C4D

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Title(s): Cinema4D, C4D

Version ID: 11.0

Date released: 2008-09-01

Date: 1989

Creator(s): Christian and Philip Losch

Contributor(s): MAXON Computer Gmbh

Relationships:

  • Previous Version(s):None
  • Contains: None
  • Syntax Format(s): Uses File Format(IFF). IFF is a chunk based format that allows applications to only use the parts of the file that apply to them.
  • Family Format(s): None

Description: One file is used to store material, object, and scene information, allowing one editor to handle animation, modeling, texturing, and rendering. The file format uses the following standards:

  • The format uses a left hand coordinate system, meaning that the x-axis goes from left to right, the y-axis goes from bottom to top, and the z-axis goes from front to back.
  • All floating point data is stored in single precision IEEE format.
  • Angles are stored in radians using the [1] system.
  • All object points are stored relative to their own axis.

The format supports the following data types:

  • BOOL - 1 byte unsigned character
  • CHAR - 1 byte integer
  • WORD - 2 byte integer
  • UWORD - 2 byte unsigned integer
  • LONG - 4 byte integer
  • ULONG - 4 byte unsigned integer
  • Real - 4 byte float value
  • Vector - { Real x,y,z } - Can be used as a vector, point, or color. Vectors must always be normalized.

The IFF chunks of data have the following format:

  • A 4 character chunk identification (4 bytes)
  • The size of the chunk as a LONG (4 bytes)
  • The chunk data (Specified size)

A platform chunk is used to specify what platform the file was written on:

  • A 4 character chunk identification (4 bytes)
  • The size of the chunk as a LONG (4 bytes)
  • A LONG to indicate the platform
    • Windows = 1
    • Macintosh = 2
    • Unix = 4

If the platform chunk is not included, it is assumed that the platform reading the file wrote it.

The material, object, and environment chunks are all composed of subchunks.


History: C4D was originally created by Christian and Philip Losch as a ray-tracer program for a monthly programming contest in the magazine, Kickstart. Their program won the contest. The file format was started at this time. The program Cinema 4D was originally called FastRay and released for the Amiga in 1991. Several version of Cinema 4D were released in the mid 1990's, before being released as a production-level product in 1997. Cinema 4D is now available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers. Cinema 4D has been used to create the graphics for some well known movies, including:

  • Spiderman 3
  • Beowulf
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • War of the Worlds
  • Polar Express
  • and more

Example(s): Example Template - Information and example models of the engineering format.

Identifier: - A URL or other identifier that refers to the engineering format.

Documentation: Documentation Template - Information in general about the engineering format.

File Extensions: c4d

Applications:

  • Native application(s): Cinema 4D, XL-Bundle, PyroCluster, Advanced Render, MOCCA, and Thinking Particles

Magic numbers: C4D uses a 12 byte header. The headers consists of:

  • 4 characters for the IFF Identification (4 bytes)
  • The size of the file as a LONG (4 bytes)
  • 4 characters for the Cinema 4D Identification (4 bytes)

Format(s): - The MIME file types.

Rights: Proprietary License

Sustainability Factors:

  • Standardization: The formats complies with:
  • IFF Specification
  • IEEE Floating Point Specification
  • Adoption: - Information about how this format has been adopted by other organizations.
    • Licensing and patent claims: - Any licenses or patent claims that the engineering format makes.
  • Self-documentation: None
  • External dependencies: None
  • Technical protection considerations: - Any considerations that are necessary when it comes to technical protection.

Typical use: CAD, Modeling, Rendering, Texturing, Animation

File classification: - Specific properties that pertain to this engineering format.

  • Type {Binary, Text}: Text
  • Raster data:
    • Raster data 2D:
      • Is Supported: No
      • Description:
    • Raster data 3D:
      • Is Supported:No
      • Description:
  • Geometric representation:
    • Implicit representation:
      • Implicit surfaces:
        • Is Supported: Yes
        • Description:
      • Implicit curves:
        • Is Supported: Yes
        • Description:
        • Point set:
        • Is Supported: Yes
        • Description:
    • Mesh:
      • Manifold surface meshes: - Can the format support manifold surface meshes? Example: A format that supports surfaces that are mathematical spaces in which every point has a neighborhood which resembles Euclidean space
        • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
        • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
      • Manifold volume meshes: - Can the format support manifold volume meshes? Example: A format that supports volumes that are mathematical spaces in which every point has a neighborhood which resembles Euclidean space
        • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
        • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
      • Non-manifold meshes: - Can the format support non-manifold meshes? Example: A format that supports meshes that are not manifolds
        • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
        • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • Parametric representation:
      • Parametric surfaces:
        • Is Supported: Yes
        • Description:
      • Parametric curves:
        • Is Supported: Yes
        • Description:
    • Contour sets: - Can the format support contour sets?
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • NURBS: - Can the format support Non Uniform Rational Basis Splines? Examples: The engineering formats IGES, STEP, ACIS, and PHIGS
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
  • Multi-resolution models: - Can the format support models with multiple resolutions? Examples: A format that supports a highly detailed and lowly detailed model simultaneously supports multi-resolution models.
    • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
    • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
  • Dynamics: - Section describes whether or not the engineering format supports dynamics.
    • Kinematics: - Can the format support kinematics? Example: Does the format allow model parts to rotate?
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • Assembly: - Can the format support assembly? Example: Does the format allow the assembly instructions to be explicitly specified with a model?
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • Force(s): - Can the format support forces? Example: Does the format support acceleration forces?
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
  • Boundary representation - Can the format support models with boundary representations?
    • Manifold surface boundary representations: - Can the format support manifold surface boundary representations? Example: The engineering format STEP
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • Manifold volume boundary representations: - Can the format support manifold volume boundary representations? Example: The engineering format STEP
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
    • Non-manifold boundary representations: - Can the format support non-manifold boundary representations? Example: The engineering format STEP
      • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
      • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.
  • Material transparency: - Can the format support transparency? Example: Does the format allow models to have a clear window in a car?
    • Is Supported: - Is the feature supported in the engineering format?
    • Description: - This field is used to describe the support or lack of support of the feature.

References: - A list of references regarding any aspects of this engineering format; any reading material supplemental to this page.