Here’s some quick references for the light and shadow options available in Cinema 4D:
None – Still has a very slight shadow.
Shadow Maps (Soft) – Soft with faster rendering time.
Raytraced (Hard) – Crisp but with longer rendering time.
Area – Most real (combining Hard and Soft) but the slowest to render.
Visible light (Light emitted in the scene or through a bust environment):
None – only renders light on surfaces.
Visible – Fast to render not affected by shadows.
Volumetric – Slower to render but is affected by shadows.
Inverse Volumetric – Slower to render and emits light within shadows.
To quickly preview the render, use:
Render View (current active view) – cmd + R
Render to Picture Viewer (opens a window for comparison) – shift + R