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New Features Offer Expanded Options
In Los Angeles and New York, motion graphics animators have seen year over year dominance and adoption of MAXON's flagship software CINEMA 4D. Their newest release offers users improved feature sets and new tools to create 3D models and animation even easier than before.
Announced at SIGGRAPH, and shipping in September, the newest release of the popular 3D software includes a big change in the way users approach the software. CINEMA 4D's R14 now allows artists to sculpt their models with a variety of tools. Not only does the new software include tools to shape the objects that artists create, but its unique layering system allows models to be edited, baked, and dynamically assessed directly within the C4D workflow.
While there are very good third-party solutions for sub-polygonal sculpting, the new sculpting potential allows C4D artists to work within a pipeline that does not remove them from the MAXON setting, and gives them editorial and animation potential that third-party solutions don't offer.
Motion Graphics for broadcast, web, film, and even some gaming has made MAXON's C4D an easy choice for professional animators because of its tight integration with the compositing software already used in the industry. For years, C4D has exported scene data and prepared project files for Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, Shake, and other compositing software. Release 14 now adds the ability to support The Foundry's Nuke software, creating many more file-specific passes that allow artists to achieve more detailed control during the compositing process. Moreover, there is full support for OpenEXR when exporting those files.
Nuke users aren't the only ones who gained in the new export/integration updates; Adobe Photoshop Extended is supported by a plugin that allows C4D files to be exported to people needing 3D models for Photoshop projects as well. In the past, I've talked about the benefits of using 3D within Photoshop, including the freedom it allows Photoshop users --even if they aren't familiar with 3D software. For users who like the Alembic format, there's a new feature in R14 that will allow you to export abc files too.
CINEMA 4D R14 makes it easy for 3D and 2D artists to collaborate on composites together. Although Adobe After Effects users are familiar with the ability to import AEC files generated by CINEMA 4D files, the new release allows for a completely new way of handling native C4D files which makes it even easier.
Although the introduction of MoGraph was a game-changing time for motion graphics, as was the addition of dynamics, Integration between CINEMA 4D and host compositing software is probably one of the fastest ways to catch the attention of new users. Compositors really enjoy the ability to fluidly integrate the projects from C4D into their work. This often sparks the interest of 2D artists, and makes them curious about how to create their own 3D work.
One of the changes to animation that motion graphics artists will be excited by is its ability to introduce aerodynamic forces into your dynamic scenes. Areodynamics will allow you to easily breathe life into your dynamic objects to create natural looking movements.
Other dynamic changes that will find its home in animators' favorites column are the new plastic spring settings, plastic soft bodies, and breaking springs. Using relationships between objects in your scene, you can modify objects based on the force they exert on one another.
There are hundreds of other improvements in the software, which will greatly impact the way 3D artists conceive motion graphics animations, the way compositors work with them in that workflow, and ultimately allow art directors and producers to push the limits on how their next animation will be created.
Check out more - including a full demo - from MAXON's page at http://maxon.net.
Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles. In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design. When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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