Maxon Computer — developer of 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions — has released Cinema 4D R8.1 (Release 8.1), an upgrade to its flagship 3D modeling and animation software.
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The upgrade boasts several new features, including HDRI and new particle effects. The new Release 8.1 updates the core Cinema 4D application and the optional Cinema 4D modules (if they’re installed). In fact, some of the new features are targeted specifically at the modules.
Cinema 4D R8.1 boasts full support for HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imagery), an improvement to the Advanced Render module. This new feature lets users take advantage of special 96-bit HDRI photographs that represent the complete brightness range of the environment they were taken in.
The new particle effects bolster the Thinking Particles module, which include the Blurp operator (which can fragment an object and then rebuild it into an entirely new shape) and MatterWaves (which gives users the ability to control particle emission using lights or textures). There are also enhancements in the core Cinema 4D application. OpenGL is faster, with new support for hardware-accelerated lighting.
Twenty new nodes have been added to the XPresso expressions editor, expanding animation automation options. And output to Flash and ShockWave 3D has been enhanced to generate better results faster, according to Maxon. For users who need to import models from NURBS applications (such as Rhino), import has been optimized to combat seams and problem areas such as groups of long, thin triangles are now rendered more smoothly due to a new shading algorithm.
Cinema 4D R8.1 is free to all owners of Cinema 4D R8. The full version costs US$595 for the core application, $1,695 for the XL bundle; and $2,495 for the Studio bundle. Cinema 4D is compatible with Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.x.