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CINEMA 4D R11 Studio Bundle

3D ANIMATION STUDIO TAKES GIANT LEAP

CINEMA 4D R11 Studio BundleMAXON Computer recently released the newest version of their 3D animation toolbox, CINEMA 4D R11 Studio Bundle. The Studio Bundle includes the following modules: Advanced Render, MOCCA, MoGraph, Thinking Particles, HAIR, Dynamics, Sketch and Toon, and NET Render. A few years ago, I jumped from R9 to R10 and thought it was a pretty significant update. Well that jump was pretty minuscule compared to the changes and additions in R11.

Expanded integration brings new workflow tools and boosts performance for both Mac and PC users. If you’re running Mac OS X Leopard, the Cocoa-based application takes advantage of the 64-bit processing, but what does that mean? Well, if you’re running the latest and greatest in Apple’s collection of workstations, then you can work with up to 32 GB of RAM! This is all due to the fact that CINEMA 4D R11 is now completely Cocoa-native. In short, rendering large, complex scenes can easily be done in a single pass more quickly and with hardly any hiccups.

The newly revised Advanced Render 3 module takes rendering to the next level. Of course, the standard renderer is much faster but the Advanced Render brings great improvements to Global Illumination and Caustics, which make renderings much more realistic. Global Illumination was rewritten to bring faster speeds and reduce artifacting.

On the animation side, there are many new features for true nonlinear editing. Motion Clips allows you to create multiple object animations—sort of presets, if you will—that can be inserted and moved around without breaking the overall animation. Essentially, you can record a title flying in while the letters rotate separately from left to right. If you needed to reverse the rotation, however, you can set up the rotation as a Motion Clip and manipulate it how you’d like without affecting the fly-in.

CINEMA 4D R11, and the now-included BodyPaint 3D, brings tight integration with Adobe Photoshop. This means a much simpler workflow for editing digital mattes and full 3D environments. Wacom support is now available, and Photoshop ABR brushes can now be imported. Integration doesn’t stop with Photoshop. I like the fact that I can transfer cameras, lights, and null objects (with coordinates for syncing) that have been animated in CINEMA 4D into After Effects. This way I can do the bulk of the 3D elements in CINEMA 4D and carry the project over to After Effects for finishing.

Some other new features worth mentioning are the Doodle tool for in-frame note-taking, CineMan for compliance with Pixar’s RenderMan, and the COLLADA plug-in for interchangeable file formats.

CINEMA 4D R11 is definitely a significant release and seems to be more solid than ever. It brings great features and yet still keeps the learning curve to a minimum for ease of use. Even though it’s really geared toward TV and film, it comes with a hefty price tag, especially after adding the extra modules. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the extra cost. The bottom line is if you’re heavily into motion graphics with After Effects and Photoshop and want to transition into 3D animation, CINEMA 4D R11 Studio Bundle is definitely the way to go.—Jason Scrivner

Company: MAXON Computer
Price: $3,695
Web: www.maxon.net
Rating: 4

Hot: Faster rendering; 64-bit processing; Adobe integration
Not: Cost; minimal online training compared to other software

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