C4D File Format Specifications



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 15/08/2003 at 19:49, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    User Information:
    Cinema 4D Version:   8.100 
    Platform:   Windows  ;   
    Language(s) :     C++  ;

    ---------
    Hello all!
    I was referred here to get information regarding the C4D file format specifications.  I am Dustin Juliano, the CEO of Ethereal Evolution, Inc.  I am also the lead developer for our product, Universe Unlimited(tm).  UU is what we call it for short.  We are using Cinema 4D exlusively for our game development needs.  We outgrew (quickly) Truespace.
    I must say though we are really held back by the fact that we do not have the specifications for the C4D file format.  Truespace, Softimage, Lightwave and many others openly give this information.  Surely Maxon will share this with us.  We only hope to strength Maxon's reach into the game development community as a viable and extremely stable platform for doing game developent for texturing, modeling, mapping, skinning, and even for skeletal animation purposes.  I know Cinema 4D has the power to do all that and more.  The question is how to get this wonderful program's information in to our own without doing it in an adhock fashion.
    We need access to the file format specifications.  Since we know C4D file format uses an IFF. We are only intersted in the chunks that give us geometry, heiarchy, ik, keyframes, bones, lighting, custom data nodes, and materials.  The rest can safely be discarded for our purposes.
    Cinema 4D is a perfect thing for game developers. It has the abbility to tag custom data nodes inside the scene graph.  This is an amazingly powerful way to scale up the use of the program for directly input into our 3d engine.  If we could only tap that resource we could surely create a lasting relationship.  Once our product is released we will be more than happy to use it as an example and testimony of the great work that Maxon has done.  I definately plan on it.  But in order to finish our job we need a little push by giving us that information.
    I was told the specs are here, but I am not able to find them.  I have talked with technical support, looked through the source code (C++), SDK dox, regular dox, paper manuals, I have searched the internet and found a 1997 format 4.x (old), and even emailed the project manager for Maxon.  I am very ambitious to insure we can continue to use the Maxon line of products and this is a sure-fire way to keep us in the game (pun intended). 
    If anyone has any information on this or could give us the real key--the offical C4D file format specifications--we would be enourmously appreciative.
    Thanks in advance!
    Best regards,
    Dustin Juliano
    President/CEO
    Ethereal Evolution, Inc.
    http://www.universeunlimited.com



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 15/08/2003 at 20:28, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    If I may add an ammendum.
    I also located the XML export [thanks to another C4D helpful forum].  This is *highly* out standing.  Exporting a simple cube reveals hundreds of lines of XML code.  Perhaps if we could get a small reference on the XML element types so we can quickly know what to look for and what to skip?
    Regards,
    Dustin Juliano



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 15/08/2003 at 23:25, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Well, I can only throw a little thought here:

    You probably won't get the file format specification, and for your kind of application it would be pretty useless anyway. You basically would have to rewrite Cinema to use it, coz it's all parametric.

    Sounds like bad news? No, it isn't.

    The proper and version safe way to deal with your problem is to write an Export filter using the Cinema C++ SDK. Look for Plugins: Export/import filters: SceneSaverData

    Hope this helps

    Kabe



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 16/08/2003 at 11:54, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Hi,
    as Kabe says file format specifications are not available anymore because it´s all of parametric nature just like .max (3DS Max) files.
    Best
    Samir



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 16/08/2003 at 12:50, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    So wait a minute.  Your telling me when I take a cube and "make editable" it does not collapse that mesh into vertex form?  Meaning non-parametrix, now having a physical form of vertices.  That is the data we need, I know C4D can save non-parametrix geometric chunks.
    Thats like saying, you can't have this bag of fruit, because some of the apples are not ripe yet.  Parametric is the birthing place to editable meshes.  With a few keystrokes we can turn the parametric objects into collapsed meshes.  Regardless of loss of mutability or quality, it still is possible and its what we do as game developers. We still work with vertices and faces.  OpenGL has a nice quadratics library but its still a little into the future before we start to see 3D hardware that accelerates procedural geometry.
    Please, take a look at www.newtek.com, www.softimage.com, and look at the parts where they advertise their open scene format specifically for game developers.  Why is this such a foriegn concept?  I am not out of place for asking for this.
    Dustin Juliano
    President/CEO
    Ethereal Evolution, Inc.



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 16/08/2003 at 14:47, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    This question is perfectly fine to ask here, though I can only give you the technical answers, not discuss MAXON policy. For questions concerning that, please contact product manager Marco Tillmann (m_tillmann@maxon.net) instead.
    The answers you've got so far are unfortunately accurate, at least so far as that the current C4D file format isn't public. (The older C4D R5 format is open.)
    The common workaround is to write an export plugin for C4D, picking out just the data that you want to export and write it in a file format of your choice. Ad hoc, I guess, but probably not more job than writing a parser for the C4D R8 file format.



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 17/08/2003 at 02:08, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Quote: Originally posted by BlackWolf on 16 August 2003
    >
    > * * *
    >
    > So wait a minute.  Your telling me when I take a cube and "make editable" it does not collapse that mesh into vertex form?
    >
    >
    > * * *

    Nobody said that. As soon as you convert it into a polygon mesh, it is of course in vertex form. However, as long as you save the cube without "make editable", it's a parametric cube. The file format includes a ton of parametric objects though, all standing in your way when writing a parser. Additionally, you even can be certain that the file format will change with future releases.

    > Quote: __
    >
    > * * *
    >
    > Meaning non-parametrix, now having a physical form of vertices.  That is the data we need, I know C4D can save non-parametrix geometric chunks.
    >
    >
    > * * *

    Of course, and you could do as well using an Exporter plugin. Actually it can even access the vertex representation of an parametric object, so you wouldn't need to collapse them beforehand in Cinema.

    > Quote: __
    >
    > * * *
    >
    > Why is this such a foriegn concept?
    >
    >
    > * * *

    The only foreign concept for me is why you are requesting a parametric file format, when you actually need vertices.

    Again, you can (and IMO should) use the SDK to write an Exporter that perfectly fill your special needs (ie inclusion of tag information, or even create your own tags, automatic conversion to vertices and so on).

    Writing an Exporter is without any doubt *way* easier than writing a parser for a parametric file format. Therefore the file format of Cinema would be completely useless for you anyway IMO.

    If you're interested in just the meshes, use Cinema's *.obj or *.3ds export. However, if you would like to include tags (or even write your own), the get some of your engineers into using the SDK to write an Exporter plugin. It's time well spent.

    HTH

    Kabe



  • THE POST BELOW IS MORE THAN 5 YEARS OLD. RELATED SUPPORT INFORMATION MIGHT BE OUTDATED OR DEPRECATED

    On 17/08/2003 at 05:45, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Actually we are already on that.   =)
    We started working on the plug-in as soon as we realized we were not going to get the specs.  It will also come in handy with the making of the GXF exporters.
    I do thank everyone for their quick replies on our concerns, it definately shows that we are working with a company who is not only vigiliant about their support but has a lot of quality.
    Kind Regards,
    Dustin Juliano
    President/CEO
    Ethereal Evolution, Inc.


Log in to reply