How to import 3D renders from Cinema4D to Photoshop

How to import 3D renders from Cinema4D to Photoshop

This is a useful tutorial for those who are learning how to use Cinema4D, that is in one of the best 3D softwares available. With C4D it’s really simple to create beautiful 3D type treatments. But how to import them in Photoshop? Well in this tutorial I’ll explain how to set up C4D render settings to easily create a psd file.

I’m planning to create several tutorials that include 3D renders and 3D ext effects. So instead of explain in each tutorial how to set up render settings and how to import a C4D render in Photoshop, I’ll link back to this tutorial. Ok let’s start!

Let’s suppose we have created a nice text effect in Cinema4D using the text object and the extrude nurbs

3d text created in Cinema4D

At this point we want to save this text and open it in Photoshop. At first we have to modify render settings. Go to Render>Render Settings.

go to render settings

The first think we have to modify is the size of the render, in according with the size of our Photoshop document. So select “Output” and choice the size you need to work with. I suggest you to always work with larger sizes and with high resolution images. In this case, for example, I choose A4 Print Landscape with a resolution of 300 pixels/inch.

set up a4 print landscape

Now switch to “Save”. In the “format” menu you can choose TIFF (PSD layers) or Photoshop (PSD). Then check Alpha Channel. This will create a channel for the text (in Photoshop) that you will use to extract it.

check alpha channel

Select now “Anti-Aliasing” from the menu on the left. Here you have to switch Anti-aliasing from “Geometry” to “Best” and Threshold from 10% to 100%.

set anti-aliasing options

Ok now we have set up correctly all the render settings. All what remains to do is to save the file. Go to Render>Render to picture viewer. You’ll have a preview of the render in a new window. On the top-left of this window select File>Save Picture As. Here you’ll find some of the options you earlier set up. Hit Ok to save your Photoshop file.

save as a photoshop file

Open your Photoshop file. Double click on the background layer and hit OK to unlock it. In the alpha channels window you can see at the bottom an “Alpha 1″ channel.

alpha1 channel in the alpha channels window

Ctrl+click on this channel to make a selection of the text. At this point you can inverse the selection (shift+ctrl+I) and hit delete to remove the background or you can create a mask. Finished! We have now in Photoshop our 3D text created in Cinema4D.

3d text in Photoshop

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(+add yours)
  1. Mira

    This will be very helpful as I have been playing around with the settings and never got the result I wanted. Thanks!

  2. Another well written article. Thanks

  3. Thanks for the handy tutorial – this is something i’ve been working on for the past few days myself.

    I have a question – does anyone know how to import 3D type with shadows into Photoshop? Ideally, I’d like to select the Alpha channel in Photoshop and the 3D type and accompanying shadow is selected.

    Thanks in advance


    • Hi,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      About shadows, I suggest you to create a floor in cinema4D and play with lights/shadows,then import everything in Photoshop for final touches. I don’t think it is possible to select only text+shadow (the problem is feather, that is 0)

      • Thanks for replying to my question – I’ll give it go and let you know if I have any luck.


  4. Nice tutorial thank you for sharing!
    .-= Zabava´s last blog ..Photoshop efekat izgorele kože =-.

  5. thg

    Another good tip:

    sometimes you still have a stroke on text

    so instead use alpha channel as mask, I create a new layer via copy and apply LAYER > MATTING > DEFRINGE 1 to 6


    stroke is gone

  6. Vision4Next

    Great tip. It’s even easier, if you save the render as PNG instead of TIFF. Then the background is transparent automatically.

  7. Designmatic- about shadows.
    You do indeed something for the shadow to be on such as a floor that Sebastiano suggested.
    You can then set up a Multipass render after assigning object buffers to render out the shadow and the floor and lighting and whatever else you want as separate layers.
    This is extremely important for more complex scenes as you need to adjust lighting and blending etc. to match other elements.
    I know thats not a direct answer but hopefully it will help you get on the right path.
    ~All best

  8. maciek

    i’d probably make the floor white and make shadows sit on it – then in photoshop you can multiply the shadow layer. Or trick I do sometimes for shadow is a disc object with a radial gradient to transparency in the alha channel and put shadows on it. Have a look at this – he doesn’t go to PS, but places his shados on that kind of plane.

  9. Khansaa

    THANKYOU!! i am making a design for a competition and i didnt know how to export it to photoshop but now i know!! thanks a lot and wish me luck :-D

  10. Eminezi Bright

    I’m a totally a nob to This App. Cinema 4D i like your tutorials i will them to learn. thanks for sharing

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