Production Pipeline


This page lists basic components of the Cinema 4D API based on their role in a typical production pipeline. Using the API it is possible to automatize many aspects of such a pipeline.


Cinema 4D scene files and other supported 3D files format can be imported with LoadFile(), LoadDocument() and MergeDocument(). See Disc I/O.


3D polygon models are based on the PolygonObject class. Spline objects are based on SplineObject. Modeling operations can be directly applied to such objects or are performed using the Modeling class or SendModelingCommand().

See Modeling.

Texturing and Shading

Materials are represented as BaseMaterial or Material elements; shaders are based on BaseShader. A material is assigned to a (polygon) object using a TextureTag.

Custom materials are based on MaterialData; custom shaders are based on ShaderData.

See Materials and Shaders Overview.


A 3D camera is represented as a CameraObject. See Scene Elements Overview.

The motion-tracker tools allow to match a virtual camera to a real camera movement. See Motion Tracker Overview.


A character rig is composed of joint objects (Ojoint), the weights (CAWeightTag) and a skin object (Oskin).

Various tools for creating and editing the weights are provided in the CAWeightMgr class.

See Character Animation Overview.


Animation data is organized in animation-tracks (CTrack), curves, (CCurve) and keyframes (CKey).

See Animation Overview.

Simulation and FX

Built-in particle systems are Particles and Thinking Particles. The dynamics system provides functions to check for intersections, see Dynamics.

Character hair and fur is created with the Hair module, see Hair.


A light object is a BaseObject of the type Olight. HDR or environment lighting is set up by creating a sky object (Osky) and assigning a material.


Render commands can be invoked with CallCommand(). A dedicated render process is handled with RenderDocument(). See Render.

A render task can be added to the render queue. See Batch Render.

A custom renderer or video post effect can be implemented based on the VideoPostData class.

See also Rendering.


A Cinema 4D scene can be saved or exported with SaveDocument() and SaveProject(). See Disc I/O.