News: MAXON Announces New Live 3D Pipeline Between CINEMA 4D and AE- Important FAQs (Update 4/18/13)

New CINEWARE 3D AE Pipeline and CINEMA 4D Light toolset inclusion in Adobe After Effects. Adobe-MAXON Strategic Alliance FAQs.

maxon cineware

MAXON April 4, 2013:

MAXON, leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today revealed the first step in its strategic alliance with Adobe Systems Incorporated, aimed at delivering a new level of integration between its powerful 3D application, CINEMA 4D, and Adobe® After Effects®. The recently revealed next release of Adobe’s industry leading software will include two MAXON technologies directly within the new Adobe After Effects: CINEWARE and CINEMA 4D Lite.

CINEWARE: The New Live 3D Pipeline between CINEMA 4D and After Effects, which eliminates intermediate rendering between applications, is made possible by CINEWARE, which establishes a bridge between the two applications. One of the biggest benefits to artists will be seen in a streamlined workflow, enabling them not only to import native CINEMA 4D scenes directly as assets into After Effects but also to utilize CINEMA 4D's multi-pass workflow as layers. Users will benefit from decreased rendering time because CINEWARE makes CINEMA 4D’s Advanced Rendering Engine available directly inside After Effects. With access to this functionality, rather than having to render every revision, users will now be able to work on CINEMA 4D projects within After Effects and see the changes real time.

“This pipeline cannot be found anywhere else to this extent, and it will completely change the workflow of artists in the future,” says Harald Egel, MAXON’s co-founder and CEO.

CINEMA 4D Lite: Also included in the next version of After Effects is a taste of CINEMA 4D's powerful workflow and toolset. This limited, yet feature-rich  version of CINEMA 4D gives artists access to an exceptional selection of the software’s functionality. Since CINEMA 4D Lite launches directly from within After Effects, the availability of a full 3D application is expected to have a significant impact for artists interested in or already incorporating 3D into their After Effects workflow.

“Now more than ever, our users have been asking for 3D capabilities in After Effects to enhance their motion graphics and/or visual effects projects,” says Steve Forde, senior product manager for After Effects at Adobe. “CINEMA 4D is a ‘go-to’ application for 3D motion graphics. That’s why we have chosen to work closely with MAXON to provide digital artists a fully integrated 3D pipeline that allows them to spend more time to create compelling, rich media,” he adds.

What Artists Are Saying

Artists and other industry professionals who have beta tested the new After Effects release, which includes CINEMA 4D Lite, have raved about the new integration. “Now, instead of waiting for a 3D render to come out of CINEMA 4D, I can drop that CINEMA 4D file into After Effects and start to composite, color correct and add all those extra things that I do in After Effects directly on top of my 3D project,” says Nick Campbell (aka Greyscalegorilla). “The ability to have CINEMA 4D inside After Effects speeds up the whole workflow like crazy. If there's a change, I don't have to go back and re-render my 3D scene. I can go back to my CINEMA 4D file, make the changes, and it's updated right away in After Effects. I think that's huge.”

How It Works: We've created a very basic tutorial series for After Effects users to learn more about CINEMA 4D and the exchange. You can watch the whole series, or jump right to the tutorial that outlines the new workflow between CINEMA 4D and After Effects.

Tutorial Series: http://www.c4d3d.com/cinewareparty
Cineware Tutorial: https://www.cineversity.com/vidplaytut/cineware_party_cineware


Product Comparison List – Limitations of CINEMA 4D Lite (PDF)
(please refer to complete features list for further details.)

Product Comparison List – Differences between Lite and Commercial Versions CINEMA 4D (PDF)

Product Comparison List – COMPLETE (PDF)


For Users with No or Limited 3D Experience: C4D Lite offers an introductory 3D application at no additional cost, already installed with After Effects. Because Lite is based on the same interface as MAXON's more advanced packages like Broadcast and Studio, as their needs expand they can easily upgrade for more functionality without learning a completely new interface.

For Users Experienced with Another 3D Application: This integration offers the opportunity to see what CINEMA 4D has to offer. Artists will be able to load scenes from their app of choice into CINEMA 4D Lite using industry-standard formats like Alembic, Collada, FBX, OBJ, 3DS and LWS. They can adjust these assets in C4D Lite and integrate them into their composite using Cineware in After Effects.

For Existing CINEMA 4D Users: Cineware supports almost all the features of CINEMA 4D Studio. If an artist has CINEMA 4D Broadcast or Studio installed, Edit Original will open the scenes in the full commercial version rather than C4D Lite. There's still some value in the existing workflow, but the new integration allows more creative freedom to bounce back and forth between 3D content and the composite when experimenting with design concepts.

Limitations: Some render effects aren't supported in Cineware (Sketch & Toon, Physical Render) and some functionality would slow down the AE workflow to the point that artists will want to revert to existing AEC integration which will still be fully supported by MAXON.

Best News: Every After Effects user will have a starter version of CINEMA 4D!

Adobe has announced the new features of the next version of their creative suite of tools, but have not yet announced a shipment date.

Preview movies and info now online at:


Adobe-MAXON Strategic Alliance FAQ – CINEWARE and CINEMA 4D Lite

Is Adobe acquiring MAXON?

No. Adobe and MAXON have entered into a strategic alliance to collaborate and engineer a pipeline between Adobe® After Effects® software and CINEMA 4D to give users a seamless 2D/3D foundation. This allows each company to focus on what they do best.

What exactly is new?

Currently, there are 3 aspects to the collaboration with Adobe included in the new After Effects: 

CINEWARE: Provides a direct Live 3D Pipeline between After Effects and CINEMA 4D. That means the CINEMA 4D Render Engine is now fully integrated in After Effects. CINEMA 4D files can be directly imported into After Effects and layered as footage elements within the comp including CINEMA 4D’s powerful multipass and layer workflow. There's no need to wait for long renders or manage intermediate files; there’s only one final render from After Effects.

CINEMA 4D Lite: A feature-limited version of CINEMA 4D is included for free with the new After Effects. It gives artists the ability to create, import, texture and animate 3D content that will be rendered within After Effects.

CINEMA 4D Export: Cameras, lights and solids can be exported to a .c4d file directly from After Effects. This is identical to the CINEMA 4D Export functionality currently provided as a plugin, but is now integrated and included with every installation of Adobe After Effects.

Which version of CINEMA 4D is included with After Effects?

CINEMA 4D Lite is a unique version of CINEMA 4D which is only available with After Effects. For feature specifics, see the Product Comparison List.

What other versions of CINEMA 4D are available?

CINEMA 4D Studio: Everything you need for high-end 3D.

CINEMA 4D Broadcast: The 3D motion graphics powerhouse.

CINEMA 4D Prime: Professional 3D content creation starts here.**

CINEMA 4D Visualize: The professional solution for architects and designers.**

**NOTE: Because CINEMA 4D Lite includes functionality not included in Prime and Visualize, upgrades are only available to Broadcast and Studio.

How does CINEMA 4D Lite differ from the standalone versions of CINEMA 4D?

A Product Comparison chart is available and outlines a complete list of features for all versions of CINEMA 4D. However, in general terms, CINEMA 4D Lite includes most of the functionality of Prime minus polygonal modeling, particles and character tools, includes some deformers and shaders, and renders only through After Effects. After registering, After Effects users will be given access to additional functionality – a taste of CINEMA 4D’s popular MoGraph toolset (Fracture Object, and the Plain and Random effectors).

How does today’s announcement benefit After Effects users who don’t user CINEMA 4D?

The new version of After Effects includes a “Lite” version of CINEMA 4D, the multi-award- winning 3D application from MAXON. This version includes most of the functionality of MAXON’s entry-level package Prime (a $995 value) as well as a few MoGraph features (only available in Broadcast and Studio and provided after registration). Additionally, Adobe and MAXON have collaborated to enhance the integration between these two software packages streamlining the workflow.

How does today’s announcement benefit current CINEMA 4D users?

The new C4D layer workflow offers many advantages including quick updating, layer referencing and the ability to reference Object Buffers by name. An example of workflow enhancement would be when working with a sports team's roster, you can quickly jump back and forth, updating the 3D elements as necessary and rendering through AE. Or if you've already rendered with the old workflow and realize you need to comp in one extra element or pull a matte you forgot, you can just add it through the scene layer. Also, you can provide a carefully-crafted brand identity package to a client, and they can still make one-offs even if they don’t own CINEMA 4D.

NOTE: For experienced C4D users, the existing pre-render Compositing Project File workflow will still be preferable for some projects. For this reason, MAXON will continue to fully support and enhance the Compositing Project File workflow.

Does CINEWARE work with all versions of CINEMA 4D?

Yes. If you have a commercial version of CINEMA 4D installed in the default path, CINEWARE will launch this version instead of CINEMA 4D Lite when you create a new MAXON CINEMA 4D File or choose to Edit Original with a CINEWARE layer.

Can you render any CINEMA 4D scene in After Effects?

With CINEWARE in Adobe After Effects, you can load any C4D scene file directly as a source asset within your After Effects project. When you add a C4D file to a comp, you can modify the render settings, multipass and layer restrictions within the Effects pane. Most CINEMA 4D Studio features are supported, except post render effects, Xrefs, Physical Render and Sketch & Toon. Third-party plugins are also not supported.

Are there any rendering restrictions?

Rendering directly inside CINEMA 4D Lite is limited to 800×600 and renders cannot be saved. However, there are no limitations when rendering within After Effects, except those mentioned above.

Will the CINEMA 4D Render Engine in After Effects render as fast as CINEMA 4D? Won’t you be rendering constantly?

Frames rendered by the CINEMA 4D Render Engine are cached within After Effects and will only be re-rendered when necessary. In general, the rendering speed through After Effects is slightly slower than directly within CINEMA 4D due to the communication between the two applications. The difference in render time can be minimized by caching textures within RAM and disabling pre-calculation before each frame. If you render multiple passes of the same scene file within a single comp, the scene will only be rendered once. If layer restrictions or different cameras are used, the scene will be rendered multiple times as necessary.

Can you update the CINEMA 4D file easily?

You can update the 3D content in CINEMA 4D at any time by simply selecting the CINEMA 4D footage or layer, and choosing Edit Original within After Effects. CINEMA 4D will be opened and you can modify the scene. Once you save the file and return to After Effects, the scene will be updated to reflect your modifications. Also, when the scene file is modified, the render cache will be flushed and all frames will be re-rendered.

Can you exchange nulls, solids, cameras and lights between CINEMA 4D and After Effects, and update at any time?

Within the Effects pane, you can choose to render the CINEMA 4D scene from the viewpoint of the After Effects camera, or any of the cameras within the CINEMA 4D scene. Fully-animated 3D elements including nulls, solids, cameras and lights can be extracted from the CINEMA 4D file at any time using CINEWARE. Once 3D elements are extracted, they cannot be updated – you’ll have to delete them from the comp and extract again.

Why don’t you get 3D solids for some elements that have External Compositing tags?

By default, CINEMA 4D doesn’t store all of the information related to generated objects like primitives, extrudes, arrays and MoGraph elements within the scene file. These elements are generated when needed by CINEMA 4D, but cannot be generated on-demand when you extract elements in After Effects. For this reason, you need to save the cache of these elements within the scene file in order to extract their data. To save the caches, enable “Save Polygons for Melange” and “Save Animation for Melange” within the Files tab of the CINEMA 4D Preferences. Note that this will significantly increase the size of your CINEMA 4D project files.

Can you utilize assets from other 3D applications with CINEMA 4D Lite?

Most popular 3D exchange formats can be imported into CINEMA 4D Lite, including Alembic, FBX, Collada and OBJ. Only .c4d files can be added as source footage in After Effects, so you’ll need to import these elements in CINEMA 4D Lite first and save a .c4d file.

Are CINEMA 4D objects real 3D objects in After Effects? Can you animate them within After Effects?

No. CINEMA 4D scenes are 2D footage items in After Effects. They will be animated and the animated PSR data can be extracted, but they are only 2D elements and do not appear in the AE orthographic views. In general you should do most of your 3D composition within CINEMA 4D Lite. You can however animate the After Effects camera within AE to adjust your view of the 3D scene.

Does any preset content come with CINEMA 4D Lite?

Yes, there is a collection of models, lighting setups, textures and sample files to help After Effects users get started.

How will customer support be handled?

All After Effects related issues should be reported directly to Adobe. If the issue is related to CINEMA 4D, Adobe support is able to report to MAXON‘s bug reporting system. All issues with the render connection, CINEMA 4D Lite and the layers are handled by MAXON support.

Can you upgrade to a full version of CINEMA 4D?

Yes. However, because CINEMA 4D Lite includes additional functionality not included in Prime and Visualize, upgrades are only available for Broadcast and Studio.

Will CINEWARE work with the demo version of CINEMA 4D?

The Demo Version can be used with CINEWARE in order to sample the full functionality of CINEMA 4D Studio. After activation, the demo version is save-enabled 42-days and the user can import files into After Effects. Because the integration detects if a full version is installed, the demo version will be launched instead of Lite when it is installed. To use Lite again the user must uninstall the demo.

Can you upgrade or purchase a full version of CINEMA 4D through Adobe’s Creative Cloud?

No. Currently, you can only upgrade to a perpetual license through MAXON or one of its resellers and distributors.


Product Comparison List including CINEMA 4D Light Version (PDF)

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Headquartered in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, MAXON Computer is a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively to help create everything from stunning visual effects in top feature films, TV shows and commercials, cutting-edge game cinematics for AAA games, as well for medical illustration, architectural and industrial design applications. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Singapore. MAXON products are available directly from the web site and its worldwide distribution channel. Specially priced learning editions of the company’s software solutions are also made available to educational institutions. For additional information on MAXON visit http://www.maxon.net

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Posted by Alicia