Latest Version of 3D Software Is Slated for September Availability

The new version of Cinema 4D, scheduled for release for Windows and OS X next month, will include the Take System, a new versioning system that handles scenes and manages variations in render layers and animation.

Other new features include support for lens-distortion profiles, a Graph View for troubleshooting the motion tracker, a reworked spline toolset, improvements to animation and sculpting features, and new integration features for Side Effects Software Houdini and Trimble SketchUp.

The new Take System allows users to create any number of takes in the Take Manager panel. You simply activate a take and make any changes to your scene that you want reflected in that particular take—including swapping out lighting, materials, or objects, and specifying different render settings—allowing quick switching between different versions. Take hierarchies can be created so that child takes inherit changes from their parents. 

Takes can be created for animations as well as static 3D scenes, allowing users to quickly compare radically different approaches to a given scene. By packing multiple variations on a scene in a single .C4D file, Maxon has made those versions easier to access and reduced the drive space required to store them. Finally, the Take System works with the Render Queue and Team Render network rendering, and a token system handles file-naming conventions via presets or manual token entry, offering new opportunities to streamline the process for setting up multiple renders from a single scene.

New Spline Tools create a variety of new line-drawing options, with a range of tools allowing users to shape and reshape their drawings. Sculpting improvements include the new Sculpt to Posemorph feature for automatically animating a sculpture between two defined poses by creating morph targets for multiple sculpt layers. And Edge Detection will allow artists the option of working faster by having the software keep their manipulations inside the lines, so to speak, rather than accidentally pulling an edge out of shape.

The new Graph View gives users a way to visualize and identify bad tracks in a shot, allowing them to delete bad or inaccurate tracking information manually or semi-automatically. And the Lens Distortion feature allows distorted geometry in images to be identified by hand so that the software can compensate for the distortions. The information can be saved for future use with material captured through the same lens. You can also use a lens profile to add distortion to a scene, allowing you to render those items into original footage with the correct distortions.

A new Color Chooser allows colors to be picked from a color wheel, screen picker, or swatch library, and the Photo Mosaic mode allows users to generate a custom color palette based on a photograph. A new Variation Shader allows new types of material variations that can't be created by hand. And new integration features mean SketchUp objects and Houdini assets can be accessed directly.

Maxon said users who buy or upgrade to a full version of C4D R16 between now and August 31 will get a free year of the Maxon Service Agreement, including an automatic upgrade to R17 when it becomes available early in September. The top-of-the-line C4D Studio sells for $3,695; an upgrade from R15 is $995, and upgrades from a competitive program are available at a discount. C4D Prime starts at $995, with upgrades available for $395.