What to Know About Maxon’s New Cinema 4D + Redshift Subscription

August 5, 2019 - By 

Cinema 4D goes subscription with a Redshift bundle option. Learn about the newest features of C4D R21, like a new Caps and Bevel system, Field Force dynamics, and more.

Image from MAXON Computer GmbH / Andres Hildebrandt.

During the Siggraph 2019 show in Los Angeles, Maxon announced the new Cinema 4D R21 with new features, like Field Forces, a Caps and Bevel system, new Mixamo Control Rig, rendering improvements and interface speed enhancements.

The biggest news was that R21 would introduce a single version of Cinema 4D that is available with either a perpetual license, or a new subscription. On top of that, users can now bundle a C4D and Redshift license. Let’s take a look at all the C4D news.

Image from MAXON Computer GmbH / Andres Hildebrandt.

In the company’s press release, Maxon CEO, David McGavran said

With R21, we have overhauled virtually every aspect of how our customers choose, download, purchase, license and manage Cinema 4D. The availability of a unified version of Cinema 4D will allow us to focus on developing one amazing 3D solution. Very attractive subscription pricing options ensure users around the world can easily access the most up-to-date 3D technology.

Now let’s break down the newest features of R21.

One Version of Cinema 4D

R21 will mark the introduction of a single and affordable version of Cinema 4D.

What does that mean for you?

Cinema 4D will no longer be released with several versions (Studio, Broadcast, Bodypaint, etc) but as one R21 version.

Removing the additional development efforts to maintain five different versions of Cinema 4D frees up resources which can be directed towards enhancements or features that will more directly impact your workflow demands. Additionally, multiple editions of the same feature set caused a lot of confusion and made it hard for customers to decide what edition of Cinema 4D they should purchase.

In addition, Maxon is rolling out a new global store, giving you the ability to download R21 immediately from Maxon upon release.

Subscription Pricing

Maxon is doing away with the Cinema 4D MSA (Maxon Service Agreement), and switching to an ongoing subscription. If you want to purchase R21 outright, you still can, but with an ongoing subscription you will get newer releases as well as and option to bundle Redshift for Cinema 4D.

A Cinema 4D subscription comes in at $59.99 USD per month with a 1-year subscription. That’s $719.88 per year, which is nearly identical to the old Cinema 4D MSA.

Maxon told Greyscalegorilla that the MSA program will no longer continue, and that C4D release updates will be managed by the new MyMaxon service.

If your MSA contract extends beyond Sept 1st, you’ll receive Cinema 4D R21 Perpetual in early September. You can convert your license to a Cinema 4D subscription at any time prior to the expiration of your Maxon Service Agreement. When you convert to a subscription, we’ll credit any remaining time on your Maxon Service Agreement in addition to a nice discount.

(If you recently purchased you MSA, don’t hesitate to reach out to Maxon, as they do have plans in place for users wanting to move to subscription even though the just updated their MSA.)

That said, if you want to purchase a perpetual license, you still have the ability to do so. What does that mean? If you purchase a Cinema 4D R21 perpetual license, you will have lifelong access to R21 (you won’t lose Cinema 4D if you unsubscribe from the subscription service.)

A perpetual license does not guarantee you access to future releases. Maxon said an upgrade option will be put in place for perpetual license owners, but those details have not yet been released.

*Update – a previous version of this announcement stated that perpetual license owners would need to purchase a new perpetual license for future releases. Maxon has clarified that upgrade pricing will be available for perpetual license owners.

After acquiring Redshift earlier this year, Maxon has announced a Cinema 4D + Redshift bundle also available through a subscription.

A one year C4D/Redshift subscription comes out to $81.99 per month ($983.88/year).

Now one downside is that the C4D + Redshift bundle is only good for Cinema 4D users. If you want to use Redshift with the other compatible programs (Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, etc) you will still need to purchase the standard Redshift license.

Guide to Choosing your Cinema 4D Subscription

What Version of Cinema 4D Should I Buy or Subscribe to? - Guide Featured

Want to figure out what option is best for you? Follow this handy guide.

New Cinema 4D R21 Features

Now let’s take a look at the new tools and features announced in the latest version of C4D.

Field Forces

Image from MAXON Computer GmbH / Andres Hildebrandt.

Field Force dynamics allows users to optimize motion graphics workflow with the MoGraph toolset, offering flexibility and power to control dynamic forces in modeling and animation effects.

Caps and Bevel

Image from MAXON Computer GmbH / Andres Hildebrandt.

The new Caps and Bevel system will be integrated on all spline-based objects – lathe, loft, sweep, etc., for unlimited possibilities. Enhancements will include improved constraints and internal bevels, Delaunay cap skinning and new bevel presets.

Mixamo Control Rig

Image from MAXON Computer GmbH / Andres Hildebrandt.

The new Mixamo Control Rig offers quick and customizable way to implement character animation and will give R21 users the ability to adjust Mixamo animations imported into Cinema 4D for a more flexible and powerful workflow.

Intel® Open Image Denoise

R21 integrates Intel Open Image Denoise, a library for high-performance, easy-to-use denoising filter solution to improve visual quality and reduce rendering times via deep learning techniques. This technology is part of Intel® oneAPI Rendering Toolkit, a set of libraries to help create high-performance, high-fidelity, extensible, and cost-effective visual applications and solutions. The solution works and is available with Cinema 4D’s internal rendering solutions as well as ProRender.

Material Nodes 

Numerous additional nodes and UI improvements to accelerate workflow include the new Node Space that defines which material nodes are available to the chosen renderer. Additionally, an API is now available for third-party developers to integrate render engines with the new material node system.

Complete Feature List

For a list of every new feature, check out this R21 reference guide from Maxon.


Cinema 4D R21 will be released on September 3, 2019 for both macOS and Windows.

Greyscalegorilla Plus

Upcoming series from Zachary Corzine

Also announced at Siggraph was the new subscription training platform, Greyscalegorilla Plus. Subscribers can access top-selling training series like the Greyscalegorilla Guide to X-Particles, Guide to Redshift, Guide to Cinema 4D, and so much more.

Now in one place you can watch the beloved deep-dive series, and you’ll get new R21 training and and project-based series taught by working 3D professionals. You can learn more and sign up to reserve a seat today at greyscalegorilla.com/plus.

  • The subscription model looks reasonable at first glance but it’s actually quite pricey. A monthly plan, including Redshift and local taxes costs £1,680 pa – £140 pm – not cheap.

    Now, I think this would be good value if C4D was as comprehensive as Houdini but it simply isn’t. The cloth system is poor, thinking particles are from another age, ditto Bodypaint and the UV tools. You’re forced look at third party solutions and further subscriptions – Marvelous @ £50pm, Xparticles = £20pm, Substance £20pm and Rizom £15pm.

    Conceivably you could be forking out £250pm on core 3D tools equatable to the functionality of Houdini – that’s Autodesk pricing.

    Maybe this isn’t the amazing deal of the decade Maxon is making it out to be after all.

    Moan over. Where to I sign? ; )

  • I feel very disappointed with this version. Same feeling when I watch the new mac book pro.

    They are powering up particles with field forces, when all the power is coming from Xparticles.
    They are still powering up the AMD prorender which nobody uses.
    Same for C4D native materials when they have just bought redshift.
    The new bevel plugin is a 150$ plugin
    So just little minor updates, like UI improvements, and wait… Now there is only one version —- Super important!

    Another year they don’t improve the UI of Xpresso, which is 15 years ago and is horrible. The way the wires connect…. even they have a new API of nodes for the shaders. They could just migrate that.

    I am not sure if this rent option is expensive than the MSA, I bought last MSA 1 month ago 550€+VAT = 665,50€ in Europe

    Honestly, last year they gave us pure gold of volumes and fields…

    *Things that would be great:
    Improving workflow between procedural/editable objects.
    Creating a bridge between c4d and substance painter, or just adding a non shitty obj or fbx exporter. Still forced to use riptide
    A new rework of Xrefs? They are a pain in the ass
    Xpresso again, this wonderful handy friend is not getting any love from developers. They could look at nuke/cycles 4d/houdini nodes workflow, also make it multi core.
    Instances for volumes.
    A gradient maker, that allows to clone colors along the gradient and place them procedurally by percentages.

    Maybe now with the subscription plan, are they going to release faster updates? I think quarter upgrades will fit better in this subscription way.

  • Well Jason, it kinda sounds like you should just stick with Houdini if that’s what works for you. I’m looking at the cost of a commercial version of Houdini FX at $4,500 with an annual upgrade cost of $250 while this C4D sub is around $725/yr. Please don’t find my comment to be knocking Houdini by any means. It’s truly a fantastic piece of software but I don’t think I would even compare it to C4D. Now if you’re talking about the Indie license of Houdini that requires you earn less than $100K / yr… honestly if you’re good with Houdini you should absolutely be making more than $100K/yr.
    All the best!
    Let’s make some cool sh*^%

  • Hey Jason,

    did i miss something? How did you come up with £140 pm? It is €70 incl. Redshift – so about £65. How much taxes do you have???


  • Maxon never communicated any price for the perpetual license upgrade beyond R21.
    Where did you get the information that the upgrade will cost 3000USD???

    • We’ve revised this statement, as Maxon has clarified that an upgrade option will be made available for perpetual license owners.

  • “That said, a perpetual license does not include future releases, so if you want R22 next year, you would need to buy a new $3,000+ perpetual license. So if you plan on staying up to date with the latest version, the subscription service does make the most sense if you plan to continually update the software.”

    Do you say, that I can NOT update R21 to R22 but have to pay a completely new License for $3.000+?

    • We’ve revised this statement, as Maxon has clarified that an upgrade option will be made available for perpetual license owners.

  • The redshift + Cinema option is pretty damn cool. I was already of a mind that I was going to spend $600 per year on redshift alone.. $400 more to always be up to date with cinema too? Yeah I can handle that.

  • Subscriptions only benefit the company in the end. Its like leasing a car sounds good till the money gets tight and then you’re hit hard when work slows and income is tight to cover these monthly software expenses. You could ride it out till a big job comes in and then upgrade, but not with a subscription. Also improvements really slow down… take Adobe for example, they just move tool bars around.

  • martinrau-vfx-de August 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    At least, everybody can smell the taste of the Adobe guys that are on board now – or did they’ve come from Autodesk …. can’t remember ^^

    Cheers – money makes the wold go round …

  • A current 6 mos. lic for C4D Studio is $1200USD I believe. A year, w Redshift is less than $1kUSD? Sign me up! I will gladly fork up the cheese for this and thank you for making my budgeting that much easier now ;P

  • In my opinion we will never see a V22 Perpetual (Maxon gives no guarantee for that). They go the Adobe way (They also told us: Buy CS6 – it will be the only version you can upgrade from in future – and then? Only Rent-grade was available).
    V21 Perpetual exists only to not annoy some long-term users too much. They also have to fulfill existing MSA contracts.
    After that it means: rent it or leave it.
    Be carefull with investments! Especially when you are planning to buy expensive PlugIns or AddOns.
    No Cent from my side any longer as with Adobe.
    BtW: Nothing is cheaper with Subscription. If you stop paying you have nothing. I can sell a Perpetual license – when I do not need it anymore.
    I have access to my files without paying for.

  • Stéphan Guitton August 9, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Quid about non-Nvidia support ?

  • If i’ve have been on an MSA, in a year continue with subscription for R22, and then eventually pause it for whatever reason at some point in time, what version of Cinema would I have perpetual access to? I suspect it should be at the point in time before the subscription change — R21.

    Is this correct?

  • From a business point of view, this may cause some companies an issue.
    Perpetual licenses are a capital asset, which Maxon are potentially devaluing by moving to a subscription based service.
    When I purchased C4D a long time ago, I asked about the possibility of a subscription model but was told that it is not something Maxon would ever consider. I am now waiting for a response from Maxon that clarifies exactly what is on offer for current perpetual licence owners.
    I generally like subscription services, but transitioning will be way more expensive than the discontinued MSA.
    Fingers crossed they sort out current owners as well as opening the software up to a huge new market.

  • I don’t understand this. I paid $3.300 dollars to buy C4D several years ago. Now people just need to pay 700 a month to get it? That doesn’t seem fair. Give me back my 3000 and I’ll gladly do that.. I’m getting ready to jump ship like everyone else if someone doesn’t make me feel better about this..

  • I grumbled for ages about Adobe going subscription but this is great news. Woo-hoo I’m gonna get R21 this year! Now I just have to decide if I want to get Redshift. I’ve been pondering getting Octane for quite a while, but have heard some very good things about Redshift.

  • In my opinion we will never see a V22 Perpetual (Maxon gives no guarantee for that). They go the Adobe way (They also told us: Buy CS6 – it will be the only version you can upgrade from in future – and then? Only Rent-grade was available).
    V21 Perpetual exists only to not annoy some long-term users too much. They also have to fulfill existing MSA contracts.
    After that it means: rent it or leave it.
    Be carefull with investments! Especially when you are planning to buy expensive PlugIns or AddOns.
    No Cent from my side any longer as with Adobe.
    BtW: Nothing is cheaper with Subscription. If you stop paying you have nothing. I can sell a Perpetual license – when I do not need it anymore.
    I have access to my files without paying for.

  • As someone who invested in the studio version of R11 and gladly paid the MSA’s every year up to R21, I am fearful of the changes at Maxon. I don’t like subscription models (as a sole option) at all and stopped using Adobe at CS6 for that very reason. Not for the cost, but because Maxon would be holding my work / career to ransom and if I don’t pay up, won’t see my work again !

    With the death of the MSA option, does that also mean benefits, such as being able to use the license on my laptop as well, will go ?

    I kind of saw this coming when ex Adobe ($$$) guy – David McGavran took charge. I’m not liking the new direction at all !!! I hope I’m reading this wrong but every fibre of my being says prepare for the worst.

    I’ve dabbled with Blender in the past, perhaps it’s time to become more proficient at that, as a plan B. 🙁

    (not sure how you reply to a post, the button doesn’t work)

    As far as I understand, it’s even more unfair than that. If you have a basic C4D Prime or Body paint, with the cheaper associated MSA. You jump straight to the equivalent of a perpetual R21 Studio edition in September. Makes me wonder why I splashed out on a full Studio MSA a few months ago, when a cheaper Prime or BodyPaint MSA would still get me the full R21 Studio perpetual upgrade.

  • The subscription prices posted here are not reflected on Maxon’s site.
    It is stated from https://www.maxon.net/en/buy that for Annual Subscription it’s €61.49 or $68.17 and for Annual Subscription with Redshift, it’s €86.09 or $95.45. That’s a difference of $98.16 ($818.64 instead of $719.88 ) or upwards of $161.52 (1145.40 instead of $983.88) a year. Their month to month is €104.54 or $115.90 which is a difference of $20.91 compared to what is stated here. I think someone should clarify these numbers. I’m hoping someone catches this before there are too many people being overcharged.

  • I use subscription programs where I need cloud access. or such-like service, but see no need for them – from a consumer perspective – for programs that worked just fine in stand-alone mode up until now. Obviously, for the developer, it’s more money in the bank from a captive market.

    Sure, if you haven’t got the upfront cash to purchase outright, then paying monthly is helpful – but that shouldn’t mean we all have to finance the purchase this way. For example, if, you’re a jack-of-all-trades and use many different programs to meet your customer’s needs, it might be prudent to defer an upgrade one year while your work is more focussed elsewhere. With a subscription program, you’re locked in and have no flexibility. Worse still, stop subscribing and the program ceases to function at all – with reference to Adobe.

    Like others here, I stopped using Adobe after CS6 (even the CS suite itself was part-way to diluting effort and increasing profit) having been a Photoshop user since v2.5. It took me a while to find suitable alternatives but I’m very happy with the Affinity trio of Photo, Designer and (not used as yet), Publisher. They seem keen to gain market share by improving their product rather than think of ways to squeeze every last dollar out of their customers. In fact, I bought their IOS apps too, and their books, just to show support for their efforts. I’d much rather give Affinity my cash than subscribe to Adobe to do not very much each month.

    Likewise, this news from Maxon has forced me to look elsewhere so I re-examined Blender. Again, as a jack-of-all-trades, it appeared to fulfil my needs adequately so I subscribed to their cloud service to show my support financially (this service is not necessary to run the free-to-use Blender, it just offers tutorials and resources etc.,).

    I appreciate that I’m throwing away my C4D knowledge but, goodbye Maxon, it’s been nice knowing you.

  • I got the subscription but was SUPER bummed to see that I can’t operate a single license on an extra machine. IE I usually have it on my main personal computer as well as on my laptop (for any client revisions while on the road). Now the licensing system seems to shut down the option of having it on a second personal computer. Anyone else find this disturbing?

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.