Cinema 4D allows you to create stunning, immersive 3D worlds for everything from blockbuster films to flagship video game titles. However, when it comes to collaborating with your fellow video editors, many of whom are spread out across the city (or even across the globe), the experience can feel far less than immersive.
Trying to review projects together when your team is working at a distance can be a huge headache. In most cases, it requires you to export draft after draft, email it to everyone, and then spend the next several days gathering feedback and trying to make sense of all the different sets of notes that come back.
Ideally, the best way to eliminate this frustrating process is to live-stream your editing sessions with all your co-collaborators present. And the first platform that comes to most people’s minds for group video conferencing is Zoom.
But can you really stream a robust platform like Cinema 4D over a program like Zoom?
What’s the problem with streaming Cinema 4D over Zoom?
Cinema 4D demands a significant amount of CPU power, which becomes an immediate problem to streaming over Zoom. Zoom itself demands a significant amount of processing power, and it’s usually impossible to run it simultaneously with other CPU-hogging programs.
Zoom has put a lot of effort into ensuring that its platform doesn’t crash, even when balancing dozens of participants in a single call. This means that when Zoom has to compete for resources against programs like Cinema 4D, it will attempt to balance the load by downgrading the quality of the stream on one or both ends. This can mean a loss of stream quality but can also lead to other issues like video latency and, despite their best efforts, application crashes.
Of course, the biggest benefit of streaming your Cinema 4D workspace over Zoom is it’s a common program that everyone has already downloaded and learned how to use. Because of that, it still seems worthwhile to see if any workarounds will allow you to stream your Cinema 4D session over Zoom.
A few common workarounds to stream Cinema 4D over Zoom:
So far, we’ve found three possible workarounds that will allow you to stream your Cinema 4D workspace over Zoom. Most of them will require at least one additional piece of software, and some require other hardware as well.
Solution #1: Two CPUs, an NDI, and OBS:
This solution requires:
- Two separate screens
- Two separate CPUs (for best performance)
- A broadcasting program like OBS (Open Broadcasting Software)
- An NDI (Network Device Interface)
This workaround will require you to download an NDI to the system running Cinema 4D and download OBS to the system running Zoom. Once both these programs are in place, open Cinema 4D and your NDI and use the NDI to broadcast a feed of your screen.
On the other system, open OBS, locate the NDI stream, and set it as your video source. You should now see a live broadcast of your Cinema 4D workspace.
The last step is to open Zoom and set your camera as the feed from OBS. This will allow you to broadcast your workspace to meeting participants over Zoom as if it were your webcam.
This workaround allows you to broadcast your workspace, but you could still experience quality issues.
Create together remotely, in real time
Solution #2: A capture card
If you have two separate systems and don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up an NDI, you can purchase a capture card that can receive the signal from one system and broadcast it to a second.
This solution requires:
- Two separate screens
- Two separate CPUs
- A broadcasting program like OBS
- A capture card (an external device that you can use to route an AV signal from one device to another via USB/HDMI)
For this workaround, first set up your capture card. Do this by plugging your capture card into the system running Cinema 4D using an HDMI cable. Then run the signal back out to the system running Zoom using a second cable. You’ll still need to download OBS to receive the signal and broadcast it to Zoom, which you can do following the final step above.
A big disadvantage to this is cost and mobility. Capture cards can be expensive, and this setup will require you to have enough physical space to wire everything together and still actively edit and mix.
Solution #3: A second webcam
If you don’t feel like learning the ins and outs of installing, connecting, and streaming an NDI feed, don’t want to use OBS, and don’t want to shell out big bucks for an expensive capture card, you can use this lower-tech workaround.
This solution requires:
- Two screens
- One CPU
- Two webcams (one webcam can be the webcam built-in to your monitor if you have one)
- OBS (optional)
First, get an external webcam, point it at the screen running Cinema 4D, then stream the webcam feed to Zoom as your video input. This will solve some of the Zoom downgrade issues, as most webcams stream in 1080p.
But keep in mind: the video quality of a webcam pointed at a screen…well…it may not be the HD experience you may be looking for. When you’re working with highly detailed assets, this lower-quality hack will not be able to pick up on those small details.
Also, you won’t be able to stream your face simultaneously unless you run both webcams through OBS first to combine them into a single video feed.
All of these workarounds will technically work. Your collaborators will get at least the live video feed from your editing session and be able to comment as you make changes. However, neither system provides a perfect, low-latency, HD stream of your workstation that you can rely on 100% to deliver a seamless streaming experience.
If you want a truly seamless experience, you’ll need a purpose-built system for creative teams and their HD workspaces. Thankfully, there is a platform built specifically for your needs: Evercast.
Streaming Cinema 4D with Evercast
The developers at Evercast set out to recreate the feeling of a live editing session in the editing suite for any teams who are working remotely. The platform is purpose-built to make streaming professional modeling and animation software like Cinema 4D easy for everyone.
Evercast allows you to stream your workspace in full HD with ultra-low latency (less than 150ms on average). This low latency is as close to natural conversation and editing as you can get. In addition to chatting in real-time, on-screen annotation and timestamped notes allow each participant to add their two cents while keeping everything organized.
And for your less tech-savvy participants, they’ll be relieved to know that they don’t have to download any additional software to participate in an Evercast collaboration session. All they have to do is follow the link you provide, and they can join from any device, anywhere in the world.
Level up your remote video editing workflow and bring your team closer together: check out Evercast.