By Michael Burns | on January 24, 2011
Price: £629 Cinema 4D Prime; £1,169 Cinema 4D Broadcast; £1,449 Cinema 4D Visualise; £2,699 Cinema 4D Studio
Pros: Deformers; Linear Workflow; new dynamics engine; Python support.
Cons: Incompatibilities possible with older scenes.
Among Cinema 4D's many time-saving enhancements are the changes in dynamics offered by the use of Bullet, an open-source library. You no longer have to create separate Solver objects or Gravity fields, but simply assign a Dynamics Body tag to the objects you want to affect – do this with a cube and floor object and the cube falls to the floor when the simulation is run. Objects can be rigid bodies that shatter or collide, or soft bodies that deform on impact or act in response to forces.
Another of the strengths of Cinema 4D are the deformers. The new camera deformer in R12 will deform an object based on a grid overlaid on top of the camera view, so it can create free deformations that are static compared to the camera view. The smoothing deformer acts on geometry like the Brush tool in Smooth mode and is ideal when trying to model cloth objects. The Surface deformer can be used to make objects like stitches follow the surface deformation of the cloth. There are new shaders too, for surfaces like brick and pavement.
OpenGL 3.0 has been implemented to take full advantage of faster graphics cards, while the Picture Viewer has been revamped to add a full-screen mode, a histogram and navigator and action safe/title safe guides. The welcome introduction of the Python language brings better scripting to Cinema 4D, while the Linear Workflow project setting makes the process of rendering accurate, even lighting and colour in your scene much simpler.
You can also independently set the colour profile for textures, monitor hardware and for rendered bitmap files. You need to be careful when working with older scenes that were created in previous versions of Cinema 4D, however, as you’ll probably have to adapt these for working in Linear Workflow.