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Producing imagery with Archicad or 3rd party products; Surfaces; Lighting; Cameras; Artlantis/Cinema 4D/Maxwell etc.

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, Gordana Radonic, nbalogh, mnguyen, gkmethy

Hi all,

I'm just looking for some guidance on how best to prepare my drawings for export into Lumion and/or Twinmotion, mainly with regards to the allocation of surfaces within ArchiCAD as well as what extent a site is modelled within ArchiCAD vs the externally software?

In Twinmotion, firstly ensure that your settings are for No Merge of materials, otherwise you lose a lot of control over changing the appearance of individual elements. Also tick the checkbox to use Twinmotions materials in substitutions.
When I'm going to export to Twinmotion, I ensure I have plenty of differentiation in the surfaces. I have lots of duplicated identical textures such as White Wall, White Ceiling, White Skirting, White Doors etc - it's much easier to control the appearance in Twinmotion if you can substitute their material for Archicad's without being concerned that you'll be changing something unexpected. Otherwise you have to select individual elements and change surfaces one by one, which occasionally is necessary and helpful but not when you're first setting up the render.
In regard to preparing the site, I like to use a very large mesh for the terrain and make sure it's modelled accurately for levels. I model elements such as fences, paths, paving, driveways, swimming pools and neighbouring buildings (again make sure to have independent surfaces for areas of paving you need to differentiate) but leave out trees and vehicles. They're better handled within Twinmotion.
Thanks for the response. I thought as much, will just need to put in some more effort to ensure there is sufficient surfaces and no double-ups.

The site design was what intrigued me the most I think. If it was a flat site I probably wouldn't worry about it in ArchiCAD, but the slopy sites have been a bit of an odd one for me. I'll try your idea of modelling a much larger mesh area and see how that goes.
It can be useful to have a smaller, site-sized mesh which acts as a terrain for Archicad drawings, and a larger one on a different layer which can be turned off when working in Archicad but which provides a base in Twinmotion for landscaping.
Hey Liam, not sure if you still need help, but here's a workflow I've developed when 'sending' my model to Twinmotion. First of all, I save a seperate 3d view named "TM Export". This allows you to hide certain layers and apply graphical overrides. You might have certain layers in archicad that you dont need in TM, for example I hide my trees in AC before sync, because otherwise I cant move these trees in TM.

The second part of this method is creating a DIY proxy system. I have a graphical override prepared in AC that when applied, turns certain objects / elements / doors into a purple material. Then after the sync, I use these proxy elements to replace it with better quality objects. This could be for replacing chairs - you don't want the table to look empty on plan in AC, but you want nicer chairs in TM. Or, you want to add animating doors in TM, so you override them before sync. Once you've made the neccessary changes in TM, you just hide the proxy material and you are left with the correct elements. I have only tried this method with using layers for syncing AC with TM, so I cant vouch for the other sync options.

The graphical override works by looking for a specific property that I've created. It is a simple boolean parameter that I've named "Hide on TM Export". If this property of a certain object / element is false, then the graphical override does nothing. If the value is true, then the override changes the material of the element.

Hope this makes sense. If not I'll be happy to do a short video about it.