3D Rendering and Animation With Cinema 4D Release 11.5 and MoGraph 2

October 22, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

Provided images of a donkey and Mexican town are rendered in Maxon Cinema 4D Release 11.5. The software allows for advanced 3D rendering and animation. (The Epoch Times)
Provided images of a donkey and Mexican town are rendered in Maxon Cinema 4D Release 11.5. The software allows for advanced 3D rendering and animation. (The Epoch Times)
Software development company Maxon has released Cinema 4D Release 11.5, bringing with it new tools to the world of 3D animation and imaging. The software allows users to render photo realistic 3D environments, create characters and objects, and bring them to life though animation.

Cinema 4D has grown a strong reputation among professionals and hobbyists through its use in movies, video games, and TV commercials. The software has played a role in the creation of films including Polar Express, Beowulf, and Open Season.

Among the new features in Release 11.5 are some impressive additions to MoGraph 2, which include much faster render times and a few changes that simply make the program easier to use.

Using Cinema 4D

Maxon has done a great job in making the creation of complex 3D animations an easy to learn process through Cinema 4D. Most users who have experience in programs such as Adobe Flash, After Effects, or other 3D animation software should be able to figure out the software rather quickly.

For new users, an easy-to-follow quick-start manual that comes bundled with the software offers plenty of photo examples, and teaches the fundamentals needed to begin working on more complex projects. The software also comes with a tutorial DVD on how to rig a 3D character (which can be compared to building an armature) as well as a free trial account to Maxon's tutorial Web site, Cineversity.com.

After reviewing the manual, I found most of the features in Cinema 4D easy to figure out. After learning the basics of the program, it soon felt as if just about anything could be accomplished with enough time.

The software offers a wide range of features and Maxon offers some additional modules that bring even more to the mix.

New Release 11.5

As the much-anticipated addition to Cinema 4D Release 11, the new version brings some outstanding features to an already great product.

Among the most useful are the updates to the render engine. Render Instances, which can be turned on by simply checking a box, allows mid-range computers to render billions of polygons at a much faster pace than before. This comes in useful when rendering multiple high-polygon images in a single scene.

SubPolygon Displacement is also up to seven times faster in the new version. The feature allows for detailed textures to be rendered onto images at a much more reasonable pace.

Several new additions have been added to the project preview feature, Picture Viewer. These new features now allow users to compare two different renders to decide which is better. Users can also edit image elements such as saturation, contrast, and gamma directly in Cinema 4D, as well as adjust multi-pass layers rather than export images to separate applications.

Other new features include better syncing with Adobe After Effects and full support for Apple Motion. In addition, the Project Settings panel now displays check boxes for commonly used functions and features several new settings.

Fun With MoGraph 2

The optional MoGraph module has also been upgraded to allow for some amazing motions, physics, and various effects to be applied to objects.

The MoDynamics feature helps create some incredible animations, and it’s easy to create and use. After making a few simple adjustments, you can, for example, make a large number of cloned orbs, place them in the air, drop them on another object, and watch as they bounce, roll, and affect one another. The ability to add different forces and effectors, such as wind, adds even greater dimensions to this feature.

MoSpline, a new animation tool for the creation of organic lines, offers an elegant looking organization of lines that can wrap around objects or have their own unique animations which can be affected by elements such as turbulence. The possibilities are nearly endless with MoSpline, and the feature is rather easy to use at that.

Other cool features in MoGraph 2 include effectors that can be added to the surface of an individual object’s polygons. The effectors can create some impressive animations, such as the reshaping of an object, for example. There are also new camera effects, settings, and other enhancements.

To help you get started, Release 11.5 comes with a bonus DVD filled with textures, plug-ins, and stock images. These can come in handy when you want to use a real world texture to map onto your created object—such as mapping an image of real bricks onto a 3D building, or leaves onto a tree.

There is also the optional Cinema 4D Broadcast Edition, which comes packed full of prerendered 3D objects, lighting setups, videos, images, and just about everything else you could use.

In a Nutshell

Maxon has won a respected position in the field of 3D motion graphics and rendering with its creation of Cinema 4D—and with good reason. The wide range of tools and the creative environment Cinema 4D provides are a pleasure to use.

Cinema 4D offers tools to create nearly anything on a digital canvas, while animating it in ways that are difficult to discern from real images. At the same time, it manages to keep an interface simple enough for most users to be able to pick up and use relatively quickly.

The release of Cinema 4D Release 11.5 has only added to this well-earned reputation. The most creative new features are without a doubt the additions to MoGraph, yet the increased rendering speeds and several extra tools are certainly welcomed additions.

[etDetailsBox Score Card]
Effectiveness: A+
Interface: A
Usability: A
Installation: A
Overall: A[/etDetailsBox]

Price: Cinema 4D Core: $995.00
MoGraph: $595.00
Website: www.maxon.net 

Follow Joshua on Twitter: @JoshJPhilipp