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3ds max to Cinema 4D

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Hey guys,

Im trying to develop a workflow between a 3D studio max artist and myself (cinema 4d).

Generally what I wish to accomplish is for the 3DS artist to model/texture/light and I would bring it into C4D to animate.


Searching around these forums and google hasn't turned up a solution im looking for. .3ds files seem to import fine with separate objects and etc, but the lights in the scene do not get imported along.

Is there a plugin or some method of retrieving nearly all of 3DS scene data into cinema 4d? other than just the model. (I haven't had the chance to test textures yet, but I think this comes in with less issues)


But primarily I'm looking to import any lighting data that might come along and possibly any animation data.

I do assume that being two different 3d software that lights will be treated differently, so im not expecting exact replicated results. But the position data of lights, intensity, type of light would be helpful.


Any solutions?

thanks for reading!

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Well, you can FBX out the scene and that should work to a degree. It will bring the geometry, UVs, materials, cameras, and lights. You have a choice to bring the animation as well, but it seems that is what you will be doing.


The materials probably wont transfer right, and you will have to rebuild them. Lights will come through, but you have two completely different render engines, so you will probably have to re-light it as well. Make sure the geometry is clean and in quads before exporting – no ngons or else Cinema will triangulate in a most unappreciated way, and that could make the UVs incorrect and just generally suck.


I don't think there is a magic silver bullet that will import work from 3DS and make it look amazing without doing a lot of the work over again. An FBX will at least give you UVs so you can try to recreate the materials the best you can in Cinema.


The only way that I know you get can similar results is if they are using VRay in 3DS and you are using VRay for C4D. You will still have to manually match all the scene settings, re-do the light tags and completely rebuild VRay Materials. But at least they have the same parameters and will look same (I think. never really did a side-by-side of the same scene).


I am currently working with VRay for C4D and we are going back and forth between Maya/VRay. You have to do a lot of work over again, but it looks great. Its pretty expensive, so forgive me for suggesting if it doesn't make sense to buy for this project. You will have to spend some time getting used to it.


Also, if you go that route, please note that VRay does not work with C4D materials, only VRay materials – and the 'one button material converter' works for shit and shouldn't be bothered with.



Hope that helps a bit.

Edited by fishface

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i'd reccomend getting the models off him. Animating them, and then exporting them back to max for rendering. (bake and FBX)


what kind of animation are you doing? it might be easier for you just learn how to animate in max. Digital tutors has some great courses for that. 50 bucks for a month and you're set.

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