Cinema 4D 6 on the next Computer Arts CD!Community Forums/Developer Stations/Cinema 4D 6 on the next Computer Arts CD!
| i just notest on the next Computer Arts Mag thare is a full copy of Cinema 4D 6 Check out |
The version we’ll be giving away is called Cinema 4D CE - it's a fully functional but limited resolution version of Cinema 4D XL 6.
I wonder how low limited might be. I've used C4d V6. My friend owned it, and let me play around before I bought 3dsMax, when I was deciding which package I wanted. It is very good, and the interface is decent ( a bit Truespace-y, but more intuitive. )
Probably more use for stills and cutscenes than modelling characters, vehicles and environments for realtime purposes though.
| Possibly the best rule of thumb for judging the utility of 3D programs is to look at the work by people using those programs. It's quite clear that all the leading programs around today are very capable and are having excellent work done with them.|
The next question (for game developers) is whether the program supports key functionality you will need to make your game. To my mind, these functions are:
a) Good mesh editing (VITAL)
b) Good texture mapping (VITAL)
c) Can export to the file formats you need (3DS, X, B3D, MD2 etc. - VITAL)
d) Can import the file formats you need (VITAL)
e) Good animation support (VITAL if you want characters)
f) Subdivision surfaces (HIGHLY DESIREABLE)
g) Scriptable (HIGHLY DESIREABLE)
h) Ability to burn lighting into texture maps (HIGHLY DESIREABLE)
You don't need to get all of these from one program, but it's very helpful if you can. To my knowledge, the following programs support all of these features (in alphabetical order):
3D Studio Max R5 (R4 does not burn lighting into texture maps)
Cinema 4D (requires some additional modules)
If you drop features (g) and (h) some more programs qualify, e.g.:
ElectricImage (really oriented towards pre-rendered work)
Carrara (really an entry-level tool)
Hash (oriented towards film work)
Additionally, I'd suggest the following features are worth looking for:
i) Cross-platform (you may want to work on a Mac or Linux, or you may have artists who prefer those platforms).
j) Flexible license arrangements (you may want to transfer your license from laptop to desktop quickly and conveniently).
If you want these features you're left with:
Maya (sort of! Maya barely qualifies for (j))
So my take would be:
If you don't care about cross-platform support, price, or inflexible licensing (e.g. you love Windows, have money, or are a pirate), you really can't beat 3DS Max for game content development.
That said, upgrading Max + Character Studio from 4 to 5 costs twice as much as the base version of Cinema4D, the same as a complete Lightwave license and over half as much as Maya. Maya is now cheaper than Max and Max's new license scheme is just as annoying as Maya's.
Edit: it's also worth noting that Hash and Caligari have extremely odd user interfaces. (Lightwave's UI is odd, but Hash and Caligari are odder still.)
| And if 'Free' appeals to you, PovRay is worth a look, but be prepared for a bit of a learning curve. One of the first ones out there with radiosity, though, so I have to hand it to them. And it is fairly regularly updated, too. (Be sure to get Moray to help with the modelling - otherwise it's all scripting! Powerful, but fairly tedious).|
If you go to their site (www.povray.org) you may be pleasantly surprised at the output this duo is capable of...
p.s. I have Realsoft 3D, but it is not an option if you are planning on building models for games - it is NURBS\SDS\Bezier only, but outputs incredible quality and has impressive features (global illumination, radiosity, Visual Scripting Language, Java control, etc). I have a limited budget (hobbyist), so I'm looking very hard at TrueSpace ($595 with everything - including particles, physics, SDS) and Cinema 4D (also $595, but for the base version only. The XL version costs $1600 - base + several excellent plug-ins, and the Studio version costs $3500 - base with everything but the kitchen sink). I'm leaning heavily towards trueSPACE at this time... :)
I bought Truespace 6 a little while ago and I have to say I've been less and less impressed with it over time. It has stability issues and although it has a lot of tools, they don't seem completely 'finished' - there always seems to be a bug that interrupts your workflow in that last (most important) 10% when it's 3am, and the work's due tomorrow.
As an example - character animation, looks great on paper, seems fully featured, until you come to animate a simple walk cycle and the manual indicates there's no ability to copy IK frames. What? Instead, you have to locate a (thankfully free) 3rd party plugin that can do this. And there's problems with saving your animations and having them open up correctly.
Caligari then offered a 'service pack' to bug fix these issues. It broke the directx import such that a message would pop up saying that I needed a 'conversion pack' which surprise, surprise would cost $149USD. On emailing Caligari I was told this was an mistake. Now either it was an error which could be taken as an indication of Caligari's quality control, or it was a try on. Take your pick.
Texture baking. Not as useful as you'd think. Doesn't seem to be able to bake continual maps, instead fills a directory with single files for each polygon. Chokes on any sort of detail.
Facial animator - gimmick.
Couple this with a frankly grasping marketing scheme whereby every update is trumpeted months in advance as being 'a special, time limited offer you must take advantage of now!!' - and then the self same 'special, time limited offer' is again made the following month. So you're on a payout scheme to hell just to get many features and bug fixes you might have resonably expected in the first place.
| Sybixsus, it says at the bottom of the article that there is a 'resolution limit' , most likely a render size limit, and that is it!|
Sounds like an awesome giveaway. I wonder if it has a scripting language that would facilitate in making a B3D exporter?
Sybixsus, it says at the bottom of the article that there is a 'resolution limit' , most likely a render size limit, and that is it!
I know. I said that 4 posts up.
| MadJack, I have been working with the demo, and I have to say that there are some things that surprised me (both good and bad):|
- The help file contains no tutorials and the images that are refered to are not there (presumably these ARE in the printed manual...which may or may not be extra $$).
- The interface is indeed very odd. I've gained a little more respect for Realsoft's interface after trying to get a grip on trueSpace's (although I'm sure it is capable once you get used to it).
- Realsoft's material system blows trueSpace and Cinema 4D's away, although, granted, RS's requires a higher level of expertise to get the most out of it.
- ts does not have Global Illumination (although radiosity is there). This is a recent addition to RS. By the way, RS 4.5 is going to be on the cover of some computer magazine soon. I'll see if I can find out which one.
I can't really say much more right now, though, because I'm still having a look at ts.
One thing I do like about ts is that you get everything in one package, although when I was looking through Cinema's website at their modules, my jaw was on the floor...
I'll download the demo version of C4D-XL and let you know... (although XL is $1695 :( )