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Intimidated by 3D modeling packages? Dip a toe in the water with CINEMA 4D (C4D) Lite, a slimmed down version of CINEMA 4D included with After Effects CC. Motion graphics designer Angie Taylor shows you how to build a complete sequence in C4D Lite, progressing from initial object modeling, to animation, lighting, camera rigging, texturing, and final render. Plus, learn to animate text, create random movement with wiggle expressions, track cameras in live-action footage to add new 3D elements, and light your scene. Angie also round-trips the project files to After Effects for visual effects and color correction. With over 100 videos, this course allows you to explore almost every aspect of 3D motion graphics creation, within this accessible introductory tool.
As we've seen, Cinema 4D Lite is incredibly full featured for a free application, but there are a few things it can't do, and this movie is to highlight those. I've opened Cineware_Comparison_Chart.PDF from the project files folder, Chapter One. And here we have a document that was made by Maxon and highlights the differences between the different versions of Cinema 4D, those being, Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio, and Lite. Lite is most similar to Prime but there are some things that are missing in Cinema 4D Lite that aren't in Prime.
The Python C++ API, for one thing. But most things are supported, it's cross platform 64 bit architecture, open GL support and Coffee is also supported. Now, if we go down to Interface and Workflow, much of it is the same between the applications. Couple of things to note, XRef external instancing and referencing system isn't supported in Cinema 4D Lite. And sadly, 3DConnexion 3DMouse support isn't in Cinema 4D Lite.
And I really miss my 3D mouse when I'm working in the Lite version. Other things, no study or display in the Viewport and Doodle Viewport annotation tool is also missing. When we get to Cameras, most of it supports it except for Motion Camera, Morph Camera, and the Camera Calibrator. And then, if we go down to product comparisons for Data Exchange and Format Support, you'll see that much of it is the same except for when it comes to exchange files. After Effects, Nuke, Motion, Final Cut Pro, Digital Fusion, and Shake, external data support isn't supported.
Couple of other options here are missing including BodyPaint 3D Exchange. However, you'll notice that all the important things are supported via Cineware. So although you can't export and save with 3D data using the old AEC file format, you can do all the multi-pass compositing via Cineware anyway. So that really gets around the problem. In terms of modeling, pretty much everything is there, except for the Polygonal modeling tools with N-gon support.
Also, the modeling generators, for example Metaball, Boolean, Symmetry, et cetera, when it comes to modeling tools, nearly everything is supported with the exception of Polygonal modeling tools with N-gon support as you can see there. And there are also a couple of things to note about the modeling generators. Some are import only and it lists the ones that are affected down here at the bottom. So, when it comes to deformers, we're pretty much all supported.
You'll notice that they are import only, these ones, Bend, Twist, Bulge, Shear, Taper, etcetera. Displacement Collision Camera, Smoothing, Spline, Wrap and Shrinkwrap deformers are not included. But pretty much the modeling is pretty much there. Except for, of course, Sculpting. There's no Sculpting features in Cinema 4D Lite. In terms of materials and texturing, pretty much everything is supported. There's a couple of things at the end again, Sub-polygon displacement, Sub-surface Scattering and some of the more advanced features of material options are not available, but pretty much everything that the average user would need is there. There's no UV editing in Lite at all.
In terms of lighting, pretty much everything is supported, with the exception of IES Light Data. No support for that. Down at the bottom there. In terms of Rendering, you're limited to a resolution of 800 by 600, but of course that can be rendered in a bigger comp in After Effects, which we'll find out about later. You'll see the object buffers and multipass output are only supported during the Cineware output using the AE Cinema 4D layer.
But they are supported. Global Illumination is not supported. And the Physical Renderer with Physical Camera is not supported. No Stereo Rendering either. The Depth of Field and Vector Motion Blur post effects are done through passes so they can be supported. There's no Cineman, Renderman compliant bridge, no Sketch and Toon, no Pyrocluster and no Physical Sky but everything else is there. Okay, where are we now? Picture Viewer is all supported, Watermark, Render Queue Batch Rendering and Network Rendering Clients not supported.
In terms of animation, pretty fully featured. No Cappucino is the one exception, and no Keyframe Reduction, Keyframe Baking. Or any of those assistants that will help you with the keyframing, they tend to be missing. And no ASCII animation support. So, but pretty much everything else is supported. There are a couple of little asterisks on there. Which you'll see there's no Python Node included in Expresso, but Expresso's fully supported apart from that. And if we go back up to here, you'll notice the timeline.
You can have up to four timeline windows with customizable track display and dot sheet of Curve View modes. But, you're only allowed that on one timeline window only. Okay, a few things missing down here. If we go back up a Dynamic is missing completely. There's no Dynamic tools in Cinema 4D Lite. And in terms of MoGraph, there aren't any MoGraph tools, but if you register, you will get the Fracture object, and some Effectors free.
So they only become activated when you register the full version and we'll cover that in one of the tutorials. In terms of character animation tools, I'm afraid, they are missing too, but you can still animate your characters. You just have to do it by hand instead of using some of the great character animation tools that are in Studio and Broadcast. The Hair Simulation and Rendering system is missing too. And then, in terms of content, there are presets included but none of the advanced presets and demo scenes are included that you get with Studio as you would expect.
And no Broadcast Library, no Visualization Library, but you have all the presets that you probably need to get started. You have Materials, Camera setups, Lighting setups. So pretty much everything you need, but that just highlights some of of the things that are missing from Cinema 4D Lite. If you want to download your own copy of this document or send a download link to someone, it is available on the Maxon website, but there's a copy in the Chapter One Folder for you to look at.
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