Its Siggraph time, so that means a new release of Cinema 4D. Well at least year Maxon have a great intro video from Aixsponza, (I would love to know what the renderer was;).
There is the typical raft of new features, the spline tool updates look especially nice and the take system is reminiscent of the the render pass system of MODO, but works with animation and network rendering in the typical no nonsense MAxon way. Also the new content libraries look like fun.
While new features are always nice, what will worry a lot of users is that this still feels like Maxon is tinkering at the edges of the Cinema 4D 'problems', particularly Object List and UI slow down, which when playing with Maya 2016 makes this C4D user weep.
The cost of ownership shows no sign of changing, and neither does the anitquated box model of shipping, which means that new features really do have to shine to make them standout from the competition or to get adopted by new users in an increasingly competitive market.
The anual release cycle also becomes tedious when compared to subscription modes of updates which means less anticipation for point releases and more chance to allow the developers to get on with optimising the application, which can be seen to excellent effect to the speed up in After Effects CC 2015.
Also the issue that C4D is only as good as it's plugins is becoming even more apparent, just because there is X-Particles exists and there is better integration with Houdini doesn't mean that it is ok to leave the existing particle and thinking particle system untouched for another year.
Also can we just call BodyPaint DOA now please!
Maxon will be fine, as will Cinema 4D but the apparent stubborness to engage with the users, new and old, means that this C4D user is for the first time in a few years pondering if renewing his MSA is actually worth it in 2015, not because Cinema 4D isn't a great application. it is!
Cinema 4D just happens to be owned by a company who dogmatically refuse to change with the industry which could be it's ultimate downfall!
UPDATE Thanks to jonmoore on The Foundry forums, but it turns out that Maxon is being at best disingenuous when using Seed by Aixsponza as a promotional piece for R17. Octane and Arnold where used for the rendering as Aixpsonza mention in their promo page for Seed, alongside other 3D applications such as Sotimage, MODO and ZBrush.
NEw buyers to C4D could be tempted by this video to think that this kind of work could be created in Cinema 4D with no extra software, which with a retail price of £2,600 would be a not unreasonable assumption.
Not even putting a caveat on the R17 page, is yet another very worrying example of Maxon not getting it and treating users with at best indifference.
A bit of exploring on the internet is that the general consensus amongst C4D users is that R17 is the weakest release for years, and it could be a landmark moment for the application, just not in a good way!