The True Costs of Cinema 4D and Blender

This list reflects the viewpoint of a 3D artist with over 15 years of experience in Cinema 4D, who is gradually exploring Blender with the goal of integrating it into daily workflow, striving to achieve a level of comfort in Blender without sacrificing the advantages offered by Cinema 4D.

Cost Summary: Cinema 4D vs. Blender

Cinema 4D Costs:

  • Annual Costs: Approximately $2382.50 for subscriptions, excluding perpetual rights for most products.

Blender Costs:

  • One-Time Costs: Essential addons for a comfortable workflow total $272. Additional enjoyable addons increase the total to around $913.10.

And now, here’s a detailed explanation of how I arrived at these prices.

The True Costs of Cinema 4D (Annual and One-Time Costs)

Annual Costs (Subscriptions):

  • Cinema + Redshift: $983
  • Greyscalegorilla: $468
  • Xparticles: $526.50
  • HDRI Light Studio: $220
  • Forester Maintenance: $125
  • Forester Expansion Pack 1 and 2: $60
  • Total annual (only for the duration of use): $2382.50

One-Time Costs:

  • Forester: $350
  • Forester Expansion Pack 1 and 2: $214
  • At year-end, the permanent possession: Only Forester and its Expansion Packs


  • For Cinema 4D, annual costs are subscriptions, without perpetual usage rights for most products at the end of the year.
  • Prices may vary for the European market.
  • Wherever possible, Indie licenses are preferred.

The True Costs of Blender (One-Time Costs)

Addons Important to Me:

  • J-Mograph Geometry ($29): Gives the feel of having MoGraph in Blender. Not as extensive, but quite good and sufficient for me.
  • Photographer ($22): Helps to set up the camera faster, make quick adjustments to alter the look, and set depth of field. It’s not magical, but makes work easier, giving a feel somewhat akin to working with Redshift’s renderview in C4D.
  • HDRI Maker ($69): A perfect replacement for my favorite plugin, “HDRI Link” from Greyscalegorilla. Even better than in C4D, with many HDRs included. Unfortunately, only available in C4D as an overpriced subscription.
  • Materializer ($35): A great plugin that significantly improves texture creation, surpassing C4D’s functionality. Creates automatic masks that I can easily control.
  • Clean Panels ($18): Essential for organizing plugins in Blender neatly, as handling many plugins in Blender can become cluttered.

Total for important addons: $272

These addons are crucial for working comfortably in Blender, enhancing the user experience and efficiency, and making Blender more comparable to Cinema 4D in certain aspects.

All Used Addons:

  • Light Wrangler ($19.50): Like C4D’s lighting tool but better.
  • Gobos Light Textures ($24.65): Offers textures for light sources with good resolution.
  • Geoscatter ($99): My replacement for Forester, with many plants included without extra costs.
  • Forestation ($66.75): Features scanned trees that look fantastic. Comparable to Laubwerk.
  • Flip Fluids ($76): Somewhat a replacement for XParticles, though with fewer functions.
  • Realtime Materials ($49): A quick aid for material creation, useful for fast materials without a subscription.
  • Extreme PBR ($89): Useful for quick material updates without extra costs.
  • Pivot Transform ($15): Handy for moving pivot points, a great tool.
  • Smart Fill ($3): Comparable to C4D’s bridge function, definitely worth it.
  • Kit Ops 2 Pro ($35): Fascinating for quick 3D model creation, particularly for kitbashing models, though used less frequently.
  • Grid Modeler ($20): Great for adding simple geometry into 3D models, not often used in daily routine.
  • Bend Face ($12): Useful for repositioning objects, not a daily tool but great to have.
  • OCD ($22.40): Good for making geometries look used, especially stones.
  • Random Flow ($15): Fascinating for adding fine details into simple geometries.
  • Serpens ($24): Used occasionally to expand Blender’s UI, more convenient than Python scripting.

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