C4D Model Editing Part 1- Importing/Cleaning

Posted on Dec. 6, 2018, 10:31 a.m. by Nibs • Last updated on July 14, 2020, 6:28 p.m.


Welcome to the basic gestalt of model editing in Cinema4D, or at least how a hackfraud like myself performs model edits. This entire tutorial set will cover porting objects, connecting objects, pose morphs, a glance at sculpting tools and adding simple weight binds between an object and joints. Click HERE for Part 2.

Tools You May Need

Choose Your Model

Aside from SFMlab and Smutbase, there are other libraries of models tucked away in the unholy hells of Deviantart(with other places as well). Most of my non-WoW ports come from Deviantart in some capacity and more specifically - MMD. For now, we'll use SFMLab since it's more commonplace. First things first, say you really wanted to get some demon horns for your OC or whatever. In this example, let's just say we really want to use this model. Download it, extract it and open up Crowbar.

Decompiling the Model

Now that Crowbar is open, you'll discover a plethora of settings. Click the "Decompile" tab up at the top and verify that your options are quite similar to mine:

Once that's done, we'll need to find an .mdl file of our downloaded horns. Click 'Browse...' in your mdl file or folder path and search through your CurvedHorns models folder until you find 'curvedhorn.mdl' and open it.

Find a proper output folder for your model or just select "Subfolder (of MDL file or folder)" and hit decompile. Hopefully very little to no errors appear and you now have an .smd and .qc file at the ready.

Porting the Textures

Open up your VTFEdit. Go to File -> Open and you are going to go to your model's texture folder and export the .vtfs as .png by opening up the texture you want (HornDiff.vtf) and going to File -> Export and change file type to .png *Sidenote: You cannot extract VMTs, they are merely placeholders for data of where textures were once assigned.

Importing and Cleaning Your Import

Grab that .smd file and plop it into Cinema4D, assuming it all goes correctly, the model should look fairly decent, but it definitely needs some optimization and extra touches. Make sure to load in and apply those textures you got from VTFEdit. Now that that's done, delete the 'Normals' Tag and the Weights tag. Make sure to delete all the joints too, since it's just a static object.

Your horns will probably look like blocky crap, but that's okay for now. Before we start to subdivide and smooth it out, enable your horns' phong and crank it up to 180. Optimize your mesh (U + O) and create a Subdivision Surface. Place your model under the Subdivision Surface and change your Subdivision settings similar to how I did:

After you parent your mesh with a Subdivision Surface, you may start to notice the middle point of your horns looking really lopsided and seem to be connecting to each other. To remedy this, enter Polygon mode and use "Fill Selection" (U + F), then select one of the horns. With one of the horns selected, right click in your viewport and click Split and press delete. You will now have two separate horn meshes, one being Subdivided and another not. To rejoin the meshes and Subdivide them, select both objects, right click and press "Connect Objects + Delete". This will join both of your models under one mesh, but it will keep them "separated". Congratulations, you should have a fairly optimized import. Make sure to keep hold of it, as we still have a model to attach it to in Part 2.