Project Asset Inspector

Project Asset Inspector...


Tip:The term assets in this chapter refers to the data separate from the scene files (*.c4d) that is required for rendering. These include:

The Project Asset Inspector shows all assets of the current scene, including many of their properties. You can see at a glance if assets are missing and can re-link, exchange or combine these and much more. The Project Asset Inspector is especially useful if you suddenly get error messages for missing data when rendering. This can happen easily when copying projects and opening these on a different computer.

Tip:Tools that are contained within an asset (e.g., a bitmap in a Sculp brush) are not shown by the Project Asset Inspector.

Example: What should you do if you load a project and textures are missing when it’s rendered?

For the most common case that the original texture folder was moved and the texture paths simply need to be reset, you can proceed as follows:

  1. Call up the Edit|Select Missing Assets command. This will select all textures that need to be edited.
  2. Call up the Assets|Re-Link Assets command. A selection menu will appear.
  3. Navigate to the folder in which the missing textures lie and click on Open. That’s it. All textures will now be linked.
  4. If you want, you can now save all of the project’s assets (Save Project with Assets...) and, for example, zip them and send them to another user. Alternatively, the new Consolidate Assets command can be used.

The Project Asset Manager interface

Asset list

In the Asset list you will find all assets in the opened project, including several of their properties listed below. Note that you can double-click on names the list to rename them, which means that you don’t, for example, have to switch to the Material Manager to select a new asset path.

Double-clicking on the asset icon under Scene Element will open the Manager directly at the location at which the asset is linked. This is very practical and lets you quickly see which function the respective asset has.

Assets can be selected and deselected in combination with the Shift and Ctrl/Cmb keys (you can also click and drag over several elements with the mouse.

If these columns are too narrow to show a complete path, you can hover the cursor over them and the complete path will be displayed.

You can click on the column name to arrange the list alphabetically. Click on it several times to change the sorting order. The columns can be moved horizontally by clicking and dragging them. Click and drag the dividing line between the columns to widen or narrow them.

Each column is explained in detail below (each column can be hidden or displayed in the View menu):


3 asset states are available:


Displays the asset type (e.g., image, audio, etc.).


Displays the file name, incl. file type. For sequences, start and end frame numbers will be displayed.

You can double-click on a file name to change it (and therewith the link).


Here, the path saved with the asset is displayed. If only the file name is displayed, the path is relative; if a path is displayed, the path is absolute. What are relative and absolute paths?

For the commands described below, both path types can be switch to the other.

You can double-click on the path to change its name to change the link.

Scene Element

Here, the element name is displayed in which the asset was linked. This can, for example, be the name of a material, sound field or node.

You can also double-click on this name to enter a new element name. Double-clicking on the icon will open the respective Manager at the location at which the asset is linked.

Element Type

This column displays the element type in which the asset is linked, e.g., material, XRef, sound field, etc.


Here, the path (incl. element name) is displayed in which the asset is located in the element (e.g., material object, tag, etc.). Double-clicking on the path will open the respective Manager at the location at which the asset is linked.


If the element in the asset (e.g., material, object) is assigned to a layer, this layer will be displayed here. You can double-click on the name to rename the layer (the assignement will remain unaffected).


Assets can be exchanged if different Takes are used. Here, the Take in which the asset lies is listed. If you don’t use any Takes, Basis will be displayed. The Take that is currently active in the project will be displayed with an asterix (*).

The assets of all takes will always be listed, regardless if the Take is active or not.

Node Space

Materials can be assigned different node spaces (e.g., Physical Renderer). The corresponding node space is displayed here. The node space currently defined in Cinema 4D is denoted here with an asterix (*).

Absolute Pfad

Here, the absolute path will be displayed, regardless of whether it’s a relative or absolute path.

New File Path

If you change paths using the replace function described below, the path entered will be displayed using a type of preview function (before the Replace button is pressed).


Here the asset’s file format (JPG, ies, c4d, etc.) will be displayed.

File Size

Here, the asset’s file size is displayed.


Here the image (if present) resolution is displayed in pixels.


At the bottom left of the Manager you will see a preview of the asset, if it is able to be previewed as an image (e.g., bitmaps, c4d project files, ies, substances, etc.). The preview will stay blank or a symbol will be displayed for other file types.

You can double-click on the preview image to display it in full resolution. The enlarged display can be moved using the mouse and a small navigation display will make it easier to orient. Double-click again to display the entire image.

At the right of the preview you will find an information field that displays information pertaining to the currently selected asset such as resolution, color depth, alpha channels (bitmaps) or number of frames, channels, sample rate (sound files), etc.

Find/Replace with

At the right of the information field you will find the Find and Replace with functions with which you can find and replace any asset path, directory or asset name. This works as follows (for demonstration purposes with only 1 texture instead of the actual 324):

Assuming you have a texture in the path "/Users/olibecker/Desktop/Bunny/Textur/Hase.jpg"

2 years later you open the scene file and this texture file can no longer be found because the texture folder and the texture are now located here:

"/Users/olibecker/Desktop/alte Projekte/xxx/Textur/Hase.jpg"

In order to redirect to the new path, type Bunny in the Find field and old project/xxx (either Full Path or Directory selected in the drop-down menu). If the textures are selected, an new absolute path will be displayed in the New File Path column, which should reflect the actual path. If you now click on the Replace button, the paths for all selected textures in the material will be changed.

The Replace function, the part (or texture name) of the path that is defined in Replace with will be replaced with what was defined. This way, paths for numerous textures or assets can be quickly replaced.

In the selection menu you can define which part of the path should be affected by the Replace function. The path can be separated as follows:

The previously described expressions * (random text), ? (random, single mark) and # (random, single digit).

Brief example: These settings can be used to replace all texture names with a date prefix with textures of the same name with a "final_" prefix.

Of course this all works especially well if you adhere to defined rules when assigning path and texture names (e.g., adding the date, numbering conventions or adding "low_" to low-res textures that will later be replaced by high-res textures). You can then easily and quickly replace textures and set those not found to a new path.


Edit Menu

All of the following commands always only refer to the asset paths within Cinema 4D. The asset files themselves remain unchanged.

The following still applies: Assets omitted by the filter will not be taken into consideration (exception: Deselect All)

Most of these commands can also be called up in a context menu by right-clicking on the Project Asset Inspector.

Show File in Explorer/Finder

Displays the file in the Explorer/Finder for further editing.

Open File in Default Application

Opens the file type with the corresponding application used by the operating system.

Open Asset in Picture Viewer

Loads the file in Cinema 4D’s own Picture Viewer. This only works with bitmaps.

Show Asset in Manager

Opens the corresponding Manager (e.g., Material Editor or Node Editor) at the location at which the file is linked.

Show Element in Manager

Opens the link in the respective Manager (Material Editor or Node Editor).

Auto Show in Attribute Manager

This option (not a command) determines if the elements in assets selected in the Project Asset Inspector should be displayed in the Attribute Manager.

Select All

Selects all assets displayed in the asset list.

Deselect All

Deselects all selected elements (including those hidden by a filter).

Select Missing Assets

All assets displayed in the list and not found will be selected.

Invert Selection

Deselects selected assets and selects those that were not selected.

Select Assets of Active Elements

The assets of the elements selected in the respective Managers (e.g., material in the Material Manager, object in the Object Manager) will be selected in the Project Asset Inspector. This does not work with all assets (e.g., cache files or Assets in the Scene Node Editor).

View menu


Grouping assets, e.g., according to their properties (name, type, layer, etc.) can improve your workflow. In this column, groups will be created (the column can then not be hidden). In the image below, assets were grouped according to type, whereby all images are placed in a single group.

The group can be opened or closed by clicking on the +/- icon. Combined with the Cmd/Ctrl key, all groups will be opened or closed. The same happens if you scroll through the list and click on the left or right cursor button.

Clicking on a group name will select all subordinated assets (e.g., to make a command affect all group assets). Cmd/Ctrl + click to deselect all grouped assets.

You can select from the following grouping options (it doesn’t matter if the assits are located in different scene elements (material, nodes, effectors, etc.)):

No Grouping

Removes all grouping. All assets will be listed individually.

By Asset

All assets with identical names and paths will be grouped (e.g., identical bitmaps in different materials).

By Type

All assets of an identical type will be grouped (e.g., all sound files or bitmaps).

By Element Type

All assets of an identical element type will be grouped (e.g., all bitmaps and sound files that are used in a given material).

By Layer

All assets that belong to an element of an identical layer will be grouped. For example, if a light’s IES file on Layer A and a material (also assigned to Layer A) have a bitmap loaded, both the IES and the bitmap will be grouped.

By Take

All assets of the same Take will be grouped. For example, if a bitmap is loaded into Take B and a sound file in a Sound Effector in Take B, these will be grouped.

By Node Space

All assets of the same node space will be grouped.

By Format

This option lets you group assets with identical file formats. For example, all JPEG files, all .wav files, etc.

Visible columns




Absolute Path

New File Path

Element Type

Scene Element




Node Space


File Size


Use this option to define which respective column should be displayed in the Project Asset Inspector.

Asset menu

Localize Filenames

Globalize Filenames

These commands create and delete entire file paths, respectively.

Tip:Note that several asset types such as GI caches cannot be localized because they reference absolute paths.

Localize Filenames removes the asset paths from all selected assets and only utilizes the file name. This makes turns an absolute path into a relative path (which Cinema 4D looks for here). This also happes automatically if you save a project using the Save Project with Assets... command.

Globalize Filename turns a relative path into an absolute path for all selected assets. The complete file path will be used.

Replace Asset(s) with...

A single file can be reassigned for selected assets.

Relink Assets...

This command re-links selected assets with assets of the same name in a selected directory. Depending on the location, absolute (outside of Cinema 4D’s search paths) or relative (within Cinema 4D’s search paths) will be created.

This command is always useful if no assets at all can be found. This is most often the case when the asset folder is at a completely different location. Then simply select all assets, call up this command and select the new directory. All asset paths will then be re-linked and you can start rendering.

Clear Assets

Deletes all links to the selected assets. This can, for example, be used to remove all texture links to non- existent files in disabled material channels. These are denoted by the red cross in the Project Asset Inspector.

Consolidate Assets

This command works similarly to the Save Project with Assets... command with the difference that no new directory must be created and the assets will be saved at the location at which the project is saved. This command only affects assets selected in the asset list (no selection = all assets).

This command collects all assets and saves them at the location at which the project is saved (sub-folders will also be created, e.g., tex for textures, illum for GI cache files, etc.). Absolute paths will be turned into relative paths.

If the file was not yet saved, you will be asked to enter a file path to which the file, including assets, should be saved.

Filter menu

Filter Bar

The search list that is displayed provides you with a powerful filter that offers an overview of up to hundreds of assets. Use the Filter selection menu to define what should be filtered (in the main Display menu you can display all possible columns to see what exactly can be filtered).

The string search field is only a display field that works in real-time. Simply type a series of characters and each element made up at least in part of these characters will be listed. Upper and lower case will be taken into consideration. Clicking on the "x" at the left of the text field will clear the field and all respective assets will be displayed. There are 3 expressions that can be used here (as well as in the Replace with field):

Several examples will help shed more light on this:

At the left you see the unfiltered asset list, then filtering from left to right:

The following filters are not text filters but were set up using the following selection menu in order to filter specific properties:

Filter according to asset type

These filters can be used to define which asset types should be displayed in the asset list.

Note also the filters described above that can be used to fine-tune filtering (e.g., according to asset properties such as file name, file size, etc.).


Filters bitmaps.


Filters Videos.


Filters sound files.

External Cache

Filters separate cache files (such as those generated by MoGraph or GI).

Referenced 3D

Filters external 3D files (e.g., *.abc, *.c4d).


Filters everything that is not included in the other filter types (e.g., *.ies, *.sbsar).