How to Optimize Your Scene to Render Faster In Cinema 4D

March 31, 2011

An expensive new computer may make your renders 2-8X faster. But learn how to optimize your scene, and it can speed up your renders 10-100X. In this video, I show you some ways to optimize your scene in Cinema 4D for faster rendering so you can hit that deadline and still make it look great.

Five Likely Render Hogs

  • Global Illumination
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Anti-Aliasing
  • Blurry Reflections
  • Area Shadows

Tutorial Focus:  ,
Software:  ,

  • MUCH Thanks Nick, excellent info, as always … saw John Dickinson offering praises!
    You two are so much appreciated in this motion graphic community; real time life savers.

  • thanks nick! just found your website and its just like finding golds man!! lots of good stuff here! keep it up man! πŸ™‚

  • So much thanks for that tutorial !

  • Holy cow just by setting the global illumination to low i brought my render time from 25 min to 5 min!!! The video would have taken me 4 days to render but now it will take me 1!!!!!!!! Thanks soooooo much!!!!!!!!

  • Arif ABdulssatra April 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Iam fresh into 3d , iam starting with cinema 4d and i want to understand things slowly, i didnt do any
    any 3d ot sum yet , iam reading some infos, and they are very helpful , tnx a lot gorilla u rock. keep with the good work

  • i wanna buy you a beer for this. awesome.

  • hey man! can I make like a lil tutorial bout this, givin you the credis of course but I wanna make it in spanish version, cuz I’m from southamerica… hope you answer as fast you can πŸ™‚

  • That is a good collection of render time savings tips for cinema 4d. Thank you!
    I’d be interesting also to see in that video how render time changes in case reducing in Render settings > Options: Ray Threshold, Ray Depth, Reflection Depth, Shadow Depth.
    But anyway reducing from 61 to 1 is a perfection. Enough said!

  • Thanks for all your tutorials …keep up the superb work !!

  • hey,thank u for the tips Nick…try using a different codec on your save options change from microsoft RLE to INTEL IYUV codec it really helps when rendering an animation…

  • Leonardo Correia August 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hello Nick, excellent info. Thanks.
    What Macintosh are you using?

  • Where is the optimize button in cinema 4d r14?

  • Saved my life tonight its 3am,
    just waited an hour for a render and thanks to this its now gone down to 15mins

  • Wow this is a great tutorial. I would’ve never known about the Gi irradiance setting. It looks the exact same set to low! Thanks so much! You made my day!!!

  • HI Nick, Just a reminder to those of us who render all night long … it only works it your pref’s are set to keep the energy going all night, while letting the display sleep; otherwise the whole system sleeps. Optimization is clearly the mandate to work efficiently. Good to review this tutorial from time to time.

  • Thanks for all your tutorials dude! i’m a beginner self-teaching myself through your videos and others, and yours are really helpful! This is def going to speed up my renders.

  • Hi,
    This is a great explanation. However, I have enormous trouble with optimizing a full physical sky render in a 24 hour cycle, night/day/night.

    There seems to be very little writings on this. Physical Sky remains a bit of a mysterie because of this.
    Do you have any advice or a link?

    Else I have to figure out and make a tut myself. πŸ˜‰

    Keep us inspired, mr. Gorilla!!

  • I found this very informative, thank you. I would’ve like to see some talk on elements that are easy to recreate in AE (or PS). For example, in this you talk a bit about reflection bluriness; can’t you render out the reflection in a multi-pass and add the blur fairly easily in your compositing program? I’m new, so i’m figuring this stuff out.

  • Hey Nick !
    Thanks – this is great.
    Did you make the tutt. about Global illumination in Animation which you talked about ?

  • You just literally saved me 10 hours. I wanna send you a fruit basket. Seriously, you rock.

  • THANK YOU SOOO MUCH, FROM 9 HOURS TO 3. just by not using global, and ambient. And instead using substitutes

  • Thanks Nick. Your tutorials are very clear and very very very useful. Thanks again

  • Nishant Pandav May 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    i tried out this tutorial from cg.tutsplus, which was basically a “techno-spheres” kinda scene.
    it took me 12+ hrs to render just one frame on my 13″ MacBook.
    I’ll try out these tips now and see the difference.
    (i think i used the Physical render option in R14)

  • hi nick! im new on C4D, do you think i have to use Vray plugin always to get the best renders? or the config that you are showing in the video is the best for renders? im getting my new Macbook pro i5, with 16gb ram.. can you send me an email please! im feeling like a lost child in the middle of the artic..

  • This is huge!
    Thanks Nick

  • thanks Nick!
    most helpful!

  • ItΒ΄s a very understandable and well explained tutorial Thanx 4 taking the time of having so many examples and compare each situation.

  • Great tutorial! Even though it has passed some time.

    I have an issue that perhaps someone knows how to fix.

    I have an animated project with some dynamics in one part (20 little balls aprox.), depth of field and had rendered it with physical render. I render a 1 minute video (aprox.) and everything was fine. Each frame took 2 minutes aprox.

    But I had to retake the project as the client asked for some changes. Now, I don’t know for which reason each frame takes a lot more (5 minutes). All the settingsand materials are the same (before and after). I have the before and after files as I saved with different names.

    I am sharing the files (with the animation ereased) so if anyone can help me IT WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.


  • Thanks Nick! I am who I am just because of you!

  • how absence Cinema 4d R16?

  • heyyy nick…. you are the best !

  • I’ve just rendered a scene in R11.5 and then in R16. At 1920×1080 the image took 32 seconds longer to render in R16.

    What might cause this?

  • Pulled some levers, changed a few settings and removed most of the reflection in my materials as they were all very subtle reflections, went from 10 minutes per fram to 11 seconds. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • OK! I ‘ve got a way old machine….
    Intel Gateway E2610 3.0 Ghz (Pantium 4 Processor)
    3GB RAM, 512 Mb NVIDIA GeForce 210
    Cinema 4D R12 Studio full version…..However my question is:
    I tried your settings but I got a bit little luck….still the same time killing render…
    What render settings should I set “according to my machine” to get a fast render?

  • Researching, thanks!

  • It takes me 1 hour and 30 mins to do a frame and my intro has been rendering for 3 days and still is not done its barley done 3 seconds of my intro.

  • Thanks Nick. Very helpful as always. A few extra tips. I’d recommend the old rendering image sequences if you can. For those who don’t know, TIFFs will be your highest image quality render and half alpha capability but they are very large due to their lack of compression and that can be a hit on when you try to composite a render downstream. PNGs are your best bet for an image that needs to have alpha transparency, as they are the smallest I know of thus far in terms of compression. They make for are a pretty high quality image too that can be manipulated better later, as they keep more color information in tact. For this color info reason, I use them a lot even when I don’t need an alpha channel embedded. The smallest file, which will be slightly smaller than PNG will be JPG. JPG basically flattens out all of the color information though and does not have alpha transparency capability, so you would have to export a matte and a fill which can complicate your file structures, etc and slow you down. They also can downgrade the image quality of your final render (ie. if you plan to import your C4D render into a compositing program) since, when exported a second time they have flattened all the color information the final codec would have had to work with. Another reason image sequences are definitely the way to go is that, if your render crashes or you notice you need to restart your system, the power goes out, etc. midway through an export for whatever reason, you can always comeback to whichever frame you are on and also minimize your worry for file corruption. Image sequences also help if you want to work remotely or in multiple places (via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc) as the frames can upload one by one as soon as they render, as opposed to having to wait until the end of the video file render to do so. This can allow you to import at least part of your sequence into AE or whichever compositing program you might be using, so you can A) check for errors right away B) start comping while the C4D render is still cooking the remaining frames. All you have to do is reload the sequence from time to time as you work to keep loading the new frames in. One extra point I’d add is to try to bake your artwork whenever possible using things like mograph cache tags, etc. This will help if you ever choose to render farm a file but also help if you have to restart a render midway through. I also believe it will put less work on your CPU in general through the process.

  • What about reducing geometry? baking textures? That can save a HUGE ammount of time as well..that could be covered maybe in another video.

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