This final portion
of the tutorial will explain how to import a SketchUp model into 3DS
Max. It expects little experience with SketchUp and a solid
understanding of 3DS Max.
These instructions were recoded from
practice using SketchUp Pro6 and 3DS Max version 9. However, it is
believed that the instructions will be applicable to earlier versions
of 3DS Max.
a. In SketchUp Pro
model from Google Earth in SketchUp by using the Get Models button to
access the model from the 3D Warehouse.
Download the model.
Prepare the model for
exporting to 3DS Max.
1) Save your model.
all faces correctly. Any face that is blue is facing the wrong
direction. You will need to reverse all faces that are oriented
incorrectly or they won't display in 3DS Max.
3) Add pages for your
desired render views.
SketchUp export options ?? the common
export options are DWG and 3DS.
Export as DWG ?? by exporting it
as a DWG, everything gets pre-welded. So if the model is not organized
in layers or components, the best way is to export that as a DWG.
surfaces are independent from one another, so basically you just have a
bunch of surfaces that are adjacent to each other and are not actually
connected. By welding the points, you'll be able to smooth it out.)
"File," then "Export" and then "3D Model." Click the "Options" button
and be sure to select "Faces."
b. In 3DS Max
import the model into 3DS Max. Click "File" and select "Import." Then
choose .dwg file. Navigate to your model and select it for import. Max
will prompt you to merge or completely replace the scene ?? choose
Look at the image above for settings.
model is now imported into 3DS Max
Collapse the model in Editable Mesh,
because the model is a Viz Block.
Separate the elements by ID and detach
them in order to apply new 3DS Max materials.
Export as 3DS
advantage of the 3DS export is that it saves the step of doing
material assignment in 3DS Max.
Other things to consider are:
Don't use instances as they just don't show up once imported
Don't change the pivot point or your object won't be in the correct
location once imported
Group by texture before exporting
you export from SketchUp, check "Export texture maps" and "Welding
vertices" in the options. All the surfaces that are smooth in SU will be
smooth in MAX/VIZ.
Make sure you select "Export Cameras from
Pages" so that you can have the same views in 3DS Max set up that you
made in SketchUp.
Look at the image above for settings.
Now import the model into 3DS Max. Click "File" and then select
"Import." Choose .3ds for the file type.
Navigate to your model
and select it for import. Max will prompt you to merge or completely
replace the scene. Choose "Replace." Different from the DWG version
where the file is translated to a Viz model, the 3ds file is translated
to an Editable Mesh.
Apply the materials
even matter what they are as long as (for example) everything glass is
the same material, everything rock is the same material, all water is
the same, etc. Now when you get into 3DS Max, open the material editor.
Select the first slot and click on the Pick Material (eyedropper
icon). Then click on a material in your model. Sometimes it will assign
all materials to sub maps automatically. Other times you will need to
go through and assign each material manually to a new slot. Either way,
just go through and select each material you want to change.
it is assigned to a material slot, you can change the material and it
will change all objects with that material in the model.
material is using a texture map, then you will need to change the path
of the maps on the diffuse.
The texture maps are saved
automatically on the same file where the exported 3ds is located.
Now the texture is reloaded and the file
is ready in 3DS Max.
Lighting is one of the most important parts in
3D visualization rendering. It brings not only the look and feel for
the image, but also helps to visualize the design in reality. Many
artists will find themselves spending more time with interior lighting
to make sure every detail in the room is lit perfectly. Exterior
lighting is easier to set up but still challenges the artist.
have a model of L5's exterior. The entire model is created based on a
CAD plan, then imported into 3D Studio Max and organized into layers.
and material information are collected and then applied to the model.
materials in the scene are Vray materials.
In this scene, besides
some basic material, we also apply Vray displacement on the grass to
make the render look more realistic and detailed.
For the grass,
we use 2D mapping type for Vray DisplacementMod with a grayscale grass
bitmap for displacement effects.
3. Camera View Setup
applying all textures to the model, we set up a couple views and end
up with this final view.
lighting an interior scene, we start with environment light first.
Again, it is a good practice to collect all the reference images about
the kind of lighting you want to apply into the scene. In this case, we
want to use daylight with yellow sunlight coming down from the right
and hitting the whole building's section. The right part of the scene
will be in bluish shadow. Both yellow and blue colors will compliment
Instead of using GI Environment (skylight) in Vray
render setting dialogue as we used in interior to create ambient light,
we use a different way by creating a semi-dome to simulate the sky.
VrayLightMtl with a Sky bitmap for the dome, and also apply UVW
mapping cylindrical type for it as well. The benefit of this method is
that it creates more natural-looking ambient light and it has bright and
dark areas just like a real sky would look. When applying the bitmap
on a VraylightMtl, it will reflect those dark and bright areas on the
bitmap onto the object to create a more interesting look for the image.
method sounds the same as the HDRI method but easier to create and
adjust since you can move, rotate or even scale the map on the viewport
to suit your lighting look or even reflection on the object. Unlike
HDRI, you have to enable the background on your viewport and put in some
numbers to get it to look right.
For now, we leave the value of
brightness at 1.
that, we can go ahead and do a test render. We used a very low setting
for test rendering images in order to get a quick preview of the image.
>Color mapping: Exponential
map was set to low
>Light cache with
Subdivs at 200 and sample size at 0.02
very dark at this point, but we can see some interesting effects on
the ambient light. Since we are aiming for a bright-looking day, we
need to increase the multiply of the VraylightMtl from 1 to 6.
test again to see how it looks.
looks better. We get the shadow to look bluish as we wanted. The
render's quality looks really bad due to very low setting of GI, however
we will set a higher setting after we get the lighting to look right.
This way can save you a lot of time.
Now, after you get the
correct look for the ambient, let's add some sunlight. Again, we use
Vray light, Sphere type to simulate the sun, with strong yellow color.
The bigger the radius of the light, softer the shadow.
add furniture, some plants, flowers and trees to add more details into
are ready for the final render.
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