Posted In:News | Greyscalegorilla
I hope this message finds you healthy and safe.
All of us at Greyscalegorilla are currently giving you a virtual hug. We hope you, your family, and your business stay healthy through this time at home.
Since day one, it has been our mission to help 3D artists like yourself do your best work by providing training and tools that allow you to quickly achieve your goals.
We know it can be hard to stay productive right now. Still, many have discovered that learning something new can help raise spirits, keep your mind busy, and add much-needed new skills to your workflow.
It’s always a good time to learn something new in our industry, but now it might be precisely the right time to focus on learning new skills for your career. You might want to use this quiet time to channel the student in us all.
With this in mind, we decided to temporarily extend our student discount for Greyscalegorilla Plus to everyone.
Use the code “LEARN3D” during checkout and get $150 off your first year of Greyscalegorilla Plus.
Learning something new is food for our brains and keeps us progressing forward. It’s with this in mind that I want to encourage everyone to sharpen your skills while you have the time to do so.
We hope that this time is a productive one for you and your career. We know it is scary out there, but we hope to help you stay positive and productive through these times.
Nick + Greyscalegorilla
P.S. Wash those hands and disinfect your nasty keyboard and Wacom pen while you are at it too, eh?
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.
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
- 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
- Lower Pricing Structure
- New Arnold license process – Somewhat easier to get up and running, and cheaper options.
- A ton of bug fixes. Stability matters in production.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
The Greyscalegorilla 40% Off One Day Sale has ended. This offer is now expired.
Cheers to everyone who saved, and a big welcome to all new Greyscalegorilla Plus members!
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 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.
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.”
“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
New in Substance Painter, users can now import their favorite Photoshop brushes.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Greyscalegorilla team continues to grow with our newest team member, Todd Blankenship.
Todd Blankenship joins us as the Head of Greyscalegorilla Plus. He will be leading our professional training efforts, producing new lessons and series, and even teaching members some tips and tricks he has learned over the years.
He has hit the ground running, already having produced a new preview of what’s inside Greyscalegorilla Plus.
He has quite the history cutting hundreds of trailers for movies, television shows, and web series. Read More
Join fellow 3D artists and motion designers around the world at the 3D Design + Motion Tour. Save 25% on your ticket price with this special offer code.
Maxon has teamed up with Adobe, Nvidia, Dell, Perception, Greyscalegorilla, and Pixel Plow to bring you an epic tour unlike any other motion design event. 26 major cities with dozens of speakers, special guests, and software for you to take home.
3D Design + Motion Tour
The 3D Design + Motion Tour runs September 4 – December 10, 2019 in 26 different cities around the world.
Attendees can expect to see presenters and guest panels featuring motion design and VFX artists like Andrew Kramer, Nick Campbell, EJ Hassenfratz, Chris Schmidt, and many more! Read More
With several options to choose from, which version of Cinema 4D is right for you? Follow along with this guide to choose the right version or subscription.
In an attempt to simplify the entire purchasing process, Maxon has eliminated the various versions of Cinema 4D (Studio, Prime, Broadcast, etc) and has announced that going forward there will be only one version of C4D.
While choosing the right version of Cinema 4D has now become a lot easier, choosing the right subscription bundle has users scratching their heads.
So let’s dive into the new options to pick which is right for you.
Cinema 4D Purchasing Options
Cinema 4D is available as either a one-time purchase with the perpetual license or as an ongoing subscription. Read More
The new Mac Pro has finally been revealed. Is it powerful enough to get us to switch back to Mac?
It’s been 6 years since the last Mac Pro redesign, and the “trash can” mac left much to be desired. You couldn’t upgrade the machine, it was under-powered, and it was overpriced.
We just learned about all the new laptops NVIDIA has planned for the year, but the big question remaining was if Apple would finally announce a new Mac Pro in 2019.
So where do we stand now? Well, the new Mac Pro returns to classic from and has overly embraced the cheese grater design of old. You are once again able to expand and upgrade the machine, but there is a big downside. Still no NVIDIA support. Let’s dive into the details. Read More
Trying to figure out how to get realistic reflections in your 3D renders? Want to add a colorful pop to your mograph? Check out these helpful lighting plugins and tools.
We have always stood by the words, “the best looking 3D always comes down to lighting and texturing.” That has always been part of the Greyscalegorilla mission statement dating back to the original Light Kit Pro plugin.
Now with all the lighting options available to you, let’s figure out what tool is best for your own individual workflow. Read More