View Full Version : Cinema 4D?

06-30-2010, 01:04 PM
I was speaking with a friend recently about which software he uses and he recently switched from Lightwave to Cinema 4D. Well, we started talking about XSI and he asked me why people don't use C4D as much as other more popular apps. I didn't really know what to say. At least with Lightwave I could say.. well.. their rigging tools aren't as good as (BLAH) or their dynamics aren't that great compared to (BLAH).. but with C4D I don't really know why people don't choose this package. It costs about the same as the AD ones.. does anyone know why it's not as popular? What are C4D's weaknesses? Thanks so much,

06-30-2010, 01:41 PM
Of what I know, or... I should say, of what I've heard, the modeling toolset is pretty far behind.

Also, the native renderengine isn't as developed as the one you find in LW, for example.

However, Sony Imageworks, Blizzard Cinematics and several others do use Cinema 4D because it is pretty much the best tool to use when you need to do alot of texturework with camera projection. Cinema 4D has a pretty unique support for PSD format, which makes it very good for Mattepaintings that also relies on 3D geometry.

C4D is probably the best app to use if you are doing lots of Motion graphics (again, based on the unique support for PSD mainly). I still havn't seen that much CA from C4D that would suggest it is leaps and bounds better than LW or any other mid/high-ranged 3DCC application.

06-30-2010, 02:14 PM
In Los Angeles, C4D is the de facto standard for any 3D work related to motion graphics (television graphics packages, commericals, etc.). It has special integration with After Effects 3D engine (the 2D motion graphics standard) and has modules specifically for doing common motion graphics animations. So it's really popular here for high-end motion grpahics.

From what I know, it's not too popular with VFX work because its renderer isn't as advanced and most studios simply don't use it in that manner (although screenshots I've seen on their website are looking pretty impressive these days). It also has a very moduler purchase plan where you buy different functional modules. This can be good or bad depending on your viewpoint. To me, that's a negative.

Elmar Moelzer
06-30-2010, 02:35 PM
It is also very expensive to buy and to maintain. NewTeks licensing policy is much more customerfriendly.

06-30-2010, 02:46 PM
C4D is also used alot with web designers and web development companies...again due to the PSD and AE integration.

ie: it seems to be one of the tools that GoDaddy uses.
In their posted positions it is a requirement to know.


06-30-2010, 03:32 PM
I've also seen it listed here in the UK as the 3D app of choice for various design/web jobs where 3D is listed as a desirable skill

06-30-2010, 04:03 PM
I don't like their modular approach to software. Lightwave is everything in one bundle for better or worse.

06-30-2010, 06:09 PM
Yeah, C4D is so expensive with all the additional modulars. Fur,MoGrap,Rig/Animation,etc,etc. No thanks!

07-01-2010, 12:23 AM
My hobbyist point of view... When I was searching a good 3D package a few years ago tu upgrade from Hexagon, I was tempted by C4D and Lightwave. So I tried both demos at the very same time during one month before choosing what would be my main tool for the next ten years... Despite I was at the beginning favouring C4D, in C4D, I was never able to model something right in one month. In Lightwave, I had good results in a few days... if not a few hours.
In the end,there were mainly 3 things that made the difference :
- Lightwave interface with separated modeler/layout and text tabs were more friendly to me than esoteric coloured icons with tiny little details.
- Lightwave was a all-in-one package, no additionnal modules required plus a very cost attractive bundle with LWCAD when I purchased it.
- Proton's video tutorials that made Lightwave look very easy and able to do absolutely everythig. Of course, in the reality, not everything is simple in LW, :)
Yet, in the end, I had to purchase some plug-ins to get what I really needed : LWCAD (upgrades) and HD Instance, mainly. Even with that, it was still much cheaper than C4D+ a few modules...

07-01-2010, 01:22 AM
C4D cost more than 3dsmax or xsi and their "buy it in bits" or upgrade in bits approach makes it expensive to maintain compared to subs on max for example.

i have a few friends who have it but they bought and stayed on the basic 'core' app and didn't get the gi render module so rendering is just basic lights no radiosity.

07-01-2010, 02:09 AM
As has already been mentioned C4D is used a lot for motion graphics and seems to be the 3D app of choice for the vast majority of design agencies. I've been searching job boards a lot lately and I'd say that experience in C4D and Maya are sought after far more than any other 3D application.

I'm sure that VRay has helped it's popularity a lot too.

07-01-2010, 04:24 AM
It's a nice enough app, just over expensive now, when you can get virtually any other app cheaper..

07-01-2010, 10:39 AM
Here's a great site to watch some great vid tutorials in c4d. http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/
Many of them are motion graphics related.

07-01-2010, 11:04 AM
From an arch viz point of view, C4D was doing reasonably well with those less than enamoured with Autodesk (and there are more than you would think-they are just short of options) and when it got access to Vray the number of users seemed to triple.

It's a cracking application but, as others have said, once you've bought all the necessary bits, its as expensive as the high end fellas.

07-01-2010, 11:58 AM
C4D is THE tool for motion graphics, that's what many people think in the industry.

07-01-2010, 01:08 PM
As a former C4D user who switched to LW I can only say that in my humble opinion C4D's greatest weakness is its lack of quality training material (at least when I worked with it). That was the main reason I switched to LW.


C4D has the most intuitive and beautifully designed interface I've ever worked with. Its hierarchy centered worflow is brilliant and very friendly to the newcomer. It has a very stable and fast native renderer but limited unless you purchase the advanced renderer module. It's also one of the most stable packages I've ever worked with.
I haven't worked with C4D since ver 10.0 (Now it's at 11.5) and from what I recall the dynamics weren't exactly state of the art and the pyrocluter system (which is C4D's equivalent to LW's hypervoxels) were slow and visually dissapointing.

But with the advent of dpint nature spirit (www.dpi2.de) it's starting to regain my attention. Think of FumeFX / AfterBurn / RealFlow in one integrated VFX module for just 499 Euros. Pretty amazing.

So, in short:

Very capable & robust package, assuming you get the studio bundle which has unlimited render nodes. But, from my short experience - very limited knowledge pool for how to use this wonderful tools.

07-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Just noticed a typo -
The correct website for Dpit Nature Spirit is www.dpit2.de

If you're into high end yet cost efficient VFX You should check it out,


07-02-2010, 08:27 PM
Before I bought LW I was looking at a few packages. For me it came down to Cinema and LW. Honestly I would have gone with Cinema but the pricing with all the needed modules was way more than I wanted to spend. I don't love the icons in there interface but I do really like their interface overall. And it is very mac like which I liked (working on a mac). :)

07-03-2010, 12:20 AM
Before I bought LW I was looking at a few packages. For me it came down to Cinema and LW. Honestly I would have gone with Cinema but the pricing with all the needed modules was way more than I wanted to spend. I don't love the icons in there interface but I do really like their interface overall. And it is very mac like which I liked (working on a mac). :)

Maybe you should check cheetah3D (http://www.cheetah3d.com/), which is very mac-user friendly...

It still lacks many features compared to LW, but progress in fast-paced, imho. And it's definitely affordable !

Yet, for me, the best strength of LW is not LW itself, but LWCAD. As long as I don't find an equivalent in another cheaper package, I won't even think to switch !

07-05-2010, 07:09 PM
I switched to Cinema 4D at the end of last summer. Mostly because I was thoroughly appalled at the state of LWHC and because I needed to work in 64bit. Almost a year later HC is still useless on a Mac & LW 9.6 64 bit is still in beta. Cinema is way over priced coming in very close to the cost of Maya. That said it is much easier to understand and I lost very little billable time learning the app. Maya with the extras you get on subscription offers far more for your money if you can afford the time to get to grips with it. Lightwave? I still have my license but I really have lost confidence in it's development. So it can join Strata & EIAS on my nostalgia HD until I can bring myself to eBay it.