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Initial alpha version of CentiLeo for Cinema 4D ready!
 
Hi everyone!

In short the download link for Cinema 4D plugin is here http://centileo.com/forum/forum18/ (registration required to access it)

User manual download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5kItSF2ZGc_WG5heWtmZ0gxQXc

We init the public adventure of CentiLeo renderer for Cinema 4D R16 and R17!

This video shows interactive CentiLeo integrated into Cinema 4D for a scene with 8.5 million primary polygons and 15 million displaced. Single GTX 970 (3.5 GB total) is used for this video process


System requirements

- OS Windows 7 or higher
- NVIDIA GPUs with at least 2 GB of VRAM and compute capability of 2 or higher.
- GPUs with at least 3 GBs are recommended.
- Latest GPU drivers are recommended.
- Main RAM with at least 4 GB (8 or 16GB are recommended).
- Cinema 4D R16-R17

Features of CentiLeo for Cinema 4D plugin

Geometry
1) Out-of-core geometry meshes (even hundreds millions polygons) with GPU acceleration and without GPU memory limits.
2) Adaptive on-the-fly displacement mapping with pixel precision.
3) Fast support of dynamic meshes at scene load time and during modeling with opened CentiLeo IPR window.
4) Native Cinema 4D instancing accounting on-the-fly.

Light transport (GI) solver
1) Noise-driven path tracer which accelerates rendering noisier image parts when other parts are already clean.
2) Metropolis lighting solver with firefly killer option which can improve over the path tracer for some complex lighting situations, however it is not always better than the path tracer.
Textures
1) Out-of-core and out-of-CPU RAM textures with GPU acceleration. This means that sometimes the textures may not fit even CPU memory and this case is handled.
2) Up to 16K x 16K texture image files.
3) Up to 100K textures in the scene.
4) Texture file reader is currently based on FreeImage library (http://freeimage.sourceforge.net/). All inherited limitations like the lack of certain formats will be resolved soon.

Materials and Shaders
1) CentiLeo Standard material (cntlStdMat) with 2 reflection lobes (also anisotropic), 3 SSS layers, diffuse layer and transmission layer, 2 bump map slots (global and reflection only). 30 properties overall, shaders can be applied to everything.
2) CentiLeo Multi Material (cntlMultiMat) which can combine up to 10 cntlStdMats.
3) Multi Material has displacement mapping and geometry mask slots.
4) Currently only own CentiLeo shaders are supported:
a. cntlTexture (Bitmap, file with image)
b. cntlNoise (procedural noise)
c. cntlHDRI (used for environmental maps)
d. cntlConst (for arbitrary values)
e. cntlTriplanar (implements triplanar UV projection)
f. cntlFalloff (mixes two shaders based on IOR falloff)
g. cntlColorCorrection (edits the color output of another shader)
h. cntlBlend (mixes two shaders with a shadered blend)
i. cntlBinary (performs binary basic math operation on 2 shaders like add, mul, sub, div, pow, min, max)
j. Substantially more shaders will be added in this list with special priority to Dirt, Carpaint, Gradient, Multi-Texture and more Noise types and 3rd party shaders.

Light sources
1) Basic Area, Directional, Spot and Point (spherical) light types are supported as objects.
2) Options of lights visibility for certain material layers.
3) Option to select the light pass id for certain light source.
4) Environment mapping can be enabled in CentiLeo Renderer settings for different material layers.
AOVs for compositing
1) Support for rendering up to 8 light passes which are rendered in parallel with Beauty image. These can be saved as separate image layers for further manipulation in compositing tools.

Camera
1) Only perspective camera view is currently supported
2) Depth of Field controls with sensor width, focus distance, number of blades and blade angle.
3) Motion blur is yet to be done (after Hair and Fur).

Interactive Preview Render
1) Same scene rendering as production mode.
2) Interactive reaction to camera motion
3) Interactive reaction to geometry mesh edits
4) Interactive reaction to object motion/rotation and etc.
5) Correct recognition of Cinema 4D hierarchical geometry instances and objects on the fly while modeling
6) Interactive reaction to lights/environment/materials/shaders edits.
7) Switch on/off reaction to mesh edits
Switch on/off per frame retesselation if displacement mapping is present
9) Selector of auto-focus point on the screen

Limitations
1) Up to 30 total ray bounces and up to 10 diffuse ray bounces.
2) Up to 16K textures
3) Up to 100K textures
4) Up to 2M instances of meshes in one scene
5) NVIDIA only GPUs with compute capability 2.0 and higher and at least 2 GBs of device memory (however we recommend 3 and more GB of memory).
6) Windows only version of Cinema 4D is currently supported.

Features in TODO list

1) Multi-GPU support
2) Further light transport render math improvement
3) ForestPack/RailClone
4) Multiscatter
5) Full motion-blur
6) Hair and Fur
7) Further displacement mapping improvement
8) More AOVs (more beauty, info and mask with more customization)
9) Post production Glare, Bloom and Flare, LUTs
10) Many explicit mesh UV sets
11) More procedural UV sets
12) Dirt, special carpaint, gradient, multi-texture, more noise types and other shaders
13) More photography camera options
14) Mesh lights with emission texture
15) Include/Exclude lists for lights and objects
16) IES lights
17) Shadow catcher
18) Procedural Sky system
19) Volumetrics
20) Proxy meshes
21) Support CentiLeo textures display in viewport
22) Support most common Cinema 4D and 3rd party materials, lights and maps as direct translation and conversion to CentiLeo analogues
23) Utility light lister
24) Utility texture cache upfront creation
25) Utility of production rendering for prepared scene outside of Cinema 4D
26) And more features, connections with 3rd party plugins and popular data formats improving the renderer

Known issues to be solved soon:

1) No yet multi-GPU (started working)
2) No yet support for Pascal GPUs (like GTX 1080). All we need is to transit to CUDA 8
3) May not initialize if AMD GPU is in your computer together with NVIDIA GPU.
4) Very limited scene converter tool from other renderers (only diffuse property and textures from standard C4D material)
5) Black material previews when IPR mode is not running

Have fun!
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
spent few minutes with this alpha, here are some thoughts:
  1. too complex material editing system
  2. sometimes c4d viewport start to lag (i think due to IPR)
  3. ipr now is not dockable
Overall: after simple and very handy Cinema`s / Octane`s material editors CentiLeo makes me confused. PDF instruction helps a bit, but without it i cann`t find material system "user friendly"

i think this might be the main "beginner`s" problem.

maybe for advanced max/maya (arnold, vray) users it is easy to understand how to create materials, but for beginners or people who used to have more clear naming of parametrs (like color, reflection, refraction, opacity etc) it will not be so understanable.

UI now is not handy.
Edited: Alexey Brin - 26.08.2016 16:03:25
 
Hi Alexey, Thanks for reply! Shading system is under development, it needs polishing, copy/paste between different mats and needs node based GUI for shader network too. This is priority together with more shader operations.

Quote
Alexey Brin wrote:
but for beginners or people who used to have more clear naming of parametrs (like color, reflection, refraction, opacity etc) it will not be so understanable.
Naming of which params do you ask? We name them with these names, except using Transmission instead of Refraction because our Transmission can be either refraction or trivial opacity (with IOR=1)

As for dockable IPR - you are perfectly right, this is a good opportunity in C4D to do it unlike in Max.
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
Quote
Naming of which params do you ask? We name them with these names, except using Transmission instead of Refraction because our Transmission can be either refraction or trivial opacity (with IOR=1)
the overal naming is a bit confusing, the structure of material is not intuitive when you first open it

compare with simplicity of octane and cinema 4d -> https://yadi.sk/i/ptXdDqGuuX7oj
 
After some testing here's a quick list of essential stuff that is missing (besides general stability).
- Render region - single most important thing missing.
- Per-camera dof settings. (Usually it's implemented via camera tag) Post render settings in tag would be handy too.
- Dynamic resolution with a lock button in liveviewer (in octane image conforms to the windows' size and locks render resolution with a special button)
- Physical sun&sky.

Material system is pretty confusing at the moment. I'd suggest to get more familiar with native shader building logic and try to get closer to that. Usually shaders are placed into standard slots and you get inside in one click, rather than 2 now. Both octane and vray are pretty well integrated into that system and it works great.

Also here's a little bug report.
When there's a shader effector in the scene - iterations are constantly interrupted thus render is stuck at 1-2 iterations and doesn't go further.
Scene file: https://yadi.sk/d/RMHV8NP0uX9Kc
 
Alexey,

What would you say by midnight if you started using Octane today too? It's easy to say that something is userfriendly even if it's old used Dos command line.

For example, Octane material has tabs from left to right: Diffuse, Specular, Roughness, Film, Displacement, Opacity, Index... They are completely chaotic. For example, which layer among Specular, Diffuse, Roughness or Film evaluate the lighting first? You know and I also know because we opened it years ago to learn how it works. But for unprepared person it is unclear without docs, tutorials and years of propaganda where is Roughness, it can be done for Specular or Diffuse or both. It's simply unclear. And why Diffuse goes before Specular even if Specular is executed first because it is the tint over diffuse

Can you tell where is Octane's anisotropy property? It can strech the highlights and they should be rotated too. It should be near the roughness or gloss prop. But there is no one.

Instead, in our system we tried to organize material layers such that those with the highest priority go first (from top to bottom or from left to right). And there things such as IOR (using Falloff shader) or Roughness propery can be applied to each distinct layer to make some artistic look or make carpaint or whatever you image.

And also look at Octane's multi-material (2 slots) and our multi-material (up to 10 slots). I know it is possible to connect many Octane mix materials with mix of the mix of the mix.
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
Quote
D K wrote:
- Render region - single most important thing missing.
- Per-camera dof settings. (Usually it's implemented via camera tag) Post render settings in tag would be handy too.
- Dynamic resolution with a lock button in liveviewer (in octane image conforms to the windows' size and locks render resolution with a special button)
- Physical sun&sky.

Hi D K, thanks for report! Btw, we have region render when you select render region in the same menu as picture viewer then you can draw one or more region renders. I did it last night when was also confused without it :)

Image resolution - it is controlled by the resolution specified in Render Settings -> Output as in Cinema standard renderers. However, if render settings are not applied at all then by default it is fixed at 800x600. But you can change it realtime in that Output menu.

As for per camera dof and physical sky then it's a must have of course. Well be done alongside motion blur.

Quote
D K wrote:
Also here's a little bug report.
When there's a shader effector in the scene - iterations are constantly interrupted thus render is stuck at 1-2 iterations and doesn't go further.
I have also reproduced with after-publish tests about this stupid bug. For example when Sun expression tag is applied to Infinite light then it always restarts. But it can be unlocked if you uncheck "Set Light Color" flag (or something similar may work with other expressions). We will solve it.

Alexey and D K, please can you cocretize more about better material organization. Let's improve it. I know, our's is not complete, for example there is a bug that materials have black preview when IPR is not running and that there is no normal copy/paste of shaders among different materials. In general we want to make these basic things and also we want visual node based shaders GUI like Slate in 3ds max or like Arnold or Octane have in C4D. This node based GUI mode will take quite some time to implement.
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
Sure, I'll try to elaborate on shader system later this or next week. Node based GUI would be great, too bad it's that time consuming.
 
Quote
D K wrote:
Sure, I'll try to elaborate on shader system later this or next week. Node based GUI would be great, too bad it's that time consuming.
D K, thanks a lot for your participation!
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
Quote
For example, Octane material has tabs fr om left to right: Diffuse, Specular, Roughness, Film, Displacement, Opacity, Index... They are completely chaotic. For example, which layer among Specular, Diffuse, Roughness or Film evaluate the lighting first? You know and I also know because we opened it years ago to learn how it works. But for unprepared person it is unclear without docs, tutorials and years of propaganda wh ere is Roughness, it can be done for Specular or Diffuse or both. It's simply unclear. And why Diffuse goes before Specular even if Specular is executed first because it is the tint over diffuse
you`re talking about engine questions, for me as a designer that`s not neccecery to know. as i designer i have to load proper textures for roughness, bump, difuse and etc. how it workds — that`s the last thing i`m thinking about. i`m not an engineer or programmer. i do understand that you try to advocate your product but you asked for feedback, here is a feedback.

as i wrote: advanced users will investigate your render, but i know that a lot of people who will prefer clear and simple (=as for a child) interface instead of proper engine working sytem with a bit more complex material structure.

octane has its cons (anisotropy, mix material, no blending modes except multiply and others, you are right), but now we are talking about your product. And you know that if it outperforms Octane with speed and functionality and provides similiar clarity and simplicity you`ll win =)
 
Alexey, thanks for your feedback! After doing some harder programming things in the past for this engine right now it's much easier to work on UIs. So, developers are all yours and will listen to the needs :)

What shader/textures are used most often? I guess it's Bitmap and Falloff.

What do you think about SSS? By design it's always near diffuse and they can be weighted inside a single base layer.
CentiLeo 0.521 for Cinema: http://centileo.com/forum/forum19/132

CentiLeo 0.521 for 3ds Max: http://centileo.com/forum/forum17/134

Subscribe to updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/centileo/
 
you are totally right that knowing engine may help you with UI, and i hope we`ll get improve in it.

i`m not a UI designer or programmer so it`s hard for me to explore that field, but i can provide feedback on a software as a user. So i`ll be waiting for a new stuff to check it.

Thank you for the fast reply!
 
Hi Alexey, thanks for your feedback, this is a contribution we are looking for. And right, we need user point of view. As for programming then we consult with Maxon directly.

Fast replies - is important job as well as improving the product.
 
Good news, one user reported that binary of CentiLeo library compiled for R17 also works for today released R18! Just copy from R17 folder to the similar copy of R18
 
Quote
Sami Timkala wrote:
Good news , one user reported that binary of CentiLeo library compiled for R17 also works for today released R18! Just copy from R17 folder to the similar copy of R18

Yes, accordingly to Maxon, all R17 plugins are supported in R18.
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