[NOTE: Riptide (the old/free version) WILL NOT WORK WITH Cinema 4D VERSIONS LATER THAN R11 (or possibly R11.5) - and also does NOT work with any 64bit Cinema 4D. It is no longer being updated and still available here only as a courtesy for users with older versions of Cinema 4D. Riptide Pro (the current/commercial version) is available for Cinema 4D R10 or later, Mac & PC, 32 & 64bit and can be demo'd via a 30-day free trial.] 

Riptide is a plugin for Maxon's Cinema 4D to extend it's .obj file import/export capabilities. It is available Free of charge! from the downloads section.

The following is an overview/quickstart guide - an online version of the documentation can be found here but please see the included Readme file for the latest information.


While I love the workflow, interface, rendering and modeling tools C4D provides, I've always been frustrated by it's handling of .obj files, a short summary of issues are...

  • On exporting, all materials are condensed and combined into the first material listed on the mesh.
  • No real group support and/or inflexible group support where it exists.
  • On exporting, Normals are reversed.
  • No support for UVMapper regions.
  • On importing, most material information is lost (C4D doesn't read .mtl files).
  • Lack of additional export options.
  • Lack of additional import options.
...Riptide was written to address these issues (and more).

While Riptide is technically a 3D Filter plugin, it can't over-ride C4D's built-in .obj import/export functions, so it installs itself in the Plugins menu (see Image #1)...

..if you choose the ".Obj Importer" menu item, you will be presented with a file dialog, which will allow you to choose either a Wavefront .mtl (material) file or a Wavefront .obj file. If you choose a .mtl file, it will be read and the information will be used to either update existing materials in the current/active document (if they use the same names) or create new materials for any new ones found.
If you choose to import a .obj file, you will be presented with the following options (see Image #2)...

...I won't go into detail here about what the various options do (you can read the online documentation for details), but as you can see, there's quite a bit more flexibility than the built-in .obj loader (NOTE: the "Import Normals" option is only enabled in the R8.5+ plugins - 'Normal Tags' will be created if this option is enabled and normals exist in the file). The default options are shown in the image, but any changes you make will be stored for future imports. When you hit OK, the plugin will attempt to load the specified .obj file and if a .mtl file is specified within it (and the "Import Materials" option is checked), it will attempt to load that as well (if the .mtl file doesn't exist or can't be found, materials will be created with some default values).
Depending on the options set and what is found in the file, two new tags may be created on the new Polygon Object(s) created. The first one is a 'Group Tag' . You can view/edit this tag by double-clicking on it and it is basically a list of selection tags that define and track .obj file group records (a humanoid model might have hip, abdomen, chest, neck, head, etc. groups, for example). The second one is a 'Region Tag' . This tag is pretty much identical to the Group Tag, but it tracks UV Mapper regions instead. The group and region tag editing dialogs look like this (see Image #3)...

...the list on the left shows all available (and named) selections (in this example, the ones left happen to be material selections). The list on the right are the ones being tracked as groups. If you want to define a selection tag as a group record in the .obj file, then you move it ot the right-hand-side list.
Once you're ready to export your model, after selecting a filename, you are presented with the following options (see Image #4)...

...this is similar to the import options, but there are some differences (NOTE: the "Export Normals" option is only enabled/available in the R8.5+ plugins and will export normal information only if C4D 'Normal Tags' are found on the Polygon Objects in the document). Again, I won't cover what all the options do here, but as you can see, there are plenty of options.

This plugin is is available Free of charge! from the downloads section - please note that there are separate packages available, depending on which version of Cinema 4D you are using (starting with R7.3). Languages currently supported are:

  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Macintosh Support:

The Mac port (OS-X 10.3 or later, Both PPC and Universal Binary versions) of my Riptide plugin is now available, and like the PC version is free of charge. However I am still trying to recoup my development costs for the Mac port, so if you'd like to make a donation, you can do so using the button below - your support is greatly appreciated!

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

While I'm at it, I'd like to thank 'Kerwin Rabbitroo' and 'Kuroyume0161' for thier part it making the Mac port possible, along with the others who have contributed so far.

[this donation button will be removed once I've recouped my development costs]