incorrect file structure


Benn working on a file for a week, spent 4 days rendering, had a rendering failure, and now the file won’t open. ‘Incorrect File Structure’

Is there any way to fix this? I’m on r18.


Hopefully you had your auto backup set up in your preferences?
if so then you can just open the last saved version.
You can also look for backups in your library > preferences > Maxon > Cinema 4d 18 > backup folder. Assuming you had it turned on.

Unfortunately an “incorrect file structure” message may mean that the file may not be recoverable.
I would contact Maxon TS to see if they can recover.


Even if techsupport is able to restore it, chances are it will be incomplete.


The only other things I would suggest–and this comes down to just good old thinking ahead–are the following:

Are your files stored on dropbox? If so there is a recovery option to recover deleted files (saved me a bunch of times)

Is your hard drive set up for daily backups? i use Time machine on my mac and can always go back to a previous state of my hard drive spanning several weeks if needed. This has saved me quite often as well. There are options for this I believe for Windows either native or 3rd party.

There are so many ways to safeguard yourself from data loss these days. I hope you re able to restore your file, but if not, you may want to make sure you are implementing one or more of the backup options out there (and buiilt in) so next time you are not caught off guard.


I’m screwed. Have recently reconfigured this mac, and haven’t switched time machine on. I don’t have backups switched on in c4d either.

I’ve never had this alert in all the years I’ve been using c4d. Just been lucky I guess.

Lesson learnt.


It’s not going to help you this time, and I’m sorry for your damaged file,but it’s also a good idea to save incremental files as you go along. All to easy to forget in the moment, but it’s sometimes better to go back to a version from earlier that day or yesterday, than starting from scratch.



Always have an external USB harddisk,128GB USB thumb drive or similar capacity SD Card handy when your files need to be safe.

Whenever you create an important version of anything, take 2 minutes to dump the file onto the external storage, and keep that backup away from the computer and DISCONNECTED from the computer.

It isn’t even always RAM, harddrives or SSDs that fail.

I’ve had an instance where the disk was physically fine, but thousands of files in dozens of folders on a disk volume got so badly corrupted that the filenames turned into crap like sf8ds99g87se.45nj and nothing whatsoever could be recovered from the disk.

Never ever work without having at least 1 physical backup of your files somewhere.

If what you are working on isn’t terribly confidential, again, take a few seconds to upload the file to cloud storage like Google Drive.


i had this about a year ago, i was able to open and re-save the file form a lower version of C4D. in my case, i opened my ‘incomplete’ r18.022 file in r18.012, saved it out as a new version, then re-opened it in r18.022 (i THINK those are the right version numbers)

This was caused from a moGraph cloner set to object, LOOSING the object link, then saving = instant ‘incomplete’ file.

Maxon released 2-3 patches after that one bad patch that caused this.

if you email Maxon SUPORT they will send you a link to download OLDER version of c4d to help you out with this.

There was a pretty big discussion about this problem 6-8 months ago on this forum.

Lesons here:

  1. always have auto save on
  2. have an AUTOMATIC backup system for your project drive
  3. Search before you post, in some cases others have had the some issues.

Good luck.


The only reason the file is not loading, is because some plugin in the scene (be it a maxon internal one, or a third party one), is returning false in its read function. if you remove that item, you will get a “several plugins in this scene where not found bla” but the rest of the scene, will load.

My workflow to fix a broken file is lengthy, but it can partially recover a scene.

  1. first, remove all plugins.(or remove them one at a time, if you think you know the culprit)
  2. next, depending on what was in the file, remove the module, form the modules folder.
    e.g. if the scene had dynamics, remove the dynamics file, from the modules folder. (copy/paste it to some other location so you can drop it back in when your done)

delete each module, one at a time (applying a bit of common sense), until the scene opens. then save it, without the broken item. if removing the module made no difference, drop it back in, and try another. repeat, until successful.

I have successfully partially recovered broken files, in the past, doing as above.



Sorry, just an out of the box approach: Have you opened C4D and than try to merge the file into your new and just opened scene? Have try to open it via the content browser? Via a newer or older version is a good idea indeed. Have you deleted all your plugins and restarted C4D
And (I’m sorry - this won’t help) but no you are not the first one… It happened to me. I flushed away 3 months of work… Arghhhh

Since than I have all the option above checked:

Dropbox (30 days backup)
Automatic Backups every half hour or so in the file directory (C4D prefs)
A Backblaze subscriprion for my entire computer (just 50 bucks for a massive automated backup online)
An automated backup on the same computer, but on a different drive
Replace my harddisks every 6 months or so.

Tak care