The biomechanics standard


6 November, 2016

The C3D web site is maintained by Motion Lab Systems as a resource for the biomechanics community.

All of the C3D information on this web site is in the public domain and may be copied and freely distributed with other products. The C3D User Manual documenting the C3D format and structure may be copied and supplied with any product that supports C3D.

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C3D Files supported

The websites listed above all offer products that support C3D files. Please contact us if your product supports the C3D format to request that your website be added to this list.


This page provides access to public domain documents that provide detailed descriptions of the C3D file format. These are essential reading for anyone interested in developing C3D compliant software applications.

C3D User Manual - PDF

This is a standard PDF version of the C3D technical implementation manual and is identical to the version described above. This PDF file can be printed and redistributed with any C3D application.

Original C3D specification

The original ASCII text file that documented the C3D file format as written by Dr. Andrew Dainis for the AMASS software package, released in the mid 1980's.  This software description has largely been superceded by the C3D Technical User manual (above) which should be used as a reference for all new applications.

Proposed Camera Mask format extension

A PDF document from Vicon Motion Systems that describes a proposed extension to the C3D standard to encode more than seven camera contribution bits.

Proposed New Label and Range format extension

A PDF document released by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, that describes a proposed extension to the C3D format called "New Label and Range" that allows C3D files to store event and event range information.

Calculating Analog Scale Parameters

A spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel format) written by Motion Lab Systems that calculates the correct C3D Analog Scale parameters for AMTI (TYPE2 and TYPE-4) force plates, Kistler (TYPE-3) force plates and EMG or any other analog signal source.  The spreadsheet supports both 12-bit and 16-bit ADC resolutions.

Storing Data as INTEGER or REAL

A PDF document written by a C3D user that containing a discussion of the issues involved in storing 3D and analog data in C3D files using the INTEGER and REAL formats.