It began in 1985, when three college students in Germany, Harald Egel, Uwe Bärtels and Harald Schneider, purchased their first computer. This computer, an ATARI ST, opened their minds and the doors of opportunity. Shortly after their love affair with computers began, they met up with a book publisher at one of the first computer shows, and agreed to write a book about the Basic programming language that worked on the ATARI ST. The book was one of the firsts of its kind — GFA-BASIC Buch.
This was only the first of their instructional books – five more followed. The tremendous success of their books convinced these students and the publisher that there was a market for a monthly ATARI Magazine. While still attending university, these students embarked on writing and editing their own magazine, laying out the periodical with traditional tools, and attending trade shows to promote it.
The first issue of ST-Computer was released in January of 1986. It was immediately successful, becoming a market leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They rapidly followed this success with another publication. Kickstart, introduced in June, 1986, wich became the best-selling monthly Amiga magazine in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Naturally, the magazine facilitated the distribution of shareware. But in 1987, MAXON Computer began publishing Amiga and ATARI software titles. More than 50 programs had been published by MAXON at the end of the eighties.
In 1991, the Losch brothers and MAXON got in touch. After two years of development, the first version of CINEMA 4D was launched in December of 1993. This was followed in May 1994 with an upgrade to CINEMA 4D V1.5, with major improvements in rendering quality. Suddenly, CINEMA 4D was winning every possible award throughout the European market. CINEMA 4D quickly became MAXON Computer's flagship product.
As the industry evolved and other operating systems were introduced, it became clear that it would be necessary to support other platforms. MAXON enlarged the programming team and started porting CINEMA 4D to Windows and Macintosh, which was introduced in 1996.
At MacWorld, in January of 1998, CINEMA 4D made its debut in the North American market. Like the European market, CINEMA 4D took the U.S. market by storm, winning countless awards including "Best Product" at Siggraph, received a "Dig-it" rating from Digital Studio Magazine, an "Awesome" rating from MacAddict and received "Best of Show" for MacWorld San Francisco, 1999.
This recognition inspired MAXON Computer GmbH to open its first satellite office in North America. In October of 1998, MAXON Computer Inc. was born.
In December 1999, Apple Computer gave CINEMA 4D the nod as 3D software of choice by bundling (the entry-level version of CINEMA 4D) with Final Cut Pro, Apple's video editing solution.
In January 2000 Nemetschek, a leader in architectural CAD Software, bought a 70% share of MAXON in order to acquire a high-quality renderer for their CAD models, as well as to enter the multimedia market.
In March of 2000, MAXON introduced version 6 of CINEMA 4D XL to rave reviews and again won many awards, including the prestigious MacWorld Editor's Choice Award.
In November of 2000, MAXON released the first version of BodyPaint 3D, a revolutionary, fully -integrated standalone 3D painting package.
CINEMA 4D XL Release 7, which began shipping in June 2001, provided 3D production studios with key rendering improvements, including global illumination, caustics, multi-pass rendering and a breakthrough adaptive anti-aliasing technology.
CINEMA 4D Release 8 began shipping in the fall of 2002 and offered customers, ranging from large production studios to hobby artist, a new modular approach to increase productivity, with new features such as node editing systems, OpenGL enhancements, rendering optimization as well as major improvements in workflow, character animation and particle rendering.
CINEMA 4D Release 9 was presented in late 2004 and continued on the heels of its predecessor's success. In addition, MAXON became renowned for a number technical achievements in CINEMA 4D Release 9.x. CINEMA 4D was the first 3D application to support Windows 64-Bit and the first graphics software worldwide to be available for Intel-based Macintosh computers.