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Screenshot of CINEMA 4D Release 12 running under Windows 7
|Developer(s)||MAXON Computer GmbH|
R18 / September 1, 2016
|Operating system||AmigaOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows|
|Type||3D computer graphics|
CINEMA 4D is a 3D modeling, animation, motion graphic and rendering application developed by MAXON Computer GmbH in Germany. It is capable of procedural and polygonal/subd modeling, animating, lighting, texturing, rendering, and common features found in 3D modelling applications.
Four variants are currently available from MAXON: a core CINEMA 4D 'Prime' application, a 'Broadcast' version with additional motion-graphics features, 'Visualize' which adds functions for architectural design and 'Studio', which includes all modules.
2014 saw the release of a 5th variant, "Lite", which comes packaged with Adobe After Effects Creative Cloud 2014, and acts as an introductory version, with many features withheld. This is part of a new partnership between the two companies, where a new, MAXON produced plug-in called CINEWARE, allows any variant to create a seamless workflow with After Effects. The "Lite" variant is dependent on After Effects CC, needing the latter application running to launch, and is only sold as a package component included with AE CS 2014 through Adobe.
Initially, CINEMA 4D was developed for Amiga computers in the early 1990s, and the first three versions of the program were available exclusively for that platform. With v4, however, MAXON began to develop the program for Windows and Macintosh computers as well, citing the wish to reach a wider audience and the growing instability of the Amiga market following Commodore's bankruptcy.
Up until Release 11.5, Cinema 4D had a modular approach to the application, with the ability to expand upon the core application with various modules. This ended with Release 12, though the functionality of these modules remains in the various flavors of Cinema 4D (Prime, Broadcast, Visualize, Studio) The old modules were:
- Advanced Render (global illumination/HDRI, caustics, ambient occlusion and sky simulation)
- BodyPaint 3D (direct painting on UVW meshes; now included in the core. In essence Cinema 4D Core/Prime and the BodyPaint 3D products are identical. The only difference between the two is the splash screen that is shown at startup and the default user interface.)
- Dynamics (for simulating soft body and rigid body dynamics)
- Hair (simulates hair, fur, grass, etc.)
- MOCCA (character animation and cloth simulation)
- MoGraph (Motion Graphics procedural modelling and animation toolset)
- NET Render (to render animations over a TCP/IP network in render farms)
- PyroCluster (simulation of smoke and fire effects)
- With CINEMA 4D R10, the module PyroCluster became integrated in the Advanced Render module
- Sketch & Toon (tools for cel shading, cartoons and technical drawings)
- Thinking Particles (enhanced particle system based on nodes)
- Xpresso (is not and never has been a module, it is a core functionality)
As of Release 13, Cinema 4D comes in four components:
- Prime (the core application)
- Broadcast (adds MoGraph2)
- Visualize (adds Virtual Walkthrough, Advanced Render, Sky, Sketch and Toon, data exchange, camera matching)
- Studio (the complete package)
For a full comparison of the various components of Cinema 4D, go to the Maxon Product Comparison page
Additional rendering engines
As of 2014[update], these alternative rendering engines and connections are currently available as plug-ins for CINEMA 4D:
- finalRender stage 2.0 SP4 from Cebas Computer GmbH
- FurryBall GPU renderer
- FryRender from RandomControl
- Indigo Renderer, unbiased photorealistic renderer
- Krakatoa from Thinkbox Software
- Maxwell Render from Next Limit Technologies
- mental ray & iray from at² GmbH
- Octane Render, unbiased GPU-accelerated renderer from oToy
- Pixar Renderman Connection Cineman from MAXON Computer GmbH
- V-ray (Vray4C4D)
- Corona Renderer
- Arnold Renderer (C4DtoA)
Use in industry
A number of films and related works have been modeled and rendered in CINEMA 4D, including:
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- The Ship-boys of Bontekoe
- The Golden Compass
- Surf's Up
- We Are the Strange
- Spider-Man 3
- Monster House
- War of the Worlds
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Prehistoric Park
- Van Helsing
- Bernd das Brot
- The Polar Express
- TV Patrol (logo and in-newscasting props)
- King Arthur
- June 17, 1953, State of Emergency
- Open Season 
- He Was a Quiet Man
- Tron: Legacy
- Roger Waters: The Wall Live tour projections (some of them) 
- Iron Man 3
- Pacific Rim 
- Dick Figures: The Movie (Paris Pursuit sequence and Crookygrin's plane, CG animation by Joel Moser)
- The Nut Job
- "Eurovision Song Contest and Junior Eurovision Song Contest"" Graphics
- Where the Dead Go to Die
- Lightwave 3D
- Electric Image Animation System
- Autodesk Maya
- Autodesk 3ds Max
- "MAXON ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF CINEMA 4D RELEASE 18". MAXON. 2016-09-01.
- "IM Innovations". IM Innovations. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- "City Kit - Greyscalegorilla Store". Greyscalegorilla.com. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
- "Siggraph 2013 Rewind: Imaginary Forces on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
- (English) MAXON English page
- PolyTrans-for-Cinema-4D - MAXON's 3D CAD & DCC conversion technology provider since 1998.
- Largest English community
- Cinema 4D tutorials