Does Blender have equivalents to these C4D features?

Greetings all,
New poster. Current C4D user. I’m thinking of spending some time looking at Blender, but I’m not your typical C4D user - a lot of my work is visualisations for engineering, tech, medical etc - so I have some less than common requirements. I’m therefore wondering if Blender - or Blender plugins, can offer anything similar to these features in C4D. They’re quite important for my use:

  1. Token naming for automatic naming of render files - project name, date, time etc.

  2. Takes system

  3. Powerful guides and snapping

  4. Workplanes

  5. CAD file import: STEP, SAT etc.

I’m commonly dealing with files with 1,000+ objects and 500,000 polys+. Is Blender OK with files of this size and larger?

I just don’t want to waste my time if Blender isn’t really suitable for my needs.

Thanks for any info!

Takes:
I believe the thing that in C4D jargon is “Takes” is called “Scenes” in Blender:
https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/scene_layout/scene/index.html?highlight=scenes
You could perhaps also use View Layers for some things.

Guides and Snapping:
Well, compared to 3ds Max, no, they are not powerful. Don’t know about C4D. There are addons that improve the snaps and snaps are under development:

STEP:
Not natively but there is an importer addon:


And you can use CAD Assistant to import the step file and then export to gltf2
https://www.opencascade.com/content/cad-assistant

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@ Lumpengnom

Many thanks. Very helpful info, and most appreciated. I can go and take a look at those and see if they meet my needs.

Regarding the token naming: I do not think this is possible without addon but it sounds like it would be only a few lines of python.

What is supported natively is packing the information into the Metadata of your output file. You find that in:
Properties Panel -> Output Properties -> Metadata

Workplanes:
There is a gigantic Modo thread somewhere here on this forum where people comming from Modo discuss workplanes which are supposed to be really good in Modo. IIRC one guy wrote an addon to have something similar to Modo.

Polycount is not an issue as long as you don’t enter edit mode.

I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said, but I’ve been trying C4D for mograph recently, since that’s C4D’s thing. And snapping is better for me in blender, no need to use guides, althought if you need something similar you can create geometry to help. The CAD addon as stated above covers everything that isn’t there.

1000 Objects are no problem.
It starts getting bad at 6000 - 8000 and degrades towards terrible at 14 000 to 16 000.

For engineering things a lot of your objects will probably be duplicate objects such as screws of the same type. And often you will probably have duplicate groups of objects that are the same such as several modules. It makes sense to look into linked libraries. This links a group of objects form another file and is then counted as a single object in your “master” file. If you change something in the source file it is changed in the “master” file as well.
That way you can build your projects modularily and have all objects in your scene while actually only having very few objects in your scene.

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/files/linked_libraries/introduction.html

Thanks guys - all useful info.
The quote above does sound a little ‘concerning’. Editing objects is fairly common 3D task : )
Care to expand on this?

Owing to huge changes in the Depsgraph (core) there has been a performance regression from pre 2.8 versions of Blender when going in and out of edit mode. The devs are making significant progress in fixing this. They expect to exceed the performance in older versions in due course.

It’s not a big deal unless you have a single uber dense mesh.

OK, noted. Thanks.

I meant doing actual operations in edit mode -but you’re right even simply entering edit mode can be super long. Blender converts the entire mesh to bmesh, which is the structure modeling operators work with, and converts it back to mesh on exit. I’m not sure it has anything to do with dependency graph, but I could be mistaken.
The worse to me is the simple transform operations, such as translations - they shouldn’t have to update the entire mesh constantly, and they don’t modify topology so they shouldn’t be so slow -there sure is room for improvement.
That being said, we don’t have a precise timeline for it. If you go here (https://code.blender.org/2020/06/modules-roadmap-june-2020/) and click on “modeling”, you’ll get to the project page with updated roadmap. It has been a problem for so long that some of us legitimately doubt that this will be solved within the next couple months, although I try to be optimistic.

I thought you’d done a good job of scaring @Mike_A before he’d got started! :wink:

I was sure that the high poly modelling performance issues were linked to the Depsgraph as it was unnecessarily updating things that hadn’t changed. I could be wrong not you though!

Whatever the actual reason is the devs are actively working on bringing up the performance and have improved things since 2.8 landed.

Hmmmm I want them to know what to expect… not sure the reason(s), anyway it’s supposed to be worked on by the one and only Campbell, so there is hope.

@Mike_A I’d like to add that the snapping features have been improved dramatically recently, and this is not the end of it : Germano has been working away on other stuff but the greater “snapping plan” is not nearly finished yet : https://developer.blender.org/T73993

Is there a “snap from” option in there somewhere? I think that is the one thing that makes snapping a lot worse in Blender than other apps.

Yes, that’s “base point snapping”. Apparently the design is yet to be finalized but as far as I know, transform with base point happens in two steps : first select the point from which you want to snap, then resume with usual transforming. I’d like to have “3D cursor” as a choice for that, too.

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Oh, that is fantastic news. :smiley:

You can download blender 2.9 (less then 300 MB) and import your typical object(s) with high polygon count or download one of the many demo scenes available on https://www.blender.org/download/demo-files/ and mess around with theme to see if they answer to your needs.

It would help if you specify situation.

Here I try to switch Object mode / Edit mode, a sphere with around 25000 verts. I dont notice any delays.
Switching from Object mode to edit mode, using a sphere with around 400000 verts, I do notice a short delay. Around 1 second.

I used Blender 2.90

As far as I know, it’s simply relative to the polygon count of the object being edited.
You can peruse this thread for information, comparatives, etc : Blender edit mode Performance

1.Maybe an addon?

  1. Takes system as we know in Cinema, no. it does not. Not sure why Lumpengnom pointed Scenes, because is not the same.

  2. Blender has better guides and snapping options than cinema. For example, activate snap to vertex (magnet icon on top of screen) then, use it in conjunction with G + middle click to move, then drag the mouse onto the vertex you want to snap.

  3. There are addons, and it can export to Datasmith for unreal as well with an addon.

Blender relies on addons for many operations, but is not hard to find them, plus they are eventually added into the main software.

Someone mention performance issues… while its true, Blender is slow in areas C4D doesnt (editing a large mesh), its faster in areas C4D is slow (playback of assets). You can always separate your mesh so it will be more manegeable, or retopo, use decimation master if you import it from zbrush.

I cannot tell you how to model, but a model with too many vertices is impractical to use, edit and uvmap, so personally I prefer a faster playback than a faster editing.

The thing I hate most in blender is the font manager, and editing multiple parameters (especially from different materials), but in some cases there are workaround and you get used to it, plus they said they will look into it.

I can guarantee you this: once you get used to not having mograph, Blender modeling is lightning fast. Dont forget you can right click the viewport and press ALT to constrain the view to an ortographic, like Zbrush does. I cant live without that.

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