Maxon Computer yesterday announced Cinema 4D 8.0 at the graphics-arts event, Siggraph 2002.

The latest release is built on an integrated modular system, so users can utilise only those parts of the application they wish to use.

The modular system begins with a low-cost entry package, Cinema 4D R8. Also available are modules to increase the production capability of the parent application. Initially, seven modules will be made available: Advanced Render; Thinking Particles; PyroCluster; MOCCA (character animation); Net Render; Dynamics; and BodyPaint 3D. These will be released separately, as well as part of two special package releases – the XL and Studio bundles.

The application has seen a number of enhancements in its ability to model, animate, and render. Workflow has also been improved in this release.

Maxon has introduced new F-Curves in this release, that the company claims “provide total control over time and space in a way that makes the accurate control of movement and timing easier than before".

Thinking Particles is an event-based particle system with its own built-in intelligence that creates big-screen visual effects. Other improvements include better control over moving objects, an easier-to-master user interface, and up to 30 per cent faster rendering than before.

Marco Tillmann, Maxon's product manager, said: “Cinema 4D 8.0 offers the best workflow ever of any major 3D animation tool. Now anyone can animate without ever looking at a time line, program behaviours without having to write any code. Even single users with little or no previous experience of 3D can achieve visual effects of big-screen quality with unprecedented speed."

The Mac OS X/9.x-compatible product ships in autumn. The basic flavour costs £390, while the XL bundle is £1,105. Maxon's Studio bundle, which contains all its 3D applications, is £1,658. (All prices exclude VAT).