Features & Supported Entities of the CINEMA-4D Export Conversion System
First and foremost, this is the first professional program which can perform complete
bi-directional conversions to and from the CINEMA-4D .c4d file format -- that had not been previously
possible for decades, as of the 1998 release of CINEMA-4D R6. This includes full conversion of
MCAD data, geometry, hierarchy, meta data, lights, cameras, materials, texture maps, automatic bitmap
conversion, mesh skinning, animation and a plethora of data manipulation & cleanup functionality.
Prior to this, such conversions were lossy (leading to shading anomalies, black banding, loss of
hierarchy or object naming, incomplete material support, and no vertex normal conversion) due to
the incomplete converters which come for free with CINEMA-4D (the same problems are generally true
with the free converters which come with 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage and LightWave, among other well
known 3D packages).
Based on the typical Okino/Maxon customer profile, this conversion system will primarily be used to
convert from all the major MCAD programs into CINEMA-4D, with no data loss or introduction of shading
anomalies. Commonly used source MCAD programs are ProEngineer/Creo2, SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor,
Solid Edge, Unigraphics NX, CATIA, AutoCAD, Navisworks and Revit, as well as MCAD file formats such
as IGES, STEP, Parasolid, SAT, DWF, DXF/DWG and JT file formats.
For the first time ever, there is now a direct, native format and fully refined conversion path
to/from CINEMA-4D and all the top animation systems, including 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, LightWave and
Houdini. This is based on Okino's 2.5 decades of core DCC/Animation conversion development for these
aforementioned programs. For example, 3ds Max and Maya users can now read/write full CINEMA-4D .c4d
animated scene data from within their local user interfaces and not have to drop down to lower
quality and lossy intermediate file formats.
Exposed user options across 9 panels to provide you with fine control over the CINEMA-4D scene
export process. CINEMA-4D has a long history within the 3D animation world and hence has a number of
unique quirks related to its operation, as do each of the major animation programs - Okino knows of
those well and has incorporated intelligence into this exporter to create smooth & effortless
conversions. In our experience the only post-conversion work you might have to do is to delete
the default CINEMA-4D ambient light source and/or tweak the blending properties of texture maps.
All main Okino 3D primitives will be converted and output as CINEMA-4D meshes with associated
vertex normals (for mesh smoothing), multiple sets of vertex (u,v) texture coordinates and optional
vertex bone deformation skinning weights. CINEMA-4D does not provide for vertex colors nor 3D point
sets (point cloud) geometry.
Complete integration of Okino's 2D and 3D spline shape cross conversion engine. This is a very
powerful aspect of the core Okino conversion software which allows 2D and 3D cubic spline curves,
NURBS curves and spline shapes to be converted into downstream closed cubic curves, polylines, meshes
or other higher order primitives. How these are output to CINEMA-4D is controlled via the various
drop-down combo boxes on the Curve Output Options panel. When requested, cubic and NURBS curves will
be exported to CINEMA-4D either as 3D polylines or Bezier cubic curves.
Excellent and robust support for CINEMA-4D "skinned mesh" and skeleton export, which ties into the
Okino Arctic toolkit. This allows PolyTrans to cross convert
skinned mesh, animation and skeleton data
between CINEMA-4D, 3ds Max, Maya, Lightwave, Softimage (XSI), DirectX, U3D, COLLADA and FBX file
formats, with proper bone re-orientation, off-axis scaling removal, and so forth. Skinning conversion
had always been a problem for CINEMA-4D users in the past due to the proprietary methods used by the
C4D software. Okino had spent a very considerable part of a decade working out all the problems &
mathematical inconsistencies relating to skinning conversion, and hence this Okino conversion software
will make the process look transparent to such end-users, but it is not simple at all.
A fundamental aspect of Okino software is its proper & robust implementation of material and
texture map conversion. Each 3D program tends to implement materials & texture mapping differently so
careful consideration must be made so that converted 3D scenes will end up looking the same, or
very similar, in the source and destination programs.
Ambient/diffuse/specular material colors
Ambient/diffuse/specular/opacity texture maps
Ambient/diffuse/specular/IOR/reflection shading coefficients including controls to tweak any of these parameters prior to output to obtain an ideal shader conversion.
Phong and Blinn shader specular highlight parameters
Exports point, spot, directional and ambient light sources and their related parameters.
18 predefined light configurations can be optionally chosen during export, which allows lights
to be automatically added to the exported CINEMA-4D scene if none are available in the source scene.
Perspective or orthographic cameras. Horizontal FOV. Near clip plane distance. Distance from
camera's look-from to look-at location. Both targeted and "free-rotation" cameras are supported for
output, under user control.
Mesh geometry tweaking, modification and transformations via automated operations made available
by Okino's suite of polygon reduction and transformation routines. Ideal as a means to "clean up"
the source meshes and apply 80-95% pre-polygon reduction to the models prior to export to CINEMA-4D.
The global transformation dialog box allows for these variety of transformations to be applied to
the entire exported scene: Center all geometry at the origin, Make all geometry sit on the Y=0 horizontal
plane, Scale geometry to be no larger than XxYxZ units, Scale, Shear, Rotate and Translate. Options are
also provided to reverse orientations, sort polygons by material assignment, explode objects by material
assignment and optimize (remove redundant) texture coordinate array values.
Object, camera & light animation output with control over interpolation type (constant, linear or
Bezier), Euler rotation order (6 types), resampling options and algorithms to maintain Euler
continuity. Okino's Arctic toolkit provides the front-end to the CINEMA-4D animation export system,
and thus fully utilizes its "dense matrix" keyframe resampling and reduction algorithms. Arctic also is
used to ensure that all Euler animation output is properly exported (because Euler animation conversion
can be fraught with problems).
Automatic texture bitmap file conversion to and from all key 2D bitmap image file formats. Images
can be automatically resized to 2x2 to 8192x8192 pixels in size. Complete control is also provided
over texture filepath manipulation.
Meta data is transferred from source to destination format. Meta data is most often associated with
CAD files and per-object information.
Full support for geometry instancing to reduce file size. However, the base geometry must be
copied in cases where it inherits different materials from its parent instance node.