Thursday, November 17th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Insydium ships Cycles 4D

Insydium has released Cycles 4D, its implementation of Blender’s Cycles renderer for Cinema 4D, making the unbiased GPU-capable engine available for both interactive previews and final-frame renders.

The software is designed to be compatible with X-Particles, Insydium’s particles and physics plugin.

Blender’s powerful Cycles renderer – directly inside Cinema 4D
We’ve written about Cycles 4D a number of times while it was in development, but Insydium now has a fuller feature list on its website, so we thought it was worth a separate story.

Insydium describes the software as a “bridge plugin allowing Cinema 4D users to access the Cycles rendering engine directly inside Cinema 4D without the need for an external application”.

It’s capable of a range of rendering effects, including SSS, microdisplacement, motion blur and depth of field, and is compatible with Cinema 4D’s native hair and Mograph systems, and with volumetrics.

As well as final-frame rendering, Cycles 4D provides an interactive Real-Time Preview window, making it possible to see the effect of changes to a scene in real time.

Comes with its own node-based material system
Unlike the standard Cinema 4D Material Editor, Cycles 4D’s material system is node-based, but is described by Insydium as working and feeling “like an extension of Cinema 4D”.

While that means that Cycles 4D isn’t compatible with standard Cinema 4D materials, it comes with its own presets. There is also an add-on set of 250 readymade materials, which will be free until January 2017.

Material setup also works in the same way as in Blender. According to Insydium founder Mike Batchelor, it should be possible to “follow any Blender Cycles tutorials 1:1 in Cycles 4D”.

Plays nicely with X-Particles
The software is also designed to be compatible with X-Particles, Insydium’s popular Cinema 4D particle and physics system, with key X-Particles properties accessible from within the Cycles 4D node graph.

You can see a range of examples on the software’s product page, covering particles, trails, smoke and fire simulations, and X-Particles’ Skinner Object.

Pricing and availability
Cycles 4D is available now for Cinema 4D R16 and above, running on Windows 7+ or Mac OSX 10.7.5+.

It supports both CUDA and OpenCL, so you should be able to use both Nvidia and AMD GPUs, although as with the Blender version of Cycles, OpenCL support is patchy.

Full licences of Cycles 4D cost £185 (around $237), including one year’s support and updates and three render nodes; additional nodes cost £60 ($77). Both prices exclude tax.

To use it with X-Particles, you’ll need to be running X-Particles 3.5; X-Particles 3.5 users get a 15% discount.

Read more about Cycles 4D on Insydium’s website