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Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project

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Paschal Rutagwerela
Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 21, 2018 at 7:58:38 am

I have a very urgent need.

I created a simple cartoon character in Character Creator then I exported him to iClone 7. I then added some simple animations, just walking, standing and simple lip sync. The whole animation is about 4 minutes long. I then sent the character and the animation to 3DXchange and finally exported in FBX. The file comes to about 181 MB which I believe is way too big for something this simple.

Now in C4D (I am using R19), I imported the character. It seems to take quite some time to load. Animation can't play in real time. When I try to save the project in C4D, the file comes to over 3 GB!

In my project I have two quite similar characters and by adding a second one, I can't even save this project. The error message says 'Unable to Write file....'

Need help please in understanding why do I have these huge files and how to fix this. I need to fix this issue as soon as possible.


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Justin Thomson
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 21, 2018 at 8:09:29 pm

Sounds like you should just re-animate in Cinema, not sure what the issue is but I assume your poly count is off the charts.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 21, 2018 at 8:28:42 pm

To keep you locked into the CC an IC world, perhaps when you export to a bigger package like Cinema, instead of FBX or similar does the IC exporter put the animation on each vertex?
If you grin and bear loading in one model can you manipulate that model in C4D with the existing/imported bones or is the animaton baked in?



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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:03:31 pm

I do not see any information that tells me whether the IC exporter put the animation on each vertex or not. I attached the image of the FBX Export window below.

Also, with the workflow I explained above, the animation is baked. I can choose to export the character and the animation from iClone separately but that only increase the import process time in C4D without reducing the file size.




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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:42:01 pm

I exported the two characters without animation. The C4D file comes to only about 145 MB. With the animation, the file is over 6 GB!


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Brian Jones
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 22, 2018 at 3:42:26 pm

even 145 MB for two models with only 70,000 polys combined seems far too large. I have a scanned dragon with 871,000 polys that saves as 25 MB and a 7.2 million poly xyzrgb model that saves as 202 MB


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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:34:06 pm

That's true . I am so lost and frustrated, I really don't know how to fix this.


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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 22, 2018 at 11:37:45 am

I am really trying to complete the character animation task within iClone. So far it seems to be the best workflow for me. One character has a total of 30,000 polygons and another about 40,000 polygons.


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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:39:51 pm

Thanks to Justin Thomson, Steve Bentley and Brian Jones for your help. Can someone offer me a solution that will enable me to import the IClone models and animation data inside C4D without having this problem? I am desperate!


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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:54:55 pm

Well its crazy tedious but could bring your mesh in with bones (but no animation) and then copy and paste the animation data on each bone from iClone data lists? As long as the scale remains the same, the data on one bone will jive with all the others.
MS XL can be your friend and a good pass through to massage the data to get it in a form that Cinema will understand. Before AE became C4D savvy we were throwing text based/spreadhsheet based data back and forth between the two programs all the time.
You may have to invert some of the data or scale all of the positional (but not rotational) data, but then that's what the spread sheet massage is for. Sometimes Word can help clean up a comma or tab delimited set of data.

The problem just has to be a sort of bake on each and every vertex - its the only way I can see the Gb's getting that high.
Is there another format transcoder that could be an intermediary between iClone and C4D? The name of the big one escapes me at the moment but if I come across it i'll post.



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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:58:00 pm

PolyTrans! I wonder if that can take animation data as well as the bone/mesh structure. If it can the next question is will be can it handle iClone. I know it will handle C4D native - but you might have to start in an older version then open that file in your current version.



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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 2:08:09 pm

Steve Bentley, I looked into PolyTrans, it looks like a very useful program but iClone is not one of the supported source applications.

You mentioned earlier about animation on each vertex, I think that might be where the problem is. I tried the FBX converter to convert the file from IC to an earlier FBX version (FBX 2013). It reduced the size from 126 MB to 83 MB but interestingly, the C4D file remain the same size if I use either version. Is this issue of animation on each vertex something I can check and possibly change within C4D?

I noticed that if I select all the character objects, the poly count comes to what I mentioned before, about 30,000 for one character. But when I add a Null object and then put all the character objects under it, when I MMB click the Null object to select it and all the children, the poly count shoot to 1,022,000. What could this mean?

I believe moving an animated character from IC to another 3D program should be fairly simple and straight forward.

Still crying for help!


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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 2:13:40 pm

I tried that method of bringing in the mesh and animation separately into C4D very early when this problem first occurred but it did not affect the C4D file size.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 7:28:50 pm

Ok. Thats a shame about polytrans - it covers so many formats I thought Iclone might be one (but its pretty new).

When you bake an animation in C4D, I'm pretty sure that the vertexes are each given their own animation paths. But I've never seen a cached file reach the mega giga proportions you are talking about.
Now to be fair we've never stripped out a c4d cache file to see whats in it (we will be now though just to see), so I can't say for sure that's whats going on, but given that you can scrub forwards and backwards on mesh hierarchies, deformers and dynamics, particles and cloners I figured that's what they would have to be doing.

You could bring the mesh and the animated skeleton into C4d separately and then link them together but then you will have to redo all your weight painting and that really depends on the model of how laborious that would be. (unless there is a tool, built in or aftermarket, that lets you export the weights from IC.

Have you talked to iClone support?

We don't use iClone - can you render out of iClone? could you get a third party render engine that would get you there without having to transfer the assets?
If you can't render out of iClone what is the pipeline they expect you to use?

If you bring your model into C4d and do a quick rig and then save it, what's the MB level then?



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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 7:35:05 pm

Are you using 3D exchange to do the transfer? or the built in exporter?
I'm kinda shocked that there is not direct file format converter for C4D. All the other big boys are there (and quite a few small ones as well)

What about trying to do a file format conversion to something like 3DsMax. You could download a trial version to see how big that file is. From Max you might be able to save the file back as a 3Ds format (What Max used to be called) and then you can import that into C4D.



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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 7:36:22 pm

There's a version of Unity that is free (and there may be one for Unreal as well) that you could do a file format coversion for and then render from there.
What's the final usage?



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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Mar 27, 2018 at 7:47:30 pm

How long is the timeline in iClone? Might you exporting animation data from frame zero to frame 6 million? That might account for the size of the file.
I see in another part of the Docs you can export from Iclone direct to c4dR18, is that what you are attempting?



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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Apr 4, 2018 at 6:51:00 pm

As far as exporting just a mesh then rig within C4D, it gives me about 36 MB for a 4 minute animation. Also iClone only records at 60 fps. So for a 4 minute animation, it comes to about 16,000 frames. When I import to C4D on a project that uses 24 fps, it comes to about 6336 frames.

I can export from within iClone or by using 3DXchange but I still get the same results. I also tried your suggestion by using 3Ds Max but 3Ds format does not seem to be able to carry animation data unless I am missing something (my guess is, it is similar to something like OBJ file, it only carry mesh and texture information?).


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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Apr 4, 2018 at 6:35:19 pm

Thanks a lot Steve Bentley, you have been extremely helpful on this. Sometimes I don't mind struggling like this because it helps me uncover new things but sometimes it can be frustrating.

I could render out in iClone in image sequence with alpha and then compose the character with the 2D footage or CG environment but I will be stuck with the original iClone camera angle(s) and also any camera movement in iClone will be impossible to track later.

The workflow that I am seeking is to animate a character in iClone (the model created within iClone CC or imported from ZBrush, DAZ or C4D) and then export the model with the animation to C4D. Then add other 3D elements to the scene then finally render everything together within C4D.

I am also interested in integrating a CG character to a live shot, in this case after importing an animated character, C4D will enable me to do motion tracking of the live shot, add any other 3D elements and work on IBL before doing compositing work. iClone gives you the ability to do IBL but it doesn't have motion tracking feature, that's why I NEED to be able to export just an animated model and do the rest of the work elsewhere.


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Steve Bentley
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Apr 4, 2018 at 10:58:40 pm

Will Iclone allow you to import a camera or the camera data from a 3rd party tracker like PFtrack our Boujou? (or even cinema for that matter)

You can usually copy and paste object animation data from one package to another. Sometimes you have to do it channel by channel but for the camera that would only be about 6 or 7 copy and pastes (x,y,z,zoom or lens length, xrot,yrot,zrot). and often you can grab all the keyframes and paste it into something like XL or Word to massage the data - usually its just a formatting issue - too many spaces between values or tabs instead of commas. You can clean that all up easily with search and replace in Word. Sometimes you have to reorient the Y or Z but you can do that in XL just by swapping columns or inverting the order.

The pipeline you suggest should work. I'm not sure where there log jam is. Did iClone support have any insight?



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Paschal Rutagwerela
Re: Huge C4D file, I can't even save a project
on Apr 7, 2018 at 11:33:58 pm

Thanks Steve,

It looks like iClone can import cameras so I am going to try that route. How do you access the animation data from the FBX file to copy from? In the beginning I assumed the problem was somewhere within C4D that's why I ran here first for help but I am going to contact iClone support to see what they suggest. The more I dig this problem, the more I start thinking it could be a bug within iClone because even the FBX files they generate are bigger than usual or maybe I am overlooking one simple thing somewhere.


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