The Import Struggle is real (C4D Edition)

Hey Everyone,

I am brand new to Unreal Engine, but I have been a 3D modeler and motion graphics artist for more than 15 years. My software of choice is Cinema 4D and After Effects primarily, and I have a fair amount of experience with VizRT and XPression.

Right - so I have been tasked with taking a scene built in C4D which is currently being used as a virtual set for a popular sports-talk show and bringing it into UE with the goal of having it feel more alive with dynamic reflections, shadows, etc instead of the lifeless baked AO and such they are using currently. Since there is some UE integration with Viz now, the time is right to start leveraging the benefits of this and give the visual fidelity of Viz scenes the boost they have long needed, and this seems like a good place to start as the geometry is VERY basic (mostly chevrons and some flat-ish cubes).

I know that the pipeline in broad strokes is to export the geometry as FBX (btw - I am using C4D R20 as the FBX export functionality is greatly improved over previous versions). I can go into some detail over the issues I have had in trying to do this, and I will if asked, but in broad strokes I have one overarching question which its burning a hole in my brain at the moment - what is the most efficient way to replicate my scene from C4D in UE? Right now, while I can get objects in ok, the information pertaining to where they all live in physical space doesn’t seem to be preserved. So, this right now would mean I would need to write down and manually enter between 9-12 values for the PSR of approximately 130 objects. That simply cannot be the case… it would take an eternity to do this, and I know there has to simply be something I am missing? Even though these objects aren’t moving, do I need to perhaps make a single key for each relevant value, and add animation to the export and import settings? That seems like it could work but also doesn’t seem particularly efficient… I know I have to be missing something here.

So far, I have only watched a tutorial series on Lynda(dot)com, which was fairly straight forward for the most part (there are some frustrating ambiguities surround the C4D->UE4 pipeline as he is clearly a Maya guy), but his imports seemed to come into UE’s 3D space in exactly the same location they were found in their C4D counterpart without explanation as to any steps needed to reach that exact result. So, here I am… a complete noob looking to benefit from the wisdom and experience of the collected masses here in an effort to simply get my feet off the ground, and make something happen.

With respect to the capabilities of UE, this is pretty low-hanging fruit, but I am very appreciative for any help / guidance any of you here can give.


Helpful lot here…

Anyway, I got it sorted thanks to some guidance I got on another board.

You’re to impatient. Since the redesign of the forums and most important this awefull new topic search function, I (and i guess some others too) don’t visit this site very often anymore.

Also unleashing a wall of text with a Title that reads more like a recap then a question and hide your question somewhere within isn’t the best tactic to ask for help.

BTW: thanks for (not) sharing your solution.

I’d knew at least a few ways of dealing with this.

  1. combine meshes in C4D
  2. combine meshes on import
  3. set the pivot of all objects to a certain point in C4D with the help of the align axis tool.

Too impatient… yes because nothing in this business revolves around deadlines, and waiting 4 days for any sort of input on a forum for one of the most widely used softwares in the creative industry is a perfectly reasonable expectation. :rolleyes: Being new here (my post count of 2 and my join date of March 2019 should be key giveaways) I really have no way to know that there was a re-design of the board and thinning of traffic in its wake.

Oh, and my bad for thinking that a proper explanation of the situation and what I am trying to acomplish would actually be helpful… I didn’t realize this was the TLDR sub-forum, I forget that the current generation of young adults are afraid of reading and love to draw conclusions based on nothing more than the headline. I’ll make sure to adjust my technique for the audience going forward.

In other words, thanks for the needless and unnecessary condescension, the presumption that I am clairvoyant, and the unsolicited feedback on my writing style.

You’re right though, I didn’t share the solution I found as I try to do as little ■■■■■■■ into the wind as possible, but since at least one you decided to chime in, and apparently the issue is not limited to just me, here is what I found.

UE gives 0 f’s about the position or orientation of the object axis from C4D, instead placing at all times said axis at world 0 upon import. If you export from Cinema with coordinates enabled, zeroing out the position in UE after dragging the object(s) into your scene will make it appear in the correct space, but with its pivot point situated at world 0 as mentioned above. This is ok, but not ideal, as if you want to reposition a thing after import, it’s a bit of a pain. This plugin appears to be a solution however, as it seems to provide UE with a tool very similar to the Axis Center tool in Cinema: Pivot Tool in Code Plugins - UE Marketplace I haven’t tried the plugin yet as the elements in my scene are not meant to be repositioned, and I have a very narrow window to get this thing to work while I am attempting to learn this software, so my time for extra curricular R&D is limited.

Something is coming that should benefit you greatly, but you are a little too early at the moment. We are currently in development to support C4D importing with the Datasmith plugin.

Some more information:

I’m aware that you’re new here. This is why i explained the situation to you.

Sadly there are not many people who use the combination of C4D and Unreal Engine, so the expertise is somewhat rare.