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Getting Quality 2D versions of 3D Warehouse objects

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I've been downloading sketchup models from the 3D warehouse for various entourage items like cars, grills, foosball tables, etc. It works great for the 3d views but you end up with a 3D only symbol that doesn't work for your floor plans.

Convert Copy to Lines with Hidden Line on still leaves you with all the facet lines of the object and not a clean 2d image.

This morning I hit on a technique to solve this.

I created a viewport on a sheet layer of the object and set the rendering mode to Hidden Line. I then opened the Background Settings and cranked up the Smoothing Angle to something like 25 or 30 degrees. All the facets disappeared. Now run your Convert Copy to Lines and you have a clean 2d version of your symbol. Add a mask and place it in the 2d Component of the symbol and you have a hybrid version of the object.

One side note - many downloaded models have numerous symbols buried inside them. Do all of this in a separate file so these symbols don't fill up your Resource Browser. Last step enter the 3d component and convert all the imbedded symbols to groups. No need to carry all the associated symbols from project to project.


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If you want to simplify the process, you don't need to make a viewport of the objects. Instead, in your Design Layer, set your render mode to Hidden Line, then in the render dropdown select "Line Render Options", and set your smoothing angle here.

When you're in a Design Layer and do Convert Copy to Lines with Hidden Line, it'll pull the smoothing angle from this setting. (You don't actually have to be in Hidden Line render mode when you do the conversion, but going to that render mode allows you to figure out what smoothing angle works best.)

I agree that it's best to do all this in a separate file and to strip out unnecessary Symbols. I also check the class list - often everything comes in on a class called Layer0 which I delete and reassign all the objects to None.

One additional suggestion for those who want fills in their 2D components is to use the 2D Polygon Tool in Outer Boundary Mode, then lasso around all of your 2D lines. This will give you a polygon of the outline of your object, to which you can then assign a fill color and probably a slightly thicker lineweight.

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Try Importing the object and then converting it to an Auto Hybrid, this way the all the original attributes of the object remain, 3d colour etc when you need to switch to 3d.

Make sure you get your settings right otherwise this can be a pain to understand, but works a treat once you understand the way it all works.

Choose a class that has a fill and it will show like image for the object


Edited by Alan Woodwell

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