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Cinema 4D Workflow

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  • started a topic Cinema 4D Workflow

    Cinema 4D Workflow

    Hello there!

    I have a couple of questions and a couple of things I already found out about the workflow with Cinema 4D that I would like to ask and share.

    First off - Question Time!

    1) Smoothing Groups
    I have an issue with the smoothing of objects. Now, the problem with C4D is that - unlike 3Ds Max or Maya - there is no such thing as "smoothing groups" in the fbx-exporter.
    After a bit of research I found that "smoothing groups" equals the phong tag. So, I add a tag and export but I still get an error message and the objects do not look correct. Do I need certain settings in the phong Tag to have it produce the right results?


    2) Placing the Objects
    I want to build my level architecture and assets in C4D, do the UV Layout and export the entire scene in one scene and import the file so I can control each object individually. So far no problem. (Do not combine meshes on import to achieve that)
    Now the question: I have all the objects I want in UE4, but how do I get them into my level editor.
    If I do it for the first time, I can select everything in the Contentbrowser and Click'n Drag it into the viepwport. Now I have everything in the Scene. Now I can select (or simply not deselect) everything in the Scene Outliner and "Group them" / Ctrl+G . If I now select said group I can for example set that to 0/0/0.
    But this group Pivot is in the exact middle of my geometry.
    Is there some proper way to determine the exact placement of all the objects (relative to my C4D Origin that is?)

    Workaround I just thought of and which does work... what I did was create a Cone, flip it 180 degrees so it stands on its tip, put the pivot to the tip and put it to 0/0/0. Then I imported the geometry to UE4 and while having everything selected draged the big cone to the origin... workaround that'll have to make due until I find out a better way...

    Everything else that I were to add if I edit anything I could probably just place by hand or simply copy the coordinates for once...


    Now a few things I found out and had to google a lot to find it properly...

    A) UV Layout for Lightmaps

    To have less to no problems with lighting in Unreal you need two sets of UVs. First one for the textures and materials, second for the Light/shadowmaps.
    The first UV tag (Index 0) can have overlapping UVs, no problem.
    But the second (Index 1) needs to be absolutly clean, no overlap or anything. This is easily done.
    Simple create the UV tag
    (should you work with Cube/Sphere Mapping etc, you can easily generate the tag by right clicking on the material and saying "Generate UVW Tag".)
    name it UVW 0, CTRL+ LMB click'n'Drag to the right and thereby create a second one and name this Tag "UVW 1".
    Then go to Bodypaint (Layout panel -> BP UV Edit).
    Now you select the object, select all faces, click on the second UVW Tag and in the "UV Mapping" Editor window in the bottom right go to the "Optimal Mapping" Tab.
    Tick the box next to "Optimal (Cubic)" and hit apply.
    Depending on how high res your object is it may calculate a while but then give you a nice and clean UV Layout
    Aaaaand you're done.


    B) Multiple Materials on one object

    Sometimes you might want to have multiple materials on one object.
    That is a little fussy in C4D, but basically no problem.

    Let's say you want to have three materials on one object, for example a wall, with a window(glass) and a windowframe.
    What you will need is :
    3 Texture Tags
    3 Polygon Selection Tags
    2 UVW Tags.
    and of course 3 Materials.
    First you do as you always would in C4D.
    You set the selections for the wall, the window and the frame and name them accordingly.
    Add the textures, restrict them to the selections and map them (i.e. via Cube Mapping)
    Note: Maybe I have done something wrong here so far, but for me it has never worked if I use external renderer materials as in VrayAdvancedMaterials, I always had to turn them back to "normal" C4D-Materials for this to work.
    Now you need to turn the mapping into UVW-Mapping. This is easiest by right clicking the first tag and selecting "Generate UVW Tag". For the other two tags, right-click and "Assign UVW Coordinates". Now you have one UVW Tag that holds the information for all three tags.
    Now comes the "fussy" bit. To have Unreal properly import all the materials and tags etc in the right order we have to give them names. What I do is I name them by index.
    First we name the Texture Tags 0, 1 and 2. Now we name the corresponding selection Tags 0, 1 and 2
    Note: Don't forget to reconnect/rename the selections in the Texture Tags as well... C4D is not really dynamic when it comes to Tagnames...
    For a little more transparency in the project also rename the Materials.
    Tag 1 is Glass --> M_1Glas
    Tag 2 is the frame --> M_2Frame
    Tag 3 is the wall --> M_3Wall

    You can name it as you want, just make it so you understand what you are doing, and also other peoply may quickly understand what you were doing.
    Last but not least, do not forget the second UVW Tag for the lightmaps (as described above).
    Then export the fbx. Be certain to export the "Materials and textures" and Normals.
    Finally, we need to import it properly into Unreal.
    In the Fbx Importer window be sure to "Import Materials" and have Normals set to "Import Normals".
    If you have done everything right you should now find an object with three texture elements and two UV Channels, next to three materials named 1,2 and 3


    I hope this might help some fellow C4D users struggling to find their way into the Unreal Engine 4.
    I also hope that some more experienced C4D users can help me with my questions up top.
    If anyone has anything to add to what I wrote or may want to correct me where I was wrong, please do so! I will keep an eye on this thread and update it if needed

    Thanks already and I wish you all a great day

    JayCox of on3studio

  • replied
    Originally posted by Miguelillo View Post
    Ok, done, my fault was exporting from cinema in 6.1 version lol... a few hours to discover this... thanks
    Hey Miguel, so what version of the FBX exporter worked for you? You say 6.1 did not work for you (others say that 6.1 is the best version), so which one did?

    Leave a comment:

  • replied
    Lightmass resolution is at 256 I think its enough, could be my lightmap UVs, but I don´t know how to check this, in Cinema before export?, or in Unreal after imported?... Thanks Kraid

    Leave a comment:

  • replied
    Looks like your lightmap resolution is to low and your lightmap UVs might also need some adjustments (hard to say without seeing them).

    Leave a comment:

  • replied
    Well, next step, How to fix those artifacts boys?

    Could be with lightmass settings options in "config" unreal 4 folder?


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  • replied
    Yeeeees, this works fine, at the end looooool... Thanks so much, I have read this post 50 times minimum trying to fint the solution, at the end got it... oh my god, thanks... (Sorry I´m a bit new but I´m so excited with this)... Really appreciated...

    Leave a comment:

  • replied
    Ok, done, my fault was exporting from cinema in 6.1 version lol... a few hours to discover this... thanks

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  • replied
    You there man?... I need only this to do my projects ok... please help...

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  • replied
    Thanks Antidamage, COuld you tell me if those options I use are ok?...

    Because I can´t do it... Thanks again... and what you mean with "The answer is to get everything smooth in C4D", you mean using phong tags?... Thanks, I use too "Unbreak Phong Shading" command...
    Last edited by Miguelillo; 10-26-2016, 11:17 AM.

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  • replied
    The answer is to get everything smooth in C4D, then in your mesh build settings in UE after import play with normals and tangents. Try turning off Compute Normals and Tangents so that it's forced to use the imported tangents.

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  • replied
    Could someone help me please?...

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  • replied
    Well guys, its impossible for me to get smoothness in objects... I attach this:

    If someone could explain to me how to smoothness this?... don´t problem with materials, but don´t smoothnes for arch vizs its a big problem...

    Thanks in advance...

    I´ve tried all in this post and nothin

    Cartamania, could you post your export options from cinema and your import options from unreal?... I think I do something bad here... Thanks
    Last edited by Miguelillo; 10-26-2016, 11:16 AM.

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  • replied
    I never tried it, but maybe with foliage you can make something similar to cloners. If you adjust your density to be able to put one object for each mouse click and configure Foliage to control scale, rotation and inclination.

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  • replied
    If you need to place just a few objects, you should simply do it by copy&paste or duplicate and adjust their position manually.

    There are also other possibilities like using blueprints to generate such things procedural.
    But nothing like an "out of the box" solution.

    Maybe you are able to find blueprint setups for specific tasks online or in the store, never needed one so i don't know.

    Leave a comment:

  • replied
    Thank you for reply kraid.

    thats exactly what I want to do..export just one object and than do the cloning in UE, but I dont know there a tool similar to cloner, or specific workflow?....somehow I cant google it..

    thank you

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