Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

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Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:52 am

Hey guys,

I've been tasked to create a VR design lab for an east coast consumer products company. So, I've had to dive into some interesting topics, including creating low poly models and scenes which render in real time on the Vive. The goal is people being able to walk around and "touch" the products.

One of the pipelines I'm working with is SketchUp direct import in Unity-- then setting it up as close to photoreal as I can. While I'm no Unity expert, I have covered quite a bit of ground in a short time and created these 4 videos to explain my workflow.

Also, I know UE4 has a better renderer, but the learning curve is significant and the workflow can be much more difficult. Plus, Octane has announced a baker for Unity which should be released sometime this quarter which should make things much more interesting!

Here's the collection of videos:







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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby Pixero » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:56 am

Thanks for the videos. I will take a look as soon as I can.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby kaas » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:24 am

+1, I'm very curious about your workflow
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:34 am

Unity has a very nice INSTANCER called Prefabs and I used it to create a very quick 'space corridor' type of model. Here are a few renders using the technique described in Part 4. There's only ONE area light at the end of the corridor. The rest is lit by the emissive textures.











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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby kaas » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:43 pm

Interesting video's. Never had seen Unity in action - I use Unreal myself.

Have you tried importing more blobby stuff into Unity (like sofa's with cushions?). Would be interesting to see if Unity still can make good lightmaps for that. With Unreal, blobby stuff, straight from SketchUp, results in artifacts in lightmaps - even with high settings. The only solution is to add a Lightmap channel in Blender.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:25 pm

Yep. That's a really good point. I too have had trouble importing files into UE4. FWIW, I use 3Dcoat to automatically UV map SketchUp models when I need to. It has a really fast mapping algorithm that generates pretty high-quality maps for any type of obj.

I'll have to test.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby measuredmove » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:50 pm

Great tutorial-thanks!
I've been a user of Lightup https://www.light-up.co.uk for a number of years for rendering and rendered animations. I remember saving these links as something to look into at some future date to be able to import a fully lit and rendered SU file into Unity

The info is quite old but may still be viable......

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNI2RjNsRwY

Import Script: http://www.light-up.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=403

Unfortunately, there hasn't been alot of support on the Forums lately but if this is still a workable option (SU-Lightup-Unity) perhaps users can answer any questions.
Cheers
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:32 am

So, I've been learning more about the SketchUp > Unity workflow. Lots of interesting possibilites. The new UV Mapping program, WrapR looks to be of great help in getting mappable UVs into Unity.

Another thing of interest is the fact Unity has a direct SU import capability-- though it's only updated to SU2015 necessitating you 'Save As' a 2015 version. The really cool part is it appears SU is ideally suited for creating low poly models for the following reasons:

  1. SU by nature is a low poly modeler unless you're doing SDS.
  2. SU has terrific vertex smoothing and it's WYSIWYG so it displays great in Unity. This is a problem for some other programs export of OBJ
  3. Unity has a restriction of 65K polys per object, which works well with SU as it's not that often one group or component has 65K.
Unfortunately, Unity doesn't treat SU Components as Unity Prefabs (their instancing terminology), but they do have vertex snapping so it is possible to import a single SU Component and instance it (including mirroring) to specified locations.

More to follow..
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby JQL » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:43 pm

Have you ever heard of Playup tools? Export from sketchup to the main game engines.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:51 pm

Thanks for sharing. Quick look tells me is really more of a UE4 tool than Unity. Unity has pretty nice support for SU whereas UE4 has lots of trouble importing SU native (at least it did a year ago when I last tried).
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:00 am

Hey guys,

Back on the PBR to Unity pipeline and workflow. Spent tonight documenting the sum of what I’ve figured out so far in three videos:

  1. How to build and quickly UV map in SketchUp for Unity
  2. How materials work in Unity (not the way you might think they do).
  3. How to create your own PBR textures and materials from pictures you take on your phone or files you find online

Some of the images I knocked out tonight for the tute:









And here are the videos:





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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby pilou » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:30 am

Astonishing that programs can make! (and humans)! ;)
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby kaas » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:48 am

Interesting to see your process & Unity (just saw the first video). Looking forward viewing the other two.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby pilou » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:42 pm

Ps Protrude by Jim is cool, but Joint PushPull can makes the same! ;)

GIF_Nfredo.gif


Else Protrude is very cool for the randomize panelling!
(+ Lattice Maker by Tig) (+ FredoScale)
GIF_lattice.gif
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:00 pm

Monsieur Pilou! Thanks for sharing. Didn't know that. Did you use Fredo scale to make the curved geometry? Also what to do you use to make your GIFs?
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby JonFar » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:10 am

Hi,

sorry for my ignorance in the following questions, but I'm really interested in Unity and realtime rendering, even more after seeing that it's rather simple to import Sketchup models into it.
But I would like to understand a couple of things before investing time/money in learning a new software.

1. I know it all depends on the quality and personal preferences but, once you learn how to work with it, is it easy/quick to set up scenes? or is it complex (like rendering in VRay) and requires you to tweak a lot of options and test the lighting and stuff until you reach the desired results?

2. Unity can export animations like walk around 2 minute movies, right? But what about interactive animations, the ones where the client can walk around using WASD and mouse. Does "the client" have to have a powerful GPU/CPU/RAM/etc to run it?

thanks for the help
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby pilou » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:30 am

@Chipp
Did you use Fredo scale to make the curved geometry?

Yes of course! :)

Also what to do you use to make your GIFs?

The nifty free GifCam ;)
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:34 am

JonFar wrote:1. I know it all depends on the quality and personal preferences but, once you learn how to work with it, is it easy/quick to set up scenes? or is it complex (like rendering in VRay) and requires you to tweak a lot of options and test the lighting and stuff until you reach the desired results?


Yes and no. The application of materials is pretty straightforward. Lighting is too, if you're outside. If inside, you'll need to add different lights such as light portals around windows (see my videos). Unity 5.6 has a new progressive lightmapper which makes it faster to set up lighting as you get a pretty fast read. The most cumbersome part is doing the final 'bake' for lighting, which can take up to several hours, once everything is set up.

JonFar wrote:2. Unity can export animations like walk around 2 minute movies, right? But what about interactive animations, the ones where the client can walk around using WASD and mouse. Does "the client" have to have a powerful GPU/CPU/RAM/etc to run it?


Of course. Once you bake your lighting, it's easy to navigate and should not take any special computer to be able to navigate WASD your scene.
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby pilou » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:28 am

@Chipp
And the animation itself was just using the incredible LightUp! :fro:
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby sipi_2 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:35 pm

Hi!

These tutorials are very helpful, it helped me a lot, thank you very much!
I also use SketchUp and Unity to prepare my thesis. And with your tutorials my game looks much better now than it was 1 year ago!

I'd like to ask for advice, I just discovered a new problem.

As a thesis, I make a 3D labyrinth game (for testing path search algorithms) and it is made up of 20X20 meter models (actually prefabs). If I put only few models in the scene, it will bring about 60 fps. But in more than 20 models, I get extreme fps drops if the camera is in the direction of a large number of models. All this despite the fact that there is a wall between them. But overall, they lose a lot of fps.

That is why I tested my models in an empty project without all kinds of effects, textures and lighting.Only SketchUV and basic Sketchup textures remained on them.

First I put 1 model into the scene and it's got about 90 fps. The same applies to the 4 models.
But in 10 models, it was only 70 fps. For the 30 models it dropped to 40 fps.
The problem is that I need about at least 200 prefabs per scene, but rather more.

What could be the problem?

My config:
CPU: Intel i5-3470 3.20 GHz
RAM: 20 GB DDR3
GPU: Radeon 6570 1 GB DDR3

The video card is pretty weak, but I think this pair of models should just endure.
I'm sorry, my English is not the best ...

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby chippwalters » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:56 pm

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Re: Realtime ArchViz: SketchUp to Unity Workflow

Postby sipi_2 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:02 pm

chippwalters wrote:Please review occlusion culling:
https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/OcclusionCulling.html


It works! I very thank you! :)
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