Moving on to Cinema 4D and why.

Over the past decade I've tried out most of the highend 3D packages on the market. In this last week I've decided to adopt Maxons Cinema4D currently in version 11.5. I wanted to post a bit of an explanation as to why I decided to use C4D and the thought processes that got me here.
I cut my 3D teeth in the early 90's on 3DSdos on a 486 pc. I had been dabbling with an Amiga 1200 for years but never managed to create anything worthwhile. I liked the forerunner to max but I didn't really know any different. I learned all about NURBS with the amazing Rhino but quickly decided hard surface modeling wasn't for me. In 1999 I began to learn Lightwave and got very interested in a new program called ZBrush. Lightwave was a powerful subdivision modeling package but was missing some crucial tools at the time. Around the same time I was trying Caligari Truespace and an early version of Poser neither of which inspired me and I quickly stopped using them. ZBrush rocketed into the limelight with version 1.23b and grabbed the interest of the gaming world whilst Lightwave ambled into the new millennium with minimal changes and still missing things like ngons and a decent mirror function.
I really needed to find a solution to get my ZBrush sculpts into a rendering package and utilize displacement and normal maps. I've always thought of myself as an Illustrator who uses 3D, I don't animate and never want to. Having the ability to render your own characters and creatures is crucial and I just wasn't getting it.
I tried XSI, 3DSmax, Maya, Cinema4d and Modo but these were all big packages that can do much more than just model. I looked at the dedicated modeling packages at the time and tried Hexagon, Clay, Wings and Silo3d. For me, Silo won hands down and I've been modeling exclusively with it for over 5 years now. SO much so that I neglected to keep looking for the best render solution and focused just on my modeling skills.
So for the past few years any job I took worked like this: core polygon modeling all done in Silo. UV mapping in Headus UV. High polygon sculpting in ZBrush. Retopologizing done in Topogun or Silo. Texturing and map creation in ZBrush and Photoshop. Lighting, shaders and final renders.......errrrrr....And therein lies my issue!

Where to go from here. For some reason I've struggled to become proficient in any of the major rendering packages. I've been plugging away at Maya for years but find it hard to get good results at a speed that matches my modelling. Having spent a year working on improving my design skills including illustrator, toy design, pencil and ink work and marker work, I now need to firmly establish myself as a 3D illustrator by adding rendering to my skill set.
Hence a return to Cinema 4D, a package I had tried early in the decade and turned away from. Most of the people I've met this year in the toy design world are using C4D. Not exclusively but it was a high enough number to make me download the demo and take another look under the hood and Wow! was I impressed. It's easy to use. It's clearly laid out and it isn't hard to work out what everything does. It will take a lot to get me to stop using Silo as my core polygon modeling solution but this is the closest I've come. I was waiting for Blender 2.5 and I was hoping to adopt that package but having had a week with C4d my fate is sealed!.

As ever, theres people that help you along the way in life. For this little part of my journey I need to thank Dave Davidson, C4D guru. Glenn from Sparkle Media and my inspirational buddy Ant Filice. Pay it forward folks. You get more back in the end!



  1. It's fantastic to see such a great artist using CINEMA 4D. You are inspiring alot of artists with your great work. I hope you get a lot of help of the passionate C4D community. All the best and welcome on board Glen :)

  2. How long have I been harping on you to go C4D??

  3. 'Inspirational Buddy' thanks Glen - that's a huge compliment.

    I know you're going to kill it with C4D!

    to the top!


  4. Thanks guys. I'm really loving what I seen so far. There are lots of things I would want to see different in the modeling toolset but they are only tweak and mirror additions really. Mirroring and symmetry is a big issue and the lack of mouse customizations is annoying.

    Jason: You've known me long enough to know I don't listen to the right people!!!!

  5. Hi Glen,

    I'm a mod over at a new C4D forum. One of the admin is a plugin developer and has written a symmetry plugin, which looks very good.
    You might find it of some use:


  6. Hey Glen,

    I may have to check out C4D as well...I'm liking what I see on the website. I am hopeful for Newtek to make a comeback with LightWave Core, though.
    I think I will still use Silo, but I don't know what to think about the lack of updates and communication. I tried to stay hopeful, but I don't know anymore.
    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do with C4D.

    -John (Ketsudan)

  7. awesome, I cant wait to see what you can push out of C4D :)

  8. To me it's the best one on the 3D area since 2004 (bought the "base" package to produce my own models for my Vue D'esprit renders instead of purchasing them premodeled)

    But (a big butt but :() for working on games or films studios as for max/maya/xsi knowledge. I don't like these big 3 at all. My favorite after C4D is Modo. And on both are user friendly, setting up a scene for a nice looking render is not a torture unlike "Autodesk Maymaxsi"

    And to me, it's so great to see that a great artist like Glen Southern using C4D. Makes me feel that I made a good choice and keep going with it because persistence is the key (I hope:))

    Great and inspiring article just like your artworks!

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