Redshift Gets Cinema 4D Noises and Nodes — First Impressions
Cinema 4D Noises and Nodes are now available in Redshift, or are they? A look into the confusing world of experimental updates.
This week I found the latest Maxon Press Release, Redshift update integrates Cinema 4D Noises and Nodes for improved rendering workflow, in my inbox. It was some exciting news that I was quick to open and read.
Per the release, Redshift 3.0.12,
provides content creators deeper integration of Redshift within Cinema 4D. Redshift materials can now be defined using Cinema 4D’s nodal material framework, introduced in Release 20. As well, Redshift materials can use the Node Space system introduced in Release 21, which combines the native nodes of multiple render engines into a single material. Redshift is the first to take advantage of the new API in Cinema 4D to implement their own Node Spaces. Users can now also use any Cinema 4D view panel as a Redshift IPR (interactive preview render) window, making it easier to work within compact layouts and interact with a scene while developing materials and lighting. – Maxon
It was some pretty exciting news that garnered quite a bit of attention online.
Now there was something blatantly missing from this press release. Maxon never clarified that the latest Redshift release was in fact a beta.
Then I looked at the version number again. “3.0.12”
Redshift 3.0 has not yet been released, so this new announcement just fed further confusion.
If you were to head to the Redshift download area, you’ll notice that only v2.6.50 is currently listed. That is the recommended production-ready build of Redshift.
If you actually want to experiment with the C4D Noises and Nodes, you’ll need to find the Redshift experimental builds in the forums.
Experimental builds is the term used by Redshift for their beta builds. You get what you get. Know that there will be many bugs and likely crashes involved.
Typically Redshift experimental builds are just rolled out to users without much fanfare. But in this case, I was led to believe that C4D Noises and Nodes were production ready.
It seems like there may be some miscommunication between Maxon and Redshift regarding “updates” versus “experimental builds” but despite the confusion, we still wanted to investigate the newest feature additions to Redshift.
After a quick install, it was quickly apparent that this release IS NOT production ready.
Now to further investigate, I turned to our resident render expert Chad Ashley to take a deeper dive into the latest Redshift release. He too found a series of issues with this release. I asked for him to catalog his experience, and here are his findings.
This is a good first stab at supporting both C4D noises and nodes, but this still feels very beta overall. I’d say that the noises seem farther along than the node experience.
I should note that the noises are missing some key features, like looping and movement, but they are at least functional. However, until the node system gets a bit more mature, I’ll be sticking with the Xpresso editor.
Redshift Node Implementation
I’ve never particularly enjoyed using the Xpresso nodes in Redshift or Arnold. Connecting those minuscule lines make my eyes water, so when Maxon released its own node-based material editor, I was very excited.
I even did some C4D node training (using physical) and got to know it a bit better. Overall their node system has a clean, functional, UI that doesn’t cause blindness but is not without its flaws.
A majority of the issues I found were with the node editor itself, not necessarily the Redshift implementation. Though there were a few things that bugged me.
- Ability to Mute wire’s is nice
- Ability to right click to replace nodes is useful
- Grouping is useful but would be better if groups could be opened/closed quickly
- Overall Node issue: Undo doesn’t work when connecting/disconnecting nodes.
- Overall Node issue: UI desperately needs a CTRL+A select all hotkey.
- Redshift Node issue: Some RS previews show black or are the wrong color for no apparent reason.
- Redshift Node issue: Frequently, nodes require a manual renderview refresh to see any changes.
- Overall Node issue: New nodes start in the center of the UI and not under your mouse as one would expect.
- Overall Node issue: Cant save node materials to the content browser (big one for me)
- Overall Node issue: No preferences to set initial view state for nodes (no previews, etc)
- Overall Node issue: Doesn’t support custom material previews
- Redshift Node issue: RS Texture nodes are shown on sphere material preview for some reason (see below image)
- Redshift Node issue: Referenced materials are not yet supported
- Redshift Node issue: Soloing upstream textures in a material with displacement shows the material with no displacement. Displacement seems to be omitted from upstream solos.
Redshift Noise Implementation
Redshift’s implementation of Maxon’s noises is a welcome and long-awaited addition. It is fairly feature-complete with only a handful of omissions. I’m especially delighted that they included UV/vertex, Object and World source (spaces).
- Missing looping animation features.
- Missing movement + speed features.
- Would be nice to drive noise types with user data.
- Would be nice to drive noise seeds with user data.
- Maxon Noise material preview is on a sphere despite being a texture?
It looks like Redshift 3.0 is on it’s way to incorporating some nice new features, but it’s apparent that the build just isn’t quite there yet. Which brings us to wonder when the public will finally see a Redshift 3 full release.
We saw issues with Arnold’s first GPU release beta which has made major strides since it’s first release earlier this year. With Maxon backing Redshift, let’s hope that Redshift is also quick to innovate and release big updates soon. It’s really starting to look like the GPU rendering competition is about to heat up.
Overall, it looks like there was a lot of “noise” made for features that aren’t ready for the public, but if you are tempted to play with the new experimental build, Redshift customers can find a download in the Redshift forums.