Ricky Grove - Front Page Reviewer Blog
by gToon

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6:55 pm

 Vue 9 is a wonderful digital environment tool
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Researching for my upcoming review of Vue 9 Infinite here at Renderosity.com, I've come across so many excellent artworks both via the Vue forums and galleries. Since I can only use one piece for the reivew, I've decided on "Planet Earth Vol. 10" by Geographics. It's just so well done in all areas. A perfect example of what you can do with Vue. 

Geekatplay Studio has some great tuts for Vue (although a bit dated) and I really like the training discs at E-on. The Intro to Vue 9 is superb. 

I'll also be posting links in the review which will give more specifics on this new version of Vue. Great, great job by E-on. THE best software for creating atmosphere and environments. 



12:27 am

 Research and Thinking
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Part of what a reviewer does (or at least what I do) is to research not only the product you are reviewing, but reviews/comments/articles on the application. So, I've been spending a lot of time reading up on the history of Maxon and C4D. Plus, I've been reading a lot of reviews and comments in forums about the new 11.5 version (Studio version mostly).

C4Dcafe.com has some great, great forum comments on the new version and on C4D in general. I'm also interested in building a new computer around C4D come January, so the hardware discussions there are a great help, too. Probably be building around the Intel i7 920 CPU, which has multi-threading and is great for C4D rendering apparently. Lots of good mobos for this CPU and it's easily overclocked,too (Gasp! yes, I've overclocked every computer I've built for 10 years now)

Another great site I've been reading vis C4D is Microfilmmaker.com where Renderosity's own Mark Bremmer has reviewed the the R11 Core edition and the R11 Studio edition as well (great idea). I just love the way he writes: casual, strait forward and takes a very practical approach to the tech stuff. Of course, that site is focused on using C4D as a filmmaking tool (live action), so the emphasis is different, but many of his ideas are spot on with mine. He's also given me a lot to think about in terms of the Core vs Studio

BTW, frustrated that there is no full manual in PDF form to download. BUT the help section in C4D has the full manual and is laid out very well; searchable and with guided tutorials to get you going. Still, I wish I had an actual copy of the manual. I'd print it out and have it bound myself.

Working on a short scene in C4d to test viewer, rendering, lighting, animation and output. Hope to have it done for review in November. God, the renders are wonderful.

Microfilmmaker Site

Mark Bremmer's website

2:49 pm

 Reviews and Lots of Glee
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3D Artist, a new magazine covering the 3D world, has a great review of C4D this month (#8). Although they find the price of the Studio version upgrade too expensive, everything else gets top marks. The author is especially impressed with the new "render instances" and "bucket rendering". MoGraph comes in for lots of praise for updates, too.

He/she mentions "DOF and MB tools need serious revamp" in the Good/Bad section, but doesn't go into detail. I think that if you offer criticism, you should at least describe the problem to some extent. There's no mention of this issue in the review proper. Well, perhaps the review was cut. It does seem a little short.

Not available online, but the Mag is starting to get good distribution. Focus is on tutorials and practical information. Well worth your time.

Practically gleeful working with C4D. Only wish I could spend all day learning, but I have a day job and can only test/play at night. The first program I've used where even fooling around gets results. Trying to create lighting and just guessed at a setting and it was exactly right.

Frankly, I think C4D is the ideal high end 3D package for the solo artist or the first timer. What a great job Maxon has done developing this excellent application.

PS new animation tutorial (basics part 1) at C4Dcafe.com. My favorite C4D site to date.

12:34 am

 The Upgrades to C4D R11.5 are Amazing
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I've just been having a ball with the new upgrades to Cinema 4D. The Picture Viewer has been expanded and improved so that you can scrub audio & animation in the timeline, compare your test renders and adjust your render right inside of C4D without going to Adobe Photoshop or another image outside of the program.

The render engine has been upgraded to work with multi core systems to that it's much faster. Also, the rendering uses "bucket render" instead of lines now. And "render instances" are used for scenes where you have hundreds of objects in order to speed up rendering. More on this as I research and test.

Couple other new additions that I'm in the middle of testing: exporting multiple cameras to AE (very cool) and FBX 2010 is now part of the export list.

What's particularly amazing about this version of C4D is that it's just so damn friendly. The object oriented interface is so well designed that even if you just poke around you can figure out how things work. The keyboard shortcuts really make a difference in workflow, too. I plan on memorizing most of them.

More interesting C4D sites, too. Just discovered c4dportal.com which has a very active discussion group and lots of excellent tutorials. and Youtube.com tuts on c4d can be downloaded in the .mp4 format which transfers easily to my new Zune HD player, so I can watch 'em in bed.

I can't wait to start working with the character animation tools and Mocca, the animation module.

What an excellent software program this is. So glad to be working with it.

1:12 am

 Downloading Tutorials and Working on the Quickstart Manual
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Spent a lot of the last two days downloading many excellent video tutorials from the web. Mdot a nice series of tuts on his youtube site which take you through the basics. Plus he's always fun to listen to. His tutorial on lighting is especially interesting because you see how he puts C4D to practical use and develops ideas around them Cold/Hot lighting idea is smart and very useful. Can't wait to start working with lighting.

I worked on the cube-man lesson in the Quickstart guide and got confused at several points in learning how the scaling function works. But the interface is so intuitive, it's really easy to solve a problem. The undo worked just fine. I like how the object lists are in the upper right hand corner of the screen and the properties are in the lower corner. I know that the GUI can be changed to just about anything you want, but I'm going to keep it at default until I get more proficient.

Null object concepts: need to read up on these a bit as I know they are ways to group things together. More memorizing, but fun stuff. This quick start manual is starting to grow on me. Combining this with the video tuts and I'll be up and running very soon. Want to set up a scene I've purchased from Renderosity, import a Quidam character, dress the set/lights and create a very simple animation.

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