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

Function Menu


This command opens the Material Editor if it is not already open and makes the Material Editor the active window. You can use the Material Editor to change the properties of the selected material. You can also open the Material Editor by double-clicking on a material thumbnail. The Material Editor is described later in this chapter.

You can also edit materials in the Attribute Manager.


Creates a Texture tag for each selected object. Each of these tags is assigned the selected material. You can also apply materials using Drag & drop. If you drop the material on to an existing Texture tag …

… the tag’s previous material is replaced by the new one. However, if you drop the material onto the object’s name, a new Texture tag is created for the material.


Use this command to change the name of the selected material. You can also rename a material by double-clicking its name, which is just below the material’s thumbnail, or by selecting the material and entering the new name on the Basic Properties tab in the Attribute Manager.

Select Materials of Active Objects

Use this command to select the materials used by the selected objects or Texture tags. The Material Manager will scroll if necessary in order to display these materials.

Find First Active Material

Shows the first selected material in the Material Manager.

Select Texture Tags/Objects

Selects all Texture tags that use the selected materials.

Select Materials with same Reflectance

When an material is selected, this command can be used to select all other matierals with the same Reflectance channel structure. These can then be edited simultaneously. More information about this feature can be found under Multiple Selection in the Reflectance Channel

Render Materials
Render All Materials

These commands redraw the thumbnails of the selected materials or all materials.

Most of the time you will not need to use this command because new materials are rendered automatically. However, when you save a scene, the thumbnails are compressed to reduce the scene’s file size. When you load a scene, you may notice artifacts in some of the thumbnails. In such cases, use this command to redraw the thumbnails. You will also need to use this command when importing foreign data formats such as DXF and 3D Studio R4.

To abort the rendering of the thumbnails, press the Esc key.

Sort Materials

Arranges the material list in alphabetical order.

You can also sort materials manually using Drag & drop. Drag the material that you want to reposition and drop it in the new position. The insertion is right-justified. In other words, the material will be placed to the right of the material onto which you drop it. If the target position of the material is outside the visible range of the Material Manager, you can scroll by moving the mouse pointer to the upper or lower edge of the window.

Materials and Layers

The layers in the Layer Manager and the Material Manager will correspond.

Cinema 4D’s layer system also encompasses materials. If materials are assigned to layers in the Object Manager via the Layer Manager the corresponding layer name will also be displayed in the Material Manager.

Alternatively a new layer can be created in the Material Manager using the Add to New Layer command. All currently selected materials will be assigned to this layer. The layer color will be displayed as a small triangle at the top left.

Cinema 4D’s layer system lets you quickly organize materials for an easy overview. Clicking on the corresponding tab will display all materials assigned to a given layer. Multiple tags can be selected at once.

To move materials simply Drag & drop them onto a different layer: Drag the material(s) onto a different Material tab. Furthermore, the tabs All and No Layer are available. Selecting the All tab will display all materials contained in the scene. Selecting No Layer will display all materials not assigned to a layer. To rename a layer simply double-click its current name and enter a new name.

When copying materials into a new scene, any assigned layers will also be copied.

Add to Layer

A material will be assigned to a specific layer.

Add to new Layer

A new layer will be created to which the material will be assigned.

Remove from Layer

Removes a material from any layer to which it may be assigned.

Layer Manager

Opens the Layer Manager.

Assign Takes

Here you will fine a list of all available Take Assignment. Select a Take (or multiple Takes) to make all settings overridable for the selected items. This is the same effect as if you were to drag and drop objects or tags into the Take Manager.

Remove from Current Take

All overridden settings will be deleted (and the object or tag will be deleted completely from the current Take in the override tree).

Remove from All Takes

All overridden settings will be deleted (and the object or tag will be deleted completely from all Takes in the override tree).

Material Exchanger...

What does this function do?

Suppose you have exported a scene from your CAD package complete with various materials. You import the scene into Cinema 4D. You then decide that you want to replace the materials with better quality Cinema 4D materials — that’s exactly what this function does.

First you need a Cinema 4D reference scene that contains all the new materials you want to use in place of the original materials. Note that these new materials must be named exactly the same as the original materials they are to replace.

When you call the function, you will be prompted to select this reference scene. After doing so, you can then choose to replace either all like-named materials or you can opt to replace specific materials only, in which case a dialog will appear, allowing you to choose exactly which materials will be replaced.

Remove Unused Materials

Deletes all unused materials.

Reload All Textures

For materials with textures loaded that are edited outside of Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D must be informed when changes have been made to these textures, which is what this command does.

Remove Duplicate Materials

Deletes all identical materials (i.e. materials that have the exact same settings) except the one that is closest to the top left corner on the materials list in the Material Manager.