|Like always there are exciting new features in this new
release of CINEMA 4D R9.5 XL Bundle. While I will concentrate on
them, I will also discuss the exciting 3D software package that
CINEMA 4D is as a whole. I will also include some of the features
new to CINEMA 4D R9 and R9.1, without confusing them with those new
to R9.5. That way users with different releases can easily see
which features would be new to them. I last reviewed release 8 and
a lot has happened in that interim. I use a PC under Windows XP
Professional. The modules that comprises the XL bundle are:
As an aside, since so many companies are providing manuals in PDF
format online, dual monitors come in very handy. Not only is the
second monitor good for holding menus, but, it is also good for
holding PDF manuals and tutorials. The addendum for release 9.5 is
one of the best places to find out what is new in CINEMA 4D R9.5.
It will note what changes have been made since release 9 and where
in that manual that information is described. When there is no
cross-reference the material is new, such as the new Content
Browser and SKY Manager for example.
Also, check the CINEMA 4D R9.5 or from the Maxon web site, one click on products and, then, CINEMA
4D R 9.5. I will be discussing the major new additions to CINEMA 4D
R9.5 as well as many of the minor ones that increase the workflow
and functionality. It is hard to choose which small fixes,
improvements, and additions to describe since there are so many. It
all comes down, to some degree, to the perspective of the reviewer.
I enjoy creating still frames, be they landscapes, models for
landscapes, etc. I am not an animator nor have I yet delved into
creating figures for rigging and animating. For that reason, I
suggest going to the addendum 9.5 and, in the bookmarks section,
investigating those areas that are the most meaningful to you if
they differ widely from mine. One of the new additions to R9.5 is
the Content Browser. Maxon states "the new browser is an integral
part of the future workflow of CINEMA 4D". The following is an
example of how it can be used. The browser is accessed from the
Windows>Content Browser on the top tool bar. Presets, for
example, can be saved within the Browser and accessed by just
clicking on them. All of the folders in the screen capture are
default items. In one of the tutorials that Maxon furnishes on a
CD, I saved a preset for creating a Neon Light and stored it in the
User folder in the Presets folder. Every time I wanted to create
another light, I could go to the Content Browser and click on the
or, I could create a Simplified Browser from the Content
Browser and dock just the "Neon Light" part between the Object
Manager and the Attributes Manager. Then, if I were creating a lot
of Neon lights, it would be there. Notice the thumbnail preview
The Content Browser was so useful that I docked it next to the
structures tab. (Release 9.52 docks it there as a default). I found
I used it a lot for finding files, sorting them, etc. One can do
that with other often used managers since it doesn't actually take
up any more room and, then, save them in your startup layout. The
interface can be constantly modified and saved as one progresses
with the program.
Release 9.5 allows the user to open the screen in full mode for the
maximum space, save incrementally with the new Incremental Save
command plus save time with others new additions that deal with
workflow and file management. Some more obvious changes involve the
renaming of objects in the Object Manager. In addition, one can
click on material tags in the Object Manager and, then, access them
in the Material Manager. Also, in the Object Manager, one can click
a texture tag to see the corresponding material's settings. The
Material Manager and Material Editor are absolutely incredibly easy
to use. They are also flexible and full of options. The channels
that one clicks on in the Material Editor menu will also appear in
the Attribute Manager. By being so easy to use, it makes creating
interesting materials easy and fun.
CINEMA 4D R9.5 supports many file formats for import and/or export.
If you right click on an object in the Object Manager, you will get
a choice of different "things" that relate to the object. Look at
the list in the left column. The CINEMA 4D tags are highlighted,
and they appear in the right column. Notice the C.O.F.F.E.E tag and
the XPresso tag, because they will be referenced later in the
The Advanced Render 2.5 Module contains many of the features new to
CINEMA 4D R.9.5. While a lot can be done with just the core
application, having this module expands the program immensely. It
is part of both the XL and Studio Bundle. Some of the features are:
Ambient Occlusion (AO) which, lets the user render realistic
shadows without Global Illumination (GI) and, thus, saves render
time. AO can be applied globally or to specific objects. One can
also exclude objects from Ambient Occlusion. Ambient Occlusion
replaces the Dirt Shader, but Maxon states that scenes created
prior to R9.5 using the Dirt Shader will still work. Ambient
Occlusion appears in two areas of the application: as a channel
shader and as a global effect in render settings.
Another huge feature is the Sky Manager. With the Sky Manager, one
can create accurate skies as to date and time. One accesses it
through Plugins>Sky>Open Presets. One can create an
animation over a 24-hour period, for example.
One can use one of the 50 presets that are already contained in
CINEMA 4D R9.5 or save ones own and add them to the preset weather
folder (R9 .5) or the separate sky folder (R9.52). Maxon has set up
this Sky Manager to replicate Nature so that [Z=North], [-Z=South],
[X=East] and [-X=West]. Using these specifications, one can create
realistic simulations containing volumetric clouds, stars,
rainbows, etc. There is also the ability to key in some cities
world wide without having to set longitude and latitude making for
exacting positioning. If a city or any location is not listed, just
get their longitude and latitude, and there you are.
The features of the Sky Manager are really terrific. I could write
a whole review on just them. For example; there is a
Turbidity control to simulate added moisture and
contaminants to diffused light, thereby adding some of the color
that results from that process. There is a Sky Wizard that allows
the user to create or paint volumetric clouds. For a more detailed
look, check the 9.5 Addendum on the Maxon web site as described in
the beginning of the review. There is a detailed section on this
great addition to CINEMA 4D. With the addition of R9.52, sky
presets when created and saved will be saved in the Content
Browser's Presets/User/Sky directory. Sky and weather will be saved
separately. Moon dark and moon bright are also useful additions.
The Baker has been improved in R 9.5. According to Maxon, one can
now Bake both Objects and Textures. Baking textures allows
the user, for example, to bake a shader and project it on to an
object as a normal image file. One can render Ambient Occlusion,
lighting, etc. onto a texture, which avoids having to light these
objects depending on the scene. All the directions for this are in
the R 9.5 Addendum p.36. Baking also has the ability to generate
normal maps based on displacement without the creation of high
definition geometry first. Looking at Render Settings, one can now
deactivate globally for a whole scene Sub-Polygon Displacement and
choose levels for various settings such as shadow depth, global
brightness, etc. and these are the ones just under "Options."
A new setting having to do with rendering involves the Alpha
Channel. Now you can specify whether your Alpha Channel will be
pre-multiplied or not. This is found under the Multi-Pass tab of
the Render Settings menu. CINEMA 4D R9.5 now supports full 32-bit
color multi-pass rendering as well as loading. This allows one to
use HDRI textures for reflections. Using CINEMA 4D 9.5 you can
output your renders in full spectrum 32-bit color using HDRI or
OpenEXR format. Shake can utilize Multi-pass import of CINEMA 4D
R9.5 files. According to Maxon, CINEMA 4D will support almost any
broadcast or film application with a maximum image size of 16,000
pixels square. It supports multiple processors (NET Render Server
and Client), Hyperthreading, and DualCore technology. The support
over a network can be configured in multiple ways and with multiple
controls. The Render output file formats are:
The NET Render module combines the ability to render over a network
as well as with multiprocessors. NET Render makes use of dynamic
load balancing even while the render is in progress. The NET Render
interface allows the user to check up on their rendering jobs while
they are in progress. Lighting has been strengthened and improved
in R 9.5. There are new icons since R 8 for easier recognition.
Lights now render faster and lighting options have increased. Area
lights have been improved. The shape of the light can be a
rectangle, cube, sphere, etc. Area lights alone can be adjusted
for: type of shadow Raytraced, Shadow Maps, and Area; shape; type
of falloff; dust; dithering; gradient use; various caustic
settings; noise; lens effects; and includes and excludes in a
scene. These are just a few of the choices available. Area shadows
can render up to four times faster and create very realistic
I was curious to see how the different Area light shapes affected
the light output so I created a sphere and set up an area light
with the same defaults along with an Area shadow. I, then, changed
the shape of the light. One of the boons of area lighting is that
it is very realistic.
Other changes in lights are: Inner and Outer colors have been
replaced by gradients. The Tube light has been replaced by the Line
(as in the example above). C.O.F.F.E.E. is an object-oriented
programming language closely related to C++ and Java. New to CINEMA
4D R9.5 are scripts made up of little bits of C.O.F.F.E.E. code.
These scripts do not require a plugin ID and can be integrated into
the interface as a "normal" CINEMA 4D command in the form of a
XPresso is CINEMA 4D's visual node based expressions editor. An
expression is a relationship between objects in a 3D scene that
often includes some mathematical manipulation. For example, the
movement of one object will create the movement of another object.
With XPresso, one can create relationships using drag and drop.
Thinking Particles is controlled by means of the XPresso interface.
Extensive relationships can be built, but like anything else, one
has to learn the basics of XPresso through tutorials and practice.
These two screens show the beginning of a procedure involving the
placement of three cylinders.
One cannot just "drop in" and drag and drop. New to R9.5 is a new
Bitmap Node that can read out, for example, the color value of
specific coordinates. Even though it is claimed that Xpresso is
visual and one does not have to know programming, one has to have
an idea of what one is doing! The Thinking Particles module is used
to create highly advanced particle effects through the use of
XPresso, as stated earlier. Instead of a stream of particles
creating smoke or smog, when you use Thinking Particles, you can
create interaction between objects and particles, for example, by
the particles being able to inherit the motion of an object in the
scene and being able to individually spin, repel each other and
much more. Different types of particle emissions can also be
created; volume emission will emit particles within an object's
Pyrocluster is a volumetric shading system that utilizes particles
to simulate smoke, fire, dust, etc. Below is a simple steam
Pyrocluster can also be combined with Thinking Particles for very
dramatic and spectacular effects. For those new to CINEMA 4D R9.5,
the MOCCA 2 module is the one used for rigging characters using the
bone manipulation tools. MOCCA stands for MOtion Capturing and
Character Animation. The title of this module should give one an
idea of what it is capable of doing. Like everything else, R 9.5
has seen improvements and new features. The bone tool in the MOCCA
2 module has been reworked. If the bones are fixed, the bone tool
will edit the fixed state of the bones. If the bones are not fixed,
the unfixed state of the bones will be edited, and these latter
bones will not longer jump back into the position they were in
prior to the bone tool being selected. Shift + ctrl lets one move
bones. individually. As of update 9.52. MOCCA is now on the main
overhead toolbar. Clothilde was one of those great additions to R9.
Even though it was new in release 9, it has also undergone
renovation. CINEMA 4D R9.5 particle systems gravity, drag and wind
can now be used in the include list, enumerated further below.
There is a new belt tag and a new algorithm There is a cache tool
that lets one fine tune the cached solution. Also having to do with
cache is a cache load/save, and cache is now local so cached
objects can be moved, rotated, and saved after baking. Clothilde
really does amazing work. Imagine taking a paper pattern looking
T-shirt and in just a few minutes and a few easy maneuvers creating
a cloth garment with movement and folds. This tutorial took about
Below are two of the menus used to create the T-shirt.
Clothilde can now work with the Force objects used in CINEMA 4D's
particle systems. The following objects can now be placed in the
- MOCCA 2
- Advanced Render 2.5
- Thinking Particles
- NET Render (3 client license) CINEMA 4D R9.5 XL Bundle (not the
upgrade) comes with a release 9 disk and tutorial disk, an upgrade
to release 9.5 disk, and tutorial disk, as well as a disk of
documentation and two of goodies. There also is a Quickstart 9
manual. If one goes to the Maxon web site, one can find a whole section with manuals
for every module as well as an addendum for release 9.5. Once on
the Maxon site, click on downloads and, then, documentation to
reach this information.
We have touched on many of the areas that help one work toward
creating outstanding animations such as the new baking additions,
multi-pass rendering, the sky module which will have a great
influence, Thinking Particles, Pyrocluster and all the special
effects that involve movement like those new to Clothilde as
described above. I find that the quality of the tutorials that are
part of a program are important. There is a CD that is part of the
CINEMA 4D R9.5 XL Bundle that is comprised of very good videos that
deal with some of the new features of R9.5, such as: the Content
Browser, Lighting, Ambient Occlusion, Texture and Object Baking,
Creating Displacement and Normal Maps, etc. In addition to
introducing these new features, these tutorials simplify some of
the concepts so that new users, even ones relatively new to 3D
programs, should understand the basics and be able to build on
these. In the tutorial called the Gnome, for example, they
demonstrate how easy it is to Bake both objects and textures and
apply Ambient Occlusion to an object. They, then, have the user see
how render times differed before and after these techniques were
applied. The tutorial CD for R9.5 showcased the main new features.
The first instruction in the Introductory clip is how to place the
material from this CD into the new Content Browser. I found
that when I followed the instructions, the folder turned out to be
empty. I was not the only one with this problem. Luckily, one of
our Renderosity members, Becco_UK posted the following: "Solution:
Having navigated to the said cat file in your contents browser,
select file>new browser and navigate to the video tutorials CD.
You can then drag and drop the required project files and the video
tutorials into the 9.5 video tutorials cat 4d file in your original
contents browser; where they will appear, complete with thumbnails
for the C4D files." He stated it was from an addendum slip that
came with his 9.5 upgrade. It was hard to decide the best place to
put this information. While writing the review, Maxon came up with
an update, which added NEW material to an already full release 9.5.
This is a free update for CINEMA 4D R9.5 owners and can be
downloaded from Maxon
web site. One needs to navigate to Quick
Links>Downloads>Updates>CINEMA 4D R9.5. You can also get
the Addendum there which I recommend especially since it has
installation and other important material in it. I will mention
some of the new material.
- Wind Animation, of course, is an integral and very important
part of CINEMA 4D. Below is a screen capture of the animation
timeline. One can also use the f-curve view to adjust motion for
greater control. According to the R9.5 Addendum, there are no major
additions to Animation. However, many improvements have been added
in corollary categories.
- You can render frames in the middle of an animation using
- You can render parts of an animation independent of the render
- Also, a number of settings have been added to deal with
Daylight Savings Time in animations. Directly from Addendum 9.5, p.
159, " 'Load...' and 'Save ' options in the 'Cache' tab give you
[the user] the opportunity to load or save your calculated
simulations as you work."
- In "load presets" menus, directories and their respective
subdirectories are shown.
- In the Advanced Render Module there is a Cylindrical Lens in
- ChanLum Shader is now a part of Effects in the Material Manager
note the instructions in the Addendum.
- Scripts, audio files, and layouts are now automatically
recognized and can be opened by the Content Browser.
- NET Render Jobs page has been augmented so that anyone with
administrative privileges can restart the Clients or Server from
that page. My only criticism of CINEMA 4D R9.5 is the
documentation. Maxon describes it as plentiful and complete in its
section on Highlights on its web site. While it is plentiful and
complete, it is in many separate pieces which hinders its
functionality. What Maxon has done is keep the original
configuration of theC4D R9.0 manual and add 2 addendums: one for
the 9.1 release, and one for the 9.5 release. Thus, one has to work
with three documents. The help command opens up the C4D R9.0
manual. However changes have been made and new features have been
added. If you are a newcomer to CINEMA 4D, this would present a
possible problem because the documentation might not be correct in
the online manual. One would, then, have to check both addendums.
Also, the Quickstart manual refers to R9.0. Since all of the online
material is in PDF format, I do not see why the online material, at
least, was not combined so that users would have one complete
reference document. The R9.52 addendum makes sense to me as a
separate unit since it was released after R9.5 was released. For
those people who are thinking about upgrading from any version of
R8, these are some of the features new to R9 and or 9.1.
- N-Gons These help to keep meshes clean by being able to
create polygons with more than 4 corner points.
- Tweak mode enables a user to use the same tool for editing
points, edges, and polygons depending on where it hovers.
- HUD This tool allows users to display and adjust parameters
from the view port. Brush tool - for sculpting objects
interactively by painting detail and smoothness onto a model.
- Melt tool for simplifying needlessly complicated parts of a
model and turning multiply polygons into an n-gon.
- Soft Selection This moves selected polygons with smooth
interpolation between those not selected There are some programs
that as you use them seem to make sense once you learn the
vocabulary and what different commands mean. One step follows
another in an order that seems logical. CINEMA 4D R9.5 (now R9.52)
is such a program. The Object Manager, Material Manager, Attribute
Manager, customizable interface, and HUD among others simplifies
and speeds up the workflow tremendously. There is always a learning
curve. While in some programs it is steep because of the program
itself, in CINEMA 4D, in my opinion, the learning curve is based on
the individual's knowledge of 3D as a whole since using CINEMA 4D
is the easier part. The system requirements are: Minimum
hardware requirements Mac OS X 10.3 or Windows 2000 / XP 512 MB
RAM, CPU 1GHz Suggested hardware requirements Mac OS X 10.3
or Windows 2000 / XP 1024 MB RAM, CPU 2 GHz QuickTime current
OpenGL-capable graphics card
- CINEMA 4D Bundle R9.5 [Full Version] US $1995
- CINEMA 4D Bundle R9.5 [Upgrade] Prices vary depending on your
previous C4D version.
- Additional information can be found on the official Maxon site.
- As always, I invite you to visit my personal website: Perpetual
- The Paula Sander's Report is a regular
Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates
and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant
material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.