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Maxon Cinema 4D

  1. Jul 31, 2008 #1
    Has anyone had any experience with this software?

    I'm finishing up at my local Community College this year, and plan to take two classes in the Art department titled "3D Modeling" and "3D Animation". One counts as my Art general education requirement, but I plan on taking the 2nd semester animation course (which is designed to follow it) out of interest.

    Both are 200 level courses and focus on turning sketches (both others and our own) along with objects into 3D Models - complete with textures and lighting. The animation portion requires us to sketch storyboards/flows, and then produce animations complete with sound using Apple's Final Cut Pro 2. The class sequence culminates with a final project consisting of a fully-rendered 5 minute "film" at a minimum resolution of 480p (our school has a brand new MacPro lab). I spoke with the professor, and he said it could be anything from a Pixar-like short, to a fly through of an animated manufacturing process that is narrated by me.

    I will be taking a full semester course on AutoCAD for Civil Engineers, but I thought this would be a much more dynamic way for conveying ideas/products/processes to others (ie. to management, customers, or investors).
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2008 #2
    No experience with the software, sorry, but I would like to say that that's a cool idea! You should post the video back here when you've finished.
  4. Sep 24, 2008 #3
    I'm only a month into the course and I'm already amazed with the potential of this software. Check out this model of a Mac Pro we made. We were given the dimensions to use, and some material data our instructor collected (his height measurements were off). This was done in about an hour, and is modeled in full 3-D - so an image at any angle can be rendered. It can also be used in animations, and as an object in any environment. I can see myself using this tool quite a bit in my future...

  5. Oct 7, 2008 #4
    Here are a couple new things I've been working on.

    The amount of variables you can modify to create materials and textures is amazing. The first object is a glass made by creating a profile and revolving it 360ยบ about a central axis. I then created and applied a dynamic glass material. It's sitting on a quick surface I made, and is illuminated with area, fill, and target lights.

    the second image is a quick example of how fabrics can be modeled. It's essentially a flat plane with attributed mass that is accelerated against the top of a cylinder. I even played with some fabric animation... and I can't wait to share that!

    Anyhoo... here are a couple quick 640x480 renderings. Quality is turned down, but they're still pretty good.


  6. Oct 22, 2008 #5
    Well I ordered myself some equipment today.
    I shelled out for a new Mac Pro and 23" Apple Cinema Display.

    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Harpertown CPUs
    2GB 800MHz DDR2 ECC Memory
    500GB 7200-rpm SATA 3GB/s HDD
    nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GPU
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Airport Extreme Wireless Card
    Apple Mighty Mouse & Keyboard
    3-yr Apple Care Warranty

    Now I need to get on New Egg and order myself some ECC RAM...

    I've been so impressed with this software.
    Friday I'm going to order a student license of C4D.
  7. Oct 25, 2008 #6
    Damn, shipping weight on the Mac Pro is 60 pounds! :rofl:
  8. Oct 31, 2008 #7
    Well I got my new workstation up and running.
    My copy of Maxon Cinema 4D is due for arrival on Monday.
    I'm hoping to be even more productive with this software now.


    Lately I've been working on modeling a BDP belt press.
    I'll post some renderings when I finish.
  9. Nov 10, 2008 #8
    Check out these progress shots on the belt-press I'm modeling. The only things with materials applied are the belt and the primary forward roll.

    Getting that belt material right was a **** (I typed asterisks, not profanity). It had to appear almost solid from a distance, and semi-transparent close-up (it's a weaved plastic). Lot's of bump and alpha channel work. Coming along well... about 40% finished.

  10. Nov 11, 2008 #9
    So I need to get some software that models fluids well. I've been eyeballing Real Flow 4, which is a Fluids/Dynamics modeling package. The demo videos I've seen look amazing.

    From what I've read, the workflow is as follows...

    1. Model objects/environments in C4D.
    2. Save/Import them into RF4.
    3. Run Fluid/Dynamics simulations.
    4. Save/Import back into C4D.

    The "eternal" student license is $199. I'm really leaning towards picking up a license next month to work on during winter break.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has any experience with Real Flow.
  11. Nov 12, 2008 #10
  12. Nov 14, 2008 #11
    Ben - Your work looks great!

    I've made a decision to purchase a student license of Real Flow 4 next month.
    I should have some more photos of my progress with the press this weekend.
  13. Nov 16, 2008 #12
    The gravity section of the belt press I'm modeling is almost finished minus the final applied materials.

  14. Nov 16, 2008 #13
    That is looking amazing!
  15. Dec 6, 2008 #14
    My computer fell on it's face in the RAM department.
    I have found the limits of 2GB when modeling in 3D.

    Looks like I'll have to hit New Egg here... :(

    I was part way through modeling the dewatering drum - punching holes in it's exterior using boolean tools, and I got the error box telling me to cough up the dough for more RAM. So this is as far as things go until I get my fix...

  16. Dec 7, 2008 #15
    I've never had that problem with 2GB of ram, But then again my stuff is a LOT more simpler than yours is.

    I hope you can fix it, This model is coming along very nicely.
  17. Dec 10, 2008 #16
    The object that brought my Mac Pro to it's knees... :)

    I ended up installing another 2GB of RAM and going through a backdoor to get it done. When I animate the press next semester fluids will be able to pass through the holes in the exterior of the roll and flow to the ends.


    Only four more days of classes, and then three exams plus a presentation.
  18. Dec 13, 2008 #17
    Slowly making progress on the model.
    I'm definitely not going to finish as much as I wanted to.
    Working on the pressure section now.


    Off to sleep for awhile. :Z
  19. Dec 17, 2008 #18
    The 3D presentations went well today... everyone (7 people) did well except for one person who was heavily criticized for "borrowing" work in her model from the photoshop archives that the professor instantly recognized.

    I think I finished with an A.

    Here is one of my final submitted images. There is no actual environment yet, and the press isn't actually finished (it's 90% done), but I think it came out okay.


    We actually presented the work in DVD format using Apple's iDVD software to make menus and a navigable slide show. It chopped down on the resolution and you could definitely see the compression artifacts, but overall it was fun.
    So I have other finals to focus on now, but over break I plan to pick up Real Flow 4 to work with fluids. Next semester in 3D Animation I will be learning to bring the model to life along with sound and other dynamic elements. I'll be including new models as well, along with nice environments.

    Taking this class was a great decision for sure.
  20. Dec 29, 2008 #19
    Thanks for sharing your updates, Nick. It's totally cool to watch the progress and hear about the learning process. Good luck next term; I hope you keep this thread alive for part 2!
  21. Jan 23, 2009 #20
    Been doing a little work in anticipation of 3D Animation beginning next Wednesday.
    Started some work on the environment... lot's more to do.

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