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Cinema 4D


Cinema 4D, made by Maxon, is a 3d modeling, rendering and animation application. It is mainly used to create, animate and render objects for animations in the film industry, and you have probably seen a lot of things made with Cinema 4D while you were at the movies, for instance Spider-Man 3 or Tron:Legacy. Cinema 4D works with meshes, procedural modeling and texturing and even sub-D surfaces. The program comes in 4 different versions, that give different capabilities: Prime, Broadcast, Visualize and Studio, the last one being the most complete package.


Additional pages

Video courtesy of Maxon

Get Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is available for both Mac and Windows. Students can get a free version after registration.

School access: The Faculty has 10 floating licenses that are used in the computer lab, and they can also be used by students and staff. This version is slightly more capable than the free student version, but requires that you are connected to the school network by either VPN or cable.

To use this license version you can download Cinema 4D (mac or windows) and download a license server setup file from the downloads page which you need to copy into your Cinema 4D folder:

Mac: /Applications/MAXON/CINEMA 4D R14/

Windows c:\Program Files\MAXON\CINEMA 4D R14

Right now, the server is up and running, but we have no way of providing the necessary files to students yet.

Learning Cinema 4D: Basics

Cinema 4D is fairly easy to learn, but has a lot of advanced capabilities hidden further down. A good place to start is to import your project and just learn basic rendering. For importing, you can use a lot of file types or even a dedicated ArchiCAD plugin. Heres a good tutorial to get you started on the basics.

Learning Cinema 4D: Intermediate

After a while, you need to start expanding your skill set. There are a lot of things you can learn, so the best approach is just to explore. Check out Maxons Youtube site and Creative Cow.

Learning Cinema 4D: Advanced

Cinema 4D is extremely versatile, and there are advanced parts everywhere in Cinema 4D: animation, rendering, character creation, lighting, transparency. You just have to pick what interest you. There are some parts that might be very cryptic in Cinema 4D at the beginning, but can do extremely advanced things when you figure out how they work: Xpresso, MoGraph and Python Scripting.

  • ArchiCAD Plugin allows you to link your ArchiCAD model into Cinema 4D.
  • VRAYforC4D: The famous V-ray rendering engine is available for Cinema 4D
  • There are several more plugins, depending on what you are after, just google around.
Links and further studies
  • 3D Studio Max is a good alternative from Autodesk
  • Blender3D, a open source, but powerful software
  • Maya by Autodesk is very similar, but is more geared towards for animations
  • Modo is another great freemodeler with an extensive feature set and a good rendering engine
Notes and Appendix

Software develops incredibly fast and not everything on these pages might be updated. If you find any errors, please let us know.


Cinema 4D wont start.

Is you copy legal?

I cant find anything on Google.

Try shortening Cinema 4D to C4D for more results.


Version Date Author Comment
16 18.02.2013 14:55 CET Pasi Aalto Migrated to Confluence 5.3

Video courtesy of Maxon

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