I use a lot of custom assets in every single project. Those assets can be very big MoGraph setups, Xpresso rigs, Python Generators or whatever. That’s why I had an idea to make a little script that merges your asset from absolute file path to your existing project.

Instead searching your asset every time in folders or content browser, you can simply create custom asset with this script and place it to Cinema 4D’s layout.

import c4d

def main():
    doc.StartUndo() # Start recording undos
    path = "C:\\c4d-assets\\my-asset.c4d" # Your asset file path, change this
    flags = c4d.SCENEFILTER_OBJECTS | c4d.SCENEFILTER_MATERIALS | c4d.SCENEFILTER_MERGESCENE # Merge objects and materials
    c4d.documents.MergeDocument(doc, path, flags) # Merge asset to active project
    c4d.EventAdd() # Refresh Cinema 4D
    doc.EndUndo() # Stop recording undos
if __name__=='__main__':

You can also use this to load models (obj, abc, fbx) or different c4d projects into your active document.
If you use Mac, use “/” instead “\\” (line 5)

Updated 26/03/2019

Cinema 4D, Python

Nowadays many clients wants to burn subtitles straight into video so they can put video to social media etc. so I made two scripts that makes working with After Effects and subtitles a little bit easier.

With the first script you can import srt files and the script makes automatically text layers from that subtitle file. I wanted to make text layers instead of keyframed sourceText since individual layers gives better control and are sometimes also lighter to process.

  1. Make composition or use current one, but there needs to be a open composition.
  2. Run the script (File > Scripts > Run Script File…)
  3. Select the srt-file to import
  4. Text layers are generated


With second script you can export text layers to srt file. Your text layers should look something like in the image: use ascending layer stacking.


After Effects, JavaScript

FolderLink is asset made with Xpresso and Python that allows you to select folder which includes specific file types. You can decide which kind of file types you are looking for by typing file extensions (separated with comma). FolderLink will scan selected folder (top level) and collects approved files to dropdown menu.

Then you can link easily and quickly browse between different files with dropdown menu and link selected file’s file path to whatever you like, for example to textures or HDRIs.

import c4d, os # Import necessary libraries

def main():
    global path # Output file path
    string = search # Get extensions string
    string = search.replace(" ","") # Remove spaces
    extensions = string.split(",") # Split to list
    c = 0 # Initialize iteration variable
    names = [] # Initialize list for file names
    obj = doc.SearchObject("FolderLink")
    cycle = c4d.BaseContainer() # Initialize base container
    bc = c4d.GetCustomDatatypeDefault(c4d.DTYPE_LONG) # Integer
    bc.SetString(c4d.DESC_NAME, "File") # Set user data name
    bc.SetInt32(c4d.DESC_CUSTOMGUI, c4d.CUSTOMGUI_CYCLE) # Set user data gui
    try: # Try to execute following code
        if folder != "": # If there is folder
            files = os.listdir(folder) # Get files from folder
            for f in files: # Iterate through files
                ext = f.rsplit(".",1) # Get file extension
                if ext[1] in extensions: # If file extension matches
                    c += 1 # Increase iteration
                    cycle.SetString(c, f) # Add item to user data cycle
                    names.append(f) # Add file name to list
            bc.SetContainer(c4d.DESC_CYCLE, cycle) # Set container
            obj.SetUserDataContainer([c4d.ID_USERDATA, 5], bc) # Update user data
            path = folder+"\\"+names[select-1] # Return file path
        else: # Else
            path = "" # Return empty string
    except IndexError: # If something went wrong
        path = "" # Return empty string

If you use Mac OS X you might have to change line 26 “\\” to “/”.
I updated the file so now it’s possible to filter files by filename extension. Thanks to @lasse_lauch for this suggestion.


Asset, Cinema 4D, Python, Xpresso

I made some experiments with Processing to send data to Cinema 4D with OSC (Open Sound Control) protocol.

Tools you need

  1. Maxon Cinema 4D
  2. fOSC v1.1.1 plug-in for Cinema 4D (https://github.com/fillmember/fOSC)
  3. Processing v3.5.3 (https://processing.org/download/)
  4. oscP5 v0.9.9 library for Processing (http://www.sojamo.de/libraries/oscP5/)
  5. Different Processing libraries depending what you want to do (e.g. Kinect, Leap Motion, The MidiBus)

Processing OSC template
Here is basic Processing example that sends OSC data. In this example sketch generates a window where mouse position is captured and then remapped to more nice values for Cinema 4D (y-axis is flipped and sketch middle point is the origin) and then data is send with OSC.

import oscP5.*; // Import oscP5 library
import netP5.*; // Import oscP5's net library

OscP5 osc; // Declare oscP5 object
NetAddress net; // Declare net address object

void setup() { // Sketch basic settings
  size(640, 640); // Set sketch window size (width, height)
  osc = new OscP5(this, 6449); // Set new OscP5 object
  net = new NetAddress("", 32000); // Set new net address

void draw() { // Processing will run this function constantly
  clear(); // Clear window every frame
  float posX = mouseX; // Get mouse x-position
  float posY = mouseY; // Get mouse y-position
  circle(posX, posY, 25); // Draw circle to mouse position
  float x = map(posX, 0, width, (width/2.0)*-1, width/2.0); // Remap x value
  float y = map(posY, 0, height, height/2.0, (height/2.0)*-1); // Remap y value
  send(x, y); // Run send function

void send(float value_a, float value_b) {
    OscMessage message_1 = new OscMessage("Mouse Position"); // Initialize new OSC message
    message_1.add(value_a); // 1st x-position
    message_1.add(value_b); // 2nd y-position
    osc.send(message_1, net); // Send OSC message

With fOSC plug-in you want to listen to port 32000.

fOSC makes null object for every individual OSC message and you can assign position and rotation parameters to message using add() method. Then you can use Xpresso to remap those values to whatever you want to.

Cheat sheet

  1. value controls X-position.
  2. value controls Y-position.
  3. value controls Z-position.
  4. value controls H-rotation.
  5. value controls P-rotation.
  6. value controls B-rotation.

Example sketch:
Track brightest pixel from webcam and send that via OSC

Updated 14/04/2019

Cinema 4D, Experimental, Processing

Super simple setup to count beats per minute in Xpresso with Python node. Counting starts immediately when time is running. You can easily modify code  for your needs e.g. starting time.

import c4d

def main():
    global out # Output port: 'Out'

    bpm = 128 # Beats per minute
    spb = 60.0 / int(bpm) # Seconds per beat

    if time != 0: # If current frame is not first frame
        out = int(time/spb) # Hits count
    else: # Otherwise
        out = 0 # Hits count is 0


Cinema 4D, Python, Xpresso

I had some fun trying to recreate @Sholmedal‘s Python Tag Vertex Map tools which he showed at his presentation at IBC 2014. I ended up with some different Python Tags.

N.B. This post is kind of obsolete now since you can do all kind of crazy stuff with fields in R20. I’ll keep this here anyway for learning purposes.

Falloff setup
This setup creates weight values to the Vertex Map. Control position with a Null.

import c4d
from c4d import utils as u

def main():
    vertexMap = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,1] # Get Vertex Map tag
    mind = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,2] # User Data: Minumum distance
    maxd = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,3] # User Data: Maximum distance
    spline = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,4] # User Data: Remap spline
    obj = vertexMap.GetObject() # Get object that Vertex Map uses
    pts = obj.GetAllPoints() # Get object's all points
    null = op.GetObject() # Get null object that Python Tag uses
    null[c4d.NULLOBJECT_RADIUS] = maxd # Set null's radius
    nullPosition = null.GetMg().off # Get null's position vector
    array = [0.0] # Initialize list
    if len(array) != len(pts): # If array is not same size as object's point count
        diff = len(pts) - len(array) # Get difference
        array.extend([0.0]*diff) # Extend array
    for i in xrange(len(pts)): # Iterate through points
        point = pts[i] # Get point
        distance = (nullPosition - point).GetLength() # Calculate distance
        value = u.RangeMap(distance,mind,maxd,1,0,False,spline) # Remap value
        array[i] = u.Boxstep(0,1,value) # Clamp value between zero and one
    vertexMap.SetAllHighlevelData(array) # Set the data for the Vertex Map


Combine two Vertex Maps together with different math operations, like add, substract and intersect.

import c4d
import operator as o

def main():
    # User data
    tagA = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,1] # Get Vertex Map tag A
    tagB = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,2] # Get Vertex Map tag B
    tagC = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,3] # Get Output Vertex Map tag
    func = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,4] # Math operation selection
    invert = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,5] # Invert checkbox
    dataA = tagA.GetAllHighlevelData() # Get Vertex Map A's data
    dataB = tagB.GetAllHighlevelData() # Get Vertex Map B's data
    if func == 0: # If add
        dataC = map(o.add, dataA, dataB) # Add A and B
    elif func == 1: # If substract B from A
        dataC = map(o.sub, dataA, dataB) # Subtract B from A
    elif func == 2: # If substract A from B
        dataC = map(o.sub, dataB, dataA) # Subtract A from B
    elif func == 3: # If intersection
        dataC = map(o.mul, dataB, dataA) # Intersection
    if invert == True: # If invert checkbox is ticked
        for i in range(0, len(dataA)): # Loop through array
            dataC[i] = 1-dataC[i] # Invert value
    tagC.SetAllHighlevelData(dataC) # Set the data for the Vertex Map


With this you can remap source data with a spline to something different.

import c4d
from c4d import utils as u

def main():
    source = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,1] # User Data: Source Vertex Map tag
    target = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,3] # User Data: Output Vertex Map tag
    spline = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,4] # User Data: Remap spline
    sourceData = source.GetAllHighlevelData() # Get Vertex Map data
    array = [0.0] # Initialize list
    if len(array) != len(sourceData): # If array is not same size as sourceData list
        diff = len(sourceData) - len(array) # Get difference
        array.extend([0.0]*diff) # Extend array
    for i in xrange(0, len(sourceData)): # Iterate through data
        value = u.RangeMap(sourceData[i],0,1,0,1,False,spline) # Remap data
        array[i] = u.Boxstep(0,1,value) # Clamp value between zero and one
    target.SetAllHighlevelData(array) # Set the data for the output Vertex Map


With this you can decay source Vertex Map.

import c4d

array = [0.0] # Initialize global list
def main():
    global array # Get access to global list
    source = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,1] # User Data: Source Vertex Map tag
    target = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,3] # Data Data: Output Vertex Map tag
    decay = op[c4d.ID_USERDATA,2] # User Data: Amount of decay in percentage
    sourceData = source.GetAllHighlevelData() # Get source Vertex Map data

    if len(array) != len(sourceData): # If array is not same size as sourceData list
        diff = len(sourceData) - len(array) # Get difference
        array.extend([0.0]*diff) # Extend array
    for i in xrange(0, len(sourceData)): # Iterate through data
        array[i] = array[i]+sourceData[i] # Value is prev value + source value
        if array[i] > 1: # If value is over '1'
            array[i] = 1.0 # Clamp value to '1'
        if array[i] > 0: # If value is over '0'
            array[i] = array[i]-decay # Decay value
        if array[i] < 0: # If value is below '0'
            array[i] = 0.0 # Clamp value to '0'
    target.SetAllHighlevelData(array) # Set the data for the output Vertex Map


Cinema 4D, Python, Tag

Here is easy Xpresso setup that drives X-Particles with MoGraph data. In this setup the cloner sets the amount of the XpEmitter’s particles. Emitter’s emission mode is set to “shot”. Then Xpresso iterates through the clones and sets position, rotation and color data from every single clone to X-Particle particles.

Now you can use for example XpTrail with your MoGraph setup instead using just old MoGraph Tracer object.


Cinema 4D, MoGraph, X-Particles

This is Python Generator that connects spheres with lines without line intersecting with spheres. There is many experimental commands in this tool. Python Generator virtually generates Sweep Objects and trims start and end parameters depending sphere’s radius so line does not go through spheres. Line is generated by using MoGraph Tracer object.

You can connect spheres by typing sphere IDs to data input. Syntax is “[first id, second id]”. You can also use experimental commands and generate automatically connections. Be careful, creating huge amount of connections will slow down your project. When you use “Add Connection” or “Remove Connection”, you must have only two spheres selected before you click those buttons.

This tool is made especially for parametric sphere objects. It does not work with anything else. This is updated post, before it was a bit clumsy Xpresso rig but now I have converted it completely to Python Generator.


Asset, Cinema 4D, Experimental, MoGraph, Python

This Xpresso setup is called SoundFlop. It is hooked to MoGraph’s Sound Effector. SoundFlop counts every hit that goes over certain threshold. I’m a bit confused how Sound Effector doesn’t have this feature out of the box. Fortunately we can fix this unfairness with simple Xpresso rig.

Threshold can be controlled with Sound Effector’s parameters, like “lower cutoff”, “compression” and “filter shape”.

Notice that the sound effector requires a wav file!


Asset, Cinema 4D, MoGraph, Xpresso