Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D Image Preview Basic Inputs Outputs Context
This setting can be used to load images or videos. Common formats such as JPEG, TIFF, EXR, HDR, PSD, MOV and MP4 are supported.
If the loaded file contains image layers or alpha channels, these can be selected here without having to do so via an image editing program.
The selection menu at the top will be active if multiple image files are loaded (also called multi-page; these are files that contain multiple images; OpenEXR images, for example, are also included). You can then select which of the images should be displayed.
Among other things, the five options available in the context window let you define the type of layer/ layer sets or alpha channels should be shown in the selection field below. In the selection field, all respective layers/ layer sets or alpha channels that were, for example, saved from Photoshop or BodyPaint 3D will be displayed and can be clicked on to be displayed (+Shift for multiple selection). At the top left of the preview window you will see a summary of the layers selected (in consideration of all blend modes).
Was do the first five options represent?
- Layers / Layer Sets: The various layers or layer sets (summarized in layers that can be enabled or disabled together) an image can consist of.
- Layer Alpha: The selected layers will be converted to an Alpha channel: layer contents will be colored white, transparent areas black.
- Layer Masks: The alpha channel belonging to a given layer.
- Alpha Channels: The alpha channel that affects the entire image.
- Generate Alpha: This option is, for example, of special importance when a bitmap is used in a Layer Node. The contents of the layer will be viewed internally as an alpha channel. This means that the layer content can be displayed in other layers in the Layer Node. Set the bitmap’s MIP Interpolation to 0 to prevent color seams from being created. Careful: The selected alpha channels will be displayed as grayscale images. They do not affect the RGB portion of the texture (no masking takes place). Hence, only color portions or masks or alpha channels can be used.
- Show Layer Content: Enable this option if the layers or alpha channels displayed in the selection field should be shown as a preview.The previously described functionality also works for videos and image sequences.
Image files will, as a rule, be displayed distorted and scaled in 3D space. The existing texture pixels must therefore be interpolated. This menu can be use to determine the type of interpolation to be used:
- RIP: Can deliver better results in comparison to the MIP method, especially for non-quadratic textures. However, more memory will be required.
- MIP: Leads to an automatic anti-aliasing in regions in which a high number of texture pixels have to be depicted in a small area. This prevents flickering and Moiré effects when highly detailed textures are viewed at a flat angle.
- SAT: High-quality interpolation method which maintains the textures sharpness as much as possible. However, this interpolation method requires a great deal of memory, which is why the maximum texture size allowed is 4,000 x 4,000 px. Larger textures will automatically be interpolated using the MIP method.
- Bicubic: Produces soft transitions and reduces pixilation for magnified textures. The colors of surrounding areas will be included in the new calculation of a pixel.
- Linear: A simple interpolation method that calculates linear color gradients between the increased distances and the original pixels when larger bitmaps are used.
- None: No interpolation will take place, which speeds up calculation. If the bitmap has a large resolution and is viewed frontally, this method can produce quite useable results since the renderer’s anti-aliasing can provide additional smoothing of color values. If small bitmaps are used or if fine structures have to be displayed, stepping and noise will be shown on the parts of the texture that are viewed at a flat angle.
This menu is used to define how an alpha channel should be handled (if present in the file):
- None: An existing alpha channel will be ignored. Only the color information of the image layers will be shown.
- Premultiplied: The intensity of the alpha channel controls the visibility of the texture’s color pixels. The color portion of the texture makes the information available for which color should remain visible. This is the default mode.
- Premultiplied (Image Color Space): This mode corresponds to the Pre-multiplied mode only that the calculation of the pixel transparencies takes place prior to the adjustment of the pixel colors by the color profile.
- Straight: In this mode, it will be assumed that the colors in the bitmap will be calculated without being affected by the alpha channel. The resulting color value of the bitmap is created after the alpha channel has determined the visibility of each image pixel. As a rule, an alpha channel must be present for the color portions to be useable in a bitmap calculated using Straight alpha.
This setting can be used to control the sample radius for the selected interpolation mode. As a rule, increasing the value will blur the texture. This can be applied lightly or also used to prevent anti-aliasing problems for textures with fine details.
This setting defines how the integrated color profile of the loaded image will be used:
- Default: The color profile will be implemented according to the Input Color Profile in the Project Settings menu.
- Force 32-bit: The loaded image will be converted to 32 bits internally, regardless of the actual bit depth. This creates higher memory requirements for this texture accordingly but the calculation can also be sped up since no color conversion must take place. Especially for complex color profiles, this function can lead to noticeable increases in speed.
- Raw (Ignore Color Profile): The imbedded color profile of the loaded texture will be ignored.
This setting expands the interpolation to the edge pixels of the texture tile to also allow interpolation between neighboring texture tiles.
This color value will be displayed as long as no file has been assigned or in case a file was not found at the defined path.
Reloads the selected texture, e.g., if it was modified in an external graphics program.
Show In Picture Viewer...
Loads the selected file in the Picture Viewer and opens it there. From there, the image can, for example, be saved in a different format.
Opens you operating system’s file browser to the location at which the loaded file is saved.
Opens the image file in the target image editing program.
These settings are used to control the playback of a loaded video or image sequence.
Here you can input a continuous time whose speed reflects that in which the video should be played back (e.g., images per second). A Time Material Node can be found in the Info Node list.
Here you can define how the complete playback of the video should take place.
- Once: The playback will end when the last frame of the video or image sequence is reached. The last image will always remain static.
- Loop: The playback will begin again once the entire video or image sequence has been played.
- Ping-Pong: After the last image is reached, the video or image sequence will be played in reverse until it reaches the first frame, at which point the video or image sequence will play again. This process will continue until stopped manually.
The playback of the loaded video will start at the frame number defined here within your Cinema 4D project.
The playback of the loaded video will end at the frame number defined here within your Cinema 4D project.
Here you will find settings for image sequences, for example, to define the frame range that should be used as the video. Since image sequences do not have a specific number of frames defined per second, this number can be defined here.
Start Frame [-2147483648..2147483647]
Use this setting to define the first frame of the sequence for the video. The count will start at 0 for the first file in the defined image directory. The order of the frames in the video is defined by the naming convention of the files.
End Frame [-2147483648..2147483647]
Use this setting to define the number of the last frame with which the video should end.
Frame Rate [-∞..+∞]
This setting defines the number of frames that will be played back per second.
This setting can be used to automatically count the frames so the Start Frame and End Frame settings will encompass all frames in the sequence. The Frame Rate setting has to be defined manually for all image sequences.