Model Management / Scene Optimization / Layers


Im trying to figure out the best method to manage 50-60 product models (300-700mb each) that all share textures, studio lighting, camera angles and render settings?

If they are all set up on different layers and I turn one on at a time will the scene performance be ok? If all the models are contained in one file it could be upwards of 400gb total. Can C4D even handle a file that big?

The main reason I want to keep them all in the same file is so that I can make global adjustments to textures, lighting and render settings as needed. It would also be nice If anyone has any ideas or recommendations Id love to hear.

Thanks in advance


If I understand you correctly then one of the best things you can do is use Takes. I had a similar project where I had to render a lot of sinks with different variations not so long ago and Takes really made it a whole lot easier.

You just need to be patient and on top of things as you can otherwise get confused real fast.

Because you have huge files I’d probably try to make the files a few gigs big and just see if I can split them in a meaningful way (maybe by color, product line, nameing … whatever). My files usually top at around 4 or 5 of your model sizes.

If you do split them you could potentially use xRefs to bring in the lighting and the env but people tend to have problems with xRefs and C4D. I never had any though. The point of using xRefs then would be to have the lighting file separated so that if you need to adjust it it will update in all of your xRef links.

Just some food for thought. Hope it helps :slight_smile:


+1 for takes; they remember layers, so each take can have only one layer on and all the others completely off. Very efficient from a processing standpoint.

As for the file size, I’d recommend exporting each model out to Alembic, importing the alembic file, then deleting the original. More efficient than Xrefs, and it’ll keep your scene file small - which in turn allows for more autosaves.


Sorry to tangent a bit here, but can you say a little more about this? I use Xrefs quite a bit (for master product models) and they usually work fine. Im curious to understand what benefits there would be to using alembic files instead.


In my experience, XRefs take additional time to generate & prepare at render time - exact amount really depends on the scene and what’s in it. For still images it may not matter as much, but in rendering an animation the time was quite noticeable. With large amounts of geometry, I was also experiencing lag in my viewport.

Alembic caches are geometry only, and very efficiently coded. Less processing overhead?

There’s a reason they’re one of the goto file formats for VFX pipelines.