Building the Cinema4D R8 SDK under windows 

without buying a compiler!

Download the files here.


The bad news
Cinema4D R8 is very fussy about which compilers you can use to make plugins with under windows. Unfortunately, the only compilers that seem to be able to produce output in the form that C4D expects (for R8) are VisualC++, and the Intel Compiler (ICC). The ICC compiler is sold as an extension to VisualC++ so in effect you have to get VisualC++ if you want to develop plugins for C4D R8 under windows. Unfortunately, it tends to be rather expensive to buy, especially if you are just dabbling...

The good news
You can get the VisualC++ compiler for free, legally. Really. The only catches are that you don't get the graphical IDE - only the command line tools, and you get the standard compiler, not the optimising one (which is the 'Pro' one). Thanks to this site for this information. The only other catch is that you need to be able to do a 130MB download... (Note: If you want to develop windows applications as well as C4D plugins, you'll probably also need the windows base SDK. Follow the link above for more info on this).


Warning: This requires a 130MB download!

1. Start downloading the 'Microsoft .NET Framework Software Development Kit'.

2. Install Cinema4D RELEASE 8 (You've probably already done this!)

3. Download and install the Cinema4D R8 SDK in the Plugins directory
   which is in the main Cinema4D directory.

4. Fix the API file line endings (see PluginCafe discussion on this, or read the 'Preparation' section in my other tutorial here).

5. Install Microsoft .NET framework SDK, assuming it's downloaded successfully. Allow the installer to set environment variables.
We're not actually interested in .NET, so we don't want most of this stuff but the main tools that we do want and which should now be installed are:-
cl.exe            This is Microsoft's standard (Non-Optimising) C/C++ Compiler. (Version 7?)
link.exe         The standard Microsoft linker.
nmake.exe   For controlling the build process via the makefiles.

6. Check that these tools have been correctly installed.
  a. Start a command prompt (Start->Run 'cmd.exe', if you can't find it)

  b. Type 'cl'. Should see:-
 Microsoft (R) 32-bit C/C++ Standard Compiler Version 13.00.9466 for 80x86
 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1984-2001. All rights reserved.

  c. Type 'nmake'. Should see:-
 Microsoft (R) Program Maintenance Utility Version 7.00.9466
 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 NMAKE : fatal error U1064: MAKEFILE not found and no target specified

  d. Type 'link'. Should see:-
 Microsoft (R) Incremental Linker Version 7.00.9466
 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  (Loads more stuff)

 If you don't see these messages (or very similar), then use search to find  out where the programs have been installed, and add those locations to your path (via control panel -> system).

7. Download the provided zip file, and Unzip this directly into your CINEMA_4D_R8 directory. Paths must be preserved when unzipping. This is what the files are, and where they should end up:
Resource\_api_lib\_api_v8.mak        'Makefile' for the API.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\CINEMA4DSDK.mak  'Makefile' for the SDK examples.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\build.bat        Batch file to build the API and the SDK in release mode.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\build_debug.bat  Batch file to build the API and the SDK in debug mode.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\clean.bat        Batch file to remove all temp files ready for a clean rebuild of release.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\clean_debug.bat  Batch file to remove all temp files ready for a clean rebuild of debug.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\source\hack      New directory.
Plugins\cinema4dsdk\source\hack\ftol2.cpp   New file needed to prevent link errors with this compiler. Earlier versions of the compiler don't need this.

8. Double click 'build.bat' to build the API, and the SDK.

9. Start Cinema4D, and you should find the SDK plugins loaded successfully!

    Steve Baines   February 2003