Computer-Music.com contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music. Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com

Computer-Music.com  contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music.
Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com



 

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Cinema 4D XL

I was almost annoyed at having to put down Lightwave to do my review of Cinema 4D XL 6 focusing primarily on its 3D audio rendering capability. I soon got over my disappointment. C4D XL 6 is probably the most crash resistant program I have ever used. In fact I don't think it every froze or crashed on me even with a system that was continually upgraded since windows 3.0. That system eventually died of its own nefarious heritage and I had do build a fresh system with a clean Win98 SE install. But C4D never did crash on that system. After Lightwave (LW) C4D was a breath of fresh air. Here was a more standard interface with an icon for everything and every icon in its place. Everything functional and accessible. At the time I was in a mood to look for the most cutting edge, snazzy toys like radiosity and caustics rendering. Instead C4D gave me a  good, solid program that did a lot of things well but whose interface was uncluttered in spite of itself. Each time I looked at the interface it look as though the program was not all that feature filled. Its turned out that the features were there but just not constantly getting in your way.

The thing that stands out most to me about C4D is the tree. Whereas many 3D apps use a tree view to show the relationship between grouped objects. C4D takes it a lot further and shows the way those objects were constructed. Drastic changes can be made to a model or any part of a model simply by dragging icons around on the tree. The icons themselves represent most operations you can do while modeling so they allow you to go back and change parameters. I am told this is much the same was as 3D Studio MAX and Maya operate. C4D allows you to have a lot of control over mathematically formulated primitives. Once you want to start pushing and pulling individual polygons this is gone forever, because you first have to turn that mathematical shape into a finite number of polygons before there are any polygons to manipulate. Since a lot of your ability to go band and change history is lost when you convert these shapes into polygons I decided to see how far I could go without doing this. I will post a partially finished castle I created completely with mathematically pure primitives dragged onto Boolean operations, mirroring icons and into groups. This was enough to show me that a musician could accomplish quite a bit even if they wanted to save a lot of time by not doing any polygon modeling at all. Specifically this system allows a very flexible handling of 3D text with nice clean results. In fact I was doing some 3D work for a friend in Lightwave and when he asked for a logo I switched over to C4D and that part of the work became much easier.

I am hesitant to write too much more about C4D within the context of this article because I have already had a full Spot Review posted for on this site for quite some time. Here it is.
http://www.computer-music.com/reviews/maxon_cinema4dxl6.htm

By the time you are reading this I may have had the chance to update the review to cover version 7.

One more thing worthy of note about C4D is that it comes in three progressively more expensive flavors with XL being the most complex and expensive. This means that you may elect to purchase one of the lesser versions if you find it meets your needs and it will be much more affordable yet still a rock solid program with a very nice interface.

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