Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Character Menu
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Commands

The character menu contains various commands that are designed to make character animation easier. The commands have no dialog window. You can integrate the commands freely into the interface for rapid access using the Customize Commands Manager.

Create IK Chain

Allows you to quickly create an entire IK chain. An IK tag is created with its End field set automatically. A goal is also created and entered into the IK tag. In the Object Manager, simply select the joint objects which should form the start and end of the chain.

Hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command if you want to create several chains at the same time. For example, suppose you have a chain of joints for a leg, consisting of hip, knee, foot, ball and toe. If you select all of these joint objects except ball and choose the command with Ctrl/Cmd held down, three IK chains are created. The first IK tag is on the hip joint object and has its End set to foot. The second IK tag is assigned to foot and has ball entered as its End. And the third tag is on the toe joint object with its End set to toe.

Align

Gives you a fast way to align the axes in a hierarchy of joints. In the Object Manager, simply choose the top joint object in a hierarchy and choose this command. Hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command if you want to align the axes of the selected joint object but not the axes of the joint's children.

Copy Chain

Allows you to copy the coordinates of a joint hierarchy. You can then assign these copied coordinates to another joint hierarchy. The command works for any type of object hierarchy, not just joints.

If you hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command, the coordinates of the selected objects only are copied.

Mirror Chain

Works in a similar way to Map Chain, except that in this case, the copied coordinates are mirrored before being assigned. The coordinates are mirrored on the YZ plane by default.

If you hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command, the copied coordinates will be mirrored on the YZ plane. To use the XZ plane, hold down Shift.

Map Chain

Assigns the coordinates copied using Copy Chain to the selected hierarchy.

If you hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command, the coordinates are assigned to the selected objects only.

Reset PSR

Sets the position and rotation coordinates to zero and the scale along each axis to one for all objects that are selected in the Object Manager. If you hold down Ctrl/Cmd when choosing the command, the global zero coordinates are used, or, if you hold down Shift, the zero coordinates relative to the top object in the hierarchy are used.

Set Preferred

Defines the current pose and the Preferred Rot for all joint objects selected in the Object Manager.

To Preferred

Allows you to set the FK pose for the IK chain’s joints back to the angles defined by Preferred Rot. Note that it's only the rotations that change; the positions and scales of the joints stay the same. Therefore, it's important to record keyframes at the start of the animation for position, scale and, ideally, for rotation.

In the Object Manager, choose a joint object that has an IK tag to restore the IK chain's FK pose to the preferred rotation.

Reset Pose

Also corresponds to a command of the same name in the weight tag. However, here you have the possibility to reset the starting pose for all Weight tags, provided no objects are selected in the Object Manager when you choose the command. Holding the Ctrl/Cmd key while executing this command will only affect objects selected in the Weight tag.

Set Pose

Works in exactly the same way as the button of the same name located in the Weight tag on the Tag tab. In the Object Manager, choose an object that has a Weight tag and choose this command to define the current pose as the starting pose. Holding the Ctrl/Cmd key while executing this command will only affect objects selected in the Weight tag.

Create Cluster

This command transforms the current mesh selection (points, polygons or edges) into a cluster. In the process, a vertex map will be created, based on the selection. A Cluster Deformer will be created simultaneously and made a Child object of the selected object. The vertex map that was created will automatically be linked to this object and a Null object will be created to serve as a target for the cluster.

Project Object

Selecting this command will project the selected object in the active view onto the first polygonal object in the direction of view of the camera. This command projects a ray from the selected object along the direction of view of the camera. The first polygon that the ray reaches will be used to position the Object.

The following options are available:

Children

If enabled, the Child objects will follow their Parent object. However, they will not be projected. If this option is disabled, the Child objects will not move.

Default, Ctrl, Shift

This command offers 4 modes (which can be assigned the Shift or Ctrl/Cmd hotkeys. If no key is pressed when the command is executed, the mode defined for Default will be used):

Replace With

Use this command to replace an object, or parts of an object (such as tags, User Data and so on … ) with another one. Simply select the object to replace, then run the command to enter a pick session and select the object that will replace it. During the pick session, the object can be selected either in the viewport or in the Object Manager.

This command can be used on a variety of tasks, as it will not only replace an object entirely, but can be made to replace just the name, the object type, the parameters, etc. of an object by those of another one.

Tip:
When more than one object is selected, it will enter a multi-pick session when running the Replace With command. A multi-pick session allows you to pick one or several objects to be used as replacements. Ctrl/Cmd and Shift are used to add or remove to the selection of objects, and hitting Enter will confirm your selection.

If only one object is picked, then this object will be used for the replacement. If more than one object is selected, the replacement order will be based on the selection order, both before activating the command and during the multi-pick session (first object selected to be replaced will be switched with the first selected object during the multipick session, and so on).

Options

Note that the Options pop-up (when called up via a hotkey) can be activated every time you run the command if you enable Options mode for the command, in the Window / Customization / Customize Commands Manager.

Object

Replaces the selected object by the picked object.

Children

Replaces the parameters of the selected object and its children by the picked object and its children. Objects that can't be matched with an equivalent object within their respective hierarchies won't be affected.

Remove

Removes the picked object, allowing you to create objects whenever you want, to be used as replacements for selected objects and removing those picked objects automatically in the process.

Name

Replaces the name of the selected object by the name of the picked object.

Tags

Replaces the tags of the selected object with the tags of the picked object.

Layers

Replaces the layer of the selected object with the layer of the picked object.

PSR

Replaces the selected object Position, Scale and Rotation with the picked object's Position, Scale and Rotation.

Animation

Replaces the selected object animation with the picked object animation. If no animation is set on the picked object, it will remove the animation information of the selected object.

Parameter

Replaces the parameters of the selected object with the parameters of the picked object. Parameters can only be replaced objects that have parameters, such as primitives, generators and so on … Edited geometry does not have parameters.

User Data

Replaces the User Data of the selected object with the User Data of the picked object.

Geometry

Replaces the geometry of the selected object with the geometry of the picked object. This option does not work with Generators.

Keep Center

When replacing the geometry of the selected object, use this option to define if you want the picked geometry to be centered with the axis of the selected object, or keep its original position relative to the axis.

Keep Dimensions

Results with Keep Dimensions enabled.

When replacing the geometry of the selected object, use this option if you want the picked object geometry dimensions to match the dimensions of the selected object geometry. The new geometry will be scaled automatically to match the old geometry's volume, in other terms. Keep in mind that by doing so, it will change the geometry's proportions, if they are not similar.

Set Parent

Use this command to set the parent of selected objects and their children. Simply select the object(s) to parent, then run the command to enter a picking session and select a parent object either in the Object Manager or the viewport.

Unparent

Use this command to break the parenting of selected objects. Simply select the objects you wish to unparent and run the command. The objects will be placed at the top of the hierarchy.

Tip:
Hold the SHFT key to unparent only selected objects, leaving their children in their initial hierarchy