Multipass rendering is particularly useful for 3D objects that must be incorporated into existing film footage. Each image element can be rendered separately, and individually modified during post editing. All layers can be saved as a single file in PSD, RLA, or RPF formats.
For Peter Morlock, art director at the German film production company Filmwerk, the multipass rendering capabilities in Release 7 are a crucial improvement. "For entertainment professionals and graphic de signers," he says, "the ability to modify every single image element is like a dream come true." Filmwerk is currently producing a live-action feature film with two digital creatures, and the multipass rendering has been used to integrate the digital images into the live footage.
Global illumination is also new to Re lease 7, as are additional caustics for a larger selection of surfaces. Smells Like Almonds 2.5, a shading plug-in for Cinema 4D with more than 1000 preset shaders, has also been incorporated into Release 7.
Cinema 4D XL R7 includes three licenses for Maxon's Cinema 4D Net, a distributed rendering system that can use a mix of PCs and Macs. Release 7 runs on Mac OS 7.6.1 and up, including OS X, and on Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME operating systems. The price is $1695. A production suite that includes Maxon's BodyPaint 3D and Net is also available for $2195. (Maxon Computer; www.maxoncomputer.com)