In C4DtoA (or other DCCs supported by Arnold) you can export any object as an ASS file. A procedural references the ASS file on disk (or other procedural formats supported by Arnold such as .obj, .ply). 

Path

The path to the archive (.ass, .obj, .ply).

A padding pattern can be used in case of an archive to load a file sequence (animation), which has the following form:

  • name.#.ext  - e.g. name.1.ext, name.2.ext, name.3.ext, ... , name.10.ext, ... , name.100.ext, ...
  • name.##.ext - e.g. name.01.ext, name.02.ext, name.03.ext, ... , name.10.ext, ... , name.100.ext, ...
  • name.###.ext - e.g. name.001.ext, name.002.ext, name.003.ext, ... , name.010.ext, ... , name.100.ext, ...
  • name####.###.ext - indicates four digit padding for frame numbers and three digit padding for sub-frame digits.

Specifying a padding pattern is not mandatory, the plugin tries to find out the pattern from the file name in case Animation is enabled. For example if you point to a file called, test_001.ass it will be recognized as a sequence pattern in the form of test_###.ass. 

Animation

Loads a file sequence when enabled. Loads the sequence automatically based on the file name in case it's easily recognizable (e.g. test_001.ass). Otherwise you case specify the padding pattern (e.g. ####) in the fie name explicitly.

Start Frame

Defines the first frame of the animation when a frame sequence is defined (with # is used in the path).

End Frame

Defines the last frame of the animation when a frame sequence is defined (with # is used in the path).

Step Frame

 Defines the increment of the animation when a frame sequence is defined (with # is used in the path). For example, start frame 0, end frame 10, step frame 3 selects frame 0, 3, 6, 9 from the animation.

Offset

Defines which frame of the scene the animation starts at. For example, offset 2 means that the first frame of the animation is at frame 2. Offset -2 positions the third frame of the animation at frame 0 of the scene.

Loop

Defines how the animation is repeated.

  • none: no repeat, nothing is displayed when the animation is ended.
  • freeze: keeps the last frame rendered when moving further on the timeline.
  • repeat: repeats the animation from the beginning.
  • ping pong: will animate forward, then in reverse, then forward again, and so on.

Auto Instancing

Allows per-procedural selection of the use of this functionality (only '.ass' procedurals support it for now). When enabled, multiple uses of the same filename will be transparently converted to instances. This workaround is sometimes useful when overriding procedural parameters with operators.

You should only disable this to prevent automatic instancing of the same .ass file. It is enabled by default and is only intended for technical users.

Asstoc

Asstoc files are deprecated since C4DtoA 2.1.2. The ASS file header contains the scene bounds instead.


The .asstoc file is a cache which describes the bounding box of the procedural. It allows an optimization of the scene since the plugin does not have to read the referenced ASS file to detect the bounds. The asstoc file can be exported via the ASS Export dialog (see above), however, there are cases when no asstoc files exist (e.g. the ASS files are coming from a different source (RealFlow, etc.)). If C4DtoA can not detect the bounding box (e.g. no asstoc file is given, and the bounds could not be read from the referenced ASS file) then a default bounding box is used (with a size of 1000 unit), and a warning is displayed in the log. The Asstoc tab of the procedural offers a user-friendly cache generation for this case.

The frame range of the generation can be defined on the UI; the default is to use the frame range defined in the Render Settings. Clicking on the Generate button writes the .asstoc files to the disk, next to the ASS files. The result of the generation (success or fail) displayed on the C4D status bar, an error is displayed in the console by failure.

Arnold ASS Export

The work-flow is as follows. Before you can use Arnold Procedurals, you will have to first export some geometry to be used later.

To export the geometry, you must:

  1. Select the geometry you want to export.
  2. Go to the Plugins > C4DtoA > ASS Export.
  3. Choose a name for your archive.
  4. Change Mode to Procedural.
  5. Click on the Export button.

The archive is saved as an Arnold Scene Source (.ass) file.

 

 

You may export single objects as well as a whole hierarchy made out of multiple objects. You can also export single or a sequence of frames. In this situation, the frame padding value of the CINEMA 4D renderer options will be used in the names of the ASS files.

During export, Arnold's current render settings will be used. Therefore, you should finalize these settings before exporting the Arnold Procedural. For example, you should choose whether you wish to export with motion blur enabled or not.

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