Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Appendix File Formats
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Video Formats


When importing video files, almost all formats/codecs that can be played by your operating system’s video player can also be read by Cinema 4D. These are, for the most part:

Note that you may experience problems with QuickTime (*.mov) videos on Windows operating systems and these may not be recognized by Cinema 4D (as opposed to older versions of Cinema 4D). This is because QuickTime is no longer supported and Cinema 4D R19 uses operating system components that do not support the respective codec (e.g., Sorensen).


The output of rendered animations can be done as individual images or as videos. Note that the most common output is as individual images that are subsequently combined in post-production and finalized in a compressed (= not ideal for further processing but optimized for video devices and software) video format.

Rendered animations can be played in the Picture Viewer and then output as individual images or video.

Loaded videos with audio can also be saved with audio.

Cinema 4D can save in the following video formats:



Which format you should use depends on what purpose your output should serve. The most commonly used format is *.mp4.


Preset Settings

Those formats that have additional settings were assigned presets.

Details about this topic can be found under Asset-Supported Preset System

Codec Settings

These formats use codecs to compress images to create a video. The term compress implies what happens: The image material is combined and is reduced in overall quality (lossy) in the process.

The following settings are available:


Simply put, a codec is an algorithm that uses keyframes (fully rendered individual images) to calculate the changes from one video image to the next. Depending on the video format used, you can select one of several available codecs or the only codec made available by default. Describing each codec in detail would make no sense here. However, the most current is h.264, which offers the best image quality at a constant data rate.

A separate setting is available for the *.avi format (which is only available for legacy purposes) that uses condecs installed on your computer (but does not support all of them).

Data Rate (kBit)

The data rate in kB/second has the greatest effect on the size and quality of the video to be saved. The higher the value, the larger and of better quality the video will be (and vice-versa). As a reference: for HD videos (1920*1080), the data rate should be a thousand to several thousand kB/second. If the images contain a lot of movment, this rate can also be set higher; for slow camera movement and/or fewer moving objects, lower rates can be set.

If a value of 0 is defined, an automatic mode will be used (the codec itself will decide which data rate should be used).


This value defines how often a full image should be inserted into a video. A value of 10 means that such an image will be inserted every 10 frames. The smaller the value, the more frequently an image will be inserted, which (most often) results in better quality. Higher values can be defined for calmer sequences and action sequences will benefint from smaller values.

If a value of 0 is defined, an automatic mode will be used (the codec itself will decide how many keyframes will be used).

Audio Bit Rate

This setting can be used to define the audio quality of the video to be saved. The higher the value, the better the quality will be.

Audio Codec

Codecs are also available for sound compression (the best known is probably mp3). Depending on the data rate used, noticable loss in quality can be detected. PCs use aac and mp3 and Macs use aac and pcm (the latter loss-free).

Audio Sample Rate

This setting defines how often the sound signal should be sampled per second. Normally, a frequency of 44100 Hz is used. The lower the rate, the poorer the quality.