October 2, 2023

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Cinema4D – Rendering Your Composition

3 min read
Cinema4D – Rendering Your Composition

Cinema4D has a rich render admin tool that will help you create the best part, the results of your work!

I came to Cinema4D from the perspective of Web Design so the render settings I choose are typically to create content for a web site. Cinema4D has a much wider audience and client base. It is used much more for movies, advertising, and special effects so some of the file size constraints and bandwidth performance considerations for the Web are meaningless for these other media. You can create output from Cinema4D with a nice large ‘avi’ file then reduce your final composition in After Effects or Flash.

To manage and configure your render options look to the three thumbnail menus in the center of your main pull down menu, to the left of the primitives. These render menu’s are identified with a director’s slate clapboard thumbnail.

The first is simply a ‘one click’ render active view which does just that. It will create a rendering of the current view, the current frame, with your current settings including which objects you have set to active render. The next provides render viewing options which serve different situations in your composition development. The third could be thought of as the ‘information configuration’, the settings that tell Cinema4D how to render your composition.

Under the general render setting you have full render, software preview, hardware preview, and CineMan. You will most often use the full render option. The software preview will render the scene as it looks in the viewport. The CineMan render option is used to produce output for other compatible renders such as Pixar.

The ‘Output’ option presents more granular options such as width and height, resolutions settings. Here you define a frame range with its default being simply the current frame. You will change this to ‘all frames’ if you wish to render your complete composition. You can designate partial frames to render only part of your composition. This is very useful as your more complex creations demand a longer render time. It is also useful for rendering a portion that might serve multiple instances as a ‘library routine’.

The save options present the options for where you will save your Cinema4D (.c4d) file. Here you have options for the output format from TIFF layers to a Quicktime with many options in between. You choose an alpha channel here if you want your render to include transparency. Under save is a section for ‘Compositing Project File’ and this is where you will designate output for a companion product, the most popular being After Effects. There you would check box to include 3D data and enter full path and name for After Effects Output file. It is a good practice to use the same name for your ‘.c4d’ and After Effects ‘.aec’ file for Cinema4D’s sanity and your own bookkeeping.

There are many other options under the render settings but you will find that it is quite easy to provide the information for your first renders and begin to familiarize yourself with other settings that make it easy to work with other presentations and special effect applications such as After Effects.

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