Configuration Preferences Import/Export Alembic Alembic Export Settings
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D
Alembic Export Settings

Alembic Export Settings

File Format

With the introduction of Cinema 4D R16, the new Alembic file format Alembic Ogawa can be used, which generates smaller file sizes and can be evaluated faster. This format should always be used unless you want to export a file that should be read by older versions of Cinema 4D.

Start Frame [-18000..3240000]
End Frame [-18000..3240000]

Use these settings to define the frame range of an animation to be exported. The animation prior to and after these frames will be omitted.

Frame Step [1..100]

This setting should be familiar to you from the Edit Render Settings menu (see Frame Step). Here it has the same effect on exported animations. Not every animation frame will be exported if a value greater than 1 is entered. For example, values of 2 or 10 will export every 2nd or 10th frame, respectively.

Subframes [1..100]

If you want to save subframes in addition to the ,normal’ animation frames, enter the desired value here. This value defines the number of animation frames in the Alembic file per Cinema 4D animation frame.


Subframes are, for example, required for calculating motion blur (Cinema 4D does not have the animation information saved in its own Timeline and depends on the information from the Alembic file).


This factor can be found at numerous locations throughout Cinema 4D when importing or exporting foreign formats. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the term ,export’ is used if this factor is seen in an import function (this factor is explained as a whole here).

This factor lets you scale files upon import/export, i.e., practically all relevant numerical values saved in the file or those to be saved will be multiplied by this factor and then saved - or interpreted when loaded.

The unit at the right in turn defines how upon

More information about units and scaling can be found in the Project Scale section.

Selection Only

If enabled, only the selected objects and their Child objects will be exported.

Global Coordinates

Selected objects will be saved with global coordinates (instead of local or Parent object coordinates, as is common for hierarchical objects).


All cameras in the Project will be exported.

Subdivision Surface

If enabled, the Subdivision Surfaces will be exported as low-res SDS objects (Alembic can read these). If disabled, the Subdivision Surfaces will be exported as subdivided mesh (as if you had made it editable).

Subdivision Surface Weights

Enable this option if you want to export Subdivision Surface Weighting.

Splines (Curves)

If enabled, all Splines in the Project will be exported. (as described in the Alembic section’s Curves description)


If enabled, all particles (without the related geometry) will be exported as vertex objects.

Note that the allocation into groups upon export will be made according to the assigned particle geometry objects.

Particles (Geometry)

Enable this option if you want to export the particles together with any related polygonal objects (only these will be rendered). When using Thinking Particles, make sure that you assign geometry using Particle Geometry. This will ensure that subsequent Alembic imports will work better.

Hair (Curves)

If enabled, a Hair object’s Guides will be exported as Splines (curves). If the Hair object’s Type is set to Spline, the hairs can also be exported as curves.


Enable this option if you also want to export XRefs. If this option is disabled, the entire XRef hierarchy will be excluded (incl. all non-XRef objects in the hierarchy).


If enabled, the respective objects that are hidden for rendering will also be exported in a hidden state. Alembic only recognizes visible and hidden states for the Viewport and rendering simultaneouly. Therefore, both hidden settings will be set to red in the Attribute Manager upon import.


Use this option to define whether or not vertex Normals should be exported (even if no Normal tags exists, these will be created internally upon export).


Enable this option if UV coordinates should also be exported.

Polygon Selections

If enabled, polygon selections will be exported via Polygon Selection tag.

Vertex Maps

If this option is enabled, Vertex Maps can be exported as vertex colors (Maya can, for example, import these files vis the -rcs option). Multiple Vertex Map tags can be used, which should however each have a unique name. Otherwise only the last tag will end up in the Alembic file.

Vertex Colors

Enable this option if Vertex Colors should be exported. For multiple Vertex Color tags, make sure that they have unique names (Alembic cannot handle identical names).

Points Only (Geometry)

Enabling this option will export a mesh as a vertex cloud (without polygons).

Vertex colors will also be exported (as long as the Vertex Color tag’s Vertex Color setting is set to Only Points).

Display Colors to Vertex Colors

This option can be used in conjunction with the Use Color to export colored objects as vertex colors, for example, to export colored MoGraph objects.

Enable this option if Vertex Colors should be exported.

Merge Generated

Cache objects that are, for example, created using Generators (e.g., Cloner or Symmetry objects) can be merged into a single mesh upon import (like a Cloner object that duplicates an object 10,000 times), which can be loaded into Cinema 4D much faster and be displayed more fluidly.

Careful: Parametric primitives are also Generators and can be merged as well.

Note that if this function is used with the same Generator on various types of objects (e.g., splines and geometry), only one type can be exported.

If this option is enabled, multiple UV sets (tags) will not be supported.