New in Cinema 4D R20: Easily Work with Millions of Clones using MoGraph Multi-Instances

Photo of Cineversity

Instructor Cineversity

Share this video
  • Duration: 06:34
  • Views: 1643
  • Made with Release: 20
  • Works with Release: 20 and greater

Vastly improved MoGraph performance and viewport display options

C4D’s MoGraph tools make it easy to create lots of objects and the new Multi-Instances feature makes it easier to manage them. With Multi-Instances, your cloned objects are handled more efficiently and you get drastically better performance in the viewport. Speed things up even more by simplifying the display of each clone to its bounding box, matrix box or axis point. Multi-Instances even support MoGraph Color!



Cinema 4D's Cloner makes it really easy to populate your animations with lots of objects, and now in Release 20 it's easier than ever to work with all those objects in Cinema 4D's view thanks to the new Multi Instance mode. Here I have a scene with 400 lollipops and the default instance mode, which is typical of previous versions of Cinema 4D. And you can see that it navigates pretty slowly and then it drops into bounding box - it's really not ideal. If I activate the new Multi Instance mode you'll see that I can very smoothly and fluidly navigate around this scene. And this of course is just 400 clones - I can really easily represent this with the full object but the other great thing about the Multi Instance mode is it gives us easy control over the viewport representation of the clones. So as my clone count increases I can really easily drop the representation of the clones down to a simple bounding box or maybe a matrix cube or a single point. Or I can even turn the representation in the viewport off entirely and yet still when I render I'm going to get all of the clones exactly where they're supposed to be. Now of course the benefit of Multi Instances is going to be magnified as we increase the clone count, so I'm going to go ahead and turn the object representation back on for these lollipops and I'm going to turn on the jellybeans that populate the floor of this scene. I have 120,000 jellybeans scattered across the floor and you can see that I'm using that points mode so that I can still get very fast and fluid navigation around this scene. In fact I only needed 120,000 jellybeans in this case, but I can increase this count quite a bit. Let's set this to a million. It's going to take Cinema 4D a second to actually generate all of those clones. It also has to figure out the random position, scale, rotation and color for each of the jellybeans. As soon as it's done we'll see all of the additional points populate here in the scene and you'll see that I can still navigate very, very fast and fluidly around this scene. Let's go back to 120,000 because that's all I needed for this scene and I also want to point out that MoGraph color is fully supported so the OpenGL points here are showing me the color that's going to be applied to each of the jelly beans so that again when I hit render all of those points are going to be replaced seamlessly with a jelly bean that's exactly the random color that MoGraph has given to each of those jelly beans. Now when we render you're also going to notice that Multi Instances uses much less RAM and also the preparing time is much shorter because of the way the objects are represented internally. As a matter of fact let's switch to a simpler scene to take a closer look at how Cinema 4D is achieving this magic. And here I have three cloners that are set up identically with five lollipops. The only difference is that this first Cloner is using the Instance mode, the second is using the Render Instances mode and the last one is using the new Multi Instance mode. I'm going to select all of these and hit the C key to make them editable - that's basically going to show us what Cinema 4D is seeing under the hood. And here in instance mode you can see that we get the complete hierarchy for each of the clones. So here we have five lollipops and it's like 40 objects in order to represent those five lollipops. And even then some of these objects have to be recalculated because they're lathes or generators or displacement so you can see how this can start to slow down quickly. Things get better when we use render instances because we just have a single representation of the full hierarchy and then we're using an instance object to represent each of the individual clones. Still though when you think about cloners with 500 or a thousand or a million clones we're having to create 999,999 instance objects in order to represent these lollipops. When we drop into multi instance mode you'll see where the power comes in. Here we have a single representation of the object hierarchy and a single instance object. So this instance object is internally storing the position, the scale, the rotation and the color for each of our clones. Now all of those values are being stored internal to the instance object but we can also override them here in the instance object with this position source option so I can add a MoGraph Matrix object and drag that into this position source, and you'll see that those lollipops will be cloned everywhere where one of those matrix points exists. And you can see that we still have all of that control over the representation of each of the clones. By far though the easiest and simplest way to tap into all of the power of the Multi Instances is simply to make sure that the Multi Instance mode is enabled within the Cloner object - it isn't by default for compatibility. The instance mode is the default mode and that's because the Multi Instance mode can't support dynamics and it also can't support individual deformation or animation to each clone. Basically it's the same limitations that you have with render instances except with the additional one that you can't use dynamics. But in the cases that you can use Multi Instances - and they are many - you will enjoy some fantastic performance benefits. So once you get your hands on Cinema 4D Release 20, turn on the Multi Instance mode and you can feel like a kid in a candy store - please like and share this video and make sure to check out our complete playlist of Release 20 videos at
Resume Auto-Scroll?