This rendering was born from a test that I’ve been working feverishly on. I have made a few 3D renders like this in the past using Cinema 4D but I have taken this to a new level.
I absolutely love Cinema 4D, have I said that before? It’s one of the most well balanced 3D programs I’ve ever used. 10 Years ago my 3D world was occupied with 3D Studio Max and Maya, but with my focus primarily grounded in motion design for video with 3D I have found that this program offers the absolute best balance and quality. There were times early on when I was a 3D animator that I would get discouraged because it would take me many hours to achieve the result I needed. This fundamentally wasn’t because of my lack of understanding, or my ignorance in the field; it was mostly because the programs weren’t that good. I hate to say it but that’s the truth.
Now flash forward 20 years or so, and granted, with a little bit more of an understanding on how these programs work, I’m able to find the results I’m looking for. When it came to this particular render I was focusing on incorporating spheres with an opacity that would lend itself to allowing light to pass by and through. I love the chaotic nature of objects on the screen in a random format. It’s a theme that you will see in a lot of my work. Coincidentally, I’ve often attributed this desire to have these uncontrolled patterns standing directly opposite of what most of corporate America looks for in videos for business; uniformity and balance. I think this is my way of pushing back against the matrix.
Of course, when you see this image you may not be aware that it processed around 12 hours to render at about 5200 pixels that is for just one frame, but without digressing I do want to speak about render times. The processing of 3D imagery is often lost on most that are not in the field. I say this because even some of my graphic designer friends that deal with traditional 2D animation fail to comprehend the processing power that is required to achieve such results. Even with breakthroughs in computing power, one must remember that the scale of resolution in tandem sometimes nullifies the breakthroughs that we have. Of course, the solution to the increasing demands of resolution going from standard definition to 1080p then to 2K, 4K, and now 8K is to deploy a render farm. This, however, is not only a costly solution in hardware it also increases the electrical demand of your location. I’ve been able to offset the power consumption issue by adding solar power to my studio. Any additional machines and hardware that require is absorbed by the constant flow of client work. However, this solution for the hobbyist is not practical, hence they need to have longer render times.
Learning When To Cheat
The majority of animators out there will tell you, and this goes for 2D animation as well as 3D animation, that it is a process of knowing when you can skimp and when you cannot. Most of motion design revolves around this particular technique, and I mean the technique of skimming out when you can. That might be, simply put, to not go as close in or to zoom out on certain graphic elements, it could also mean adding just a little bit of extra motion blur to cover some of your mistakes. Of course everyone does the lens flare / particles in the air effect to help mitigate these time-saving techniques.
Artistic Talent Is Not Knowing Where To Start But When To Stop
During my earlier years as a designer, I feel that one of my biggest flaws was that I continued to massage my designs to the point where they became horrendous. It’s quite fair to actually say they were pretty bad and the word horrendous is very applicable. Considering that I’ve been doing this for around 25 years I genuinely would say that the first 7 to 10 years in the industry that my work compared to now was almost childish. Childish not necessarily because the artistic side was poor, I mean childish because I did not know when to stop. I would virtually learn a new technique the night before and by the morning I would be implementing that technique into my design. My problem became when I would learn a new technique. The next week I would go back and apply the technique to the same image stacking up multiple elements and over complicating every aspect of my layout.
This is when I learned the art of knowing when to stop. It is a lesson in self-discipline and humility, which from my perspective spend 7 to 10 years to learn. The way I design now is much more efficient and I’ve learned that less is more, also less is much harder to achieve. The benefit is not a time-saving ideology it is more of a peace of mind knowing that I am not going to torture myself by constantly going back and tweaking what has already completed. It is a gift and a lesson wrapped all into one.
This Cinema 4D render finished about 12 hrs after processing at 1417 progressive passes on my main Mac Pro. @ 5200pixels