Upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 and save up to 25%

Upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 and save up to 25%

If you’ve been putting off upgrading your Maxon CINEMA 4D R15 to the latest version, CINEMA 4D R18, we’ve got a couple of offers on that should help ease the transition. Until 31st March, you can upgrade and save up to 25% on Maxon’s 3D software.

Any CINEMA 4D R15 owners taking out a Maxon Service Agreement (MSA) is eligible for a massive 25% off the normal upgrade price when going for CINEMA 4D R18. But even if you don’t opt for an MSA, you can still get 15% off.

The MSA is an annual licensing agreement for CINEMA 4D users that makes the whole purchasing process much easier, especially for companies working with fixed budgets – no more surprises when planning next year’s expenses. All upgrades are automatically sent to MSA customers immediately upon release. In addition to the most up-to-date software version, MSA participants also receive an annual subscription to Maxon’s Cineversity portal for tutorials, templates and plug-ins.

What’s new in CINEMA 4D R18

Not already been convinced to upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 from R15? Here are just a handful of reasons which may sway you:

Voronoi fracture object – a native feature in the MoGraph toolset in Cinema 4D that works seamlessly with Dynamics. Allows users to tear down walls and create artistic procedural geometry using spline or polygon objects to define the fractured shape.

Interactive knife tools – enable users to draw lines across a model and tweak the cut with an interactive preview, then lock in new edges or split based on the cut; knife tools are available as separate commands for easy access to the desired mode via shortcut or Commander.

Object motion tracking – expanded tools for integrating your Cinema 4D creations into real-world footage, by replacing objects with your 3D designs.

Shaders and surface effects – advanced rendering tools for creating iridescent surfaces such as bubbles and oil slicks, for capturing shadows for more efficient compositing, parallax mapping for enhanced bump effects, and creating masks for worn edges using inverse ambient occlusion.

Substance engine integration – download compiled Allegorithmic Substances and utilise them to surface your Cinema 4D objects. This fully-integrated implementation offers outstanding workflow and flexibility, plus options to cache Substances on disk for better performance.

Want to know more about Maxon CINEMA 4D? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Tutorial: How to insert 3D objects in After Effects

Tutorial: How to insert 3D objects in After Effects

If you’re looking to add photorealistic 3D content to existing footage, this tutorial from Adobe will show you how. Using After Effects’ Live 3D Pipeline and the included Maxon Cinema 4D Lite, you’ll be able to add 3D objects directly into your existing compositions relatively easily.

For more on Adobe Creative Cloud, check out 0ur Adobe Creative Cloud Hub or give us a buzz on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com

Video: Using Maxon CINEMA 4D with Unity 3D

Video: Using Maxon CINEMA 4D with Unity 3D

If you saw the latest version of Unity at SIGGRAPH and are now wondering how to fit into your current games development or 3D modelling pipeline, Maxon have at lease part of the answer. They’ve put together this video demonstrating the workflow between their flagship kit, CINEMA 4D Prime, and Unity 3D. 

Want to know more about what you can do with CINEMA 4D R15? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

CINEWARE, CINEMA 4D Lite and CINEMA 4D: What After Effects users need to know

CINEWARE, CINEMA 4D Lite and CINEMA 4D: What After Effects users need to know

When it was announced that the Creative Cloud iteration of After Effects would be capable of two-way collaboration with Maxon’s CINEMA 4D range, it fast became our favourite new feature. Now that we’re a little way down the road, the dust has settled, the workflow has been explained and the deals have been announced, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at CINEWARE, CINEMA 4D Lite and CINEMA 4D and  work out exactly which option is best for whom, and what it is you’ll get for your money. Here are your key facts…

Maxon CINEWARE

Not actually a standalone application, CINEWARE is the name of the plug-in that’s been added to After Effects to let it communicate with CINEMA 4D. It’s what makes it possible for After Effects users to enjoy that two-way workflow, choose to render CINEMA 4D files in an After Effects-based renderer and see changes to cameras and lighting in both programs, regardless of which they were made in. It arrives as part of your After Effects CC download, and is not available to anyone still using After Effects CS6 or earlier.

Maxon CINEMA 4D Lite

This is the stripped back version of CINEMA 4D that comes as part of your After Effects CC download, and is the program you’ll actually do the C4D work in (although if you have a full version of C4D R14 or above already installed on your computer, After Effects CC can also harness that to deliver the same two-way workflow to a full version of C4D).

You can create basic 3D objects and animations in CINEMA 4D Lite, then export them to an After Effects layer as footage for further editing. Both programs can render C4D files, but if you choose to render directly in CINEMA 4D Lite you’ll be limited to low-res renders of 800×600 or less – this cap is removed if you render the footage within After Effects. However, being a Lite version, this doesn’t support advanced features like ambient occlusion, global illumination or polygon modelling.

That said, it gives you far more 3D capabilities than simply doing everything in After Effects would, and Maxon have worked hard to improve camera inoperability between the two programs, so it’s now far easier to make edits in either and have them instantly recognised by both.

If you’re working on motion graphics or only need very simple 3D assets, we reckon you can get away with sticking with CINEMA 4D Lite. If, however, you’re going to need to produce larger or more complex 3D elements or need to animate characters, we’d recommend levelling up to the full version of CINEMA 4D.

CINEMA 4D Broadcast and CINEMA 4D Studio

Let’s get the most pressing news out of the way first: if you’re using After Effects CC, you’re eligible for a 40% discount when you buy CINEMA 4D Broadcast or Studio with a Maxon Service Agreement. This is a pretty amazing deal, and if you think you’ll need a full version, it’s best to get clicking before Maxon come to their senses.

So what are Broadcast and Studio? Well, Maxon split CINEMA 4D into different versions based on what kind of 3D work you do. Studio is the full package, combining the features found in graphic-design orientated Prime and the more CAD-focused Visualize with advanced character creation and mapping tools, all the advanced rendering features that you won’t find in the Lite version, a physics engine and an unlimited client network for the fastest possible rendering. If you’re animating detailed (read: hairy and furry) characters, need to plan complex collisions or will be working with scenes that contain hundreds or thousands of objects, Studio is the CINEMA 4D package that will help you power through projects, all without losing that live link to After Effects.

CINEMA 4D Broadcast is a little more pared down, containing all the tools you’ll need for creating high-end 3D motion graphics and virtual environments rather than characters. It’s got all the rendering options that are missing from CINEMA 4D Lite, plus extra libraries of lighting and camera rigs so it’s easier to create 3D elements that’ll slot straight into any footage you’ve shot, not to mention CINEMA 4D’s infamously comprehensive cloning toolset.

A note on hardware…

If you are planning on using this discount as an excuse to move to CINEMA 4D Studio and take on more 3D-heavy projects, be aware that CGI rendering will take even longer than your usual After Effects jobs. To minimise the time difference, you’ll want to grab yourself a powerful GPU, and make sure your machine has as many core as you can cram into it. We’d recommend opting for a top spec iMac (you can repurpose this as a display and render node once the new Mac Pro hits) a Mac Pro or one of HP’s Z-series workstations.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

After Effects CC users can save 40% on Maxon CINEMA 4D!

After Effects CC users can save 40% on Maxon CINEMA 4D!

When After Effects CC came out, one of our favourite new features was the inclusion of CINEMA 4D Lite, a stripped down version of Maxon’s CINEMA 4D 3D software that allowed you to create more complex motion graphics.

If using the Lite version has whetted your appetite for 3D work, you’ll be pleased to hear that anyone with a copy of CINEMA 4D Lite can now get 40% off the cost of an upgrade to CINEMA 4D Broadcast or CINEMA 4D Studio if you buy before August 30th and add in an MSA agreement. Huzzah!

Studio or Broadcast? 

Maxon have split CINEMA 4D into five different versions, each designed for a different type of graphics work. If you’re looking to add 3D elements to broadcast graphics, Broadcast is for you – it uses a lot of the same tools as traditional 2D graphics packages, but adds 3D tools and additional rendering options. The Studio version is a bit more involved, bringing in character tools, a physics engine, hair and more, so you can create character rigs and animations easily.

Take a look at CINEMA 4D Studio and CINEMA 4D Broadcast on our site.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Speeding up rendering at the University of Glamorgan

Speeding up rendering at the University of Glamorgan

The University of Glamorgan were looking for a solution to improve render times on their animation courses. We helped them set up a render farm that would allow quick, collaborative rendering and reduce their workstation downtime. We also provided them with all the animation and rendering software they would need to give their students experience using industry-standard applications.

Eliminating downtime

Before coming to us, the university were using localised computers (i.e. not networked to each other) when rendering animation students’ projects. Each render had to be done on these individual workstations and so, while one machine was busy rendering, it was out of action, and any further design work would have to wait until the process was complete. On top of that, Glamorgan were also using external hard drives for backup, as there was no central server to store files on. This made collaboration difficult and working from home virtually impossible.

Glamorgan needed a solution that could render jobs from an entire class at once, and free up workstations so that students could make the most of their time on campus. They were also looking for a truly collaborative environment that would let their students work together on joint projects, sharing files across a network.

Finding a render management solution

Peter Hodges, head of animation at Glamorgan, gave Jigsaw24 a call and arranged a consultation with our 3D specialist, Ben Kitching, and together they looked at options for the university. They decided that Qube! (a render farm management system) would be the best solution for cutting downtime and allowing collaborative working. Qube! is able to handle thousands of student projects at one time, and its multi-threaded Supervisor tool would make management of the system easy. It would also provide support for a wealth of modelling and animation software and came with a number of application pipelines, including Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya.

The university had also invested in a set of render nodes (computer clusters that form the render farm). These were sent to Jigsaw24 HQ for a system preflight, which involved our engineers making a carbon copy of the disk that could be deployed across all of the other render nodes. We then went onsite to check the farm was running as it should by submitting a number of test jobs.

Software and training

Ben suggested an exhaustive arsenal of exceptional modelling and animation software to complement Glamorgan’s new outfit. These included professional 3D tools such as Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Maxon’s CINEMA 4D and LightWave, and plug-in rendering tools like V-Ray and iray. Softimage, Boujou, ZBrush, SketchUp Pro, Brazil and Renderman were also included, so students could add greater detail and effects to characters and scenes. We even supplied Adobe Production Premium, Apple Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio for integrating animation into broadcast workflows.

As part of the installation, we went to the university to configure all the software and, while there were a few initial teething problems in arranging licences for the university, Ben soon ironed them out. He then provided training for the staff at a time that was convenient for them, as well as adding onsite and remote support to the package so we would always be on hand to solve any problems with the system.

Efficient, collaborative rendering

The whole solution has allowed for greater collaboration between VFX and animation students. With the help of Qube!, their new render farm can now be managed more easily and run more efficiently – the Integrated Charting feature lets staff create reports on frame times and CPU usage right on the GUI. Qube! has allowed Glamorgan to push through jobs faster, and to save all their work on a single, central server without being tied down to rendering times.

The students’ experience of working on the new farm will set them in good stead for getting a job once they graduate. The Autodesk software we provided is something everyone starting out in animation will benefit from experience using. And a few of the more specific apps, such as Brazil, will really make the students’ CVs stand out to potential employers, as they will have a wider knowledge of different animation techniques.

Commercial potential

Glamorgan have even thought about the commercial advantages of their render farm, and aim to get the system turning a profit to put back into the university. Their new setup is powerful enough for outside companies to hire for rendering, even while being used by students. As a Citrix Silver Partner, Jigsaw24 have been looking at virtualisation technology options at Glamorgan to give companies secure, collaborative access to the render farm, while also allowing their students to work from home and have access to their applications, shared storage and render farm.

For more information speeding up render times, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Maxon Cinema 4D plugin for After Effects

Maxon Cinema 4D plugin for After Effects

Maxon have recently made available the CS5 compatible plugin for Cinema 4D and After Effects.

The plugin features 64-bit native compatibility for Windows and Mac OS X to allow users of Cinema 4D to take full advantage of available hardware operating system performance for improved rendering and workflow efficiency directly inside the After Effects application.

Plugins available here

Email us for more information at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call our 3D team on 03332 409 306. To receive the latest 3D news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or Like’ our Facebook page. Visit our website Jigsaw24.com.