Top Cinema 4D plugins
Maxon’s Cinema 4D has a vibrant and well-supported plugin ecosystem, providing all manner of extensions for the app – from filling holes in its toolset to streamlining the workflow. One of the best 3D modelling software packages, the way Cinema 4D is structured means, not only are these plugins nicely integrated into the app (often seamlessly at times), they all play well together.
So you can find Cinema 4D tutorials that mix third-party Modifiers and Effectors with native tools, use Turbulence FD to convect X-particles and then visualise them with the Hair shader, shatter meshes with Nitroblast and then animate them with Signal... the combinations are endlessly creative.
In this feature we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite plugins (although not all of them by any measure!). There’s something for everyone here.
Every now and then you find a plugin that doesn't offer a means to a particular end, but inspires you to investigate further nonetheless. Trypogen is one such plugin. It's a generator plugin that lets you take a simple object and create something that combines the best of mathematical-based processes with the random and organic nature of the more playful side of 3D.
It's a bit of a niche product, but Trypogen encourages playful experimentation and can actually yield beautiful, if unexpected, results in very little time. Combine that with its compatibility with MoGraph, and you have a very useful tool for little cost.
04. Light Kit Pro 3.0
The latest update to Light Kit Pro provides a complete and fully customisable lighting solution – providing a variety of realistic lights, panels and softboxes with which to really hone your lighting. It's easy to use, includes 120 studio presents and has built-in support for renderers Octane, Arnold and Redshift.
Signal is a GSG plugin that’s aimed at automating the animation process. It’s applied as a tag to an object or deformer and you simply drag any animatable value into it (including colours). It’s then a matter of setting some values and letting Signal do its thing, generating random, noise- based animations and seamless loops.
Forester is a procedural vegetation creation plugin that makes an endless variety of grass, trees and plants, and that also comes with a rock generator and a scattering function, called the Multicloner. Its latest update also integrates with C4D's Variation shader, so you can colour your leaves randomly.
RealFlow is primarily an out of the box fluid simulation piece of software. It is standalone and compatible with all major 3D platforms. So why am I mentioning it in an article about plugins! Well, RealFlow have provided a set of connectivity plugins which make going between CINEMA 4D and RealFlow a breeze for both PCs and Macs.
09. Octane Renderer
Octane is a powerful and easy to use software that can improve your workflow. It can be used to create a simple scene for paint over or a photo-realistic render. It gives you a very fast feedback as it uses the GPU’s power. It can also handles thousands of objects and displacements, allowing you to experiment and generate ideas very easily.