View Full Version : ArchiCAD & LightWave - workflow?

03-19-2012, 09:36 AM
I need to get some buildings from ArchiCAD into Lightwave, where I will do the scene set-up and texturing before I send it to Maxwell for final rendering.

Any tips, tricks or hints on the best workflows are very welcome!

Btw: Lightwave-Maxwell integration is super smooth, the only issue is what the best way to input the ArchiCAD files to Lightwave would be...

03-19-2012, 12:25 PM
No ideas? IO-problems and Lightwave seems to be connected...

03-19-2012, 01:37 PM
seems we worked with Architect once that used ArchiCad, we just had them export 3DS and then cleaned up geometry etc. It was a pain...

Good luck.

03-19-2012, 03:18 PM
I export an OBJ from ArchiCAD, it comes it quite cleanly ( relatively speaking ) into LW. ArchiCAD doesn't generate nice geometry, theres a lot of extra polygons at the junctions of walls, to avoid smoothing issues NEVER do a merge in Modeler on the original imported geometry.

03-19-2012, 04:29 PM
Hmm, thanks, sounds like a bag of hurt... to make things worse, I took this job in a competition with the architects in-house rendering department, so it will for sure be an interesting journey.

What I should do, is to get as many element/layers as possible in OBJ or 3DS format? And repair the mess in modeler layer by layer, and make some kind of a usable scene from this?

Sounds fun though, as a task that needs to be sorted out... :)

BTW: Will it make any sense to go through Maya or Autodeks and use COLLADA to get it into Lightwave, just asking as I've never done something like this before...

Andy Meyer
03-19-2012, 05:01 PM
ask for STEP or IGES files and go through Rhino 3D or PolyTrans or DeepExploration. maybe these apps can process ArchiCAD data directly.

03-19-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks for all the insightful information...

03-20-2012, 01:49 AM
mikkelen - the basic UV's are 'ok' as they come in from Archicad .. but then take a look at the UV map window .. it's a mess - the whole house on one layer.

Perhaps bringing in each layer separately (and renaming UV? not sure if this is nec.) could help.

Generating microbevels etc. (corners of geometry) may be an issue, for the reasons james mentioned ..

PM me if you would like an OBJ of a house (rough) ..

03-22-2012, 07:42 AM
Everything went fine, almost! I used OBJ-format and things look good, but the coordinates are totally off, the building had a 90 degree tilt and it was hundred of kilometers large... any ideas?

03-22-2012, 07:56 AM
Oh yeah, that happens. It'll be a factor of 1000 out most likely, and just rotate it by 90 degrees.

03-22-2012, 08:28 AM
Dividing the buildings coordinates by a factor of 1000, will that f*** up anything? Will anything become unprecise when I scale down? It looks okay, but you never know :)

Andy Meyer
03-22-2012, 04:30 PM
scaling down is no problem, i do this with converted cad all the times.
if you have imported vertex normal maps, in surface window, then you can't rotate in modeler coz vmap is not respected in modeler. if you have vmaps and want to use them, just dont rotate in modeler, but rotate in layout. or you just deactivate the vmap in surface windows.