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

Create Menu

New 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.

To define a specific material to be the default material each time a new material is activated simply select the given material and subsequently the Edit / Set as Default in the Attributes Manager.

New PBR Material

This command works like the aforementioned New 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 MAXON renderers. When used with older renderers, render times will increase compared to standard materials (in part because of refllections, incl. matte portion).


When selecting colors for materials, the problem is that these have to be recalculated multiple times and output as numeric values.

Since colors can, of course, also be animated using keyframes, the animation transitions are not always interpolated as desired. For example, an animated grayscale between 0% and 100%: a gray value of 50% in the RGB system is visually in the middle between black and white but this value is merely a linear brightness of approx.. 21.4%

To solve this problem, the brightness and colors can also be displayed as correctly linearized numeric values. For this, the new Linear Numeric Values option, located in the Preferences / Units menu, can be used. This option is enabled by default. If, for example, a Saturation of 0% and a Brightness of 50% for a gray value are used, the RGB saturation will internally also be 50%, 50%, 50%. This is useful since keyframes can be assigned to the RGB values for the animation. Precisely those values that are also used internally by Cinema 4D will be displayed.

The display of brightness in the Color Chooser’s preview area is linear thanks to the Linear Workflow function, i.e., visually brighter for us than assumed with the 50% gray.

If this visual effect should be avoided, the Color Chooser’s icons offer a possibility to adapt the HSV values to the RGB values and the displayed brightness. In our example, the RGB values 50%, 50%, 50% will then be HSV values 0%, 0%, 73.536%.


This menu lists Cinema 4D’s volume shaders, including the volume shaders formerly known as SLA (such as Cheen and Banji). These shaders are described here.

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.

Save Material Preset...
Load Material Preset

These options let you load material presets from a list of presets or save material presets (they will be saved to the Content Browser’s Presets/User directory).

Materials can be placed into the Presets/User directory per drag & drop. Inversely, materials can be dragged from this directory into the Material Manager.

Material presets with bitmap textures placed in their material channels will only function properly if the corresponding bitmaps can also be found, i.e., if they are located in the correct Cinema 4D asset path.