Cinema 4D R16's new features revealed

Maxon's Cinema 4D has slowly built a reputation as a very capable, solid and reliable solution to many 3D artists' needs, and this release doesn't disappoint: Maxon has introduced a whole range of new features, bug fixes and workflow changes.

Available to the public this month, the price is yet to be confirmed, but what we do know is this year's edition will be a game-changer.

New Motion Tracker

First of the new features – and the one that will really impress – is the new Motion Tracker. This is a full motion tracker and 3D camera solver, with a particularly intuitive workflow.

A full solve, with an automatically created and calibrated camera (and scene settings) that can be built within just a few clicks and gives great results.

As well as being a useful tool in its own right it means that many users will now need to use third-party software less frequently.

The new reflection channel in Cinema 4D R16 is versatile and powerful, even allowing complete materials to be generated in a single channel

The new reflection channel in Cinema 4D R16 is versatile and powerful, even allowing complete materials to be generated in a single channel

Non-destructive bevels

In this release the modelling tools have been added to and revamped. The Bevel Deformer is a welcome addition giving users non-destructive bevels.

The Bevel Deformer is a win with Cinema 4D user Chris Priddy: "Hard surface models are something I work with every day; I constantly have to add accurate bevels to complex CAD conversions.

"The improved bevel tool, added in R15, was an imperative addition for anyone with a task like mine, but the destructive nature was the other side of a double-edge sword. A non-destructive beveling option, providing the ability to bevel booleans and accommodate engineer's change requests is indescribably useful and simply a godsend," says the artist.

New PolyPen modelling tool

Modellers will also be able to make use of the new PolyPen tool, an all-in-one modelling tool that brings polygon creation, extrudes and more to one tool. This is a real game-changer making for intuitive modelling and can speed up workflow substantially.

The materials system has been given an overhaul as well, and although the node system that some users have been asking for isn't there, the new Reflectance channel is excellent and can control the whole look of the material, without needing to use other channels.

It's a layered system, controllable by map or shader, making it very easy to create anything from various metals, to glass and fabrics.

The Solo command

You can now toggle the selected object (or the object and its children) so that only it is visible. This makes modifying scene components easy, hiding clutter so you can concentrate on the task at home.

The Solo toggle and Bevel Deformers are the real kings of this release. While they may not be showstoppers, these will change peoples' working habits for the better.

The big idea

Chaos Group has announced the setup of a new think tank dedicated to exploring advances in rendering technology. Located in Los Angeles, USA, Chaos Group Labs will help artists and researchers develop new solutions to graphics problems, and progress has already been made on massively parallel rendering, cloud and GPU rendering, virtual performance capture, and rendering for next-generation cinematic experiences.

Chaos Group is keen to hear from you; so to pitch ideas or join the conversation, simply send your emails to

You'll find more on this in 3D World issue 187 – on sale in the UK on 9 September!

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Rob Redman

Rob Redman is the editor of 3D World and ImagineFX magazines and has a background in animation, visual effects, and photography. As a 3D artist he created the mothership in the Webby winning Plot Device and was animator on the follow-up; Order up. He has created training for Cinema 4D and Blackmagic Design Fusion artists. He's been a published product and food photographer since the age of 15. As well as being a multi-instrumentalist, Rob is also an avid beard grower.