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View Command Line Parameters

Using Cinema 4D from the Command Line

To use Cinema 4D from the command line, Cinema 4D must be licensed on the machine, or you need to reference a C4D License Server with valid command line licenses.


On OS X, execute command line options via the terminal. You must execute the actual Cinema 4D app within the application package. An easy way to do this is right-click the application, choose Show Package Contents, and navigate to Contents/MacOS. Drag the Cinema 4D application from within this folder ontol the terminal window and the path will be entered at the cursor position.

/Applications/MAXON/CINEMA\ 4D\ R16/CINEMA\\ 4D -nogui


Command Line options can be added directly within a shortcut, or executed within a command prompt window.

Prior to R16, prefix the command with:

start /b /wait "parentconsole"

this will output information from Cinema 4D within the command window.

With R16 and later, simply use the Commandline executable, which always outputs Cinema 4D information to the console.

Command Line Executable

As of Release 16, a Commandline executable is installed beside the main Cinema 4D executable.

The Commandline executable is identical to Cinema 4D except for the following:

  • On all platforms “-nogui” is automatically predefined and doesn’t need to be explicitly set
  • On PC a console is automatically opened, when started from the desktop
  • On PC all C4D debug output is piped directly to stdout and start /b /wait “parentconsole” is no longer needed

Command Line Flags

-debug >= R15 On CINEMA 4D startup a debug output console will open.
-g_alloc=debug >= R15 Enables the debug memory management (and debug output console).
-parallel PC only, start CINEMA 4D as an additional instance (handy with Bugslife).
-title titletext the titletext will be shown as the title of the application (10.012 - 10.506: Titletext can be any text. It will be displayed as an extension of the application’s windows title.)
-help display command line options
help >= R16 display help of the base system. With help=dev, help=plugin, help=extension, help=impl, help=all you can output certain categories
g_logfile=[string] >= R16 create a logfile for all console output
g_threadCount=[0..256] >= R16 set a program-wide thread count. The number can be higher than the actual number of cores. A value of 0 will utilize the real number of cores
-server <R16 start CINEMA 4D as a NET Render server (due to changes in the resources this only works with Beta Versions or Net Server installations) (R15 does not have server functionality)
-client <R16 start CINEMA 4D as a NET or TR Render client (due to changes in the resources this only works with Beta Versions or Net Client installations)
-homedir directoryname <R16 forces the use of the specified directory as home directory for save / load as well as preferences
-g_prefspath=mydirectory >=R16 forces the use of the specified directory as home directory for save / load as well as preferences. Use quotes around the whole term if there is a space in the path
-noopengl disable openGL
-nogui start CINEMA 4D without a gui. This parameter needs to be the first in the list of parameters.
-layout filename Replace filename with a full path and file to override the default layout on startup
-crashtest simulate a crash and generate an error log for support purposes
-nocrashhandler supress use of the application’s crashhandler
-render filename Replace filename with a CINEMA 4D project file to render. You must include the full path to the file. If you don’t specify additional flags, the render settings saved with the file will be used.
-frame from [to [step]] Replace from and to with start and end frame numbers to override the file’s render settings. If only one value is given, a single frame is rendered. If a step value is given, every nth frame will be rendered.
-oimage imagename Replace imagename with a full path to override the save path stored in the file. The frame number will be automatically appended for sequenced renders.
-omultipass imagename Replace imagename with a full path to override the multipass save path stored in the file. The frame number and pass name will be automatically appended for sequenced renders.
-oformat imageformat Replace imageformat with TIFF, TGA, BMP, IFF, JPG, PICT, PSD, RLA, RPF, B3D to override the save format stored in the project file.
-oresolution width height Replace width and height with the desired pixel resolution to override the render resolution stored in the project file.
-threads threadcnt Replace threadcnt with the desired number of render threads. A value of 0 automatically uses the optimal thread count for the system. Any other number specifies the exact number of threads to use.
-bench <R16 Preload textures before rendering for accurate timing—used for benchmarking purposes
-license [ip [port]] Can be used instead of a license.ini to connect to a specified license server

Force a specific OpenGL version. xxx must bi 100 * major version + minor version, e.g. 210

enable or disable OpenGL multithreading. (x=0: unchanged, x=1: disable, x=2: enable) nVidia only


To open multiple instances of Cinema 4D, just add “-parallel”


"C:\Program Files\MAXON\Cinema 4D R16\Cinema 4D.exe" -parallel


/Applications/MAXON/Cinema\ 4D\ R16/Cinema\ 4D/Contents/MacOS/Cinema\ 4D -parallel

Basic command-line rendering:


"C:\Program Files\MAXON\Cinema 4D R16\Commandline.exe" %userprofile%\Desktop\test.c4d -frame 0 0 -oimage %userprofile%\Desktop\test -omultipass %userprofile%\Desktop\test_mp -oformat TIFF


/Applications/MAXON/Cinema\ 4D\ R16/Commandline/Contents/MacOS/Commandline -render ~/Desktop/test.c4d -frame 0 0 -oimage ~/Desktop/test -omultipass ~/Desktop/test_mp -oformat TIFF

Extending the Command Line

Cinema 4D’s C++ and Python APIs allow plugin developers to add more options to the command line by catching the C4DPL_COMMANDLINEARGS message and reading the arguments in argv. Arguments built in to Cinema 4D are handled prior to this message and their behavior cannot be overriden.

The source for Cinema 4D’s native command line rendering is available within the cinema4dsdk plugin examples, within your Cinema 4D application directory in /plugins/cinema4dsdk/source/other/commandlinerender.cpp

For more information on Cinema 4D API and plugin development, visit