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Nvidia releases Iray for Cinema 4D

Thursday, September 8th, 2016 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Nvidia has officially released Iray for Cinema 4D, the new version of its physically accurate GPU-based renderer for Maxon’s 3D modelling and animation software.

The plugin, which has been in beta since February, joins the existing editions of Iray for 3ds Max and Maya.

A fast, physically accurate render preview
The selling point for the plugin seems to be not as a replacement for C4D’s built-in final-frame rendering engines – which, since version 13, have included its own Physical Renderer – but as a fast interactive preview.

Maxon describes Iray for Cinema 4D as providing “scalable, intuitive, physically based rendering for the most accurate previews when lighting and designing a scene or adjusting … geometry and materials”.

The plugin provides a “unique Live Render window” within Cinema 4D with an optional Iray Interactive raytracing mode “that provides instant feedback on object transforms and lighting edits”.

Similar functionality to the existing plugin versions of Iray
The feature list on Nvidia’s website suggests that the other functionality of Iray for Cinema 4D is similar to the new 3ds Max plugin, which Jason Lewis tested extensively for us earlier this year.

Key features include a physical camera model with support for effects like depth of field, accurate motion blur, image-based lighting, and a physical sun and sky system.

The plugin also supports Nvidia’s Light Path Expressions, designed to streamline compositing workflow.

Share materials with other MDL-capable software
Cinema 4D’s native materials are automatically converted into Iray’s native Material Definition Language (MDL) “as much as possible”, while its native procedurals are automatically baked to texture maps.

Once converted to MDL format, materials can be shared with other editions of Iray, or other tools that support the format, like Substance Designer, and should render virtually identically in each.

In related news, Maxon has announced that it has signed a “comprehensive multi-year agreement” with Nvidia that gives it access to Iray and MDL, as well as the firm’s Quasi-Monte Carlo sampling patents.

Pricing and availability
Iray for Cinema 4D is available now for Cinema 4D R16 and R17, running on 64-bit Windows 7 and above and Mac OS X 10.8.5 and above. Support for Cinema 4D R18 is due in the next update.

Both node-locked and floating licences are available on a rental-only basis, priced at $295/year.

According to Maxon, in a “future version” of Cinema 4D, users will also be able to buy and download the plugin directly from within Cinema 4D itself.

Read a full list of features in Iray for Cinema 4D on Maxon’s website

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