Maxon has released details of Cinema 4D R13, an major update to its flagship 3D design and animation software, due for release this September.
As well as being extensive, the feature list reflects the diversity of Maxon’s user base: those working in design visualisation get a new physically accurate renderer; those working in motion graphics and VFX get support for stereoscopic workflow and significant – and long-awaited – updates to the rigging and animation toolsets.
With Autodesk having shipped its 2012 products earlier in the year, and NewTek only releasing a point update to LightWave, Cinema 4D R13 looks set to be a highlight of Siggraph 2011 when the expo opens next week.
Update: Maxon has made a series of 11 tutorials introducing the new features of R13 available on Cineversity. View them here
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
MAXON offers four versions of CINEMA 4D, each catering to the needs of 3D artists in different industries. NOTE: The features listed below may not be included in every configuration.
New and Enhanced Rendering Engine
Digital artists are constantly striving to improve the quality of their images. This new version gives CINEMA 4D users a bundle of new tools to aid in achieving the realism they crave.
- Physically-Accurate Rendering
Creating photorealistic images is easier than ever with the new physical render engine. Based on real camera properties, this additional render engine accurately calculates 3D motion blur, depth of field and lens distortion based on the focal length, aperture and shutter speed of the camera.
- Efficient Subsurface Scattering
Now users can efficiently create translucent materials such as milk, skin and wax with a new subsurface scattering shader included with both the new Physical Render and CINEMA 4D’s standard render engines.
- Shared Image Sampler
Saves tons of render time by combining sampling for multiple effects such as motion blur, depth of field, area shadows, ambient occlusion and blurry reflections. Sample options allow users to specify a fixed number of samples, apply an adaptive number of samples based on the geometry and shading complexity, or progressively render each frame within a given number of passes or amount of time.
- New Anti-Aliasing Filters
Users can now achieve higher quality anti-aliasing using the Mitchell and Gauss algorithms.
Stereoscopic 3D Workflow
Stereoscopic capabilities are supported throughout R13 to provide a dependable solution and fluid workflow for generating high-quality 3D content across a wide variety of media:
- Stereoscopic Camera Conversion
Gives users control to easily convert any camera to a Parallel, On Axis, Off-Axis or Radial Stereoscopic camera.
- Stereo Image Workflow and Preview
Stereo images can be previewed directly in the 3D editor using Anaglyph, Interlaced, Shutter or Side-by-Side methods.
- Stereo Rendering Options
Allows customers to easily render the merged stereoscopic image or separate images for each individual camera to create a true 3D experience.
- Picture Viewer Support
Review animated stereo renders, adjust parallax and export renderings as merged or individual stereoscopic files.
More Accessible Character Tools
The new suite of character animation features simplify the process of building a rig, eliminating technical hurdles and allowing artists to quickly animate characters of all types:
- New Character Object
Includes an auto rigger, which simplifies the process of building a rig and applying it to a character. Technical directors are able to set up flexible rig templates that any user can easily apply to their characters.
- New CMotion System
Allows users to create their own or apply preset parametric walk cycles based on cyclic motion. Make characters walk along a spline and over terrain, or even manually place footsteps. Can be integrated with the character object or applied to anything in a scene.
- New Muscle System
CINEMA 4D R13 now allows users to create custom-shaped muscles and anchor them to multiple joints within a rig. Includes deformer for skin stretching and sliding.
- New Collision Deformer
Deforms surfaces based on collisions enabling characters to intuitively interact with the environment around them.
Numerous Workflow, Modeling and Animation Improvements
CINEMA 4D is renowned for outstanding ease of use. With an enhanced navigation system and a number of interface improvements in R13, users can perform common application tasks more efficiently:
- Revamped Navigation System
New cursor-based navigation automatically sets the point of interest for rotation and dolly movements based on where the user clicks to begin navigation. This also ensures the speed of camera navigation is smooth and consistent, regardless of the distance to the point of interest – making it easy to pivot around any portion of a model or scene.
- Sticky Keys
Allows users to activate a tool only while its shortcut is pressed and immediately return to the previous tool.
- New Spline Data User Interface
Attributes utilizing spline data can now be edited much more precisely with additional spline types and the ability to view splines in a larger, separate window.
- Location Indicator
Provides artists with a new indicator that hints at the location of selected objects outside the current view.
- Surface Manipulation
Offers flexible options with a new Infinite Axis mode that lets users start manipulation from any point and easily snap surfaces to other objects in the scene. The rotation axis can now optionally display gimbal rotation, making it easy to visualize situations in which gimbal lock will occur, and can also transform multiple objects in a selection individually rather than as a group.
- Animation Enhancements
Based on user feedback, a lot of tweaks were made to the animation system to improve efficiency, including clamping, better curve handling, markers, etc.
- Superior XRef Object
Improves artist efficiency with fully embedded XRef (External Reference) commands in R13 so referenced objects can be textured, animated, and included in expressions or simulations within the master file, greatly enhancing work in a collaborative environment.
- Improved C.O.F.F.E.E. and Python Scripting Language Integration
Equips customers with improved integration of the powerful C.O.F.F.E.E. and Python scripting managers, giving programmers and developers a customizable solution for a wide range of software development tasks that can be utilized in any pipeline. Python plugins and scripts now appear alongside those created in CINEMA 4D’s C++ and C.O.F.F.E.E. APIs.
- File Format Support
Allows artists to access a range of popular file formats for greater workflow flexibility. Multi-Pass files can now be stored in multiple channels within a single OpenEXR file. The popular FBX and COLLADA file formats have been updated facilitating easier asset exchange and interoperability.
- After Effects Exchange
Gives customers using R13 unparalleled integration with After Effects with the introduction of stage object support, timeline marker exports and support for 29.97fps.
Miscellaneous Productivity Boosting Features
CINEMA 4D R13 also includes many new productivity-boosting features, including a host of new and improved shaders and more.
Recommended system requirements include Windows XP, Vista or 7 running on Intel or AMD CPU with SSE2-Support; Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher running on an Intel-based Mac and 1024 MB RAM, DVD ROM drive. Up to 256 threads now supported. Standard DVD installation can take up to 2.5 GB of disk space.
Availability and Upgrade Path
CINEMA 4D Release 13 and BodyPaint 3D Release 13 are scheduled to ship in September through MAXON and its authorized dealers. Customers with an active MAXON Service Agreement (MSA) valid through September 2nd will automatically receive the upgrade. Current customers who do not have an active MSA can purchase an MSA before the end of August and be eligible for a free upgrade. New customers who purchase from now until August 31st will automatically receive a one-year MSA with their purchase.