Improve Your Workflow with Cinema 4D’s Take System

January 31, 2017

Learn how the Cinema 4D Takes system can give you more options and less hassle when iterating for your clients in this Cinema 4D Tutorial.

The Take system was one of the reasons I made the switch from 3Ds Max to Cinema 4D. Not many 3D apps can claim to have solved the render pass problem without a clumsy UI or buggy workflows, but Maxon has definitely done that in my opinion. I made this video for those who have not yet tried takes but maybe are aware of its benefits and believe me, no matter how you use C4D, Takes can help you.

What will I Learn?

This is a quick introduction to Takes for those who may have known about them, but have not used them in their everyday workflow. It’s also a great video for those who are looking for a refresher on what the Take system is capable of.

What are Takes?

In a nutshell, Takes allow you to save many, many versions of your file in one scene. Sounds crazy I know, but this is nothing new to most other DCC apps. Ever have a client ask if they can get an alternate color on an asset in your scene? You could create a separate scene file, change the color, name it accordingly (so you don’t forget) and be done. Now, what if your client comes back and says they want a slightly different camera angle. You would have to merge that camera change back into that alt color scene and any other alternate scenes you had to create. Takes eliminates this confusing and messy workflow and allows you to make multiple versions of your scene in one project.

When should I use Takes?

I use takes whenever I know I’m going to need options. Options either for myself or for my clients. Working with takes is a much easier way for my brain to keep organized. Otherwise, I end up with folders filled with scenes and it becomes difficult to remember what scenes have what changes/assets/cameras.

Where can I learn more about Takes?

Cinversity has some great tutorials covering Takes. Check them out here.


Get all the Chair models used in this tutorial for free from Dimensiva here.

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  • Been wanting to get into this for a long time now but I’m still on R16.

    Off-topic, I’ve been wanting to get into making tutorials so I’ve always been curious what you guys are using for your audio & video setups. Your camera (Chad in particular) looks amazing and you guys always sound damn good.

  • Chad, that was a great tutorial. One thing that confused me at first was that there wasn’t any way to alter animation settings in takes. It seems you used a Signal as a workaround for that since Cinema 4D isn’t recognizing those third party parameters as animation. Am i correct or did I miss something?

    • Actually, I only used Signal to show off how easy it is to change parameters. Takes supports animation just fine. Just create an override for whatever your changing and your good to go! Thanks for the comment!

      • Thanks again. I just added an override to a simple test animation. And thanks for your Windows advice during the podcast. I’m going to switch for my next upgrade after about 26 years of strictly Apple computers.

  • Chad, this is a great tutorial indeed… Thumbs up again!
    I have been trying to do the the same with xpresso in R16, but started using R18 since a couple of weeks, I can see the takes system is way more easier and powerful. And I especially like where you keep the orignal movement and also a wider angle in a child-take… clients often do like the first better afterwards ;-D

    I personally don’t do much of animations, more into still views so I’m wondering; Is there a way to switch the take system in combination with a stage object? In order to be able to send one file to renderfarm and render out all versions… (render out the same set of still cameras in alternative setups)

    • I’m not really sure about ALL farms, but if you have a local farm you have the option to render all takes to the PV or selected takes only. If you are sending it off to a farm service (pixel plow) you’ll have to split each take into a separate scene file (collected with assets). I find Takes to be especially useful for print work, as you can easily create alt resolutions and render settings as well! Thanks for the comment!

  • HI thanks for the tut. Did you have cameras pre-setup to use on takes? Additionally I wasn’t even aware of Layers within C4D. Subject of another Tut?

    • Yes, I had already created a camera. Yah, Layers are AWESOME and should you should check them out! Thanks for the comment!

  • Thanks so much for the tutorial, Chad! I would love to see a tutorial about Cinema layers. I, too, am not familiar at all with them.

  • Super nice tutorial! Suprise about the render speed of octane! Any tricks on the setting that helps for the render other than your monster machine?

    • That’s the great thing about the Take system, they work with ANY renderer. I chose Octane because I hadn’t opened it in while. Thanks for the comment!

  • Thanos Kagkalos March 5, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Hi Chad, this is a bit off topic but i was wondering, how u managed to put ur octane node tab in ur interface without c4d bugging out? I have the same setup and my c4d never really closes when I have the octane node editor tab docked in the interface. Everytime i close c4d i have to go to task manager and close it one more time. U ever experienced that? cheers

    • Yes, I have experienced windows holding onto the c4d process and frequently having to kill it. I did not know it was related to my layout. Is this a known thing? I assumed they were unrelated.

      • Thanos Kagkalos May 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

        I dont know if they know it. I ve reported it, noone replied. When i stopped docking the node editor, c4d closes proper. I guess u should bug em too 🙂

  • Great video here Chad!!! Thanks for this… Oh, and AWESOME posters by Olly Moss on your wall too 🙂

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