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Maxon Releases New CINEMA 4D Release 20

New features in Maxon’s popular 3D professional tool for modeling, rendering, and animation include importation of manufacturing CAD data assets.


Maxon Computer of Germany has announced the latest version of its renowned CINEMA 4D application—Release 20. The new software for 3D modeling, rendering and animation and visual effects deliver advanced new features and improvements designed to aid and streamline workflows for creative professionals.

A Break-Through New Version

Maxon is calling its Release 20 version of CINEMA 4D a “break-through” version. The latest software features high-end features such as node-based materials, volume modeling, robust CAD import and a dramatic evolution of the MoGraph toolset.

The new version will be proudly demoed at the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2018 show in Vancouver, BC, on August 14-16.

01 – Maxon has announced the new CINEMA 4D Release 20 coming this September.

“We are excited to be delivering high-end tools and features that will streamline workflow, and push the industry in new and exciting directions,” said David McGavran, CEO at MAXON Computer GmbH. “Over the last decade, our MoGraph toolset has revolutionized the broadcast graphics industry. The new Fields system in R20 offers the next evolution in Cinema 4D’s signature workflow.”

Key Highlights in Release 20

CINEMA 4D R20 numerous interesting new features, including several new CAD interoperability features that are sure to connect this popular 3D tool to many additional workflows. Here are the highlights for this year’s release:

  • Node-Based Materials — Provide new possibilities for creating materials from simple references to complex shaders in a node-based editor. With more than 150 nodes to choose from that perform different functions, artists can combine nodes to easily build complex shading effects for greater creative flexibility. For an easy start, users new to a node-based material workflow still can rely on the user interface of Cinema 4D’s standard Material Editor, creating the corresponding node material in the background automatically. Node-based materials can be packaged into assets with user-defined parameters exposed in a similar interface to Cinema 4D’s classic Material Editor.
  • MoGraph Fields — New capabilities in this industry-leading procedural animation toolset offer an entirely new way to define the strength of effects by combining falloffs – from simple shapes, to shaders or sounds, to objects and formulas. Artists can layer Fields atop each other with standard mixing modes and remap their effects. Group multiple Fields together, and use them to control effectors, deformers, weights, and more.
  • CAD Data Import — Popular CAD formats can be directly and seamlessly imported into Cinema 4D R20 with a simple drag and drop. A unique scale-based tessellation interface allows for adjustment of detail to build amazing visualizations. STEP, Solidworks, JT, CATIA V5 and IGES formats are supported.
  • Volume Modeling — Create complex models by adding or subtracting basic shapes in Boolean-type operations using Cinema 4D R20’s OpenVDB–based Volume Builder and Mesher. Procedurally build organic or hard-surface volumes using any Cinema 4D object including new Field objects. Volumes can be exported in sequenced .vdb format for use in any application or render engine that supports OpenVDB.
  • ProRender Enhancements — ProRender in Cinema 4D R20 extends the GPU-rendering toolset with key features including sub-surface scattering, motion blur, and multi-passes. Also included are Metal 2 support, an updated ProRender core, out of core textures and other architectural enhancements.
  • Core Technology Modernization — As part of the transition to a more modern core in Cinema 4D, R20 comes with substantial API enhancements, the new node framework, further development on the new modeling framework, and a new UI framework.

These are just the highlights. Full features can be learned about here.

Availability and Upgrade Path

CINEMA 4D Release 20 is scheduled for release (availability) this September 2018. It is available for both macOS and Windows. Pricing and upgrades can be learned about here. System requirements for both operating systems can be found here.

A preview of the new features can be seen in this video below.

02 – New features in C4D Release 20 video.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

CINEMA 4D has always been popular in the AEC world with numerous connections to leading BIM and 3D applications, including key relationships with its sister company BIM applications through the Nemetschek Group—chiefly Vectorworks Architect and ARCHICAD. 

Now the company has gone in the manufacturing CAD direction with simple support for the importation of 3D CAD data from key apps like Solidworks, Catia, JT, and STEP and IGES files. This is probably a smart move since more and more visualization, and animation programs have already established such connections. The audience for this CAD data utilization is likely the core base as more and more manufacturers need compelling motion graphics and animations to help sell ideas for products both internally and as part of their marketing.

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