Posted In:Cinema 4D | Greyscalegorilla

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Top 10 Most Popular Training Videos Inside of Greyscalegorilla Plus

March 31, 2020 - By 

What do Greyscalegorilla Plus members love to watch and learn? Here are 10 of the most popular lessons.

Who better to share feedback on training than those who have already completed several pro training series in Greyscalegorilla Plus? We reached out to Plus members to tell us about some of the most popular lessons you should be streaming now.

Here are 10 of the most popular lessons that will help add valuable 3D tools and tricks to your workflow.

Not a Greyscalegorilla Plus member? Click here to learn more and join today.


Create Dynamic Procedural MoGraph Animations

Training Series: Procedural Systems in Cinema 4D
Teacher: Zachary Corzine

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Procedural Systems training
3. Scroll Down to “Part 02 – Base System / Approach”
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
By using Fields to drive changes to your base  system, you can dynamically affect Polygon Selections, Shader Changes, Deformers, and much more. This lets you play around and quickly try out different setups without have to rebuild the system or make unnecessary changes.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Drill Holes in Plywood to Make a Pegboard

Training Series: Modern Surface Material Training
Teacher: Chad Ashley

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Download and install Modern Surface Material Collection
3. Click here to watch modern surface material training
4. Scroll Down to “Create a Pegboard in Cinema 4D”
5. Click PLAY to start learning


Pro tip from this lesson
To create the drilled holes, you can use a Cinema 4D Boolean, but you will likely take a speed hit with your render times. A new faster option available for Arnold users is Clip-Geo.

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Make Beautiful Redshift Materials

Training Series: Guide to Redshift
Teacher: Trevor Kerr

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Guide to Redshift
3. Scroll to Training > Redshift Color > “Redshift Materials”
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
If you increase your IOR, your surface will look more metallic. Plastic values tend be be around 1.3, glass around 1.52.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Cinema 4D Fields Masterclass

Training Series: Guide to Cinema 4D (R20)
Teacher: Matthew O’Neill

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Guide to Cinema 4D
3. Open the “Introduction To Fields” chapter
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
Instead of using the traditional target to have objects follow, you can now use other objects as a target. For instance, you can use a spline as the target object

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Make it Rain with X-Particles

Training Series: Guide to X-Particles
Teacher: Jon Bosley

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Guide to X-Particles
3. Open the Training > “Rain” lesson
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
Rain is one of the easiest ways to introduce you to X-particles concepts. You’ll learn that the smaller the particles, the slower they fall from the xpEmitter.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Finally Learn How Houdini Works

Training Series: Introduction to Houdini
Teacher: Russ Gautier

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Introduction to Houdini
3. Scroll to “Part One – Getting Started with Houdini”
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
Houdini is a great complimentary program to Cinema 4D, and solves problems differently. Once you learn how to create and manipulate data, the program is completely and totally open to you.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Are you still not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Push Your Polygon Count Higher Than Ever

Training Series: Guide to Cinema 4D (R20)
Teacher: Nick Campbell

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Guide to Cinema 4D
3. Click the “Multi-Instance Pencil Project”
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
In the past, you were limited to how many times you could clone things, based on polygon count. With Multi-Instance, you can crank the numbers way up! Now instead of always seeing the geometry, you can change the Viewport Mode to a Bouding Box or Points. This allows you to keep working quickly without taking any speed hits while you make changes.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Give New Life to Thinking Particles with Field Force

Training Series: Guide to Cinema 4D (R21)
Teacher: Andy Needham

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Guide to Cinema 4D
3. Click the “GSG Particle Titles” project
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
By combining the Volume Builder and Field Force with a Matrix object, you can generate Thinking Particles natively in Cinema 4D.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Learn to Color Like a Pro

Training Series: Getting to Know ACES (Academy Color Encoding System)
Teacher: Chad Ashley

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Getting to Know ACES
3. Scroll to the “Setting Up ACES” lesson
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
ACES CG is a wide gamut color space that was designed specifically for doing 3D rendering. It is a broader color range, wider gamut than SRGB, meaning you can push your color and light intensity much, much further.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Design Amazing Arnold Shaders

Training Series: Introduction to Arnold
Teacher: Kamel Khezri and Chad Ashley

Watch This Lesson Now

1. Sign into your Greyscalegorilla Plus account
2. Click here to watch Introduction to Arnold – Part One
3. Scroll to Section Four “Arnold Shader Network” lesson
4. Click PLAY to start learning

Pro tip from this lesson
The Arnold Shader Network allows you to view, modify, and develop shaders. If you hit Alt+W and then type N, a new shader network will be created immediately.

Here’s what one of our members had to say about this training series…

Not a Plus Member? Click here to join.

Not a Plus member? There are hundreds of hours of pro training just like this waiting for you in Greyscalegorilla Plus. This is your all-access pass to becoming a better 3D artist.

Join Greyscalegorilla Plus today and get over $3000 in training and material downloads for only $39 per month.


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Mixing C4D, Charcoal, and Cel Animation for Thom Yorke’s “Last I Heard”

February 4, 2020 - By 

Thom Yorke’s “Last I Heard” Music Video Director Saad Moosajee and Designer Zuheng Yin on using 3D and 2D to capture the Radiohead frontman’s dreams.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke released his third solo album, ANIMA, last summer along with a short Netflix film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. He followed it up late last year with the release of a haunting video for the track “Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)”.

The dreamy black-and-white video was created at New York City-based experimental studio, Art Camp. It opens on a city in chaos and intermittently follows a spacesuit-wearing character through a dystopian landscape filled with faceless crowds, enormous fires and floating cars and debris.

Directed by Art Camp & Saad Moosajee, the video was inspired by Yorke and Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood’s imaginations and contains over 3,000 hand-illustrated and textured frames made using a combination of Cinema 4D, Houdini, charcoal, dust, paint primer and cel animation.

The approach is similar to the one Moosajee and Art Camp took when creating the video for Mitski’s, “A Pearl”. Only this time, an array of artists combined additional techniques and tools, including volumetric lighting, crowd simulation, powder texturing, charcoal washing and VDB. Yorke released the video with an immersive installation during a three-day event in Los Angeles hosted by ANIMA Technologies in October.

“In some ways, the direction for this was looser than what we got for “A Pearl”, Moosajee explains. “Thom told us about some images from his dreams and about how this would relate to the world of ANIMA, which is quite dark, and “Last I Heard” was written with London in mind.” So the brief was focused on creating a video with the look of an old black-and-white film that captured the feeling of anxiety and loneliness that often goes with big cities, like London or New York.

An Ever-Changing Process

Using some of Donwood’s Radiohead artwork, black-and-white photography and old NASA photos for reference, the team expanded on Yorke’s vision, giving each person an opportunity to contribute creatively across different mediums. Though they had only about two and a half months from start to finish, the team felt it was important to experiment and see what worked, so they switched up the process and remade the video over and over again before feeling like they got it right.

3D designer and animator Zuheng Yin worked closely with Moosajee to define the look of the video. “For a music video like this, we felt it was important to attract people from the beginning,” he explains, “Monochrome, film grain, and texture that felt human worked quite well in the context of showing Thom’s world. The visual language became more and more unique by layering our craft.”

To ensure a sense of realism and the look of an old film, the team opted to anchor much of their process in 3D. But, to make things “less perfect,” they used volumetrics and VDB in Cinema 4D, Octane and Houdini to create a layered atmosphere and light the world on fire. “I would often place lights behind animating pyro and fog containers so you would get natural flicker, diffusion and a sort of time-lapse sun effect,” Moosajee recalls. For a grainier look, the team made sure renders were never fully clean and contained noise in the images and volumes, while not being so grainy that they messed up the animation.

Though it looks like a film, nothing was practically shot for the video. Instead, the team designed and modeled the characters in C4D themselves, using motion capture to make characters’ movements look natural. Houdini based crowd simulations were populated with characters modeled in 3D by the team and outfitted using Marvelous Designer, so they would all be visually unique.

To build up the world further, the crowds were placed into custom-designed sets that were often interspersed with traffic simulations.

“Traffic is a big part of every city, and I imagined that the traffic structures inside of the ANIMA universe would follow real-world behavior, but would be just a little off,” Zuheng says. After creating a simulation with real-world behavior inside of Cinema 4D, he distorted it by pulling the road off the ground, deleting the traffic guides and silhouetting the moving cars to accentuate the negative space between vehicles and the city behind them.

Combining Mediums for Maximum Effect

To get the look they wanted for “Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)”, the team opted for a highly textural approach, using charcoal, paints, ink and powders. “We would print out 3D renders, sprinkle crushed powder over them, and brush on a mix of charcoal and water,” Moosajee explains. In certain scenes, for extra grittiness and texture, they first brushed on oil paint primer before using the charcoal wash. The effect added to the painted feel of the video, with the goal being to give every scene its own unique style based on what was happening in the shot.

From a directing and animating standpoint, Moosajee found the team’s constant reinvention of the pipeline an interesting challenge that worked because everyone was very dedicated and flexible. “One week we’d go, ‘Okay the video is going to be stylized 3D with detailed 2D’. Then the next week we’d say, ‘no the video’s going to be 3D and should feel like film photography with accents of 2D.’”

What they eventually settled on was developing specific media combinations and software pipelines on a shot-by-shot basis, so the balance was always changing in the video. “Our animators and designers enjoyed the back and forth because we were all exploring different ways to build the world together,” Moosajee recalls. “I really think you need to give your team agency to contribute to the style whenever you can because that’s when people do their best work.

Credits:
Made At Art Camp
Directed by Art Camp and Saad Moosajee
Technical Director: James Bartolozzi
Design by Saad Moosajee and Zuheng Yin
Art Direction by Jenny Mascia
3D Animation by Saad Moosajee, Zuheng Yin, Chanyu Chen
Simulation and Effects by James Bartolozzi
Supporting Design: Chanyu Chen, Andrew Finley
Cel Animation by Jenny Mascia, Britton Korbel, Mac Ross, Jeremy Higgins, Danae Gosset

Production Manager: Matthew Kagen
Production Coordinator: John James Russo
Stop Motion Photographer: Jared Pershad
Storyboards by Mac Ross, Jenny Mascia
Cel Animation Consultant: Danae Gosset


Meleah Maynard is a writer and editor in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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Maxon and Red Giant Merge in New Media and Entertainment Division

December 17, 2019 - By 

Cinema 4D parent company, Nemetschek Group, merges Maxon and post-production plugin developer Red Giant.

Hot on the trails of the acquisition of Redshift Rendering Technologies earlier this year, Nemetschek Group doubles down on their red offerings with a merger with Red Giant.

Red Giant, makers of Trapcode, Magic Bullet, Universe, and my personal favorite PluralEyes, had just released their own subscription all-you-can-eat offer with Red Giant Complete. After a successful launch, it looks like the company made enough noise for others to notice.

In the announcement, it was revealed the Maxon and Red Giant would from a new Media and Entertainment Division under Nemetschek. This will allow them to bring all their production and post-production tools together.

Maxon’s Cinema 4D, Redshift, and Red Giant are now all subscription services that are used by countless production facilities all around the world.

“This merger is a major milestone, not only for Maxon and Red Giant but also for the design industry as a whole,” said David McGavran, CEO of Maxon. “Our combined technology and know how have the potential to progressively reshape the content creation landscape for years to come.”

“The combination of our companies is an exceptional fit of people, culture and technology.” said Chad Bechert, CEO of Red Giant. “We look forward to working together under a shared vision of how to design powerful and approachable software to serve creative artists around the world.”

Greyscalegorilla founder Nick Campbell shared his excitement, “Huge news! I can personally say that I’ve never met two companies so full of talented, creative, and genuinely nice people. Can’t wait to see what they do together.”

The merger is still pending, and is expected to close in January 2020, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

We will be sure to keep you up to date with the latest.

*Update – A previous version of this story incorrectly reported this as an acquisition, but it is in fact a merger.


Looking for Cinema 4D or Red Giant Trapcode tutorials? Check out the free tutorials page. 

Back in April, Maxon aquired Redshift. Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast with the latest on the Red Giant merger.

 


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Arnold is the Most Versatile Render Engine for Cinema 4D

December 11, 2019 - By 
Arnold is the Most Versatile Render Engine for Cinema 4D - Featured

With the latest release, Autodesk’s Arnold renderer becomes the most versatile C4D render engine that works on both CPU and GPU.

One of the most asked questions Greyscalegorilla receives is which render engine to use. It’s still not a simple answer, but for the first time, we can definitely recommend one based on versatility + features.

Autodesk Arnold is one of the leading Cinema 4D render engines that can be used by both Mac and PC artists, and now that the NVIDIA GPU version is fully released it’s incredibly powerful.

Arnold 6 is not the most feature-rich new release, but it doesn’t really have to be.

The removal of the word BETA from it’s GPU offering could be called premature (and I wouldn’t necessarily argue with them), but there is no denying the power of being able to flip from CPU to GPU. The new licensing methods are also a welcome change to the old, overly complicated system that required a degree in IT to get up and running (though still has tons of room for improvement).

Let’s dive into the latest release, and really take a look at things.

Overall Benefits to Arnold 6:

  • Easy to Use
  • Most versatile renderer for both Mac and PC (CPU + GPU), though GPU is not supported on Mac
  • Works across all major DCC’s including Cinema, Houdini, Maya, and Max
  • Most feature-rich renderer (including a full Toon System)
  • Supports more native C4D features than most current renderers (Noises, Background Object, Floor Object, etc)
  • Extremely stable
  • Memory Efficient
  • Affordable Single Seat Licenses
  • Monthly subscriptions available
  • No watermark restrictions – You can work on the watermarked version with no feature limitations
  • Extremely responsive IPR in both CPU/GPU
  • Supports industry standards like OCIO+ACES, OSL

5 Must-Know Things About Arnold 6

  1. Arnold GPU:
    • Out of Beta
    • More Stable
    • Supporting nearly every feature of CPU (including light filters, LPE’s, and nearly all AOVs)
    • No Mac Support
  2. Lower Pricing Structure
  3. New Arnold license process – Somewhat easier to get up and running, and cheaper options.
  4. A ton of bug fixes. Stability matters in production.
  5. Quality of life updates (node alignment tools, material exports, etc)

Thoughts on Arnold GPU

Arnold GPU was no small feat. Taking a production-proven CPU renderer and pushing it to deliver 1:1 results on the GPU is very difficult. Renderman is currently working on XPU which promises to harness the power of your CPU and GPU simultaneously, but it’s proved challenging to bring to market. We believe the future is about leveraging ALL your hardware. Power and flexibility will always win out. Arnold being able to give 1:1 results on both CPU and GPU is incredibly compelling.

If I were starting a small studio right now, I would be using Arnold GPU on my artists’ workstations to do look dev/lighting and then switching to CPU mode to throw to an inexpensive cloud render farm solution such as Pixel Plow. I’d outfit every 3D workstation with dual 2080ti’s and a Threadripper to give every artist the flexibility to use whichever mode better suits their work. What a time to be alive!

Now I’ve been on the beta for Arnold GPU since it opened over a year ago. I’ve watched it slowly go from a buggy, noisy mess into something I actually use on a daily basis.

The first question anyone ever asks me is whether or not it’s faster than it’s competitor Redshift. My answer is always the same, mostly no. In my testing, Arnold GPU is 10-20% slower than Redshift on most tasks. However, in some cases, it can close that gap very nicely (usually on scenes with tons of GI bounces).

Even with Redshift besting it in terms of sheer speed (as one would expect from a biased GPU renderer), it cannot touch Arnold in terms of features and user experience. Arnold outshines its competitors with production proven features and a Cinema 4D plugin that is easily best in class.

I’m also a bit spoiled as I use Arnold with a 64-core AMD Threadripper. So Arnold CPU for me is certainly no slouch. In fact, only now with Arnold 6 can I say that their GPU offering is giving my beast of a CPU a run for it’s money.

Should I switch to Arnold GPU?

Well, there are a few things to consider

  • Arnold GPU is Windows only, sorry no Mac support at this time
  • Arnold GPU is Nvidia ONLY and more cards the better. I HIGHLY recommend RTX cards as Arnold GPU is optimized for that platform. I’ve got two 2080ti’s and I wish I had more!
  • Arnold GPU takes advantage of NVLink (an $80 device that links multiple RTX cards together) and in my opinion, is a MUST HAVE if you want to maximize speed in Arnold GPU.
  • You also have to be “OK” with Arnold GPU taking a bit longer to render than it’s competition, but in exchange you get superior features and first-in-class plugin experience. Plus, you can always design in GPU and send to a CPU farm. Versatility!

What are the Key New Features of Arnold 6?

  • Faster creased subdivs: Hard creases are now fully supported in adaptive and multithreaded mode. This means creased surfaces will use all procs during subdivision.
  • Dielectric microfacet multiple scattering: Rough dielectrics are now energy-preserving by accounting for multiple scattering between microfacets for both reflection and refraction, avoiding the energy loss of the previous implementation. Disabling the global option enable_microfacet_multiscatter will restore the previous look.
  • Physical Sky shader improvements: The physical sky shader will now extend the color at the horizon all the way down to the bottom pole.
  • Improved roughness mapping of the Oren-Nayar diffuse BRDF: The Oren-Nayar roughness parameter has been remapped so that values close to 1 no longer result in excessive darkening. This change also improves the Standard Surface and Car Paint shaders.
  • Improved rough thin-wall transmission in Standard Surface shader: Refractions in thin-walled mode now appear blurry with non-zero roughness.
  • OCIO roles: Roles can now be listed with the color manager API by querying color spaces available in the Role (OCIO) family. This makes it possible to build UIs that list all known roles.
  • Skip RGBA denoising: Noise now accepts -ignore_rgba or -irgba to skip denoising of RGBA even if it’s present.
  • OpenImageIO 2.1.4: OIIO support is now upgraded to 2.1.4.
  • More accurate albedo AOVs: Albedo AOVs now correspond more closely to the true albedos of the material’s BSDFs.
  • New AOV Write Vector shader: This enables the writing of vector values into a  typed AOV, for example for recording positional values. These would previously have been clamped when using  typed AOVs

C4DtoA Plugin Enhancements

  • Material export/import: Materials can be exported to ASS files and MaterialX files (.mtlx) via the C4DtoA > Utilities > Material > Export to ASS… menu item or via the Alt~W+X shortcut in the Material Manager. Materials can be imported via the C4DtoA > Utilities > Material > Import from ASS… menu item or Alt~W+I shortcut. Selected shaders from a material can also be exported from the network editor.
  • Align nodes in the network editor: New Edit > Align nodes menu item and Alt~W+L shortcut is added to the network editor to align graph nodes in the layout.
  • Notification when no license found or license will expire: Now a message is displayed in the render settings when no Arnold license found or two weeks before the license expires.
  • New Licensing menu: Licensing menu moved to C4DtoA > Licensing with menu items to open the new Arnold License Manager, help and purchase pages. Note that single-user licensing is not available for testing.
  • Added aov_write_vector shader
  • Add Details and Project tabs to Arnold Sky: ****Light filters, user options and light linking settings are moved to these new tabs to be consistent with other lights.
  • Flush Caches menu moved under Utilities

Want to learn more?

Check out the C4DtoA 3.0.1 documentation and Arnold 6 overview.


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Redshift Gets Cinema 4D Noises and Nodes ⁠— First Impressions

December 6, 2019 - By 

Cinema 4D Noises and Nodes are now available in Redshift, or are they? A look into the confusing world of experimental updates.

C4D Noises in Redshift by Chad Ashley.

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.


First Impression

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 3.0.12 textures display on sphere versus standard flat image.


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?

Left Redshift C4D Noise, Right Maxon C4D Noise.


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.


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Beeple’s Short Film is a Wake-up Call for Everybody, Including Himself

December 2, 2019 - By 

Four years in the making, Beeple never thought he’d finally release ‘Manifest Destiny.’ Now you can watch it and download all the scene files he made for free.

Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple, wrote the treatment for his latest film, Manifest Destiny, a little over four years ago, never dreaming that it would actually take so long to get the film finished.

Derailed by procrastination, he finally got back on track after making a deal with an artist he met at SIGGRAPH, him agreeing that he would finish his film in 100 days, and she would create an Everyday for 100 days. “I don’t know why I agreed to that, but it forced me to f—ing do it,” he says, admitting that “I still didn’t do anything until the last two weeks, and I seriously finished it on the 100th day.”

Reached in Denver last week where he was one of the featured speakers on Maxon’s 26-city 3D Design + Motion Tour, Winkelmann talked with me about the making of Manifest Destiny, using Cinema 4D, Octane and Houdini; losing interest in making longer films; and how his Everydays have turned darker and more political in the last year, but he remains optimistic about the future.

Meleah Maynard: Your other films, Transparent Machines and Zero Day, were social commentaries too, but Manifest Destiny feels stronger and more pointed. Would you agree?

Mike Winkelmann: Yeah, this one is not vague at all. The things I’m pointing out are literally happening now. But there is a bit of sensationalizing, like I did with the other films. There is so much inequality in the world, and it is improving in some areas, like statistics show that the number of people living in extreme poverty is slowly declining.

But things are getting worse in a lot of ways too. I tried to choose statistics that people may not have been aware of, like how Jeff Bezos made over $100 million dollars every single day in 2018, and the average Chinese worker assembling iPhones makes $1.85 per hour. I wanted to hit on a lot of different points about money.

MM: You’ve been saying this film would be done for a long time. What happened?

MW: I don’t know. I think, to be honest, I’m not actually that interested in making things that are this long anymore. I’m more interested in doing short 10- to 30-second videos. I think that you can be more experimental when you have less time, like, ‘I’ve got two days invested in this, who cares? I can do whatever.’ But when you spend four years, you’re like, ‘OMG, should I do this, or that, or this?’ It becomes paralyzing. I don’t even watch short films much anymore. If I do another video, I’m giving myself a deadline, like a month or something.

MM: Were you redoing it over and over? What was left to finish?

MW: No, the only thing left to do was edit it to the Run the Jewels track. I had everything done and rendered. But then I just didn’t touch it for a year and, honestly, it wasn’t even bugging me that I wasn’t getting it done. I was always planning on using that Run the Jewels song, “Legend Has It.” I liked the overall vibe of the song, but I hadn’t talked to them about it yet. And then one of the guys got in touch with me to say they’d seen some of my Everydays and wanted to talk about making a video. So it all worked out.

MM: Talk a little bit about your process for making this.

MW: The workflow was pretty simple, really. I mainly used Cinema 4D and Octane. Octane gave it a great look that really felt super realistic. I could just set up a couple of lights and throw some volumetrics on it to get a lot of depth and atmosphere.

The buildings were modeled in C4D, and all of the fire and destructions was simulated in Turbulence FD and rendered in Octane. There was no compositing: I just went straight out of C4D and Octane and did one color correction and that was it.

MM: What about the fat gold characters, and how they sort of melted together?

MW: Oh, yeah, I used Houdini for the melting gold people. I have no idea how I did that. When I started this four years ago, it was the first time I’d ever done characters. I used Mixamo for the big gold character, and Houdini for the melting effect. It’s a good thing I saved that as an Alembic file, or I would have had to start over since I don’t remember how I did that.

All of the fighting was done with Mixamo models that we already in poses, like they were hitting, ducking or punching. I just had to choreograph the characters, so it looked like they were fighting. I’m happy with how it turned out. The melting thing was kind of symbolism for this weird orgy of people at the top, like our politicians and upper-class elite, all bumping heads and wrestling around in a big pile. They’re not really doing anything meaningful, just shifting their weight around while very little changes for the rest of us.

MM: Why did you go with text and music rather than narration this time?

MW: I was going to do a voiceover with music, like I usually do, and I had like 140 people submit auditions, but none of them were right. So I decided, pretty much at the last second, to put use text, even though it would be covering up all that sh-t I worked on for so long. That was probably a better choice anyway because a lot of people watch videos on mute, so they wouldn’t have heard the narration. I wanted to get a lot of stuff across, like how much debt we’re in, how rich Americans are, and how so many people are insanely poor and a few are insanely rich.

MM: Do you worry, or think about, the state of the world a lot these days?

MW: No, I wouldn’t say that. But I do work a lot more with two TVs on, one turned to FOX News and the other to CNN. I mute the sound, but it’s very interesting to see how differently they cover things. FOX is just all of this propaganda and, pretty much the opposite of what CNN says. You can see why the country is so divided.

I’m definitely interested in politics, and I do think we are headed for a time when we’re all going to have to make some changes and adjust to a new reality, including changing our levels of spending. But there are things we can do, like give money. Most of us can afford to give money, but we don’t. Or we don’t give enough. Honestly, as I’ve made more money, I’ve given less money. This film is kind of a wake-up call, for everybody, me included.

MM: It seems like you’re trying to say more with your Everydays now, too.

MW: I’d say it was about July when I started doing things that are overtly political. I like taking a political- or commerce-related scenario and abstracting it out to a ridiculous degree, like the pro-choice one where robot Trump is being forced to have a baby in the future, or where Mark Zuckerberg has no nipples because women can’t show nipples on Facebook.

The response has been super, much bigger than anything else I’ve done. It really just felt like a natural progression from the storytelling I’ve been doing.

MM: What else are you doing these days?

MW: I’m working on a couple of things I can’t talk about yet. I just did some concert visuals for Zedd, and I’m doing a video sculpture for a festival that Amazon’s doing in December. I’m traveling a lot more. A month ago, I was in Brazil with my wife and the kids. And my wife and I are going to Russia soon for a conference I’m doing with Maxon. There’s a lot going on.


Credits and Free Downloads:

Directed by: BEEPLE
Music: RUN THE JEWELS

Donate:
Donations to Direct Relief.

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DOWNLOAD ALL CLIPS:

Does not require Cinema 4D.

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DOWNLOAD CINEMA 4D PROJECT FILES:

Beeple’s resources

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Meleah Maynard is a writer and editor in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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News: Free Megascans for Unreal Engine, Substance Updates, and More

November 13, 2019 - By 

Big news in the material creation world. Megascans is now free for Unreal Engine 4 users, Substance announces updates to Painter and Alchemist, and more.

There have been quite a few large announcements in the 3D world lately. Let’s take a glimpse at what is going on in the industry.

Epic Games and Quixel Join Forces

Quixel, makers of Megascans, have announced that they have joined forces with Epic Games. Not only does this create amazing opportunities for Quixel, it makes immediate changes to Megascans users.

Megascans is now free for use with Unreal Engine

The entire Megascans library is now completely free for use with Unreal Engine. UE4 users have free unlimited access to all Megascans through Bridge and Mixer.

If you are already using Megascans with UE4, Quixel will refund all of your subscriptions for 2019.

Megascans subscription prices lowered

Megascans pricing has been cut in half, regardless of DCC, engine, or renderer you use.

Bridge and Mixer 2020 will be 100% free

The upcoming 2020 versions of Bridge and Mixer will be 100% free for everyone, with no subscription required and both fully featured.

Bridge 2020 introduces an improved browsing experience, nearly a hundred new collections, improve search, and powerful filtering.

Quixel has also implemented an AI search feature that finds all the assets in any image you feed it, essentially making environment planning much easier, whether you have real-world references or concept art.

Mixer 2020 introduces 3D Painting, Real-time 3D Curvature, Smart Materials and more. The update also introduces 3D Blur, Grouping, Map-specific Blending, Advanced AO Mixing, Box Projection, Material ID Masking, 3D Position Gradients and 3D Normals to name a few, as another step on the path to making Mixer the ultimate, and now free, texturing app.

The new free Mixer and Bridge 2020 will be released later this year.


Adobe Max 2019

At the annual Adobe Max conference in LA, Adobe announced many of their big updates for Creative Cloud and Substance.

Substance 2019 Updates

Substance has it’s own time to shine at Adobe Max during the Substance Day presentations. Here’s what we learned about new features and tools coming to Substance.

Project Captis

Project Captis may be the most exciting announcement for material makers. Substance and HP collaborated on a scanner prototype that would allow anyone to create scanned materials.

Connected to Substance software, Captis will generate PBR materials for 3D rendering based on physical sample.

Image via Adobe/HP.

HP and Adobe will deliver Project Captis to partners across various industries, including game development, ecommerce, architecture and fashion, among others. Project Captis kicks off at Adobe MAX and will run through 2020.

“HP is at the forefront of bridging digital and physical worlds by providing a comprehensive ecosystem of tools and solutions to the creative community, and we will continue to progress as the landscape and needs of creators evolve,” said Alex Cho, president, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “Today, with Adobe and Project Captis, we are raising the bar for how creative pros manage their digital workflows and evolve their craft.”

Image via HP.

“At Adobe we’re passionate about building tools and services empowering digital artists,” said Sebastien Deguy, VP of 3D & Immersive, Adobe. “Our collaboration with HP through Project Captis takes us one step closer to the fastest and most efficient way for creatives to digitalize materials and use them in their 3D design process.” – HP

Substance Painter

New in Substance Painter, users can now import their favorite Photoshop brushes.

Image via Adobe/Substance.

Starting with the next Substance Painter release, you’ll be able to import and use .ABR brushes in your favorite 3D texturing app. We also announced opacity blending and pressure sensitivity improvements, bringing the painting experience closer than ever to Photoshop’s.

Substance Alchemist

Substance Alchemist is officially out of Beta. It features an improved layer stack, the ability to share projects with other users, and an improved delighter.

The team is also working on a new fully automatic tiling filter, born from the collaboration between Adobe Research and the Substance Alchemist team. Ever used the Content-Aware fill in Photoshop? We now use the same technology to remove seams on the edges of your input image automatically, and soon a full material at once! This new algorithm is faster, doesn’t require any tweaking, and often produce better results than the previous methods.

Image via Adobe/Substance.

Sketchfab will also be integrated into Substance. More than 220,000 free models from Sketchfab will be available to download in Substance Painter and Adobe Dimension. There will also be 35 new free characters on Mixamo.

Image via Adobe/Substance.

After Effects Updates

For After Effects users, Adobe updated the app for better performance speed. 9 to 5 Mac reports,

You can now expect smooth, fluid playback of cached video previews. A new version of Cinema 4D, bundled with After Effects, can be opened as a standalone application. Caps and bevel tools have been added.

Check out this overview from the team at School of Motion.

In other Creative Cloud news, Adobe Photoshop will now be available on iPads, with Illustrator for iPads coming soon behind it in 2020.


Greyscalegorilla Plus

 

After a successful VIP launch, Greyscalegorilla Plus is now available to everyone. The subscription platform gives members instant access to the renowned professional training guides as well as new exclusive training series for Cinema 4D, Houdini, and much more.

Before the end of the year, Arnold training will be available to members, as well as additional Quick Tips, and training on concepts like animation and the ACES color workflow.

Want a preview of Greyscalegorilla Plus? Stream example lessons and explore the membership overview.

Also included with membership is complete access to the entire Greyscalegorilla Material Collection library.

Everyday Material Collection

Plus members get instance access to the Everyday Material Collection, Modern Surface Material Collection, and Texture Kit Pro. That’s over 600 drag-and-drop materials for Cinema 4D included with a membership.

Interested in joining? Learn more about Greyscalegorilla Plus.


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A Must Watch: Promoting Wolkov’s New Watches with a Colorful Spot

November 11, 2019 - By 

Paul Clements on how he used Cinema 4D, After Effects and Arnold to create a style-conscious watch promo.

Like many directors, Paul Clements runs his own business, London-based RocknRoller Studios. While he often handles projects on his own, he frequently builds teams of freelance artists and designers from all over the world, allowing him to keep work moving forward nearly 24 hours a day.

Known for his motion design and directorial work for Adidas, Cadillac, Sky and other brands, Clements was recently asked to design and animate a promo piece for Wolkov, a new watch company looking for a distinctive way to showcase their product’s fresh, youthful features.

Because they had already seen and liked some of his previous work, Wolkov trusted Clements with a very open brief. And he spent two intense weeks using Cinema 4D, After Effects, and Arnold to create a launch promo that dynamically highlights the watch’s versatility.

Here Clements explains his process explains his process, including why he chooses to work in an iterative way that can sometimes means redoing shots 20 or 30 times. Read More


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Lighting iPhones and Peripheral Products in Cinema 4D and Octane

October 30, 2019 - By 

Breakdown the composition, lighting, and render settings of this iPhone product render from R4D Studio.

All images via Nik V. of R4D Studio.

After seeing the jaw-dropping renders from R4D Studio on Twitter, we reached out to creator Nik V. to talk about his product render process.

He tells us all about his work creating product renders, then guides us through his latest render of an iPhone 11. Take a look at his process and breakdown this Cinema 4D and Octane project.

Read More


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How MPC Combined C4D, Maya, Houdini and Unreal for this Music Video

October 28, 2019 - By 

The making of Ed Sheeran’s magical music video “Cross Me,” featuring Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock.

Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper weren’t able to actually be in the music video for their new single “Cross Me,” which also features PnB Rock. But Riff Raff Films director, Ryan Staake, and the Moving Picture Company came up with a mind-blowing way to combine motion capture, photogrammetry, 3D animation, and visual effects to allow all three of them to appear anyway.

The result is a video that offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a fully CG story. Read More


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Exclusive New Pro Training and Last Chance Savings | Greyscalegorilla Plus

October 18, 2019 - By 

Here is your Fall 2019 Greyscalegorilla Plus update, featuring all the new training and downloads that members can access now and in the coming months.

When Greyscalegorilla Plus was first conceived, the goal was to bring you all of Greyscalegorilla’s industry-leading professional training series in one place at one low price. Starting with the Guides to Cinema 4D, Redshift, X-Particles, and other pro training series, Greyscalegorilla Plus quickly became a platform where we could give members so much more.

Today, not only can you stream the training guides and exclusive new training series, members also get access to our popular drag-and-drop material collections. All of our material collections will be in Greyscalegorilla Plus before the end of the year, and even more assets and downloads are on the way.

Render via Zachary Corzine’s Procedural Systems.

Greyscalegorilla Plus is growing at a rapid pace, and things are not slowing down anytime soon. The team just introduced new Head of Plus, Todd Blankenship, who will oversee the release of new training series, downloads, and more.

He has already put together a new quick overview of Greyscalegorilla Plus so he can introduce himself and show you what’s already inside.

Take of tour of Greyscalegorilla Plus by clicking here to checkout the lesson previews

Join before October 31st, and you will get over $1500 in pro training and product downloads for only $348. That’s just $29 a month. The price goes up on November 1st, so don’t miss out. Head over to the Greyscalegorilla Plus page to join, and use discount code NEW2PLUS at checkout to save $120.

Curious to know what is coming to Greyscalegorilla Plus? Let’s dive into a few of the Fall 2019 releases Read More


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Making The Lonely Island’s Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

October 1, 2019 - By 

How production studio Lord Danger helped The Lonely Island realize their crazy Netflix visual poem tribute to ‘80s baseball.

Comedy Trio, The Lonely Island—Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone—met in junior high and have been collaborating on creative projects for years. After a longtime stint with Saturday Night Live, the troupe has lately become known for producing their own viral videos and studio albums.

Among their recent releases is a Netflix comedy special called The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. Billed as a “visual poem,” the half-hour mockumentary features Samberg and Schaffer as 1980’s baseball legends Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire (a.k.a. the Bash Brothers). The storyline imagines what their rap album and accompanying videos might have been like if they had really captured their experiences chasing the ladies, taking steroids, working out, being rich, and occasionally pondering questions of love and the meaning of life and fame.

For “IHOP Parking Lot” freelance artist Josh Johnson used a modified TurboSquid model, the Everyday Material Collection, C4D and Octane to create a Back to the Future-like car scene.

Mike Diva (Dahlquist), of the LA-based production company, Lord Danger, teamed up with Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer to co-direct the special. Diva also assembled and led Lord Danger’s team of global freelancers who worked on the show from concepting to completion over four months using a combination of Cinema 4D, After Effects, Blender, and Nuke. Read More