Cinema4D Asset Export

A reference page for a breakdown of Cinema4D exports and details can be found here

One thing to note about this reference is they are using a built-in exporter directly into a gltf, while the VNTANA platform can intake an FBX, OBJ or STL. The setup to get the final result, however, should be similar.

Size

Our current platform does not accept any files that are over 2 GB. Ideal size of the file should be lower than 2 GB when uploading to the platform.

Geometry Workflow:

Organization is important when exporting assets from Cinema4D or any other 3D software. When it comes to multiple pieces of geometry with different materials, it is best to group them by material used on asset. The object also must be a polygonal piece of geometry – NURBs and other surface modeling creations will not export.

Topology:

Going through the optimization process your geometry will most likely be changed to reduce its size for performance, but it is still a good idea to follow proper geometry workflow whenever possible. For faces of geometry use either triangles (tris) or quadrangles (quads), as this will give better results when run through the optimizer. Also check your geometry to make sure all normals are facing the correct way, that smoothing groups are assigned appropriately and that you are not getting any visual errors that would hinder your model.

UVs

It is best practice to create UVs for your assets even if you plan on using a pre-made material due to many materials having texture maps to enhance the material effect. UVs should be located on the base channel as we currently support 1 UV channel.

UV Tiling:

In a lot of 3D modeling software you can set the material to tile on its own. However, this tiling doesn’t often translate to an export, and in the case of gltF and usdz, it defaults all materials tilling to 1 x 1, which would make materials that have a pattern that is tiled 15 x 15 (as an example) come out as 1 x 1, and would look much larger.

There are two ways to go about fixing the tiling:

  1. You can use photoshop to create a file where the texture is tiled as much as you need.

OR

  1. You adjust the UV Map to tile by scaling your UVs beyond the 1 value.

Animation Pipeline

FBX Export Pipeline:

Animation export pipeline for Cinema4D follows a lot of the same guidelines that can be found for game engines. There are some things that must be done differently and some general ideas to keep in mind:

  • There is no material animation support – material key animation in all forms do not translate. Also while material visibility can be used, it cannot be animated, including the visibility track in the graph editor.
  • Animating vertex, either by keys or by a modifier does not work, if you want vertex animation it has to be done through the morph target modifier.
  • It is still best practice to bake out your animation before exporting it as the exporter does not support some interpolation types like Step.
  • None universal scaling is supported: it can be done with a lone object or even a bone skinned to a mesh, however it does not work through unfreezing the bone length and driving it through bone manipulation or constraints. Bone and skin modifiers are supported, which allows more complex animations.
  • FBX does not support dummy objects and other types of none geometry so if your animation is based off these systems you will run into issues. Make sure you convert your objects to FBX supported objects or use Joints to avoid issues.
  • The FBX will also base the animation length based off the total animation length, not what the timeline has as the length of the animation so all animation will need to be cleaned and presented at the exact length of the animation.

FBX Export Pipeline

Exporting as an FBX and then running it through the system does have some differences that need to be mentioned:

  • FBX does not support dummy objects and other types of none geometry so if your animation is based off these systems you will run into issues. Make sure you convert your objects to FBX supported objects or use Joints to avoid issues.
  • FBX exports do not require having a frame of geometry at full sized in order to have 0 -100 scaling in the animation, so all frames should encompass the animation you are trying to achieve.
  • The FBX will also base the animation length based off the total animation length not what the timeline has as the length of the animation, so all animation will need to be cleaned and presented at the exact length of the animation.

Topology:

Going through the optimization process your geometry will most likely be changed to reduce its size for performance, but it is still a good idea to follow proper geometry workflow whenever possible. For faces of geometry use either triangles (tris) or quadrangles (quads), as this will give better results when run through the optimizer. Also check your geometry to make sure all normals are facing the correct way, that smoothing groups are assigned appropriately and that you are not getting any visual errors that would hinder your model.