I’ve been doing a lot of Cinema 4D design lately, so I keep using shortcuts to getting faster renders. I thought I’d share some tips as to how to get your computer to crank out your projects a little faster and save some of that precious, precious time.
1. Reduce the resolution of your render.
Duh. I tend to always want to see my renders at full resolution, but whenever you don’t need to see the fine details, chop your resolution by 1/2 and save some time.
2. Turn off elements that aren’t in the scene.
It’s a good idea to toggle the on and off the visibility of your scene elements depending on when they are in the frame. If an object doesn’t appear for the first 3 seconds, there isn’t really a point to having this item rendered in the beginning of your timeline. Same goes for things that exit the frame, if it no longer appears, you might as well tell Cinema 4D not to render it.
3. Don’t use reflections, transparency, shadows, and global illumination unless you have to
These are all render hogs. Make sure you absolutely love the reflection and transparency effects on your material, because if you don’t, they are going to waste your time in the rendering. Make sure that if you use global illumination, you are actually getting your money’s worth. Take 2 screen shots, one with global illumination ann one without. Sometimes the difference is negligible and not worth the extra render time. You can also turn down some of the quality settings in the global illumination panel, test it out with screen shots and see if you notice any difference in quality versus how long it takes to render.
4. Leave Anti-aliasing on Geometry unless you have more advanced looking effects like reflections in your scene
Once again, do a screen shot test to see if having it set to best or geometry is actually doing you any good. If it doesn’t make a difference, don’t bother with it.
5. If you are working on animations, timings, and camera moves, keep your scene simple
If you are trying to get a exact camera movement or an animation to fill the frame just right, then turn off anything that will slow the render down. You don’t need materials and lights or anything else slowing down the render if you are simply positioning elements or keyframes.
6. Try adding motion blur and depth of field in After Effects instead of in Cinema 4D
I hate these effects in Cinema 4D. Object motion blur is weak and scene motion blur makes your renders take forever with all those samples. Think ahead if you can just add the blur in After Effects to one particular item. Render it separately or with an object buffer. Same goes with depth of field.
7. Render your scene in pieces
If you need something render-intensive like that scene motion blur, perhaps for a camera shake effect, then only render that piece with the scene motion blur. Select the frame range in the render settings that only require the blur, and turn it off to render the other parts. If you save multiple copies of your project, but set the render settings to render it in different pieces with different effects, you can use batch render to load and render these project consecutively. So you load the multiple projects with the different frame ranges as a batch, hit render, walk away and eat a sandwich.
Sometimes rendering can be delicious.
So those are just some tips I’m throwing out there. If you have any others, leave them in a comment below so we can all learn some more.
I recently stumbled upon a useful tool in Cinema 4D on how to keep cameras (or any object for that matter) locked in the same position.Quite often I mistakenly moved my camera in the viewer window, and Cinema 4D doesn’t allow you to revert back to the view you just had, so essentially your perhaps perfect camera angle is gone. One solution was to add only one set of keyframes to the position values at a specific frame. But their has to be another way….
And there is. I stumbled upon the “Protection” tag in the Cinema 4D tags menu.
So in the Object Manager ->Tags -> Cinema 4D Tags -> Protection. It will lock the position and rotation of your camera, or any other object, but not the more specific object settings.