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Not-so-Final Quality Renderworks

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1 hour ago, Shortnort said:

but there is NOTHING THERE


Usually when nothing is there it is geometry sub Z 0,00,

which will just be occluded by TM's default ground plane at Z 0,00.


You can delete that default ground plane and check if your geometry

was below or is really not there.

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I think click to select and DEL or BACKSPACE.


But maybe you do not need delete it.

When Selected you can set it temporarily to invisible in object browser

or just move it downwards.


But if you check object browser,

you should already if your VW data came in or not.


I read you already see the data in manager, but not on screen.

And if I got that right your DTM should be at a positive Z height ....


Then it might be a different problem.

Not sure if I ever exported a VW DTM to TM so far.

Edited by zoomer
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@frv Just a quick inquiry. Are you by chance using an app called GrassKit within C4d to create some of your grass, flowers, etc?

I use C4d with Redshift, and that add-on app called GrassKit is pretty cool.  It very quickly adds items like 3d grass, wildflowers, rocks, etc in HUGE quantities in seconds, without adding much to a file size.

Another app I use is called 'SurfaceSpread. Sort of does the same thing but with trees, plants, bushes, etc, etc of your choice, and scatters them to your liking. Works a bit like C4d Mograph Cloner, but with many more adjustable features.

Both these apps work within c4d.

Perhaps check it out...unless you have other apps that can procure the same sort of results...which I glean that you may 🙂

Here is an exterior rendering using both of those apps I mentioned. Not to take anything at all away from VW Rendering, but as you mentioned, VW would be hard-pressed to render something like this in under 15 minutes.

Just sayin...





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3 hours ago, VIRTUALENVIRONS said:

When I need to populate something in C4D, I use Mograph.


I think Mograph is ok.


But that was reserved for decades for a C4D Studio or that other Version.

It was not available for base C4D or Architecture.


Therefore there happened some alternatives like surface spread.

Maybe even easier to use in our non motion graphic usage.


But since there C4D is only available as the full package,

it may not always be worth to use one of the alternative replicators.

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@Kevin K

I use Chaos Scatter that comes Coronarender. Works a bit like Spreadsheet. I have all Laubwerk libraries and Surface Spread 2. But since Graswald and Maxtree trees/assets are so much better I have acquired many of their libraries and scatter their assets with Chaos Scatter now. A lot easier. Grass with Graswald assets. For vegetation I think Maxtree and Graswald are the best if you want the ultimate photoreal images.

One of the reasons for me to use Coronarender is all the assets you get as well with a Coronarender subscription through Chaos Cosmos like cars, people, vegetation etc. and a lot of materials/textures. Redshift is going the same way now so I might switch to Redshift which is faster in C4D. I have no clue why redshift is so slow in a VW viewport. In C4D it's really fast. Renders in seconds really.


I just got the sedum library from Maxtree (for vegetation roofs) and did a quick test, see attachment. Scatter assets with Chaos Scatter using noise maps to create patterns with the different colours and hight.


Screenshot 2023-11-27 at 13.32.29.png

Edited by frv
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Thanks Kevin, I did use Frog for a while as well.

Maxtree has fantastic vegetation. Only their libraries are a bit messy. Often assets found in one volume are the same as in other volumes. Wish Maxtree would gather types of vegetation instead of all these weird mixes. Maxtree is very high polygon though. With Redshift most likely not a huge problem.

If VW rendered as fast as C4D/Redshift it would still be hard since VW can't handle lots of high poly geometry. The sedum roof image above is 1.24Gb in C4D. VW would crash.

I hope Unreal will be an option in the near future. All Maxtree libraries are already converted to Unreal (and Redshift). So my investment in Maxtree will be good for a while.

Here are the links for vegetation I mentioned.:



Edited by frv
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1 hour ago, Kevin K said:

reason I use Redshift with C4d, because it renders so fast.  Sadly, that doesn’t translate with the Redshift version in VW. Maybe someday 🙂



I am a bit confused about what Redshift actually is, when you use it inside VW.


When it was introduced it was presented as something that might improve the rendering experience. But it didn't take me long to try it a few times and realise it just took loads longer than regular renderworks & didn't seem to provide a better output.


So is it that it basically doesn't work as it's supposed to, and we just don't speak about it? Or is it that its intended purpose is something I don't understand?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello @line-weight and others:

We are changing some of the settings we use for Redshift renderings, that will improve performance in a future update.  The current Redshift performance in Vectorworks is often slower than the Renderworks render modes that are not using Redshift.  This will change. 

Maxon is committed to Redshift as its built-in rendering for C4D, and we are committed to Redshift as the built-in presentation rendering for Vectorworks.  This is a transition, where over time it will be more obvious that Redshift is the best choice for final rendering quality and speed.  We are updating both Cineware and Redshift to the latest versions available to us for each Vectorworks release.  This helps you get compatibility with Sonoma and M3 sooner.

We have work to do in Redshift performance, texture data and UI, and lighting consistency of data and results between the various render modes.  And landscape rendering workflows and results too as you mention here.

Thanks for the information!



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@frv, @line-weight

frv, thanks for the links and comments.


line-weight, hahahaha...yeah...best not to speak about it!  🙂 No, the VW version of Redshift isn't apples for apples compared to the full version of Redshift in C4d. I am sure there are a myriad or reasons why that is. You can do some online research regarding Redshift (which is produced by Maxon, btw), but basically it is a REALLY fast rendering engine and uses a node based system for creating really high end materials / textures. So, that is one area, I believe, that the VW  version of Redshift can't reproduce...at this time, anyway and for whatever reason, as @frv noted, it is a bit of a mystery why the VW version doesn't more of less match the rendering speed of the C4d version. It remains a mystery 🙂

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Thanks Dave. Great to read that Redshift will be updated in the near future and so much faster.


In general though I think that for rendering VW will most likely never be the ultimate solution. It's an engineering application. Geometry in VW carries far more (BIM) data than for example C4D. So I doubt it is a good plan to add millions of polygons for vegetation inside VW. Even with proxies things become slow to work with. 

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@line-weightI know this is beating the dead horse....so I apologize.

Bet you are sorry you asked 🙂

But....to get into the weeds for you a bit, here is a simple c4d Redshift rendering of an area of 50 ft x 50 ft, with 10,000 clumps of wild grass, 400 generic wildflowers and a few shrubs....Basic low resolution for this example, but you get the gist.

File size : 5 megs

Redshift Render: 5 minutes




.......and here is an example of the node based shader system for Redshift, for one of the materials:



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Just have to show off a little. First is a 10 min. render. Second image 50 sec. render.

636064 placed symbols or as they are named in C4D instances for grass, flowers, leaves, daisy's, clover etc.

I can actually render this more or less in real time in C4D using a Mac Studio. File is about 15Mb. All assets Graswald.

All ground cover is generated by Chaos Scatter based on noise patterns set by me. Size of the terrain is 15x15m. The size does not matter all that much though. 50x50m would render in about the same time.


I also tested Redshift but I think its not really faster or maybe slower to set up the way I would like an image or render to look.

Screenshot 2023-11-28 at 18.21.17.jpeg

Screenshot 2023-11-28 at 18.28.11.jpeg

Edited by frv
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And the final render. Straight from C4D/Coronarender without any postprocing.

If I want this field of grass again in a VW project all I have to do is draw a 3D polygon in Vectorworks and export it along with a model of a building and import it in C4D. Then in C4D I just assign the 3D polygon to the Chaos Scatter elements. You can do that in one click. That's it. Chaos Scatter takes care of the rest. I can still switch off leaves or flowers at will.

Even better would be to draw all fields, roads and so on in C4D since it's so much easier to do so in C4D than in VW. Especially curved surfaces in VW can become messy and a hassle where in C4D its super easy.


I think I stole the thread. I hope though for those wondering how to upgrade your work with great images you will experiment outside Vectorworks, an application wholly unsuitable for rendering but great for engineering and design.

In the near future things will become even much more interactive, have a look at this:


test gras final.jpg

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If you edited that 3d polygon in the VW model, then you'd re-export that polygon by itself to C4D, is that right, and then replace the previous version with the new one? And would you need to re-assign the noise pattern that determines the scatter, or is it all more automated than that?


Say I had planted (in C4D) a small shrub somewhere on that surface, in a particular XYZ location. If my new version of the 3d polygon had a different Z value where I want the shrub to be, would I have to manually move the shrub to the right height or would that be an automatic process?

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You can do a merge in C4D with only the polygon and things will be automatic from there on. If you planted the shrub in relation to the polygon the hight is automatically adjust.

I would say that import / export stuff and updating iterations from VW to C4D is a non-issue and a negligable part of the workflow.


I would say however there is a little learning curve before you know where menu's and commands are located. But it's never difficult if you use C4D just to render VW models with Redshift or Coronarender.

Something else is mastering image making in general in terms of lighting, composite and materials.  If that does not have your deep  interest then even with the best tools the image will never be captivating.

Edited by frv
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Yes, Mograph is a great tool and is part of C4D 2024. C4D is now a Allin package and no longer available without Mograph. I think Chaos Scatter is basicly Mograph with a UI geared to rendering with Corona. Chaos Scatter is easier and more straight forward to use than Mograph.

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14 hours ago, frv said:

Chaos Scatter

Unfortunately I haven't a clue what Chaos Scatter is.  Wish I did.

Thought you might be interested is this.  I am not an architect or landscape designer, but have been drawn into both worlds during my career.

I am/was primarily a movie animator.  Below is a sequence that I needed 15000 trees to fly this jet over.   I used Mograph.   Pulled a Carboard tree out of C4D and applied a look at camera tag.  Then I cloned 15000 trees.  I was using a 2019 iMac so I could not even rotate the file in full clone, but it worked fine in animation mode.



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Thanks Virtualenviron, great animation on an iMac.

Chaos Scatter is basicly the same as Mograph. But then with some functionality without the need for effectors. Chaos Scatter just scatters assets along a spline, within a volume or on a surface with all sorts of parameters,


If your interest is animation go or Unreal Engine. Incredible what you can do these days with a 4000€ PC and free software : https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/spotlights/depicting-dogfights-how-real-time-rendering-helped-an-indian-fighter-jet-series-take-off

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