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zook

Alternatives to Cinema 4D

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During one of those late-night, close-to-the-deadline, dealing-with-frustrating-software-issues scenarios I was wondering if there was an alternative to Cinema 4D that is as good as the mograph stuff.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I've been using C4D since it first came to the Mac and despite not really being that deep into it I think it's OK, but sometimes I wonder if things could be easier. I tried Lightwave's modeller a few years ago and really liked that, but does anyone use anything else apart from C4D, and if so what and why?

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Hey zook, as far as other 3D apps go I use modo now for all modelling & stills rendering, and the odd unwrapping job, but as far as animation & effects work goes it has to be Cinema, especially in this neck of the woods ie motion graphic work. I've opened Maya a few times, clearly it's a very capable app, but it's like learning a new language - and unless you're moving to France, why learn French?

 

Cheers - Chris

Edited by ChrisC

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Yeah, I have 3DSMAX here and it's a great program but I wish I bought C4D mostly because it seems to be the one more commonly used in the mograph world and everybody says it's a lot easier to use.

 

You can import camera paths from MAX to AE and there are a ton of online MAX communities out there and lot's of free or cheap 3D models, tutorials, and stuff. Also it seems that many TV and animation companies up here in Toronto seem to want MAX experience. So it's an option to consider, but not easy to learn. It's painful to use sometimes. MAX is a career in itself.

 

I try and stay away from that program as much as possible... lol <- shouldn't be like that. :-)

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Zook, how many threads are you going to post about C4D not being easy enough?

 

After your last thread about wanting you to switch to Maya... I REALLY wanted you to switch to Maya to get the sense of just how much easier C4D is. If you've been using these programs for this long you should know by now that it's not C4D, or Maya, or Lightwave, or XSI, or Modo's fault that 3D is "hard". You're manifesting entire virtual worlds in space and time from a complex array of procedural formulas. Do you honestly think that we all have a super secret easy program that you haven't heard of?

 

The fact is, 3D programs are easier now than ever before. A couple years ago it would have taken a nest of 100 Xpresso nodes to do the simplest of tasks that can now be done with C4D's MoGraph module (which is still at the top of the curve in the industry). If you've been using C4D for 10+ years as you claim, perhaps this isn't your medium. It sounds like you have no desire to get better... only for the program to get easier. Even if that were to happen, I'd suspect that wouldn't prove very rewarding for you in the long run.

 

-m

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After your last thread about wanting you to switch to Maya... I REALLY wanted you to switch to Maya to get the sense of just how much easier C4D is.

 

That will do it. I found that after switching from Maya I was able to be spend more time on the artistic stuff, work faster, and spend less time reading manuals and the Internets for answers.

Edited by a2visual

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Zook, how many threads are you going to post about C4D not being easy enough?

 

After your last thread about wanting you to switch to Maya... I REALLY wanted you to switch to Maya to get the sense of just how much easier C4D is. If you've been using these programs for this long you should know by now that it's not C4D, or Maya, or Lightwave, or XSI, or Modo's fault that 3D is "hard". You're manifesting entire virtual worlds in space and time from a complex array of procedural formulas. Do you honestly think that we all have a super secret easy program that you haven't heard of?

 

The fact is, 3D programs are easier now than ever before. A couple years ago it would have taken a nest of 100 Xpresso nodes to do the simplest of tasks that can now be done with C4D's MoGraph module (which is still at the top of the curve in the industry). If you've been using C4D for 10+ years as you claim, perhaps this isn't your medium. It sounds like you have no desire to get better... only for the program to get easier. Even if that were to happen, I'd suspect that wouldn't prove very rewarding for you in the long run.

 

-m

 

Oh cripes - sorry for sounding so negative. I can't find the post where I said I wanted to switch to Maya and I don't recall saying it plus I wasn't aware I've set up lots of threads about C4D although I have asked a question about DOF, but I have to admit to getting a tad fed up with C4D recently and a friend has been encouraging me to try Max hence the post here - there are a lot of people here who use other programmes in their workflow.

 

In essence I think you're probably right Monkey - I don't really find deep 3D that rewarding as I struggle to get to grips with it. I just don't have time to get down and dirty with Xpresso and TP, so find it all a bit frustrating,even after all these years of using it (as I said, I have never got really deeply into it).

 

I love the mograph module though.

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Regardless ...is just a paint brush.How you paint and what you paint is totally up to you.The fact is proven that if used "cautiously",can produce Masterpieces. :P

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Zook, how many threads are you going to post about C4D not being easy enough?

 

After your last thread about wanting you to switch to Maya... I REALLY wanted you to switch to Maya to get the sense of just how much easier C4D is. If you've been using these programs for this long you should know by now that it's not C4D, or Maya, or Lightwave, or XSI, or Modo's fault that 3D is "hard". You're manifesting entire virtual worlds in space and time from a complex array of procedural formulas. Do you honestly think that we all have a super secret easy program that you haven't heard of?

 

The fact is, 3D programs are easier now than ever before. A couple years ago it would have taken a nest of 100 Xpresso nodes to do the simplest of tasks that can now be done with C4D's MoGraph module (which is still at the top of the curve in the industry). If you've been using C4D for 10+ years as you claim, perhaps this isn't your medium. It sounds like you have no desire to get better... only for the program to get easier. Even if that were to happen, I'd suspect that wouldn't prove very rewarding for you in the long run.

 

-m

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

 

I see newb-bashing isn't a lost art after all ;) . This reminds of what mograph.net was like when I first came around these parts. Ah, the (repressed) memories.

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I, like most people on this board (I suspect) come from a 2D design background, and for years found it difficult to get into 3D. I wrestled with Maya for about a year and then gave up, feeling you have to have an engineering degree to use it. I've tried Lightwave, Blender, Modo, etc. Cinema 4D is by far the easiest-to-use 3D app I've tried. It's the most "painterly" 3D application in my opinion, and by that I mean there seems to be very little technology between the creator and the finished product. What you see is what you get. It's approach to shaders is very artistic, with great visual feedback as to what you are doing. It's a very visual program, not just in its output, but in its interface. It's very intuitive, and, ultimately, doesn't sacrifice power, flexibility, and image quality for this ease-of-use. I feel that if you're really finding it that hard, you should take a step back and buy some books and do some tutorials. I only feel like I had to wrestle with this application for only about a few months after first picking it up. After that, I felt in control of it. Don't give up on Cinema...

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I, like most people on this board (I suspect) come from a 2D design background, and for years found it difficult to get into 3D. I wrestled with Maya for about a year and then gave up, feeling you have to have an engineering degree to use it. I've tried Lightwave, Blender, Modo, etc. Cinema 4D is by far the easiest-to-use 3D app I've tried. It's the most "painterly" 3D application in my opinion, and by that I mean there seems to be very little technology between the creator and the finished product. What you see is what you get. It's approach to shaders is very artistic, with great visual feedback as to what you are doing. It's a very visual program, not just in its output, but in its interface. It's very intuitive, and, ultimately, doesn't sacrifice power, flexibility, and image quality for this ease-of-use. I feel that if you're really finding it that hard, you should take a step back and buy some books and do some tutorials. I only feel like I had to wrestle with this application for only about a few months after first picking it up. After that, I felt in control of it. Don't give up on Cinema...

 

 

That's good advice Woodhouse. I have a 2D background as well. I got several tutorials and committed myself to doing something everyday in efforts of getting my mind around the 3D concept. I got beat up by theMonkey too for complaining, but I will say that it pissed me off and made me want to learn it more. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I haven't given up either.

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I would like to clarify that it is not my intention to bash anybody. I appreciate you taking my post seriously zook. Believe me, a response at the Postforum circa 2002 from RuiMac would make mine look like Mary Poppins.

 

Every once in a while we all get into a funk. Job's got you down, client has their head up their ass, hardware/software won't cooperate, etc. At that point I tend to see two kinds of responses... 1) this sucks somebody should fix this 2) screw you world nothing can stop me. I find the later to be a more inspiring role model.

 

I think we as an industry are starting to develop a belief that plugins and upgrades would solve our problems... and I'll admit, sometimes they do, but never without introducing new ones. And seriously (this may be my point) how easy should it be? Should it be easy enough for our mom's to do? I like the fact that it's at least as difficult as any other artistic discipline. That's what makes people appreciate it at all.

 

-m

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I think we as an industry are starting to develop a belief that plugins and upgrades would solve our problems... and I'll admit, sometimes they do, but never without introducing new ones. And seriously (this may be my point) how easy should it be? Should it be easy enough for our mom's to do? I like the fact that it's at least as difficult as any other artistic discipline. That's what makes people appreciate it at all.

 

Any endeavour worth undertaking requires hard work, stamina and persistence, and believe me I understand that very well. The purpose of my original post was to start a dialogue regarding which 3D packages people use, as I have only ever used C4D as a serious 3D tool (er, unless KPT Bryce counts . . .) and having vented my ire here over one or two other problems (although I don't mention the more numerous times it works well) I was worried I was being too blinkered in my outlook and should possibly try another 3D program.

 

theMonkey's not wrong when he suggests there is a certain jadedness in my tone in that first post; but then that's late nights and long hours for you and sometimes it does no harm to question what you're actually doing could be done better or more efficiently.

 

How easy should it be? It isn't ever going to be easy and it's a lifetime's work if that's your thing. I'm a mograph designer who does some 3D, so I'm never going to get too deep into any 3D programme - like many here I'm over the initial learning curve but sometimes I struggle with some aspects I don't understand, or have time to learn as thoroughly as I would like, and so get to wondering if there is another way.

 

Anyhow, I'm off to try and remember how to attach a spline point to a null using Xpresso. Here we go again . . . :blink:

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I'm using MAX now and I find it very capable. It is pretty hard to learn. But if you keep trying you will get the hang of it. Use the help files, they are very good. Since a little while I am trying out Cinema because of its mograph capabilities. I must say that i can get certain things done faster with cinema. Maybe if this speed advantage keeps up, I'll switch to cinema. But i'll stick to MAX for now until i get better at it. I use it mainly for my school projects and experimenting .

Maybe try a little harder at Cinema. Its better to master one thing then to be mediocre at two ( depending on your goals of course :) ).

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I'm an "old hand" at Max ... it's actually how I started up in Motion graphics ... stepped up to it from Truespace ... aaahhh remember the days.

 

 

I've now joined a Mac based studio so Max doesn't really fit the production workflow - so am now using Cinema 4d ... C4d is an amazing simple program to use, obviously I've got a grounding in 3d but I've picked C4d up and run with it.

 

O resisted the transition for some time - for what reason I don't know. The times I opened C4d I just went ... "uuurrrrghh. yuck. it's ugly and I feel like an amateur." Once I got over that (read: had no other option, and set myself a challenge) it's a great program to use.

 

But I still have a little part of my brain that is just waiting for C4d to "fuck up" so i can go ... OMG! Max or Maya all the way. But ... for day to day stuff, I reckon C4d is the way to go, and the cross-platform access simply can't be beat.

 

:D

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if you think C4D is a pain in the ass and harder to use than necessary, then Maya or Max will make your head explode.

 

 

and if you want to do anything found in the Mograph module, then have fun learning Python or Mel scripting. (I think everything is moving towards Python?). Not exactly designer friendly.

Edited by fishface

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I'm an "old hand" at Max ... it's actually how I started up in Motion graphics ... stepped up to it from Truespace ... aaahhh remember the days.

I've now joined a Mac based studio so Max doesn't really fit the production workflow - so am now using Cinema 4d ... C4d is an amazing simple program to use, obviously I've got a grounding in 3d but I've picked C4d up and run with it.

 

O resisted the transition for some time - for what reason I don't know. The times I opened C4d I just went ... "uuurrrrghh. yuck. it's ugly and I feel like an amateur." Once I got over that (read: had no other option, and set myself a challenge) it's a great program to use.

 

But I still have a little part of my brain that is just waiting for C4d to "fuck up" so i can go ... OMG! Max or Maya all the way. But ... for day to day stuff, I reckon C4d is the way to go, and the cross-platform access simply can't be beat.

 

:D

 

Exactly Ratbaggy. I'm an old Maya guy, and I've been getting a lot of job offers (I'm a freelancer) that require C4D. I love what I've seen of it, but everytime I sit down, take a deep breath and say, "Today I learn Cinema!" I end up staring at the interface and feeling like a noob waiting for my balls to drop.

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it's a terrible interface ... in comparison to Maya/Max - I don't think our old fears are unfounded, it's not an inviting interface (in my impression) the interface is more "in your face" with coloured icons etc where as the other apps let the interface drop into the background allowing you to work without feeling cluttered.

 

A real winner would be in being able to skin Cinema 4d in similar ways to other apps

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it´s all about personal tastes, specific needs and personally wich 3d package you learn first.

 

i´ve started with max since v4 and i´ve learned to love it, after hearing all good stuff about c4d i decide to give it a try, but resulted god damn difficult cause my max background.

the only reason i got to learn c4d is mograph module, looks sick

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I use 3dsmax basicly for it's working philosophy and vray advantage of course.. I know that there is a release of vr for c4d also, but it's not so powerfull as for 3dsmax yet , i believe.

and as all of you may know there's a great tool from boomerlabs called max2ae for import-export the camera from 3dsmax to ae and viceversa. the only problem is mac-os guys, because no max for macos.

 

Best.

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I think VRay for Max and VRay for C4D are roughly on par with each other as of the last release of VRay4C4D; it's just that they have their drawbacks in different places.

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well i just chime in with my 2 cents for what they are worth. I've been using Maya for motion graphics for quite some time. It was really really hard at first but like anything you grow to understand it more. and ive found over the years ive built a toolkit for myself for doing things easier. Bottom line is I would say you can do just about anything with the various 3D apps out there, but some of them lean towards a particular way or method of working. I like Maya because I can really get in under the hood and set things up custom for myself, thats not to say you can t do the same in cinema, but it just from the software architecture standpoint it leans toward pre built functions and plug ins. Its like if you have the option to use a plug in you probably will because its easier... but if you dig deeper down on how things are working sometimes you'll feel that being able to create a customizable effect is more interesting. Just about any app has a script box where you can customize your 3d scene in various ways. There has been a lot of hype about c4d being able to export camera's etc.. to seamlessly integrate into AE, but I've been doing this with Maya for long before you could do it with c4d. but seems like the business and marketing plan of c4d is to really hit the mo-graph market they go through considerable length to make these sort of features for you "out of the box". That said I personally I use maya, because I want absolute bare bones control over every element, but for many people c4d is the way to go.. just depends on what your trying to do and what type of person you are. If its strictly to add a little bit of 3d flair to an otherwise 2d ae motion graphics piece.. id say its maybe the easiest for someone who wants to use 3D but not really learn 3D.

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Guest Sao_Bento

You're not really hardcore if you don't write your own 3D app from the ground up.

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hahahaha.

 

To each their own. Keep in mind that the original poster thinks that Cinema is too difficult to work with - so I don't think that he would be all that interested in getting under the hood and writing scripts to customize the program.

Edited by fishface

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