Creating plugins for Cinema 4D

Creating plugins for Cinema 4D can be done with COFFEE (only in C4D versions R19 or earlier), C++, or Python.

C++ gives the most speed and widest access to the Cinema SDK and therefore Python is not discussed further in these pages. I would not recommend using COFFEE unless you will never update to a version of Cinema after R19. If you wish to use COFFEE, I can recommend the excellent COFFEE manual by ruimac, which you can find on his site.

The Cinema API

Inevitably things change and advance, and with R20 MAXON introduced a new API which has been added to and refined since then. This meant that plugins compiled in R19 or earlier would not run in R20 or later without being recompiled (though some will run with the aid of the INSYDIUM Bridge plugin, see the Plugins page on this site). In turn this means that tutorials written for R19 or earlier may not be applicable to R20 or later, and for this reason the original tutorials on this site have been moved to a separate page. They are still relevant for plugin development in R19 or earlier, however.

For R20 and later a new set of tutorials will be made available. Since the API changed between R20 and R21, needing a recompile of any plugins built using the R20 SDK, and the same thing happened between R21 and R23, the tutorials will be specifically aimed at R23 and later versions.

The tutorials can be found here:

Original (R19 and earlier)

R23 and later

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Page last updated June 23rd 2021