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:

  • A Diffuse layer, which corresponds to the previous (enabled) Color channel
  • A rough, slightly reflective layer, including Fresnel effect, which basically assumes the role of the previous specular light

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.

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.