Cactus Dan has passed away.


Cactus Dan made CD TOOLS plugins.

I’m one of his best friends and I just got the news. He was rather private about his health problems. You know-- He liked to keep up his Wild West cowboy image. But now that he’s gone I’ll be more frank.

He had been in the hospital a few years ago, if you remember, with pancreas problems. They cut off a bunch of it and I always was asking him, “So what does this mean? Are you a diabetic now or something?” He never really said much. Well, a few months ago he went to the hospital with some intestinal problems. I guess that was a foreshadowing because what I just heard was that the rest of his pancreas died and took his intestines with it. And since he seems to have not liked people seeing him in a weakened state like that, he never even called me. I’m not shocked but kinda sad about that. I’m moving to the same little town out in the redrock and I had stopped by his house Saturday to borrow a screw gun, but his truck was gone. Figured he was out driving around the desert taking pictures again.

Ok, to business and then I’m going to post a few sentimental pictures.

Tuesday I’m going out to his place and I’m going to talk to his sister. One subject will be his computers and business. While he and I talked 3D a lot, and I even influenced and inspired a lot of his plugins, I certainly am no programmer. I dont know if his sister would be interested in letting someone else try to take over his projects, or if it is even really possible. You know how hard it can be to figure out someone else’s pipeline. And he’s got it spread on 2 or 3 computers (A couple macs and a PC). I’ll let you know if there’s any news about that. Anyone that has an order in to him as of now may as well just cancel the order.

I’ll tell you what. I’m really sad about this because I have yet to move in to my place out by him and I had hoped that we’d be able to hang out a bit. He moved out there because I wanted to and one day I showed him the town and he loved it so much he beat me to the punch. He was very very happy. I think he’s been out there a couple years now. Lately he’d been driving around touring the amazing sights to be seen in the Utah desert. I know he wishes he’d moved there long long ago and he really had finally found his home. A crappy little house and a little pasture for his horses with an absolutely amazing view.

This is a picture from 15 years ago when we were one one of our weekly horse rides. This is back when he was first developing his plugins and we talked a LOT of shop on those rides. His horse Sagan is still around and it looks like I’ll be taking him over in his retirement.

The following pics are from when I invited Dan to hike the San Rafael Swell with him and my pack goats in the middle of February a year and a half ago.

Here he is leading the way. He’d lived out there for months but at that point hadn’t really learned all the awesome spots, so I took him along on the trip to show him what I’d found. Of course lately he’d been doing a lot of exploring and I’d been hoping we could visit some of the places he’d been to recently. Alas.

Its like he didn’t know better than to show up with food around my pack goats.

Sasha LOVED Cactus Dan. I lost her a couple months ago too.

Here’s a picture he sent me from one of his exploration drives in July. Its the last picture taken of him I think.

Anyhow. I’m not really in to the C4D scene and so perhaps someone could Xpost this to places where people might want to know.


Hey, you know what? I have to say thanks to all of his past customers. You guys doing business with him allowed him to live the self-sufficient, independent life he loved. He never got rich, for sure, but he kept high spirits and had a real sense of accomplishment because of the success of CD Tools. I can sure admire a guy that can teach himself programming, calculus, matrix math, php, and all of the ins-and-outs of C4D in order to make a go of it. I saw it all come together and I know it took dedication. Its gotta be satisfying to pay a bill with money earned the hard way. So on his behalf, thanks again to the community.


Wow, this is horrible news, but thank you for sharing it with us. What a tremendous blow this is to all of us. He will absolutely be missed, and I hope his many contributions will never be forgotten.

Adios, Dan


I never thought someone who works with computers would be so attached to nature. I hardly go outside. Perhaps I should go out more often, he looked so happy, and relaxed.

My condolences to his family.


So sad to hear


RIP Cactus Dan. I never met him but I’ve known him through the forums and C4D over a decade. He was always willing to help and always a gentleman. He and his talent will be missed.


I only knew him through this forum.
My deepest condolences to all who knew him in person.

I wish you a good ride Dan!


Holy Shi…! This is indeed very sad news! I only knew him through the forum but always thought of him as a great person and asset to the community. Thanks for sharing some more of his story and the pics… RIP


Very sad news indeed. It would be such a shame if his plugins weren’t carried on by someone.


rip cactus dan… he was such a helpful and brilliant person. :sad:


Very sad news ! :frowning:
Thanks for sharing the pictures of him …
…Cactus Dan…
Remind me Klaus Karlhuber… Passed away some years ago too…
My deepest condolences.


Thanks for all your efforts Dan. May you rest in peace.


Sad news. Thankyou for letting the community know Automoda, and for the pictures too. I only ever knew Dan electronically, such is the world we live in. I’ve passed on a PM to one of the mods at the plugin cafe.

Dan was a regular contributor on the plugin cafe forum. Well, when he wasn’t out riding anyway! He was never far away with knowledge and suggestions, and his signature sign-off always left a smile when I read my inbox. Thanks Dan. Condolences to his family and friends.





Very sad news to hear. I’ve known him from the forums since he started up making his great plugins and always appreciated his no-nonsense presence. The Cinema 4D community is indebted to him for all he accomplished for them.

His friends and family are in my thoughts.


Rest in peace my friend you were on of the true gents, I was there when Dan started working on his plugins and managed to convince him to try making a joint system that quickly turned into the great tool set we all know, later I had the privilege of spending a few days with him in LA he was a lovely man with the best voice.

I hope he’s riding on in the stars.


Sad to hear this-

Cactus Dan was one of my C4d heroes- I learned how to rig from his tutorials and used his plugins for all my films- I met Dan at Sundance in 2007 when my first film played there- he came out to see the film and we chatted a bit- real nice guy.


2016, a really rough year for all the people that have been taken away.

Thank you for sharing this.


A great mind lost. Let’s hope his code lives on. Those pictures are fantastic, what a stunning place to live and explore.


Got to hire Dan for one of my first C4D directing gigs — it was always a joy to hear about his adventures while we were going over assignments. Coming from MAX to C4D, he was a larger than life character; having worked with him it was a thrill to see that he was the real deal.

Learning more about how he lived his life, how he was successful working on his own terms, spending as much time as he did in nature — he’s an even bigger folk hero in my eyes now. What a great example of finding some balance and wrestling your career into the shape you see fit.

I’m going to miss seeing his handle here.


I traded a few emails with him and he was always ready to help others. He was a very talented coder and his plugins are top quality.
The world has become a poorer place.