C4D’s New Flake Shader is LEGIT + More Cool New Features

EJ Hassenfratz

Maxon has just announced their spring 2023 updates to the Maxon One subscription. Every tool from Cinema 4D and Redshift to ZBrush and Universe scored some new features that will make creating just a bit easier and faster.

Perhaps most exciting for the motion designers out there are the updates to C4D and Redshift. Let’s dive in.

New in Cinema 4D Spring 2023

The new Cinema 4D doesn’t quite have a single major standout new tool or feature, but there are definitely some helpful feature fixes that make life a bit easier. Aside from intuitive updates to the Commander and Node system, perhaps the most exciting new tool is the Thicken Generator.

In past C4D versions, a quick hack was to drop objects into a cloth surface and use the thicken settings to bulk up the size. While that’s great when you have dynamic cloth objects, it’s not the best for hard surfaces, requiring you to go back in and adjust settings to stop objects from bulging.

The new Thicken Generator is a surprisingly powerful tool and likely a new go-to for many artists. There is a Basic and Advanced panel for the new tool, but fear not.  Essentially you are growing the inside and outside of an object simultaneously with a single slider, and then you can tweak further to add subdivisions and create really interesting objects and shapes.  The best part is you can procedurally control the Thicken effect and how it’s applied across your object by using a Vertex Map or Polygon Selection Tag!  Why not add some Thicken to that Jiggle Deformer?

In addition to that, the Unified Simulation System added vertex map support for soft body simulation Balloon that allows you to control inflation across an object and allows for the ability to create seams.

Even Pyro got some cool updates, now supporting custom colors and interactive lighting in the viewport.  A really nice quality of life feature for Pyro is the Pyro Output can automatically be seen by Redshift so you don’t have to manually set it up yourself.  No more “Hey where did my Pyro sim go?” when trying to render using Redshift!

The Cinema 4D Asset Manager gets a bunch of new additions including some new Ceramic and Pottery Redshift materials, along with new Capsules!

Capsules aren’t new but their abilities are slowly being unlocked and new Capsule presets added into C4D.  This release includes some really interesting new additions including the Swirl Modifier that can create a twisting vortex style deformation to your object or spline, a cyc Backdrop object, and some new Trim Spline and Dotted Spline capsules - all created by our friends at Rocket Lasso.  To learn more about these features and much more, why not head over to the RocketLasso Youtube channel where Chris Schmidt gives a great overview!

Here’s a quick rundown of all the new updates in Cinema 4D:

  • Cinema 4D’s totally redesigned Commander now offers quick and easy access to Maxon Capsules as well as your own assets and presets. Easily discover and apply Capsules, add Redshift materials and utilize the power of Maxon’s Node-Based Capsules like Backdrop primitive and Spline tools.
  • The all-new Thicken Generator enables you to add extra dimension to all your models. Great for setting up floorplans and 3D prints, this object generates a procedural shell based on an existing mesh and preserves corners and perpendicular edges. It can be used in many ways due to its support for vertex maps and polygon selections.
  • Cinema 4D now offers a cleaner Node UI that will help you navigate your nodes setups with a cleaner interface that features more prominent color-coding and more and makes it easier to work with nodes and create efficient node-based capsules. 
  • Cinema 4D’s Unified Simulation System received several improvements, with Pyro previews in Cinema 4D’s viewport now supporting color and lighting - great whether you’re setting up a sim or sharing a high-quality preview render. Emitters now include support for Maxon Noise and vertex maps, and the Destructor Force limits Pyro to the inside or outside of a box. Pyro Output generates automatically for Redshift renders and can be easily switched between Simulation Scenes. Balloon sims also now support vertex maps, allowing you to create seams and control areas of inflation.

New in Redshift

In addition to the C4D updates, there were also quite a few updates to Redshift. The one we are really enjoying is the new Flakes shader. It was designed to help create stellar looking car paints, but the 3D shader also generates Voronoi at random angles so you can also create a whole slew of looks like terrazzo. Dive into the new shader with this tutorial.

All the new updates in Redshift:

  • The new PRG Clear Sky model allows artists to simulate gorgeous sunsets with Redshift’s improved Sun and Sky. It provides the most accurate simulation of sky radiance and color, offering rich red sunsets as the sun dips just below the horizon.
  • The new Flakes shader is great for rendering everything from metallic car paints to glitter-filled superballs. This 3D shader generates Voronoi- or dot- shaped flakes at random angles and surface depth to add the perfect detail and shine to your renders.
  • Custom Backplates are now available in Redshift for C4D, offering amazing compositing control. Artists can choose whether background footage is incorporated into the render or added before and after post effects. Renders can be matched to an existing backplate thanks to the Post-Composite mode.
  • Cinema 4D 2023.2’s updated Node UI makes it a joy to craft Redshift materials. The UI is much cleaner, with new commands to select upstream and downstream nodes. Use C4D’s Preset system to easily apply your favorite node settings and build networks quickly with a new option to keep wire connections while duplicating a node. New pop-out panels make it easy to browse and add nodes as well as edit node attributes.
  • The Redshift Camera is now available in Houdini, offering simple physical controls to modify exposure, focus distance, motion blur and bokeh.

Ready to Learn Cinema 4D?

Learn Cinema 4D in 12 weeks with the Cinema 4D Basecamp course from Maxon Certified Trainer, EJ Hassenfratz. This course will get you comfortable with the basics of modeling, lighting, animation, and many other important topics for 3D Motion Design. Master basic 3D principles and lay the foundation for more advanced subjects in the future.

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