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Huge C4D Files

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  • Huge C4D Files

    Hi there,

    I have a question. I only just started using SpeedTree and cannot find any proper SpeedTree - Cinema 4D Tutorials. I know there is a nativ exporter for c4d but it is giving me quite some problems...

    Having pressed the export button and entered C4D as output format, it calculates and creates the .c4d file. So far, so well. When I then look at the file size though, I get a minor heart attack... 775 mbs for one tree with 5 seconds of wind animation...

    If there is no animation and just the tree model, the file is about 27 mb big. Still a little over what I expected but i can still work with that. A 775 mb file though is just plain unrealistic to work with... Especially if I have more than just one tree within the scene.

    Please tell me what I did wrong...

    Exported Wind and Keyframes --> 775mb
    Exported Wind and Mdd --> around 400mb ( but cannot read mdd files yet without plugin -.-)

    Please help !



  • #2

    File size completely depends upon the size of the tree, the length of the animation, and the fps. Per-vertex keyframes are not cheap. They basically save out the position of every vertex every frame. This is the only way to get full SpeedTree wind effects into Cinema 4D. I'm not sure using MDD will save you much once everything is loaded into C4D (the plugins I've used for it have just converted the MDD to vertex keyframes anyway).

    You can either optimize the tree to reduce triangles, or lower the time the wind animation plays, or the fps. You don't have to export the entire time range you need, either. Often a small animation is ping-ponged to save on memory.

    You could also export the tree with bones and animate it yourself inside C4D.

    Hope this helps


    • #3

      Thanks for your reply.

      I had another idea yesterday. I created a tree and had the wind blow real strong. Hereof I exported one second with 30fps. This file is now 17mb big, because the tree also is way smaller.
      I then wanted to go into C4D and just scale the keyframes to make it slower. But then I saw that these Keyframes are PLA Keys which cannot be interpolated and therefore look like the branches jump step by step

      I also tried adding a Time Track and connecting it with the pla keys... does not work either...

      Any idea?



      • #4
        I believe PLA keys can be interpolated. I am using r14.

        I just exported a 1s 30fps animation and stretched it out by 10x. I had the same hitchy effect you were seeing until I selected all the keys, enabled smooth, and set the bias to 0%. Then it's a smooth, albeit slow-moving, tree animation.


        • #5
          Thank you!
          Exactly what I need !

          Thank you very much


          • #6
            No problem

            In fact, I may see if our C4D exporter can just set it up that way all the time. I don't really see a reason why it shouldn't


            • #7
              Heya, me again

              I have another question about the size of the c4d files.

              I have a nice tree with around about 500.000 triangles. No Animation: 50MB. With 1 second 30fps = 360 MB... with 5 seconds 25fps =1,4gb,,,

              Is there really no possibilty of having somekind of direct nativ support via Plug-In for c4d ? I mean how am I supposed to create a proper animated high detail environment for my architecutral visualisation, render it with Vray_for_C4d and put a 10gb file on my net render clients?

              As great as your program is, the files I get from it just do not really work for me... How did the Avatar guys create parts of Pandora with Speedtree and render it (I heard that somewhere) with Cinema4D ?

              Did they just use an unbelievably heavy render server or did they do something differently? Of course they will be better artists than I am but still...

              Thank you for your help!



              • #8
                They didn't use Cinema 4D, as far as I am aware, but that doesn't really matter. What does, however, is they did not use trees with that many polygons. Cut the vertex count in half, and you cut your point cache data in half. Background trees can be around 5-20k, medium distance can be around 100k. Any more than that and you'd be wasting polygonal resolution when you won't be seeing it. Pingponging the animation will also often work to save file size for a slightly longer shot, too.

                As a side note, we have Alembic IO export working internally, and it will be available in a future release. Alembic files are orders of magnitude smaller than a point cache with similar settings.


                • #9
                  YES!! I just found Alembic in another thread, tried it out and reduced the 360mb to 244kb!!! Bloody awesome, just have to reconnect the materials (or just check out how this plugin completely works) but hallelujah!

                  Thanks for your help, as always!