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I'd been looking at alot of the Unreal Engine Archviz tutorials, mostly centered around import from 3DS.




I had been exporting VWX scenes as .dwg and using the Unreal Engine Beta plugin "Datasmith CAD Importer" to bring the scene into Unreal.

The biggest issue was that all of the geometry was brought in as separate pieces, IE. a shelf created with VWX Shelving Unit tool would come in with all the shelves, side and rear pieces individually so in Unreal you'd have to select multiple meshes at the same time to move the single shelf unit.

Using the new SP3 Datasmith exporter, looks to have exactly the same result, so a window, door, cabinet or any UNIT created by a VWX tool to act as a single unit in VWX, exports to the .udatasmith file and imports into Unreal as a collection of individual meshes.


I had assumed that a VWX Datasmith pipeline would allow export / import of these units AS units, and have multiples of the same unit be recognized as instances which is what appears to happen with the 3DS Datasmith pipeline. 




Does the VWX Datasmith pipeline do these things and I'm missing some procedure to get the functionality?

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Hello @MartVWX


Vectorworks is exporting the scene objects verbatim, by default.  The scene hierarchy in Unreal is a direct match to the scene hierarchy in Vectorworks.  This is a starting point and I understand the need to rework this for efficiency and convenience in your workflow.


The DataPrep functionality in Unreal is what you should use to reorganize the default scene, to combine objects by properties etc.



Twinmotion exposes some of this in the Import options for combining by materials.

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In Twinmotion it looks like I get all my VW Hierarchy via VW Datasmith export,

when I switch import option in TM from default "combine by Materials" to "keep Hierarchy",

which I usually do !


Default Combine by Materials can also take very long time to import larger geometries !

(While it may run smoother after (?))


And Unreal got a Twinmotion import, at least as a Beta (?)

Maybe a workaround to get the Hierarchy from VW to Unreal ?

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so far I had my must ugly complicated Revit imported project,

exported to C4D Exchange and opened that C4D R21 File in Twinmotion.

It is 3+ GB in TM-size and works quite well and even smooth and responsive

on my M1 Mini. (Much better than on Trash Can ?)


But when testing Datasmith export from VW and importing the

Datasmith file into TM, I get 5+ GB TM file and the file is pretty unusable

on my M1 Mini 16 GB.

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Dave, Hi, thanks for your help.

Having spent some time looking into the process for Visual Data Prep, I'd have to say that the way VWX is exporting to the .udatasmith file is very limited and does not make it easy to use the Dataprep automated options on account of it's naming / labeling of the component parts.

There is no metadata that comes through from VWX to UE, such as VWX classes, Layers or object type (Wall, Shelving unit etc.) that would help group the meshes together easily, it's just the UE assigned ID#. 

Consequently you end up manually selecting and merging items, effectively going around the automating functions for Dataprep.


Screen Shot 2021-03-21 at 19.18.55.png

Screen Shot 2021-03-21 at 18.58.39.png

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Does VWX to Datasmith export include vectorworks lights?  I placed a spot light in a VW file, exported to Datasmith, then opened it in Twinmotion and there were no light objects (and I didn't see the effect of the light where I placed it in VW.) I thought I read or heard that this system was supposed to transfer lights, which would make Twinmotion (and potentially UE) much more useful to me as I iterate and share designs.

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Hello @Thomas H Donalek AIA


Vectorworks is exporting the lights in the Datasmith file but Twinmotion doesn't import them, currently.  Unreal Editor does import the lights.

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