Cinema 4D vs. Blender

Our 3D animator uses Cinema 4D all the time and he’s really used to it, but our team got a couple nice graphics cards for the computer we use and I feel like he’d be better off using Blender because of the GPU rendering feature. Only problem is I don’t want to jerk him out of what he knows.

How different is blender from C4D and, if he switched, would it be an easy switch? Do the pros outweigh the cons?

As a fella that used to run Lightwave 3D on Amiga 4000 with Video Toasters (Flyer) I have to ask what rendering advantage in time you expect to get quantitatively?

If the rendering time does not decrease adequately to overcome the change in interface this might not be the best choice.

Blender as an open source project has from my experience in comparison to Cinema4D a situation similar to GIMP and Adobe Photoshop. The commercial equivalent is more polished and often times more clearly documented. Even though equivalent functionality is buried in the open source alternative.

If you have the ability to learn Cinema4D and the patience to go looking in Blender this can work out.
However I would expect some frustration here and there along the way.

What graphics cards did you get?

I had heard that GPU rendering was anywhare from 5-50X faster, maybe even 100x with two cards in SLI, that’s why i asked, he may be able to render a few larger-resolution animations with that, is what i suspected.

What graphics cards did you get?

We got two GTX550s from the andymark deal and if we needed to, we could run both in our desktop in SLI configuration to get a boost.

Judging by this spreadsheet, it looks like there is a significant advantage for using the GPU. GPU processing would probably be even potent if using a Tesla series card since they have an order of magnitude more CUDA cores. Where GPU processing doesn’t work is in single threaded applications that do not utilize parallel processes. Graphics rendering is (obviously) highly threaded and parallelized.

If the animation team can use Blender, go for it. It’s extremely powerful and open source. One advantage to retraining for Blender is that the team and its members can benefit from the freely-available software in the future (post-graduation), when they may not have access to Cinema 4D.

Specifically looking at the GTX 550ti results, i think this is perfect data to convince our animator to make the switch. He’s a smart kid and I think he’ll pick up on Blender just as easily as C4D. Thanks guys!