BaseObject Manual


BaseObject is the base class of all scene objects of Cinema 4D. These objects can be polygon objects, splines, generators, deformers, effectors, cameras, lights or objects like the "Sky" or "Background" object.

BaseObject objects are an instance of Obase.

A BaseObject may be also a:

See also Flags.


BaseObject objects are typically stored in and accessed from a BaseDocument:

See BaseDocument Objects and Selections.

// This example searches for an object named "Cube".
// If it cannot be found a new cube with that name will be created.
BaseObject* const object = doc->SearchObject("Cube"_s);
if (object != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("found \"Cube\""_s);
return maxon::OK;
BaseObject* const cubeObject = BaseObject::Alloc(Ocube);
if (cubeObject == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
doc->InsertObject(cubeObject, nullptr, nullptr);
void SetName(const maxon::String &name)
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:2367
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:225
static BaseObject * Alloc(Int32 type)
return OK
Definition: apibase.h:2663
#define Ocube
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1092
Definition: memoryallocationbase.h:67
#define ApplicationOutput(formatString,...)
Definition: debugdiagnostics.h:210
const char * doc
Definition: pyerrors.h:226


BaseObject objects are created with the usual tools:

The object IDs of many build-in object types are defined in Object Types.

// This example shows how to create a new "Cube" object and how to insert it into the document.
BaseDocument* const document = GetActiveDocument();
if (document == nullptr)
return maxon::UnexpectedError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
BaseObject* const cubeObject = BaseObject::Alloc(Ocube);
if (cubeObject == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
cubeObject->SetName("This is a new object"_s);
document->InsertObject(cubeObject, nullptr, nullptr);
BaseDocument * GetActiveDocument(void)
void EventAdd(EVENT eventflag=EVENT::NONE)
Definition: c4d_basedocument.h:498
void InsertObject(BaseObject *op, BaseObject *parent, BaseObject *pred, Bool checknames=false)

Primitive objects can also be created with these dedicated functions:

New objects are typically added to a BaseDocument that takes ownership:

// This example accesses the currently active object.
// If an object is found a new Sphere is created and inserted under the found object.
BaseObject* const parentObject = doc->GetActiveObject();
if (parentObject == nullptr)
return maxon::IllegalArgumentError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
BaseObject* const newSphere = BaseObject::Alloc(Osphere);
if (newSphere == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
void InsertUnder(GeListNode *bl)
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:1878
#define Osphere
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1093


A BaseObject can be removed from the host BaseDocument:

// The example removes the active object from the document.
BaseObject* object = doc->GetActiveObject();
if (object == nullptr)
return maxon::IllegalArgumentError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
static void Free(BaseObject *&bl)


BaseObject elements are organized in a tree. The usual functions can be used to navigate in that tree:

See also Navigation in Lists and Trees.

// This example function iterates through all objects
// of the object tree defined by the given BaseObject.
static void CheckObjects(BaseObject* obj)
while (obj != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Object Name: " + obj->GetName());
obj = obj->GetNext();
PyObject * obj
Definition: complexobject.h:60

Read-Only Properties

Bounding Box

The bounding box defines the dimensions of a BaseObject.

// This example creates a cube with the size of the bounding box.
const Vector bbCenter = object->GetMp();
const Vector bbRadius = object->GetRad();
if (cube == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
Bool SetParameter(const DescID &id, const GeData &t_data, DESCFLAGS_SET flags)
Definition: lib_description.h:330
Definition: obase.h:15
Definition: ocube.h:6


Generator objects store virtual child objects in a cache. If a deformer is applied, the deformed child objects are found in the deform cache.

// This function can be used to recursively search the cache
// of a given BaseObject for polygon objects.
static void DoRecursion(BaseObject* op)
// Check the deform cache
BaseObject* tp = op->GetDeformCache();
if (tp)
// check the cache
tp = op->GetCache(nullptr);
if (tp)
// check if generator
// check if polygon object
if (op->IsInstanceOf(Opolygon))
ApplicationOutput("Found polygon data"_s);
// loop through child objects
for (tp = op->GetDown(); tp; tp = tp->GetNext())
BaseObject * GetNext(void)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:256
Internal bit set by generators.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:890
#define Opolygon
Polygon - PolygonObject.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1024
PyObject * op
Definition: object.h:520

See also Generating.


Further functions are:

// This example casts the given BaseObject into SplineObject
// if it is a spline or if it is a spline generator.
SplineObject* spline = nullptr;
// check if the object is a "Spline" object
if (object->IsInstanceOf(Ospline))
spline = ToSpline(object);
// check if the object is a spline generator
else if (object->GetInfo() & OBJECT_ISSPLINE)
spline = object->GetRealSpline();
if (spline != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Spline Object: " + spline->GetName());
#define ToSpline(op)
Casts a BaseObject* to a SplineObject*.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:2198
String GetName() const
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:2361
SplineObject * GetRealSpline(void)
Represents a spline object.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:2031
Spline object.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:935
#define Ospline
Spline - SplineObject.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1025
Definition: object.h:105



The basic parameters IDs of a BaseObject are defined in obase.h. They can be changed using C4DAtom::SetParameter() and C4DAtom::GetParameter(). For several properties dedicated functions exist.


The placement of an object is defined by its position, scale and rotation (PSR). Freeze Transformations allow to define a default or reset value. In short, the absolute value is the frozen value plus the relative value.

The "absolute" values are not the world space values.

These functions give access to the "absolute" values:

These functions give access to the "frozen" values:

These functions give access to the "relative" values:

These functions are used to access the local and global Matrix of an object:

// This example reads the global matrix of the given object
// and applies it to the newly created BaseObject.
const Matrix mg = object->GetMg();
if (cube == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
doc->InsertObject(cube, nullptr, nullptr);
void SetMg(const Matrix &m)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:488

See also Vector Manual (Classic) and Matrix Manual (Classic).


A BaseObject may or may not be visible in the editor and rendered output.

The modes are:

  • MODE_ON: The object is enabled regardless of the state of any parent object.
  • MODE_OFF: The object is disabled regardless of the state of any parent object.
  • MODE_UNDEF: The object is enabled by default, but the state of any parent object is used if it is enabled or disabled.
// This example synchronizes editor and render mode if the render mode is off.
const Int32 mode = object->GetRenderMode();
if (mode == MODE_OFF)
const wchar_t * mode
Definition: fileutils.h:96
maxon::Int32 Int32
Definition: ge_sys_math.h:60
#define MODE_OFF
The object is disabled regardless of the state of any parent object.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:36
CheckEditorVisibility() checks the editor mode effect and layer settings of the given object, see Utility.

Generator / Deformer enabled

If an object is a generator or deformer it can be enabled or disabled:

// This example checks if the given object is a SDS.
// If so it gets disabled.
// check if the object is a
// "Subdivision Surface"
if (object->IsInstanceOf(Osds))
#define Osds
SDS (HyperNURBS) - SDSObject.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1131


A BaseObject can host a variable number of tags. These tags add additional functionality and data to the object.

See also BaseTag and VariableTag Manual.

Since R17 the Take System can add and own tags. See Take System Overview.

Existing tags can be accessed with:

// This example loops through the tags of the given object.
BaseTag* tag = object->GetFirstTag();
while (tag != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Tag: " + tag->GetName());
tag = tag->GetNext();
Definition: c4d_basetag.h:47
BaseTag * GetNext(void)
Definition: c4d_basetag.h:78

New tags can be created:

// This example checks if the given object owns a "Protection" tag.
// If not, the "Protection" tag is created.
BaseTag* protectionTag = object->GetTag(Tprotection);
if (protectionTag == nullptr)
protectionTag = object->MakeTag(Tprotection);
if (protectionTag == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
#define Tprotection
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1382


// This example adds a Phong tag to the given object.
object->SetPhong(true, true, DegToRad(60.0));
Float32 DegToRad(Float32 r)
Definition: apibasemath.h:247

Further tag related functionality:

// This example removes all "Annotation" tags from the given object.
// loop until no "Annotation" tag can be found anymore
while (object->GetTag(Tannotation))
#define Tannotation
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1386


A BaseObject can have an assigned color and can be displayed in xray mode:

The settings are:

// This example reads the color settings of the given object.
static String VectorToString(const Vector32 &v, Int32 nnk=-1)
Definition: c4d_string.h:571
Data structure for object color properties.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:168
Vector color
The color.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:170
To set the color of virtual objects in ObjectData::GetVirtualObjects() a generator must be registered with OBJECT_USECACHECOLOR, see Flags and Generating.

Modeling Axis

In certain modeling modes a modeling axis is presented as the result of the current selection.

// This example creates a new cube object using the modeling axis of the given object.
const Matrix mat = object->GetModelingAxis(doc);
if (cube == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
doc->InsertObject(cube, nullptr, nullptr);
The axis of a multiselection can be obtained from the document, see BaseDocument Axis and Plane.


A generator object creates virtual and cached BaseObject elements in its ObjectData::GetVirtualObjects() function. The following BaseObject member functions are only used in this context.

While creating the cache one should typically check if the cache is already build:

// This code checks if the cache or the object is dirty.
// If not, the existing cache is returned.
Bool dirty = op->CheckCache(hh) || op->IsDirty(DIRTYFLAGS::DATA);
if (!dirty)
return op->GetCache(hh);
maxon::Bool Bool
Definition: ge_sys_math.h:55
Container changed.

See also Cache.

Generators can use child objects as input objects (see flag OBJECT_INPUT). A generator can check if these child objects are dirty and it can hide them in the viewport. The most simple way is to handle the child objects manually:

// This example checks if the child object is dirty and "touches" it so it will be hidden.
Bool dirty = false;
BaseObject* const childObject = op->GetDown();
if (childObject != nullptr)
dirty = childObject->IsDirty(DIRTYFLAGS::MATRIX | DIRTYFLAGS::DATA);
Bool IsDirty(DIRTYFLAGS flags)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:891
void Touch(void)
Marks object to be used by generator. Automatically resets dirty values for use with IsDirty().
Matrix changed.

To handle multiple child objects a dependence list can be used:

// This example adds only the cube child objects to the dependencies list.
BaseObject* child = op->GetDown();
while (child != nullptr)
// check if the child object is a "Cube" object
if (child->GetType() == Ocube)
op->AddDependence(hh, child);
child = child->GetNext();
if (!dirty)
dirty = !op->CompareDependenceList();
Int32 GetType() const
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:1391

But the most simple way is to use one of these two functions: They will return polygon versions of the child objects and hide them:

In some special cases (eg, Matrix Object) these functions don't work as expected (eg, wrong dirtiness). In these cases, a custom cache handling is needed.
// This example gets a polygon clone of the first child object.
// If the child object is not dirty, the returned object is the cache.
Bool dirty = false;
BaseObject* const childObject = op->GetDown();
if (childObject != nullptr)
BaseObject* const clone = op->GetAndCheckHierarchyClone(hh, childObject, flags, &dirty, nullptr, false);
if (!dirty)
return clone;
// Fill the cache based on the polygon clone.
// ...
PyCompilerFlags * flags
Definition: ast.h:14
Definition: ge_prepass.h:3371
Objects cloned as polygons. (Used by e.g. HyperNURBS.)

If a generator creates multiple child objects each object must be uniquely identifiable. If the flag OBJECT_UNIQUEENUMERATION is set each object can receive an unique IP number.

The unique IP must not be zero.
// This example creates some cube objects with a unique IP.
Vector pos = Vector(0, 0, 0);
for (Int32 i = 1; i < 11; ++i)
if (cube != nullptr)
pos.x += 250.0;
Py_ssize_t i
Definition: abstract.h:645
void SetUniqueIP(Int32 ip)
void SetAbsPos(const Vector &v)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:304
void Py_ssize_t * pos
Definition: dictobject.h:50
maxon::Vec3< maxon::Float64, 1 > Vector
Definition: ge_math.h:145

Isoparm lines can be used to display and accentuate certain lines in the viewport.

// This example creates a simple Line object and assigns it to the given polygon object.
LineObject* const lineObject = LineObject::Alloc(2, 1);
if (lineObject != nullptr)
Segment* const segments = lineObject->GetSegmentW();
Vector* const linePoints = lineObject->GetPointW();
// check pointers
if (segments && linePoints)
segments[0].cnt = 2;
linePoints[0] = Vector(0, 0, 0);
linePoints[1] = Vector(0, 1000, 0);
Bool Message(Int32 type, void *data=nullptr)
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:1437
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:1513
static LineObject * Alloc(Int32 pcnt, Int32 scnt)
Segment * GetSegmentW(void)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:1551
Vector * GetPointW(void)
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:1453
#define MSG_UPDATE
Must be sent if the bounding box has to be recalculated. (Otherwise use MSG_CHANGE....
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:341
Represents a Spline segment data.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:159
Int32 cnt
The number of points in the segment.
Definition: c4d_baseobject.h:160

Rotation Order

In Cinema 4D the rotation of an object is stored as a Vector. Each component of this vector corresponds to a rotation axis. The rotation result depends on the order in which the rotation is executed. For values see ROTATIONORDER.

// This example simply sets the default rotation order.
Default order (HPB).
Typically used with MatrixToHPB() and HPBToMatrix(). See Matrix Manual (Classic).

The rotation values of an animation can be optimized:

// This example checks the rotation tracks of the given object.
// FindBestEulerAngle() will modify the existing keys to find the best angles.
obj->FindBestEulerAngle(ID_BASEOBJECT_REL_ROTATION, true, false);
// animate the object so it uses the new key values
doc->AnimateObject(obj, doc->GetTime(), ANIMATEFLAGS::NONE);
Definition: obase.h:16

Quaternion Rotation Mode

The (animated) rotation values of an object can be interpolated using quaternions.

// This example checks if the given object uses quaternion interpolation.
// If not quaternion interpolation is enabled.
// check if the object uses quaternion interpolation
if (obj->IsQuaternionRotationMode() == false)
// turn on quaternion interpolation.
// this will update the rotation animation tracks
obj->SetQuaternionRotationMode(true, false);

The use of quaternion interpolation can be forced with:

Animation Tracks

These utility functions allow fast access to the animation tracks and curves of an animated Vector parameter. See Animation Overview.

This is typically used with synchronized tracks, see CTrack Synchronisation.
// This example accesses the subtracks of the object's position track.
const DescID positionTrack { DescLevel { ID_BASEOBJECT_REL_POSITION, DTYPE_VECTOR, 0 } };
CTrack* trackX = nullptr;
CTrack* trackY = nullptr;
CTrack* trackZ = nullptr;
// access track for each vector component
if (obj->GetVectorTracks(positionTrack, trackX, trackY, trackZ))
if (trackX != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Track X: " + trackX->GetName());
if (trackY != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Track Y: " + trackY->GetName());
if (trackZ != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Track Z: " + trackZ->GetName());
Definition: c4d_canimation.h:671
Definition: lib_description.h:70
Represents a level within a DescID.
Definition: lib_description.h:289

This function is used to handle keys on a Vector parameter:


An object can be animated using the host BaseDocument:

This function only animates the object based on its keyframes but does not care about expressions or other objects.

See also BaseDocument Animate.


Generators create and own virtual child objects. To access these child object one can read the cache of the generator (see Cache). Another way is to apply the "Current State to Object" command to the given generator object.

// This example creates a torus object and converts it to a polygon object.
if (tempDoc == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
if (object == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
// insert it into the temp doc.
tempDoc->InsertObject(object, nullptr, nullptr);
// modify object
object->SetParameter(PRIM_TORUS_INNERRAD, 100.0, DESCFLAGS_SET::NONE);
mcd.doc = tempDoc;
mcd.op = object;
// execute the "Current State to Object" modeling command
return maxon::UnexpectedError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
BaseObject* const res = static_cast<BaseObject*>(atom);
// check if the result object is a polygon object
if (res && (res->GetType() == Opolygon))
doc->InsertObject(res, nullptr, nullptr);
PyObject * object
Definition: asdl.h:7
Bool SendModelingCommand(Int32 command, ModelingCommandData &data)
C4DAtom * GetIndex(Int32 idx) const
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:1677
Definition: ge_autoptr.h:37
Definition: c4d_baselist.h:1375
Py_UCS4 * res
Definition: unicodeobject.h:1113
#define atom
Definition: graminit.h:72
Current state to object (returns object): MDATA_CURRENTSTATETOOBJECT.
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1605
#define Otorus
Definition: ge_prepass.h:1096
Definition: otorus.h:7
A helper object for SendModelingCommand().
Definition: operatingsystem.h:815
AtomArray * result
Definition: operatingsystem.h:837
BaseObject * op
The input object. Use arr for multiple objects.
Definition: operatingsystem.h:828
BaseDocument * doc
Definition: operatingsystem.h:826


A BaseObject can be hidden in the Object Manager or viewport using these bits:

// This example hides the given object in the Object Manager.
Set bit.
Hide object/tag in Object Manager or material in Material Manager.


The flags of a BaseObject can be accessed with GeListNode::GetInfo(). These flags inform about the type of object and its behavior.

Object type:

// This example casts the given BaseObject into SplineObject
// if it is a spline or if it is a spline generator.
SplineObject* spline = nullptr;
// check if the object is a "Spline" object
if (object->IsInstanceOf(Ospline))
spline = ToSpline(object);
// check if the object is a spline generator
else if (object->GetInfo() & OBJECT_ISSPLINE)
spline = object->GetRealSpline();
if (spline != nullptr)
ApplicationOutput("Spline Object: " + spline->GetName());

Generator related flags:

Other flags:


These utility functions can return the name of the object type or return the object type based on that name.

// This example prints the name of the object type of the given object.
const Int32 type = obj->GetType();
const String typeName = GetObjectName(type);
ApplicationOutput("Object Type: " + typeName);
String GetObjectName(Int32 type)
Definition: c4d_string.h:39
PyObject ** type
Definition: pycore_pyerrors.h:34

These functions can be used to check if the given BaseObject is visible in the Editor:

// This example checks if the given BaseObject is visible in the active editor view.
BaseDraw* const bd = doc->GetActiveBaseDraw();
if (bd == nullptr)
return maxon::UnexpectedError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
const DISPLAYFILTER filter = bd->GetDisplayFilter();
const Bool displayFilter = CheckDisplayFilter(object, filter);
// check editor visibility
const Bool editorVisibiliy = CheckEditorVisibility(object);
// check if the object is visible in the viewport
if (displayFilter && editorVisibiliy)
ApplicationOutput("The object is visible in the Editor"_s);
ApplicationOutput("The object is not visible in the Editor"_s);
Bool CheckDisplayFilter(BaseObject *op, DISPLAYFILTER filter)
Bool CheckEditorVisibility(BaseObject *op)
Definition: c4d_basedraw.h:754
DISPLAYFILTER GetDisplayFilter() const
Definition: c4d_basedraw.h:1594
Definition: ge_prepass.h:4519

Further Reading