Cinema 4D Goes Subscription and Siggraph 2019 | GSG Show 107

August 8, 2019 - By 

Listen to the latest on the new Cinema 4D subscriptions and bundles, hear the team talk about other Siggraph news, and let us know about future episodes.

In this episode, the gang talks about Maxon’s big Siggraph news – a new C4D subscription service with an option to bundle Redshift. Also, get the scoop on Greyscalegorilla Plus and more exciting things announced on the Siggraph floor.

Listen on YouTube, you favorite podcast streaming site, or read the transcript down below.

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Show Notes:

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Podcast Episode Transcript:

Nick Campbell: Hey, it’s Nick here from Greyscalegorilla, and before we get started with today’s podcast, I wanted to let you know about Greyscalegorilla Plus. We just announced it last week and we wanted you to know because we’re going to launch at any moment now and it’s going to be for a special price only for those of you who reserve a seat. You can do that over at Go learn about it over on the page, and also reserve your seat so that when we launch you’ll be the first to know about it and the first group to join. Anyway, hope you check it out and on with the show.

Nick Campbell: Hello out there and welcome back to the Greyscalegorilla podcast. It’s good to see you. It’s good to hear you, in this case. Thanks for listening to the podcast as always. Today we have two additional guests here today. We have Chad Ashley. How are you, good sir?

Chad Ashley: I’m doing fine this fine morning.

Nick Campbell: You’re looking good. And of course Michael Maher. How are you?

Michael Maher: I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Nick Campbell: Are you caught up on sleep, Mike? Mike’s got a newborn and has been in LA for a week, so how’s sleep going for you these days?

Michael Maher: I think I’m negative. Like, I think I owe somebody sleep now.

Nick Campbell: Well, we just got back from SIGGRAPH out in LA. We’re going to talk about Maxon and Cinema 4D R21 new pricing. Got a lot of questions about that and we’ve been kind of discussing it behind the scenes. We figured we’d hop on and do a podcast about that. We also had some announcements at SIGGRAPH as well, including Greyscalegorilla Plus. We’ll talk about that in a bit and just overall about SIGGRAPH and the show. I’m pumped. Are you guys ready? This is it. We’re here, and let’s do the podcast.

Chad Ashley: Post-SIGGRAPH.

Nick Campbell: I got my podcast voice on and Chad’s got the jingles. Let’s go. What’s your overall thought about SIGGRAPH? I think it’s our tenth year going. Been to multiple cities, love going back there and seeing everybody. What’s the overall vibe you got from SIGGRAPH this year?

Chad Ashley: It’s crazy small comparatively to years past. I feel like it kind of saddens me a little bit, because I’ve been going for a long time, like since the late ’90s, and it was a huge, huge show. There was buses taking you to and from your hotel. There was bumping into people shoulder to shoulder on the floor, and I think over the last 10 years I’ve seen it just completely shrink, shrink, shrink, shrink, shrink until now I think it’s a quarter of the space it used to take up. There’s no need for buses to take you to and from the hotel. But I will say that there’s an increasing amount of classes happening outside of the exhibit floor. Not even just classes but showcases and just software stuff, so that’s cool.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, I haven’t gone to a lot of the classes. I’ve always been at the booth and doing that stuff, until this year, of course. We’ll get into that in a minute. That seemed to be busy. That seemed to be where everybody was hanging, was doing the classes, seeing the behind the scenes, looking at the white paper presentations. Then yeah, the booths themselves, that area was gone. It was so small. I couldn’t figure it out, if everybody was just busy, because we went out and talked to a lot of studios this year and everybody’s like, “Yeah, we’re busy, we’re slammed.” I couldn’t figure out if it was that or if it was just SIGGRAPH in general, but it was definitely a lot quieter than other years.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, I feel like one of the things that struck me was talking to all the studios that we visited how many of them didn’t come out to SIGGRAPH because they’re busy, and I’m like, “Okay, that makes sense.” Because if it’s in a different city, let’s say Vancouver or something, you can send your staff there and that’s what they’re going to be doing all week. They’re going to be there at the show checking stuff out. But when it’s local to you, you basically are like, “Well, yeah, we’ll find time to get over there. We’ll find time.” Then you get busy and you never go, so you end up… I noticed that more people were coming to the after hours events than they were to the actual show.

Michael Maher: And a lot of that was literally just people telling us about, “We just got off of this job and I can’t tell you about what I’m working on, but I really could use a drink right now.”

Nick Campbell: Right.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, a lot of people looked like they were totally decompressing, which is totally awesome.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, so it was, and this will kind of lead us into the Maxon announcement and R21, but we looked at SIGGRAPH a little bit differently this year. Instead of being at the booth and talking to our customers there, we’ve done that for years and years, and one of Chad’s really good ideas… Chad, you have good ideas.

Chad Ashley: I try.

Nick Campbell: I’m so glad. I’m so glad you’re here. It’s like, let’s go talk to our customers and our friends that all work here in LA. They all watch our stuff, use our plugins and our assets. Let’s go see how, let’s make sure that we’re doing what we say we’re doing, which is trying to help people in their 3D everyday work. It was so amazing to go see exactly that. Not only friends of ours that have started studios and now have teams of five, 10, 15, 20 people, but even just people we’ve met at the show and learning about their team and seeing how everyday teams are using our stuff. It was so great to hear from them. It was great. I don’t know if you guys, what did you guys think about that process? Should we do that again next year?

Chad Ashley: Hell yeah, dude. It was awesome.

Michael Maher: It was so great.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, I mean, it’s always good to see how the people that are in the grind and barely have time to come up for air, how do they work, what do they need, what do they like about what we’re doing, what do they don’t like about what we’re doing, and really just get in there and see where we can help. And also just know that somebody’s out there appreciating what we’re doing and putting it into movies. For us, it rejuvenates me. I don’t know, how do you feel about it, Mike?

Michael Maher: Oh, I think it was so refreshing, and I think the coolest thing that we did was when we were setting up all these interviews and studio tours, we made it a point to hit studios in pretty drastically different worlds. We have people doing concert visuals, we have people doing feature length stuff for movies. We have YouTubers. All these crazy different industries, and it was so cool to see how they use our tools in different ways to help them get stuff done quickly. It’s really refreshing to see that kind of stuff.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, super energetic.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, that was great. The corridor digital stuff was amazing to me just because that, I worked in “regular production stuff” in Chicago, and seeing what you can do now with a room full of toys and a production facility and a bunch of people that are into visual effects and making all that stuff, and the stuff that they could pull off in this warehouse was amazing. It was so interesting to see that side of things. I’ve always loved that kind of run and gun, do it yourself filmmaking, and they’ve taken it to a crazy level. That was amazing to watch. It was really cool to meet them as well.

Nick Campbell: But, okay look, we can go talk about how great all of our customers are all day and how handsome they are. That’s a separate podcast I’m working on. I think I could hear the audience right now going, “Look, R21 came out, and we want to hear what the heck you guys think, A, about R21, but also about all this new pricing.” I’ll start off by saying I knew that once they had the new CEO at Maxon that they would be making some big changes and that they were going to be doing a lot of interesting stuff. I am blown away by how fast all of this is happening and I think it’s really exciting for me to just see how quickly Maxon and Cinema 4D are making changes and I think going in a lot of good directions. With the Redshift acquisition, that was completely unknown by us and I think ultimately a good idea, and then now with everything they’re doing with this new licensing and the new pricing and all this stuff, I think it’s really interesting.

Nick Campbell: Where should we start? Where do we start with the R21 announcement? First of all, if you want a deeper dive, we have a blog post. Michael put together an amazing blog post at the site that dives into everything we’re about to talk about in probably a lot more detail. But where do we get started? I would say that there’s the actual R21 product that will be launching, we can talk about what’s new. Then there’s the new licensing/pricing, which is new. Then there’s the whole Redshift is also part of this licensing. So out of those three things, where do you want to jump in?

Chad Ashley: Oh man. Let’s start with the release itself, because I feel like it was largely overshadowed by the pricing anyway. There wasn’t much to it so we can probably cover that pretty fast.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, that’s probably my most exciting piece of it. Real quickly to break it down, there’s new licensing, which we’ll talk about in a second. The most important part is that the license follows along with you, kind of how Adobe does it. As far I understand, you can have Cinema 4D at home at your office and on your laptop and you can log into any one of those, and as long as it’s you, you could use it. I think that’s pretty fun. I run into those situations all the time. I travel a lot, I use different machines. That alone I think is really interesting.

Nick Campbell: Ton of new interface changes. First of all, my most favorite thing for the interface change is that it’s finally high DPI on my PC monitor.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, that’s good. Thank God.

Nick Campbell: Does not look like a Super Nintendo game on my PC monitor anymore. Actually, it looks really good and in fact when you go back to old versions, so I’ve been playing in R21 and we can talk about that in a minute too, but when I go back to 20 I’m like, it just feels bad. It really does look good. I know it’s a small update, but it looks really nice. Not only that, but everything’s, not everything, but many things have moved in R21. The interface has been somewhat almost the same even since I started using it over 10 years ago, 12, 13 years ago now. They really took a moment to say, “Is everything in its right place, and as we move forward should we take a chance to reorganize the drawers.” Some people have a junk drawer or some people have always put the silverware next to the dishwasher. Sometimes you got to rethink it, and I think that’s what they took for a moment and said, “Let’s rethink where everything is,” and they laid it out in a much more organized way, so that’s exciting.

Nick Campbell: I’ll try not to spend too much time, detail on any of this, and jump in if you have something extra to say. But tons of new interface changes. Then we have the new MoGraph stuff. The main one is what Michael said, which is the, I’m going to get this wrong. I say it wrong all the time. Force Field. I want to call them Force Field but I think they call them Field Forces.

Chad Ashley: I like Force Field better, dude.

Michael Maher: Pretty sure there’s a trademark on that.

Nick Campbell: Force Field is TM. I’m going to mess that up I’m sure on future tutorials and videos, but they’re called Field Forces.

Chad Ashley: That’s super confusing, that name.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, it’s tough. However, it was one of those things that I didn’t quite understand and I’m starting to understand more, especially after talking to some of the developers of that piece of technology at SIGGRAPH. Talked to some of the developers from Germany and really started to ask them, “What’s up with this thing? It looks powerful but can you explain it to me,” and I got some really good feedback about what it is.

Nick Campbell: It’s really controllable. Imagine taking everything in the dynamics forces menu and building one set of it that you can art direct all of your particles, you could art direct your dynamics, you could art direct soft body, you could art direct cloth. You can tell all these things that used to be hard to manage. You used to be able to drop them easily on a floor, but if you wanted them to do something specific it was really hard to say, “Hey, go over here for a little bit and then over here and then move up and then scatter around.” That was difficult in the past and Field Forces helps you dial that in. It’s really hard to say on a podcast, but it’s something we’re looking into really heavily because it is a really interesting part of the new version.

Nick Campbell: It’s like we were all saying, it’s not the most super robust new version where there’s eight sexy things to talk about like there was on R20, but there’s a lot of little details that we’re going to see every day, like the new interface, and then these things like Field Forces, there’s the new volume stuff, which we could talk about. There’s the ability to cache your volumes, which I think is going to be hugely helpful. Oh, and then I’m sure, I don’t want to put any words in Chad’s mouth, but what do you think about the new bevels?

Chad Ashley: Yeah, I mean, that’s one thing that I think has been lacking in Cinema forever. When I first started using it, I was like, wait, this is like the motion design platform. There’s no good way to bevel a logo or bevel some text other than around it or straight corner. There’s no custom profiles. What is going on with this thing? Everybody looked at me like I was crazy, so now they actually are putting out this bevel, this new updated bevel tool that’s going to have custom profiles built it. It seems like a mundane, silly thing to be excited about, but as anybody who does motion design for a living knows, you are going to have to bevel some stuff in your career. You are going to have to bevel some logos, you’re going to have to bevel some text, and it’s probably not going to be enough to just do straight, rounded edges. This is a cool feature. I am excited about that.

Chad Ashley: I’m also excited about the Force… no, Field Forces.

Nick Campbell: Ah, you did it.

Chad Ashley: I almost did it, I almost did it. But I mean, yeah, overall I think that yes, it’s going to be hard to come out with any version of Cinema 4D after R20 that’s not going to feel like, not a letdown, but it’s hard to maintain that pace because that was such a huge, huge update. Would I have liked to have seen some development in other areas, like in UVs, like a completely revamped UV situation? Yes, absolutely.

Chad Ashley: I also think it would be rad if, they’ve got this idea where you can sign in. Like you said, it follows you. Your license of Cinema 4D will follow you. You sign in at home, sign in at work. It would be amazing if, and maybe this is the situation, I don’t know, I haven’t played with it, that if I could sync my pref folder easily across. If my pref folder and my lib4d files followed me the same way, that would be killer, because that, my friends, is a huge pain in the ass.

Nick Campbell: Oh, I like that idea. Well, they have that new thing. They have the My MoGraph or My Maxon.

Michael Maher: MyMaxon.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, so maybe there’s something that they’re doing there.

Chad Ashley: If you’re listening, Maxon, that would be a killer feature, and I want credit.

Nick Campbell: It’s like My Cloud Save. It’s like my Mario Nintendo Odyssey Cloud Save. I could open it up somewhere else. Theoretically, right?

Chad Ashley: That’s what I’m saying, yeah.

Nick Campbell: I could open it up somewhere else and I can be at the same star count. That’s what matters, folks. You get your Nintendo Cloud Save.

Chad Ashley: Right. But imagine, that would be pretty rad because think about how that would trickle down into scripts and maybe even plug ins at some point too, where no matter where you log in, as long as you log in you have access to everything you own. That would be fantastic.

Nick Campbell: Well, I think in general about the release before we move onto the pricing and all that, this has happened a lot with Cinema 4D and Maxon, where they have a big kind of MoGraph-y sexy release, and then the next one is a little bit more inward-facing. It’s about kind of rebuilding the core, which they’re doing, which is hard to talk about because what does that mean. But they’ve rebuilt the core to speed it up in a lot of places, which has always been an issue to get everything to multicore. I know it’s still not all multicore, but they’re working on the internals and the guts of the program to help with everything else that they’re building.

Nick Campbell: So it’s one of those releases where it’s a little bit more internal-facing. You get new interface, you get new, faster guts. Then the sexy stuff is basically bevels, some nice fields stuff, additional fields. They actually re-laid out the fields manager, for those of you who haven’t even tackled fields yet and looked at it and was like, “This gets confusing fast.” They took some measures to make that a little bit simpler. We’re excited to show you that stuff. But yeah, it’s one of those versions that if you are into 20 and you still haven’t explored everything that’s in 20 and you’re looking at this new version like, “Do I need it?” Well, you’ll have to look and decide and look at this new pricing and see what it is.But if you haven’t been updated in a few years, this is one of those times where you’re like, “Okay, 20 was a killer,” if you don’t have that stuff, and you get all the new stuff. It might be a good time.

Nick Campbell: So maybe this is a good chance to move into the big drum roll, the big thing that Maxon talked about dropped at SIGGRAPH, which is their new pricing. Got up on stage and basically said, “Look, 3D is expensive.” And they’re right. 10 years ago this stuff was like $10,000. Chad’s worked in this world to see the price fall from, I know one of Chad’s talks it was like 30 grand by the time you get the gear and the software, down to 10 grand in the early 2000s, down to a few thousand dollars when Cinema 4D hit the market, to now. Drum roll. What do we got with the new pricing? I know Michael you’ve been looking a lot into this.

Michael Maher: Oh yeah, let me pull up my notes because I don’t want to get anything wrong. So just preface this-

Nick Campbell: Get your spreadsheet. No pressure, Mike.

Michael Maher: We’re specifically talking U.S. dollars, so if you’re in Europe there are plans for you guys there, but it gets a little wiry when you add VAT taxes and things like that, so we’ll keep it simple. If you’re talking USD, a one year subscription to Cinema 4D will cost you $59.99 a month. That comes out to $719.88, which honestly is a couple bucks less than the MSA. So if you’re already keeping your previous version of Cinema 4D up to date and your MSA and getting the newest releases, it’s actually slightly cheaper than that and you can continue-

Chad Ashley: By what, two dollars you said?

Michael Maher: It’s like four or five dollars, yeah.

Chad Ashley: All right, okay.

Michael Maher: Yeah. If you’re just looking at getting R21, $59.99 a month I think they’re going to charge you all upfront. I’m not positive about that.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, I asked them about that.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, you have to pay for the year.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, they said, first of all that’s for the year-only pricing, so you have to commit for a year for that pricing. I think it’s as high as 90-some dollars if you do it literal month to month. And this is where I don’t have the spreadsheet and I’ll get in trouble. I don’t know. But it’s really high if you just want it month to month, but that price there, 59 bucks, is for a year commitment, and that’s 59 bucks a month, which yeah, is essentially the same as the MSA.

Michael Maher: I think the biggest thing was, and I think this is what got most people so excited, was they are introducing a Redshift bundle. Essentially, if you want to get both Cinema 4D R21 and Redshift together, they’re doing a bundle price, so that’s also being offered as a subscription at $81.99 a month, so that comes out to $983.88 to get Cinema 4D and Redshift. But the catch there is this is only Redshift for Cinema 4D. You’re not getting it for all the other DCCs. If you’re using Houdini or Maya or 3ds Max you still need to go get the regular Redshift license, but if you’re only using Cinema 4D they do have this bundle now as another option.

Nick Campbell: Yeah. On the face of it, that seems like, the biggest deal that this is, the people that this is the biggest deal for… What a weird sentence. The people that this is the biggest deal for are for people that haven’t bought Cinema 4D yet, have been looking into it, and they’ve been looking at that 3000-some odd number and saying that’s way too much. Now they can actually start without that high upfront cost. Those of us that have had licenses for years and paying the MSA every year, this is going to look somewhat similar. It’s basically removing the MSA and just paying for the month or paying for the year and now you own it. To me, the biggest excitement that there is is for all the people that looked at 3500 bucks, whatever it is, and said, “No way. I can never put the down payment on it, so that now I can pay over the next few years.” That’s where I think the pricing will make so much sense.

Nick Campbell: Where it doesn’t make sense, or where you’re going to have to figure out if it makes sense is where maybe you bought your first new version was R20, and you just paid 3500 bucks for that, and now you’re looking at the new version and seeing if you want to be on it and all that stuff. Now, correct me if I’m wrong too, Michael. There’s still a perpetual version you can buy. Is that correct?

Michael Maher: Yeah, so if you really do like spending $3000, if you want to do a perpetual license, meaning if you just want to buy R21 outright, a perpetual license is $3495. That will get your R21 outright, so if you don’t own Cinema at all and you want to buy it out, you can still do that. It gets a little hairy with upgrades. It hasn’t been very clear on how easy it will be to upgrade to a new perpetual license. Allegedly there is something in the works, but there have been no fine details released yet. Honestly with this launch, they’re just leaning heavily on the subscription model.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty obvious that that’s kind of the funnel that they’re hoping most people go into, is the monthly or in this case, sorry, the yearly.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, and obviously a lot of places, Adobe was the first big one that went in this direction. But the idea that you can get it for a lower price is I think really where this gets exciting. Like I said, you’ll have to figure out if it makes sense depending on when you bought your full license and how long you’ve been doing MSAs, but I think for the person out there that’s like, “Finally I can afford this,” that’s where I think they’re making it easier and more simple.

Nick Campbell: And the other thing that we didn’t mention is that the other way that they’re making this more simple is they’re getting rid of all of the versions. So before this announcement there were four flavors of Cinema 4D. There was Studio and Broadcast, Visualize, and another one.

Michael Maher: Bodypaint.

Nick Campbell: Oh, okay. And there was always this thing like, “I have this version. Can I follow along with this tutorial?” We’ve always took the stance of we built everything with Studio version. We didn’t always use all the Studio stuff in this tutorial, but we just kind of assumed that you had it, and that was tough for some people that had a lower cost version, and it was just confusing. I think that was one of the best things that they announced, was no more confusion. There is a thing called Cinema 4D and you either own it or you don’t. I’m excited for that, even just for tutorial reasons, not having to block people out of tutorials and training just because they have a different version of Cinema. So that they announced was you get it all. You either have Cinema or you don’t, and all the stuff that comes with Cinema, you get.

Chad Ashley: And you can buy it easily.

Nick Campbell: And you can go to a website.

Michael Maher: Exactly. That was the other big thing. There’s no crazy more sexy features, but you can literally just go to now.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, so that shouldn’t be glossed over, because that’s such a… We take that for granted on every other piece of software that we end up buying. And I agree, all the versions of Cinema 4D were always super confusing to somebody that’s relatively new to it, like myself. I’d always been like, “Wait, what are these things? I don’t understand why they need to exist.” So those are gone, and I love the fact that you can actually just go to a website and buy it, because that’s a huge pain in the ass for a lot of people out there trying to just get it going or maybe they need a couple extra seats.

Michael Maher: Yeah, what’s also nice is they’ve announced, R21 is slated for a September 3rd release, so that means early September you can literally go to, and if you’ve never bought Cinema before you can download the trial version. What’s nice about the new trial version, it’s literally when it expires you can subscribe and keep using that same version. You don’t have to uninstall it, then go download a new version of Cinema. It’s all one piece of software now, which is actually really exciting.

Chad Ashley: I think it would be rad if the demo expired and it just added watermarks or something and you could just keep learning on it. I think that would be cool.

Nick Campbell: They just force you to use ProRender until you upgrade.

Chad Ashley: Snap. Shots fired.

Nick Campbell: Wait, what? Yeah, I mean, there are other updates, like to ProRender and stuff that, you know. I got to say, shots fired, but we’ve been talking a lot to our customers as well and a lot of them are I’ll say stuck, because I think you are. A lot of them are “stuck” using physical and ProRender, and from what I’m understanding it’s not because they don’t want to learn all these new renderers, it’s because they can’t get the word up through the right channel to tell their boss that this would save them literally hours of time to just get into a faster renderer.

Michael Maher: I would even say another challenge is so many of those studios are Mac-based, so they don’t have options.

Nick Campbell: Right. Right now Redshift is not compatible, and then something like Arnold… what’s the pricing on Arnold these days?

Chad Ashley: Last time I checked, you could rent it. I don’t remember the round price, but to buy it I think was like 500 bucks last time I checked. But then they have a half-price… actually, I take that back. If you’re a school you can get it for free, but if you’re a student, I don’t know what the EDU price is. But if you’re a student out there, get your school to get it because it’s free for schools.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, and-

Michael Maher: If you’re holding on to your Mac or you’re waiting for that Mac Pro, just hold on because Redshift is coming. We don’t have a date for Redshift on Metal for Macs yet. It’s allegedly end of this year. I feel that’s a little optimistic but I wish them the best on hitting that deadline.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, I would love that.

Chad Ashley: That seems very optimistic.

Nick Campbell: I would love that too, and they were still saying, obviously that’s a big push for them. For those of you who are still physical and ProRender, it’s something that is a little bit new to me too, just understanding this idea that many of you are, because of where you work and because of either the budget that the team has or just the hardware that you’ve invested in or all the render nodes, for many, many reasons people are using ProRender and physical rendering. We’re talking to more studios just like you and trying to figure out how to help exactly that. It’s been something, and we may touch on this when it comes to Greyscalegorilla Plus and all that stuff in a moment, but we are looking at how to A, speed that process up, but more importantly how to get the language out that these other renderers are just, they’re not just twice as fast, it’s not a little bit faster, it’s like 10x once you get these new renderers working.

Chad Ashley: They look better, too.

Nick Campbell: They look better.

Michael Maher: Look how excited Nick is talking about it, now that he can use Redshift.

Nick Campbell: Now that I can use it.

Chad Ashley: I know. Look who’s come around.

Nick Campbell: I know. It’s been big. And you know what, I want to do that. Maybe on a future podcast we should do, I’m going to make a live note, a live note that I’m going to do an update on my PC journey and how I feel about it, and the goods and the bads and all that. I’m going to put that in our little notes. We probably won’t have time today because we’ve got so much other stuff to talk about, SIGGRAPH, but let’s do that. That would be a good idea. A little meta, a little meta moment here at the Greyscalegorilla podcast. Anything else as far as obviously having Redshift… Did you mention the Redshift price, by the way, Michael, the bundle?

Michael Maher: Right. If you do the bundle it’s $81.99 a month, so it’s $983. Again, that’s for Cinema 4D and Redshift for Cinema 4D. You don’t get to use Redshift everywhere. Honestly, if you are using Houdini or you are using any of these other programs, it makes the most sense to hop into a Cinema 4D subscription by itself, the $59.99 a month version, and then keep your Redshift license separate because you are using it in other places, and I think you’re actually going to save a little bit of money by doing it that way.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, it’s not quite, you got to really evaluate the deal here because it’s built and pointed at the new user. So really go in, look at our post, and see which avenue might be right for you.

Michael Maher: Right, and we’ll update this. We’ll release a breakdown for everybody to follow along with on what the final dollar amount comes out to for each of these different bundles and the separate services.

Nick Campbell: We got you. We know it’s confusing.

Michael Maher: It’s very confusing.

Nick Campbell: It’s confusing us.

Michael Maher: It’s okay.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, I think that it’s a good step in making it more simple, and they’re just going through the transition of going from perpetual pricing to monthly or yearly is just, it can be confusing, especially for people that purchased something in the last year. How are they going to handle that? It sounds like they do have ways to do that, so don’t forget to contact support, ask them too, because I think that they have special ways, like, “Oh, I just bought it six months ago. What are you going to do here?”

Nick Campbell: As far as I’ve dealt with them, they’ve always been very fair in making sure that they make all that, make them happy. So I would definitely contact them as well.

Michael Maher: They were super open about that for those of you who just reupped your MSA a week ago or a couple weeks ago. They do have incentives for you to either get a discount in the future, or you can kind of switch over and apply it towards. But they are working out a deal for you guys, so definitely reach out to Maxon. Not us, Maxon.

Chad Ashley: Glad you say that, dude.

Nick Campbell: That’s right.

Chad Ashley: Getting all kinds of calls.

Nick Campbell: Cool. So I’m just looking through the notes. Last thing I’ll say is that there’s new modeling tools that some people that model in Cinema 4D were excited about, so I would check those out as well if you’re a modeler.

Michael Maher: And there’s Mixamo stuff too, so if you’re doing some character animation with Adobe’s Mixamo that might make your life quite a bit easier now.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, wow. I got to dig into that, so maybe that’s a good transition to get into R21 and what I’ve been looking at and some of things I’ve been learning in R21. That Mixamo thing reminds me, because we have those tutorials from a few years ago now that are still being watched a ton on YouTube, which is the dancing Mixamo with hair, the dancing Mixamo person with spheres all over it. Essentially how to take that data and bring it in to Cinema and try to make it look good, and this might be an easier way to get that process going, which will be fun.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, I got a good demo from Steve Teeps. For those of you that don’t know, Steve Teeps is a fantastic concept artist, and he uses Mixamo a lot, and on the show floor he was doing some of that, bringing in a Mixamo character. The problem as he described it to me was that if you brought in a Mixamo character and applied it to your model and doing your thing, you can’t layer animation on top of that. Let’s say you wanted to have the character turn their head as they’re walking. You couldn’t do that very easily. This new workflow is going to allow much easier editing of your rig after you’ve brought it in with Mixamo.

Nick Campbell: That was I think one of the main comments on our tutorial, was, “Okay, well that was cool. They did the breakdance exactly the way that you wanted, but now what if I want them to walk away afterwards, or what if I want them to morph between two sets of dance data,” or whatever. That’s where it gets a lot more tricky. It sounds like this rig starts to solve those things.

Chad Ashley: Yeah.

Nick Campbell: So that probably brings us to me playing with R21 and looking into it. Of course we’ve got a new version and we want to make sure everyone not only understands what’s new, which is what we’re doing today, but when it comes out that we have all the training. So I’m so excited to play with Field Force… oh, I said it right that time.

Chad Ashley: All right.

Nick Campbell: I downloaded the beta, I started playing with it, and I got to say, Field Force is very, it can be very confusing upfront, but once you start to fundamentally understand some of the basic concepts of how the vectors work and starting to read how they display information, you can do some really powerful stuff. I was playing with cloth, making it deform and move in certain directions. I was playing with particles. For really basic particle stuff, if you just need a million particles flowing and being random and going around an object, you can now do that pretty simply with standard Cinema 4D without having to reach for X-Particles or anything. X-Particles way more in depth, obviously, with all their new fluids and all that stuff you can do, for sure, but for basic getting thousands of particles moving in the right direction and interacting with MoGraph, interacting with Dynamics, it’s pretty impressive what you can do now.

Nick Campbell: I’ve been working on some tutorials, some videos. All that gets us to what we announced at SIGGRAPH, which is Greyscalegorilla Plus. If you weren’t at the announcement or you haven’t seen it before, definitely go check out our page at, which we also own because I said it too many times, just like that.

Michael Maher: The real URL is, but maybe if you type you will still get there.

Nick Campbell: I said it wrong too many times.

Chad Ashley: Oh my God, that’s amazing.

Nick Campbell: We smartly got the URL. Anyway, what is this? Let me give you the basic rundown, just for those of you who have been looking at our training. If you’ve looked at our Greyscalegorilla guides over the last few years, we’ve been releasing some killer Greyscalegorilla guides, which are in depth training not only on how these programs work, Cinema 4D, X-Particles, and Redshift. We have a guide for each of those, and the whole idea behind the guide was tutorials and YouTube bring you pretty far and get you interested and help you understand all this stuff, but when you want to dive really deep into something, YouTube’s not a good place for that.

Nick Campbell: First of all, they want you to watch guitar videos all the time. They do not want to feed you more Cinema 4D videos. At least if you’re me, they just want to make you watch cool guitar players. So we wanted to build a place where you could dive in, focus on what you’re trying to learn, and learn from the best people in the industry. We built our Greyscalegorilla guides, came out with our Greyscalegorilla Guide to Cinema 4D, Redshift, and X-Particles.

Nick Campbell: Well, the problem is is if you wanted to grab all of those kind of running into the same issue as buying a new version of Cinema 4D. It would cost a lot. It would cost, by the time you got that plus all of our training, it would cost over $1300, $1400, $1500. So a lot of people are like, “Well, I want to get into all this stuff, but for less per month or less per year.” That’s why we created Greyscalegorilla Plus. I mean, it’s kind of a similar thought process on why membership works for what we’re doing, because we’re trying to give you guys the best training possible, period, by people that do this stuff for a living.

Nick Campbell: The other tricky part is how do we keep this stuff updated for new versions? The big one for us was, okay, we have our awesome X-Particles training, our Greyscalegorilla Guide to X-Particles, and it dives super deep into I think it’s version… What version is it? Updated to four right now. I think that’s correct.

Chad Ashley: Three?

Nick Campbell: I don’t know.

Michael Maher: The first one was I believe 3.5, the original guide with Jon Bosley, and if you purchased that in the past you also got the XP4 update for free.

Nick Campbell: That’s right.

Michael Maher: But now as there’s already newer versions planned for release and coming out, how do we keep you up to date further?

Nick Campbell: Yeah, so what we wanted to build was one place where we didn’t have to say, “Okay, here’s the update, and the update’s 50 bucks but you have to buy the original one plus buy the update.” It’s similar thought process. We just wanted one place where we can not only deliver all of our amazing Greyscalegorilla guides, but all of our archives, hundreds of hours of Cinema focused and organized and curated Cinema 4D training, for those of you who want to stay up to date with all this stuff.

Nick Campbell: Right now it’s, like I said, Redshift, X-Particles, and obviously Cinema 4D, and the whole reason I’m bringing all of this up is because I’m working with Andy, my buddy Andy over in the UK, and we’re going to have some videos out with him soon about getting the Cinema 4D R21 training up and out basically as it launches. So as soon as you get R21, if you’re planning on getting it, we’ll have training to keep you up to date with all this new Field Forces stuff, and by the way you’ll also get all the R20 training, so if you haven’t got into fields at all you’ll be able to get a refresher there and understand how fields work in general.

Nick Campbell: Anyway, the big news is that we announced it at SIGGRAPH and we’re going to do a special launch very soon, actually. If you’re listening to this podcast, make sure you go over to, I said it right that time, and put your name in because we’re going to do a small group to launch Greyscalegorilla Plus. It’s a completely new platform. Michael’s been working his butt off to get this thing going. The new player is not Vimeo, which I’m super excited about. Chad is clapping, I am clapping.

Nick Campbell: Vimeo, as you know, is kind of how Greyscalegorilla got started with they were the only ones doing HD. Over the last few years, I don’t know what it is, but they have been inconsistent in their playback. It’s been tough to go to make it full screen and to do a lot of things that I think a lot of our users wanted to do. So we have a completely new platform. It’s super organized, it’s super fast to use, and we call it Greyscalegorilla Plus and we want you to be a part of it.

Nick Campbell: We’ll have more news about it, especially as we come out with our R21 training, and essentially all new updates will be inside of Plus. We’re going to have very affordable pricing. If you have a team, we even have team deals, so make sure you get on that list. Go to the URL, put your name in, and any moment now we’re going to be launching the first group in the Plus. We have a lot of stuff planned that we’re not even talking about but once you see it I think it’ll be a perfect fit if you want to stay up to date with all this stuff.

Michael Maher: I’ll also add on to that real quick. There’s a reserve my seat button. There’s no cost to reserving. You don’t put in credit card information or anything like that. Just get your name on this list early on because we will have an intro deal for that first wave of beta users that join the platform. So you don’t want to miss that.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, it will be a price for sure that probably won’t stay. It’ll be good. Definitely check that out. We announced that, we talked a little bit about what’s coming there at the show. We also teased a new material pack that Chad’s been working tirelessly on. It looks beautiful. Chad, do you have anything to add to that or are we going to keep that a little bit more of a secret as we get that moving forward?

Chad Ashley: I like secrets. They’re fun. Actually, it’s really not that much of a secret if you follow me on Instagram.

Michael Maher: If you follow him, you probably know.

Chad Ashley: Yeah, you’ve probably already seen a lot of the release. It’s like whatever. You might even know that. Who knows. I’ve got pretty loose lips, so it’s probably not… I shouldn’t be in charge of secrets at all.

Michael Maher: Let’s cut his miv before it’s too late.

Nick Campbell: I know.

Chad Ashley: I’m super stoked about this pack. I’ll be talking more about it as we get closer to the release, but I think if you enjoy our materials now you’re going to really love this new pack.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, I got the secret demo and I was blown away just by the quality, obviously. You’re always killing it, Chad, but I think the creativity on this one and the ability for people to… Here I am now, trying to be careful.

Michael Maher: I’m going to have to start beeping stuff.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, sorry, Michael. Hey, stay tuned. We’ll just jump through it because we always have stuff to talk about, and for those of you listening you’re like, “Where has the podcast been?” We’re excited to get back to a more consistent schedule. We honestly have been behind the scenes building some amazing stuff that we’re finally launching. We decided that we have 10 years of helping customers in their workflow with materials, plugins, and training, and we decided this year to essentially double down on all three of those. So we’ve been behind the scenes working really hard on all of that and we’re really excited to get it out.

Nick Campbell: We’ll spare you all of the launches and everything that’s happening here at Greyscalegorilla until it comes out, but we did announce at SIGGRAPH, also a new Happy Toolbox pack that I’m also very excited about. Our buddies at Happy Toolbox, who if you’ve seen their models they make adorable and very well-crafted, very beautiful, very artistically-minded models, and they have a new pack coming out very soon. We’re very excited to work with them again. And we have a new HDRI pack. We’ll have more news about that as well.

Michael Maher: It’s so good.

Nick Campbell: It’s so good. Yes, and many other things. We’ll get to those as we have it. We have our new EDU program, our volume program, all this stuff we’ve been working so hard on here at Greyscalegorilla and we’ll get to all that.

Nick Campbell: But other than that, let’s kind of do, I don’t know, like a wrap up of SIGGRAPH and maybe talk a little bit about going out to some of these studios and some of the things that we’ve seen and learned. What’s the vibe that you got as far as working, studios working in the industry, and what did we all learn from going and seeing all these awesome studios?

Michael Maher: They’re busy. They’re so busy. I mean, it’s the same you kind of see in this industry-wide. It’s not just 3D and motion design. All the editors, shooters, everybody, just there’s so much work to be doing right now, and like we mentioned before in every different version of that. So you’ve got the YouTubers that are cranking stuff out nonstop. You’ve got guys doing titles cranking stuff out, literally wrapping a project and starting another project right away. There’s a lot of work out there, so keep learning, guys, because there’s plenty more coming your way.

Chad Ashley: I think I learned that everything that you just said is totally right on the money. I think in addition to that, I saw a lot of studios sort of hitting the ceiling of what Cinema was able to do so they’re trying to introduce Houdini into their workflow. This is the first show that I’ve seen application big groundswell of Houdini interest. I spent some time at the Houdini hive and talking to those people and trying to learn more about that world as I start to dabble.

Chad Ashley: So yeah, I think studios are basically like, “Listen, our ideas can’t be limited by software. We need to be able to tackle any creative that the client needs and we have to be ready for that.” It could mean that they’re exploring with Houdini. It could mean that they’re exploring with Substance, or whatever it is that’s going to get them to where they need to be. I think a lot of studios aren’t afraid to learn, which is great.

Nick Campbell: Yeah, that was really cool to see some of the bigger places we went into and just see their workflow, see their pipeline. I think that’s something that I’m seeing as well, which is larger studios, even if they’re busy, have a sense of pipeline and structure that smaller studios either never learned or don’t have time to learn or just because the fact that they’re small they can’t really integrate it.

Nick Campbell: I’m seeing either from a lot of calls I’ve been on recently or going to these studios that there’s a real need for learning an entire 3D pipeline workflow from start to finish. That always is easy when it’s just one person in a room that can do it all. Maybe they buy models from TurboSquid and then they use them and they handle the rendering, they handle IT, they handle the output process, they handle all that. But as soon as you get two or three people in a room it can be very difficult to know A, who’s in charge of what, but also how to manage a pipeline even just with file systems. Kind of all the boring stuff, you know? All the boring stuff that none of us look up YouTube videos to go find because nobody types in YouTube, “3D pipeline training.”

Nick Campbell: But I’m seeing a real interest in learning that and not a lot of people talking about that. It’s something that I’ve kind of come back to to the office with a renewed sense that I want to start to do more of that. I know, Chad, you’ve run some 3D teams and have seen it all.

Chad Ashley: Three departments I think I built.

Nick Campbell: Right, and you know how to stay organized, you know how to build a pipeline that allows a small team to get a lot done. I think that that’s what I’ve seen more than anything, is once you have a team that’s dialed in their pipeline, dialed in how they work, they can get so much more done, and that was kind of the vision of seeing these bigger companies. They had extra copies of software laying around because when they get busy they didn’t want to slow down and go figure out all the stuff to buy. They wanted a full seat of four machines waiting so that when they scale, all they have to do is hire good people and say go. That is a part of a workflow, that’s a part of a pipeline, and those are the things that I think aren’t as fun to talk about sometimes but it’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of a lot of our audience out there.

Nick Campbell: I’ll ask this, too. If you’re listening to this and you’re working in a larger team like that and have questions about it, let us know. Either head into the podcast comments or even better yet, go to where’s an even better place to put this? Go bug us on-

Chad Ashley: Our Slack, maybe?

Nick Campbell: On our Slack, on our Instagram, come let us know what those issues are because we want to try to solve those as well. We’re realizing that staying up to date with software is one thing, showing you guys how to use all the stuff, try to make it look sexy and make it render fast, that’s fun to figure out. But, and this kind of comes back to the ProRender and physical render thing too, getting a tighter and more efficient and more modern pipeline, we’re seeing as one of the major things studios could do to double, triple output. That is really what your boss is yelling at you to do. We’re seeing way more bosses want more stuff to come out more than they are more beautiful stuff to come out.

Nick Campbell: We of course as artists want it to be beautiful. We want to make sure we’re doing cool work. But when the boss is yelling or when the client’s yelling, we also want to help you guys with that. That’s kind of a internal thinking of where my mind is after SIGGRAPH, is just trying to double down on that stuff because I’ve seen, frankly Chad I’ve seen you do it. I may have some questions for you.

Chad Ashley: I’m excited when people, when I see a studio or even just a really small studio, maybe even a freelancer, that really takes their infrastructure seriously, I like that because what that means to me is that they take their entire job seriously. They would rather spend the time working on the creative and not worrying about infrastructure because they already did that. Make that investment of time and money to build your pipeline so that you can handle anything that comes down the way. I get excited when I see people take that stuff seriously, because I know what that means to work at a place like that where you’re not worrying about doing IT on your own machine. You’re not worried about what happens if we get that job, how are we going to be able to even handle it? We don’t have enough machines. All those things that a good I’d say good planning can really take care of. I don’t know, it gets me excited when I see a company that’s got it figured out.

Nick Campbell: I added that to the podcast list. Well, let’s wrap this one. We’ll hopefully be back in a week. Tell your friends. Say, “Hey, podcast, they actually made one.”

Michael Maher: We’re back.

Chad Ashley: We’re back.

Nick Campbell: And you know what? We have plans to do more. It was actually something I heard a lot on the floor as well, which was a lot of our customers and a lot of our audience are commuting and they want to learn and want to get better at what they’re doing, and the podcast was a part of that. We’re also doubling down there. Anyway, I think that’s a good place to wrap. Let usually know your thoughts. Go to our blog on our latest blog post about R21. Let us know your thoughts about the new pricing, and hey, it always helps if you put a review on iTunes for the podcast, lets other people find it. As always, we appreciate you listening. Thank you guys for being here. Stay tuned for another Greyscalegorilla podcast very soon, and happy Tuesday, y’all.

Chad Ashley: Bye-bye.

Nick Campbell: Bye.

Michael Maher: Bye.

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1  comment
1 Comment
  • Michael Willfort August 9, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Thank you guys,
    great infos and I love the concern that you have for the creative out there.
    It helped me stay more up to date. Will stay connected.
    one little improvement mybe : to my taste, I think the same content can be delivered in approx. 75% of the time, there are loops that make me a little nervous because I it is time that I prefer using otherwise.
    Please take this as my personal (may very european) viewpoint.
    With hige respect for your work over all these years

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