagine your producer comes in and wants to see the difference in what you’re current render’s lighting pass looks like with one you did a few hours ago and which works best. All of this information is now stored in the Picture Viewer’s new history list. Also included is a new A-B compare tool which lets you choose any two of your test renders in your history list. This is a huge addition to the workflow.
Another awesome feature with the new Picture Viewer is the ability to click on individual frames as they are being rendered. This will help you find any render problems early.
Need to render out HD footage? Will playing back your scene while it is still rendering slow down your machine? Possibly, but now in the Picture Viewer there’s a tab that will enable you to play it back at a lower resolution.
Lastly, how would you like to fine-tune your multi-pass layers right in the Picture Viewer? Prior to this awesome new feature, if you wanted to tweak something, such as a shadow, you had to switch into an image editing program and then back into Cinema 4D and then render. Now you can fine-tune everything from shadows and reflections to blend modes right in the Picture Viewer. Once again the workflow speed is increased.

PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

In past versions of Cinema 4D, users have had the ability to export their project to various compositing software, such as After Effects, Fusion and Shake. In R11.5, Maxon listened to its users and enabled 3D export to Apple’s Motion. This is huge in that it now enables animators who are in the Motion/Final Cut Pro workflow to include 3D renders. Now the exports will include 3D data and camera data giving Motion even more compositing power.
BROADCAST EXTENSION KIT
With its rollout of Cinema 4D R11.5 Broadcast Edition, Maxon gives us the Broadcast Extension Kit. What’s so great about that? Well for this user, the fact that I now have hundreds of preset objects and scenes at my disposal is huge. This is perfect for that I-need-this-done-now client. A lot of the preset objects and scenes are pre-animated and highly modifiable, and include camera and lighting.
I used a lower-thirds element recently for a client that wanted it to be in 3D. With some minor tweaks in the animation, text changes and material changes, all of which took me only a few minutes, I was able to export a unique lower-third element and bring that into After Effects.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With all these new features, this upgrade should really be called Cinema 4D R12. The addition of MoGraph 2, the new Picture Viewer, the ability to export to Motion my 3D data, and all the goodies that come with the Broadcast Extension Kit, makes this upgrade a no-brainer. And if all that’s not enough, R11.5 renders much faster than the previous version.

David Basulto is a Producer/Director/Editor with Clarity Pictures in South Pasadena, CA. He can be reached at: dave@claritypictures.net.