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Import/Export to other CAD/BIM formats (DWG/DXF, IFC, SketchUp, 3DS etc.), spreadsheets, databases etc.

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

User avatar
By Erika Epstein
fuzzymike2002 wrote: I am trying to learn how to use 3DSM and VRAY to produce rendered stills and animations, from ArchiCAD files.
Fuzzy Mike,
I can't help you with 3DSM and VRAY, others here might be able to. Perhaps these other programs also have some help menus?

I did notice that one of the sub choices when I used Material based translator created material bitmaps. These could then be loaded into your other program. Perhaps that is why others suggested this translator?

By adytc
kliment wrote:ml is for Marc Lorenz.
Kliment, thank you so much for this information. I've downloaded the plugin (from here and tried it on Max9. It works, but ... at a closer inspection, I've discovered that it tends to reduce the number of segments on curved parts (especially on complex models), thus altering the smoothness of the geometry. I've unchecked the "Weld Overlapping Vertices" box, but the result is the same. Are there any other options that I should take into acount?

Thank you,
Adrian Tudoreanu
User avatar
By fuzzymike2002
OK I worked out my problem:

Using ArchiCAD 12 on a OSX 10.5, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core Duo iMac, 4Gb Ram.
Using 3DSM 9 on Bootcamp with Windows XP.

Very simple model, 6 walls, a couple of ArchiCAD 12 couch library parts, a table, 2 windows, a 4 panel sliding door. Hipped roof. Slab floor.

Internal view, Save As...
3DStudio file

Construct 3D Studio objects according to: Materials
Set drawing unit to: 1000mm

File saved to desktop, transfer to USB drive.

Restart iMac into Bootcamp Windows XP.

Open 3D Studio Max, and IMPORT saved 3DStudio file, I was trying to Open the file, but I needed to IMPORT the file!!!

Have a search for ml plugins for Max. They help you import in Max without the stupid AC fog.
Kliment, this fog you speak of, does this occur when you render in 3DSM? After I successfully IMPORTED my ArchiCAD house into a new 3DSM file, I was doing some basic Internal Lighting renders with VRay tutorials, but each time I rendered there was a dark grey fog over the image. But if I imported the same ArchiCAD house into the tutorials own 3DSM file it worked fine, ie no dark grey fog.

By Derek Forreal
Erika Epstein wrote:Mike,
The intent of my question was specifically why chose Materials based rules? What do you want to do with the model in the other program?
Erika, the reason behind the 'materials' option is for ease of use once in 3dsMax. the materials option keeps all your objects with the same material as one object - much easier to isolate that object and change things if you wish to do so.

other export options create 1 object for every little thing so it is harder to work on specific parts of your model in Max.



i think the fog may have something to do with the 'ambient light' within Max. press '8' (environment panel should come up) and check the environment light colour. this should be set to black.

regarding the model export, i set out on the same quest as you about a year ago and i find now that it is quicker to export the linework from your plans/elevations and quickly rebuild the model inside Max using the linework to snap to.

why? i've found that 'cleaning' and preparing a .3ds import for further editing takes longer than rebuilding from scratch. moreover, the .3ds file creates very messy geometry on all but the most basic forms (cubes with no holes) so trying to make changes can be a pain (try changing the shape of your window profile or smoothing your door and see what happens)

also, the geometry that AC exports can create render artifacts (shading errors etc) when some of the exported faces are very long and thin and triangulated where Max PREFERS (not always the case) regular sized, square faces.

if you want photoreal results you'll need to chamfer most things, add some 'noise' (irregularities) to your objects so they seem a bit more lifelike and give you the highlights that you will want to see.

BUT, by all means, start off with .3ds and start experimenting as only experience will tell you what you can and can't get away with.

User avatar
By kliment
Adrian, I think the number of segments on curved surfaces in an AC problem.

Mike, fog messes with the rendered image and I still haven't found a way to remove it. That is why I use ml plugins or copy the geometry to a new file.
User avatar
By fuzzymike2002
the ml plugins are excellent. I have no fog, the 3Dstudio file comes in with no problems, well no problems to my untrained eye.

I also looked at his Occlusion plugin, I was disappointed at how EASY it made the process, hahahaha.

I did however have some problems with the ml GoCubix plug in, anyone using this plug in successfully? The program crashes on me every time I attempt to open the 6 tiff files.

Centre Occ.jpg
By Olivier Gras
I have also written a Max plugin to import AC models through 3ds format into 3dsMax, and be able to work with Max in the same way you do with Artlantis: I place materials, lights, UVWamp, displacement etc... in MAX, and update the model from Archicad as I progress in the project.
It can be downloaded here: ... =maxscript
Please give me feedback if you try it.
By fabricfo
Thanks Oliver...
I will try your plugin... I'm having a problem with the convensional way to export to 3ds...
the beams with created profile and some walls are missing on 3d max
By adytc
kliment wrote:Adrian, I think the number of segments on curved surfaces in an AC problem.
I don't know what to say. After restarting Max and importing the same 3ds file using the ML Plugin, all seems fine.
By adytc
fabricfo wrote:I'm having a problem with the convensional way to export to 3ds...
Hi Fabricio,

This looks like an AC12 bug that was reported several months ago. Please see this thread ... max#130705
(read Kliment's posts for a workaround).

Hope that helps,
Adrian Tudoreanu