PDA

View Full Version : Urgent Help Please - Need to Get a LW Model Online for Viewing



JBT27
09-15-2008, 07:35 AM
We've been asked to see about getting a LW construction site model we built online, so contractors in the project can examine it.

It has to be read-only, and I guess behave pretty much like a VR Object movie, but I'm wondering if there is a shorter route to uploading the model and giving the viewers some kind of interactivity - wander around the model, zoom or track in on it.

Just started looking at Deep View from Right Hemisphere.....don't know if that's an answer, but hoping someone has experience of this and can offer some ideas.

Thanks.

Julian.

Dirk
09-15-2008, 07:45 AM
Quest3D is often used for things like that.

http://www.quest3d.com/

Iain
09-15-2008, 01:46 PM
Adobe Acrobat 3D can load up lwo files and convert them to pdf. (You may even get a free trial!)

Then anyone can spin them around and zoom in and out.

It works very well actually. I use it with baked lighting models all the time.

JBT27
09-15-2008, 02:45 PM
Thanks for both ideas!

I'm having some decent success with Deep View so far, except it will require the contractors to download files, so it seems so far anyway.

I have to suggest how this is done tomorrow, and as ever this was sprung on us when we hardly had time to deal with it :)

Acrobat 9 Pro Extended looks good, and yes there's a trial, but I think I'll demo the Deep Viewer route tomorrow and have Acrobat 3D as an alternative. I also notice that on Adobe's US store, Pro Extended is 699 US Dollars, but 619 Pounds in the UK store.....doubtless rules and regs account for that on import, maybe, probably.....but the client will have to consider that additional expense first.

Julian.

gunk
09-15-2008, 02:58 PM
What makes acrobat such a sucess is the viewer only needs the free download, acrobat reader, preferably version 9, but it works with 7 & 8 (quality is not as good). Personally I think it is the future allowing people to fully appreciate what you have created and understand what you are trying to express.

I used it on my last project with good success and relativley small file sizes

Iain
09-15-2008, 03:00 PM
What makes acrobat such a sucess is the viewer only needs the free download, acrobat reader, preferably version 9, but it works with 7 & 8 (quality is not as good). Personally I think it is the future allowing people to fully appreciate what you have created and understand what you are trying to express.


Yep, I'm really surprised it hasn't caught on further.

I know a few developers are using it now to send plans of properties to potential buyers.

gunk
09-15-2008, 03:09 PM
Here is a simple example of what you can create with Acrobat

Click on the screen once to make it active,

The controls are familar,

LMB, Drag rotate
RMB, Zoom
LMB & RMB, Pan
Wheel, Zoom

As previously stated it works best with Acrobat Reader 9.

Warning, I did have some fun setting this up to work with lIghtwave 1st time.

JBT27
09-15-2008, 03:16 PM
Yes, I agree, and it is odd that such technologies catch-on very slowly, if at all sometimes. Publishers have, for a few years now, sent out detailed job briefs using Acrobat - something I thought at the time was a highly intelligent use of what was then a new technology.

I'm thinking we may just have to buy into this, given some of what we do, because it's too good not to - won't help immediately with tomorrow, but I've got that covered.

It never ceases to amaze me how bleeding-edge tech is often embraced, because it's bleeding-edge, and well-funded projects run with it often without analysing its true worth, and then running into dead-ends, when all the time the older, genuinely useful and now stable and established digital technologies are overlooked.

Julian.

JBT27
09-15-2008, 03:25 PM
Here is a simple example of what you can create with Acrobat

Click on the screen once to make it active,

The controls are familar,

LMB, Drag rotate
RMB, Zoom
LMB & RMB, Pan
Wheel, Zoom

As previously stated it works best with Acrobat Reader 9.

Warning, I did have some fun setting this up to work with lIghtwave 1st time.

That is really nice by the way - exactly the tech we need for this, and I notice there is a measuring tool in the customise menus, but which needs document to be 'right enabled' or something. Hmmm.....could have done with seeing this a couple of days ago. Ah well, who needs sleep anyway :D

Just how much 'fun' was it?

Julian.

gunk
09-15-2008, 03:37 PM
Its interesting,

You create the image by running Acrobat and hitting Print Screen, it worked striaght away with my desktop, my laptop for ages created a ball!!

The measure tools are excelent, the model is to scale and several people around me would have found it helpful if they had upgraded to Reader 9, if the company server would have let them.

I started by downloading the free trial which is 30 days full function and allows you to save.

All in all a few sleepless nights.

Iain
09-15-2008, 03:39 PM
I found step by step instructions on an Adobe forum.
I'd never have got it myself but it's only 3 or 4 steps when you know how (as always).

JBT27
09-16-2008, 03:41 PM
Its interesting,

You create the image by running Acrobat and hitting Print Screen, it worked striaght away with my desktop, my laptop for ages created a ball!!

The measure tools are excelent, the model is to scale and several people around me would have found it helpful if they had upgraded to Reader 9, if the company server would have let them.

I started by downloading the free trial which is 30 days full function and allows you to save.

All in all a few sleepless nights.

Well, I've started experimenting with the trial version of Acrobat 9 Pro Extended - really nice, will probably buy into that.

But I am importing via DXF or OBJ, and models are not to scale instantly, at least not this way.

Been struggling with this for a while this evening.

Acrobat needs the user to tell it how many 'model units' equal whatever measure you need - I hate 'model units', though understand that internally no 3D app actually does real-world scaling/measuring.....I think I read that right somewhere.

So I've been importing a 1m cube into Acrobat to pin down how it handles this stuff. A LW 'model unit' would seem to be 1cm - my 1m cube became 100m when I set Acrobat to be 1 model unit = 1m. So I guess 100 units is 1m, which measures right, or 1 model unit = 1cm!! .....or whatever.....

I can't use the Capture feature because my LW is on a different machine.

Julian.

gunk
09-16-2008, 04:33 PM
I can't at the moment remeber how, but it is relativley easy to set up the scale so that when it imports a model from Lightwave the scale is correct and in the format you require.

Just checked the model posted (pdf) using the acrobat measure tool and that is mm perfect which in my line of work is critical,

Personally I can't believe more poeple aren't singing about this?

But then its only been out a month or so and I bet Adobe are getting a lot of feedback.

I hope this helps you in the future,

gunk

JBT27
09-17-2008, 03:12 AM
I can't at the moment remeber how, but it is relativley easy to set up the scale so that when it imports a model from Lightwave the scale is correct and in the format you require.

Just checked the model posted (pdf) using the acrobat measure tool and that is mm perfect which in my line of work is critical,

Personally I can't believe more poeple aren't singing about this?

But then its only been out a month or so and I bet Adobe are getting a lot of feedback.

I hope this helps you in the future,

gunk

What version of LW did you export your model from?

I just tried it in Acrobat, and it works, perfectly - snapping is as expected, 1 model unit is 1m (which the user still has to set - odd that that does not get locked into the PDF).

On our two LW 9.5 models, one a simple 1m cube and the other a building, snapping does not work, at all - the cursor just runs along the elements but never snaps to anything. It even displays the same behaviour if snapping is off.

The 1m cube requires 100 model units to equal 1m in Acrobat, whereas the building needs just 1 model unit to 1m.

I'm going to try a 9.3.1 cube because the model format has changed for 9.5 hasn't it? .....there's a thread elsewhere about broken pipelines because of point-order changes, etc.

The one thing I haven't tried is the Capture method in Acrobat, because LW and Acrobat are on different machines.....but importing models via OBJ or DXF is not working so far.

Julian.

JBT27
09-17-2008, 04:11 AM
It looks like the culprit is the new 9.5 LWO format - it's broken Acrobat like it's broken a number of other things.

I've just imported the same model via 9.3.1 and Acrobat now snaps and measures as expected.

Julian.

Bog
09-17-2008, 02:09 PM
If you're happy with it just being viewable in IE7, you can always use Shaxam.

(see www.shaxam.com for details ;) )

gunk
09-17-2008, 04:19 PM
Iain,

Your help would be appreciated, I have searched the acrobat forums but cannot find a defined answer to setting LW to work on my laptop. I think this is due to the graphics card and the OGL driver but could you please point me in the direction of the forum where you found the steps for setting up LW. Desktop still works fine!

As far as the unit measurement goes I always use 1m, as setup in my unit preferences in default unit.

'D' 'General' Default unit, " you specify"

Any help as always accepted

thanks,

gunk

lardbros
09-17-2008, 04:33 PM
Yep, I'm really surprised it hasn't caught on further.

I know a few developers are using it now to send plans of properties to potential buyers.

I used it on a large project, involving complex animation and tried to use complex textures. All-in-all it was hugely limited by the format that Adobe chose to convert to when you save stuff. U3d, i think it is... just doesn't support enough. It may be different now, but i asked an adobe guy at siggraph what he thought about it and he said that it isn't all that great. (He wasn't a 3d guy, but i asked him all the same).

I had issues with pivot points, animation, textures only coming in with planar maps, not UV's... the list goes on. It's really nice for viewing parts of CAD assemblies, or even whole assemblies, but when it comes down to animating and viewing nice looking things i nearly killed myself getting it all to work. (Mind, that was from 3ds max, so maybe the workflow from LW is nicer?)

Iain
09-18-2008, 04:29 AM
I had issues with pivot points, animation, textures only coming in with planar maps, not UV's... the list goes on. It's really nice for viewing parts of CAD assemblies, or even whole assemblies, but when it comes down to animating and viewing nice looking things i nearly killed myself getting it all to work. (Mind, that was from 3ds max, so maybe the workflow from LW is nicer?)

It is limited but for what I used it for (converting a 3d model to a viewable PDF) it worked a treat. The beauty is anybody with acrobat can look at it.

gunk, I'll try to find it.
I downloaded the demo to work out and instruct the client how to do it.

That was last year so things may have changed.

JeffrySG
09-18-2008, 07:10 AM
I would really be curious to see how many people here (arch vis, product design, or event industries) are using the 3d PDF files with their clients. It really is a very cool idea. I don't think AcrobatPro9 is available for the Mac yet which is a disappointment.

That was a nice example, gunk. I also like how you can save different views for the client to reference, etc.

lardbros
09-18-2008, 10:43 AM
It is limited but for what I used it for (converting a 3d model to a viewable PDF) it worked a treat.

That is true, and especially if you want animated exploded views it works quite well. Would be truly amazing if it exported all kinds of things like textures etc and deformations. Then, that was what Poetry in Motion was going to do, but that's kinda gone off the radar for a time.

The biggest benefit is, as Iain said, the fact that ANYONE can look at them. This is the biggest problem we face where we are, directdraw to screen is disabled on everyones computers apart from ours. So VR4MAXs .exes don't work on other peoples machines... poo!

hunter
09-18-2008, 12:51 PM
We use deep exploration to convert and export for viewing in deepview, which is a free download. It supports animation as well. Does Acrobat support animation? Some examples on the bottom of the page. Can be imported to PowerPoint or a word document as well.

http://www.righthemisphere.com/products/deeppub/DeepPub_View/index.html

JBT27
09-18-2008, 01:01 PM
The demo we did earlier in the week went down really well apparently - the project director and project manager were really excited about how useful it will be.

Unfortunately today, we learned that the architects do not see it as a useful technology for presenting early demolition and reconstruction on this project. They cite the fact that it is a very traditional industry, and the tried and true methods of architects' plans, elevations and sections coupled with contractors' onsite measurements is the best way to go. In any case, if they were to go down a 3D route, they would use industry standard CAD packages with 3D modules.

They see the worth later in the project for sure, interior design and so on, and to a point I'd agree with some of what they say, but my suspicion is that they have failed to understand the full worth of PDF that can incorporate 3D archvis, plus all the other media that various contractors would like access to, never mind the fact that pretty much everyone can view it.

That said, our demo had only two pages of 3D, and swapping between the pages was a bit jittery - on the swap, both pages were flipping back and forth until I clicked a couple of times and stopped it.....stuff like that worries me. :)

But we shall see.....we can see alot of potential for many other clients who we know will be completely gobsmacked by the concept. maybe it hasn't penetrated far into the market, or worryingly, maybe it really isn't all that good.

Any experiences and opinions I would also like to hear because we may have a job riding on it.

Julian.

JBT27
09-18-2008, 01:04 PM
We use deep exploration to convert and export for viewing in deepview, which is a free download. It supports animation as well. Does Acrobat support animation? Some examples on the bottom of the page. Can be imported to PowerPoint or a word document as well.

http://www.righthemisphere.com/products/deeppub/DeepPub_View/index.html

We looked at this as well - haven't discounted - though PDF has some serious attractions for us in other areas anyway. But the full PDF and Deep Exploration is a fair spend, which is why we need to be sure.

Julian.