Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Create Menu Camera Object
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D
Camera Object

Basic Coord. Object Physical Details Stereoscopic Composition Spherical

Object Properties


By default, objects are shown from the viewpoint of a central perspective projection. Alternatively, choose other types of projection.

From left to right: Perspective, Gentleman, Diametric, Isometric.

Focal Length [1..10000]

Increasing focal length and decreasing field of view from left to right.

In a real camera, the focal length represents the distance between the lens and the film. Small focal length values are used for wide-angle shots and present a wider view of the scene, but also distort the image (especially very short focal lengths). Larger focal length values zoom into the given scene accordingly. The greater the value, the less distorted the image will be until the perspective effect is lost completely with extremely large focal length values and the parallel projection effect increases.

The Focal Length is directly linked to the "field of view" in the formula illustrated below.

Larger Focal Length values produce a smaller field of view and vice versa.

Here you can select from several pre-defined focal lengths or you can define your own.

The following applies for depth of field (Physical Renderer): The larger the focal length value, the smaller the depth of field (the region in the direction of view that will be in focus) and vice versa. See also Depth Of Field.

Sensor Size (Film Gate) [1..2000]
35mm Equiv. Focal Length:

In a real camera, this value defines the film or sensor width in the camera onto which the light falls. For common cameras, this is usually 35mm (technically speaking, actually 36mm). In reality, this value is mostly constant and cannot be modified - unless you buy a new camera.

In combination with the focal length, the Field of View (Horizontal) value is determined.

You can select from numerous sensor sizes or define your own by selecting Custom. If you modify the Sensor Size (Film Gate) value without modifying the Focal Length, the field of view will still change. Any depth of field, however, will remain unchanged.

The 35mm Equiv. Focal Length value is displayed since analog 35mm film is still very widespread in the world of photography despite the proliferation of digital sensors in varying sizes. Fans of traditional photography can use this as a reference for the image detail or the enlargement of the 3D scene or digital camera.

Field of View (Horizontal) [0.2..174°]
Field of View (Vertical) [0.2..174°]

Camera from top: large and small (horizontal) field of view.

The field of view represents the camera’s horizontal and vertical angle, respectively, to the scene. The field of view is directly linked to the focal length. The greater the focal length, the smaller the field of view and vice versa. A small field of view represents a camera with a telephoto lens; since only a small portion of the scene to be photographed enters the camera, this portion naturally appears very large on the light-sensitive surface of the camera, resulting in a zoomed-in image.

Incidentally, Field of View (Vertical) changes if the proportion between Width and Height are modified in the Render Settings.

Zoom [0..1000000]

the Zoom setting allows you to zoom the view. It defines the scaling factor for the view.

This setting is not available if Projection is set to Perspective.

Film Offset X [-∞..+∞%]
Film Offset Y [-∞..+∞%]

Suppose the Cinema 4D camera worked like a traditional film camera, with images being recorded onto photographic film one after the other. Now imagine if additional image information could be recorded by moving this film along the X and Y axis (beyond the strip of film in the example). This is exactly what these parameters do. Cinema 4D takes this one step further in that it does not restrict itself to the size of the filmstrip.

So what use is all this?

  1. First, it lets you shift the part of the image displayed without changing the perspective.

    This is especially useful for adjusting views in architectural visualizations. Perspective, linear direction and linear angles are not affected.

  2. Second, the 16,000 x 16,000 and 128,000 x 128,000 pixel render limitation has been eliminated.

A special trick makes it possible to render images to any given size. This is how it works: Animate Film Offset X and Film Offset Y in steps of 100% for each image. Split the scene into separate parts that will be rendered sequentially. Choose an image format as your output format (don’t choose video).

Once you are done rendering, you will have several images (none of which may exceed a resolution of 16,000 x 16,000 or 128000 x 128000 pixels) that you can then piece together in an image editor.


For the example, the scene was been split into four pictures. The camera’s Film Offset X and Film Offset Y were animated over four frames as follows.

The result is four separate images that you can piece together in an image editor.

Focus Distance [0..+∞m]

Note: This and the following 3 parameters are primarily designed for use with the Physical Renderer (Cinema 4D Visualize, Broadcast and Studio).

The Focus Distance defines the blur plane.

The Focus Distance, measured from the camera’s origin out (=film or sensor plane), defines the distance to a plane that lies perpendicular to the angle of view, on which all objects are displayed perfectly in focus. In front of and behind this plane, all objects are rendered progressively blurred. This value can be defined interactively with the mouse in the Viewport by clicking and dragging on the camera’s center front handle.

A second function of this parameter is to define the position at which a depth map should be calculated (see Start).

If you are reconstructing a real scene in order to compare depth of field effects with those in Cinema 4D, note that the focus distance is not measured beginning at the end of the lens but at the camera’s film plane. In most cases, this plane is marked accordingly on the camera’s body.

The arrow at the right of the setting can be used to interactively set the focal length in the Viewport (this only works in the Perspective or Parallel views) to a specific object. The camera will not be rotated. The distance to an imaginary plane lying vertically to the camera’s angle of view on which the selected object vertex lies will be used.

Use Target Object

If the camera has been assigned a Target tag, the target object will automatically be used by Focus Distance for calculation.

Focus Object

The Focus Distance can also be defined using any object. Null Objects are well-suited for this purpose. However, the camera will not rotate in the direction of this object. Only the distance in the camera’s direction of view will be applied.

With imported scenes in particular, in which the object origins (axes) are centered globally, that the focus distance is always calculated up to the axis. In this case you have to move the axis to the correct position (the Axis Center... command an help).

White Balance (K) [1000..10000]

An outdoor scene (with sky) with 5500K, 6500K and 7500K White Balance, respectively.

White balance is used to prevent light sources (e.g., sky, sun, candles, etc.) from colorizing white surfaces. Set the White Balance value to that of the light source’s color (Tungsten refers to the filament coil in a light bulb). If the presets do not quite match your needs you can select the Custom option and define a custom temperature via the Custom Temperature (K) value. Color hues can be defined without having to change the color of the light itself.

As you can see in the image above, 5500K produces a slight blue hue and 7500K a slight yellow hue. The value 6500K (which is representative of daylight conditions), produces a grayed, cement-like hue (cement textures were applied to the objects in the image).

Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (the colors shown below represent the range emitted by an idealized luminous body):

Of course white balance can be used to colorize renderings. The neutral value is Daylight (6500K). Generally speaking, lower values result in hues of blue and higher values in hues of yellow (directly opposite to the depiction above; the white balance, after all, is a corrective value).

The White Balance parameter cannot be output as a Multi-Pass.

Affect Lights Only

Sometimes it is easier to apply white balance to lights instead of cameras. Enable this option to do so.

White balance will only work for light sources whose color is controlled via the Color Temperature (not the color chooser’s K setting).

Note that this White Balance is a simplified method (does not take all elements into account (e.g., glowing materials)) of white balance. The camera white balance takes into account all elements within its field of view.

After Effects: Note that this option is designed for use in conjunction with exchange described in point 2 above.

Export to Compositing

If enabled, the camera will be exported to the respective compositing application (see also here).