Instancing Components

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Frutiger
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Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Tue May 03, 2011 4:46 am

So here's what I'm thinking.

I've been experimenting with the xFrog tree models in sketchup recently. They look great and render really well. The downside is they're so huge that when I import them into sketchup, they bog my files down like no other, even with dummy instancing. The file still has to include the main 3D component. For whatever reason, SketchUp can't quite handle it.

Is it possible to setup a dummy that will target a component that is not actually in the .skp file? This would save me so much time and effort when working on exterior renders, it wouldn't even be funny. I'm pretty sure the feature isn't currently available, but would anyone else benefit from this as much as I would? Whaat, could we somehow get this to work?

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Whaat
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Whaat » Tue May 03, 2011 6:19 am

Frutiger wrote:So here's what I'm thinking.

I've been experimenting with the xFrog tree models in sketchup recently. They look great and render really well. The downside is they're so huge that when I import them into sketchup, they bog my files down like no other, even with dummy instancing. The file still has to include the main 3D component. For whatever reason, SketchUp can't quite handle it.

Is it possible to setup a dummy that will target a component that is not actually in the .skp file? This would save me so much time and effort when working on exterior renders, it wouldn't even be funny. I'm pretty sure the feature isn't currently available, but would anyone else benefit from this as much as I would? Whaat, could we somehow get this to work?
Yes, this feature is planned for the next major SkIndigo release. External OBJ and 3DS will be possible. I'm not sure yet about external SKP. It's tricky.

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Frutiger
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Tue May 03, 2011 10:14 am

3DS/OBJ files would be great! I was just asking for .skp files so the texturing process would be one that's already familiar to me. I would only request that there's still a process for managing the textures on those external files without using some new software, or something.

You just made my day! Now.... any idea when that major update might be coming out? :wink:

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fractal.design
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by fractal.design » Tue May 03, 2011 10:56 am

Does putting the trees on a different layer (then hiding the layer) help?

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Pibuz
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Pibuz » Wed May 04, 2011 12:53 am

Whaat wrote:
Frutiger wrote:So here's what I'm thinking.

I've been experimenting with the xFrog tree models in sketchup recently. They look great and render really well. The downside is they're so huge that when I import them into sketchup, they bog my files down like no other, even with dummy instancing. The file still has to include the main 3D component. For whatever reason, SketchUp can't quite handle it.

Is it possible to setup a dummy that will target a component that is not actually in the .skp file? This would save me so much time and effort when working on exterior renders, it wouldn't even be funny. I'm pretty sure the feature isn't currently available, but would anyone else benefit from this as much as I would? Whaat, could we somehow get this to work?
Yes, this feature is planned for the next major SkIndigo release. External OBJ and 3DS will be possible. I'm not sure yet about external SKP. It's tricky.
Hi Whaat! External files support is great news, but...let me ask one question: how can you handle their internal materials in a non-skp file?


PS. Hi Fractal! Have you tried instancing the trees? You can make a much lighter copy of each plant and spreat around THAT! Putting it on a hidden layer will cause an error, but you can simply hide the heavy components and the instances will work as they should!

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Frutiger
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Wed May 04, 2011 3:30 am

Yeah, Fractal. Actually the issue is with these large trees is that even if they're just indexed by the .skp file and not actually placed on the model, they bog down the file. So, they can be on a hidden layer or not even placed and all and they'll gum things up.

That's what makes this external file referencing so exciting. I no long have to carry all that extra baggage around and can instead spend that weight on my models, making them more detailed. So I can get an entire forest for free.

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Frutiger
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Wed May 04, 2011 3:31 am

Pibuz, that's what I was trying to figure out. If it's a 3DS file and skindigo won't even have it's fingers on it, how can we control all those internal textures?!

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Pibuz
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Pibuz » Wed May 04, 2011 3:35 am

..and materials' reflections, and refractions, and IORs, and additional textures...and so on!

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Whaat
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Whaat » Wed May 04, 2011 6:46 am

Frutiger wrote:Pibuz, that's what I was trying to figure out. If it's a 3DS file and skindigo won't even have it's fingers on it, how can we control all those internal textures?!
Probably the only way it will work is if SkIndigo is able to 'load' the materials from the 3DS or OBJ file into SketchUp and then you can edit them with the SkIndigo materal editor. I currently have a script that does this for me for OBJ files. Unfortunately, it's not ready to be released to the public.

You just need to make sure that your SKP file has materials with the same names as the ones in the external OBJ or 3DS file.

If you guys are feeling brave, try this:

1) Create a new component in your scene.
2) Select this component in your component browser window
3) Edit the NAME of the component to have the prefix 'EXT_' (eg. EXT_tree)
4) Edit the DESCRIPTION of the component to be the file path of th external OBJ file (3DS might work, too). (eg. c:\users\yourname\models\tree.obj)
5) Right click on the component in your model and 'enable instancing'
6) Try rendering with Indigo. You will get error messages because Indigo cannot find the proper materials for the external file. Take note of the name of the material in the error message.
7) Create a material in SketchUp with the same name as you noted in step 6.
8) Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you have added all the required materials for the external file. Then, Indigo should render the external file.

If this worked for you, congratulations! You are now an uber-elite SkIndigo user! And you can go nuts rendering Xfrog trees.
Attachments
Render4d.jpg
Hello Xfrog!

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Pibuz
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Pibuz » Wed May 04, 2011 8:53 am

Seems to be quite easy!
Does it work even if the obj has specific textures in it (I'm thinking about the leaves, for instance)?
It is sufficient to make a skp mat with the same name as indicated in the mlt file and the same texture applied?

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Whaat
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Whaat » Wed May 04, 2011 9:06 am

Pibuz wrote:Seems to be quite easy!
Does it work even if the obj has specific textures in it (I'm thinking about the leaves, for instance)?
It is sufficient to make a skp mat with the same name as indicated in the mlt file and the same texture applied?
The OBJ materials will be replaced with whatever materials you have in the SKP file. So if you want to maintain a 'leaf' texture for example, you would have to apply the leaf texture to the SKP material of the same name. (and don't forget to apply the clip map :))

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Frutiger
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Wed May 04, 2011 3:43 pm

Thanks for the help Whaat! This is really fantastic.

I gave it a try but unfortunately met with no success and I suspect it may be because I'm working on a mac. Are my suspicions correct?

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fractal.design
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by fractal.design » Wed May 04, 2011 4:04 pm

Wow this sounds great!
Thanks Whaat!

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Frutiger
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by Frutiger » Wed May 04, 2011 4:07 pm

I think it may be possible to skip steps 6-8 if you do the following:

6. Load the tree (or whatever) you want to target into a seperate .skp file and texture it like you want it to be textured.

7. Next make a "texture board" by pasting the textures in your tree onto little squares.

8. Copy your texture board and then paste it into the file you want to render.

This should save you the trouble of doing test renders and chasing down error messages.

I think.

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snorky
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Re: Instancing Components

Post by snorky » Wed May 04, 2011 6:29 pm

for external skp is possible to open "in silent mode" when does skindigo ruby script export to indigo?

Pibuz, help me if my maccaroni-english isn't correct... (do you remember my tread on indigo italia forum "obj include without overloading"?)

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