Maxon Training Day

Last week, three of us from DB headed over to Heymarket in London to the Maxon Training Day, with talks from Greyscalegorilla's Nick Campbell, MPC's Will MacNeil and After Effects legend Angie Taylor.

It was honestly such an inspirational day and the speakers were brilliant. I just want to share a few notes I made from the day and share a few links that were given.


Nick started off by talking about the new Reflectance channel in C4D R16, which is a new way to create complex and realistic materials. It works based on a layering system, similar to VRay, combining colour, specularity and reflection all in one channel.

When you start by adding a new layer you must select one of the reflection methods, as shown below.

Beckmann - most physically accurate

GGX - more suited to metals

Phong / Ward - more suited to soft surfaces (rubber, skin etc)

Anisotropic - brushed metals with scratches

Lambertian / Oren-Nayar - both diffuse channels, so basically having your colour channel within your Reflectance

Irawan - creating fabric surfaces

The bottom three, Legacy channels, are used to replicate the earlier versions of C4D reflection and specular channels, prior to this new Reflectance channel.

If you select one of the options, for further help, you can right-click on 'Type', then 'Show help...' which will come up with more information about each type of reflectance options, showing the roughness of each and how it effects falloff.

Things to note from Nick

  • When wanting to place a bump map within your Reflectance channel, click 'Bump Strength' to show more options. Change 'Mode' to 'Custom Bump Mode' and input your bump map or texture into 'Custom Texture'.
  • Suggested website for HDRIs
  • Must try - UV Peeler to use on cylindrical meshes
  • 'Shift' + 'C' in Cinema is a quick solution to find all of your tools

Will from MPC then came on and gave a mind-blowing tutorial of a mountain top he created in C4D. One of the best websites he mentioned was this Noise Texture Reference - which shows examples of different preset noise options you find in Cinema. Absolutely fantastic reference. Also, another tip for here - when using noise in your bump within your Reflectance channel, change 'Space' to 'World' - this means your noise will not be affected by your object's orientation or position, but allows the object being shaded to move through the noise.

He also introduced us to the plugin DEM-EARTH which gives real-time, interactive, dynamic, real landscapes that you can animate and model onto.

Next up, we had Angie Taylor, an After Effects legend. She explained and showed examples of Cineware for After Effects; and how this new integration between Cinema and After Effects speeds up workflow for comping dramatically. The 3D Camera Tracker is particularly cool.

Great day put on by Maxon to show R16's new features and cannot wait to start playing with R16 properly after this talk!