Offtopic but... Blender vs C4D

Hi guys.

I would love to open a debate regarding 3D software.

We have been using Houdini and Maya for quite a while, but Maya is getting old-fashioned fast, has plenty of bugs, and is not being upgraded the way it should, therefore we are now considering replacing Maya with either Blender or C4D.

My favorite is Blender, but the team is divided in half. Each one has pros and cons.

Things to consider? Render engines, speed to create the scene, ability to work with deadline, render speed.

What’s your favorite?

Maybe, if applicable, also consider amount of freelancers available? Might be harder to find professional Blender artists, no?

True. That’s also one of the things to consider.

We use Blender at work. There are loads of renderers with Blender support now, including Redshift. It has a lot of procedural tools now and the next generation of talented CG Artists coming through have mostly learned on Blender. The camera tracking and compositing functionality is also a bonus. Eevie is amazing as a realtime renderer and Cycles holds up to all the pro renderers on the market too and is decent in terms of speed. It also has its quirks and you may need to buy some 3rd party add-ons from the Blender Market to achieve certain things. However, the market is extensive and very cost effective. Deadline definitely works for both Blender and C4D. So in regards to Blender I think it is a highly capable tool that I have seen some excellent work done in.

C4D is also a highly capable tool that I am less familiar with but have seen amazing work created in it. It is certainly a lot more cost effective than Maya is these days. One thing it really has going for it from what I have gathered is the speed in which you can build things like environments and rigid body objects. I’ve heard that animating in it though is not as fast as other tools. Take that with a MASSIVE grain of salt as I really am only going off what others have told me about it.

Since Blender is open source though, the only thing you’d have to lose by trying it out would be time and effort, which you would also have to spend trying C4D but then would be the added cost of the software itself.

3D is a small part of what I do, and I’m deep enough in the apps to get by, but not a power user by any means.

When I dove into that world, I did do some research for which platform would be best suited, and what I found is that they definitely have very distinct audiences. C4D in particular caters to the MoGraph use case (which is what I’m interested in), while others cater to other use cases more. So that should be definitely be a consideration.

The next thing you should consider is import/export paths. When you have to transfer geos and other parts between Flame, Nuke, C4D, Blender there are definitely affinities that make that easy and thornier paths. Ending up with the wrong combination can be a major frustration point, and one that is not easy to overcome.

Lastly I would look at community and educational access. As you learn a new platform you need to have resources. If you think Flame is complex, the menu structures of these 3D apps is another order of magnitude.

I’ve found that C4D has very good support on this front. The Maxon YT channels and their trainers are very good. There is also a lot of good community like Greyscale Gorilla (who started out with C4D but is starting to support all the renderers). I suspect that Maya is much weaker there. The same also goes for the ancillary tools like particles, textures, material libraries.

It’s probably true that there are more Blender artists out there than any other platforms mainly due to its cost and accessibility. And presumably some amazing talent. But it may trend more freelance and independent, than large pipeline / studio type of work. But that may be a gross simplification.

I might be tempted to put Blender on par with BMD Fusion in terms of audience and usage (though I think Blender may be a stronger tool). Whereas Cine4D is more like Nuke, and Maya more like Flame :slight_smile: Just looking at who uses it, how big it is, and how ‘corporate’ (i.e. uptight) the companies behind them are.

Because of the complexity though, you do want to do the homework. Switching 3D apps is a massive learning curve. I did for a short time consider whether I should learn one of the others, and quickly gave up as it’s not worth the time for my more limited use. C4D is suiting me well.

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i agree with @allklier - c4d has a really good support structure. I have the MaxonOne subscription which also comes with a heap of other useful apps…including access to Cineversity - maxons online learning portal, and the forums are run by an incredibly knowledgable chap who goes by the name Dr Sassi. Easily one of the most helpful support people i have ever had to deal with.

As for working with Flame, only yesterday i needed to use a 3d Phone model in Flame, so in seconds had opened one of the free models included with C4d, converted to fbx, and imported it into Action. Worked perfectly.

I think the Redshift integration with C4d is particularly good because they are all part of the same company.

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The Maxon One subscription is a very good deal for what you get.

I dabbled in ZBrush for a short second on one project. It’s included in the subscription, and if you spend a bit of time learning it, rounds out the tool set in interesting ways for the less geometrically pure objects (I needed an orange, not a sphere).

I must say I dislike RedShift. I find it does not delivers great results, and yes, I do know the last Oscar, a film done entirely with RedShift was awarded with best VFX, but still… It is fast but creates fireflies quite often in the passes, and as soon as you set up higher parameters, the render time go back to “normal”. We work with photorealistic CG.

We’re Houdini and Max. We render in Vray.

Both C4D and Blender are fundamentally similar to Max in terms of the stack and the theory behind how they work.

Regarding C4D. I spent a week 10 years ago learning the basics and got hooked easily. It was quick to get something on the page. There’s ample training out there, amazing support and as @allklier pointed out the One subscription is good bang for buck if those are your go to tools. Folks use it for a variety of tasks but in our market, those are tasks are mainly motion graphics so the work tends to lean more stylized and less photorealistic. There are exceptions but this generally tends to be my experience. There are RBD and soft body solvers, decent modeling tools, amazing type and motion graphics tools and the geometry nodes get better every release. And that’s another point, Maxon actively develops that kit. It’s important to them and they very much value its market position and user base.

Blender has a lot of traction lately—huge endowments from a lot of heavy hitters and the development has definitely skyrocketed. It’s not nearly as mature as the other packages but its artist support is fierce… bordering on obsessive. Blender artists tend to be one stop shops in the way that Max people tend to be the few remaining generalists. Kids who learned on what was accessible because that was all they could do to get into this biz they loved so much. That passion translates and if you find one of these people who fits with your team (and you can actually harness that energy) they’re like pouring jet fuel on your production fire.

Regarding the Blender toolset, there are some areas where it’s stronger than c4d depending on who you talk to and many where it’s weaker. I think the bigger consideration at this point is why just use a single package. With USD and MaterialX the landscape is different than it used to be and it’s never been easier to focus on what an artist is good at rather than the package—especially when one of the packages in question is free.