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:  ,

  • dammit.. really want

  • great work Nick, quick of the mark with this one πŸ˜‰ R12 looking pretty impressive.

  • Damn, didn’t 11.5 just come out like a few months ago? πŸ™‚

  • Yes! I got the first comment!

  • What a great release, cant wait to have a look around!

  • The ragdoll physics clip just nearly made me spit my coffee over my keyboard. In a good way.

  • Thanks, no i got all wet -_-

  • Making the transtition from 3ds Max is going to be a lot easier with R12. Linear workflow, tons of dynamics options that talk to each other, and even more character tools has me really excited for this version. Looking forward to your tutorials as you discover new stuff!

  • damn i just got 11.5 a few moths ago :S

    • Tell me about it, I only got it like a couple weeks ago, really getting in to it, installed load of plugins, got the HDRI light kit and made the layout suitable… and now I gotta do it all again.

  • Looking sweeeeeeet!

    *looks in empty wallet*

  • Love the new physics capabilities! Now to wait until it’s released….

  • hey i just picked up 11.5 with MSA last month. does anyone know if i’ll be receiving r12 in the mail or is it a download? can’t freaking wait!!!

    • I’m in the same boat.. I contacted the (Australian) Maxon supplier I purchased it from and they said they will ship it within a week.

  • Holy crap. That camera deformer is great looking.
    This cpould let you sculpt animated character meshes after final animation to make strong silhouettes and shapes, like anisculpt!

    Great videos, Nick. Keep it up

  • Yes I totally agree, R12 has really awesome new cool stuff and options to play around and experiment with. Most importantly it adds to the usability and benefits to make really creative cool stuff. Can’t wait to see more from it Nick :))

  • Linear Workflow?! Magic Super Sonic Awesome Generator. πŸ™‚

  • lolllll the ragdoll animation is the BOMB!!!

  • Thanks for showing some of the new features. So many updates and additions….my brain can’t take it. R12 is gonna rock!
    I hope little nick is all right.

  • Strangly, I’m more excited about the Render Queue than anything else. Love the rag doll simulation, how he gets stuck on that last bounce πŸ˜€

  • This awesome can’t wait to pick up my copy. I see the have a whole bunch I basically do the same things that you do. So which one did you get?

  • The next blog will be: How Nick can be so informed. You are the man. Thanks

  • Damn that was fast. rollin out the updates like mad men! Sucks for peps who just bought 11.5

  • Damn, the best just got better. Now if I can only find my wife’s checkbook the games on – oh yeah. Great preview.

  • wow so cool. love the ragdoll physics :))
    thanks so much for making these cool previews!

  • buying the maintenance yesterday = win !

  • Hey,Nick great stuff, I have been using your light kit, w/11.5, is it compatible w/V12?-thanks,CZ

  • This looks fantastic what version are you using, Broadcast Edition?

  • C4Dr12 Looks like real phunah. I have two questions;

    What did you use for motion blur in the hinges render?

    I want to know if the new dynamics and deformers can be baked to be used in Unity3D for example?

    • just saw your post, I don’t know about the newest version of unity, but the problem with it ist that deformers do transformations of the mesh, and, as far as I know, unity doesn’t support that. as far as rigid bodies, there is a xpresso-script out there to bake mograph-klones, that also works on modynamics…

  • Wow, cinema is starting to look a lot like LittleBigPlanet!

  • Looking forward to it nick! Is it already out or do I have to wait before I get the update?

  • oooo la la…. so many new toys. new dynamics tags look awesome.

  • such great stuff !!!
    Hope I’ll get it soon !!!

  • Sweet! This is the most amazingly awesome release yet! Can’t wait to see all the new C4Dr12 tuts from you Nick!

  • hell yess.

  • super blast from the gorilla.
    Nick, thanks for the heads up on the new features. Some really useful stuff. Especially like….well, it all.


  • thanks nick ! im so exited about that new release

  • Lineair workflow, IES, Render Queue, all sounds like great improvements. Wonder if Light Kit Pro version 1.5 will be optimized for version 12.

  • damn, that looks good. gotta try the demo this time

  • Thoughts? Holy… Cow! πŸ˜€

  • WOW, it’s finally here and with so good features. I think my personal favorites would be hinges and soft bodies. I remember messing with soft bodies in R10 or something like that, and now it’s made so simple as ‘right click – mograph tags – soft body’, right? πŸ˜€
    The hinges are also a major feature, it was always a hassle to actually model a hinge-like connection between objects if you wanted them to connect but still be apart physics wise.
    As for the render queue, it was kind of there already in previous releases, it was called Batch Render. There you would have to save different camera angles and settings as different .c4d files and then add them to the queue and hit render. But I believe the Render Queue is made much more simple than saving different projects etc. When will we see a ‘Pause Render’ button in C4D, I sometimes need the CPU power briefly for something else when C4D is rendering, currently there is no way but to wait(at least i haven’t found a way)
    Thank You Nick for the preview!

  • hey Nick,

    what is your graphics card? you know most of the mac pro’s comes with ATI as default graphics card. and as far as i know unless you have upgraded your card, it is so hard to find a new release of it’s driver. Actually none. I have Ati XT1900 and with it’s latest release it doesn’t support OpenGL 3.0, so in this case does it mean we will be unable to have the opportunity that R12 brings with the new viewport stuff?

    • If you want to use a professional card for 3D design I would always recommend using nVidia. Faster, better support, better drivers.

      The guys at AMD/ATI are producing really nice cards for gaming but their pro cards are useless.

  • Been loving trying out the demo, cannot afford to upgrade just yet, but thanks so much Nick for going through quickly some of the new dynamics and so excited to see IES lights included now too. Really really looking forward to seeing future tutorials on all of the new tools and much more about LWF.

    I spotted your daylight in your layout too Nick, nice icon for it, looking forward to playing with that so so much!

    You’re a legend Nick cheers πŸ™‚

  • oh boy. this is gonna r0ck! \m/

  • Hey, im trying out the demo, and i just wanted to ask if the mograph dyanimics tag is gone? I figured it makes sense.. but i dont see it under right click-> mograph tags-> or under the mograph menu. Has this completely been replaced by the the new dynamics tags? right click -> dynamics -> dynamic body.
    All this realy means if this is the case Is getting use to it again.

  • Thank’s for that new C4D presentation Nick…

  • This is really awesome! With the update to C4D AND the advent of layer tennis, it would be very interesting to see cinema 4D/AE artists going at it. Maybe even invite 3ds Max/Maya users in a friendly match. It would be exciting and equally informative.

  • hehe ragdoll nick πŸ˜›

  • Some nice features, linear workflow in particular.

    But by dropping the modular approach they’ve really messed with my upgrade path. To keep the toolset I have I’d have to upgrade to Studio which is about Β£2000.

  • I must be the only one who doesn’t have R12 yet as I’m the only one to comment!
    These features look awesome. I’m seriously excited to buy a copy and get experimenting. Especially with that camera deformer – that is so sick!! My mind is boggling with ideas πŸ˜€
    Cheers Nick for the vid, very much appreciated by everyone I am sure. Can’t wait to see what can be done with this new stuff!

  • great intro nick, new you would be on it strait away, just need to get my copy now

  • New dynamics definitely looks super sweet.

    Do you know anything about how they did this demo for Maxon:
    Its for Thinking Particles, where the sphere turns into particles and then morphs back in to a tube-like object. It would be cool to see a tutorial on that.

    Also, is there a way to make things move autonomously? For example, say you wanted to setup a planetary orbit system, and feed the objects equations which would govern their movement?

  • Damn this looks cool, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy now the problems is just when will that be πŸ™‚ time to start saving πŸ™‚

  • Only had 11.5 for 3 months..! My I.T department only just recovered from my last round of whining for an upgrade. Dammit.

  • RENDER QUEUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Looks like a great release but I’m gutted that Maxon’s re-organising of their bundles and losing the modules means I’m a bit cornered into forking out for the Studio bundle – unless I lose HAIR and some Advanced Render options. Over Β£1500 for an upgrade is pretty painful even if I am getting a lot of new stuff in the Studio bundle. I can understand why Maxon are simplifying their products but the module system was a great way for small studios like myself to gradually build up towards a powerful toolset.

    • Absolutely agree. I don’t want to sound like a moaner, there are some great new features. But Cinema’s modularity has always been one of its strong points. Now if you want Advanced Render features (like SSS, Sub poly displacement etc) AND MoGraph you have to buy Studio. This gets you an awful lot of great software but much of it you may not need and not be able to afford.

  • this iss HOTTTT!!!!

  • its like Christmas in September. New Lightkit stuffs, new Cinema stuffs… YIPPIE!

  • Geeeee’s Nick,
    I knew you’d come with something on release 12, but on day one! You too sharp my friend!

  • thanks nick….
    btw does your upcoming tutorials will be based on R12 or would you still do some tutorials on R11?

  • cool stuff, can’t wait to dig in.

    Nick, I may have misunderstood, but hasn’t there always been a batch renderer?

    It would allow you to set up multiple renders overnight without using net render. I am sure it got some nice upgrades though.

    Anyway, stuff looks great, keep up the good work!

  • fabinhodj@gmail.com September 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I’m like a little boy with a new toy.

  • This is just so awesome. Gets rid of loads of workarounds.

  • So are there any actual tutorials on Maxon’s site?

  • Super excited about this! All those motors knocking each other around made me laugh πŸ™‚

  • RagDoll Physics cool video Nick! πŸ˜€

  • guh guh guh Awesome.

  • Is r12 relased already?

  • I have to wait until next week before hopefully seeing the new stuff. With the service agreement I should get the new version automatically. Linear workflow so far is not new, because you could do that manually. The rest looks very interesting. Lots of stuff to play with:))

  • Wow, thank you Gorilla. πŸ™‚
    There is a really nice tutorial about Linear Workflow here: http://vimeo.com/8119194

  • wow, im realy excited about R12

  • Love it.

  • That looks awesome !

    Cannot wait to use it for a 5 second project ! Btw,
    when is the next 5 second project ?

    Soon ? πŸ™‚
    Tomorrow ? πŸ™‚
    I am addicted ! πŸ™‚

  • Hello Mr Gorilla.
    If you look for something you selected in the object browser just hit the “S”-key, in the view port it will be centered and zoomed. I am sure you know, it is very basic but very practical.

  • This looks really awesome! Still downloading though…

    I’ve linked your video over at http://c4dusers.deviantart.com/ , hope you don’t mind.

  • L-system ! Turtle ! If these new features are done well, they are going to be full of potential creatively. I remember using the BlurBeta L-system plugin for 3ds Max so many years ago and I had loads of fun creating robotic plants for a clip I was working on. It was limited, but now with the power of C4d, this has to be so much better πŸ™‚

  • Nick
    Are the machines completely random? Meaning, will the outcome be completely different every time you do a render with the same project?


    • No. Renders are always the same every time you do a render. It would be INSANE if it was different every time. That said, there are ways to make it look random for sure.

    • So if you sent me that project file and I rendered the movie it would be exactly the same as yours? It does look random already, just wondering if the variables in the math are actually “variable”.

      • Things mostly render the same every time on every computer. Sometimes there are slight differences in calculation with different chips or video cards, but it’s rare. You never want true random in production because then you would never get consistent, reliable results. The goal is always faked randomness.

  • They should really put these videos on the maxon website, they really demonstrate what is awesome about 11.5

  • wow brother, now if that looks after itself autodesk =), I am your pupil for one year and thanks to you many of us we make our dreams real behind of a screen, thanks to you brother, regards of from monterrey, mexico and my better benedictions for you, he is still a teacher like that

  • I was looking through the new features saying oh cool. yeah i need that. that will help my creativity. Then I got to that camera shader. And I think my brain exploded. Im looking forward to seeing how that new shader will be used by those creative types.

  • Wish I could justify the buy. Need to start making some money with 11.5 lol.

  • Mostly interested in new features like the linear workflow, light options an render queue. Dynamics are cool, but bouncing balls become boring.

  • Render and shutdown option?

  • is it right that im not able to use GI in the prime version ?

  • Hey Nick great intro movie i really enjoyd watching it πŸ™‚
    But one small thing. Actually the Cloth you’re talking about is the new Softbody Dynamics πŸ™‚

    Keep it coming can’t wait to see the rest of your tutorials πŸ™‚


  • Hey, just letting the students know that they can get R12 for under $495!
    This is $100 cheaper than I got 11.5 (full package) for.

    *I am not being paid in any way to link here, just being helpful.

  • Hey GSG i have a question about this tut β€œthe tracer object”
    Can i at the end of vibrate thing turn this shape into the letter? So at the end some copyline is made from this shapes.
    TNX a lot and once again great tuts….

  • Just finished my millionth cloth work-around in 11.5, where the Mograph stuff couldn’t talk to the cloth stuff. 12 is going to be like taking the donut off the baseball bat.

  • 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 πŸ™‚

    Most creative use of physics wins!

  • cant wait to get my hands on it πŸ˜€

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


  • 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 thereΒ΄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 πŸ™‚

    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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