preserving textures while importing dxf to su

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preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby caddict » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:06 am

Probably been asked before...I've started importing architectural models into SU in dxf format.
They are multilayer models created in Cycas and all objects have a material/texture assigned.

I export them from Cycas as dxf and then import them into SU. All objects appear in SU with the default material. I'm wondering at what stage the material/texture information is lost.

Am I bound to reassign materials again form within SU or is there a smarter way? Would appreciate any input on this.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby linea » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:07 am

I think I'm correct in saying SU will export textured models but won't import textured models. I don't think the DXF exports include textures anyway, just the geometry. I have started using Cycas too, I think it could become my main CAD tool.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Edson » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:07 am

hey, caddict and jon, could you guys tell us something about cycas?
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Gaieus » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:09 am

Jon,

Could dxf import to SU include colours?
If so, in the CAD program you could repladce each texture with a specific colour and then after the import reload these colours with the corresponding textures.

Just ideas (as a learned colleague of mine would say) I don't use cad programs or dxf imports with textures...
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby linea » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:09 am

Hi Edsun

Cycas fits my criteria straight away as there is a fully functional free version for non commercial use (to license that is 98 euros, Pro version is 288 euros). Download below.
http://www.cycas.de/down.php?s=en&sys=win#top

I haven't delved too deeply into Cycas yet but the tutorials are good and it looks like the potential is there. Cycas has a totally different interface to any cad program I have used before but its simple and fast. I spent ages trying to track down a serious program on the internet that would let me draw in 2d plan view but at the same time create the 3d geometry. Cycas does this. It also integrates well with V-Ray and Pov-Ray but I can't use these functions as V and Pov won't run on Vista.
You also get much cleaner import and export from and to SU than you do with AutoCAD.
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linea 
 

Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby linea » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:09 am

Good idea Csaba!

I think that will work. Definately worth trying. I'll do an experiment.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Gaieus » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:10 am

Only UVs cannot get through like this I suppose (if there are any...)
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Edson » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:10 am

hi jon,

thanks for the info. i had a look at their site. unfortunately there is no mac version, just windows and linux.

the cad program i use is vectorworks, and have been doing it since it was called minicad, way back in 1995. have you ever tried it? it is a complete 2D/3D app that comes with a rendering module, and a terrain modelling feature that is the best i have come across so far.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby caddict » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:11 am

Hi Gaieus and Jon,

It seems like the dxf exports from Cycas don't contain any color or material info. I tried importing said dxfs into as many apps as I could think of than open dxfs (Quick3d, Alteros, ctrlview, amapi, blender) and none of them showed any color. Not too serious I suppose, because the layer structure is preserved, so that makes assigning materials in SU much easier.

Jon and Edson,

Cycas is a most excellent package. I have been using it for a year now as my main architectural tool, maybe 5 to 8 hours a day. It was original written for Linux, but the windows version is also super stable and totally reliable.

As you say Jon the interface and in fact the whole feel of it is very different from any other cad software...it really is fresh thinking. Because it is just as easy to draw a 3d wall as it is to draw a line, it almost entirely eliminates the need for any constructional 2d drawing (of course straight 2d drafting is fully supported). Windows, doors in 3d are a sinch. Roofs, columns, beams, any arch features can be constructed.

As a solid modeller it has a lot of scope, but limitations as well. It's strength lies in its simplicity, and the ease with which one can create a 3d architectural model and then from that
produce high quality photo renderings AND fully annotated and dimensioned technical drawings on paper in all standard views as well as custom perspective views.

Forgive me I could go on!
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby linea » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:11 am

Yes from what I have seen so far Caddict I think it could be a very useful app for me.

Edsun, yes I have used Vectorworks in the past but as I'm now self employed cost is a big factor. In the past I have used most of the big cad players; Autocad, Revit, Vectorworks etc. I have only ever really been fully proficient with AutoCAD though.

I have suggested before that Sketchucation has a freeware / alternative software forum as I think alot of people could benefit from it.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Gaieus » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:12 am

Jon Wood wrote:...I have suggested before that Sketchucation has a freeware / alternative software forum as I think alot of people could benefit from it.

It's on the agenda, Jon.
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby caddict » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:13 am

Getting back to the original question, I've discovered two things.

dxf seems to be a very basic format which has not been developed much recently. It handles geometry very well. It only handles color in the sense of "pen color", ie the color of the pen used in a cad sense, and not in the sense of a "material". So this is not much use since SU doesn't use different pen colors.

When SU imports a dxf (from Cycas anyway) it seems to create a new layer structure based on the materials assigned in Cycas, and not based on the original layer structure within Cycas which is usually based on architectural features. This is interesting and weird but still useful when it comes to reassigning materials to the objects within SU, because one layer can be turned on at a time and the material assigned to all visible objects.

(Still haven't quite got my head around the way layers work in SU...Layer 0 seems mysterious...leave that for another day!)

Any comments?
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby Anssi » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:14 am

DXF is the basic format in which AutoCad handles data (DWG being mainly a binary version of DXF). So the format incorporates the features that AutoCad assigns to objects, and it is different for each AutoCad version. As AutoCad objects have no native material or texture information, there is no fixed way of conveying that via DXF. Rendering applications working as AutoCad plugins (like its own rendering) generally store their information either in an external file or into the XDATA section of the DXF/DWG file. The contents and structure of XDATA is defined by the plugin programmer, so there is no standardized format, and the data stored is useful only to the plugin that originated it.

Anssi
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Re: preserving textures while importing dxf to su

Postby caddict » Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:15 am

Thanks for that info Anssi.

I had a look inside the dxf file in question and it doesn't even have a XDATA section. So I guess that answers the question!
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