Inventor to c4d


Hi guys
I have to do some technical illustrations in cinema 4D using sketch&toon for a client of mine. He allready has 3D models of his machines in a programm called “inventor”. I asked him to try to export it in a format cinema 4d can open. I ended up with .iges files that i could open in RHINO and export them from there… Works so far, but i get millions of polygons and i cannot really work with that data because i cannot tell to what object a polygon belongs. Is there another way to import CAD-data into c4d that is less messy??? I’m allready thinking about scanning in the blueprints he gave me and model it all from scratch. Any suggestions?


This is why I use Polytrans ( in my workflow.

  1. it retains a “heirarchy” of parts from the CAD system (if using say native or IGES format)
  2. it has good poly reduction and smoothing tools.

To answer your question, what I’ve been doing is taking the iges file into PT and doing poly smoothing and reduction. Then I export a LW scene file. C4D opens the scene file with objects organized.


We had a similar situation where we were importing IGES data into Rhino and then to Cinema via OBJ. The trick we found was to move things to layers in Rhino, and then everything that exports to Cinema is named according to the layer. You can then search for everything named layer “x” and group them together. Not the most elegant, but pretty effective once you get the hang of it. Part of the beauty of dealing with the IGES file is that you can export the mesh as dense (or not) as you need to. Polytrans was considered, because it would save a couple of steps, but after you buy the IGES importer (that doesn’t come stock)… it seemed like Rhino would be a better deal (because it can be used for more than just import/export) and the price ended up about the same, or polytrans being a little higher.

Hope this helps…


OBJ format is pretty weak though. But it all depends what you need. Rhino seems to have decent NURBS tools so if there is any geometry that needs fixing/stitching you at least can do it there and even add to it if need be.

Problem is, IGES files can become so large that some apps can’t deal with them. So far, even with the largest IGES files Polytrans can open them (100, 200, 300 MB or more).


I downloaded polytrans and it was pretty much what i was looking for. even with the free evaluation version (deletes every fifth polygon in the mesh) it looks pretty good. I need to rebuild the whole model anyhow.

Thanks anyone for your help!


I own NuGraf (PolyTrans included), so if you need a model without the triangles missing, shoot me a PM.


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