This page describes how Datasmith imports scenes from Maxon Cinema 4D into Unreal Editor. It follows the basic process outlined in the Datasmith Overview and About the Datasmith Import Process, but adds some special translation behavior that is specific to Cinema 4D. If you're planning to use Datasmith to import scenes from Cinema 4D into Unreal Editor, reading this page can help you understand how your scene is translated, and how you can work with the results in Unreal Editor.
Note, however, that this will increase the size on disk of all the files you save. If this is a concern, and if you frequently work with scenes that you don't need to bring into Unreal Engine through Datasmith, you may prefer to use the File > Save Project for Melange option only when you need it.
If you have objects that you don't want to import into Unreal Engine at all, hide them in Cinema 4D before you save your .c4d file. The Datasmith importer does not import geometry of hidden objects into Static Mesh Assets, and does not include them in the Datasmith Scene hierarchy.
The Unreal Engine, like most real-time renderers, automatically culls triangles that face away from the camera in order to maximize performance. However, Cinema 4D can render geometry with or without this backface culling. Depending on how you set up Cinema 4D, you may not be used to taking the facing direction of your surfaces into account. If your scene contains single-sided geometry for which the surface normals of the faces point away from the typical viewing direction, that geometry may seem to disappear when viewed from certain angles in the Unreal Engine.
For example, the image below shows a book that was modeled with one of its surface normals facing inward. After the scene is imported into Unreal, the front cover at first appears to be missing. In this case, flipping the normal direction of the surface makes the sides appear as they should.
You can enable the Options > Backface Culling setting for your viewport. This hides all faces whose normals are pointing away from the camera, the same way they are hidden in Unreal Engine.
Datasmith converts most types of lights from Cinema 4D into equivalent light types in Unreal Engine. This translation preserves the most important emissive properties of the light, including its placement in the scene, color, photometric intensity, cone angles, IES profile, and more.
The Datasmith Scene in Unreal Engine contains a hierarchy of Actors that closely matches the hierarchy of objects in your original Cinema 4D scene. The names of your scene objects and the nesting of parents and children are preserved as closely as possible. For example, the following image shows a Cinema 4D scene hierarchy on the left, and the result of importing that scene into Unreal Engine on the right:
In the Unreal Editor World Outliner, shown above on the right, the Actors at each level of the hierarchy are always ordered alphabetically. This causes visual differences in ordering siblings, but the parent-child relationships remain unchanged.
Each procedural object in the Cinema 4D scene, such as a generator, cloner, or array, comes across as a single parent Actor in the Unreal Engine. This Actor is assigned the same name as the original Cinema 4D object. Under that parent in the Datasmith Scene, you'll find all the Static Mesh Actors that Datasmith creates to simulate the effect of the procedural geometry. These Static Mesh Actors are given the same name as their parents, but with a numeric suffix. Depending on how extensively you use the procedural features of Cinema 4D, this makes the hierarchy of the Datasmith Scene somewhat more complex. However, it offers you access to each individual Actor as a separate instance.
You'll open the Material Editor shown below, where you can use the settings in the Details panel to modify the properties imported from Cinema 4D. You can also modify other built-in parameters exposed by the Unreal renderer.
The values you set in the Reflectance channel affect multiple Material output channels in the Unreal Engine, including the Roughness, Metallic, and Specular channels. Due to these complex relationships, Datasmith only translates one layer from the Cinema 4D Reflectance channel.
Datasmith's Material conversion process from Cinema 4D to Unreal Engine has a few limitations: it does not support procedural textures such as noise, node-based Materials (introduced in Cinema 4D R20), or third-party renderers.
In these cases, if you need the result in Unreal Engine to closely match what you see in Cinema 4D, the best approach is to bake your Materials out as bitmap textures, and to create new Materials that apply these baked bitmaps to your objects. See the Cinema 4D documentation.
If your Cinema 4D scene contains any elements whose 3D transforms are animated over time, including keyframe animations, MoGraph, or Dynamics, Datasmith automatically imports those animated transforms into a new Level Sequence Asset. You can use the Sequencer Tool to play back your animation in Unreal Editor, and use Blueprint to manage interactive playback at runtime.
If you set User Data on your scene objects in Cinema 4D, Datasmith translates that user data and stores it as Datasmith Metadata on the corresponding Level Actors. You can access this metadata in the Unreal Editor using Blueprint or Python, and in the Engine at runtime using Blueprint.
Realbook for Cinema 4D creates a personalized 3D book with all the pages you need. Customization options allow you to adjust the size, the animation, rotate the base, flip through a page one at a time, and much more.
The Realbook 3 is a preset for Cinema 4D with which you can create your personalized and animatable 3D book in just a few steps. You can choose the size (including the thickness of the page), the number of pages, you can activate or not the hardcover, choose his thickness and much more. So you can assign the textures and with a few sliders you can open the book and animate it automatically. You can also choose to manually animate every single page. Other controls allow you to change the way the page moves, how it is laid when it is closed and open, and how all the pages are distributed over one another.
The Realbook 3 is a preset that comes as standard .c4d files, which means it can be opened like a regular project file and copied to your own scene. The most convenient method is to install a preset directly in the Content Browser:
Maxon offers five versions of Cinema 4D, not including BodyPaint 3D. There is the Cinema 4D Lite, which comes free with Adobe After Effects. It is really an amazing tool for discovering the world of 3D without having to invest a bunch of money. But, if you want all the goodies that come packed into Cinema 4D you will have to pay the piper and purchase one of the other four versions. The other versions include Prime, Broadcast, Visualize and Studio.
Under MoGraph, there is an improved Voronoi Fracture system (ability to destroy an object quickly) including improved performance for high polygon counts and detailing to give the fracture a more realistic look. There is also a New Sound Effector to allow for interactive MoGraph creation to the beat of the music. One final note: the new Modern Modelling Kernel has been introduced. The new kernel gives more ability to things like polygon reduction and levels of detail.
Magazine preset for Cinema 4D (requires Mograph). Creates a magazine, newspaper or exercise book with all the pages you need, adjust the size, set the starting and ending configuration for the animation, flip through pages one at a time manually or automatically and much more.
The Realmagazine is a preset for Cinema 4D with which you can create a personalized and animatable 3D magazine, newspaper or exercise book in just a few steps. You can choose the size, the number of pages, his thickness, add creases, crumbling and much more.You can assign the textures and with a few sliders, you can open the magazine and animate it automatically. You can also choose to manually animate every single page. Other controls allow you to change the way the page moves and how all the pages are distributed over one another.
As with real versions of magazines, newspapers, notebooks and exercise books, Realmagazine consists of a set of folded sheets inserted one inside the other. The outer sheet contains all the inner sheets folded in half and creates with them a stack of sheets. Each sheet in the preset consists of two adjacent objects: two parametric cubes or, as I suggest for optimization reasons, two custom polygons created ad hoc by the user (or taken from those made available). So every single sheet is divided into two pages: Page.SX and Page.DX. Each page has two faces, front and back, and therefore two polygon selections to which the front and back textures can be attributed respectively. Summarizing for each sheet are associated with 4 polygon selections and 4 materials.
The first page of every chapter summarizes the topics that will be covered in the chapter. Every chapter of this textbook contains tutorials that instruct users how things can be done in CINEMA 4D step-by-step. Practicing is one of the best ways to improve skills. Each chapter of this textbook ends with some practice activities which you are highly encouraged to complete and gain confidence for the real-world projects. By completing these activities, you will be able to master the powerful capabilities of CINEMA 4D.
Before jumping into the lessons of this book, make sure you have a working knowledge of your computer and its operating system. Also, make sure that you have installed the required software and hardware. You need to install CINEMA 4D R19 on your system. Most of the tutorials will work in R17 and R18 as well.
This book is written using the Windows version of the CINEMA 4D. In most cases, CINEMA 4D performs identically on both Windows and Mac OS. Minor differences exist between the two versions such as differences in keyboard shortcuts, how dialog boxes/windows are displayed, and how buttons are named. 2b1af7f3a8