The Future of Rendering

Today we announced our collaboration with AMD to deliver GPU rendering in Cinema 4D through ProRender.

This is a project we’ve been working on for quite some time, and it’s my pleasure to share with you a bit more context around the future of rendering in Cinema 4D.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we get lots of user requests for GPU rendering and rendering technologies like path-tracing and physically-based shading. Many of our third-party development partners have already shown the power of the GPU in offering efficient and high-quality rendering solutions, and we applaud their efforts. Delivering a solution with Cinema 4D has proven a bit trickier, in large part due to Maxon's commitment to stability, ease-of-use and cross-platform parity.

It’s core to our philosophy that designers shouldn’t have to worry about who makes their computer, graphics card or operating system – you should be able to open Cinema 4D on virtually any system and experience the exact same rock-solid, intuitive 3D design experience. We’ve maintained this philosophy for over 20 years, consistently shipping identical Cinema 4D releases for both Windows and macOS, supporting multiple CPU and graphics card vendors and developing a reputation for outstanding reliability.

There are lots of outstanding GPU rendering technologies, but very few that fit this core philosophy. ProRender does. Because it’s based on OpenCL, ProRender will fully support Nvidia as well as Radeon graphics cards on Windows, and as the vendor of choice for Apple hardware AMD is in the best possible position to support macOS.

ProRender’s unbiased path-tracing engine already supports physically-based materials and virtually all the physical rendering attributes you’d expect. Our own development team is working closely with AMD engineers to add key features, and to contribute our own outstanding rendering talent to the open-source ProRender project. We have more developers devoted to the render pipeline than ever before, with many dedicated to integrating ProRender in a way that’s extremely intuitive. We’ll be working over several release cycles to bring you more great features based on ProRender and fully support the fundamental feature-set of Cinema 4D.

What does all this mean for Cinema 4D’s Standard and Physical Render engines? For now, they continue to offer outstanding rendering capabilities, which not only power Cinema 4D but the 3D rendering capabilities of Adobe After Effects, Vectorworks, ARCHICAD and Allplan. While GPU rendering is ideal for most use cases we continue to believe that there’s a place and need for CPU rendering solutions, and we hope to share more information in the future about our vision for the future of CPU rendering in Cinema 4D.

A final note – Cinema 4D enjoys a fantastic network of third-party developers who provide powerful rendering solutions. We’ll continue to support them as we always have, and encourage you to explore the wide variety of available options. Like an artist’s brushes or chef’s knives, each render engine offers unique advantages and ideally fits specific uses.

Karsten Jancke

Director of Engineering

About the Maxon Blog

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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