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Site Model & Plants not importing into Twinmotion


Shane W

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Posted (edited)

I'm trying to get my site model and associated plants into Twinmotion but when I import it (via Datasmith Direct Link) nothing appears. 

It says it's importing, says it's finished.. but nothing. 

 

Does Twinmotion only work with buildings or can you import your landscape design in there as well? 
I would have thought so, but all the examples out there only demonstrate it with buildings).

 

I did a test by manually creating a small simple terrain and a box building and a few 3D trees and it worked.. but when trying to import an actual site, nothing. 

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 17.51.41.png

Edited by Shane W
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I know this is a basic suggestion, but have you tried the f key to focus on the project (if nothing happens, sometimes you can go into the right-hand structure list and select one object and then use the f)? If you have a site model, it might be at a higher elevation, and sometimes (depending on how clean your file is) your main model won't be centred at import. 

Site models imports beautifully into TM - plants are a bit more tricky - if you're using image props, they won't be useful in TM. I normally ignore importing trees until the last step and then replace them with TMs native trees (you can 'batch'-replace), as you then get both the growth-ability, seasons and movement.

 

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5 hours ago, Shane W said:

Does Twinmotion only work with buildings or can you import your landscape design in there as well? 
I would have thought so, but all the examples out there only demonstrate it with buildings).


it works with sites just fine.  As @Katarina Ollikainen suggests, your model is probably floating above the scene.

 

The last time I dealt with this, I simply referenced my site model into a separate vectorworks file.  That file holding the reference then becomes my Twinmotion export. This allows you to place the reference so its lowest elevation sits at the 0 elevation and make Twinmotion happy.  Lots of people have had this problem and this was the only solution that seems to work well.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Katarina Ollikainen said:

I know this is a basic suggestion, but have you tried the f key to focus on the project (if nothing happens, sometimes you can go into the right-hand structure list and select one object and then use the f)? If you have a site model, it might be at a higher elevation, and sometimes (depending on how clean your file is) your main model won't be centred at import. 

Site models imports beautifully into TM - plants are a bit more tricky - if you're using image props, they won't be useful in TM. I normally ignore importing trees until the last step and then replace them with TMs native trees (you can 'batch'-replace), as you then get both the growth-ability, seasons and movement.

 

Thanks @Katarina Ollikainen, that tip of selecting the site model and hitting "F" located it. It's in space!  ..now I just need to work out how to move it back down to earth (which I can't seem to do because the arrow control aren't selectable - not as a group - I can do the building, the trees or the terrain but not all three).

 

Could you elaborate a little @jeff prince on your solution?  Ive never used referenced files for the site model before.. does doing that allow you to change the height of it separately from the project file somehow?  (I'm not fully clear on what the specific advantage of referencing it is). 

 

Regarding the trees @Katarina Ollikainen, I'm struggling to see how to replace them in Twinmotion.. I can see paint but no menu/commands for that.. Your help is appreciated!

 

Thanks 

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-10 at 13.29.22.png

Edited by Shane W
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Shane W said:

Could you elaborate a little @jeff prince on your solution?  Ive never used referenced files for the site model before.. does doing that allow you to change the height of it separately from the project file somehow?  (I'm not fully clear on what the specific advantage of referencing it is). 


Sure.

1.You save your project file.

2. open a new file, this will serve to hold the reference you will create and be the file to import into Twinmotion.

3. use a design layer viewport reference to pull your model file into the new file.

4.  Move that referenced DLVP so the bottom of the model sits at z=0, centered on the origin

5. import the new file into Twinmotion.

 

Your project will now be centered in the Twinmotion world and your Vectorworks edits will occur in the actual file at the proper elevation.  The new file I had you create is to act as a container, you won’t actually edit anything in it after the initial move of the DLVP reference.  Background info on how the process was developed… wow, almost 2 years ago already.

 

Edited by jeff prince
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Yes! Thanks @jeff prince, that seems to do the trick! ..as I work in georeferenced projects that appears to have upset Twinmotion. 

The referencing resolves that issue.  ..One remaining question however with this is that (weirdly) the viewport doesn't seem to update when I add things to original.. (even when using View>update Viewports)

 

Now I just need to work out how to replace my VW trees with Twinmotion ones - if you have some guidance to offer @Katarina Ollikainen, that would much appreciated! 

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 16.27.56.png

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Hi Dont try to move your model in TM as it is referenced to VW file based on the RLs

Click on the site model in right dialogue boxes and hit f to locate it.

if you move it each time you change the VW model and reimport you will have to move the model. Leave it where it is.

HTH

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I have been making some progress..  

I've even worked out how to replace the VW 3D tree objects with Twinmotion ones (although it's of only limited use).

 

However the thing that is still puzzling me, is how to create a pond.

I thought that if I created a solid fill for my ponds (using an extrusion) in VW (se picture) I could apply a water texture to it in TM, but that doesn't work..  I've tried playing with water cubes (no good).. so I was wondering if anyone has any experience with that? 

Does TM not like extrusions? is there another object type/class that I should be using? Another workflow? 

 

Additionally I am still not able to get the file up update changes in VW.. so if anyone has any tips for that I'd be happy to her them!

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 13.39.48.png

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 13.32.58.png

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Textures should appear on your extrusions, I use them all the time.

I wonder if your sun angle and brightness is such that you are picking up a white color from the atmosphere.  You can check this by changing to a more plan orientated view and/or changing your sun angle.

 

I have not had the update problem you refer while using the reference method I described previously.  Perhaps you need to open up the shuttle file and update the reference?  You can also refresh (no relink)the model in Twinmotion.  The changes should come thru in one or both cases.

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I discovered that I had to change the extrusions to polygons to get them to take materials/textures in Twinmotion. 

Then I had to recreate the referenced viewport again, but after moving the viewport to be centred on 0 (though not precisely) it wasn't exactly positioned as before so after refreshing the Twinmotion project I had to redo a fair bit. 

Updating viewports doesn't do it. It doesn't recognise new design layers created in the original file - hence recreating the viewport from scratch. 

 

Water textures still weren't applying properly - appearing as brown chequer pattern ..but then I fond the answer to how to work around that in this thread online (in case anyone else has this issue).

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Posted (edited)

@Shane W I played around with this in VWX 2022 and the new release of Twinmotion today.

 

In regards to the water texture behavior, I do not observe that in the prior release of TM, but did experience it in the current version.  Following the advice in your Reddit link solves the issue and water materials will appear correctly on extrudes, no need to change them to some other kind of geometry.  This issue stinks, but such is life with Twinmotion.  Prior to Reddit advice, you can't even put their built in water textures on their built in ground plane... something you can do in previous releases of TM.

 

In regards to positioning the model and subsequent updates...

If you place your georeferenced model in a file at the real elevation, reference it into a shuttle file for sending to Twinmotion and moving the reference to the desired elevation of 0, and then use the shuttle file for the direct connect to Twinmotion, your changes in Vectorworks will appear.  You just have to open your georeference model to make the changes, close it, open the shuttle file to refresh the reference, and launch the Twinmotion direct connect.  It works fine in 2022 with the expected behavior of updating the model.

 

Anyhow, I tested all this and it works fine.  I'm guessing your model update troubles are related to reloading the reference.  Attached is a zip with my experiment if you like to see how I typically do it.

 

Archive.zip

 

1893953782_ScreenShot2022-05-14at7_14_59PM.thumb.png.8f1740f16b3db45defeb2c6e0bd02a2a.png

Edited by jeff prince
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Thanks @jeff prince, both for the troubleshooting help and also for this intriguing iPhone LiDAR workflow. I tend to work on areas too big for this to be practical but (such as in the current case) when I do a subset area for closer focus this could be very interesting. Keen to hear more about your experiments. 

 

I will have a play with making updates via the reference file and see how I go. Perhaps not closing and reopening was my issue. I'll experiment further using your suggestions.  

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I tried your file Jeff and it all works as you describe. 

I then went and played with my own file and it's all good - except for my extrudes. For some reason .. some of them wont take materials in TM.

224860216_ScreenShot2022-05-18at14_19_31.thumb.png.5956df8fe3e0c251a216ecb84cab853a.pngI'm not sure what's going on.

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I'll take a look and see.

 

In the meantime I found it actually was easier to just use the 'primitives' in Twinmotion, they are also easier to manipulate (for me) in TM than Vectorworks for the purpose of water volumes.

 

I'm now a little gun shy of importing things and updating in TM, once I have what I need in there I'm anxious about messing with it - due to the likelihood of some things becoming "undone". Textures get cleared, sometimes my topography is reset (see attached) and so on..  I now also make sure I check over everything before I save the TM file as I've been caught out before when I didn't realise things had been lost and had to redo them. 

 

I've also noticed how certain extrudes import either in the wrong place (misaligned) or the wrong shape entirely (see attached). It's not a very robust workflow at the moment. 

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 09.03.45.png

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 09.04.18.png

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Yes, I don’t trust TM and direct link for thing that matter.  I would rather fool around in VWX and get things settled before working in TM.  Exporting from VWX via C4D has been a reliable workflow in the past for me.  Geometry misbehaving is not fun when you are under deadline.

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Hi, I still use C4D to export my final model from VW and do all the dressing up in TM.

Never have any issues with strange textures or geometry.

Datasmith not working properly yet as far as i can see. I import based on Textures always. VW create different items with any texture and change them in TM.

HTHImage7.thumb.png.699ba0f9e93d06e7f1c4a9a56e715520.pngImage24_000.thumb.png.40d409d057c43a1dce59bc7775ea2f2b.png

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Could I suggest anyone having problems with the VW-TM direct link workflow, post on this thread also

 

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/88266-direct-link-to-twinmotion-resets-all-my-materials-each-time/page/2/

 

 

The direct link to TM was sold to us as a major feature of VW2022. As a reminder here is the promotional video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPPiMY5_2GE

 

But the reality seems to be that it simply doesn't work properly, and it's starting to feel a bit like it's going to be one of those things that's just quietly abandoned. I don't think that's acceptable. It's one of the things that influenced my decision to pay for VW2022, and if it's not sorted by the final SP of 2022 then I think I'm going to start complaining to my distributor because I'm fed up with this kind of thing happening with every release of VW.

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@Shane W Regarding your troublesome extrudes.  I've found that if you assign an actual texture to the extrudes in Vectorworks before sending them to Twinmotion they behave much better.   I don't think TM likes objects with no textures assigned.

If some objects appear to be missing in TM they could be there but without a texture.  If you can find the object in the TM object list on the right side of the screen, you can select it there then assign a material to it and it will appear.

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