Sunday, October 31, 2010

Portable Cinema 4D R10

Portable Cinema 4D R10
CINEMA 4D is a popular 3D application amongst matte painters in film largely due to the BodyPaint 3D functionality and is equally popular amongst motion graphics artists thanks to an excellent integration with compositing application pipelines coupled with a very artist-friendly and customizable workflow and interface. It has been utilized for films such as Polar Express[1], Open Season[2] and Monster House[3].

The application relies on widely used computer 3D technology which works by creating groups of "points" (known as vertices) which form surfaces when connected. The illusion of three dimensions is created by modeling objects out of multiple surfaces. Still pictures, movies and game environments (among other things) can be created with this technique.

CINEMA 4D has its own runtime scripting and programming language C.O.F.F.E.E. which is rather similar in form to JScript and an advanced modern C++ API with extensive SDK to develop platform independent plug-ins.

Four different packages have been released by MAXON: the core CINEMA 4D application, the XL-Bundle (including NET Render [3 licenses], PyroCluster, Advanced Render, MOCCA and Thinking Particles), the Studio Bundle, which includes all modules, and the Production Bundle, which comes with a service contract, Linux version, Renderman support and a number of other high-end studio-specific features. This version is only available upon request.

Initially, CINEMA 4D was developed for Amiga computers in the early nineties but has since been released for Mac OS X, Micr@s@ft Windows.

MAXON has created a way for all users to be able to 'get into' 3D with their software by pursuing this route. Training DVD in addition to install DVD for R10: More than 6GB of video tutorials in German or English. MAXON bundles HTML manuals and tutorials/videos with its software. New in release 10 are context sensitive help menus.

CINEMA 4D has been embraced by the Adobe After Effects community because of C4D's external compositing tags and object IDs which make exporting 3D data and separate alpha and depth information efficient and simple. Because the export feature also supports Apple's Final Cut Pro and other popular software, it fits well into several post production studio configurations.
Modules

As well as the core application (for modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering), CINEMA 4D also has several add-on programs (modules) available that expand its capabilities. These programs include:

* Advanced Render (global illumination/HDRI, caustics, ambient occlusion and sky simulation)
* BodyPaint 3D (direct painting on UVW meshes)
o With CINEMA 4D R10 the module BodyPaint 3D became integrated in the basic package
* Dynamics (for simulating soft body and rigid body dynamics)
* HAIR (simulates hair, fur, grass, etc.)
* MOCCA (character animation and cloth simulation)
* MoGraph (Motion Graphics procedural modeling and animation toolset)
* NET Render (to render animations over a TCP/IP network in render farms)
* PyroCluster (simulation of smoke and fire effects)
o With CINEMA 4D R10 the module PyroCluster became integrated in the Advanced Render module
* Sketch & Toon (tools for cel shading, cartoons and technical drawings)
* Thinking Particles (enhanced particle system based on nodes)

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