I've been toying with this on my own for a couple months, but I figured it was time to ask the Chief experts for advice. Sorry in advance for how wordy it may get!
So for our workflow, Chief is just the starting point. We import a CAD file of a home's floorplan, build the walls, doors and cabinets, place appliances, make sure the exterior looks right, then export a Collada file and send it to Lumion to render. Lumion support pointed out that our house models are pretty high-poly, so I've been using trial-and-error to find ways to reduce the poly count of our models before exporting. Earlier this year, I tried importing a 3D symbol with mostly quad geometry and it would always come in broken. I spoke to someone from Chief's support team and got confirmation from them that Chief works entirely with triangulated geometry, both importing and exporting. They said the team might be changing that for X13, but during the first public demo another support team member confirmed that change hadn't happened. In case anyone doesn't know, triangulating a model effectively double the poly count which can have a severe impact on render times. Since Lumion works similar to a game engine with aspects of real-time rendering, this also severely impacts performance just trying to decorate and set up the house. Even with our 2080 Tis and 128 GB of RAM, it can get laggy pretty quickly. Occasionally I need to model and render some of our manufacturing plants, which is when these issues get much more apparent.
So my question is, do you all have any tips for lowering the poly count? I've followed the Chief article about optimizing a plan to export to the 3D viewer, but even some of our simple homes still reach 1-2 million polygons (surfaces) by the time we're done. A lot of that is detailed custom 3D symbols for most of the hardware and doors, but that's mostly thanks to the requirement of tri geometry. Since our Chief use is entirely for appearance rather than function or structural accuracy, I've been trying to remove any unseen parts I can. We place furniture and decorate entirely in Lumion now to help with that. So far I have:
Turned off nearly all the framing layers in the Camera View Set. I'm not sure which others are safe to turn off, but most of what's left are layers I know I need. Made sure none of the cabinets have shelves or actual drawers (though that sometimes increased the surface count?) Simplified the structural layers for the ceilings, roof planes, walls and floors.
Typing it out that doesn't sound like much, but it's been a lot of small tweaking and figuring out fixes to new issues that pop up. For example, changing interior walls to one solid drywall layer means going into the door defaults Framing section and making the Rough Opening smaller, otherwise a gap shows above doors with a smaller casing.
Do you all have any other ideas, or things you've tried to lower the surface count? I've hit a wall in my own testing, but I doubt I've thought of everything.
I am helping a college who is having issues exporting a Chief File into a CAD . dwg file.
The issue is, she had imported a .jpeg of a clients survey to draw over to create a site plan.
Now trying to export the file to CAD, it will not export the .jpeg with it (that we sized / rotated into place).
The other option would be just to import the .jpeg into CAD and re-size / rotate to fit, but wasn't sure if their was an easier way.
See the files attached.
thanks in advance for the help!
McMillan -custom-VER.4- SITE - 08.17.21 ENTIRE LOT.plan McMillan -custom-VER.4- SITE - 08.17.21 ENTIRE LOT.dwg
Is there a way to control what Chief names each material as it's importing a model as a collada (.dae) file?
At my company, we use Chief to build the base model and then export as a collada file to import into Lumion to render. Lumion's latest version has the ability to automatically replace materials with "glass" or "water" in the name with those kinds of materials when importing, but for some reason Chief will randomly assign names to materials during the collada export process like "mat127-material," regardless of what they are named in the material settings. Other export processes will keep the material names, but those have their own problems in Lumion. The 3DS format, for example, is the best alternative, but it changes the scale of the model.
I can't seem to find anywhere in the preferences to mess with export settings, though. It's nothing that totally breaks our workflow, as it only takes a couple seconds to replace the material, but it would be a nice little quality-of-life feature we could take advantage of if we could get Chief to cooperate.
How can I get a high resolution bitmap image of a plan? Preferably PNG?
I have tried clicking the little arrow at the top and selecting Save Image, but this produces what looks to be a very low quality screenshot, which is useless for my purposes as it does not even include the whole plan, or if I reduce the plan size to fit then labels are illegible.