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


The IGES Format

The IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) format was created for the exchange of files between various CAD applications. IGES v1.0 was defined in the ANSI format in 1981 and has been continually developed by its own committee ever since. Still, only few 3D graphics applications adequately support this format. Subsequently, visualizing products which have been developed using current CAD software in a graphics application is a tedious task.

The IGES format supports almost all types of 3D geometry used in CAD applications, thus eliminating the need to convert them and therefore averting corrupt files. This offers a deciding advantage when exchanging files between applications that support the same file format(s). When exchanging files between applications that use differing types of geometry, though, IGES can represent a challenge for these applications‘ import and export functions.

IGES v5.3 has been used as the foundation for the implementation of this current version.

Differences Between CAD and 3D Computer Graphics

Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D computer graphics each have their own requirements.

CAD is designed to create objects to an exact scale to which they will later be built, whereby deviations, resulting from discretization by polygons for example, are undesired. In order to avoid any such deviation, the French mathematicians Bezier and de Casteljau developed independent theories pertaining to free-form surfaces and curves. The photorealistic depiction of data is secondary and is therefore depicted in the form of a technical illustration.

The primary goal of 3D computer graphics, on the other hand, is to generate good, if not photorealistic, visual depictions. To keep render times to a minimum, objects‘ surface information is discretized in the form of polygons.

As a result, CAD files imported into a 3D graphics application must, more often than not, be converted. The difficulty lies in setting the object(s) up for conversion since making changes interactively is not possible.

This IGES import for Cinema 4D is meant to help circumvent these problems

The IGES 4D Importer For Cinema 4D R10 or Later

IGES offers a wide range of settings in order to circumvent as many limitations as possible when exporting files. This can result in non-supported file formats being shown. This can only be resolved by an exact export configuration in the source application.

Currently, Surface Trimming is only supported for parametric spatial curves. Some CAD applications only support model spatial curves.

The import plugin automatically works together with Cinema 4D when opening files. After a file has been opened the loaded scene will include the imported objects.

An opened scene in Cinema 4D

Files will be imported as polygons by default.