Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Content Browser General
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

How to Use the Browser

At the top left of the Content Browser you will see the directory tree view. In addition to your computer’s hard drive(s), Cinema 4D-specific directories are listed, with which you can manage presets and catalogs. In addition to the default Presets and Catalogs directories you will find the following folders:

You can add your own folders via File / New Folder, wherever you deem necessary,

The content of the selected folder will be displayed in the content window at the right of the Content Browser. When you select an item in this content window, its preview image will be displayed in the Preview window at the bottom left of the Content Browser. Multiple selections are possible (a list of the elements selected will be displayed in the preview window and the info window will display a list of file types and their count). The following methods can be used to select items:

Double clicking on a given element will initiate an action suitable for that particular file type, i.e., the item will either be opened directly in Cinema 4D or in an applicable external application (the application your operating system uses to open such a file by default, e.g., sound files). Files can be dragged from the Finder (Mac OS) or Desktop/Explorer (Windows) into the Content Browser. The corresponding folder and, if applicable, subfolders will be opened in the browser view, and the file in question will be displayed.

Right-clicking on an item will open a menu with the following options:

If you select Tree View (View / Tree View), the following additional options will be made available:

Additionally available for catalog items:

A preview of an item selected in the Content Browser’s content window will be displayed in the preview window at the bottom left of the Content Browser (known file types only).

Click on the Info tab to see details pertaining to the selected item. By simply moving the cursor over a preview, its home directory will be displayed in the status bar. An Annotation field is also available in which comments about the selected item can be written. By the way, the Content Browser’s Search function also searches the contents of the Annotation field if the Annotations option is activated during the search.

When a catalog is selected, you can also change its home directory.

Presets have an additional tab with which the preset names for various languages can be defined (in the image below, only the languages installed are shown):

Simply enter the corresponding localized term. When you switch via Language to one of the languages for which you have defined a preset name this name will be displayed in the corresponding language.

At the top right of the Content Browser you will find a row of icons with the following functions:

From left to right:

At the very bottom of the Content Browser you will see the following slider:

The animated circular icon to the left of the slider will only be visible while the Content Browser is processing a command, e.g., if it’s scanning new directories or performing a search. Clicking on this animated icon will halt any scans or thumbnail generation that is actively taking place. Use the slider to adjust the size of the icons displayed in the Content Browser’s content windows. Clicking directly on the big or small icon will automatically adjust the size of the icons to biggest or smallest, respectively.

Drag & Drop

The concept of Drag & drop has been pushed to the limits in the Content Browser. Just about any item can be dragged into a corresponding Manager. As shown in the image below, the cursor will change if a particular Drag & drop function is not possible.

Left, no; right, yes.

Files or presets can be relocated by dragging and dropping them into the target folder. By simultaneously pressing Ctrl/Cmd (PC) / ALT (Mac), selected items will be copied. Presets cannot be copied onto the hard drive.

Items can be moved from one hard drive or preset library to another by simultaneously pressing the Shift (Windows) / Ctrl/Cmd (Mac) buttons.

In most cases, it will suffice to simply drag the scene or preset into the editor. Its components will be allocated accordingly (no claim to the completeness of the following list can be made):

Editor View

Material Manager:

Bitmaps of materials that contain bitmap textures will also be copied to the corresponding library (into a tex directory). The paths in the material channel will be "rerouted" accordingly. If you press the Alt key while copying a material, NO bitmaps will be copied!

Texture Area (Material Channel):

Object Manager:

Render Settings:

Dragging and Dropping Files

Naturally, you can Drag & drop files onto your hard drive. By simultaneously pressing Ctrl/Cmd (PC) / ALT (Mac), the files will be copied.


Double-clicking on an item’s preview image will open the file or item using its native application.

Content Browser-specific files such as *.lib4d (libraries, e.g., presets) and *.cat4d (catalogs) can be opened in the Content Browser via the Cinema 4D Open command. Such items can also be placed into Cinema 4D per drag & drop.