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jeff prince

Twinmotion - Displaying different design iterations/version within a project

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In a separate Twinmotion thread, there was a question touching on version control / display of design iterations within TwinMotion.  Figured I would start a thread for those who would like to specifically discuss this topic.

 

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1 hour ago, line-weight said:
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?

 
@line-weight Yes, you create different c4D export files for each version you want to display.
 
In your example, you would turn the design layer for version B off and export only the visible design layers to C4D.
You would then turn version A off / B on and export again, creating another file you name accordingly. Anything common to both versions would be left on during this process. Now you have two c4d files and a folder of textures
 
Now in TwinMotion, you just have to import one of those versions, let's say A. When you want to display B, you reload the c4D file using the three dots above the file icon and simply point the file to version B. This whole process takes like 20-30 seconds total. I toggled between 3 different design iterations (reloading models) and two view points (switching views) within TM in roughly 90 seconds.
 

 
Taking it a step further. Let us say there are large parts of your project that are quite detailed and will not be changing. You can break that model up into separate c4d exports to manage what gets loaded and when. We used to do this 20 years ago to cope with slow computers and clunky software 🙂 In TM as you can have multiple c4D files loaded simultaneously. Say you are doing interior renderings and do not need to see the site and the vast majority of the rest of the building... Using separate c4D files gives you the freedom to selectively load just what you want and provides a versioning method. It would be nice if TM just ran inside VWX so these tricks didn't have to be used, but really, we do the same process within Vectorworks using design layers and viewports when you think about it.
 
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1 hour ago, line-weight said:
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?


 
Yes, you do this in the media center when creating your images. Each image you create can have different environmental settings, etc which you can export as images. Similarly, you can do the same thing with video.
 
I've developed several VWX/TM workflows to deal with all kinds of special requirements of my B2B clients, one of whom went from never using the software to creating a nicely textured and planted model with a 20+ image presentation within a single day...including purchasing and installing the software!
 
There are things it could do better. However, for the price, included libraries, available online assets and tutorials, and quick onboarding, I know of nothing comparable.

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I have to show design versions all the time.

So far I have that simple approach.

 

I have Version specific Geometry separated in VW (by Layers and/or Classes),

which I can activate one by one e.g. by Viewport Visibilities.

 

So far I Render in C4D.

So VW to C4D Exchange, keeping VW Hierarchy.

Organizing and switching version visibility with C4D "Render Takes".

 

So for Twinmotion, just the same. Import keeping Hierarchy.

Organizing and switching version visibility withTM's saved Render

Cameras, or better saved views.

 

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Thanks for comments. Useful to know I can have several VW exports in the same TM file.

 

427634291_Screenshot2021-04-09at18_44_22.thumb.jpg.f9260f3e87a1f11d9cbc9278e557a98c.jpg

 

This is a fairly common layer setup for me. 0F EXG is ground floor existing (I'm often doing renovation/extension), 0F PROP-A is ground floor proposed option A, and so on.

 

You can see I've got 4 options on the go there. While I'm working on stuff, I'm quite often copy&pasting stuff between layers. So, let's say I want to copy and paste a bit of furniture from option B to options C and D.

 

Then I go to my sheet layer with all my render viewports. If I want to update 3 views of option C, and 3 views of option D so that the new furniture appears in them, it's a very simple matter of updating them. So...having made the change on the sheet layer, the operations are

1) Switch to render views sheet layer

2) Highlight the six viewports

3) Press 'update'.

That's it - done (apart from the render time obviously). And I can see all 6 viewports next to each other.

 

So would the equivalent process using TM would be something like...

1)Export the version C layer

2) Export the version D layer

3) Open TM

4) Import the version C layer

5) Import the version D layer

6) Make only version C layer visible

7) Export 3 presaved views

8 ) Make only version D layer visible

9) Export 3 presaved views

10) Then I have 6 jpg files or suchlike that I can view alongside each other in a file browser?

 

Or is it more efficient than that?

 

(I am thinking here about a working process - that is, I'm working on the design and making constant changes, rather than the process I'd go through at the point I want to present the images to someone)

 

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@line-weight yes, that’s the process.  Have you tried it yet?

I set this process up for a client who what’s to use twinmotion throughout the design process and real time client presentation.

Personally, I’d rather just show some opengl or artistic renderworks and be done with it 🙂

However, neither of those methods depict water or reflections on water nicely, so the slight movement of twinmotion water is worth the little bit of effort.  Looking forward to a near future where realtime integration within Vectorworks potentially eliminates this work(around)flow.

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@jeff prince I've now spent a day or so messing around with Twinmotion. I think I can basically see how I would deal with iterations, although it still seems a bit cumbersome compared with the way I currently do things in Renderworks viewports. The benefits I can see of Twinmotion at this stage are that it's much quicker to try out different material and lighting settings 'on the fly', compared to making a change and then sitting waiting for a renderworks viewport to re-render. That's definitely an advantage. Although I'm sure I could improve things with practice/time I'm not sure I like the quality of render that TM produces compared with RW... it has that slightly faked/computer game look that I'm not too keen on.

 

However all of this is made a bit redundant anyway by the fact that the Vectorworks > Datasmith > Twinmotion conversion process appears to involve multiple bugs that mean it just isn't really usable for me at the moment. I've posted about these on the other thread. I may come back to it at a later date to see if things have changed but for now I'm sticking with renderworks...better the devil you know.

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@line-weight I agree that the renderworks workflow within vectorworks is an easier way for producing much more refined looks and keeping them current.   I prefer it for static renderings.
However, when you need moving water and people, It falls a bit short 😉

I think twin motion is always going to have that gamer look since it’s based on a game engine, but I’ve seen some really nice examples when people have set up nice materials and more importantly, lighting.  But that is true of any render engine... it’s all in the lighting.

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17 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

@line-weight I agree that the renderworks workflow within vectorworks is an easier way for producing much more refined looks and keeping them current.   I prefer it for static renderings.
However, when you need moving water and people, It falls a bit short 😉

I think twin motion is always going to have that gamer look since it’s based on a game engine, but I’ve seen some really nice examples when people have set up nice materials and more importantly, lighting.  But that is true of any render engine... it’s all in the lighting.

 

yeah, I can see potential for animated walkthroughs etc and also for static outdoor views where you want to quickly add a lot of vegetation etc.

 

Unfortunately though I can't really use it for either of these at present because of the problems I've outlined in the other thread. I'll look forward to things improving though.

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5 hours ago, line-weight said:

I've now spent a day or so messing around with Twinmotion. I think I can basically see how I would deal with iterations, although it still seems a bit cumbersome compared with the way I currently do things in Renderworks viewports.

 

I am not sure.

There is the feature of spreading Entourage as easy as I always wished to have.

 

Rendering quality so far is not as good as I wish to have (I would prefer Enscape)

but I think totally OK for my projects. And how long it will take until all Unreal

real time Raytracing will find its way into TM.

 

I also do always geometry versions.

It works great to separate Verisions in VW by Classes and Layers, saved Views,

saving Viewports with Visibilities and Batch Render by Publish Sets.

(Where I think the UI/UX is suboptimal like many other corners of VW)

So for now I still use VW to C4D Exchange workflow.

 

Class/Layer Hierarchy from VW and Render Takes for Version Control and Batch Rendering.

 

For moving to TM that would also mean, Hierarchy from VW pus saving tons of duplicate

camera perspectives which behave similar to VW's Saved Views.

Batch Rendering not as comfortable as VW or C4D but doable.

 

On the other hand fast complex interiors or even videos, which I so far I rejected with CPU

rendering, are possible now too.

 

 

I am pretty sure that there will come a Mac Version of Enscape in a reasonable time frame.

but I think I would miss the animated cars and peoples or entourage spreading of TM.

And, as Bricscad decided to optionally integrate parts of Enscape to Bricscad on their own,

I would have to run 2 subscriptions, while all other compatible Software would work from

a single Enscape License.

On the other side, overall I am not used to or a fan of Unreal's Game Engine behavior with

Game Launcher, strange installations, still old complex non PBR workflows and all that.

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