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Everything posted by Seafield

  1. Seeking architect using CA, registered in Prince Edward Island (Canada), for small commercial project.
  2. I read about your experiments with Twinmotion on a MAC with great interest. I have long been interested in learning TM as a real time renderer, particularly for larger projects. What holds me back is what you are currently highlighting as its limitation: its sun-sky model is very weak. It is just not good enough---and most users recognize this. TM is free until the end of the year and since EPIC owns them, I have to think the holy grail: real-time ray-tracing, has to come to TM at some time this year before it is no longer free. Light. It is alway about the light---and at the moment my interest is in the renderers that have figured out what the best light algorithms are to produce it in an authentic dynamic with PBR materials.
  3. Yes, Rene Rabbitt has done an excellent series of video tutorials on taking Chief files directly into Twinmotion for rendering. I have found them really helpful.
  4. I fully agree with using Chief to render quick images for individual clients, but the original request was to produce renderings for RE marketing purposes. For this specific focus, It would not cost a great deal to get a dedicated renderer for CA's quality geometry. The effort would be in learning the programs.
  5. If you are on a Mac, best would be to purchase a Sketchup subscription and then learn any number of quality renderers----V-ray, Thea, of course, but less expensive ones like Twilight Render and SU Podium. The output of all of these is really good. I currently use Indigo Renderer in Sketchup for my Chief files as to my mind it gives me the best possible light--the most authentic sky and sun model I have been able to find out of the box (example attached). On a PC you have more options, particularly if you have a fast Nvidia graphic card. If I were on a PC I would look at D5. For either Mac or PC, a really good little program is Simlab Composer. It is perfectly suited to RE marketing. What is also really attractive about this program is that it is able to use HDRI's to light a scene (unlike say, Twinmotion), and you can use one of its many plugin translators to bring Chief directly into the program without going through Sketchup---which has its own learning curve to consider. Artlantis is an old well respected program. You can take a Chief file into the program with either DAE or 3ds.
  6. Yes, once I am into final renders I will have to make sure my house doesn't appear to fall down.......:) Thanks for the link---good interior renderings. Another solid little model in Chief, including siding materials, boxes and flowers, brought into Sketchup (I Am now buying better entourage). I like the quality of the sunlight in Vray and how the interiors glow with bounced light.
  7. I will try to import Collada directly into SKP again and see if I can find that 'subtle issue', but changing a dae file into an fbx file is only a matter of 5 seconds or less. What is important to me here is TRANSMUTR. Transmutr only imports fbx, not collada, but it does what I need really well: It reduces file size to begin with, and further, converts anything I bring in to Vray proxies. This eliminates trying to work with large files in SKP itself, yet gets things set up to correctly render the proxies when in Vray.
  8. I have never been able to take a Collada file directly into Sketchup with materials attached correctly to the geometry (as per image). However, when I translate the collada file to fbx, it attaches the materials. It embeds media properly. But the reason for fbx is to be able to use Transmutr. It brings my model cleanly into SKP. Equally important, it can make any model I bring in as a proxy for Vray before I open it up. I have not tried it just yet, but the potential to import a whole slew of houses or trees, etc. as proxies (and reduce file size) so as to not grind SKP to a halt is something I want to be able to do, for sure. You are absolutely right about using Vray in Blender. Collada into Blender works very well, of course. So that could be the ideal solution, but in truth, I am reasonably comfortable in SKP and just do not have the heart to learn one more program right now. BTW, Vray 5 for Sketchup on a PC can produce real-time renderings. Unfortunately, it is not yet available for a Mac (nor sure when).
  9. Yes, I am sure you are right......:) But seriously, if anyone has a better (faster) way to take a file from Chief into Vray on a Mac I would be keen to learn how to do so.
  10. Best for me is to export from Chief as DAE (no vertex limit as in 3ds), convert to FBX (with FBX converter from AC), then import into Sketchup (via TRANSMUTR)----and only then render in Vray for photorealistic results. Just learning to put in 3D grass. Next is to start using LAUBWERK to put in trees and bushes. It has taken me a long to figure this pipeline out, but the results from Vray are taking me to the quality of light/rendering I want. Chief geometry is superb to work with. Attached are a couple of draft renders as per time of day in SKP/Vray.
  11. Hello, Good to see where some of my fellow Canadian Chiefers are located. I am on Bowen Island, just off West Vancouver. Cheers, all.
  12. You can only convert a CA file to 3ds in perspective view. I usually just send a model to SKP this way. 3ds. has a vertice limit (not sure exactly what it is), so high-poly items like ranges, for example. may make the model hit the limit. I try to make my CA models as simple as possible before sending over. As such, terrains, roads. etc. I model separately in SKP and drop the CA-3ds model into it before rendering (Indigo).
  13. What tool would you use to model the rail in the example above or in the image attached? Thxs.
  14. Hi,

    YOur topo has been converted to a Chief 10 file if this might help.




  15. My business is designing detailed traditional homes with Chief. Happy to discuss your modelling requirements at your convenience. Attached are some samples of my work. Best regards.
  16. Michael is right, Twinmotion, like Lumioin, is intended to make real-time archviz as easy as possible to learn and use. Unfortunately, it is not as good as Lumion in regards to global illumination, nor does it have HDR capabilities. Maybe these critical items will come in the next version. It would certainly be really good for us MAC users. Another direction I am looking at is to learn Blender since it is free. MY CA files (as either 3ds or DAE) import equally well. However, there would be a very steep learning curve on PBR material preparation, using CYCLES for off-line rendering, etc., but the hook is that real-time rendering is coming very soon in 2.8 with EEVEE. I am keen on this, but it will require a major time commitment for me.
  17. I take my Chief models (MAC) over to Sketchup as 3ds files. The models come over to SKP very cleanly with grouped components and textures intact. From there I render with either THEA RENDER or my real preference (which I am still learning) INDIGO RENDERER (the quality of the unbiased light is as authentic as it is extraordinary). What to watch for in 3ds from Chief is the dreaded vertex limit (55,000 vertices). Most of the time it is not a problem, but if you go over, then you should put hi-poly items from Chief (like stoves, etc.) on separate layers, then send over a second time. I also use Sketchup to model things I still do not know how to produce in Chief, bring them over to CA, then back again from within Chief for rendering (the front entrance hood). Renderers in SKP are really good. Have a look at the ones I have mentioned, along with VRAY, TWILIGHT RENDER, and also SU PODIUM. The Podium people also have a PODIUM BROWSER, hundred of models to propagate a building model. I also port what I need over to CA then back again for rendering. For modelling, CA is unequaled for fast efficient residential design, of course. Although I have a great deal to learn about fitting entourage into the mix ( presently Laubwerk plants into Thea), the CA models just look really good when rendered in this production pipeline. Hope this help.
  18. To completely uninstall an application on a MAC (which is sounds like you need to do), I use CLEANMYMAC. Not only does it delete the application itself, it also removes all of the supporting program files too---and yes, they are all over the place in the hard drive. Hope this might help.
  19. Sketchup---and some good plugins (native SKP plugins, VALI's plugins, FREDO's, and VERTEX, to name some) produce very accurate sites and terrains, no matter how complex. I import my CA files into SKP as 3ds. They port over very cleanly. Cheers.
  20. On reflection, you are absolutely right, of course. Will try to keep my focus on a specific thread much tighter next time - for sure.
  21. Hi Mike, you are right: easy is highly subjective......:) PP does not have a low learning curve, but once you have gone through the videos from the author (and a few others) you can start to tile images fairly reasonably. I have found it now essential to have - along with Photoshop. I believe you can get reasonable results from GIMP, but I do not know about Paintshop Pro..... I run an image through PS first to clean it and square it up, then port it over to PP to tile as a texture. It is finicky, I will admit, and you have to experiment a lot to get the seamless aspect right (see attached). I have yet to work on the other maps, but that is coming. I also have BITMAP2MATERIAL from Allegorithmic. It is even more powerful, but I just have not made that one work for me - yet. There is no question that over time I do want to be able to master making my own PBR materials (and their full maps, like yourself. On rendering with quality materials, my thinking/experimentation at the moment is this: 1. Find or make materials that have (or I will make later) the maps beyond just the initial image. 2. Use the basic texture in my CA modelling. The beauty and strength of CA for me is the modelling and con/docs. 3. Take a 3ds file from CA over to UNITY. Because CA uses 3ds so well, once in Unity, everything is grouped correctly as they are in CA. This helps enormously. In fact, it is essential. 4. I don't worry about taking textures from CA over to Unity, just their positioning on the model. Vital. 5. In Unity, I then apply the albedo and start shaping the rest of the maps with Unity tools, or import the maps from PP. This is as far as I have gotten in my learning curve, but I am really keen on real-time rendering so this is the track I will stay with for now. What has really inspired me is a video on youtube: "Unity Archviz Interior & Exterior - Testing Realtime GI with Hdr Skybox" by sertac tasdemir. I do recommend PP. It is a very good start to getting to produce your own quality material maps. Cheers.
  22. It took me a while to figure it all out myself, so it is not a silly question. But the answer lies, as Mr. Potter noted, in the CA web-site videos and knowledge base. Perhaps you could start there, then come back to the forum with your further questions. As you can see, you will find a great deal of support and invaluable information here from very accomplished users. I do not include myself in that group - not for at least another 20 years - if ever.......:) PS. CA has quite a few horizontal siding textures. Good ones. What I posted I made for my own purposes, ran them through Photoshop to clean up, then in & out of PIXPLANT to create a seamless texture. They show up very well in CA.
  23. Here are a couple of seamless shiplap textures if they can be of use to you. Create a new material with them and ensure the scale of the square is correct for the amount of reveal you require. For example, the one with 9 planks showing, I will choose to have either a 4" or 5" reveal. That translates into a square of 36" or 45". The calculation process applies to the larger texture as well, of course. From there, they can be any colour you wish. Hope this helps.