m3IO - (free)

Product Details:

m3IO is a plugin for MAXON's Cinema 4D to Import Blizzard's .m3 mesh file format used by some of thier games (for example StarCraft II) .

Please note that meshes, graphics and other content included in the .m3 files is the copyrighted property of Blizzard Entertainment and should only be used with thier express written authorization and/or in accordance with thier existing license agreement(s) for such data. Use of this plugin and compliance with any such licenses and/or agreements is strickly the obligation and responsibility of the end-user of this plugin.

With the above in mind, what this plugin does is Import .m3 mesh files - which can be static objects or buildings, but also fully rigged and animated figures - into Cinema 4D in a format/structure suitable for display (and potential export to another format), using mechanisms originally designed for my I/Ogre plugin (a Game-Oriented Content Creation IO plugin with support for Ogre3D, VALVe:Source Engine and MilkShape3D files*).

[*NOTE: the I/Ogre plugin now includes this .m3 Import module as a matter of convenience, since it uses some of the Tags that that plugin normally provides... m3IO is a free stand-alone version of that module, so if you are a licensed user of I/Ogre, you don't need this plugin - if both are present, Cinema 4D loads the module from I/Ogre and this one won't load] 

As mentioned above, this plugin also uses/utilizes a few Tags ('Figure Tag', 'Animation Clip Tag') to set up the Cinema 4D structure to be suitable for I/Ogre, but if you're not using I/Ogre, you can ignore those tags.

NOTE: Despite the 'IO' part of the name, there are no current plans to develop a .m3 'Export' plugin.


Below is a partial list of plug-in features...

  • Imports Blizzard .m3 format mesh files...
  • Loads multiple submeshes, including Normals and UV-mapping.
  • Loads skeleton/bone rigging and creates a Cinema 4D 'Joint-rigged' figure.
  • Loads skeletal animation and sets up animation keyframes in the Cinema 4D timeline.
  • Loads and sets up materials on the mesh(es), including the appropriate Texture Tags and Polygon Selections/restrictions.
  • Allows for figure (mesh+skeleton) scaling on Import.
  • Provides Cinema 4D mechanisms to define/preserve Figure and Animation Clip information...
  • ...sets the figure and animation structure up to be useable with the I/Ogre plugin.
  • Handles all axis-conversions to re-orient the figure to Cinema 4D axis system.
  • Unlimited User Presets (for both Import and Export, for each file format)
  • etc.
...to get the full story, you can view the online user documentation, which is also included with the plugin.

The plugin is is available from the downloads section (look in the 'Additional Cinema 4D plugins (free)' category). Both Mac (32 and 64bit, Universal Binary) and PC (32 and 64bit) plugins are included in the archive.
This plugin is is available Free of charge, but as usual, donations are always welcome .

...every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated (the plugin is not intentionally crippled in any way, your participation is purely voluntary) - Thanks!