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Twinmotion Test Drive

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I only have what I think is a reasonable sense of what Twinmotion can do.  It certainly looks very cool and very capable.  But beyond that UnReal Engine, Epic, and the gaming environment are all a mystery to me.  I downloaded Twinmotion for a trial run, and ran into some frustrating issues:


1.) I could barely get the middle button on the mouse to orbit and pan as expected.  Sometimes it would work, but more often it wouldn't.  Often when holding down the shift key and the middle button in an effort to orbit, instead I'd find the model approaching or receding.  I restarted the software and the computer a couple of times, and I tried a different mouse, none of which helped.


2.) Also, my fans kept revving up, even though I'd imported very simple geometry, and even when I wasn't actively doing anything.  On the one hand, maybe that's to be expected with realtime rendering?  On the other hand, when I do heavy-duty Vectorworks renderings, I don't hear my fans at all.


Any thoughts greatly appreciated.  Thanks!  Will



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It works for me with MMB and SHIFT,

just like in Bricscad or Blender, similar to VW, beside it uses CTRL.


For me view navigation in wide angle perspectives was always

a bit clumsy. I prefer the the linear response characteristic

of orthogonal views.



Had the same experience in the past with my Trash Can.

Just opened TM App and went back to PC.

After 20 minutes my Trash Can was glowing and the Fan at full rev.

AFAIK that happened even when TM was in Background.

For me that was new too, that TM is always at full GPU load, no matter

how complex a scene, if you are working or just idling.


I think that got better with TM 2020 or Big Sur Updates.

As I am on M1 Mini now I can't hear the fan anymore, so I am nut sure

if it is totally gone. But maybe on PC GPU load goes down now when

TM in idle, at least when in Background.


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After looking at the Twinmotion forum, I've found that reducing my quality settings to "low" keeps the fans quiet.  I tried "medium" and the fans were quiet, but that was only for a minute or so.  It seems odd that a software that I would think needs to be all about efficiency just seemingly randomly works at hundreds of frames per second, even for still images, and that it puts full demand on resources even for one or two simple objects.  Not that any of that necessarily matters because, sadly, the inability to orbit makes it pretty much an unusable software...

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So... are there any good alternatives to Twinmotion for working with Vectorworks on a Mac?  You know, ideally something only a little more complicated than Twinmotion... complicated enough to have different user interface options, such as, in particular, more than one way to orbit...   

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I personally hope for an Enscape Mac ARM release

(and am very confident although that doesn't mean anything)

Beside there is Blender Eevee, which works reasonably already,

while Cycles has no more Mac GPU support and there is nothing to expect.

And there is Unreal Engine, if you like to work into that monster of a Software ....


Beside that, existing or coming 3rd party GPU Renderers like Redshift,

AMD Pro Render, Octane, .... may fulfill the same needs, vertically on

top of CAD or 3D Apps.

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@zoomer & @jeff prince I looked into Blender a little (so I even have a sense of it's two rendering engines! - though I didn't know Cycles + Mac GPU isn't a thing...) and Blender sure does look pretty involved... so no big boy pants for me; and not looking to get involved with the monster of a software that it sounds like Unreal Engine is.   Especially because, after I duke it out with Vectorworks, I'm able to create very respectable renderings, without even leaving the software.  The appeal of Twinmotion - it's extreme simplicity - seems to be it's downfall: it's too simple to even accommodate a second option for orbit control!   (((I just found a response to my question at the Twinmotion Forum, and someone suggested switching the Navigation from Twinmotion to something else - for the "SketchUp" option only the middle mouse button (without shift) is necessary, and that seems to prevent the random zooming problem.  It's still difficult to activate, but it does seem to help quite a lot; so maybe there's hope after all...))).

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Working in TW is a love-hate exercise for me. I love the datasmith VW to TM method, with intelligent updates. I love the instant environments, backgrounds etc that TM offers, and I love the near-instant final output of still images. For Mac users, TM is at the moment the best possible workflow if you want a pretty good rendering without huge effort after you’re done w a VW model. 

i hate the navigation. I mean, really? It’s so basic to using the software. It should be the fastest part of using TW, but it’s the slowest. I haven’t used a mouse in almost 30 years. You can program the Mac trackpad for right-click, but not center-button (I don’t think). Good night! What effort would it be for TM programmers to add orbit, or pan with simple space bar??


I look forward to Red Shift and Octane 

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I'm currently working on a project at early design stage. Trying out different versions, jumping between working on stuff in openGL and a sheet layer that I have a load of renderworks viewports set up on. I can make some changes to the design, and then see how it looks in any of the preset viewport viewpoints I want, just by updating the viewport. It allows me to look at two versions of the same design, from exactly the same view, alongside each other (I can just duplicate viewports and adjust layer/class visibility as necessary). I can also quickly see the same view with accurate sunlighting at different times of day/year, again by duplicating viewports.


I've only fiddled a bit with TM but I don't see that there would be an easy way of duplicating this kind of workflow/method. For every small change to the model I'd have to re-import into TM. And I assume that for each version of my model, I'd have to export that as a different file to TM? For example, if I have two versions of a design for part of the ground floor of a multi-storey building, in VW have duplicate ground floor layers, version A and version B and so on, with the appropriate ground floor layers turned on or off in my RW viewports. I think to see this in TM I'd have to export two copies of the whole model, one for each version. Is that right?


I assume TM lets you save preset viewpoints where you can also save the time of day and so on? And then you can export these as image files?


There's something very convenient about being able to have a sheet layer with a bunch of RW viewports that you can look at all at the same time, move around the page and so on.


Would be interested to hear if anyone has worked out a similar type of workflow using TM.

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@Don Seidel Good, so it's not just me that has stumbled big time with an inability to navigate in TM.  The "dinosaur tech at snail speed" doesn't bother me too much partly because (at least 'til now...) I just didn't know any better, and partly because I preview my Renderworks renderings at very low resolution and final renderings are *relatively* quick (minutes vs. the hours of years bygone).  Though it looks like now we're talking seconds (if that...) instead of minutes... 


Based on quick glimpses at their websites, Redshift and Octane look interesting.  I kinda feel like, at least for me, TM has just been a glimpse into the near future.  New to TM, I don't know anything other than the Datasmith transfer method, which worked surprisingly well when I imported my Vectorworks model.  But then (even with the "SketchUp" option) I spent three minutes just trying to orbit my model...


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I haven’t used TM that much but you can create a scene and edit textures, day, weather etc just for that scene. In that way you can create lots of different editable scenes. Not sure how it works if you introduce new geometry however.

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