Create Menu

Creating materials

New Default Material

Calling up this function (or double-clicking on an empty area of the Material Manager or by double-clicking on the + icon) will create a new material. But what is a default material? Cinema 4D offers various kinds of materials, depending on the intended use (e.g., a physical material, a Hair material or a Node Material, etc.), whose settings can be defined as needed and that can be used as a basis for custom materials.

This is nothing new. These default materials were previously created when a given function was activated (e.g., a Sketch material). You can now define yourself, what a default material is. This can be defined in the Preferences menu under Default Material. In the next menu you can create a unique new default material.


New Standard Material

This command (or a double-click on an empty area of the Material Manager) creates a new material with default values (white with specularity). The new material is placed at the start of the material list.

New PBR Material

This command works like the aforementioned New Default Material command, only that a material that is as physically correct as possible will be created. This material is made up exclusively of the active Reflectance material channel. This channel contains 2 layers:

Note that this is only a Material System preset and does not offer any new functionality as such.

When using a PBR Material it is recommended that a PBR Light (Area; Inverse Square Falloff; visible in rendering and reflections) is also used.

The PBR Material works with all renderers. When used with older renderers, render times will increase compared to standard materials (in part because of refllections, incl. matte portion).

New Uber Material

A node-based but easy-to-use material will be created whose channels are similar to those of a standard material or a physical material. The Uber material settings can be accessed and modified in the Attribute Manager or by double-clicking on it on the Material Manager’s or Material Editor’s preview. The Uber material is in fact made up of a complex network of material nodes, which can also be accessed via the Node Editor. This means that the Uber material can be configured directly in the Node Editor. To do so, select the Uber material in the Material Manager and select Edit > Node Editor.

The Uber material is known as a material asset, i.e., a saved and capsuled arrangement of Node Materials. Assets such as these can also be created and edited in the Node Editor.

Details about this special material can be found under Uber Material.

Several tips for Node Materials

New Node Material

A Node Material is made up of 2 individual Nodes: a Material Node and a Node that feeds it, which controls the behavior of the surface reflections.

These Node Materials are designed for advanced users because the material itself must be created using numerous available nodes.

Double-click on the newly created Node Material to open the

Node Editor.

Special materials

Here you will find several materials for special functions such as Sketch and Toon or Hair. Many of these material are created automatically when the corresponding function is activated, e.g., via commands (e.g., Hair) or the render settings (e.g., Sketch). Others must be calles up explicitly (e.g., PyroCluster).

New Grass Material

Creates a new Grass material (also called Architectural grass).

New Hair Material

Creates a new Hair Material.

New PyroCluster Material

Creates a new PyroCluster material.

New PyroCluster VolumeTracer Material

Creates a new Pyrocluster VolumeTracer Material.

New Shadow Catcher Material

Creates a new Shadow Catcher Material.

New Sketch Material

Creates a new Sketch material.

Node Material presets

Node Materials presets

In this menu you will find several available Node Material presets for the Standard/Physical renderer such as wood, metal, stone, plastic, ceramic, etc. These materials are comprised of normal nodes and can be viewed in the Node Editor to learn more about them and how they were created (click on the Node Material’s Node Editor button, right-click on the node and select Edit Asset).


This menu contains the Cinema 4D volume shaders. These are described under 3D Volumen Shaders.

Other commands

Load Materials...

This command loads materials, adding them to any materials already in the scene. You can also import materials from another scene by loading the scene file.

A word of caution regarding textures:

By default, Cinema 4D will search for all textures here:

In the same folder as the scene

In the Tex folder within the scene’s folder

In the Tex folder within the Cinema 4D folder

If a given bitmap was saved to an absolute path, Cinema 4D will, in this case, only search within this path, and will ignore all other defined search paths.

When Cinema 4D renders the scene, it must locate all the textures. When the scene is to be used on another computer (perhaps by a colleague) we recommend that you save the scene using the Save Project with Assets command. This will save all of the textures used by the scene in a Tex sub-folder. Save Project is comparable to the Collect For Output command that you may be familiar with from using other software tools.

Save Materials as...

Saves the selected materials. The standard system dialog for saving files will open. Once you have saved the materials, you can reload them at any time using the Load Materials command.

Save All Materials as...

Saves all the materials in the active scene. Use the Load Materials command when you want to load the materials.