Xrefs in microstudio production

So Xrefs came with Cinema 4d 10.5 so they are not new too version 11 but they are new to me...

Lets look at how they are useful to microstudio 3d animation production shall we? I learn when making stuff to help you learn so like I'm being productive ^ ^

So here we have a simple scene with a few objects
- tree(xref)
- building(xref)
- character(xref)
- sky
- floor

Xrefs are like external aliases that we can edit individually and the changes will occur in all the other scene files they are used in....

So here's what the objects look like in the scene browser

You can make ANY object an Xref by simply using the "convert to xref" command... They are normal objects until you convert them....I already went ahead and made the tree, building, and character xrefs... So then they become separate files which you can edit as its own project file....

Xref's look like normal objects except they have a few extra options... here's what they look like...

I'm going to edit the building object.... It opens in its own scene...

I make some changes and save it...

Now when I open the forest scene the changes are there!

I went ahead and did the same with the tree and character

How are these useful to the microstudio animator?

A Director/Lead animator could flesh out his scenes with temp objects converted to xref's and the xref's could be sent to other artists across the internet to be worked on... the director could continue to work on other scene's requiring the objects replacing the temp xrefs with final ones as the other artists do their work and send him the finished xref files.

Useful 3d animatics:
I say useful because after doing the 2d animatic for WATS I started doing a 3d animatic for it using 3d primitives... there were no xrefs back then so to use the temp shots I was animating I would have to go into each scene and manually replace the temp objects with finished ones... I quickly realized how impractical it was and stopped wasting my time... BUT NOW with xrefs I could use them to flesh out my scenes complete with camera moves and lighting without wasting any time because they would automatically update themselves in each scene as I worked on the xref files... So xrefs are EXTREMELY useful when it comes to previz and creating usable 3d animatics...

So if your 3d app has xrefs start using them! If you don't use a 3d app I LOVES meh Cinema 4d so try it! ^ ^

I'm now seriously thinking about doing full 3d animatics for HSM... it could end up saving me a TON of time... more to think about...hmmmmm


  1. oh nice, I should start using xrefs, because im learning c4d :D.

    and I see what you did there with that building.
    i love the ways to model in c4d. extruding and whatnot :D

  2. So would the basic idea behind this be to create primitives that replicate the shape and size of what will fill the spot later? As someone who usually thinks of the big picture before the little details this would be very awesome.


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