Post Magazine

July 2015

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Page 47 of 51 46 POST JULY 2015 'm relatively new to the world of 3D. If you read my review of Max- on's Cinema 4D Studio R15 a year back, then you know that's where I dove in full force. And that's what people do, right? Read consecutive reviews? Anyway — long story short — I had dabbled here and there with programs like Blender and plug-ins like Element 3D, but I decided to get fully integrated with the release of Cinema 4D Studio R15. I was blown away and I never looked back. And here I am, a year later, with the release of Cinema 4D Studio R16, and it just gets better. THEN AND NOW My first review of Cinema 4D was about the software itself, as well as its updates. If you want my first impressions, check that out on the Post Website. This time I'm going to cover some of the updates that are more accessible to newbies like me. I'll run through the Reflectance Chan- nel, 3D Motion Tracking, the Poly Pen tool and some of the library updates. First, let's talk reflectance. REFLECTIONS Leave it to the newbie to first talk about the "shiny" new feature, but the Reflec- tance Channel is actually fantastic. It allows for 16 different reflection layers based off of bidirectional reflectance dis- tribution function (BRDF)… I don't know what any of that means. Google shows a lot of graphs and numbers. What I do know is, you can layer reflections and even custom- ize them using layer masks. If you don't like a portion of the re- flection and want it gone, you can mask it out — you can even create a gradient mask so it gradually fades out your reflection. You can define roughness, reflection, specular, bump, color and a bunch more within each layer, which is awesome. No need to "hack" your desired effect — it's all within the reflectance channel and it looks great. From metallic car paint to woven cloth, there's really no end to the control you have over every detail of your reflections. Additionally, you have the option to render separate multi-pass layers for each reflection layer. The possibilities are endless. Just keep in mind that it's not a click- and-stick operation (that's a term I made up… just go with it). It can take hours to hone in that perfect reflection you so desire. POLYGON PEN TOOL Up next is another fancy new feature that caught my eye. Now, me being new to the 3D world and all, I haven't really gotten to sink my teeth into modeling. I've done my fair share from tutorials or with quick 'n easy shapes I needed for my projects, but nothing substantial. However, the Polygon Pen Tool is a game changer for me. I can quickly and easily draw geometry directly onto a model in 3D space. It's hard to describe, but trust me, it's got me interested in modeling. Ideas! I have all these ideas! 3D MOTION TRACKING 3D Motion Tracking has always been a finicky little one for me. Until now, I've been using the 3D Camera Tracker in Af- ter Effects and it works pretty well. Aside from shots that have horrible resolution and shake all over the place, it gets a really great, smooth camera movement that helps me build out my "2.5D" scenes in After Effects. With R16, the updated 3D Motion Tracker in Cinema 4D caught my eye. Until now I've been creating things in Cinema 4D, outputting the objects and materials and bringing them into Element 3D using a motion-tracked composition. I never really tried the motion tracker available in Cinema 4D, but I was very intrigued by its apparent "ease." Sure enough, with one click of a button, you can create a complete 3D re- construction of the camera move in most of the footage you put through it. If any of your footage is a little more difficult to track, you can adjust the auto track, mask certain regions of the footage or manually create your own tracks. Most of the time, I would just let it do MAXON CINEMA 4D STUDIO R16 TRUE CONTROL OVER A 3D WORLD VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: Maxon PRODUCT: Cinema 4D Studio R16 PRICE: $3,695; upgrade from R15: $995 WEBSITE: • Polygon Pen tool • Updated 3D Motion Tracker • Useful 3D models I REVIEW BY TREVOR M. CARLEE POST PRODUCER BUNIM/MURRAY PRODUCTIONS VAN NUYS, CA TMCARLEE@GMAIL.COM Cinema 4D Studio R16 has many new features, including Reflectance Channel.

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