Pixel power-ups: Maxon springs big update for Cinema 4D, Red Giant, Redshift, ZBrush, and more
German software developer Maxon has updated its entire product line for a Spring 2023 release, with new features for tools such as Cinema 4D, Redshift, Red Giant, ZBrush, Forger, and Magic Bullet, as well as enhancements for Cineware focused on Unreal 5.0 and 5.1 integration, which should benefit users of virtual production workflows.
The 2023.2 update for Cinema 4D offers an improved Commander and enhancements to its Nodes system. The Unified Simulation System has received several enhancements, with Pyro previews in Cinema 4D’s viewport now supporting colour and lighting. There’s a new Thicken generator for modelling, useful for setting up floor-plans and 3D prints; it generates a procedural shell based on an existing mesh and preserves corners and perpendicular edges. Meanwhile Balloon sims now support vertex maps, allowing you to create seams and control areas of inflation.
Redshift and Red Giant
The Redshift 3.5.14 renderer brings a new Sky and Sun Model, offering rich red sunsets as the sun dips just below the horizon, while a new Flakes Shader generates Voronoi- or dot- shaped flakes at random angles and surface depth. The Redshift Camera is now available in Houdini, offering simple physical controls to modify exposure, focus distance, motion blur and bokeh. Custom Backplates are now available in Redshift for C4D, allowing artists to choose whether background footage is incorporated into the render or added before and after post effects.
Updates to the Red Giant toolset feature new tools and augmentations; most notably the introduction of Symbol Mapper for Universe 2023.1, which is a stylisation tool to rebuild footage using letters, numbers, and symbols based on source brightness values; it allows for Matrix style effects or retro type-based graphics. Red Giant updates also include anamorphic lens support for Real Lens Flares for VFX 2023.3, while Trapcode 2023.3 includes performance optimizations for Particular and a new collection of Atomic Age sprites.
Updates to the import/export tool Cineware are focused on Unreal 5.0 and 5.1. The company claims that importing Cinema 4D files straight into Unreal Engine using Cineware has become more intuitive and smoother, incorporating animated characters and cameras, and embedding it as part of a larger cinematic sequence in an Unreal project. Cineware now allows you to make distinct Level Sequences for Geometry Caches or insert them into a main Level Sequence seamlessly and when a Cinema 4D Viewport camera is imported into Unreal Engine, it is immediately identically configured, with no further modifications or camera settings necessary. Animated Render Visibility allows artists to decide which components in a Cinema 4D scene are turned on or off in Unreal Engine after import, and there’s a new Geometry Cache option.
ZBrush and more
The latest release of ZBrush is highlighted by two new workflow tools: Proxy Pose and Drop 3D.
Implementing Proxy Pose instantly reduces polygon density, allowing artists to quickly and efficiently manipulate your ZBrush models, and then convert back to a high-density mesh. Fusing the elements of both 2D and 3D design, the new Drop 3D allows artists to increase local mesh density in order to maintain high-resolution details where needed.
A new set of presets for Looks takes full advantage of ACES handling in Magic Bullet 2023.2, while there are improvements to the Magic Bullet Looks Strength slider, as well as Bug Fixes with a particular emphasis on Resolve users.
Updates to mobile sculpting app Forger include new features for lighting and previews, and the integration of ZBrush’s ZRemesher. The latest additions for Capsules include new material collections, a new dynamic Swirl Modifier and a new Redshift Shaderball.
David McGavran, Maxon CEO, said: “This highly anticipated release delivers on our promise to regularly come out with new cutting-edge features and enhancements across the entire Maxon One product line. With this release, our community can expect improved performance, enhanced workflows, advanced tools for animation, rendering, sculpting and much more. By equipping artists of all levels with industry-leading tools, we aim to empower our community to create stunning visual content like never before.”
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