Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Material Manager Material Properties / Material Editor Texture settings
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Texture Manager

Everyone knows the error messages when rendering if textures cannot be found. Textures that were logically saved to a certain directory can no longer be found. This can happen if a Project is copied, opened on a different computer, Content Browser content is not available in a new Cinema 4D version and so on.

The Texture Manager helps you deal with this issue by listing all textures within a given Project and shows whether or not they can be located in its Search Paths. The Texture Manager also has numerous additional functions with which textures can be relinked. For example, the Replace function can be used to replace all JPEG texture paths with TIFF texture paths of the same name:

Relative and absolute texture paths are referred to in the following. Details regarding these terms can be found here.

Example: What steps can be taken if a Project is loaded and textures are missing when the Project is rendered?

For the most common case that the original texture folder has been relocated and the texture paths must be directed to this new folder, proceed as follows:


  1. Select the Edit | Select Missing Textures command. This will select all textures that cannot be found.
  2. Select Edit | Relink Textures. A selection window will open.
  3. Navigate to the folder in which your textures lie and click on Open. Done. All textures will now be properly linked.
  4. If you want, you can now save the Project with ALL textures (in a sub-directory named "tex”) using the Save Project with Assets... command (e.g., if you want to zip the Project).

General

Texture List

The Texture List displays all textures in the currently open Project, including several of the properties described below. Note that double-clicking on an item (name, path or other property) will let you edit it directly without, for example, having to switch to the Material Manager in order to define a new texture path.

Multiple textures can be selected or deselected using the Shift or Ctrl/Cmd keys (you can also drag a selection box using your mouse). Commands that can be applied to the selected items will be applied to the selection only.

Status

Three texture states are available:

Texture

Displays the texture’s file name.

Suggested Path

This is the absolute texture path saved in the material. If the path is relative, only the file name will be displayed.

Real Path

Displays the actual, complete path, including those of textures with relative texture paths. For absolute paths, this represents the previously described Suggested Path.

New File Path

If you use the Replace function to change paths, this column serves as a type of preview (prior to the Replace button being clicked on) of the new path. In the image above you can see how the "Textures” directory has been replaced by "Images” in the New File Path column.

Material

Displays the corresponding material’s name and icon. You can double-click on the icon to open the material in the Material Manager.

Channel

Displays the material channel to which the texture belongs.

Layer

Displays the Cinema 4D layeron which the material to which the texture belongs lies.

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RMB context menu

If you right-click on a found texture, a menu with using numerous commands will be made available. The following were not yet described (below):

  • Show File in Explorer/Finder: The file will be shown in the explorer/finder where it can be opened for modification, if necessary.
  • Open File in Explorer/Finder: The file will be opened using the standard application defined by your operating system.
  • Open File in Picture Viewer: The file will be loaded into the Cinema 4D Picture Viewer.

Note that these three commands only affect one selected texture (highlighted) at a time.

Preview Image and Replace Function

A preview image of the selected texture – if found – will be displayed at the bottom left of the Texture Manager window.

At the right you will find the Replace functions, which can be used to select a different texture path, directory or name. This works as follows (for demonstration purposes only a single texture will be used):

Assuming you have only one texture in the target directory: "/Users/olibecker/Desktop/Bunny/Textur/Bunny.jpg"

2 years later you open the Project and the texture can no longer be located because the directory with the texture has been moved here:

"/Users/olibecker/Desktop/archived Projects/xxx/Texture/Bunny.jpg"

To redirect to the new path, enter "Bunny” into the Replace field and "archived Projects” into the With field (Full Path or Directory must be defined in the drop-down menu below). If textures are selected, a new absolute path will be displayed in the corresponding New File Path column. If you click on the Replace button, all paths for the selected materials will be modified.

The Replace function uses the part of the old path (or texture name) that is defined in the With field.

This makes it possible to replace old paths with new paths for multiple textures simultaneously.

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

The characters described here can be used in the Replace field: * (any text); ? (any or individual character); # (any or individual number).

Example: These settings can be used to replace all texture names with date prefixes with textures of the same name with the prefix "final_”.

Of course this works especially well if you adhere to basic naming conventions when naming paths and textures (e.g., date suffixes, sequential numbering or adding a "low_” prefix that corresponds to, for example, low-res images that can later be replace with high-res images – which of course will have the prefix "high_”). Using naming conventions makes it easy to replace textures or define new paths.

Menu

Edit Menu

All of the commands described below only affect the texture paths within Cinema 4D – no changes are made to the texture files themselves. The following still applies: all textures hidden from the filter will not be affected (exception: Deselect All).

Select All

Selects all textures displayed in the Texture column.

Deselect All

Deselects all textures (incl. those hidden from the filter).

Select Missing Textures

All textures displayed in the list that have not been located will be selected.

Invert All

Select this command to invert the selection: selected textures will be deselected and deselected will be selected.

Select Textures of Active Materials

All textures of currently selected materials in the Material Manager will be selected.

Show in Attribute Manager

This option (this is not a command) defines whether or not the materials of textures selected in the Texture Manager should be displayed in the Attribute Manager.

Localize Filenames
Globalize Filenames

Both commands create or delete entire file paths.

Localize Filename removes the texture paths from all selected textures and uses only the file name. This in essence turns an absolute path into a relative path (that looks for here >). This happens automatically if you save a Project using the Save Project with Assets... command.

Globalize Filename turns relative paths into absolute paths (if only a name and no path exists in the given material) for all selected textures. The entire file path will then be used.

Relink Textures...

Selecting this command will relink selected textures with textures of the same name in the 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 can be useful if no textures at all can be found. This is mostly the case if the texture directory is at a completely different location. In this case, simply select all textures, call up this command and select the correct directory. All texture paths will then be redirected accordingly and you’re ready to render.

Replace Texture(s) with...

Lets you assign a single new file to selected textures.

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Clear Textures

Use this command to delete all links to the selected textures. Texture links to non-existent files - which are marked by a red x in the Texture Manager - can, for example, be eliminated in disabled material channels.

View menu

Search Bar

Selecting this command will display a search bar in the Texture Manager, which can be used to filter through hundreds of textures, if necessary.

Select the type of filter from the drop-down menu next to the text field.

No elements will be selected using the text field. This is a real-time filter into which you simply enter text. Each element whose name is comprised even in part of the text in the text field will be displayed. Capitalization also applies. Clicking on the x to the left of the text field will clear the field and all elements will be displayed.

Three special characters can be used (as well as in the Replace text field below):

The following examples will shed more light on this:

At the left is an unfiltered texture list followed by the following filter types from left to right:

Texture
Suggested Path
Real Path
New File Path
Materials
Channel
Layer

Use these options to define which columns should be displayed in the Texture Manager.

Particularly helpful if textures are missing are the columns Material (you can double-click on the icon to open the material in the Material Editor) and Channel, which show exactly where the missing texture lies.