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October 18, 2013 AlembicCinema4D

Cinema 4D: exporting Alembic files starting at frames higher than 300.000

This may not happen often to you, but it just did happen to me, so…
Here’s the issue: I had to export a short animation which came from a movie project (from Maya originally, but that doesn’t really matter). The timeline corresponded to the framecount in the movie’s timeline, which meant that the timeline began at 314718 and ended at 314825. Short clip, but large numbers. To finish the shot, I had to export it to Alembic.

labpost_c4d_alembicexport_01

Cinema’s Alembic Exporter will ask you for the frame range you plan to export.

labpost_c4d_alembicexport_02

But what is this? Both Start Frame and End Frame are limited to +/- 300.000. Bugger. So now you could go and move all your keyframes to some place before 300.000, then in your import application move them back. Fun!

Or, you could just fix it in Cinema itself! That’s what I love about the open file structure of Cinema’s resource and header files. The plugin itself may be encrypted, but the .res and .h files stay plain text files. Grab you text editor of choice (hint: Sublime Text!) and open this file: <your MAXON folder>\CINEMA 4D R15\resource\modules\alembic\res\description\Falembicexport.res (if all works well, you probably want to repeat these edits for Falembicimport.res too)

labpost_c4d_alembicexport_04

Change the MIN and MAX values of the marked parameters to whatever you like (I just added a zero, I’m pretty sure I’ll not encounter timeline over 3 million anytime soon).

Start Cinema 4D, open your scene and export to Alembic – happy times!

labpost_c4d_alembicexport_03

This, btw., works for almost any plugin inside Cinema 4D. However, be advised that this can majorly screw up things, if the plugin (or Cinema itself) expects the values to be one thing, while thanks to your changes you’re sending it something totally different. Bang, crash, the end. So be careful please. That said, in the case of the Alembic Exporter all is working fine so far.