Is there ANY way to make X-REF's for Character Rigs manageable?


Hi peeps!

Lord have mercy… I’m involved in making an animated pilot episode. Lots of characters (a mixture of the pre-made ‘‘character rig’’ tool, as well as custom rigs).

I’m over a week into animating this thing… I’m using XREF’s of the rigged characters in all the shots, but good GOD if the issues of laggy slow-down, and non-smooth playback are not starting to become a SERIOUS annoyance. While I figured I could just plow through it at the start, the frustration levels are just increasing.

I’ve optimised my root files for the characters… Any dynamic effects are turned off, subdivision surfaces are set to 1, textures preview is set to the lowest setting… Within the ROOT file, the playback is nice and smooth… Yet as soon as I XREF it into a new scene, there’s immediate lag (not MAJOR lag… But enough to mess with your ability to animate). With 4 XREF characters in a scene, any semblance of real time playback is but a pipe dream, and it’s REALLY starting to make the process of effectively animating feel like dredging through thick mud.

I hear that Maya is supposedly supposed to purr like a beauty when dealing with XREF’d characters… But Cinema seems to just be so clunky…
Is there ANY way in which I can rid myself of such incredibly annoying slowdown? Any tips or tricks you can throw my way will be GREATLY appreciated!


i can’t notice any difference in viewport speed if i animate a character in the source file or as xref in another file. the only slowdowns that are obvious (and annoying) is when saving and loading the files. try to animate 4 non xref characters in one scene and you end up with the same slowdowns. cinema 4d really isn’t the greatest when it comes to viewport performance with deformed meshes. the biggest killer is really by far the sds object, even set to just 1 subdivision it slows the viewport down significantly. i tend to animate with sds completely off and use a script to toggle sds on and off globally with a shortcut.


Hi, once the Xrefs are loaded into the scene, they don’t affect viewport-speed more then integrated rigs.
What slows viewport performance are generators like cloth-nurbs and hypernurbs etc. I wuld suggest to switch these off and sve them disabled in your Xreffed characters. Then load everything into your animation master scene.

Once animated switch the generators on for rendering. I would conveniently do this with a XPresso logic, so iti s just one click for each xref.

Hope it helps!