Maxon Developer Kitchen + RE Update

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Maxon’s Developer Kitchen recently.  I can’t say much about it, due to NDA agreements, but what I can say is that it was a very enjoyable experience.  I met the VRay for C4D team (Stefan, Renato, and Danielle), Philip Losch, Rick Barrett, Mathias Bober, David Drayton, Per Anders, and several other people in the Maxon developer team.

I was able to try out Render Elements with version 11, and I am happy to say that it needs only a few lines of code to be fully functional with release 11.  In fact, it is already functional, just needs some code to take additional advantage of some of the newer features.

Meeting the VRay team was very good, too, as I would like RE to integrate with VRay as closely as possible.

I can’t predict the future of rendering for Cinema…  It looks like Maxon has done a good job with the updated Render Engine.  Still, Vray’s material system is more robust, it has photometric lights, and several confidential options that will make it into the next release.

In Render Elements news, I am now using version 0.6.5 in production.  I have added a material browser cleaner, which will delete all materials not being used in the Render Elements.  I fixed an annoying Render Preset bug where presets were not being deleted when an element was saved over.  I also added an option to change the frame range on generated files, so one does not have to change the render element to change the frame range for net rendering.

I’d like to next add an easy-update function for adding new tags/layers/objects to scenes…  Also, once I get an official copy of version 11, I plan on adding support for XRefs and GI Light Caches.


Render Elements 0.6.3 + initial thoughts on Vray for Cinema 4D

I have to acknowledge the extremely generous donation of a VRay license from Stefan and the rest of the development team at Vray For Cinema 4D.  This has been fantastic and has allowed me to add increased support for Vray in Render Elements.  With version 0.6.3, Vray Compositing tags are now supported!

I’ve also been taking the last two days to learn as much as I can about Vray for Cinema.  Overall, I am very impressed, and I think the developers did an incredible job.  I’m really looking forward to some of the improvements/bug fixes scheduled for the next release.

The one issue I have with Vray – and this has nothing to do with the implementation within Cinema 4D – is that I don’t yet understand completely the workflow for flicker-free GI in animations.  I have a lot to learn, and there are a lot of options.  Understandably, the options are there to help users optimize for various situations, so it will take me some time before I really learn which options are best, and which settings to tweak to balance quality with render speed.

With Vray, too, I am a little perplexed by the BRDF material system, as compared to Mental Ray’s.  To me, it makes sense to lock the specular size to the reflection glossiness parameter – to make sure results are realistic.  I can understand the need for flexibility, but I would like to have the option to lock spec and gloss together.