Change FBX Exporter Settings


I'm having issues wrapping my head around how to change an FBX Importer preference via Python. Any help would be appreciated, below explains my approach and what I was able to figure out so far. Please note that I am fairly new to the C4D Python API.

The specific goal is to change c4d.FBXIMPORT_NORMALS of the FBX Import.

First I need to figure out what the plugin ID is. I used the below approach to do. Please let me know if there is a better way to do this -

for p in c4d.plugins.FilterPluginList(c4d.PLUGINTYPE_ANY,True):
  print (p.GetID(), " = ", p.GetName())

The above output gives me -

1026370  =  FBX (*.fbx)
1026369  =  FBX (*.fbx)
1026370  =  FBX (*.fbx) Export
1026369  =  FBX (*.fbx) Import
1026371  =  FBXExportReferenceTag

The FBX Import Plugin Id is 1026369 . I now can return the BasePlugin object and SHOULD be able to set the parameter from here -

plug = c4d.plugins.FindPlugin(1026369, c4d.PLUGINTYPE_SCENELOADER)
>>> <c4d.plugins.BasePlugin object called FBX (*.fbx) with ID 15 at 2429143389120>


I run the above without any changes to the Preferences/FBX Import UI. Following the same concept for the "Units" plugin I get the expected results when modifying it's parm Units[c4d.PREF_UNITS_AUTOCONVERT] = False

Am I doing something incorrectly? Is this access via Python just not supported? Any help would be great. Thank you.

Hi @clayton_krause sorry for the late reply, There is actually two ways, one by accessing the global preference, but that will change the default import settings for every FBX importation. I would recommend to no change the preference as this could confuse user and instead use the second way that you tried to achieve (at least I think) by accessing the SceneLoader and only change the setting for the current Cinema 4D session.

To do so you need to retrieve the SceneLoader and then send the message MSG_RETRIEVEPRIVATEDATA to retrieve a dictionary containing a BaseList2D holding the settings used for the loading:

import c4d

def main():
    # Retrieves a path to load the imported file
    selectedFile ="Import a FBX File", type=c4d.FILESELECTTYPE_ANYTHING, force_suffix="fbx")
    if not selectedFile:

    plug = c4d.plugins.FindPlugin(c4d.FORMAT_FBX_IMPORT, c4d.PLUGINTYPE_SCENELOADER)
    if plug is None:
        raise RuntimeError("Failed to retrieve the FBX importer.")

    data = dict()
    if not plug.Message(c4d.MSG_RETRIEVEPRIVATEDATA, data):
        raise RuntimeError("Failed to retrieve private data.")

    # BaseList2D object stored in "imexporter" key hold the settings
    fbxImport = data.get("imexporter", None)
    if fbxImport is None:
        raise RuntimeError("Failed to retrieve BaseList2D settings holder.")

    # Defines the settings

    # Imports without dialogs
    if not c4d.documents.MergeDocument(doc, selectedFile, c4d.SCENEFILTER_OBJECTS | c4d.SCENEFILTER_MATERIALS, None):
        raise RuntimeError("Failed to load the document.")

    # Pushes an update event to Cinema 4D

if __name__ == '__main__':


@m_adam - Now I'm sorry for my late reply! I appreciate you writing this up for me and I think it's a really good reference. This question has been answered then!

Another quick question which sort of relates (I can create a new thread if admins want) - Do you have any recommendation for up-to-date C4D Python API training? I'm coming from writing Python in Houdini and Maya, but Cinema 4D seems to have a more unique setup with how to interface with their API.

Any training recommendations would be appreciated. Teach a man to fish and... something something fish.

Thank you,