What’s New In Cinema 4D Release 12

September 1, 2010

In this post, I wanted to show you guys some of the new features in Cinema 4D 12. Of course, with every new release there are a TON of new features, but I wanted to show you the ones I am most excited about.

New Dynamics
I’m most excited about the new dynamics system that now includes soft body dynamics, connectors, motors, and springs. By combining all these object together, you can now create very complex dynamic simulations. As you can see from all the renders below, It’s what I love the most about the new Cinema Release.

Springs And Connectors

New SoftBody Dynamics

Connectors (Hinges)


RagDoll Physics

Linear Workflow
Cinema 4D 12 has also added linear workflow. Linear workflow ensures that your lights, reflections, and shadows are rendered more realistically. There are a few “gotchas” when it comes to working linearly, but in future tutorials I will show you ways to get around it. There is no easy way to describe linear workflow except to say that it makes your renders look more realistic. More to come for sure.

New Lighting Options
You know I LOVE realistic lighting in my renders. Version 12 adds some really interesting lighting features. Cinema 12 allows you to use IES lighting in your scenes. IES Lighting allows you to download real light profiles that cast photo-real shadows. in your scene. Version 12 also bring white balance and color temperature to your scenes for even more precise control over your lighting.

Render Queue
The New Render Queue is awesome. It allows me to set up multiple renders with different cameras and settings and render them while I’m away. This allows me to set up renders and passes during the day and render overnight really easily. In fact, all the renders above were rendered in one go using the Render Queue. Sure, additions like this aren’t as flashy as new dynamics, but this feature alone will save me hours of tedious render setups and maintenance.

Way Way More
There is so much more with version 12 that I haven’t even explored yet including: new effector types like the Camera Deformer, Surface Deformer and Mesh Deformer, new Open GL Support, dual transformations, and more. You can expect many more videos about the new features and how to use them as I figure them out myself. Stay tuned for many more tutorials about the new dynamics and lighting, too. Version 12 is a really exciting release. What are your thoughts?

Tutorial Focus:  
Software:  ,

  • Now that linear light workflows will be all the rave in motion graphics, I think it’s important for artists to understand exactly what composting in linear color space is, and why it is advantageous over working in sRGB colorspace. Rather than me rant here, listen to this podcast with one of Mental Image’s core shader authors, Master Zap.


  • hi,

    is it possible to work in a linear workflow in cinema4d 11.5? i mean could you just degamma things that are non linear?

    • The difference in color space would produce artifacts. The real charm is to render 32bit images in linear (with linear textures) into .EXR or .DPX (or .HDR lol). But your right, linear colorspace is really a fancy way of saying “gamma correction that’s only performed once”.

    • Degamma gets really really close. It essentially is a one click solution and it works really well if your staying in 11.5.

  • I actually want to know what items you have on your mac’s menu bar… mine looks blank compared to yours!

  • I have this question…..what’s the difference between “prime”, “broadcast”, “studio” and “visualize”?

    pablo, from Chile

  • Looks great! The maxon site doesn’t tell you which modules are in which bundles anymore (prime, broadcast, studio etc). The comparison chart only tells you what features are in each bundle. Anyone know if i can get the advanced render and mograph module without going for the full priced studio option?

    • There are no more Modules. You get parts of different modules in different packages. The Studio is still my overall recommend if you are doing work with Cinema. But, The broadcast package has most everything you need. The main thing missing from Broadcast is sub polygon displacement.

    • seems like total BS not to include SPD. Its an essential feature for any 3D work it seems, kinda not cool to make people pay for another version just for this.

  • i played around with the R12 demo today it is really awesome this is a major update with an amazing new system, unfortunately i can’t save or render anything in the demo… im gonna try more stuff

  • Hey Nick, this is probably not the best place to post this, but when will the next 5 second project be up? Or have you stopped running them?
    (Sorry, if i’m just being impatient hehe)

  • i don’t understand why the demo is running so slow on py PC, is there so much difference between R11.5 and R12?

  • Building an engine together must be so simple. A lot of Xpresso goes in to 11.5 to make all the parts behave as they should, i.e. piston, crankshaft, valves etc. They put all these ingredients in version 12 so be prepared to see all these engine simulations pop up!

  • I can allready imagine people making physics games in Cinema4D.
    I mean… really in Cinema 4D!

    Just lock/forbid some tools/objects and let the user play with some objects to get the ball from point A to B 🙂

    Most creative use of physics wins!

  • cant wait to get my hands on it 😀

  • I stuffed a box full of squeaky cubes, the softbody solver is very stable! 🙂


  • Sorry, I can’t even watch the tuts (R12) yet until I can figure out what my upgrade options are. I have the XL Bundle with the Mograph Mod. Maxon doesn’t even mention the XL upgrades. It looks like BodyPaint is separated out. And it looks like I would be losing features like caustics too.

    As a freelancer, the Studio version is completely out of the question $$$. This program was such a big investment; I just spent $800 on the 11.5 upgrade in May. I’m bummed that they completely restructured into a confusing mess.

    Still love your tuts though Nick, I just hope all the focus doesn’t up as R12 centric… until I win Lotto.

  • dynamics are fun, but there´s a lot of tweaking.


  • I would really like to see more tutorials on particles and fluid simulations, and maybe some hard surface modeling

  • hi nick,i’m a big fan of you for a while, good work and explanation , keep it up buddy 🙂

    and good luck.

    regards ; p.panther

  • Hi Nick, Got a suggestion: what about a tutorial about lighting an interior, maybe you could go more deeply about the IES lighting on v12. I really would love to see that + maybe there are more like me here(Architect Visualizer)

    Thanks so much for what you are doing, really inspiring!!

  • Hi nick, i just installed Cinema 4D R12 and when add more than 1 object to my scene only the selected object is visible. Do you have any idea how i can fix this or why this is happening?
    Thanks already

    • i do hav the same problem.can any one plz help.:(

      • Hi guys,

        Any chance you can help me with that? I just installed Cinema 4D R12 and am going mad, because I can’t find the way to have all objects visible! Only the selected ones are visible, and I need to see them all in order to create something! Please help…

  • Is anyone finding the render queue to be painfully slow. I set 3 renders off in the queue last night and one still had not finished when I came into work this morning. So as a test I rendered them this morning separately in the picture viewer in about 4 hours.

    Is anyone else experiencing this? Do you know if there is any thing I’m doing wrong?

    • Wonder if you found an answer for it, I’m having the same problem.

      I really like the render queue but so far (I’ve tested it on 3 computers) it’s annoyingly slow.
      Wish I could just queue thing to the wonderful Picture Viewer..

  • Is there any way we can render the spring also? Or how can we model one to make it look as if it is connecting the bodies?

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