Make the most of After Effects and CINEMA 4D with Quadro cards and iOFX

You’re probably aware of our over-enthusuastic feelings about the link between CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects CC, given that we outed it as one of our best reasons to move to Creative Cloud and blogged what was essentially a gleeful squeal when the upgrade deal from CINEMA 4D Lite to Broadcast was announced, but just in case you missed it: we’re huge fans. This time round, we’re getting slightly more practical, taking a look at how to speed up your After Effects – CINEMA 4D workflow with NVIDIA’s ultra buff Quadro cards and almighty not-quite-an-SSD iOFX from Fusion-iO.

We love After Effects but…

…let’s face it, it was never a full 3D solution. Adobe were always open about the fact that it was not designed to be a 3D modelling program, and only ever gave you access to 2.5D – essentially just positioning 2D objects in 3D space, without ever giving them any depth – or a string of uni-directional workflows to full modelling applications, all which had their fair share of glitches and caveats.

After Effects Creative Cloud's CINEWARE plug-in options

After Effects Creative Cloud’s CINEWARE plug-in options

With the arrival of After Effects Creative Cloud and its CINEWARE plug-in, you can now create CINEMA 4D scenes directly in After Effects. If you already have your own CINEMA 4D setup then great, After Effects will happily work with that; if not, it ships with the stripped down CINEMA 4D Lite, which means you can do basic modelling out of the box before deciding which of the full versions suits the projects you’re taking on.

You can compare the Lite and full versions of CINEMA 4D here.

While you’re working, you can view and render a CINEMA 4D scene directly inside After Effects,  then jump to CINEMA 4D if you need to make more complex edits – any changes you make there will be directly reflected in the After Effects environment, and you can access your CINEMA 4D render settings without leaving After Effects.

So what hardware do you need for this workflow?

If you’ve recently updated your After Effects or CINEMA 4D workstations, you’re probably still safe to carry on using them. However, we’ve designed this bundle of add-ons to give you optimal performance, delivering faster graphics performance, smoother playback and better render times.

There are two key things here: Fusion-iO’s iOFX and NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000. The iOFX is a much publicised, super-fast flash memory storage tier, which in this case acts as a cache to enable extremely fast, smooth playback within After Effects. The NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is the fastest CUDA-based card that you can put in a Mac Pro. This means it’s the best match for Adobe’s CUDA-enhanced rendering options, and will give you the best performance with the ray trace renderer. We’ve also included a copy of CINEMA 4D Broadcast, the CINEMA 4D configuration Maxon have built for anyone looking to create more complex 3D models and motion graphics for broadcast work.

See the bundle on

Want to know more about your CINEMA 4D options? Read the roundup, or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page

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