Python & Cinema 4D

October 23, 2014

I’ve finally found the perfect medium to work in!

Using the Python language, it is now possible to basically hijack the entire system of Cinema 4D and use it like a graphics and rendering library.

I began my artistic profession a long time ago as a 3d animator – but I always wanted to experiment and push boundieres of what was visually possible – but at that time you could only use the built in tools and interface to create stuff which just made me frustrated.  Then I discovered Processing – the programming language to create visual computer art.  That was a revolution for me, and I spent the last several years creating animations and work this way, what would be called code art.

But the only thing I found limiting was the rendering and graphics output – you couldn’t really do anything sophisticated with lighting, cameras, fx, materials, complex geometry creation etc.  But now with the Python SDK and Cinema 4D I can code all the conceptual ideas I had with Processing, but have the beauty and power of one of the most powerful movie standard 3d animation and special FX applications in the world.

It’s just recently Cinema 4D has implemented a Python SDK.  This now allows me to write full code to create and animate anything and everything, and Python is a beautiful, beautiful language.

Below is literally the first thing I created.  It’s based on my obsessive love of vector fields (used to animated things like flowing water, and flock animation).  The challenge was to create geometric structures in a 3D vector field.  All my previous work in this was with Processing and in 2D.  Anyway, after about a week learning Python and the SDK I finally knocked out some impressive first results.

Below is a rendered still, a snapshot of the code that created it, and a snapshot of how it looks sitting inside Cinema 4D.

This is now how I will create all my future work.




Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 05.01.09 pm

.Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 05.02.15 pm


5 Responses to “Python & Cinema 4D”

  1. rockafella said

    That really is the perfect medium for generative art .. Any chance you can share code to get started .. That would be amazing ..

  2. I’m not doing anything special yet – just flow fields like described here..

    The tricky part was learning the SDK to create geometry in 3D using splines and lofting. That’s just technical rather than creative.

  3. somada141 said

    Beautiful stuff! Haven’t played with Cinema4D myself but I’ve looked a little into the Python APIs offered by Blender, Maya, Rhino etc. have you tried those? Would you say that Cinema4D offers something extra (honestly asking, not trying to step on your toes)?

  4. I’ve used a lot of 3d packages over the years – 3ds max, Softimage, Lightwave mainly. But I just fell in love with CD4 – lovely interface, simplicity, powerful, flexible etc. The mograph module is unique, and it all also plugs into Xfrog seamlessly. Perfect for abstract, organic visuals.

  5. rockafella said

    i noticed you dont share code..

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