The Cineware by Maxon plugin for Unity makes it easier to move between Cinema 4D and Unity. With this plugin, you can seamlessly import materials, lights, and cameras from Cinema 4D. Read on to learn how and when to use this plugin in your Unity projects.
In the second half of the post, I outline two tips for prepping Cinema 4D files for use in Unity. The first is how to optimize your model for VR by combining objects that share materials. The second tip covers manually adjusting normals to ensure your 3D objects render properly in Unity.
Installing in Unity
It’s super simple. Search for the Cineware plugin in the Unity Asset Store and import it into your Unity project via Package Manager. It’s free and works with or without a Cinema 4D license. Do this step before you import your Cinema 4D model into Unity.
If you are working in a standard 3D Unity project, this plugin will make the import process a piece of cake.
However, if you are working with a Universal Render Pipeline project, the plugin might bring you more headaches than help. The below video captures this tedious workflow:
How to Export
In order for the Cinema 4D exported file to work with the Cineware plugin in Unity, all you have to do is File > Export > Save Project for Cineware in Cinema 4D. Then import this file into Unity.
Two Tricks Before Importing
Optimize your Unity VR app by combining objects in your 3D model that share materials. In Cinema 4D, select the objects in your hierarchy, right-click, and select ‘Connect Objects’.
This will create a new combined mesh, while still leaving the original objects intact for future edits if needed. Turn these original objects off/delete them in Unity. Here’s more on this process:
Have you ever imported your model into Unity and found some materials are totally invisible, or are only rendering from one side? You’ve got misaligned normals. This happens a lot when moving from Vectorworks to Unity.
One possible solution can be solved in Cinema 4D (even the Lite version via After Effects) using a Render Tag> Display and enabling Backface Culling. This gives you a preview of how the model will render in Unity. From here, you can manually reverse/align normals to make sure everything is looking good before importing into Unity.
I’ll add more tips and tricks to this post as I discover them. Check back soon 😀
Are you getting stuck anywhere? Need help? I would love to hear from you to ensure I keep this tutorial as helpful as possible.