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Thread: Clarification

  1. #1
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    Default Clarification

    I had a number of questions/comments to other posts so I thought I'd just try to figure out what's going on here.

    - The software : Why would Autodesk be involved in a competition where you can use any software you want? My experience is that want to see what you can do with their software. I originally thought the list of example GPU renderers were plug-ins for max, but some of them appear to be standalone. Yet it say "Autodesk Software" all over the place.

    - The files : There should be a category, or intermediate competition for processing the meshes. Unbelievable! The Max meshes aren't to scale, and it doesn't even appear to be a factory of 12. But I didn't waste any time figuring it out, I'll just link the 'Base' Revit file into Max and create my own. Nope. The 'base' Revit file will not link into Max, at all, not even with most content erased and purged. Slow clap....

    - The task : Where is the area of interest? I am left guessing based on completeness of the models. Another thread mentions 2 non-adjacent rooms with some other rooms or something? How about an arrow, or a box or circle, or anything? The 'Coloured Plan' views in the base model suggests much more of the model is complete, but still gives no idea where to start.

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    Founder Jeff Mottle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanthatcher View Post
    I had a number of questions/comments to other posts so I thought I'd just try to figure out what's going on here.

    - The software : Why would Autodesk be involved in a competition where you can use any software you want? My experience is that want to see what you can do with their software. I originally thought the list of example GPU renderers were plug-ins for max, but some of them appear to be standalone. Yet it say "Autodesk Software" all over the place.
    While we allow any software for the real-time side of the competition, you are correct. Everything else requires the use of Autodesk software (at a minimum for a base render) as they have provided a lot of support to make this competition happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanthatcher View Post
    - The files : There should be a category, or intermediate competition for processing the meshes. Unbelievable! The Max meshes aren't to scale, and it doesn't even appear to be a factory of 12. But I didn't waste any time figuring it out, I'll just link the 'Base' Revit file into Max and create my own. Nope. The 'base' Revit file will not link into Max, at all, not even with most content erased and purged. Slow clap....
    I'll speak to the team who created the Max files from the original Revit files for us.

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanthatcher View Post
    - The task : Where is the area of interest? I am left guessing based on completeness of the models. Another thread mentions 2 non-adjacent rooms with some other rooms or something? How about an arrow, or a box or circle, or anything? The 'Coloured Plan' views in the base model suggests much more of the model is complete, but still gives no idea where to start.
    The room models we provide are the only areas that we are covering for this competition. In phase 1 we partnered with the Soane Museum to provide plans, images, drawings etc from the various phases and versions of the bank. The rooms and facades selected were the most complete. While others have put in some basic geometry to show context, there is not enough material available to render those other areas. RAMSA have been overseeing this part and their decision was to ensure we only render the areas that best represent the historical accuracy of the bank. The other rooms would require a lot of interpretation.

    If you have any other questions, please let us know.

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    Founder Jeff Mottle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clarification

    Bryan,

    We're still investigating this scale issue, but appears to be an issue with the 2015 and 2016 versions of 3ds Max not working the same way. We'll post some updated files and workaround soon. Thanks for letting us know.

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    Junior Member ScottDeW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clarification

    So the real issue here is how 3ds Max 2016 is now handling the initial file link of the FBX files, and how it deals with the unit scale of the FBX. It used to be that when you'd link in a FBX file, 3ds would convert the scale to your working units. However this has seemed to change in 2016. For instance if you're working in Feet, it will keep the units of the FBX in centimeters. This why you are seeing the major scale difference.

    If you're working in 2016, the work around is to actually directly import the FBX first. When you do this, set the import preset to Entertainment. This will allow you to change the scale when you import. Make sure you pick the units you are working with inside of 3ds Max. Once you do this once, for some reason the FBX Link will remember this for the rest of your session with 3ds.

    Or just as easily set the System Units in a new 3ds Max file to centimeters, and then put the Display Units into something you like to work with. Or just convert the file afterwards to something you like to work in.

    I need to do a little more research on what is going on, but if you're using 2016 this is what is happening. Which sadly means the provided 3ds Max Files are indeed off. We'll be updating those MAX files soon. But in the mean time, the work around above should work for you. I've been able to successfully import the FBX files both ways, which should equally apply to the RVT file if you want to link that in.

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    Default Re: Clarification

    I routinely link Revit files into Max 2016, I haven't experienced the scale issue you described. I did have trouble with the initial 2016 release while linking a Revit model that was referencing other Revit models, like the one provided. But that seems to have been fixed in SP1 for the most part. The provided FBX files were definitely exported directly from Revit, per element. The Max files would have to have been exported in some format also, then imported into Max. I'm guessing that's where the scale issue took place. I don't believe the Max files were created by linking Revit into Max. Plus each of the Max files is prefixed with '3DView-3D_EXPORT-...'. Per my original post, I couldn't get the Base Revit model to link. I tried deleting all of the 3D views, save one, that's often the issue. I tried deleting all of the content, purging then removing all of the links except the one I was interested in, still no luck. But I did not try auditing the file now that I think about it. The one individual room model linked fine, but that's not a lot of good if it isn't located correctly.

    Anyway, I regret my original post was standoffish, I apologize. I was frustrated. As others have commented, processing these meshes is going to be a lot of work. But I'm just about at the point where I could post a WIP model. Thank you for your reply.

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    Default Re: Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottDeW View Post
    If you're working in 2016, the work around is to actually directly import the FBX first.
    Update: I was wrong, the MAX models do appear to be linked. I was able to link the model myself also and compared the two. What's odd is my origin helper has a .rvt suffix and the origin helper in the provided Max file has a .fbx suffix. Maybe something to do with the Entertainment workflow mentioned. And that may be why I haven't encountered and scaling issues, I use the Building Design Suite/workflow and have never used the Entertainment preset. What do you mean by importing the FBX? I don't know how else to get an FBX out of Revit per material. And I thought the change between Max 2015 and 2016 was that they were skipping the FBX step altogether.

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    Junior Member ScottDeW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanthatcher View Post
    Update: I was wrong, the MAX models do appear to be linked. I was able to link the model myself also and compared the two. What's odd is my origin helper has a .rvt suffix and the origin helper in the provided Max file has a .fbx suffix. Maybe something to do with the Entertainment workflow mentioned. And that may be why I haven't encountered and scaling issues, I use the Building Design Suite/workflow and have never used the Entertainment preset. What do you mean by importing the FBX? I don't know how else to get an FBX out of Revit per material. And I thought the change between Max 2015 and 2016 was that they were skipping the FBX step altogether.
    The provided 3ds Max models use the File Link FBX method, and not the File Link RVT method. This is why you see the helper object with a .FBX suffix. The FBX files are exported from a 3D View, which I created, that shows the entire part of the building it focuses on. There are no options when exporting FBX from Revit. In versions of 3ds Max prior to 2016, 3ds Max would convert the scale of the FBX into your current System Units. In this case I am using Feet inside of 3ds Max 2016. Now in 2016, if you start a new 3ds Max file and go straight to File > Import > Link FBX, 3ds Max will import the FBX file at the Unit Scale it was exported from Revit. In this case, the Revit Files are in Centimeters. You can test this yourself by starting a new Max file that is not in Centimeters and using the File Link FBX.

    This is however NOT the case when you File Link RVT into 3ds Max 2016. It will automatically convert the Unit Scale of the RVT file when you link it into your System Units in 3ds Max 2016. This is most likely why you have not come across this issue prior to this. It is also why I did not see this issue when creating the 3ds Max files, as I assumed it was working as it did in 3ds Max 2015. This is a slight change in the File Link FBX that Autodesk as apparently made.

    The Entertainment workaround I was suggesting is the only way I found to File Link FBX the source FBX files from Revit that I exported. Since they are in Centimeters, there is no initial way to File Link FBX at different scale. If you want to File Link FBX in Feet, you kind of have to "trick" 3ds into doing the conversion for you. What I found was if you directly Import the FBX File, you can tell it to convert the scale on import by using the "Entertainment and Media" preset from the FBX Import window. Going to the Advanced Option roll-out, and then to the Unit roll-out, there is an "Automatic" check-box. Once you directly Import the FBX like this, you can "Reset" 3ds Max. Do not "Exit" 3ds Max. Now if you go to File > Import > Link FBX, the resulting FBX link will be in the working System Units of 3ds Max.

    If you wish to directly Import/Link the RVT file you can. However the views I created for the FBX exports are not with these RVT models, as they were prepared by someone else. I recommend opening Revit, and created a brand new 3D View that shows everything. This is the equivalent of the FBX file I exported, and that is provided with the downloads. I'm not sure why you are having issue directly linking the RVT file, and needing to purges etc. I haven't run into any issues with them in my tests. I prefer the FBX workflow myself, over the RVT workflow. However in 2016, Autodesk made MAJOR improvements to the system.

    Here are a few methods you can use to bring in the FBX files.

    Method 1:

    1. Start a blank file of 3ds Max
    2. Go to Customize > Unit Setup…
    3. Click on System Unit Setup
    4. Set System Unit Scale to Centimeters
    5. Click “Ok” in the System Unit Setup
    6. Click “Ok” in the Units Setup
    7. Go to File > Import > Link FBX

    Method 2:

    1. Start a blank file of 3ds Max
    2. Go to File > Import
    3. In the FBX Import window, select the “Autodesk Media & Entertainment” Preset
    4. In the FBX Import windows, go to the Advanced Options rollout
    5. Under Advanced Options, click on the Units rollout
    6. Make sure “Automatic” is checked
    7. Click “OK” at the bottom of the FBX Import window
    a. NOTE: This method does not link the FBX model, and will import every object as an individual object
    b. NOTE: After doing this Method, go to Method 3 if you wish to File Link the FBX. This will allow you to import the FBX in multiple ways, such as “Combine by Material”.

    Method 3:

    1. Follow the instructions in Method 2
    2. Go to File > Reset
    3. Click “Yes”
    4. Go to File > Import > Link FBX
    a. After linking the FBX, it will be at the scale you are working in.


    We will be providing new 3ds Max files in both Centimeters and in Feet for download. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, and we'll be talking with Autodesk to see what is going on with the FBX workflow. If you have any other questions, please just let me know.

    -Scott

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    Veteran Member VelvetElvis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clarification

    The FBX link and auto-scaling to centimeters in Max 2016 has been known for some time and been put on Autodesk's list of things to do. Sadly, 3 service packs in it still has not been addressed.

    You can hilariously test this out by having your system units in feet. Create a 10x10x10 box. Export that as a FBX. In the very same file, FBX link that box back in. Your 10x10x10 box is now 304.8x304.8x304.8.

    The yellow box is the original, the red is the FBX link.
    LOL-Autodesk.jpg
    Scott S.

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    Default Re: Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mottle View Post
    The room models we provide are the only areas that we are covering for this competition. In phase 1 we partnered with the Soane Museum to provide plans, images, drawings etc from the various phases and versions of the bank. The rooms and facades selected were the most complete. While others have put in some basic geometry to show context, there is not enough material available to render those other areas. RAMSA have been overseeing this part and their decision was to ensure we only render the areas that best represent the historical accuracy of the bank. The other rooms would require a lot of interpretation.
    Is this clarified in the rules? Maybe I mis-read but I was under the idea that we could do rooms that were listed on the color plan as well, as long as Soane had worked on them. I think there needs to be a post of the exact rooms to render as some of the rooms in the Revit model are there but feel a bit unfinished. Such as the rotunda and vestibule.

    I'm still also confused by the intent of the competition. All along there is this idea of being creative, yet usually in the same breath we have to stay historically accurate. For example, say doing a scene of rediscovery of the bank. Something like in the Last of Us or Life After Humans. You have a more overgrown urban scene. The architecture is still there and not defaced in any way, but it is being taken over by nature. Is that still in line with the competition?

    This is starting to feel like an extension of my actual job and not a competition to take my mind off of things.
    Scott S.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by VelvetElvis View Post

    This is starting to feel like an extension of my actual job and not a competition to take my mind off of things.
    Let me pass your comments on to the team. I want them to see this. Stay tuned.

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