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How to Position Lights Like Cameras in Cinema 4D

Can you set lights, or any active object, to be the camera in Cinema 4D? Yes!

In Cinema 4D you can position lights as if they were cameras which can be really useful as it allows you to aim the light as  a camera. It's kinda like Call of Duty, but less zombies and more inverse square law.

To achieve this, simply create a light and then from the Viewport (Perspective works best) choose: View > Set Active Object as Camera.

Then you can manipulate the view as if you would with a camera. Nifty!

When you’re finished, choose: View > Camera > Default Camera to return to the default camera view.

This technique also works great with third party renderers such as Octane and Redshift.

Set Active Object As Camera

A shortcut for setting an active object as a camera in Cinema 4D

I've found that it can be useful to map this behavior to a keyboard shortcut.To do so follow these steps:

  • Choose Window > Customization > Customize Commands or press
  • Shift+F12.
  • Search for “Set Active Object As Camera”.
  • Create a keyboard shortcut and assign it. I’ve used Shift+Alt+/ but you can use whatever key combination you’d like. C4D will prompt you if you are about to overwrite an existing shortcut. It’s nice like that :)

I’ve also mapped Default Camera to Alt+/ so I can toggle between the two commands easily.

Customise Commands to create Keyboard Shortcuts

As a closing tip, I’ve turned off Smooth View Transition in the Preferences.Edit > Preferences > Navigation > Smooth View Transition

Turn off Smooth View Transition

Hopefully this has been of value and will speed up your workflow when it comes to lighting objects in Cinema 4D. See you next time!

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