NEW IN R20

Configuration Preferences Import/Export CAD Import CATIA V5 Import Settings
Function available in CINEMA 4D Visualize, Studio
CATIA V5 Import Settings

CATIA V5 Import Settings

Tip:
Note that many of the following options will only work if the respective export options in the CAD applications also export these elements. This applies to the Combine function in particular.

 General

Original Units

If this option is enabled, the parts’ original scale defined in the file will be used (mostly millimeters). If this is not desired, simply disable this option and scale the file using the following Factor setting.

Scale

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.

Geometry

A file elements that can be imported as geometry will be loaded if this option is enabled.

Splines

CAD files also contain splines. Enable this option if you want to import splines.

Instances

Enable this option if instances in CAD files should also be imported as Cinema 4D instances (which is always recommended). Imagine a machine with 1,000 screws, which are all imported as instances.

If this option is disabled, all instances will be imported as polygon objects, which will increase the file size accordingly.

Helper

CAD files have helper objects that define a point in space or a point with an orientation. These are designed to help orient objects (e.g., during construction) but are of no use in Cinema 4D. Disabling this option will omit them from import. Otherwise they will be imported as Null objects.

Hidden Objects

If hidden objects are defined in the CAD file, enabling this option will assign a Display tag to them with a visibility of 0, which means that the objects will also be invisible.

 Optional

Normals

Use this setting to define if and how Normals should be imported.

You have the following options:

Display Colors

Each object in Cinema 4D can have a color without having a material. These colors can be accessed in the Basic tab: Activate Color. Each imported object can be assigned a color using this selection menu:

If you prefer to assign colors using a material, this can be done using the Material menu below.

Layers

Here you can define how the layers in the CAD file or those created by Cinema 4D will be handled.

You have the following options:

Materials

If you want to assign a material to the imported objects, this can be done here.

You have the following options:

UVs

If the CAD file contains UV files, these can be assumed in Cinema 4D via UVW tags. However, these will most often be of poor quality, which means that they will have to be edited accordingly.

Visibility

Similar to Cinema 4D, elements in CAD files can be hidden. If this property is assigned in the file and this option is enabled, Cinema 4D will assume the object’s visibility using its own switches (visible in Viewport/ for rendering) in the Object Manager.

 Modifications

Combine

These settings can be used to define how CAD elements in Cinema 4D should be structures. It’s generally not very useful if 2,000 CAD entities (that may comprise only a single object) are imported as 2,000 objects into Cinema 4D. Here you can select from different criteria for combining these objects. You can, for example, combine surfaces to objects or all objects that lie on the same layer can be arranged to a single object. You can test the various options to see what works best for your purposes.

The following options are available:

This setting does not work in conjunction with splines.

Swap Y and Z Axes

Enable this option if objects are rotated by 90° when imported (compared to the CAD software). The table you imported will then stand on its legs and not on its side …

Heal

Such (NURBS) faults can be eliminated by using Heal and Stitch.

When constructing and exchanging CAD files between systems and programs, imprecisions and minor faults can occur in the geometry, e.g., tiny gaps on surfaces that are actually closed, points that don’t lie exactly on top of one another, etc. The result would be a mesh that is not watertight. This is what the Heal and Stitch functions aim to prevent.

Heal can remove gaps between surfaces whose edges should meet. If Heal doesn’t do the trick you can also add Stitch to the equation.

Stitch [0..100]

Stitch attempts to close gaps between surfaces even if they don’t overlap (e.g., slightly parallel offset edges). Points will be moved in the process, i.e., the surface geometry will be modified.

Use this setting if Heal doesn’t produce the desired result.

The value entered here refers to the number of (internal) repetitions of the function. Larger values can close larger gaps.

A value of 0 will disable the Stitch function.

Optimize Hierarchy

Enable this option to omit hierarchies that are unecessary for Cinema 4D and would only be imported as Null objects.

 Tessellation

Scale Based Tessellation
Scale Range

A CAD file contains tiny objects as well as a huge structure, which are all essential for the project. In a visualization, tiny objects like nuts and bolts don’t play a major role and don’t need to be imported with the same resolution as the larger objects.

Scale-Based Tessellation can be used to arrange objects in 3 scale categories for separate tessellation (described above):

The bounding box sizes (more precisely: the largest diagonal) are ascertained for the objects to be imported and grouped relative to the largest bounding box. Percent values will be produced that are shown in color in the image above with increasing values from 0% to 100% from left to right. The sliders can be moved as desired. The selected slider’s value will be displayed if you click on the small arrow to the right of Scale Range.

Linear Interpolation

This option belongs to the Scale-Based Tessellation settings. If enabled, it will disable the middle range and interpolation will only take place between minimum (S) and maximum (L).

Sag . S [0..999999]
Sag . M [0..999999]
Sag . L [0..999999]

Defines the Distance (see below) for the 3 large regions.

Angle . S [0..180°]
Angle . M [0..180°]
Angle . L [0..180°]

Defines the Angle (see below) for the 3 large regions.

Length . S [0..999999]
Length . M [0..999999]
Length . L [0..999999]

Defines the Length (see below) for the 3 large regions.

Detailing

When importing a NURBS surface, these three-sided polygons have to be reproduced. This process is called tessellation.

The Detailing settings can be used to define how precisely the polygon mesh that is generated should follow the NURBS surfaces.

The NURBS surface on the left after Tessellation with Detailing set to Low, Middle and High, respectively.

Detailing offers the following options:

Note that the tessellation process takes into account all 3 defined maximum values for Max Length (mm), Max Angle and Max Sag (mm). The maximum resolution will be calculated within these limits. Generally speaking, the smaller the values, the higher the resolution. If 0 is defined, the respective criteria will be ignored.

Max Sag (mm) [0..999999]

Depending on the settings defined, the polygon mesh will follow the curvature more or less precisely.
The original NURBS on the left; declining Max Sag (mm) values from left to right (other criteria disabled).

This value defines the maximum distance the polygon surface can have from the NURBS curve. Define smaller values for correspondingly higher polygon mesh resolutions.

Max Angle [0..180°]

The original NURBS on the left; declining Max Angle values from left to right (other criteria disabled).

Max Angle defines the maximum angle between adjacent polygon surfaces that cannot by exceeded (see image for Max Sag (mm).

Max Length (mm) [0..999999]

Left: Original NURBS; from left to right sinking values for Length Max (mm) (other criteria disabled).

Length Max. (mm) defeines a triangle’s maximum side length. Lower values make it possible to avoid the often problematic, very long triangles. But be careful: values that are too low will generate an unnecessarily high number of triangles.