Translation, Rotation, Scale

Cinema 4D has no umbrella name for the parts of a model like vertices, edges, faces. Instead the use simply selects tools. So you can select a "Move tool" and a "point" tool" at the same time. The "Rotate tool" and "Edge tool" at the same time and so on.

One of the strengths of Cinema 4D is in the detailed objects tab. The positions of objects as children or parents is key to how functions such as booleans, deformers, or grouping is applied.

Unlike other programs you can see not just order, but modifiers, texture assignments, visiblility, and many other types of added properties all at once. The main distinction is that some will simple be "objects" with their own entry while other will be "Tags" that are attached to specific objects.

Let's look at an example of the object tab window.

Above is a simple list of non-nested objects. Layers are not activated so this is the entire scene. For each line there is a column denoting a certain kind of information. Let's just look at the first line for the "Plane" object and note the columns from left to right.

  • The object icon appears first. This icon is a built in image denoting the type of object which will dictate the general color scheme of the icon. Premade primitive shapes will have blue icons like the ones you see here. Helpers such as deformers will have purple icons while instances and booleans will be part of a green icon group.
  • After the object icon comes the object name. If you would like to change this from the default name simply "Double Left-Click" the existing name and entera new one for it.
  • The layer color is the third column. In this image all layers are turned off but we can assign objects to layers via the right click menu which will allow us to toggle visibility of entire layer through the layer menu.
  • The two vertical dots after that are the visibility options of that individual object (the visibility options of a parent *will* affect children as well). When "Left-Clicked" they will toggle between grey (no effect), green (always shown regardless of parent setting) and red (hidden). The upper dot dictates visibility in the viewport during editing while the lower dot dicates visibility during rendering.
  • After the visibility dots is the active status toggle. All objects are active by default, denoted by a green checkmark. "Left-Clicking" this icon will change it to a red "X" and back, which will turn off the object. For primitives this will make the object invisible. For helpers such as spline functions and deformers this will simply turn off the effect that modifier has on other objects.
  • After that there is a solid vertical line separating the previous properties from the remaining tagged properties on the right. This is because all of the remaining icons are optional. This side of the properties panel will be where things like surface smoothing tags, material tags, and most animation and physics tags will be shown. A complex object or character can have dozens of tags visible in this area at a time.
  • Camera & Viewport Types

    Cameras in Cinema 4D are simple to operate. The black icons found at the upper right of every viewport allow you to zoom, dolly, rotate, and switch between a single and a quad view setup.

    Each of these buttons has a secondary function via the "Right mouse button". For instance the dolly and zoom functions share the same icon, it only matters if you use the left or right mouse button (while dragging the mouse with the button down) to operate htem.

    Object organization

    In Cinema 4D the word "attribute" doesn't refer necessarily to an individual modification of an object. EVERY object and tag has attributes that you can see in the attributes tab. If it is not visible then going to "Window > Attribute Manager" will bring it up.