Arnold shaders are available in the native Node Material (since Cinema 4D R23) and the shader graph can be viewed and modified in the native Node Editor.

For more information on how to use the Node Editor, please visit the Cinema 4D User Manual.

Node Material support has some known limitations:

  • Shader presets are not supported.
  • Not all shaders and parameters are supported in the viewport.
  • OSL shaders from a custom folder are not listed if the plugin path is defined in the scene. It has to be defined via the ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable before starting Cinema 4D.
  • ramp_rgb shader does not render a peview when modifying the shader.

Limitations in Cinema 4D R23:

  • Loading textures from a folder in the ramp_rgb shader does not work.
  • No custom Arnold-specific menu categories (shaders are listed under Uncategorized).
  • Connecting shaders to non-linkable parameters does not show an error.

Limitations in Cinema 4D S24:

  • Connecting shaders to non-linkable parameters does not show an error.

Limitations in Cinema 4D R25:

  • Modifying a shader in a referenced material resets the Attribute Editor in Cinema 4D R25.010. Please update to R25.117 or above where the issue was fixed.
  • Vector type shaders (e.g. displacement) have no previews in Cinema 4D R25.010. Please update to R25.117 or above where the issue was fixed.

Create an Arnold Node Material

  • Before creating a new Node Material, make sure that the active Node Space is Arnold. If you select Arnold as the active renderer in the Render Settings, the Node Space is automatically set. Otherwise, you can set the Node Space on the application toolbar (Cinema 4D R24) or from the Render > Node Spaces menu.




Node Space on the Cinema 4D R24 toolbar

















Node Space in the menu


  • Create a Node Material from the Material Manager (Ctrl + Alt + N).


  • Double click on the material to open the Node Editor.

Change the Default Material System in the Preferences to create Node Material from the plugin by default instead of the old Arnold Material.

Arnold Material End Node

The shader graph must have an Arnold Material end node, which is added automatically when the material is created. The end node defines the surface and displacement subnetworks and other material-specific settings.

Material Settings

Render Preview

Render material preview (end node preview and Node Material preview in the Attribute Editor and Material Manager) when enabled. Otherwise a default image (Arnold logo) is displayed.

Render Shader Previews

Render shader previews (Node Editor and Attribute Editor) when enabled. Otherwise a default image (Arnold logo) is displayed.

Viewport Preview

Display a preview of the material in the viewport when enabled. Otherwise display a default material with 0.8 base color.

Preview Scale

Scales the object in the preview scene from the default 1m size. For instance setting the Preview Scale to 1cm (or 0.01), the object is scaled down to 1cm. This can be useful when working with small objects and previewing shaders that depend on length units (e.g. SSS radius, transmission depth, etc.).

Shortcuts

The following shortcuts are available in the shader network. Press Alt + W in the editor to see the list of available commands.

  • Set as surface shader: Connects the selected shader to the shader port of the end node. This is useful when you want to quickly visualize a part of the network in the IPR.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and 1
  • Set as displacement shader: Connects the selected shader to the displacement port of the end node.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and 2
  • Set as viewport shader: Connects the selected shader to the viewport port of the end node. This is useful when you want to visualize a part of the network (e.g. textures) in the viewport.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and 3
  • Set as alpha shader: Connects the selected shader to the alpha port of the end node, which is used for material stacking.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and 4
  • Delete unused shaders: Removes all shaders from the network which is not part of any sub-graphs (not reachable from the end node).
    • shortcut: Alt + W and D
  • Create reference: Moves the selected shaders to a new Arnold Material and replaces them with a reference of that material. The shaders must be connected.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and I
  • Load textures...: Loads all textures from a selected folder and adds them to the network editor as image shaders.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and L
  • Write texture...: Allows you to write out modifications of a texture (e.g. UV transform, color correction, mix, etc.). This feature is useful to prevent duplicating the network when you want to further edit a texture in other application (e.g. Photoshop). Select the shader which you want to write out and execute the Write Texture... command. A dialog opens to set up the output path, format and resolution.
    • shortcut: Alt + W and W

This feature is valid only for textures valid in UV space. You can not write out surface shaders (e.g. standard, curvature, etc.) or procedural textures (e.g. noise).


You can change the above shortcuts in the Window > Customization > Customize Commands... dialog. You can search by name or shortcut or sort by Plugin and find the C4DtoA commands.

Material Stacking (alpha)

Shaders connected to the alpha input of the Arnold Material end node are used to drive the mix when the material is added on top of other materials (stacking).

 

Reference Shader

The reference shader allows you to include another material, either a Node Material or an old Arnold Material within the graph. For instance, you can create a procedural texture and reference it in multiple materials to drive different parameters. Modifying the referenced material will update all parent materials.

Since an old Arnold Material can be referenced in the shader, it can be used to overcome the current limitations of the Node Material system.

Cycles are not permitted, which means you cannot reference material A in material B if material A already has a direct or indirect reference for material B.

Viewport

  • The shader graph connected to the shader port of the Arnold Material end node is automatically displayed in the viewport.


  • However, you can override the viewport by connecting a shader to the viewport input of the end node.


Below are the currently supported shaders and parameters:

ShaderParameterTexture
standard_surface



Base > Coloryes
Base > Weightno
Base > Metalness (1 means metal, less than 1 means dielectric)no
Specular > Coloryes
Specular > Weightno
Specular > Roughnessyes
Specular > IORno
Transmission > Weightyes
Emission > Coloryes
Emission > Weightno
Geometry > Opacityyes
Geometry > normalyes
lambert


Coloryes
Weightno
Opacityyes
Normalyes
car_paint

Base > Coloryes
Base > Weightno
Specular > Coloryes
Specular > Weightno
Specular > Roughnessyes
Specular > IORno

toon (displayed as a dielectric material, no edge support).

Base > Coloryes
Base > Weightno
Specular > Coloryes
Specular > Weightno
Specular > Roughnessyes
Transmission > Weightyes
Emission > Coloryes
Emission > Weightno
Geometry > normalyes

Only the first supported shader is displayed in the viewport. For instance, if a layer_shader is the root in the graph, only its first input will be visible in the viewport.

  • No labels
Privacy settings / Do not sell my personal information / Privacy/Cookies