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The new and improved Vectorworks Nomad app - can it really make floor plans


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Impressive strides forward have been made with Nomad's use of Apple's AR Kit.

 

Pros:

I scanned the interior of my house an it did a fair job of defining rectilinear features in 3D, quickly.  Some things don't line up perfectly, but all things considered it does produce flat walls that are straight.

Output in .obj actually scales correctly on import if you choose millimeters.  Congrats VWX team!

 

Cons:

Vectorworks doesn't import .USDZ, but these scans work with Apple Preview.

Does not have textures for either obj or usdz

Angular features are very difficult for it to capture, even simple 45 degree walls.

A 4" step on the ground plane went unrecognized.  12" soffits went unrecognized.

Accuracy is lacking a bit, running around 94%.  A 4'10" window opening was recorded at 4'7".  Overall room dimensions busted by 8" over a 10' distance, greater on larger rooms.

 

The big apparent CON at the moment....

Export to .VWX and converting the objects it sensed into Walls, Doors, and Windows does not appear to be up and running.

This press release seems to indicate that it should be the case:

 

Quote

In addition, using Apple’s room scanning framework, RoomPlan, the Nomad mobile app can now produce models with classified geometry, such as walls, windows, openings and doors, which can be imported directly into a Vectorworks model. Users can quickly scan an existing room layout using their iOS mobile device to create a robust reality capture that is accessible and easy to use.

 

“Apple’s RoomPlan scanning framework is great for capturing existing room layouts and bringing them into Vectorworks with almost no effort or time,” said Nikolova.

 

If there is a method to convert these scans into native Vectorworks objects as implied by the press release, it is not evident how to do it.  @KPrice is this an actual feature?  If so, it would be great to try it out.  The future is looking brighter for Nomad.

 

 

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4 hours ago, inikolova said:

Vectorworks 2023 SP4 will support USDZ import, so you will see object names, like Chair, Wall, Table in the Data pane of object info palette. But the imported objects will be meshes.


that is some of the best news I have heard in some time!  Thanks for sharing.  FBX import next please 🙂

 

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  • 4 months later...

I have been playing with 'Create a room plan with Lidar' on Nomad.

 

From the article linked above:

Screenshot2023-06-29at14_17_12.thumb.png.2c762cae521ca8fab18359a8482ef286.png

 

I got the .USDZ file but no .OBJ file - presumably because I had no internet at the time? I assumed that once I had wifi the opportunity would re-present itself but I could find no way of sending a .USDZ file off to be processed into an .OBJ file. But seeing as I can import .USDZ directly into VW is there any reason to...?

  • What is the benefit of importing the scan into VW as an OBJ instead of a USDZ?
  • Why didn't I get an OBJ automatically as the article suggests?
  • Why couldn't I generate one after the fact?

Thanks!

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi @Tom W.,

 

When the Room Plan feature was first released in Nomad, Vectorworks did not support USDZ import. This is the reason we also generated an OBJ. Starting with Vectorworks 2023 SP4, USDZ import is supported, so you can just use the .USDZ in your case. The USDZ file is natively produced on the mobile device so no cloud processing is necessary. However, for the OBJ generation, we have an automatic cloud job that gets submitted upon finishing the scan. Since you didn't have an internet connection at the time of scanning, the job submission failed. It is not getting re-tried upon restoring of the connection. We also do not have a manual way to submit such job as our goal is to be able to transition to the use of USDZ file exclusively. The Help article will be updated to clarify this.

 

I hope this helps. 

 

Best regards,

Iskra Nikolova

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@inikolova I think a lot of us would appreciate the ability to have both the .usdz and .obj from a single scan.  Textured .obj models are great as a documentation tool since you essentially have a 360 degree photo of the spaces compared to the untextured .usdz.

 

 It will stink to used two different apps and scanning twice to get the desired result.

 

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2 hours ago, inikolova said:

Hi @Tom W.,

 

When the Room Plan feature was first released in Nomad, Vectorworks did not support USDZ import. This is the reason we also generated an OBJ. Starting with Vectorworks 2023 SP4, USDZ import is supported, so you can just use the .USDZ in your case. The USDZ file is natively produced on the mobile device so no cloud processing is necessary. However, for the OBJ generation, we have an automatic cloud job that gets submitted upon finishing the scan. Since you didn't have an internet connection at the time of scanning, the job submission failed. It is not getting re-tried upon restoring of the connection. We also do not have a manual way to submit such job as our goal is to be able to transition to the use of USDZ file exclusively. The Help article will be updated to clarify this.

 

I hope this helps. 

 

Best regards,

Iskra Nikolova

 

@inikolova thanks for such a helpful explanation!

 

I tried doing a room plan scan just now, at home where I have internet, and the .obj file looks identical to the .usdz version: there were no textures generated with it @jeff prince...? The only difference I can see is that the model consists of a single mesh whereas in the .usdz version each wall is a separate mesh. Interestingly, I can convert the separate .usdz meshes into Generic Solids one at a time then add them together whereas the single .obj mesh won't convert into a solid... So I think going forward I will ignore the .obj file (if it's generated at all that is) + just work with the .usdz file...

 

And if I want a textured .obj model I need to use Scaniverse, etc right? 

 

I have also been playing with 'Create a point cloud with Lidar' (Nomad). The point cloud that Nomad generates seems to have many more points than the Scaniverse version (2,000,000 compared to 500,000 in my case) so I guess that means I'm better off producing point clouds with Nomad?

 

 

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@jeff prince Room plan and Photos to 3D are both part of Nomad, but they use different technologies. They are both based on frameworks developed by Apple, and RoomPlan currently doesn't produce textured models. I hope Apple will change this in the future. Some projects can only be scanned by one of the methods, while others can be scanned by more than one. For example a room can be scanned with Room Plan for just a few seconds, but you can also use Photos to 3D to get a textured model. Photos to 3D will give you a detailed texured model. Room Plan will give you a basic model with walls, doors and windows, and some boxes for existing objects in the room (represented by meshes). Room Plan gives you a quick scanning method if existing textures are not of importance. If you require textures, then Photos to 3D is more appropriate. You get a USDZ out of both methods. If you are scanning a large area outdoors, you can't use Room Plan, as it only detects a limited number of architectural objects, like doors, windows, openings, and furniture. Drone images submitted as "Photos to 3D" is more appropriate.

 

Whether you need to scan twice or not really depends on the type of project you are working on and your specific needs. If your project requires textures, and you need to use Photos to 3D, then RoomPlan is probably not going to give you too much benefit on top of it. I hope this answers your question.

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57 minutes ago, inikolova said:

Whether you need to scan twice or not really depends on the type of project you are working on and your specific needs. If your project requires textures, and you need to use Photos to 3D, then RoomPlan is probably not going to give you too much benefit on top of it. I hope this answers your question.


thanks!  That makes perfect sense.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/30/2023 at 5:57 PM, inikolova said:

Room Plan will give you a basic model with walls, doors and windows, and some boxes for existing objects in the room (represented by meshes)

 

I absolutely love Room Plan.

I think dimension accuracy is pretty decent.

 

But my problem is the quality of the Meshes.

I mean the simple boxes from furniture are good. But everything more complex,

like 4 touching Walls of a room or a Wall with a Window opening are a Mesh-mess.

There are simple inaccuracies like Wall "connections" not meeting at the same point.

More annoying are that the "boolean-like" construction of a Wall with a Window opening

has slightly non planar component faces.

And the organization of the Meshes itself. Some Meshes include a set of independent

Volumes.

 

I am not able to create any Solids from these important Mesh Elements, like Walls.

 

And I had hoped that Room Plan would do an "idealization" and simplification of the scan.

Like forcing everything reasonable rectilinear into a XY, XZ or YZ plane and round

ugly numbers to a full cm and such.

 

Is there any room for improvement from VW/Nomads side,

or does Apples API not allow better Meshes ?

 

 

 

 

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I think Room Plan needs more AI.

 

I would like to pay for a Room Plan that :

allows you to initially set a UCS and Origin at a room corner

- lets you set tolerances in dimensions,

  where it forces all rectilinear Mesh Vertices to sit on that grid (e.g. 5 mm or a full cm)

- let's you set tolerances in angles (e.g. 90° lock to force every Face to align with standard planes)

  and or e.g. 7,5° tolerance to force to allowed angles when having rotated Walls

- recognize Stairs and create simple Cubes with riser height, representing each tread.

 

I can easily force all above features in Bricscad after import.

Nevertheless there is no way to convert those important Nomad "Meshes" to Solids.

I do not really get the 3D Face content inside the Mesh Container.

 

Room Plan('s AI) should do a basic Mesh Modeling tutorial first.

 

Yes, Faces of Meshes can't have holes like CAD Solids.

And if Room Plan does everything by adding Cubes, beside the problem of missing

planarity because of accuracy over distance, OK.

But it would be so much more helpful if Room Plan would learn proper Mesh Modeling.

 

When it detects a planar Face from a Wall, it should take care of that single Face

(or Cube) and just look at its limits when reaching its corners and other touching Walls.

And if it detects an opening in the Wall, just do 2 vertical and 2 horizontal cuts to define

a valid Face/Cube tessellation - extrude that resulting opening Face inward.

Or better, for the Wall Cube, "bridge" the opening Faces of both sides and add an

extra Cube inside to represent the Window inset or even its geometry.

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  • 1 month later...

Can you scan a person with this tool and have it import into Vectorworks, complete with the textures (i.e., clothes, skin, etc.)? I'm looking for an app that can 3D scan things I can't model. I can draw a room. I can't draw a person. It would be great if this is possible!

Thanks!

MHBrown

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1 minute ago, MGuilfoile said:

Can you scan a person with this tool and have it import into Vectorworks, complete with the textures (i.e., clothes, skin, etc.)? I'm looking for an app that can 3D scan things I can't model. I can draw a room. I can't draw a person. It would be great if this is possible!

Thanks!

MHBrown

 

Yes absolutely. There are example here somewhere. @Tony Kostreski I think

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
2 hours ago, MGuilfoile said:

Can you scan a person with this tool and have it import into Vectorworks, complete with the textures (i.e., clothes, skin, etc.)? I'm looking for an app that can 3D scan things I can't model. I can draw a room. I can't draw a person. It would be great if this is possible!

Thanks!

MHBrown

Yes, you can! I found success with taking anywhere between 50-70 photos. When you process it on the cloud you can use use a reduced output so the entourage elements can stay low between 2-3 mb per model.

 

image.png

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