There’s No Business Like Nodes Business

Our development team loves to hear how the new features we add Cinema 4D are expanding your design horizons and helping you create more effectively, and we’re hearing lots of great feedback about Release 20. Volumes are changing the way you model, fields are powering new possibilities in MoGraph, and users love the interactivity and versatility of node-based materials.

The introduction of node-based materials was a milestone for us, because it’s the biggest test to date of our new core. We’ve been integrating parts of the new engine behind the scenes for several releases, but this was the largest integration of the new core technology and our first opportunity to pair it with a brand-new user interface. That new UI technology is flexible and robust allowing you to work with materials in both nodal and interactive dialogs.

As you can imagine, there were some challenges along the way. Fortunately, our outstanding team of developers – including the core developers who created and nurtured Cinema 4D in its early years – overcame these issues through ingenuity, hard work, and the help of the entire development, UX and QA teams.

We were researching and developing prototypes for node-based materials in late 2016 – before R19 was even in beta. A few months into development, we encountered some roadblocks. The original plan for node-based materials relied heavily on another project, which was falling behind due to engineering complications and the departure of a developer. Another key programmer developed a lengthy illness. Our plan for node-based materials was in jeopardy.

Nevertheless, our determined and gifted engineers refused to give up. Over the next 3 months, they dug in and found a solution which bypassed the delayed project, but it required a change in direction and an almost complete re-implementation of the node-based material concept. We modified the release timetable a bit – pushing node-based materials into beta about 3 months late in May 2018. The entire Maxon team worked together to adjust the timetable for QA, marketing, tutorials and other launch preparations to get everything ready for announcement in August and release in September.

Of course, by the time Release 20 was released, we were already well into development on the next release. The response to the node-based materials UI has been great. We’ve been flooded with requests to make it available for third-party render engines, and we’re working hard to make that possible. We’re obviously engaged with other features and projects as well, but you’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store.

(its’ not only the biggest test of our new core – the nodes are the biggest piece of the new core that was integrated)


Karsten Jancke

Director of Engineering

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Welcome to the official Maxon Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about Maxon, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of Maxon employees.

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