Maxon unveils Cinema 4D R25; Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

I have been a user of various 3DDC’s. The current ones that I still use either professionally at work or at home are Blender, Cinema4D, LightWave, Modo, and now I am learning Houdini.

In the past I also used Max quite a bit. But I stepped away from AutoDesk a long time ago (14 years now).

The foremost advantage of Cinema4D has always been its interface. Its outliner is pleasant to work with. It has a logical workflow, and of course MoGraph. The GUI is very configurable.

But the workflow is also (and I agree with @pixelerator here) rather clunky and inefficient. Yes, some things are really easy and effective. But modeling certainly is not its strong suit.

And the main issue with C4D’s development has always been that the developers would introduce a brilliant new feature for the time, but then allow to let it whither.

For example, Body Paint was forward thinking for its time. But it never got the attention it deserved, and at some point Substance and other competitors took the throne in the industry. Maxon could have been Substance, if they had poured even a little bit of development effort into it. Alas.

Same with sculpting, same with modeling, same with UV tools, same with particle effects, and worse:

Same with the built-in physical render. When you buy into Cinema4D, you effectively are also forced to get a third-party render engine, because Physical Render is severely outdated and slow as heck.

It means you will have to pay extra on top of an already quite hefty upkeep to get a decent competitive rendering option. Redshift is the obvious choice, but even RS STILL isn’t completely integrated into their own Cinema4D package.

And then there’s another recurrent thing with Cinema4D: when new features are finally introduced, most are never considered production ready yet (Maxon will stated this with geometry nodes, with Pro-Render, with the new capsule feature now).

It gives you the feeling that C4D is in a perpetual state of beta-ness. With Pro-Render they invested time, energy, and cost and decided to discontinue PR, even though it had never been properly integrated in the first place.

Now, C4D is a nice package. But I am unsure what Maxon management’s intention is with their new direction. It seems they want to offer a simplified Houdinized Cinema4D, which might work.

But since R17 the updates have been rather thin.

And for what is on offer, my opinion is that it is too expensive. I am only working with C4D because my work allows access to it, and for certain jobs I have to open files in it.

As a generalist hobbyist I would never invest in C4D, however. Blender is actually an improvement in many areas. Not all, of course. No 3d app is the holy grail.

Btw, since I am learning Houdini, couple of observations.

I really miss Blender’s viewport - Houdini’s viewport is rather limited. And Houdini’s GUI is pretty outdated in places. It feels old-fashioned, and convenient stuff that I am used to in Blender or C4D just isn’t available in Houdini. I think someone here mentioned it reminded them of 2.79 Blender. I feel that is true.

Which I found a tad surprising, since it is the industry standard tool for heavy-duty CG effects.

Sounds silly, but I want to run Houdini in full-screen mode and remove the top title bar. Can’t do it, though.

Tiem to learn to blow up things in Houdini.

Since they took some blender inspiration, I thought it was cool bringing cinema’s new color scheeme to blender to complete the full circle, I keep the highlight colors the same, and if you think you could improve something feel free to submit a pull request or fork it, enjoy it!

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Blender is essentially helping Autodesk by killing mid tier competition. If any of 3D DCC lost enough users to Blender, they just simply can;t survive. SideFX is in unique situation because they still charge a lot for companies.

Adobe knows well enough that there is no money on 3D DCC market. If the price is right, they may have interested in C4D. But, if Adobe acquire C4D, Adobe wouldn’t keep as a full featured 3D DCC.