Jump to content
AutoDesSys Forums
Andrew West

Sketchup model woes

Recommended Posts

Try as I may I still can not get my clients to understand that their sketchup models are not going to save me any time and therefore money.  But the fact is that many people use Sketchup to design and often they don't even have CAD drawings for me to work from.  So I am stuck with trying to use their models.  In a perfect world Form.z would be able to import their garbage geometry and automatically fix certain issues that come up time and time again on every single model.  Here are my favorite headaches (not necessarily in order)

1. on import the program should check for non planar geometry and automatically triangulate it.

2. Check for missing faces and fill in

3. Separate objects by color as an import option.  And while its doing that it should separate all objects that are grouped. 

4. Check for multiple objects that are identical copies of each other occupying the same space. 

5. revert all texture mapping to Cubic and eliminate UV mapping unless desired.

I can't force my clients to use different software and I can't teach them to model correctly.  In the end I am forced to try to get Form.z to adapt to what I am given.  Any help on the software side of things would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that sometimes SKP files can be missing some things in the import translation, but more often than not on difficult files, if I open the SKP file in SketchUP first, the issues are in there as well.  Then while I have it open in Sketchup and explode some of the groups before I import into FormZ, things seem work much better.  A lot of the duplication is user error on whoever created the SKP file.  Missing faces happen on 3DS file imports more than SKP for me lately, but it's been easy to fix using the Close command.  

Can you send me one of your difficult files for testing so I can see what you are dealing with?  Maybe I can help?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had some good luck with SKP files after it's been exported to FBX.  The materials are a little wonky, but the model is fairly clean.  Highlight all and Ungroup a few times followed by Object Doctor and it should help.  Granted, I've grabbed some models from the 3D warehouse that are beyond the grasp of formZ triage.  It largely depends on the SKP user. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  I know of all the little "work arounds" to get an SKP file to behave in FMZ.  I am just looking for a more streamlined process that covers some of these on import.  These models are done as process models where designers push and pull and twist and shape the design until they get something they like. During that process it is very easy for geometry to become non planar, distorted and corrupted.  I have the same issue in FMZ with the Reshape tool at times which is a tool that more closely resembles how SKP models are built.  Most of the issues are related to just bad modeling habits. It is just interesting to me that a other programs have a much higher tolerance for these bad models and they can deal with them without crashing or corrupting the model.  It is not limited to SKP either as Justin points out.  Any time I bring in any outside model I have to cross my fingers and pray that the program doesn't get all wonky on me.  On that note I also hit Save before I ever import anything.

Lately on some of my big interiors projects that use outside models I have kept a journal to note when the program became unstable and what was added.  The first warning signs are usually in the Materials and texture maps along with the famous vanishing tool palette options.  Things only go downhill from there so the journal helps me backtrack a bit.

Snow,  I have also found that exporting the file as an OBJ is better than an FBX as it retains the materials properly and fixes a lot of the geometry in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Andrew West said:

Lately on some of my big interiors projects that use outside models I have kept a journal to note when the program became unstable and what was added.  The first warning signs are usually in the Materials and texture maps along with the famous vanishing tool palette options.  Things only go downhill from there so the journal helps me backtrack a bit.

Have you thought about using software that is more geared towards visualization such as C4D or 3DS Max?  FormZ is a great modeler, but anytime I'm rendering an entire scene I just export parts of it into C4D for ease of use.   Models that render formZ useless when simply panning or rotating seems to work just fine in those other programs.  I've been using C4D for over 2 years for this reason and I have yet to see it crash.  It's arguably the most stable program I've ever used. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with stability of C4D. Base model building for my workflow is done in FMZ while entourage elements are managed inside C4D by importing many different model formats. Extremely stable and capable of handling more polygons than FMZ. While I'm not efficient building models of any complexity within C4D, the management of all elements is very fluid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback.  I owned C4D about 18 years ago and I tried to get an efficient work flow between the two but had very little success.  Perhaps it is time to revisit that again.  I also own 3DS Max and my workflow back and forth with that is also awkward at best.  In  a perfect world Form.z would have a stable high end rendering engine with a robust material editor similar to the Slate editor in Max.  It would also need to play nicely with outside models of questionable quality.   Or Max and C4D would have  quick and easy modeling tools for architecture like Form.z.  But that world does not exist at the moment. 

The issues I have had working between two programs is always the same.  Revisions to the design and texture mapping.  Modeling in one and rendering in the other means a lot of importing and exporting along with re texture mapping.  How well does C4D handle texture maps coming out of Z?  The reason I ask is because I find it much faster to map as I build the model. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I just watched a couple of videos in Cinema 4d's Cineversity website where you can watch countless tutorials on how to use their program.  I am seriously impressed by their texture mapping tools which has been an issue in FMZ for me personally.  Their material editor is amazing.  Before I make the leap to this program I am going to wait to see what becomes of the next release of V-ray Next for Form.z.  If it is a major improvement to the integration of V-ray and an expansion to their material editor I may just stick with that a bit longer. 

I realize this post  has gone off topic now.  But it does relate to the use of multiple programs and how they work together (or not). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew,

I cannot wrap my head around how MAX and C4D model. I could see coming from a gaming or character modeling environment, but for architectural type projects, the modeling methods don't make sense to me, yet I know many people using it for such.

Typical workflow for me:

  • Model in FMZ. Exclude high polygon entourage since FMZ struggles with lots of imported polys. Texture as much as possible in FMZ. Export as .FBX. Nearly ALL maps translate correctly when imported into C4D. High poly entourage is best managed in C4D.
  • Import into C4d. Apply lighting and cameras. Slight editing of materials might be necessary, especially for reflection. Sometimes I use C4D Physical render engine, sometimes I use Vray or increasingly, Corona Render. Corona is very similar to Vray, except it's easier to set up. Not as many settings to tweak. Quality and speed is exceptional in Corona with little set up time.
  • To manage changes, I will go back to FMZ and create a new layer or series of layers containing only newly changed geometry. Export only that layer as .FBX and merge it to the C4D model. Once the scene is set up, it's really easy to manage geometry using this method.

I find this workflow to be very efficient.

If ONLY there was a single software with modeling fluidity and accuracy, with SOLID layout program for documentation and native rendering equaling that of Vray, Maxwell, etc. Until then, I use three different programs... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×