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If you want to get into 3D, now is the time to check out CINEMA 4D Release 11.

Software Review: CINEMA 4D R11, Part 2: Advanced Render 3, MoGraph, MOCCA, and Hair Modules from MAXON

CINEMA 4D R11, Part 2: Advanced Render 3, MoGraph, MOCCA, and Hair is the second of a multi-part review covering MAXON's new CINEMA 4D Release 11's offerings. Because this product has so many items available for the user, I could not do it justice in a single review, and so I will break it down in separate reviews. This second one will cover some of the modules that are available to enhance product functionality.

As I said in my first installment, CINEMA 4D R11 is the latest release of the commercial cross-platform, high-end 3D graphics application from MAXON. Because of its modularity, the core product gives you everything that you need to create high-end 3D images and animations. When you need additional features, you can get those as well. There are a number of integrated modules that are available for purchase individually or in bundles. I will now take a look at four of the modules.

Advanced Render 3 Module
Advanced Render 3 takes your rendering to the next level. While the standard renderer produces great output quickly, the Advanced Render module has advance features like Global Illumination and Caustics for better realism. These will give you much more photorealistic images. 

Cinema 4D Release 11As light spreads out on its own in the real world, it is reflected as it hits objects. Depending on the object's surface characteristics, it can do many things. Light can be cast through a  window where it will then reflect off other objects, or it can diffuse when passing through others. With Global Illumination, rendering lets every object within a scene act as a light source. In Release 11, the GI rendering was completely re-written to be more powerful than ever, now claiming faster speeds and reduced artefacting as well as flicker-free animation ability.

Caustics on the other hand are the phenomena that happen when, say, light is aimed into a swimming pool. The light that is displayed when going through a transparent material and broken upon entry and exit are a natural effect of caustics.

Caustics provide more realism for your 3D objects by simulating the hyper-focusing of light as it reflects off of surfaces, or within the volume of an object. To calculate caustics, the Advanced Render module actually fires photons into your scene. As these electronic rays of light get focused and distorted, the rendering engine displays the lighting effect in the image.

Subsurface Scattering simulates the scattering of light below the surface of an object matching the reflectivity of objects like jewels, fluids, and waxes. PyroCluster is a volumetric shading system that uses particles to simulate smoke, dust, fire, and other effects. You can use this tool to create realistic effects just like in the movies. Using this, you will quickly realize that some of these effects are easier to create than you might think.

MoGraph Module
MoGraph is a module for motion graphic artists. It contains a palette of tools that make it easy to create everything from flying logo, to abstract effects. The MoGraph module was designed to clone most any geometric primitive or object and offers numerous effectors with which these objects can be controlled.

Included with MoGraph are more than 40 animated, resolution independent backgrounds, a motion graphics material library, 305MB of exclusive, royalty-free sound loops and samples, as well as a large archive of ready-to-use animations.

There is also a powerful clone tool with which you can create live copies of any object arranged along a line, circle, grid, or spline. You can extrude text and animate it letter by letter. You can animate your graphics to the beat of any music. MoGraph will help you render passes in any desired format and creates a compositing project file that automatically brings all sequences together.

MOCCA 3 Module
Cinema 4D Release 11MOCCA 3 makes character animation easier than it has ever been. With a brand new engine that is based on joints rather than bones, rigging an animation is much easier than ever, and more reliable.

One of the cool things about MOCCA 3 is the DVD training on Character Rigging. There are over five hours of high quality instruction covered in eleven chapters from the French animation specialists at WiPix. This will get you up to speed with working to create high-end animations.

Included with MOCCA 3 are a number of advanced features. There are deformers which affect the motion of the object. You have a jiggle deformer that creates a secondary motion. There is the Squash and Stretch deformer that will affect the shape of one object hitting another. A Cluster deformer that is useful in facial animation can be applied before or after other deformers.

The Character Rigging is done by joints. You select where the joint should be and MOCCA  will figure out where the flexing defaults are. When you have muscles under your character's skin, they will deform as well when the skeleton moves. There are morphing tools that provide solutions for many problems including facial expressions.

Clothilde serves as your digital tailor. It provides all of the functionality to dress your character. When working with clothes there are many characteristics such as stiffness, and flexibility. MOCCA handles it all. Cloth can collide with other objects in your scene, as well as be affect by aerodynamic forces. You just design the basic shape of a shirt or dress and then the modeling features take over. 

Hair Module
Hair is the name of the module that is used for creating hair, fur, and feathers. It can also create animated grass, anemones, and many other similar objects. It is a complete hair studio that can be grown and styled freely using quite a number of tools like the brush, comb, cut, or curl. After you have created the basic hairstyle, it can then be fine-tuned to have the frizzes, clumps, or other feature that hair could contain.

Cinema 4D Release 11Since hair and fur have their own properties, the Hair module has 18 material channels that will give you the exact look that you want: shampooed, greasy, red, silky, or clumpy like fur. Then you can add gravity, wind, or turbulence which will affect the hair in different ways. Best yet is that all of this renders with minimal memory usage.

Personally, I found the modules as easy to use as CINEMA 4D itself. Everything is straightforward in its design and layout.

With all of the available training and quick-start guide and MAXON's Cineversity training subscription, it was really easy to get up to speed.

You can download a demo, or purchase the core or individual modules. There are even bundles available for a better deal. If you want to get into 3D, then now is the time to check out CINEMA 4D Release 11. I highly recommend this product.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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