Posted By:Chad Ashley, Author at Greyscalegorilla

standard

Chaos Group Takes Control of V-Ray for C4D

November 1, 2018 - By 

Chaos Group takes over the development of the V-Ray for Cinema 4D plugin, aiming to take on the likes of Arnold, Octane, and Redshift.

Image via Stefan Laub / Chaos Group.

Big news for those who love V-Ray renderer, Chaos Group has officially taken over the development and marketing of V-Ray for Cinema 4D. Previously, the V-Ray for C4D plugin was developed by LAUBLab. As of November 1st, 2018, it is now under the control of the inventors of V-Ray, Chaos Group. Read More


standard

PureRef is a Must-Use Reference Image Tool for All Creatives

April 24, 2018 - By 
PureRef is a Must-Use Reference Image Tool for All Creatives - Featured Image

Keep your reference images and project notes in your sight at all times with PureRef. No more tabbing between windows and programs.

Once in a while, a productivity tool comes along and changes the way I work. Now to be clear, I think of a good coffee cup as a productivity tool, so that should give a bit of insight into my obsession with honing in my toolset. When a tool can drastically improve your work or your life, I feel compelled to tell people about it. So this is me yelling from the rooftop about my latest obsession, PureRef.

PureRef is a straightforward utility app for Windows, Mac, and Linux with a very simple premise. Keep your reference images in view at all times. The app places your references in a window that stay on top of all your active programs and tools. 

All day I bounce back and forth between my DCC (digital content creation) apps to random reference bookmarks or folders on my machine. Sometimes even dragging images into the Cinema 4D picture viewer just to keep them in sight.

With PureRef, you can create a new canvas and drag as many images onto its infinite canvas as you’d like. The best part is that you can tell PureRef to stay on top of all your open applications and windows. While you’re working, you can dial in your look while having all your reference imagery sitting right next to your preview render (IPR).

The ability to save canvases means you can start keeping multiple PureRef projects to suit your current needs. It’s a huge time saver. I also love how you can quickly zoom, resize, and re-arrange your images anytime you’d like, saving the changes for the next time you need instant inspiration.

This tool improved the look of my work on first use. I was able to take 20 minutes assembling reference imagery, and during my look-dev process, I was able to hit the look I was after in minutes. You can even add notes to yourself within the PureRef canvas. 

Having reference imagery sitting an inch away from your IPR is something I will no longer be able to live without. You will see a lot of it in the future in my tutorials. So do yourself a favor, find an excellent sturdy coffee cup and go download PureRef right now.

About PureRef and Download

PureRef allows you to drag-and-drop files from your machine, or directly from browsers. You can also edit photos in your canvas to meet your needs, including rotation, scale, crop, opacity, and more. You can also customize the canvas and keyboard shortcuts to speed things up.

  • Compatibility
    • Windows 7+
    • Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Linux Ubuntu 14.04+
  • Supported Image Formats
    • BMP, DDS, GIF, ICNS, ICO, JPEG, JP2, MNG, PBM, PGM, PNG, PNM, PPM, PSD, TIFF, WEBP, XBM, XPM, TGA(TrueVision 2.0)

PureRef is a name your own price download, and you can get it here. It’s well worth throwing them a few dollars if you can.


standard

Interview: Ash Thorp on Creating a Cyberpunk Western for Nike

April 9, 2018 - By 
Interview: Ash Thorp on Creating a Cyberpunk Western for Nike - Featured

Designer and Art Director Ash Thorp creates a sci-fi spaghetti western in this Nike VaporMax spot. See how he used GorillaCam to bring the project to life.

Nike’s fourth collaboration with ACRONYM® sees the release of the Nike Air VaporMax Moc 2. To announce the new sneakers, Nike released the following trailer featuring ACRONYM® founder Errolson Hugh and musician John Mayer.

Blink and you might miss the stellar work of designer and all-around creative mind, Ash Thorp. If you aren’t familiar with Thorp’s work, he created many of the stunning posters, concept art, VFX, and titles used in films like Blade Runner 2049, Ghost in the Shell, and several Marvel blockbusters.

You can take a closer look at his Nike work in this video Thorp shared on Twitter.

We wanted to learn more about how this collaboration came about, so we reached out to Ash Thorp. Here’s what we found out in our interview:


Chad Ashley: For those not familiar with your work, could you give us a brief history of who you are, and what you do?

Ash Thorp: My name is Ash Thorp, and I am a creative, I’m a director, artist, illustrator. I’ve been working in the feature film industry and AAA games industry for almost 8 years now.

I primarily work on feature films, that’s my client work. I’m slowly migrating all my efforts to direct my own feature film.

I’m basically a generalist. [laughs]

CA: How long have you been using Cinema 4D?

AT: I’ve been working in Cinema 4D maybe about 7 years now. It’s kinda crazy, seeing I still kinda suck at it. [laughs]

CA: I’m curious about that. You’re work is amazing, and you do a lot of original concept work. How much of that is done in 3D versus sketching.

AT: It all varies and depends. I will sketch my thoughts on paper. If it’s a motion piece, I’ll do a still, or series of stills to sell the idea. From there, it’s full on pipeline mode to do the animation and all that fun stuff.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: I just watched your new Nike piece, and it is just fantastic. Can you tell me how that started?

AT: Yeah, it was a quick job. Very quick. Just a couple of weeks. I knew Errolson, who is the founder of ACRONYM clothing. He’s just an awesome guy, and I’ve had him on my podcast.

So, he was pitching a concept and idea to the team at Nike for the release of his new shoe collaboration, the VaporMax. He was like, “You know who could do this? Ash Thorp.”

They needed to make a world very quickly. They pitched the idea to me, to merge a spaghetti western and a cyberpunk world. Instantly I was like, “Wow, that’s really weird. That sounds good. Let’s do it!”

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

I was thinking, well, we’re really in a place in the realm of CGI that you can do anything you want. That’s really powerful for someone like me, who just wants to get these ideas out of my head as fast as possible.

I saw the vision for what it was, so I grabbed a bunch of assets off of turbosquid, modeled a bunch of stuff, and did some style frames. The Nike guys loved it, Errolson loved it, and then I was like – Ok. To the races.

I was basically rendering for an entire week with all my cards on fire. I think it was a total of three weeks, from nothing to the final.

I wasn’t alone. I had my buddy Toros Kose, and he took care a lot of the heavy lifting in After Effects while I was rendering and building out the worlds. We had a lot of fun passing stuff back and forth.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: So it was just the two of you?

AT: Yeah baby!

CA: Dude, that’s great.

AT: I think it’s the future. The future is in smaller teams of smart people working together, complementing strengths and weaknesses and making good stuff. In my mind that’s really where things are going.

I’m seeing the death of the bigger studio. I could be completely wrong, I just feel like that’s the way I’m moving.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: I don’t think you’re far off at all. I remember a while back, that you were mentioning you were starting a potential job that would be good for GorillaCam, which we were we still pretty early on in developing. I got you an early version of the plugin to play with. I had no idea you were going to actually use it on a job!

AT: You literally gave me the plugin the day I started animating. That’s how good it is!

CA: Wow, my timing is just that good.  [laughs]

AT: I took it, and watched the tutorial. I think that’s one thing that I will say is so important for software creators and app developers. Please give us an understanding of how this thing works. For people that are crazy busy like myself, and with an attention span of a nit-wit.

I watched the tutorial, and I went right into it. I was like, “Oh, this is what I’ve been wanting for forever now.”

This is the way I did it, which is probably against the way you intended – but I don’t care. I just kept hitting “I’m feeling lucky.” I made two cameras and said I’m feeling lucky, and I was like, yeah, that’s good. Alright, cool. Then I rendered it out.

I wanted it to feel really weird and handheld. Kind of like a drone that was super spazzy. So, I created the cameras in a point A point B, then patched everything together using the GorrilaCam.

I would change the scale to World Scale proper, and then I’d just keep hitting I’m Feeling Lucky. I had no time to really finesse things.

CA: That is exactly how I use it, just so you know. When we were designing it, I said to Chris Schmidt, I want a button that says I’m feeling lucky. I got used to the Google Play Music “I’m Feeling Lucky” button that would build playlists for me. I wanted that functionality in GorillaCam. Sometimes you could surprise yourself, you’re not really sure what you want. So I usually hit that or Randomize Seeds.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

AT: Beautiful. Thank you for that. That’s how I work. I’m a weird hyper-child who pixel-fucks everything to death, but I also like randomness. So I enjoy the ability of having flaws. I like to be surprised when I make things.

When you’re at a computer, it’s such a linear experience. It’s very controlled. Oftentimes, it’s about putting imperfections into your work to let it breathe.

I think it works mighty fine for me, and I’m gonna use it like that till the end of time. [laughs]

I’m starting to do pre-viz for my films, and I started slapping the GorillaCam on there, just so it doesn’t feel so rigid. It just helps me do my job faster.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: I’ve always wanted this tool in Cinema, and I feel very fortunate to work with developers who can make this a reality. The most satisfaction I get from my job, is hearing from artists like you and hearing that they’re getting something out of it.

AT: I couldn’t be more thankful, honestly. You guys have an interest, you build something, it’s awesome, it’s very useful. It helps me just be an artsy-fartsy guy.

When it comes to CGI work, the thing I love is that it’s the most powerful of the artforms, I think. The thing that I hate about it, it’s the most powerful. It’s so hard to get good at fast. You can’t just go, but you can make a multi-dimensional experience.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: What renderer did you guys use for this?

AT: I’m using Octane right now. Testing out Redshift still, but I’m worried about learning a whole new thing.

CA: That’s why I’m here, friend.

AT: [laughs] I know, I know! I’ve seen your new tutorials on Redshift, and it looks so promising and awesome. Especially to someone like me, who uses a lot of volumetric and lights and doesn’t like noise. But, I’ve been using Octane since I started doing GPU stuff.

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

CA: What about the comp pipeline, that was all After Effects?

AT: Yeah. I just like to render everything without any passes and send if off. I’m kindy risky like that. Then Toros and I will take all the renders, which I have 6 GPUS – 3 Nvidia Titan X‘s and 3 Nvidia GeForce 1080‘s. Some scenes are really heavy geo-wise, so it would be 8 or 9 GB of VRAM. So they’d take like 7-8 minutes a frame.

I think there were 20 shots, each with maybe 40-80 frames, so it was just a lot of rendering. I just didn’t want to do extra passes on top of that. I just didn’t want to deal with that, and I didn’t have the time.

We originally cut it to a Justice track, added glitch and removing things and going bonkers on it up until it shipped. We were working on it up until the last minute.

You know, you hate it when you do it, but the only way to get that stuff out is to put that pressure. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just how it goes.

The people at Nike are very talented, and have great taste. I’m just lucky that they picked me to go along the ride with them, and they realize that they best way to do this stuff is work with a creative and stay out of their way.

They just let me be a bozo and get crazy. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cyber-western.

CA: That’s great. Thanks for sharing and talking with me.

AT: Thank you for what you’re doing! And thank the entire team at GSG. You’re making it easier to do what I want to do, which I appreciate. Thanks!

Image via Nike / Acronym / Ash Thorp.

Project Credits:

Client – Nike
Creative Director – Danny Demers
Designer/Animator/Art Director – Ash Thorp
Designer/Animator – Toros Kose
Score – Pilotpriest
Producer – Monica Thorp
Producer – Collin Samples
Producer – Bria Hisey
Special Thanks – ZaoeyoGreyscalegorilla

More about this project:

If you want to know more about the product, you can read more about the shoe collaboration on Nike’s website. For more of Ash Thorp’s work, check out his website. His site also includes many of his reels from the films and other projects he’s produced. His Behance page also includes more incredible renders from this project.

You should also check out Ash Thorp’s AWAKEN AKIRA passion project. The short tribute film also has hours of behind-the-scenes breakdowns in C4D and AE.

Image via Ash Throp / Zaoeyo.

If you are curious about the GorillaCam plugin, you can check out the GorillaCam product page here.


standard

Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard

April 4, 2018 - By 
Hands-on Review: Cinema 4D Backlit ASTRA Keyboard - Featured

We test out the backlit Cinema 4D ASTRA keyboard from LogicKeyboard. Do you need one on your desk?

So why am I reviewing a keyboard when there are so many other juicy things to talk about in hardware? I guess because this particular item scratched an itch that’s been bothering me for two years.

When I first started learning Cinema 4D, I was coming from Maya and 3ds Max. To get a leg up on the learning curve, I decided to port most of my shortcuts over to C4D so I could get up and running as fast as possible. It was all going swimmingly until I started realizing that in most of my tutorials I would be hitting hotkeys that made complete sense to me in my Maya/Max mindset, but would be utterly confusing to the C4D artists following along.

Image via LogicKeyboard.

I recently came across LogicKeyboard’s Cinema 4D ASTRA, a keyboard with specific hotkeys printed on each key. Was this keyboard finally my excuse to ditch my patchwork hotkeys and go legit? I reached out to LogicKeyboard, and they were kind enough to send me a unit to review.

Before we get into it, I think you should know that I’m not a mechanical keyboard enthusiast (though this was not for lack of trying). I purchased a Cherry MX3850 and gave mechanical keyboards a shot. After about a week of the clickety-clack lifestyle, I ended up back at my trusty Apple wired keyboard. Yes, I’m on a PC and I use an Apple keyboard. I’m a sucker for both the form factor and the feel of the Mac keys. I don’t like a lot of travel, and I love how quiet it is. With that in mind, here’s what I thought about this scissor-switch Cinema 4D keyboard.

Image via LogicKeyboard.

ASTRA Cinema 4D Keyboard Specs:

  • Backlit keys
  • Dimmable light with five levels
  • Built-in dual USB-ports 2.0
  • Scissor-switch keys
  • Color-coded labelled shortcut keys with graphical commands
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Dimensions – 17 5/8” x 6” x 11/4” (446mm x 150mm x 30mm)
  • Net weight – 2.1 lbs (950 grams)
  • Number of keys – 104 (ANSI version) 105 (ISO version)
  • Manufactured for 10.000.000 keystrokes per key
  • 1.8 meter cable with separate keyboard and hub connections (avoid interference with USB extenders)

First Impressions

I have to say, I was rather impressed by Logickeyboard’s packaging and overall presentation. A clean well-designed box is always a treat to open. Especially those with magnetic clasps that snap shut. Always satisfying. In addition to the keyboard, it shipped with a disposable cleaning wipe and a transparent silicone keyboard cover.

Image via Chad Ashley.

The keyboard itself was larger than I had expected. A few inches longer and deeper than my Apple keyboard. A bit taller as well. The ASTRA has a dual USB plug, one to plug directly into your machine’s keyboard port, and another USB 3 plug that will turn the keyboard into a USB 3.0 hub.

What immediately drew my attention was all of the useful standard Cinema 4D shortcuts printed on all of the keys. It was like looking into a shortcut menu sitting right under your fingers. The printing on the keys is of high quality and well designed overall. When backlit, the ASTRA has several levels of brightness, but no RGB support. I must note that keys do seem uneven in their translucency.

Once I plugged the ASTRA in, I fired up C4D and I was off and running. I simply had to delete my old shortcuts and switch to the C4D default layout.

The Good

Image via Chad Ashley.

Overall, typing on the ASTRA is a reasonably pleasant experience. Key travel and feel was on par with other scissor-switch keyboards I’ve owned. I must say though that the hardware is not what impresses with the ASTRA. The keyboard’s ability to teach me the proper shortcuts in C4D keeps me coming back. It turns out having hotkeys in front of my face and under my fingers is precisely the sort of motivation I needed to legitimize my shortcuts.

I began to transition to the new keys reasonably quickly, and whenever I got stuck a quick glance down would set me straight. I also enjoyed the multiple levels of backlighting. It was helpful to transition to a brighter back when needed. I found myself discovering shortcuts printed on the keys that I had never even known about.

The Not So Good

Image via Chad Ashley.

The biggest problem I had with the ASTRA was the build quality. Several times my right index finger would catch the underside of the “h” key and nearly pop it off. A few other keys also randomly popped off with barely a press. Luckily they could snap right back into place but it was annoying nonetheless.

I personally was not a big fan of the key press feel, which was a bit mushy. My fingers would become fatigued when typing for long periods of time. Its size was not as big of an issue as I had anticipated, but I do wish it were a bit slimmer.

It’s worth mentioning that this keyboard is not easily affordable, with a retail price of $139. At that price, I would have liked to see some dedicated audio controls, or perhaps a slimmer build.

Summary

Image via Chad Ashley.

I’m rather split overall. I would highly recommend the LogicKeyboard ASTRA for anyone wanting to double down on learning the C4D shortcuts. This is a fantastic learning tool, much more useful than a laminated shortcut cheat sheet (which I’ve had my fair share of over the years).

Though it has a well designed look and appeal, the keyboard itself doesn’t really stand out from other traditional keyboards. If you are a big fan of mechanical or scissor-switch keyboards, you likely won’t be stunned by this device.

So if you are ready to commit to being a hotkey master, this might be worth the price tag. The real question is whether or not it stays on your desk when you’re ready to take the training wheels off. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

You can check out or order the LogicKeyboard Cinema 4D ASTRA keyboard here.


standard

What Renderer Should I Use In Cinema 4D?

August 14, 2017 - By 

It’s the number one question artists ask me. “What renderer should I use? Which one do you like the best?” Ok, so here’s my answer…

*Updated March 2020 

I’ve been doing 3D professionally for over twenty-five years, built pipelines, ran jobs (large and small), creative directed at several award-winning studios, and during that time, I’ve used MANY different render engines. It’s become a bit of an obsession.

So, I recently collected all my thoughts and decided to update my ideas on rendering in Cinema 4D (my favorite 3D application). Below you’ll hear my thoughts on what I consider the big three render engines, Arnold, Octane, and Redshift. Let’s jump in!

My Recommendation:

So What’s the deal, Chad? What should I use? Well, I recommend to everyone the same two I use on a daily bases. Arnold and/or Redshift. Arnold is a versatile, rock-solid, and feature-packed and creates photoreal images with ease. Redshift is fast as hell, and it’s production features get better with every release. There is a full breakdown of my thoughts below if you really want to dig in.

How do You Choose?

You need to do your homework, download the trial versions of all three and take them for a test drive. I encourage you to map out what you value in a renderer. Is it purely speed? Versatility? The look it delivers? Stability? There are so many criteria to consider, I suggest making your own pro-con list and see which one rises to the top.

Why no love for Physical/Pro-Render?

So before we begin, I should address the elephant in the room. You may have skimmed this post and noticed that I didn’t include any of the built-in renderers for Cinema 4D. Namely, Physical Renderer and Pro-Render. Both are decent enough, but given how the technology has advanced in the last few years and how incredibly behind Physical is and how incredibly limiting Pro-Render is, I decided to not include them in this post.


The Big Three Players

Aside from the Standard/Physical render engines that come with Cinema 4D, there are dozens of third-party renderers for C4D and the other 3D applications.

In this post we are going to focus on the big three, Arnold, Redshift, and Octane. These render engines support most major 3D platforms (Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, etc) and you can use them between these apps with a proper license.

In this scenario, we are going to focus on the render engines as they work inside Cinema 4D.


Arnold (C4DtoA) by Autodesk

Arnold is best known for being the built-in renderer for Autodesk 3D applications. It’s also been used in film production for over fifteen years. This renderer has been built around rock-solid features and uncompromised quality.

  • Compatibility – Works on both Mac and PC, works on both CPU and Nvidia RTX GPUs
  • Annual Price – $342 (locked) via Toolfarm
  • Annual Price – $598 (floating) via Toolfarm
  • Monthly Price – $45 via Autodesk e-Store
  • Educational Institutions – Free
  • Trial VersionYes

Image by Kakela Studios via Autodesk

Strengths:
  • Versatile – The most versatile out of the three boasting CPU and GPU versions, works both on Mac and PC, and even includes a robust Toon system. It’s also widely supported on cloud based render farms like Pixel Plow.
  • Feature Rich – The most feature rich renderer in it’s class matched by one of the best plugins out there.
  • High Quality – There is a reason Arnold is synonymous with quality. It’s been the go-to for feature films for over 15 years.
  • Easy to Use – Arnold has fewer knobs to fiddle with and that’s something I appreciate.
  • Fun – I can’t stress this one enough. If a plugin/tool isn’t fun or a pleasure to use, I’m gonna be looking for alternatives. Arnold never gets in my way.
Weaknesses:
  • Speed – Both the CPU and GPU versions are not the fastest in this comparison, but because I value features and look over speed, it’s not a game changer for me. Though I totally understand those who value speed over everything else.
  • Licensing – Though the license system has improved, it still has a long ways to go. It’s overly technical and a bit of a pain to get set up properly.
  • Autodesk Stigma – Many artists are skeptical about giving Autodesk money or supporting a renderer owned by the mega-giant. There is always that feeling in everyone’s’ mind that at one point they may stop supporting other 3D applications outside of their domain. However, these fears are mostly unfounded and so far the only negative thing to happen has been the loss of the beloved Arnold logo in exchange for the Autodesk version.
My Take:

Arnold is my daily driver renderer, I use every-single-day. I use Arnold primarily for the incredibly beautiful looks it delivers, but the plugin itself is a joy to use thanks to it’s thoughtful design and added production features.

More on Arnold

 


Redshift by Maxon

Recently purchased by Maxon, Redshift is quickly becoming the go-to render engine for the motion design market. It’s biased approach to rendering makes it one of the fastest around.

  • Compatibility – PC native, Nvidia GPU only
  • Node-Locked Price – $500
  • Floating License Price – $600 (minimum 5 licenses = $3,000)
  • Annual Maintenance – $250 for node-locked ($1,500 to cover floating 5-license minimum)
  • Annual Subscription (including, but limited to, Cinema 4D) – $81.99 per month via Maxon
  • Monthly Subscription License (including, but limited to, Cinema 4D) – $116.99 per month via Maxon
  • Educational Institutions – Free
  • Trial VersionYes

Image by Chad Ashley

Strengths:
  • Fast – Redshift’s biggest advantage is its incredible speed. Being a fully GPU accelerated renderer (biased at that) means that this thing is gonna fire out renders fast.
  • Production Focused Features – Redshift directly targeted 3D production environments when they designed Redshift and it shows. As far as GPU renderers go, Redshift is one of the most feature complete.
  • Large User Base in Motion Design – Redshift’s popularity over the last few years have skyrocketed largely due to the fantastic training out there. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll want to learn this renderer.
  • Maxon Owned – Not long ago, Maxon announced it had purchased Redshift and I’m confident that soon we will see the benefits of having Redshift developers and Maxon’s engineers teaming up for something awesome.
Weaknesses:
  • Limited Features / Plugin – I know what you’re saying. “Hey, didn’t you just say that it was packed with production features?” Well yah. Sort of. Redshift is still very limited in terms of Mac/PC support (until Metal drops), CPU/GPU versatility (a long shot), no toon system, and a Cinema 4D plugin that still annoys me with a cumbersome UI/UX.
  • Many Quirks – Anyone who has used Redshift extensively understands this one. The plugin often requires far more clicks than you would think necessary and there are often many hoops you are forced to jump through or to endure to get cookin.
  • Effort for Realism – You can most certainly achieve beautiful results with Redshift, but it will take more effort. This one is entirely subjective so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I can just tell when something is rendered with Redshift.
My Take:

Redshift is my go-to for quick turn around 3D work. Perfect for simple or fast bashing out of ideas. I’m typically using Redshift for shiny stuff, logos, machine parts, etc.

More on Redshift


Octane by Otoy

Octane has been a big player in the motion design industry for over four years. It’s ridiculous speed and stunning output quality has earned it a rabid fan base. Lately, it seems to be falling out of favor with artists and studios in production due to it’s instability and lacking features.

  • Compatibility – PC native, Nvidia GPU only
  • Annual Price – $600 (super confusing pricing structure)
  • Monthly Price – Starting at $19.99 for small studios
  • Educational Institutions – NA
  • Trial VersionYes

Image by Cornelius Dammrich via OTOY

Strengths:
  • Fast – Octane is the fasted GPU renderer I’ve ever encountered. It’s speed is unparalleled and often feels like some sort of magic.
  • Beautiful – I think the look Octane delivers is reliably gorgeous. Due to it’s unbiased spectral approach to rendering, it’s just friggin sexy. It’s actually hard to make an Octane render look bad.
  • Innovative – Otoy’s CEO is sort of like the Elon Musk of our world. Jules Orbach is just as much as a personality as the mogul behind the Tesla. His vision and wild ideas are gonna push Octane into exciting new areas (holo-deck?).
  • Community – Octane is used by MANY artists and often many studios. It’s large user base can be a blessing and a curse.
Weaknesses:
  • Unstable – With innovation comes instability. It’s just a fact of life. Octane is probably the most likely to crash of the big three. It’s the complaint I hear the most.
  • Not Feature Focused – Often it feels like the Otoy team is not certain which market they want Octane to serve. It is lacking quite a few production features and most studios learn to stay away from Octane on large projects.
  • Quirks – I think most GPU renderers just suffer from quirks, it’s a trend I see. Octane has many things that annoy Octane users but that incredible speed and look keep them coming back.
My Take:

I simply don’t like creating materials and doing work in Octane. I find it’s material system confusing and cumbersome, it’s settings too complex and quirky, and it’s features too limited for shot-based production. That being said, I still use it occasionally to do concept boards and I’m always impressed with the beautiful images it renders.

More on Octane

standard

Signal 1.5 Released

June 27, 2017 - By 

We are very excited to announce the latest update to our animation plugin Signal!

Version 1.5 brings some really awesome new features and bug-fixes. Most notable is the new BPM (Beats Per Minute) functionality. We hope you check out all the feature videos and see for yourself how Signal can improve your animation workflow.

Already own Signal?

Good news, you have access to Signal 1.5 right now! Just log into the customer area here and begin your download.

Don’t Own Signal? Let’s Change That!

Go grab it! But hey, don’t take our word for it. Look at what some Signal users have said about this update.

Signal’s BPM features deliver something that has been missing from Cinema since the birth of MoGraph

Greyscalegorilla’s recent BPM addition to Signal is a complete Game Changer. What would take an animator endless hours of keystrokes and key frames now takes a click, drag and your choice of tempo.
It’s the must have plugin for every animator using Cinema 4D.


standard

Half Rez Video: “The Past, Present, and Future of 3D ” with Chad Ashley

May 16, 2017 - By 

Watch Chad Ashley talk about the past present and future of 3D production. And, how he thinks the future may play out for 3D motion designers in the next few years.

This video was recorded during Half Rez 2016.
Half Rez is a conference to celebrate motion designers held in Chicago IL. Want to be at the next event?

Register For Half Rez 2017 Today!


standard

Cineversity Presents: C4DLive Presentations from NAB 2017

May 11, 2017 - By 

Thanks to our pals at Cineversity, we can now share ALL the amazing presentations that were given in Las Vegas at NAB 2017! We will be updating and adding videos to this page as they become available, so check back often! Thanks again to Maxon US and Cineversity.com for recording and publishing the NAB 2017 C4DLive Presentations. Enough talk, let’s get to the videos!


John Lepore: 5 “Wrong” Ways To Use Cinema 4D

NAB 2017 Rewind – John Lepore: 5 Wrong Ways To Use Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Russ Gautier: Blockbuster FUI techniques in Cinema 4D


NAB 2017 Rewind – Russ Gautier: Blockbuster FUI techniques in Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Robyn Haddow: Cinema 4D FUI in a Flash


NAB 2017 Rewind – Robyn Haddow: Cinema 4D FUI in a Flash from Cineversity.


Devon Ko: A Visual Playground for Artists and Designers

NAB 2017 Rewind – Devon Ko: 3D: A Visual Playground for Artists and Designers from Cineversity.


EJ Hassenfratz: How to make Cinema 4D an invaluable Part of your 2D Workflow

NAB 2017 Rewind – EJ Hassenfratz: 3D: How to Make Cinema 4D an Invaluable Part of Your 2D Workflow from .


Angie Ferret: Cinema 4D for Designers – Making the Transition

NAB 2017 Rewind – Angie Ferret: 3D: Cinema 4D for Designers – Making the Transition from Cineversity.


Patrick Longstreth

NAB 2017 Rewind – Patrick Longstreth: Visual Effects for Adam Ruins Everything from Cineversity.


Perry Harovas

NAB 2017 Rewind – Perry Harovas: C4D Is My Secret VFX Weapon: Confessions of a Former Maya User from Cineversity.


Matt Milstead

NAB 2017 Rewind – Matt Milstead: Motion Tracking with Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Nick Campbell

NAB 2017 Rewind – Nick Campbell: 20 Speed Hacks Every New C4D User Should Know from Cineversity.


Eran Stern

NAB 2017 Rewind – Eran Stern: Combining C4D and After Effects for 3D Title Creation from Cineversity.


Al Heck

NAB 2017 Rewind – Al Heck: Create a Fantastic Freelance Career Using C4D from Cineversity.


Mike Schaeffer

NAB 2017 Rewind – Mike Schaeffer: Cinema 4D, from design and concept through final renders from Cineversity.


Ask GSG

NAB 2017 Rewind – Nick Campbell & Chris Schmidt: Ask GSG from Cineversity.


Lorcan O’Shanahan

NAB 2017 Rewind – Lorcan O’Shanahan: Brief explorations into parametric workflows from Cineversity.


Chad Ashley

NAB 2017 Rewind – Chad Ashley: 3D Workflow Techniques for Lazy People from Cineversity.


Chris Schmidt

NAB 2017 Rewind – Chris Schmidt: 50 Minutes of Tips and Tricks in Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Dave Koss

NAB 2017 Rewind – Dave Koss: Time-Saving Project Management in Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Julia Siemon

NAB 2017 Rewind – Julia Siemon: Character Tools for 3D Motion Graphic from Cineversity.


Athanasios Pozantzis

NAB 2017 Rewind – Athanasios Pozantzis: Organic Shape Morphing Inside Cinema 4D from Cineversity.


Brett Morris: Starting from Scratch, Creating the Cineversity Ident

Brett Morris: Starting from Scratch, Creating the Cineversity Ident from Cineversity.


Brett Morris: Building Custom Tools for Scalable Production Techniques

Brett Morris: Building Custom Tools for Scalable Production Techniques from Cineversity.



standard

The Beeple Interview! // Half Rez 2016

May 10, 2017 - By 

In this video, we sit down with Beeple AKA Mike Winkelmann to learn how he has made over 3500 daily renders! We also get his advice to others trying to start their own daily practice.

Register For Half Rez 2017 Today! http://www.halfrez.com/

Visit Beeple’s Site – http://beeple-crap.com/

Unfortunately, some of the video was not recorded during this interview. To hear the entire unedited interview, please listen to the full version at our Greyscalegorilla Podcast.

 


standard

Half Rez 2016 Video:”From Freelance To Studio Owners” – Run Kick Shout

May 9, 2017 - By 

Watch Nick Hopkins and Erik Jensen talk about their failures and success during the transition from being freelance to owning their own studio in Chicago. Let how to step your game up and start charging your clients what you are worth.

Register For Half Rez 2017 Today! http://www.halfrez.com/

Visit Run Kick Shout


standard

GSG Quiz: What Renderer Should I use in Cinema 4D?

May 2, 2017 - By 

This is not Scientific, it’s for Fun.

Just had to get that out of the way. This is the one question I get asked the most. It’s also the hardest question to answer. I hope this fun quiz will shed some light on your dilemma or maybe reinforce a decision you’ve already made.


If I left you out, I’m sorry.

I simply couldn’t add every single renderer that works with Cinema 4D, I have a job you know! I stuck to the ones that I use and that my group of friends use. This way I could bug them to take it a million times to check its accuracy. Jokes on them! However, maybe if we get a ton of people taking the quiz it will inspire me to do a more thorough version.


Want to learn more about rendering in Cinema 4D? Check out some of our videos.

Octane vs Arnold vs Physical


Greyscalegorilla Arnold Tutorial Playlist


Greyscalegorilla Octane Tutorial Playlist


Physical Renderer Speed Tip


standard

Greyscalegorilla NAB 2017

April 17, 2017 - By 
It’s time for NAB 2017! Join us in Las Vegas April 24-27 for an entire week of C4D Presentations.

This year is Greyscalegorilla’s biggest presence yet at the Maxon booth. Check C4DLIVE.COM for the full schedule and list of presenters.

Huge thanks to Maxon US for sending our crew out to Vegas to be a part of the big show and for streaming the entire thing LIVE so you can watch even if you can’t make it to Vegas.

Follow the GSG Crew via Instagram!

Don’t miss anything. Follow us on Instagram for stories, pics, and more!

The GSG Booth!

If you are in Vegas during NAB, be sure to stop by the Greyscalegorilla booth, get a demo by Nick, Chris, and Chad, and grab some Greyscalegorilla swag! The GSG booth is located directly behind the Maxon Booth, see you there!


Greyscalegorilla Team Presentation Schedule:

Monday

Chris Schmidt: Monday, April 24th at 1:30 PM PST

Tuesday

Nick Campbell: Tuesday, April 25th at 9:30 AM PST

Wednesday

AskGSG with Nick Campbell and Chris Schmidt: Wednesday, April 26th at 11:30 AM PST

Chad Ashley: Wednesday, April 26th at 2:30 PM PST