Exporting Terragen3 to Cinema4D R15

Started by crmoberg, December 03, 2013, 06:57:59 PM

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Hello All,

I am a new Terragen3 user and I use Cinema4D R15 as my main 3D package. I did some searches in the forum for discussions regarding this topic and it seemed like the posts were a few years old.

Has there been any further development on exporting scene geometry/lighting/textures to Cinema4D? Or if anyone has found a work around for doing this, or at least a way to get rough geometry into Cinema4D?

Thank you for any help in advance,



Hello crmoberg, welcome. Lighting info would be exported (along with camera) using FBX export from the File menu. For terrain geometry, use the Micro Exporter, documentation is here: http://www.planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Micro_Exporter
Texture data is not explicitly supported for export at this time, the best you can do is a top-down orthographic render with neutral lighting and no atmosphere.

- Oshyan



Although it's been a while and I don't remember precise details I did use C4D to test FBX export when I was adding it and I seem to recall things worked well with it. Definitely give the FBX export a try. I think using either FBX or OBJ for terrain exported via the micro exporter would be fine.

There is a TG import/export reference here:


There is also information specifically about FBX here:





i have tried this many times and for some reason getting a usable file is always hit or miss.

It's seems logical when you open Terragen, you should be able to export the default scene with the micro exporter.

Will someone please upload a simple setup so anyone can export a scene and look how everything is setup???

I have followed the instructions from the wiki, verbatim, many times and I never seem to arrive at a consistent workflow.

In Vue or any other 3d package this is  very simple so exporting geometry from Terragen shouldn't be this cryptic.


To be clear, there are two aspects to import/export with FBX that are handled separately at present: terrain is separate from camera/lighting/animation. The "Export FBX scene" option on the File menu (and its corresponding import function) both deal with camera/lighting/animation data and *not* terrain geometry. Terrain geometry is exported using the Micro Exporter, documentation for that is here:
and there is a simple 4 step workflow for getting geometry out on that page.
Once you set things up as described, when you Render (standard render buttons/functions), instead of a normal render it will output geometry to the chosen file location and format. Note that we recommend not using detail levels above 0.5 when doing geometry export as it can create extremely high density geometry, very large files, and long export processes. The renderer will appear to "hang" at the end of the render process when exporting really large geometry.

If you have more specific questions or issues, please let us know.

- Oshyan

- Oshyan


I tried it again and it worked...I think the problem I am experiencing is the way C4d decides to make the geometry visible.

I need to experiment more with the way I scale the geometry on import when I bring it into C4d.

For some reason the scale is off and I have to create a sphere and force the perspective camera to point at the sphere to re orient the camera to see the  TG geometry.

I can't force the camera (by pressing the O key)  to see the TG geo for some reason it ignores it's null location.

I guess its just the scale/units between the two software packages is different.

Ok I am a new user so perhaps its just my problem!!! HAHAHA!!!


Yes, scale can be an issue sometimes, depending on how each package handles units. In Terragen units are generally defaulted to meters. You might try exporting to .fbx for terrain geometry as well, see if C4D handles the scale better with that (Nuke seems to prefer OBJ, but other packages might like FBX). If you already tried FBX but not OBJ, then reverse the advise. ;)

- Oshyan


ok when I import to c4d as meters and the scale is 1, I cant see anything when I zoom in or pull out the camera in C4d, just a null.

When i import as centimeters and scale everything to 11 I seem to get something that is viewable and seems like a workable scale.

I have one last question.

In the settings for the "nearest distance" and "farthest distance"  I get zero is the point of origin but I don't understand this value "1e+06".  What does this equation mean?

Why doesn't it just say 5000 meters or 10,000 meters or whatever a normal scale of measure would be???

For a noob user that is totally baffling...HAHAHA!!!


It's scientific notation, for representing really large numbers in a more compact way. Terragen works in meters and uses real world scales for almost everything. So for example the planet is the correct 6,370 kilometers, or 6,378,000 meters. 1e+06 is 1,000,000 (a 1 followed by 6 zeros), or a million meters, 1000 kilometers. This just establishes by default a pretty large maximum geometry export distance such that it will likely cover anything you need to export, without exporting literally *everything*, which would not only take a lot more time, but also be largely useless to most people. Anyway, you can set the max distance based on the general size of your scene. If you only need a few thousand meters of terrain from your camera, set it to say 5000. Leaving it at the default is fine too, you may just get more terrain exported than you actually need.

- Oshyan


I found that exporting the geometry as .obj would not export the scale correctly, but when exporting as .fbx the scale would be correct.


Even though the thread is old, I dont want to open a new one for the old trouble.
I export my terrain as FBX file, exactly as shown in the reference, which Oshyan linked here. (http://www.planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Micro_Exporter).
The FBX file is found after rendering. I open C4D and import the FBX file. It is shown in the Objects-Manager on the right side. But in the view port there is absolutely nothing. What went wrong?
Thanks for help, regards, Irmi

P.S.: Terragen3, C4D15 on Win 7, 64 bit.


Here a screenshot of what I get, when importing fbx in C4D:
As you can see, there is the xyz-gismo shown, that means, something is there. But evenif I scale to maximum, there cannot be any polygon found.



Try exporting the terrain as obj. I'm not very experienced with fbx, so I can't tell you if the way you tried it, is correct or not, but anyway, obj should work.


Thank you Hannes!
The result, which the use of obj brings, does not make me really happy, but it is so much more, than I got before. Now I have a cake-slice of black coal... instead of a mountain-landscape with a nice hole for a lake.
But thank you for answering. I suppose, C4D is not the Programm for working on Terragen files.  ???
Regards, Irmi


Any program that supports obj-files should do the job.
Remember: it's "what you see is what you get", when you use the micro exporter. The cake slice shape of your terrain represents the camera field of view. So if you want to have a square shaped equally detailed part of your terrain for use in Cinema, position a camera above the terrain pointing 90° downwards, so that it's FOV covers the area you want to have. Do some tests with lower quality rendering settings, because the object gets heavier the better the render quality is.
I assume the "black coal" impression is either a simple shader issue or the normals are flipped in Cinema. As long as Cinema can read obj files everything should work pretty well.