View Full Version : Importing Cad files into Lightwave?

11-03-2007, 01:40 AM
Anyone ever work with Cad files imported into Lightwave? I'm soon going to be doing some archtectural modeling. Wondering if it's worth attempting a Cad import or if there will be too much cleanup to make it worth it. Thanks for any advice.

11-03-2007, 03:57 AM
Depends on the file format really.

IF it's 2D only, go for a AutoCAD R14 DXF. I finished a project recently that imported perfectly using those specs. Use LWCAD (http://www.wtools3d.com) for import to retain the AutoCAD layer and pen colour info or use LW's built-in translator which works fine if you have no other options.

If the file has 3D content, then ask for an .obj format rather than .3ds as it imports more cleanly and also retains any UV info.

The major problem you'll encounter, (apart from cleanup) will be rescaling. I use a little LScript called Resize that works brilliantly. Not sure where I found it but you can probably get a link from flay.com (http://www.flay.com). Just select two points, tell it what the distance between them should be and viola, everythings rescaled to the proper size.

As for cleanup, it's unavoidable I'm afraid. Sometimes there's alot, sometime very little. In the end though it's a lot quicker than manually building the model from scratch.

11-03-2007, 07:31 AM
Thanks Brian. I appreciate it. And I'll look for that lscript.

11-03-2007, 09:28 AM
The major problem you'll encounter...will be rescaling.

In case you don't want to mess with a script: I've found that .obj files consistently import into Lightwave at 39.3700 times their regular scale and rotated 180 degrees on the Y axis. So if you numerically scale the model to 2.54% of its imported size and rotate it 180 on the Y, everything should be OK. (Where these numbers come from I have no idea. Perhaps the fact that there's 2.54 cm in an inch has something to do with it.)

11-03-2007, 01:16 PM
Thanks Giacomo for that tip; I've needed to know that for some time now.