Importing lights, a bad experience.


Don't you just hate it when a piece of software does not work as expected?
So I'm all busy doing my graduate work, tryng to get my degree. I've constructed, in AutoCad, a rather detailed model for some interior views of the building. Now, when I'm transferring the model to 3dstudio, I notice that the lights don't translate from acad to max. I already knew that the parameter values of the lights would not be the same, but this is more serious, Max cries "improper file format" and refuses to import them at all.
So I try to go via exporting as a 3ds-file. Now the light do show up, but they are all stacked togeter in one bunch. At this point im getting fairly desperate. I decide to sleep on it and try importing via microstation.
It's today, now. The microstation thing did not help. I tred it because it salvaged a corrupted drawing (a days work)earlier in this project. But no.
One more thing to try. Maybe it is the fact that the lights are part of blocks that is messing things up. I take a single lamp and disconnect the light from that block. This seems to work!
I still have to try it on a larger scale, but for now it seems I don't have to do the rendering in AutoCad -which is slow and awkward- or reposition all the lamps and lights in 3dstudio -which is slow and awkward, as I never got around to learn 3dstudio as well as acad.
Anyways, bye now.
M.J.
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Bummer, jatka. (Ja terveisia USA:sta.)
One word of advice, and it's prolly a bit late.
Don't model in AutoCAD for rendering in 3DS.
Sketchup. drawVision. Something BESIDES AutoCAD 3D. Why? Because it just plain sucks at 3D (for 3DS Max rendering & animation).
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I do.
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I did...but enjoyed it as much as I enjoy a visit to the dentist. So I stopped. Found better modelers. Of course, it all depends on your "dependency" of a model that can be CAD drawing for rendering. We don't, so we don't.
Revit...I've heard...is the Thang.
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Only tried it before ADesk got involved. Didn't get very far with it. Had work to do. Really disliked this "white paper" some guy in usenet made us read. Spent some time ripping it and him. Will someday get around to trying it now that it's had a chance to mature. Maybe even put more time in to learning how it is supposed to work.
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3D Peruna wrote:

I model from the ground up in Viz. I'm very relieved and happy that someone else feels the way I do about AutoCad's 3D. Namely, that it's just not intuitive and doesn't feel right.
Now, if I can just get around to teaching myself Sketchup....
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Not much to teach...it's "fun factor" is almost enough to get you through it. There are some quirks (like mirroring). Remember "groups" and you'll do well. It's easy, fun and the results are great...plus, you can export to VIZ/3DS and render, too!
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gruhn wrote:

Then it is agreed, gentlemen. We have a digital duel. Consider yourselves to have been slapped in the face with a grey kidskin glove...or mousepad - you CAD! ;)
Terms: 1) Each challenger to submit one fully rendered work created within the last two months, and produced as per your respective declarations listed above.
2) - "Normal" amount of effort, time and detail for a typical project (or something you just like regardless of size or complexity) - no year-long ongoing obsessions, please. -OR- - Provide a base model of one of your projects, as described above, to be rendered by your opponent. Combatants to agree on the amount of time to allot for completion of rendering.
3) Judging shall be by duelants consensus gentium, mutually agreeable third party judge, or by the general rabble. Criteria weighting and priorities to be determined prior to engagement.
Choose wisely and have at you!
R
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RicodJour wrote:

*edited
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RicodJour wrote:

No takers? Whatever happened to spirited gentlemanly competition? One side or the other is supposed to back down - not both. And what about the guys on the sidelines who are supposed to be yelling, "Fight! Fight!" - nowhere to be seen.
R
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I'm too busy modeling =:-o (but not in Viz or Max or AutoCAD...)
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A follow-up: I've had mixed experiences with the lights after I wrote the original post.
I made a block out of only a light and copied it to the right positions in Autocad. Such blocks will eiteher transfer to 3DS or not, depending on things like the weather, the position of Mars relative to Jupiter and wheter the the universe is endless or finite.
But in any case, the light will not retain it's position, rather the insert of the light becomes moves to the insert of the block. I' ve also had problems with the angles of the ligts being reset.
I also tried creating a light and copying it a number of times in Autocad, then transferring them to 3DS. Well that only tranfers the first light, so I had to do some copying and moving in 3DS, too.
Gotta give sketchup a try, one of these days.
On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, Markus Jakas wrote:

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Markus Jakas wrote:

There are NO lights in Sketchup (besides the sun), so why not just do the lights in 3DS? If you use Sketchup (which I love by the way), you'll have to do that anyways.
Seriously though, if you can do 3D in AutoCAD, you can do wonders in Sketchup, get the demo and get it now!
--
Edgar

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I've been following the discussions concerning Sketchup here and I have a few questions. Just for sake of discussion, I model in Autocad and render in Viz (with some minor modeling in Viz for 'complex' forms that Autocad doesn't do well).

little chunky (massing wise) is that merely from the type of output done, or is it my misconception? The quality of the renderings seem still a bit 'sketchy' so to speak. ;-)
Can it render the same level of material quality as something like Viz, or is it not really used for that? I'm particuarly interested in ray-traced materials and shadows, with an emphasis on reflections in glass and the like. I hope I'm using the proper terminology here.
Can a model done in Sketchup be imported into Viz (or other softwares) for higher end renderings fairly easily. The reason I ask is I will do a model in autocad and then do some preliminary renderings for design purposes, but then the client will request a highly stylized, photo-realistic rendering and I will send my model to an out-of-house firm to do a full blown rendering from what I started. If I go to the effort of learning Sketchup, will I still be able to do something similar without too much difficulty.
Just curious. You guys have gotten me interested in it.
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Cato,
See comments inline...

Sketchup's rendering is "sketchy" on purpose...it's supposed to look soft. But, they do have ways of making them look more "hard."

You can do some of that with Sketchup...but if you want good stuff, then export the Sketchup model into VIZ and render to your heart's content.

Yep...you can go from Sketchup to VIZ...it's a 3D DXF, which imports into VIZ nicely. You'll need to do some materials/layer/object management in Sketchup as you're modeling (Sketchup allows for it, but doesn't need it to work with the program).
I've used a program created by HOK called drawVision for many years to do my 3D modeling (it still is an amazing piece of software...even for doing 2D CAD work). HOK doesn't support it any more...and I had become worried about when it would stop working (as it's legacy software built for WinNT with no updates since NT4). Sketchup has taken over as my primary modeling tool. I can still go back to dV if necessary, but haven't really found the need. I just use DXFs (haven't tried 3D DWGs, yet) and render away...
P
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3D Peruna s wrote:

Thanks for the info. In this day and age of software I guess a company would run themselves out of the market by not having compatibility. I think I'm thinking old school back to the days when I had problems between Form-Z and 3D Studio.

That's interesting. I work with quite a few ex-HOKers and will have to ask them about that software.
We are currently working with HOK Houston on a joint-venture project and the guys in their office have been using Sketch-up for their renderings. Maybe it was a natural progression from drawVision to Sketchup. Do they work in a similar fashion?
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Cato wrote:

Its pretty much what the name says, a 3D sketching program. The rendering part of it is pretty much nill, though you can do sketchy or clean renders. You can pretty much see what the output in Sketchup will look like by seeing the pictures on the sketchup website (www.sketchup.com). You can add sun (with lat and long, or city), but no other lights. Actually on their forums, I saw someone doing a ruby script that might be able to add lights, but it really is not the way to go about doing it. Sketchup can export to pretty much anything you've got, and some things I never even heard of (look up Piranesi, you can export a raster image that retains 3D properties).
A good place to get an idea is in their forums, specifically the Gallery:
http://www.sketchup.com/forum/list.php?f=3
There are tons of images in there of final renders, from plain old sketchup, to viz and 3DS, and I think even some people that use the free POV ray tracing engine (in combo with SU2POV, which is another ruby script I believe).
As far as the "effort" to learn Sketchup, to me there hardly was any, and in fact it was more of the "joy" of learning :). It works great as a quick sketch modeler, that allows you to show your client some basic stuff, and since you know Viz, you can turn it into something much more flashy.
The latest version (upgrade cost us 100 bucks) even has something called sandbox tools that let you model nice looking topos, though there are probably better tools for that out there. Last but not least, flythroughs are a snap to make as movies.
The forums are a great resource for finding components (like blocks in AutoCAD) of random stuff (cars, trees, etc.), and the people in there are very helpful. The Ruby Script forum has a ton of home brew scripts to add to the toolbox. I had been modeling simple fences myself, which took forever, but I found a script called windowizer, that creates windows for you very easily. I used it to make the fences and it cut my work time by a lot.
I do not work for or am not paid by Sketchup at all, but I tell you I love it that much, and for 500 bucks, its a good buy.
--
Edgar

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Night_Seer wrote:

Thanks for the info. You and 3D Paul have both said enough to make me interested in trying it out. 3D modeling is a huge part of my design process and I'm always willing to try something new.
I guess the big questions I have are (which you might not be able to answer) as follows:
Can it just completely replace Autocad for any 3d modeling, given that Autocad will still be used for other CAD work (2D)?
Does the speed, and ease of use with Sketchup counteract the problems associated with having use a go-between platform from 2D to 3D(base model and basic renderings) to Wiz-bang Renderings(Viz)? Right now its a 2 step process at the most for me.
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Cato wrote:

I would say AutoCAD could possibly be replaced for 3D, depending on what you do with it. I wouldn't necessarily use Sketchup for working drawings, though it could work for small jobs, and it lets you easily export section slices as 2D models.
I honestly haven't used AutoCAD for 3D much, so I can't be totally objective, but I honestly would never go back to start learning ACAD 3D when I have this, and when it can export so nicely.
--
Edgar

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And if you render in AutoCAD this way you'll only get light from one source. ACAD <hand waving> looks at lights by name. When you copy a light the name stays the same. One name therefore one light. They show up in the light dialog from which you can rename them.
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