Maxon has released Cinema 4D S26, its latest subscriber-only update to the 3D animation software, adding a new cloth simulation system, new modelling tools, and integrating ZBrush’s ZRemesher retopology system.
In addition, Cinema 4D now includes Redshift CPU, the new CPU version of Maxon’s Redshift renderer – previously GPU-only, and only available via a separate product subscription.
The features will be rolled out to perpetual licence holders later in the year.
Redshift CPU now integrated into Cinema 4D
The headline change in Cinema 4D S26 is the integration of Redshift CPU, the new CPU rendering mode introduced in Redshift 3.5, the latest update to Maxon’s formerly GPU-only production renderer.
Users can now render with Redshift inside Cinema 4D on CPU or in hybrid mode, which uses both CPU and GPU, without the need for a separate Redshift product subscription.
Workflow has also been overhauled to make Redshift “feel more like a native part of Cinema 4D”, including a new dynamic palette system that shows only Redshift-compatible tools when switching to the renderer.
Cinema 4D’s viewport now supports Redshift materials – you can see a full list of features supported in the online release notes – improving the visual quality of interactive previews.
Users can also import or export “basic” Redshift material properties and textures in FBX or USD format.
Maxon describes the work as part of an ongoing effort to introduce a “single unified render solution” based around Redshift inside Cinema 4D, although all of the software’s existing render engines, including the Standard and Physical renderers, remain available.
New cloth and rope simulation features: part of a new unified simulation system
The other key change in Cinema 4D S26 is the new simulation system for cloth and spline objects like ropes.
The implementation is described as the first step in a new “effort to unify Cinema 4D’s simulation tools”, and enables ropes to interact with cloth in simulations, or multiple cloth objects to interact with one another.
The cloth simulation system reproduces plastic deformations and the behaviour of inflated objects.
Simulations can be performed on either CPU or GPU, with users evem able to assign individual scene objects to the CPU or GPU.
According to Maxon, the new constraint-based system is “faster … more precise, more realistic, more stable and easier to use” than the old force-based Dynamics system. You can find a detailed comparison here.
Updates to the modelling tools
Cinema 4D’s modelling toolset has also been updated, with the Bridge tool getting a new Tension setting enabling users to control the curvature of the connections it creates between surfaces.
The Close Polygon Hole tool, used to close holes in meshes, gets a new Grid mode, which generates a closure that automatically follows the curvature of the surrounding surface.
New tools include Fit Circle, for creating circular regions within quad meshes; Poke Polygons for creating knurled surfaces; and Even Spacing and Set Edge Flow, for controlling the spacing and flow of edge loops.
ZBrush’s ZRemesher algorithm now available for retopologising meshes
Many of the new commands are available as Capsules, the new system introduced in Cinema 4D R25 for packaging groups of nodes, making it possible to use them for procedural modelling.
The update also introduces new capsules for UV unwrapping a model using the Packed setting for Cinema 4D’s Automatic UV system, and for automatically retopologising a mesh to even quads.
ZRemesher is now integrated into Cinema 4D’s Remesh object, and generates cleaner topology than the legacy Instant Mesh algorithm.
New Windows-style Task Manager lets you kill processes harming performance
Workflow improvements in Cinema 4D S26 include a new Windows-style Task Manager, which shows all of the processes running inside Cinema 4D, and enables users to abort any that are reducing performance.
In addition, more processes, particularly network saves, now run asynchronously in the background; and any number of files can be loaded simultaneously.
Smaller changes include the option to filter fonts by name, and new settings for Cinema 4D’s physical sun system. You can find a full list of changes and bugfixes via the links below.
Pricing and availability
Cinema 4D S26 is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.14.6+, but Maxon recommends macOS 10.15.7+.
The update is only available to users with active subscriptions, which cost $94/month or $719/year.
New perpetual licences cost $3,495, with the new features in S26 due to become available to perpetual licence holders via a separate update later this year, assuming Maxon follows its normal release schedule.
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