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Vectorworks to twinmotion sp3?

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I've been looking forward to this feature for a few years. It's taken me a while to figure out why this wasn't showing up for me after upgrading to sp3. The menu items aren't appearing in the workspace editor, and when I switched to a default workspace - the File>Export menu says: "ExportDatasmith not in Plug-ins folder."


Its worth noting if this export command isn't showing up, that tucked away in the help file it says:

For Mac, this command is available only on OS 10.14.6 and later.


I'm nervous to do an OS update in the midst of other projects, but hoping that it will get this working so going to take a leap...

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  • 3 weeks later...

In the "UNREAL DATASMITH EXPORT" video, the narrator says "The Datasmith file format preserves the geometry, textures, lights and more..."


I tried adding a Vectorworks Light object (Kind: Spot), then exporting in Datasmith format, then importing in Twinmotion.  The light did not appear in the model (when i checked the objects in Twinmotion, and filtered for Lights, nothing showed up.)


In the Datasmith file, I see that there are two "Light" objects in the xml-like format.  One might be the "sun" from the VW Heliodon and the other might be the spotlight Light object I put into the VW file. 


Is it simply a matter of Twinmotion not translating Lights in the Datasmith file into TM light objects?  It would help me a great deal if the lights I place (and revise) in VW translated into lights in Twinmotion without having to place or update the TM light objects when I place or move them in my VW design.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello @Thomas H Donalek AIA

The lights go out into the Datasmith file, but Twinmotion doesn't currently import them.  Unreal Editor does import light objects, and Epic plans to add import of lights to Twinmotion at some point.


We understand it is important to maintain these so that you don't have to place them again in Twinmotion.



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I have VW Designer 2021 v.3.1 and when I go to the File>Export it says :ExportdataSmith not in Plug-ins Folder. Any Ideas?

Mac High Sierra 10.13.6 


I'm extremely wary of updating the OS because of overall wonkiness/fragility of the computer behavior (late 2013 IMac) and legacy (old) programs -  just hopefully riding this out for a couple (few?) more months until I can upgrade.

I really don't have the graphics horsepower to run the program but I like to dabble in the software trying to learn it knowing I will be upgrading into a machine that can soon.



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I'm also having trouble with objects and textures coming through to Twinmotion with the Unreal datasmith export. The site model doesn't show at all, parts of massing model roofs are missing, same for fences, walls, windows/doors. I tried both collapse materials and keep hierarchy but didn't make any difference. See attached image for an example.

twinmotion .png

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4 hours ago, Justin Nigh said:

The site model doesn't show at all,


Can you try to set TM's default background floor invisible,

to not occlude your DTM,

and look if you can see the Site Model from below ?


Usually, (at least in the past), the Face Normals of the

DTM's top faces are flipped.

If that is the case :


TM had also a 2-sided Material Setting anywhere (?)

that will also allow to render back sides of polygons.


Yes, Material > Settings > 2 Sided (default OFF)

Edited by zoomer
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@zoomer when I was playing around with TM, the first time I imported a model it was nowhere to be seen. Discovered that it was because I create my site model with actual elevations for the grades and import my building model which I build with the main floor at elevation zero. TM imported my model at the elevation of my site model (+760'-0"). So I ended up creating a separated model file with the site  model set to zero before exporting it and that seemed to work. What I don't like is how the model edges look like cliffs when imported. Not sure what, if anything, can be done about that.

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14 minutes ago, MaltbyDesign said:

he first time I imported a model it was nowhere to be seen. Discovered that it was because I create my site model with actual elevations for the grades and import my building model which I build with the main floor at elevation zero.


Could be too.


Even without logical reasons.

Some Modo imports in TM, in the past, had parts of geometry folders,

imported at totally different scales and rotations.

Should try again if that got better.

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@zoomer on further inspection I see that the site model is present, but the top surface of it (the ground) is transparent. I can see the model sides and bottom, but it appears 'hollow' because there's no surface. See attached screenshot. The bottom isn't 'flat' so I'm wondering if the top of the model has been flipped/inverted and sent to the bottom?

I couldn't find in Materials any settings to set to 2 sided. Where do I find that?


@MaltbyDesign Thanks for the info but it looks like my model (house) is set at the correct elevation in TM. In VW I have my model in a layer (Floor 0, Floor 1) with the elevation for each set in the layer settings, so Z is not set to 0 as yours was.


Note that objects like the road are "floating" above the surface of the site model.

Twinmotion model under.png

Twinmotion zoomed out.png

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, MSLD said:

Also having isses with certain objects in twinmotion. It seems basic extrudes cause problems when exporting with Datasmith. Converting to generic solids, or exporting as C4D works better.


Hello @MSLD We know of an issue where extrudes with different or no textures on the top/bottom/side will have their geometry skipped in the export.  The fix for that will be in the very next service pack release.  If you can send me an example object we will make sure that is fixed.


@Justin Nigh Also Justin we have reproduced the issue you are seeing and are looking into a fix for it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just been making my first attempt at VW > TM using the Datasmith format.


The first problem I have come to is that what is a transparent texture in VW (I am using it for window glass) appears to be opaque once imported into twinmotion. Am I missing something obvious?


I've attached a file with the object/texture in question.




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10 minutes ago, MSLD said:

Looks like the texture doesn't have an opacity mask in TM. It wants to treat it as a solid. A workaround is to replace the texture in TM. Once you've done that, subsequent datasmith refreshes will keep the new texture.


Thanks. I've managed to replace all instances of that texture with one of TM's own 'glass textures'.


I note however that if I make some changes to the VW file, so I introduce some new objects which have the problematic VW glass texture, and then I export and over-write the datasmith file, and then I update the import file within TM, the new object appears, but it appears in the opaque form, and I have to go and replace it with the TM material.


Is there any way to tell Twinmotion that any objects imported with X texture, it should automatically replace with Y texture?

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Connected to the above is another question I had - trying to work out how my Renderworks workflows can translate to Twinmotion.


When I render in Renderworks I'll do it with viewports that often have quite a few class over-rides. This is because I have my various 'materials' classes which I use in the model, and which reflect the actual construction, so that they show up correctly in sections and so on, but quite often in presentation renders I'll want to render them as something different. So, in the renderworks viewport, many of those materials classes have an override to render as some other material.


The most extreme version of this is where I want to render something out as if it were a white card model. Then I simply use class overrides, in the viewport, to make nearly all materials (whether they are brick or timber or metal or whatever) render as if they are white cardboard.There might be a few exceptions, for example glass will usually stay as glass.


Of course when I do my export to Twinmotion everything appears as the construction materials I've set, with whatever textures they have associated. Ideally I'd like to tell twin motion something like:

- any object which has texture A, change it to texture B

- any object which has texture C, change it to texture D

- any object with texture E keep it as texture E

and so on, plus ideally, automatically apply these rules to any new objects that appear in the scene as a result of me updating the vectorworks model and re-exporting it.


Is that possible to do - or do I basically have to do this manually, so if I have 30 different textures in the scene I have to go round and replace each of them by hand?


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