BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

Find the next step in your career as a Graphisoft Certified BIM Coordinator!

Visualization
About built-in and 3rd party, classic and real-time rendering solutions, settings, workflows, etc.

Cinema 4D - The Industry Standard

Anonymous
Not applicable
Maxon has recently upgraded their flagship product, Cinema 4D to version 10. They have also released a plug-in for ArchiCAD 10. These programs make for a terrific pair, ease of use, mature feature sets, speed and wonderful workflow.

For several months I have been putting other software packages through my personal learning curve and user testing. I work with the software and post my experiences in threads like this at the Talk.

I enjoy the fact that so many views happen within the threads. Better yet, I enjoy when others kick in their experiences with the subject software. No need to butt in with examples from other software programs, it is more interesting to just fully explore a single package - which in this thread is Cinema 4D. There are many existing architectural users of this fine piece of software and I call upon them to post recent examples of (WIP) work in progress and final renders. Not everything is perfect and there are currently a few kinks in the plug-in, but I will get into explaining that later.

If this is your first introduction to C4D, trust me it won't be your last. Nemechek is the parent company of Maxon and the C4D suite. News is that Nemecheck is or will soon own GraphiSoft and ArchiCAD. Just put two and two together.

---
I'll start the thread with a quick example scene I assembled with bits and parts laying around on my hard drive. Tree entourage by xFrog, a snowy hillside from an example file on the internet, sky effect built into C4D, building from an ArchiCAD training file I use at the aBPa office in San Diego. All of this thrown together within 30 minutes, the render took 2 hrs. on a G5 dual 2GHz.

Cinema is the king when it comes to import/export. If you can get your entourage into practically any export format, chances are C4D will be able to import it. This is an extremely important factor to creativity. Now that I have gotten past my need to throw together something in C4D v10. It it time to slow down and create some examples of workflow issues, speed tests realistic rendering techniques. Once again I ask for help from other C4D users who can post examples, please jump right in - the water is fine and with a little MAXON soap you get a squeaky clean render.


Links to more info:

Architectural Examples:
http://www.maxon.net/pages/dyn_files/dyn_htx/htx/sol_archi_e.html
ArchiCAD related links:
http://www.maxon.net/pages/solutions/archicad/archicad_e.html
Achievements:
http://www.maxon.net/pages/dyn_files/dyn_htx/htx/press_e.html
54 REPLIES 54
Anonymous
Not applicable
Continuing with the Sky Manager tool. The first thing I noticed is that the sky preset toggle is called Beginner - oh well, the word presets would suffice.

This area of the Sky Shader Object allows you to set the place, time and weather. On the image below I tried out Midday, gloomy, foreboding and clearing. The non-GI images render in just below 2 minutes at 1280x720. This tool makes it easy to set up a time lapse animation showing the sun effects, etc. Now if it would only remind me of my anniversary, it would be perfect.

This tool will remain the center of activity for a while. Lots to explore here.

Animations involving the background are picture perfect because the sky is made of real volumetric clouds. It is a snap to create and as variable as you desire. It included a Hard Shadow (fast render) - Area Light Shadow (slower) and no shadows (zippy fast).
Anonymous
Not applicable
The goal of the next series of images are to show a comparison with C4D and Maxwell Render. The set-up scene is a marquee (sectional perspective).

It was exported to C4D using the downloaded plug-in, which by the way works without purchasing the Exchange Plug-in - You just cannot update the export later.

The subject matter of this test was ArchiCAD based lighting. The upstairs room was outfitted with recessed lighting in ArchiCAD and a floor lamp was placed on the second floor. As a comparison, flat slab panels were placed on the first floor ceiling with the Maxwell Emitter material.

This first image shows exactly what you end up with after a simple export from ArchiCAD to C4D. The light sources show up in the editor of C4D.
1_Step_C4D.jpg
Anonymous
Not applicable
Now a render of the export without any tweaking of the light sources leads to a rendering that goes nowhere. Lots of tweaking needed in C4D.
Anonymous
Not applicable
1: Change SPOTS to OMNI Lights
2: Turn on Shadow
3: Reduce brightness to 20% down from 100%.

You end up with a better image. Screen shot shown midway between radiosity solution and openGL screen.
Anonymous
Not applicable
A finished look at radiosity, hard shadows are not good. Time needed to fix that 10 min.
Anonymous
Not applicable
Here is what happened when the same scene was sent to Maxwell. The lights in the kitchen area worked, but the lamps did not. 15 min. time was spent tweaking the model in Studio, adding emitter material to lamp objects. Then it was left to render for about 30 min. The result is a noisy rendering, but the lighting is somewhat convincing. A smooth rendering would take 3 hours.
Anonymous
Not applicable
The conclusion for me was that C4D can be worthwhile after you fix the light sources. Tested light setups can be saved and reused in other scenes which would save time. The final renderings are much quicker for this type of indoor lighting test and the results can be controlled. With Maxwell you are pretty much letting the rendering engine dictate the final result. You can work with the light levels while it is rendering which is a big plus, but the render times can kill you.

If C4D would allow for adjusting the lights after the rendering is finished, it would be perfect. The downside with C4D is that if your rendering is poorly exposed you need to rendering it again.

To address this problem I will next explore, MultiPass in Cinema4D version 10 which now includes Multi-Lights.
Anonymous
Not applicable
Same subject matter, this time with two omni lights placed outside. The light sources are set to 30% each, the resulting pre-pass, shown here being rendered with dual processors, looks to be a good exposure after 5 min. Only a little more time will tell.
Anonymous
Not applicable
After 24 min. The finished image shows up as a washout (LEFT IMAGE). Since I checked Multi-Pass prior to rendering I knew that there would be a multilayered PhotoShop file in my folder. I opened that and reduced the Diffuse and Global Illumination layer strength which rescued the image within 5 min. - Much better than playing with the lights and rendering again for 24 min.

Let's see, so far C4D has terrific file handling capabilities from ArchiCAD, entourage available all over the internet - drag and drop into scenes, the scene editor is among the best in the industry, the rendering of Global Illumination scenes is much faster than before, and Multi-Pass allows for post rendering corrections in order to save the over/under exposed renderings.

So far C4D is doing an excellent job.
Learn and get certified!