C4D quirks that make my work stressful


Hi there,

I’ve been using C4D for about 15 years. I enjoyed and still enjoy a lot of things about it but there are some that over time started feeling more and more annoying to a point where now I extremely frustrated and when it comes to work with it I really hope it is not for an animation job (and, of course, it always is).

I’m currently on R21.

So, here it is, In no particular order:

  • Viewport is too slow to get a sense of how the animation looks. More often than not the user needs to spend a good amount of time optimizing the scene, creating low-poly objects, instancing, using layers and so on. Even Blender 2.8 feels faster and it’s slower than previous releases .
  • The shortcuts are a nightmare: sometimes the S which is used to focus the selected object doesn’t work in the viewport. Sometimes it affects the camera. There’s an undo for the camera and one for the rest and this often leads to confusion.
  • When playing back the animation the user needs to have the cursor over the viewport with the active camera or else, the animation will play back in one of the other viewports
  • Sometimes, deleting a keyframe in the curve editor deletes the entire curve
  • Shift + G affects both timeline and groups in the object manager. If the user press Shift + G and the mouse is by mistake slightly over the OM and there’s a group, whatever is grouped is then ungrouped!
  • The mystery of F-Curve: the slightest change in the curve handles can have a tremendous effect on how the animation looks. Never had such a problem in 3ds Max, Softimage, or Blender. Cinema is the only one where animation curves are so sensitive to the tiniest changes. It drives me crazy.
  • 2 times out of 3 I try to click on the Gizmo and I end up clicking on the next object in the scene. Also, trying to pick one of the gizmo axis is often a challenge.

How can people animate with C4D? Is there some secret I’m missing?


Can’t Help but want to chim in. Hope you Don’t mind.

  • Since R21 Shortcut Keyinput is to slow, (in heavy scenes) pressing L + K (loop Cut) or K+K in fast succesuin results in nothing.

  • Solo behavior changend in R22 (also showing hierachy mirror + SDS … despite having a extra solo function for that)

  • changing Render engine and back makes the hole file unusable for Nodes that do not have that render engine. (even though i cleaned everything its leftover render settings resulting in a plugin missung error)


The general issue of a mouse-focus keyboard shortcut system. But if it plagues you often, you could change the OM shortcut to something else.

Personally, I like the keyboard shortcut system; there’s just one thing I would generally change: You cannot see which functionality evaluates qualifiers, and C4D doesn’t consider the func’s qualifiers when showing and checking the shortcuts.

That leads to the situation (well, R21 so far…) where you have to assign multiple shortcuts to one functionality to ensure the qualifiers are “seen” by the functionality. Quite inconvenient.

(Also, I wonder how shortcuts and hotkeys for tools would work… either they overwrite this window’s keys when active (preventing the same shortcut defined on window level from being accessible), or they need a limited screen area where they are valid, which currently isn’t available.)


By default c4d uses mouse context aware shortcuts. If you press S whilst the mouse is above the 3D viewport, it will zoom to the selected object, if you press S whilst the mouse is over the object list, it will scroll to the selected object in that list.

If this really bugs you, there is a setting in the preferences, Input Devices > Mouse Move Activation. If you turn this off, all shortcut commands will be sent to the last clicked area of c4d, you can tell what you last clicked on by the light grey menu/title bar above the 3d view, object manager etc.

Another option is to just delete the shortcut you never want to activate, then the shortcut is passed onto the last remaining area where it can be used.

re: shortcuts going missing on heavy scenes, yes, this annoys me too, but that does go back to pre-r21 versions. My E R T shortcuts for move, scale and rotate often don’t trigger first time.

re: deleting a key instead deletes the entire track, likely the same mouse position issue. If the mouse is over the track list, the delete command will delete the track.


I think I must have almost jabbed holes in my keyboard due to this behaviour, it drives me up the wall.


Unless you have switched off the title bar and work with tons of tabs, in which case the only visual cue to determine the active window is a slightly darker Hamburger Menu Icon. I didn’t even notice that it exists before I explicitly tried it.

This is actually a problem in all newer Windows versions too: ever since Microsoft lost the Win95/Win2000 GUI, you can’t select a distinct color for the active frame (which frame? it’s gone!) any more. And the container of scrollbars blends (in the Explorer e.g.) with the background of the adjacent content boxes, with no visible divider at all. And mouse scroll actions go into the “pointed” window while key presses go into the “active” window.


My honest advice is to just learn about the mouse-over default behaviour. After some initial stumbling I do think it is the better option