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).


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.


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

  • For this and the following two materials, small warnings will be displayed if the Node Materials are used in conjunction with ProRender. ProRender uses baked textures and cannot natively work with the nodes. ProRender can use anything that is baked into textures. Other effects that are used to evaluate render time such as Thin Film or Ambient Occlusion nodes, effects that are dependent on the angle of view or other complex shader networks cannot be evaluated correctly. Standard and Physical renderers can, however, be used for Node Materials.
  • The same applies to the OpenGL display in the Viewport. The size of the texture baked for OpenGL can be defined as usual using the Texture Preview Size setting in the Editor tab. If node values are modified, it can take a moment until the textures are baked before they can be seen in the Viewport. A progressive algorithm will be used, which first makes smaller, then larger textures visible. This step-by-step process can be disabled (a defined texture size will then be baked) if you enable the option Animate Preview.
  • Node Materials no longer require the old Texture tag options Use UVW for Bump or Mix Textures

New Node Material

Creates a simple Node Material, which consists only of a material node connected with a BSDF node for a minimalistic material without bump, transparency, displacement, alpha, etc., as was the case with the old materials when newly created. This Node Material, as opposed to the Uber material (or the other included Node Materials that can be found in the Material Manager menu) is 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.

Node Materials

In this menu you will find several available Node Materials 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).

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.