This was done for a Greyscale Gorilla 5 second project challenge. Here's a link to it:
I love Rubiks cubes and was inspired by the "Nothing But Cubes" theme to see how I could use Cinema4D to model and texture a scrambled Rubik's Cube, break it apart and put it back together. I'm working off of a 2 core laptop, so because of speed more than anything else I used vray4C4D to render this out. In terms of quality, I think you get really excellent results from the Greyscale Gorilla HDRI Lightkit and C4D's materials. However, vray simply cannot be beat in terms of speed. It's orders of magnitude faster than either the Physical or Standard renderer in C4D and yields a very pretty result. This took 5 hours to render (including depth, Material ID, Specular and Shadow passes). Compositing was done in After Effects and audio work done in Premiere Pro.
The overall workflow was to first build the solved cube, then use plain effectors for each piece to rotate them into a scrambled position. The breaking apart was also done with a plain effector set at the center of the cube, which, by the way, was just a single piece cloned into a 3x3x3 grid. I set the falloff to a wide radius and just keyframed the weight to be able to expand it out and collapse it back in again.
I used a tracer object for the lines between the cubes. Since the tracer makes a single spline, I had to make it editable and break it apart into separate splines for each cube so that I could use Sweep Nurbs to make the splines draw on at the same time.
Depth of Field was achieved via a depth pass and Frischluft Lenscare, however I'm not really happy with how this part turned out. Because there are a number of objects passing in front of other objects, sometimes with quite a bit of lens blur, the depth doesn't look realistic because the software can't see behind a 2D image to interpolate the pixels that should be getting revealed by the soft focus foreground objects. If I had a faster machine, I would have rendered the DOF out directly from C4D. Someday!
Any questions, suggestions and comments are welcome. Enjoy!