Posted In:Reviews | 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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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

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Creamyorange Gets A New Home – Cargo Collective

August 29, 2011 - By 

Creamyorange.com, is the oldest domain I own. It has always been home to my creative portfolio and has also been a place to learn and play with web design and coding.

In 2003 it launched with only two After Effects animations on it. I made the site with Adobe LiveMotion and featured crazy animated buttons (what a bad idea). In 2004, I learned how to chop up websites and Built my first HTML page. The wayback machine, captured most of it here. Creamyorange 3.0 was a cleaner design and was launched for my graduation and to enter the professional market. Finally, in 2008, I cut a new reel and built a PHP version of the site that was supposed to make it easier to update. While it was easier to upgrade than before, it was still a hassle. Projects were released, and shipped, but never added to my portfolio because it was too much work.

I have been meaning to move Creamyorange to a hosted platform for a while and then I saw James White’s portfolio and the search ended. I instantly signed up for Cargo and had a full site up and running in less than a day. What a fantastic service. What used to be a hassle is now super simple and even… fun!

View Creamyorange


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12 Core vs. 8 Core vs. 2 Core – Cinema 4D Render Speed Test

November 3, 2010 - By 

Many of you have been asking about my new 12 core mac and if it’s worth it to get that much machine. Well, I screen captured some Cinebench renders to compare the speed of all three of my machines including my new 12 core Mac Pro, my old 8 core Power Mac and my 2 core macbook. This way, you can judge for yourself.

Sure, it’s expensive. But remember, it’s one of the only things I need to do my job other than software, coffee and American Apparel t-shirs. Plus, I only get a new machine every 3 years or so and want to just stay ahead of the curve for a while so I don’t have to worry about it every year. Did I mention that it’s tax deductible? What machine are you running?


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The Future Is HERE! Ustream Broadcaster – Stream Live From Your iPhone

December 9, 2009 - By 



High Rez: Going for a walk

Low Rez: Making Lunch

I’ve just finished trying out the new Ustream Broadcaster App for the iPhone that allows you to stream LIVE from your iphone though WiFi and 3G and I am impressed! We are officially living in the future. It worked almost flawlessly, letting me sign up quickly with my Ustream account. It allowed me to twitter out a link to let people know I was on and bam… people started showing up. The chat box even shows up in the app so you can read peoples questions. There is also a “Polling” option that allows you to do a quick poll though the app. it even works with 3Gs and 3G phones.

Watch above to see some of the videos that were made with the app. The quality isn’t bad on wifi, but it suffers a bit when using 3G. I tried out the low-rez setting to check out the quality. It’s not that much worse than the hi-rez setting. The bad news though is that it does a center crop to make the video size smaller. This turns the really nice wide angle lens on the 3Gs into a telephoto. Not good for filming yourself at arms length. Lastly, watch your battery! I went out for a walk and it died in about 5 minutes. I only had about 20% battery to begin with, but I can tell that this thing is a battery hog. I should have remembered to bring my new Mophie Juice Pack along with me.

Bravo to Ustream for making a robust, live streaming app that fits in my pocket. I will definitely be using Ustream more often while I’m out and about and traveling this holiday. I just have to make sure I have a full charge.

Get the UStream Broadcaster here.


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Introducing KeyframeTV: Episode 1

November 3, 2009 - By 

Welcome to the first episode of KeyframeTV, a discussion about the tools, news and work of motion design. KeyframeTV is made by Tim Allen, Nick Campbell & Pasquale D’Silva. Check out the keyframetv.com site for a full list of credits and show notes.

Feedback
We want to make this show as relevant and helpful as possible to everyone in the industry. But, we need your help. Please drop us your feedback in the comments about the show. This talk show format is new to all of us so, we would love to hear what you think.


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My First Day With the Wacom Intuos 4

September 30, 2009 - By 

Here are some observations and a quick overview of the new features of the Wacom Intuos 4. I really love the new look and the scroll wheel. The new texture takes some getting used to, but it only takes a day. Check out the video to see it in action. If you get one. Get it at Amazon.com will ya?


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The Pros and Cons of using a Wacom Tablet

July 10, 2009 - By 

Can’t see the video? Go to GreyscaleGorilla.com

Many of you have been asking about my Wacom Tablet and how I like it. In this video, I answer all of your questions about the wacom including, “Why did you start using the tablet?” – “How do you like it?” and “How long does it take to get used to?”


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How Good is the New iPhone 3GS Camera – Ummm, It’s Really Great!

July 8, 2009 - By 

I wanted to post some shots taken with the new iPhone 3GS. I have been really impressed with the quality from the new camera and lens. It’s a wider angle lens so that helps take better landscape. The macro focus is super useful (especially for taking photos of beer labels.) The touch to focus feature is brilliant.

What really blew me away though is the fact that the touch point on your photo also regulates exposure and color temperature. Check out the image below to see the difference. I took a photo of a back lit subject with this feature. This is huge! With the old iPhone cameras, backlit photos were impossible. Now, just touch on the person’s face and take your shot. Check out some of the shots below all taken with the new camera. I even have a full-rez version that you can download below too.

Lastly, I wanted to show you a little behind the scenes with the new version of my iPhone app, ShakeItPhoto. We have uploaded version 1.1 that is fully compatible with the new camera on the 3GS to Apple and are waiting for them to approve it. Until then, I wanted to share the results with the new version that features the full cropping. The new wide angle lens really helps get more in the shot when taking ShakeItPhotos. Plus, the better quality lens and images really show themselves when processed through the App. Enjoy.



Raw 3GS Shot

Download the Full Rez Image



Processed in Photoshop



Touch to Expose and Focus Example



Shake It Photo Examples


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Camera Bag Full of Gear – All of my Best Nikon Cameras and Lenses

May 21, 2009 - By 

We have all seen it, but now it’s my turn. Watch me do that thing where people pull all of their gear out of their camera bag. People always ask what gear I use. Here is a easy way to show you not only all my lenses and accessories, but also talk about some quick tips and how I use each piece of gear.

My Gear
Nikon D700: My photos taken with the D700.
Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8f Review
Nikkor 85mm D 1.4: Review
Nikkor 50mm 1.4f Review
Nikkor 20mm f2.8
Nikkor 300mm 4.5
Nikkor 55mm Macro
Ray Ring Flash: Review
Nikon SB-600 Flash
Nikon MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pack
Lacie Rugged Hard Drive
Lowepro Flipside 400 AW
Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote Cord
Gorilla Pod
Flip Mino HD

In the Buying Mood?
Like something you see? Check out more of my gear and recommend products and gear over at my Gorilla Goods – Amazon Store. Yeah, I get a small cut of anything you purchase, but if you’re gonna buy it anyway, help me support my growing bandwidth bills will ya?


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GSG Cast: ShakeItPhoto and How to Set up a Photoblog in 5 Minutes

April 20, 2009 - By 

In today’s cast, I show you a demonstration of my new Photography iPhone App, ShakeItPhoto.. I also show you how to set up your own Posterous account so you can photo-blog directly from your iPhone. If you are using ShakeItPhoto, drop a link in the comments to your photos. I love seeing them. Thanks!

Buy ShakeItPhoto at the iTunes Store

Official ShakeItPhoto Site

My Posterous ShakeItPhoto Blog

Alexia’s Posterous ShakeItPhoto Blog


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GSG Cast: Flip Mino HD vs Canon HV10

March 26, 2009 - By 

Super unfair test between a $600 1080 HD HV10 Canon camcorder and the Flip Mino HD. Just wanted to see how my new toy stacked up against my everyday workhorse Canon. It did pretty well I must say. The color was a little washed out, but the video quality holds up pretty well. What do you think? I will have a more detailed review of the Flip Mino HD soon.

In other news:
I will be speaking at the Show ‘n Tell Show this Sunday, March 29th. Be there or be square. I will be recording it so there will be a less fun video-based option for those of you that can’t/won’t make it.