Use Tokens and Never Name Your Render Files Again

September 24, 2018

How many Render_FinalFinalv2 files have you had to make over the years? Avoid that mess entirely using tokens in Cinema 4D.

No longer will you need to worry about overwriting previous takes and renders, and easily keep tab on the latest version of your project with tokens.

Cinema 4D R17+ includes a series of standard tokens that you can use, but using the Cineversity CV-Tokens opens up even more possibilities and overall ease.

Download CV-Token from Cineversity

To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll want to grab CV-Token. This C4D tool from Cineversity will allow you to setup the file naming process, and not have to worry about it again.

Cineversity CV-Tokens

The download is available to Cineversity Premium subscribers. If you have a Maxon Service Agreement, you should have a coupon for the Cineversity premium subscription, so be sure to check for that.

You can learn more about CV-Tokens here on Cineversity. If you have installed the CV-Toolbox, you will have CV-Tokens available in C4D.

What are Tokens?

Tokens append your project file name with additional pieces of data. It’s an automated way to add information like take numbers, settings, dates, and more.

Standard Cinema 4D Tokens

  • $PRJ – Project File Name
  • $CAMERA – Current Camera Name
  • $TAKE – Current Take Name
  • $PASS – Multi-pass or Object Channel Name (Defined Multi-pass Names)
  • $USERPASS – Multi-pass or Object Channel Name
  • $FRAME – Current Animation Frame
  • $RS – Current Render Settings Name
  • $RES – Image Resolution
  • $RANGE – Animation Range
  • $FPS – Frames-per-second or Frame Rate

CV-Tokens Options

  • $YYYY – Date Year
  • $YY – Date Year
  • $MM – Date Month
  • $DD – Date Day
  • $HH – Date Hour
  • $MM – Date Minute
  • $SS – Date Second
  • $CVAUTHOR – Project Author Name
  • $CVUSERNAME – OS Username
  • $CVCOMPUTER – OS Computer Name
  • $CVRENDERER – Current Render Engine
  • $CVHEIGHT – Render Height (1080p, 720p, etc)

Now what’s great is that you can combine these tokens, and therefore never have to worry about naming your renders.

Use Tokens and Never Name Render Files Again - Path

My Go-To Tokens

For all my renders, this is my go-to setup for tokens:


Let’s break that down.

You’ll see that it starts with two directories, which then go to a folder called 04_Renders, then another folder called 01_C4D.

From there, it will create a new folder on its own using the $cvRenderer token.

Since I jump between Arnold, Octance, Redshift, and Physical, I like to keep them separated out. That way I’ll always know exactly what I created these images in.

Then it will go into a folder from the take name. (Be sure to check out my takes tutorial too.)

Now we are in the most important section, the date and the time. I have it setup to Month_Date_Year, then Hours_Minutes_Seconds.

If you are rendering a lot of test images out, you don’t want to worry about overwriting or adding version numbers to your file names. By using date and time, you will never overwrite a render again. 

Now finally, to know what project I’m working on, that’s where this final portion comes into play. These is where we’re actually creating the name of our output.

The name of my output is Project Name_Take Name_Camera Name_ Resolution.

Now it’s worth saving this string in either a default project, or somewhere on your desktop that you can easily reference.

With this setup, you don’t have to worry about overwriting previous renders, which is pretty much the worst feeling.

Build Your Own Token String

At the 12-minute mark of this tutorial, I’ll show you how to change the tokens to your own liking. We’ll use the tokens and add “/” to separate renders into folders.

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  • Thanks for this article – what a lifesaver this is…I have one question though:
    I have no access to th CV-Tokens (no MSA here). But I am able to use the token “$date” – it will write the current date like this “2018-09-27”.

    I am not shure why this is even working – as I said no CV plugins are installed and the C4D manual also has no explanation on this token. Do you guys know if there any other “Hidden tokens” inside C4d?

  • Nice, looks like in Houdini, this is a great way to organize our files, tnx!

  • Love how you put your head nod on the “boom”!

  • Why not add metadata to the render or a separate log file? This has been on my wishlist for years…

  • Very cool! —not $295 cool— but very cool! Maybe if I need anything else from CV someday, I’ll be able to do this.

  • Its an amazing function!
    I use it since R17
    I used to use this string

    When I work I always resave every scene under new version, after I make some changes. Yes there are a lot of versions, but I can always track which render comes from which version of a c4d file.

    Recently I came up to the idea that better to keep a final file name always the same for the compositing sake.


    So I made some changes and need AE/Nuke for example, detect out where the new file is, I need just to change (project version) /$prj/ in the path pattern.
    Otherwise I would need to go all the way to the final file location with a new version name – $prj_$take_$camera_

    So what do you think guys?

  • Hello,

    thanks for the tutorial. Could you please explain a bit more how to setup this for octane render?

  • Can’t get the installer to work in R20 or the manual version. It makes no sense to me that these are not standard from eons ago. The file re-naming problem has always been an issue.

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