Scene Updater


With Cinema 4D R20 the ability to load scenes, that got saved with Cinema 4D versions older than R12, has been removed.

The plugin described herein is supposed to help users locate such scenes and, when running in a version which still has the ability to load such scenes (e.g. R19), it can convert these to a newer file format, which can then be loaded in R20 again. When doing so, no files will be overwritten, but instead it will save a new scene file with the major version of Cinema 4D appended to the filename.

Scene Updater can not guarantee converted scenes will act or produce the same results as the file did before. It only allows to convert the scene file format to a newer version that can be opened in R20. The conversion happens basically by loading the scene into a more up-to-date version of Cinema 4D and saving it under a different name. If the scene already has issues with the used Cinema 4D version, the plugin can not do anything about it.Scene Updater can not erase files.
Scene Updater will not overwrite files (at least unless not explicitly wanted by the user).

General Workflow within Cinema 4D

General Workflow

The general workflow consists of two main steps:

  1. Importing scene files
    • Optionally filtering and selecting the results of the import
  2. Clicking the Convert button

Where to Find the Plugin
The Scene Updater plugin can be found in the Plugins menu:

Main Dialog
The main dialog looks like so:

The options dialog (the small cogwheel next to the plugin in the menu) provides the option to set the minimal version to consider scene files for conversion. By default it is set to R12 and there’s actually no need to change it for now.

Menus

File

Open file

Import a single .c4d scene file.

Open folder

Import all .c4d scene files that are in a selected directory.

Open one level of subfolders

Import all .c4d scene files that are in a given directory and one level below. This option is meant for people with a project folder, which then contains sub-directories for different projects, but who do not want to scan any backup sub-directories possibly contained in the actual project directories..

Open all subfolders

Import all .c4d scene files that are in a given directory (including all sub-directories).

It’s also possible to drag files or folders from Explorer or Finder onto this dialog in order to get them imported.

Example of a directory tree and the differences between all three options:

Open current Document

Import the currently active scene. The document needs a name, so it either got loaded (most likely, as one is looking for conversion of old scenes) or needs to be saved at least one time (which will then result in an already converted scene).

Open all opened Document

Import all open scenes. The documents need to have names, so either got loaded (most likely, as one is looking for conversion of old scenes) or need to be saved at least one time (which will then result in an already converted scene).

Content Browser

Import all items from your personal content preset library to the dialog.

While we use this plugin internally to scan our own content libraries, these are excluded in the published version. This was not done to hide anything, but to reduce the results to those relevant for a user. The content libraries delivered with R20 will not contain any old scenes anymore.

Edit

Select

Select results from import according to the mode chosen (see below), Shift modifier supported.

Deselect

Deselect results from import according to the mode chosen (see below).

Remove

Remove results according to the mode chosen (see below). The files will only be removed from the result list, it will not delete any files.

For Select, Deselect and Remove there are the following options:

All

Act on all files in the result list.

Pre R(Minimal Version)

Act on results with a version below the Minimal Version (R12 by default). Basically results which need updating.

Pre R(Minimal Version) Converted

Act on results with a version below the Minimal Version (R12 by default), but which have been already converted.

Post R(Minimal Version)

Act on results with a version above the Minimal Version (R12 by default). Results which need no conversion.

Presets

Act on results from a Content Browser library scan.

Filtering Results

In order to get a quick overview of the results of an import operation, one can easily hide certain groups of files.

Pre R(Minimal Version)

Yellow – Display results which are a version below the Minimal Version (R12 by default). Most likely results in need to be updated.

Pre R(Minimal Version) Converted

Light Green – Display results which are a version below the Minimal Version (R12 by default) and have been already converted. Probably candidates to be removed from the result list.

Post R(Minimal Version)

Green – Display results which are a version equal or above the Minimal Version (R12 by default), which don’t need to be converted. Probably candidates to be removed from the result list.

Scene Conversion

After one or multiple scene files have been imported, they are displayed in the result list, as shown below.

Scene files previously converted by this plugin will not be listed.

CheckBox

Allows to select scene files in the list. These can then later on be converted in a single step via the Convert button at the bottom of the dialog.

R6.0 (well in above screenshot)

The version of the scene file.

Convert

Save a copy of the scene file with the current version of Cinema 4D. In doing so the resulting scene file can then be loaded again in Cinema 4D R20.
The created file will get the suffix “_r(Current Version of c4d)”, so if you run the plugin in R19 and you convert a file named “test.c4d”, it will result in a file “test_r19.c4d”.
If the scene file is located in a Content Browser library, it will launch “Save Project with Assets” instead of just saving the scene file.

The result may not be identical to the original file version. Due to the long history of Cinema 4D, very old scenes might not be imported completely correct in to Cinema 4D R19. If encountering such a case, we recommend to use the plugin with an older Cinema 4D version on command line.The resulting scene files will most likely have an increased file size.

Refresh

Refresh the status of a file. For example after modifying or saving it with another version of Cinema 4D running in parallel.

Open

Open the given scene file in Cinema 4D.

Remove

Remove the file from the result list. The file will not be deleted, just removed from the list.

Bottom of the Window

Status

Number of files in result list.
Total files [Yellow – Results that need conversion / Light Green – Results which are already converted / Green – Results which don’t need conversion]

Convert

Save a copy of all scene files selected and visible with the current version of Cinema 4D. In doing so resulting scene files can then be loaded again in Cinema 4D R20.
Created files will get the suffix “_r(Current Version of c4d)”, so if you run the plugin in R19 and you convert a file named “test.c4d”, it will result in a file “test_r19.c4d”.
If scene files are located in a Content Browser library, it will launch “Save Project with Assets” instead of just saving the scene file.

The result may not be identical to the original file version. Due to the long history of Cinema 4D, very old scenes might not be imported completely correct in to Cinema 4D R19. If encountering such a case, we recommend to use the plugin with a older Cinema 4D version on command line.The resulting scene files will most likely have an increased file size.

General Workflow on Command Line

The general workflow from command line is pretty much the same as the one described above.
Basically one sets a file/folder to scan and it will write the result list to a file, optionally converting scene files in need.

In contrast to the UI command of this plugin, the command line can be used with version of Cinema 4D down to R14.

Command Line Options

All command line options need to be enclosed with double quotes.
Option Description
-SceneUpdater This argument needs to be the first one.
Scan file/folder specified directly next to this parameter: -SceneUpdater’FILE_OR_FOLDER_PATH’
Import options (only one possible)
-Folder
-OneLevel
-SubFolder
If path to process is a file this option is ignored.
-Folder (default behavior): Process only the content of the folder, same as described for File Menu => Open Folder
-OneLevel: Process folder and one level of sub-folders, same as described for File Menu => Open one level of subfolder
-SubFolder: Process folder and all sub-folders, same as described for File Menu => Open all subfolders
Action on files (only one possible)
-CheckConversion
-Convert
-CheckConversion (default behavior): Show result list, only, do not convert anything
-Convert: Convert files that are below R12 or actually below minimal version set in parameter -Version
-Output Write result list to a file, specified directly next to this parameter -Output ‘FILEPATH’
The output format depends on the -Json option.
If the file can’t be written for any reason, results are printed to the console.
-OverwriteOutput Allow to overwrite the result list file. If this option is not set and the result list file can not be written, results are printed to the console.
-Json The result list will be in JSON format.

Example 1

Convert all files below version 12 in {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/ (including all sub-folders), write the result list to {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.txt and allow to overwrite this resulting text file (in case the operation is run more than once).

"CINEMA 4D.exe" "-SceneUpdater '{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/' -SubFolder -Output '{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.txt' -OverwriteOutput -Convert"

Example 1 Output

By running the above example with Cinema 4D R15, the following will happen:

  • The scene {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010.c4d will be converted and saved as {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010_r15.c4d
  • Write result list to: {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.txt

Each line of the result list file contains the following: FILE,FILE_PATH_CONVERTED,INITIAL_FILE_VERSION

{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010.c4d,{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010_r15.c4d,6.21
{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/R6/cineyes.c4d,False,15.21
{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/R6/Sch_del/lebka_r6.c4d,False,6.0

Note on line 2: FILE_PATH_CONVERTED is False since the file does not need to be converted (minimal version is default R12).
Note on line 3: FILE_PATH_CONVERTED is False while the version actually indicates, that it should have been converted. An error occurred, check file permissions and available disk space.

Example 2

Just check for files below version 12 in {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/ (including all sub-folders), write the result list to {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.json and allow to overwrite this file (in case the operation is run more than once).


"CINEMA 4D.exe" "-SceneUpdater '{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/' -SubFolder -Output '{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.json' -Json -OverwriteOutput"

Example 2 Output

By running the above example with Cinema 4D R15, the following will happen:

  • Write result list in JSON file format to: {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/result.json
  • No scene files will be converted (as -Convert option is not set)

Note, comments in the JSON file below got added manually for explanatory purposes.

[
{   # This file got converted
"path": "your path\\R5\\010-Wasser\\010.c4d",
"convertedPath": "your path\\R5\\010-Wasser\\010_r15.c4d",
"version": 5.21
},
{   # This file doesn't need to be converted (convertedPath set to False and version above r12)
"path": "your path\\R5\\010-Wasser\\R6\\cineyes.c4d",
"convertedPath": False,
"version": 15.21
},
{   # This file needs to be converted (convertedPath set to False and version below r12), but an error occurred, check file permissions and available disk space
"path": "your path\\R5\\010-Wasser\\R6\\Sch_del\\lebka_r6.c4d",
"convertedPath": False,
"version": 6.0
}
]

Example 3

Convert scene files below version 12 in {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/ (including one level of sub-folders) and print the result in txt format to the console.


CommandLine.exe "-SceneUpdater '{your path}/R5/010-Wasser/' -OneLevel -Convert"

Example 3 Output

By running the above example with Cinema 4D R15, the following will happen:

  • The scene {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010.c4d will be converted and saved as {your path}/R5/010-Wasser/010_r15.c4d
  • The result list (same as in Example 1) is printed to the console.

Limitations

  1. Content Browser scanning is not available through command line.
  2. While loading some files a message dialog may open for example in case of missing assets from Substance module. The plugin will hang until an user interaction. There is no way for the plugin to bypass these messages.

Requirements

For use as a Command inside of Cinema 4D user interface, Cinema 4D R19 (Windows or Mac) is required.
For use on the command line (batch mode), Cinema 4D R14 (Windows or Mac) is required.

Download

  sceneupdater_1.0.1.zip (585.4 KiB)

Installation

Unzip the downloaded archive to Cinema 4D’s default plugin folder.

Support

Provide your bug reports, test scenes or ideas by writing an email to labs-at-maxon-dot-net

Please rate this

42 Comments

  1. How are you supposed to use this when r19 isn’t even available to download anymore?!

  2. I am so disgusted with how Maxon has handled this. I have hundreds of files from previous work projects I cannot open anymore because of the apparent laziness of your team. There is no other reason I can imagine for your inability to make this happen.

    • This page is about scene-updated plugin support not overall scene file support within Cinema 4D.

      As a quick note, you can open R19 files within R23. And up to R13 which means it’s more than 9 years old files.
      But R12 is more than 10 years ago so yes you can’t open it anymore.
      For licensing question or complaining about not supporting 10 years old file anymore, please get in touch with our support and open a new ticket there https://support.maxon.net/open.php

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  3. Hi.

    In 2021 it’s still a pain in the #!”* not be able to open files older than R19. Why not making a “real” converter instead of a “helper” tool? E have an R11.5 license, a R20 license and an monthly subscription license, but there is no way for us to use <R12 projects. The funny thing is, we would like to buy a license R19, but unfotunately Maxon doesn't want to sell us one, and due to company restrictions we can only buy at Maxon. Giving us a time limited R19 license just helps till we have the next <R12 file in our hand.

    Cheers

    • This page is about scene-updated plugin support not overall scene file support within Cinema 4D.

      As a quick note, you can open R19 files within R23. And up to R13 which means it’s more than 9 years old files.
      But R12 is more than 10 years ago so yes you can’t open it anymore.
      For licensing question or complaining about not supporting 10 years old file anymore, please get in touch with our support and open a new ticket there https://support.maxon.net/open.php

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  4. Has a better conversion tool been released to convert legacy content libraries to an updated .lib4d format for R20

    • Hi Jamie, no better tool was released.
      What improvement to the tool you would like to see?

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  5. Let’s say there are innovations on the stage from other versions and I grab the scene on an older version where these innovations are not supported how to save the scene so that when launched on the version with support they disappear

    • Hi Delyfss, you are right, in general, Cinema 4D try to offer a workable solution, but if the feature doesn’t exist anymore then I would say stick with your old version as you can’t replace that doesn’t exist anymore.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  6. IN R23 ,an I open up files created in R17 without the updater? I don’t have an older version

  7. Hi does this work for R22? I am trying to bring a file from R12
    I put this in the exchange plugins folder but i don’t see it in the program.
    Thank you

    • Hi Miles Martinez, this is not possible, the maximal version supported is R19. Just to explain to you why this limitation exists.
      The plugin is just a utility helper to re-save old files in an R19 file format which is supported by newer versions of Cinema 4D since R20 is not anymore able to load old file formats (which are more than 10 years old).

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  8. Hi, just installed it into r20 and when I click on the plug-in menu item or the cog wheel next to it, I am told r20 does not support this plug-in at all, only earlier c4d versions tho. So I am confused – I thought the whole point of the plug-in was to be an add on for r20 specifically??

    • Hi Bib_B, no this plugin is only a helper plugin to save a bunch of files. There is no technical way to open pre R12 scene in R20.
      So the process is to open the c4d file in a version From R13 to R19 then resave again. By doing it will correctly save the file to a correct data structure that is supported by R20.

      Scene Updater is only a helper tool, to see which files need to be updated and to batch update them. Sorry if the description was not clear enough.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  9. Hey guys, i might be stupid but i can’t find the scene updater in the plugins menu in R19. thanks in advance for a little help.

    cheers

    Basti

  10. Hello,

    as so many here, I am not able to convert my huge content-library with lots of files.
    It seems the plugin simply does nothing.
    Could someone please answer if this is possible at all? Has anybody managed to do it?
    Why is there no “official” answer to this?

    Best regards
    Michael

    • By the way.
      I am on Win7 64bit
      using C4d R19 with latest update. (the only version which should be able to convert the content library, right?)

  11. Hello Adam
    Just like Adam above, i can’t convert a content-library. I have the great library from Renderkit but i can’t use it in R20 or R21. How do i convert the library with all its materials to R20??
    Thanks
    Rickard

    • Unfortunately, this is not possible, the maximal version supported is R19. Just to explain to you why this limitation exists.
      The plugin is just a utility helper to re-save old files in an R19 file format which is supported by newer versions of Cinema 4D since R20 is not anymore able to load old file formats (which are more than 10 years old).

      You can probably ask RenderKit to provide you an updated version or try t contact your sale department via https://support.maxon.net/tickets.php?id=49842 to have a temporary R19 license.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  12. Hey Maxime,

    I am unable to convert an old file to be read on R20. Could you help me convert it or do you know of another way?

    Thanks,
    Jenae

    • Hi, Jenea unfortunately, I can’t help you to convert the file, you will need to run the plugin yourself (or find someone able to do it for you) within R19.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  13. This is truly an idiotic limitation. Why on Earth is this not built into R20…???

    • R20 does not open file prior to R12.

      This tool is only a workflow tool to see which version the current file is and save it with the current version in some automated way. So if it would have been possible to keep compatibility in R20 for old files, be sure it would have been the way decided and this tool for prior version would be not needed.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  14. New to C4D here and have older stock files that won’t open in R20. Since this is the first version I’m using where do I download an older version of C4D? This is a little ridiculous to say the least. I agree with the other poster… this should be something that is integrated directly into the app. Not a happy camper here.

    • Hi Carson Jones, you can contact your Cinema 4D resellers for more information about prior release acquisition.
      Unfortunately here we can’t do anything.

      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  15. how about releasing a version for R20 that can read older files and then save it to something we can use in R20 or maybe integrate this so no plugin is necessary?
    This way I don’t have to install 2 versions of c4d next to each other. and especially – once I install a second version of C4D (R19 or R18) – I don’t need that plugin anymore… wth?

  16. thank you for the converter!

    But it is essential that the new file has the same name than the old one, So a suffix is not helpful when the filename is referred to something else like a plugin or a library

    • Hi Oliver, overwriting is dangerous since in some case a 100% equivalence is not possible. But you can easily find a tool to automatically remove the suffix afterward.
      Cheers,
      Maxime.

  17. It works fine, but it would be a great help if it were possible to keep the same filename and overwrite the old cinema 4d files.

  18. Hi Adam,
    can you please explain how to convert a content-Library?
    When i try to uste te option “Content Browser” nothing happens.
    What i doing wrong?

    Open single files or folders works great. 🙂
    But the Problem i have is a library with 1.000 objects. Some of them are Pre12 versions and i hove no chance to use the library with R20 correctly.

    can you please help me/us?

    Cheers Mike (work on Mac)

  19. while loading the files I often get an massage: ERROR:this build is not suppoertet anymore. Please update to a newer version.
    I have to hit OK untill the Plugin is loading or searching more files

  20. It doesnt seem to work at all for me, R16. Really really old file, tried multiple file. None of them show up on mac.

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