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Xref for Materials only


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I have two product models that I am completing for a client. I want to share materials between these two products and from what I have read it sounds like Xref might be the best way to do this. I will need to bring the two models into the same scene for some renders, but not all, so I need to be able to reference either a master set of materials, or the materials from the first model. At this point though, I only want the materials, not the whole model from the which the materials are being generated. 


If there is maybe a better way to manage the materials between scenes I'd sure appreciate some pointers, and if Xref can work for importing materials only, that would be great too. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Hi Bezo. Thanks for getting back to me, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "heavy" and "switched by UserData".

I will need to send test renders of both products to the client prior to making my final adjustments to the materials, and also some of my materials are warning labels that appear on both products and will need to be updated over time. I would really prefer to not have to do these adjustments to two separate sets of materials . 


I've read the documentation and watched several videos and have not seen anyone xref in just a set of materials. I tried it myself, and it worked to Xref place the first model, and I got all of the Xref materials as well, but upon removing the Xref model from my view all of the materials were gone as well. Please help.


I will need to decide on something one way or another this weekend so I'm really hoping to hear something back this weekend if possible.

Thanks again.

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"Heavy" I was ment some multilayered, 8K, xx Gb large texture files :)


Did you tried use xref-ed just materials. I mean this situation.

Master file, original models (not xrefs) applied materials on them. Added xref object and referenced to file with just materials. those (xref-ed materials applied on objects).All saved.

In OM select xref object, Open for Edit (material reference file will be opened)

In material scene file make some changes, save it and close.

In master scene Reload (All xref materials will be updated to last change in material scene file)


I was tried on 3 objects in OM (on all objects applied xref-ed materials) and works just fine...


What do you mean with " removing the Xref model from my view all of the materials were gone". Remove means delete xref object in OM?



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Thank you. This is the part I am having trouble with: "Master file, original models (not xrefs) applied materials on them. Added xref object and referenced to file with just materials. those (xref-ed materials applied on objects).All saved." 


Do I save a C4D file with **only** my materials (delete all objects first) and then load this material file as an Xref somehow into both of my model files? If so, do I bring the Xref materials into my model file, the same way I would bring Xref models in? Just by placing the Xref object into the OM? 

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From your "working" scene you could simply select materials and copy them into new empty scene, save it and close (this scene file will be in the future reference material file for master scene)

And yes, simply add new xref object (Create/Xref/Xref), load into reference file with just materials (not to "working" scene file where is also other objects.)

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you can do this. just save your scene without any geometry, just the materials and import this file as an xref into your master scene. then you can use the materials of this xref by just dragging them onto your objects, just like you usually would. but that workflow is rather cumbersome, since every time you need to make changes to the material you'll have to open the xref and reload it afterwards. you CAN change the xrefs material attributes in the master file itself, but those changes won't be saved into the xref. so if you close and open this file again, the changes will be gone. why not just use takes? or just have different versions of your materials in your scene which you can switch? or build some user data controls to switch between different settings if needed? i don't see any advantages using xrefs in this case, just makes things more tedious and complicated.

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Thanks so much for the help. 

My struggle is that I have multiple models that I need to render both individually, and together. These models are also going to be used for sample renders during a re-brand process for the products /models. So I am trying to find a way to be able to swap out materials for all scenes and takes in the easiest fashion. Yes; xRef in this case does seem tedious to me as well. I wish that there was a way of using the library in such a way that it was 'live'. Apply a material from the library and "link" it, rather than placing it into the scene, so that any changes made to the material are live and get updated to other model files upon opening...

Thanks again.

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