Maxon unveil CINEMA 4D R16: Initial thoughts

Maxon have just lifted the lid on the latest version of their popular CINEMA 4D software, and with a huge crop of new features like the modelling PolyPen and Motion Tracker, as well as numerous workflow enhancements, it looks like Release 16 (R16) is the biggest thing to happen to 3D professionals in a long time.

It seems like, overall, Maxon are tying to make CINEMA 4D a more all-in-one package that’ll mean less need for users to have to keep switching back and forth between different applications. But it does still have plenty of support for multiple applications, including FBX 2015 and Alembic 1.5 too.

Maxon CINEMA 4D R16 will be shipping in September, but if you buy yourself a Maxon Service Agreement in the meantime, you’ll have access to all the brand new features as soon as they come out (Maxon are now offering a free MSA with every new order of CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D. Or upgrade your older software to the latest release, R15, with an MSA right now and you’ll save 25%). Here are a few of the features we’re most looking forward to…

Motion tracking and the PolyPen

CINEMA 4D R16’s brand new Motion Tracker feature will make it easier and faster for artists to composite 3D elements into real world footage. Motion Tracker will be able to automatically track the camera movements in most footage with just a single click, but of course on more complex footage it is possible to manually edit the track to always achieve a flawless camera track.

The PolyPen also seems incredibly powerful. Being able to draw out shapes (well more like lines) with perfect topology looks like it could have some pretty handy time saving uses. The fact that you can use the same tool to draw straight onto a model and have it perfectly shape to that model without having to open up a sculpting package like ZBrush means it would be great for adding small details to models (such as a belt to a character etc).

Bevels are a commitment that can be very difficult to edit later on, so the brand new non-destructive bevelling is going to save a lot of time as it allows changes to be made very easily. And the huge database of pre-made models with very high levels of customisation will help people who may be new to the software populate scenes quickly, but is also a pretty useful tool for pros who might be on a tight schedule too.

All new features in CINEMA 4D R16

– Motion Tracker – Seamless integration of 3D elements into real world footage.

– Interaction Tag – Control over 3D objects and works with Tweak mode to provide information on object movement and highlighting.


– PolyPen – Paint polygons and move, clone, cut and weld points or edges of 3D models.

– Bevel Deformer – Non-destructive and animatable bevels.

– Sculpting – Numerous improvements and dynamic features for precision.

– Other Features – All-new Cogwheel spline primitive; Mesh Check tool; Deformer Falloff options and cap enhancements.


– Reflectance Channel – Added control over reflections and specularity within a single new channel, with multiple layers for creating complex surfaces.

– New Render Engine for Hair and Sketch – A new unified effects render engine to seamlessly raytrace Hair and Sketch lines.

– Team Render Server – Enhancements including a new client-server architecture.

Performance and workflow

– A revised Content Library, support for the current versions of FBX and Alembic, a new Solo button, Annotations, a new UV Peeler and more.

Maxon on Jigsaw24

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