View Full Version : OBJ from modeler to layout..not working

11-06-2007, 06:16 AM
Hello all,

I recently made a model in zbrush and exported it as an .obj file to mess with in LW. I can load the .obj file in modeler and had to flip the polys. When I hit "send to layout", all I get is a dotted line bounding box and no model in layout.

How can I fix this?

Also, for ZB/LW users....how do I export all or my subtools into LW? LW is only seeing my first/primary tool.

Any help would be fantastic!!

11-06-2007, 06:33 AM
Does it eventually show? Do you have your display mode set to bounding box in Layout?


Elmar Moelzer
11-06-2007, 06:46 AM
Hmm, have you saved it to an LWO before sending it to Layout?

11-06-2007, 08:28 AM
BeeVee: no it doesnt eventually show up at all, just the bounding box. i havent changed any display settings, but where might i find the display mode settings for the bounding box?

Elmar Moelzer: yes, when i imported the object from ZB, i flipped the polys and saved as an .obj file (if we are talking about the same thing)

hope this picture helps out a little

11-06-2007, 09:12 AM
Try saving it as an LWO, rather than an OBJ


11-06-2007, 01:32 PM
Unfortunately it is still not visable in layout, regardless if it is saved as an OBJ or LWO. Ive tried the "send object to layout" with both the OBJ and LWO along with loading those objects in layout, but it still didnt work. Arg.

11-06-2007, 02:29 PM
If you create a new element next to that zb model and load it into layout does the new element show up at all or still just a bounding box?

Is that object set to be a subdivision surface object? if so, maybe check the levels on the display subdivisions in layout? (object properties)

11-06-2007, 02:43 PM
Have you tried adjusting the grid size? Was layout already open with any other models in the scene?
The display mode settings are next to the viewport type at the top left of each viewport in Layout.

11-07-2007, 05:11 PM
Ok, a bit of an update. I was messing around with the display options and found that the only way I can view my ZB model is to have some sort of wireframe or vertices mode enabled in layout. Other than that the model is invisible.

JeffrySG: In the picture I attached, I added a platform for the model, saved it and sent it to layout. As you can see the LW platform is there but not the ZB model. Currently the model is being sent as a non-subD mode model, but I have tried it both ways, with the same results.

IMI: I have not tried to adjust the grid size at all. What effect might that have? Grid size isnt something I really play around with, except for changing back and forth between metric and US standard. Layout was not already open. Ive done it both ways; clicking sent to layout and allowing it to open itself and by opening layout and adding that model. There werent any models in layout, which I have done a clear scene just incase.

(still very new to LW so Im sorry if Im a bit slow on the process or terminology)

11-07-2007, 05:50 PM
Oh, I was just wondering about the grid size because if an imported model is too small for the grid size, it might not appear until the grid is reduced. But the last time I saw that it didn't use a bounding box to show something was there.
Just a stab in the dark, really.

11-07-2007, 07:35 PM
One more thing... is the figure on its own layer in modeler? If so, is that layer set to be invisible? Look in the Layers Panel and see if there is a dot in the 'eye' column. If there isn't it won't show up in Layout.

11-07-2007, 09:05 PM
When I had the figure with its platform, they were both on one layer. Im a little unsure of the Layer Panel youre mentioning. Is it View>Layer>Layer Settings, or one of the other menus?

11-08-2007, 05:35 AM
In the Windows Menu at the upper left of the Modeler interface - check Layers Panel. I don't think there's a shortcut key for it. There might be, but I might have reassigned it to something else for my uses. But it stays in the Windows menu regardless.

11-09-2007, 07:10 PM
I got a chance to check out the Layers Panel in Modeler. The picture Ive included shows that the layer does the the dot under the eye column.

This is more Zbrush specific, but... I was watching a video tutorial and they quickly mentioned that if the model is changed to a different material and the "fill object" button is not selected, then other 3d apps wount be able to do anything with them/see them. Doesnt make much sence to me but I think Im doing the correct thing.

Kinda frustrating 'cause all I want to do is use this model with my matchmoved footage so I can have a 3d virtual sculpture next to my computer.

The help thus far has been greatly appreciated!:thumbsup:

11-09-2007, 07:38 PM
At this point, I'd have no idea. I've seen some object weirdness in LW over the years, but never this. The fact you can see it in Modeler, but not Layout is just... weird.
Maybe you could try running it through some 3D file conversion utility like AccuTrans or Deep Exploration, but that's all I could think to suggest.
This is the only model this has happened with? Tried saving it by itself without the platform? Has this happened with any other ZB models?

11-09-2007, 07:41 PM
Is there a surface applied to the figure? All points merged ('m' key)? What happens in Modeler when you hit the Tab key to switch to sub-D?

If you're really desperate for help you could post the obj itself in a zip and one of us could try and look at it, but I suspect this may be a problem you'll be happier figuring out yourself so you can address it if it comes up again.

11-09-2007, 09:19 PM
Yeah, it might be a good idea to upload it if all else fails, but I personally only would use that as a last resort.
My personal experience with 3D models in LW is that anything can be fixed. The fact that it shows in Modeler is a good sign. The model itself looks ok, meaning I can't see any glaring problems that might cause such a thing.
A few things I'd try:

*Copy the figure only and paste it into a new object and see if it "fixes" it.
*Put the platform in a separate layer, or even as a whole separate object.
*Move it over on the X axis, well past 0 and mirror it, and see if the mirrored object will load visible in Layout
*Hit the k key (k by default, for kill polygons), and see what happens.
*Make the whole thing double-sided in the Detail Tab under Polygons and the More dropdown, not just double-sided in the surface editor.
* Make sure all the polys are merged, with m (by default) on the keyboard.

Can you select *only* the figure and not the platform, and post a screengrab of the point and polygon statistics panels, one with all points selected, and one with all poly selected? The Statistics Panel is w on the keyboard, again, by default. Depending on what mode you're in at the time, points, polys, or edges, it'll be different.

I mean, it has vertex points, it has faces - polygons. It's a 3D model - there's no reason it can't be gotten into Layout where it can be seen. The Layout screenshots with it in wireframe mode seem to be saying it doesn't have polys... but Modeler disagrees.
It's just a matter of forcing them to agree on it. :)

11-09-2007, 09:26 PM
If you don't mind posting the OBJ file here I'll try to open it and resave it out of Silo. Maybe that will help?

Or if you want, PM me and I can send you my email.

11-09-2007, 09:28 PM
*stupid edit time limit...*

I might add, those things I mentioned are just a few things I'd try as quick tests to get a feel for what might be wrong. Sometimes you get some kind of weirdness, and you have to start somewhere to try to figure it out. Then you get deeper into it, like examining points and polygons in the Information Panel (i on the keyboard, by default), and so on. Eventually, something reveals itself as the problem.

11-10-2007, 12:19 PM
Today I decided I should start from the roots again in Zbrush after hearing that the material application could cause the error. I reopened my model in ZB, textured and colored the whole model and then exported it as an .obj file to open in Modeler.

Once I opened the .obj in Modeler, I flipped the polys then selected the whole model and use "q" to rename and resurface the object. After that I saved the obj and sent it to layout to find success!
The pictures Ive uploaded show the object in layout, all nice and visable.

Im not too sure what exactally I was doing wrong, since I changed a number of things, but I am very excited it is working now. The only real "issue" as this point is the the model was imported or flipped so its pose is reversed, simliar to being reflected across its vertical line, but I can live with that.

Id like to thank you all for your interest, suggestions and help on this challenge! Im gradually learning. :D :thumbsup:

11-10-2007, 12:48 PM
Even though this is of horrible quality, it is atleast full proof that my Zbrush object works in layout.
Thanks again!

11-10-2007, 01:34 PM
Cool! Glad to hear you got it working. :)
That's strange that it would become mirrored on its own, but you can fix that easily enough by mirroring it again, if you wanted to.

11-10-2007, 03:00 PM
Indeed. Now to get working on matchmoving my desk and perhaps even animating my figure. Im stoked!

11-10-2007, 10:14 PM
Guess I'm a little late :^D

OBJs coming from other apps always need to have a LW surface applied to them to be visible/renderable in layout. Surfaces/Materials aren't transferable like geometry is, so the renderer won't know what to do.

11-11-2007, 12:13 AM
The reason why is because the polygons had NO surface. sometimes that happens when importing an obj. Just assign a surface like you did and all will go well.

11-11-2007, 02:02 AM
Hmm, I do suppose that makes a lot of sense now. Atleast it will be easier to bring my models into Lightwave from now on.
Greatly appreciated.

11-11-2007, 03:52 AM
I never even thought about that. I don't think I've ever seen that happen, wouldn't have thought it possible. I guess the material got deleted when you first had it in ZB.

11-16-2007, 05:19 PM
Glad to hear you were able to solve this problem. I had the same thing happen to me last month but with Maya and also with an OBJ format. Applying a surface worked right away so I thought I would toss that out there as one of the solutions.

Nice model btw, happy rendering!


11-17-2007, 10:39 AM
Thanks! Now Ive finally got some flexibility in where I want this model to go.