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Direct Link to Twinmotion resets all my materials each time.


adam covell

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1 hour ago, Dave Donley said:

I think if you choose collapse by material it will limit you to only being able to override all objects that use the same material at once rather than separately per-object.

 

Yep, and if we're just using TM/UE for rendering, that would be a faster workflow too (all materials en masse vs hunting for each one buried in objects).

 

1 hour ago, Dave Donley said:

Collapse by material should be faster for realtime performance, although I haven't noticed a difference in speed between the two.

 

I think the idea is that it's faster to use before rendering because all instances are grouped (similar to clones in Cinema or symbols in VW).

 

Anyway, part of what I'm asking is if collapsing by material would help preserve materials / textures.

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For what its worth, same issue as others; materials reset in TW on datasmith update. Not in love with Keep Hiearchy either. Makes a list of objects 4 miles long. By material so far seems easier to deal with, but then again, am a neophyte with TW.    

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13 hours ago, jnr said:

Not in love with Keep Hiearchy either.

 

 

It will work well for smaller projects if you have the same hierarchy you are used too.

 

But as the difference between CAD and any 3D Mesh based System, TM said itself,

"We can deal with millions of Polygons easily - but we can't deal with millions of Objects !",

at a certain complexity "sort by Materials" combining all objects of same Material to a

single Object is mandatory.

 

This needs proper Material Assignments on the VW side already, which is feasible.

And if there is a Direct Exchange between VW and TM, we should just go back to VW

for adjusting Material Assignments and do a new Exchange.

(Same as we did with C4D Exchange since years)

Using TM just for overwriting or exchanging, already assigned, base VW Materials

with suitable TM Materials

 

But for the "sort by Material" workflow it will be also mandatory that an Exchange will

not lose any Material changes done in TM.

 

 

A workaround could be the use of TM's new Material Exchange Tables.

(Haven't looked into it so far)

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6 hours ago, zoomer said:

 

 

It will work well for smaller projects if you have the same hierarchy you are used too.

 

But as the difference between CAD and any 3D Mesh based System, TM said itself,

"We can deal with millions of Polygons easily - but we can't deal with millions of Objects !",

at a certain complexity "sort by Materials" combining all objects of same Material to a

single Object is mandatory.

 

This needs proper Material Assignments on the VW side already, which is feasible.

And if there is a Direct Exchange between VW and TM, we should just go back to VW

for adjusting Material Assignments and do a new Exchange.

(Same as we did with C4D Exchange since years)

Using TM just for overwriting or exchanging, already assigned, base VW Materials

with suitable TM Materials

 

But for the "sort by Material" workflow it will be also mandatory that an Exchange will

not lose any Material changes done in TM.

 

 

A workaround could be the use of TM's new Material Exchange Tables.

(Haven't looked into it so far)

 

The other thing I'm wondering, as I've always followed the VW-recommended workflow of Keep Hierarchy, is if I don't have to worry about renaming / reorganizing my layers / classes / objects... if I choose Collapse By Material instead.

 

You mentioned Cinema, and that's a classic example of changing the name of something in VW breaking the exchange (which makes sense).

 

I'm purely using TM/UE to render, so it's a paintbrush not a wrench (if that analogy makes any sense).

 

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18 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

You mentioned Cinema, and that's a classic example of changing the name of something in VW breaking the exchange

 

 

I learned I should not change anything about Hierarchy in C4D.

For me it looks like everything you change in C4D will be saved as

a user change and prohibited newer changes from VW coming in

with next exchange.

Things like rearranging C4D Layers in Layer manager was enough

in the past. Or renaming Objects.

 

So no larger problem, it did not break the exchange for me completely,

but when I renamed a Layer in VW again, I would have to delete the

Layer doublet I accidentally renamed in C4D before. Or think about

Objects renamed in C4D will not react to further renaming in VW.

 

But AFAIR, deleting or changing Materials in VW would come in

by exchange nevertheless.

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29 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

The other thing I'm wondering, as I've always followed the VW-recommended workflow of Keep Hierarchy, is if I don't have to worry about renaming / reorganizing my layers / classes / objects... if I choose Collapse By Material instead.

 

 

Basically I would prefer Keep Hierarchy, like I do with C4D.

But in TM, somehow I can't really deal with how TM's Object Manager works.

For me it is more tedious working with larger Hierarchies than in VW or C4D.

That is another reason why I like to start looking into Collapse by Material.

 

Which means a strict collaboration organization between VW and TM.

Assignment changes and hierarchy in VW only, replacing and editing Materials

or Entourage in TM only.

 

 

But there are certain things that will not work that way.

Like making an occluding environment building temporarily invisible or moving away

for a certain perspective and such things ...

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On 2/11/2022 at 10:01 PM, jnr said:

Not in love with Keep Hiearchy either.

 

 

Hmmmh,

 

Tried Direct Link on Windows 11 - TM No Direct Link to be found ....

 

(Reminds me of Win10/11 not being able to do a C4D Exchange,

C4D doesn't offer any Import/Exchange)

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So I did a standard Datasmith export.

 

As far as I can see for a current, so far not too complicated project,

Keep Hierarchy works still ok, 43 FPS.

But the Collapse by Material Test shows with over 90 FPS double the

Frame Rate. Which makes me think is the way to go ....

Edited by zoomer
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is something where an instructional video would be quite helpful - specifically looking at keeping things like materials under control. I too have been unsure which hierarchy method to choose.

 

I expect many of us will want a fairly similar workflow:

- creation and editing of geometry strictly done only in VW

- materials/textures for aesthetic purposes chosen in TM, but associated reliably with something in VW (eg, if I tell TM to render everything that has my VW "brick01" texture using its own brick texture of my choosing, then any objects whose texture I change in VW reliably see the same changes in TM)

- freedom to continue to assign things like classes and textures in VW without having to worry about additional considerations to avoid messing things up in TM

- a clear understanding of what we can/can't and should/shouldn't do within TM's object hierarchy (for example, is there a way to turn an entire VW layer or class on/off within TM? Or do we effectively have to make separate exports if we want different "versions" of a model)

 

For me the priority is leaning as much as possible on already-learnt organisational strategies within VW rather than having to learn a whole load of new TM stuff, and feeling that everything is "under control" and that I understand which things I do in TM are persistent regardless of what changes I make to the VW model.

 

The problem of TM materials "resetting" is exactly the kind of thing that makes the process feel sketchy and not "under control" and I think efforts should be made to make sure it doesn't happen. I'd like to use TM more because I can see that for certain things it can produce acceptable results much faster than Renderworks - but I am holding off using it for any real projects for now because I don't feel confident that I've got a solid grip on what's going on.

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This also used to happen for me from time to time with Lumion,

Here's the reliable workflow I found to keep the material mapping intact.

Perhaps a similar workflow will work for TM?

 

Open the VW file

Open Lumion>Load the LS12 file.

In VW click LiveSync to connect the two.

 

Save and close the LS12 file

Close the VW file.

 

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6 hours ago, line-weight said:

This is something where an instructional video would be quite helpful - specifically looking at keeping things like materials under control. I too have been unsure which hierarchy method to choose.

 

I expect many of us will want a fairly similar workflow:

- creation and editing of geometry strictly done only in VW

- materials/textures for aesthetic purposes chosen in TM, but associated reliably with something in VW (eg, if I tell TM to render everything that has my VW "brick01" texture using its own brick texture of my choosing, then any objects whose texture I change in VW reliably see the same changes in TM)

- freedom to continue to assign things like classes and textures in VW without having to worry about additional considerations to avoid messing things up in TM

- a clear understanding of what we can/can't and should/shouldn't do within TM's object hierarchy (for example, is there a way to turn an entire VW layer or class on/off within TM? Or do we effectively have to make separate exports if we want different "versions" of a model)

 

For me the priority is leaning as much as possible on already-learnt organisational strategies within VW rather than having to learn a whole load of new TM stuff, and feeling that everything is "under control" and that I understand which things I do in TM are persistent regardless of what changes I make to the VW model.

 

The problem of TM materials "resetting" is exactly the kind of thing that makes the process feel sketchy and not "under control" and I think efforts should be made to make sure it doesn't happen. I'd like to use TM more because I can see that for certain things it can produce acceptable results much faster than Renderworks - but I am holding off using it for any real projects for now because I don't feel confident that I've got a solid grip on what's going on.

 

100% all of this.

 

I'll add that, aside from a VW video outlining the pros and cons of each material method, the burden lies with TM to make most of this stuff happen. VW functionality is on par with all other 3D / DCC apps. It's TM that hasn't caught up to Lumion or Enscape yet. For example, TM can't do synced views with any apps. ATM only UE can do that with Maya. Hats off to the VW team for pushing development against TM's timeline.

 

Also, I'm wondering if PBR materials will make their way to VW (I should prob check the roadmap). I've taken gorgeous Quixel materials into VW and lost a few of the physical options but there could be a future workflow where it's all the same. I've also used RW to get stunning displacement mapping out of those same Quixel textures (meanwhile TM looked like The Simpsons).

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32 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

I'm wondering if PBR materials will make their way to VW

 

 

Basically they are there. At least by the Metal Shader.

I am only interested in PBR Materials.

So I either import C4D Materials

(Which has it's own quirks and disadvantages in practice)

or just tediously try to fake PBR with VW Settings.

Mostly faking Fresnel by misusing VW's old Glass Reflection Shader.

 

BTW

Did I already say .... that Fresnel in Reflection is the most important

basic PBR Material property (metal vs dielectric), followed by

blurry Reflections and correct light absorption ....

(While Image Textures for me are just "decoration")

 

 

Juts a pity VW does not offer a suitable common GUI for Materials.

Something like previous C4D Material Settings.

As it VW's UI exists since decades, it should look simpler, but basically

it makes everything more tangling and tedious if everything is hidden

behind the chanels.

 

When Archicad added Cine Engine they didn't care and just offered

every single little C4D Material option available. So maybe not the

best example.

But I really would like to be able to access all licensed C4D Features

in RW. Maybe in form of an optional RW Pro GUI for Materials,

Camera, Light and Render Engine Settings,

to not overwhelm a standard architectural VW user.

 

 

Edited by zoomer
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36 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

the burden lies with TM to make most of this stuff happen. VW functionality is on par with all other 3D / DCC apps. It's TM that hasn't caught up to Lumion or Enscape yet. For example, TM can't do synced views with any apps. ATM only UE can do that with Maya. Hats off to the VW team for pushing development against TM's timeline.

 

 

I am quite a defender of TM ... with all its imperfections.

First because of its reasonable price and no forced Subscription.

(You get it most time offered for free anyway, just for loading a Beta version or

by using VW and such)

The easiness of spreading entourage and foliage, even animated (less is more),

offering Quixel, the not un-tedious GUI but which allowed anyone to enter

Twinmotion very fast and easily.

 

TM always talks about being UE - but with an accessible UI,

(UE itself and its UI is a terrible monster)

and PBR Materials - which I would not have thought when I look at my results ...

So you still need to ad Reflection fake Volumes to get away with screen space only

Reflections. Or Path Tracer for GI, instead of just rasterization.

 

But even PT is there, and it came fast. Like their development speed is astonishing.

For me TM is the Blender of real time rendering.

Not sure how long it will take to support Apple ARM SoCs ...

(which they do although the Apple Store War)

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6 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Like their development speed is astonishing.

 

That's... generous.

 

For context, my point was simply that VW isn't holding TM back. In the 5 years, since the announcement, it's been VW pushing development. And 5 years later, after an Epic purchase, and at least one complete rewrite of Datasmith, there isn't a VW competitor that's further along. TM is the constraint for missing features.

 

And when compared to their realtime competition, they're years behind (at the moment; obviously UE is the future). Case in point: live synced views. VW can live sync views with Encape and Lumion (for years). TM can't live sync views with any app, even on Windows.

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I agree that VW isn't holding TM back.

 

But the competition is Windows or Subscription only and ...

I also honestly would prefer Enscape or Lumion.

Enscape already working on Apple compatibility, great. But

Beta will be for Sketchup only, which I am not interested in.

So my interest in Enscape declined a bit.

 

At the beginning of TM I was only excited about spreading Entourage.

The rest wes meh.

But a few versions later even their rasterized screen space "GI" looks

pretty usable for my purposes. And I am pretty confident that I will get

more and more features that I miss in TM, pretty soon.

 

 

BTW,

I personally do not really use or miss synced views.

I rather prefer to have each App in full screen mode and switching between

them on different desktop space instead.

 

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3 minutes ago, zoomer said:

I personally do not really use or miss synced views.

I rather prefer to have each App in full screen mode and switching between

them on different desktop space instead.

 

That's really interesting. To bring it back on topic, the reason I'm most interested in synced views is because of the Collapse by material workflow: edit the model on the left, and the render (scene) instantly updates on the right. Almost a left brain / right brain thing.

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Hmmh,

 

if I get finally trust that VW TM Exchange works lossless ....

like i was able to build trust for C4D Exchange over the last years,

(which was partly demolished again a bit with my latest VW 2022

on PC/Mac collaboration experiences in the last project ...)

I would change it in VW and be confident that it works for the

next Exchange.

 

That comes from C4D, while Rendering, you look at the problems in the

growing image and as C4D allows to go on working in the File while rendering,

I immediately do all sorts of changes in the file while it renders.

(changing the cameras exposure setting, hiding occluding objects, move entourage, ...)

Experience allows to estimate and gives 80% of expected results for the next

render iteration ...

So I am mostly used to work blind.

 

I do the same for VW vs C4D exchange. In C4D I notice wrong Material Assignments,

switch to VW and do the change, back to other work in C4D until I find another VW

related issue. Only after a while of working I may do another Exchange in trust that 80%

will appear as expected. So I iterate until the next deadline.

 

So for TM that would mean that when switching into TM I would work there replacing

Materials, Lights and such. When I notice that parts of my "rounded" Curtain Walls

have another Glass Material for some reason, I would just write a note on a piece of paper

and go on working in TM.

At a certain point I would switch again to VW and process my VW to do list and do

another Exchange.

 

 

I personally don't really like, when normally using VW in full screen, to share the

half screen with another App like Enscape or TM, as VW looks strange and unusual

to me.

AFAIK, even when trying Enscape (with synched view), I still had Enscape on

a separate virtual desktop (Apple Spaces).

I maybe would use it - if I would use a 4 pane View - and Enscape View would just

temporarily take over my 3D perspective view pane ....

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Of course each one works differently.

 

And if I look at TM example files, this is already far more "photo realistic"

and "emotional", as what I am currently doing with C4D old school CPU rendering.

Which my clients are still happy with.

It is just about constant design changes, different design versions for decision

forcing or asking at Sunday 6 pm for urgent perspectives changes for the Monday

10 am meeting ....

 

i do this still in VW/C4D because i am experienced and it was just foreseeable.

But for the future I would like to get the same experience in Blender and

Real Time instead.

Basically I am jealous about these options since years but found no approach.

TM made it easy for me to take a look at it.

Edited by zoomer
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Dave:

 

Just to weigh in, revising Mac 11.6.4 Vectorworks 2022 files, sending to TM via datasmith link, overrides TM textures every time. Tied the your tricks above. no affect. Limping by, but as a long haul solution, this is untenable. Frustrating loss of revenue.

 

Collapse by hierarchy spits a list 8 miles long. Is there some other means or export in the works that TM will recognize? for example every wall type, PIO etc is broken down into generic solids and other sub components. One does not have time to collapse objects by hierarchy (god forbid you accidentally click on some other component of the heiarchy (aka start over). Maybe I'm missing something but it would appear the issue is the way by which Vectorworks files are interpreted.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello all:

Vectorworks 2022 Service Pack 3 includes many important fixes for Datasmith/Twinmotion.  Please update to Service Pack 3 and let us know whether these issues are improved and/or resolved.  Thanks!

 

Regarding loss of material overrides this should be improved in SP3.  Some operations performed in Vectorworks will cause loss of overrides, still.  A couple examples are if you change a plug-in's parameters, and if you resize a wall.  In those cases and ones like them, the objects in Vectorworks are regenerated and IDs that are used for material overrides are lost.  With those caveats, SP3 improves this feature overall a lot.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
24 minutes ago, Martin Hofmann said:

Hello, the same problem led me to this thread. I am facing the same issue even with the new Vectorworks SP3. 😕

 

Hello @Martin Hofmann Can you provide more details about what operations you were performing when the material overrides reset?  Some operations (editing plug-in object parameters, reshaping walls) will reset the material overrides.

 

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