I haven't used turbosquid models mixed with SolidWorks models in Visualize but I have in other software. I'm working on a project like that right now in fact. So, I can't answer your questions specifically to Visualize but......
In general, you have to be careful with the TurboSquid models. I find the certified "check mate" ones to be pretty good in terms of how they are built, materials, textures etc. Some of the others leave a lot to be desired.
Question 1: I would not import the OBJ into SW and then import into Visualize. SolidWorks ability to do anything with OBJ files is super limited and you are gaining nothing (and maybe losing some ability) by importing the OBJ into SolidWorks first. I only do this so I can layout my SW models with the OBJ models but then, once the SW models are set up / positioned correctly I remove the OBJ and just import the SW files and then the OBJ files separately.
Question 2: Its common for OBJ files to have basic materials. OBJ is like IGES. It's just a universal format. It doesn't really have great ability to transfer more than the model information. It transfers material grouping so adding your own materials is easier but that's about as far as it goes. If you have a folder with textures then yes you should be able to use those In Visualize. it's not an automatic process though, you'll have to manually add and adjust them in the texture area of your appearance.
Question 3:. I can't answer this specifically for Visualize but in general a 3DS material isn't going to transfer into any software with perfect conversion. Maya, Modo, Lightwave, C4D, Vislaulize, etc sure they may all read a Max or 3DS file but they probably aren't going to do a great 3ds material conversion. You'd still want to replace the 3DS material with a native material from the software. You can ask TurboSquid to do a file conversion for you. They typically charge a small fee for this. But, I doubt the results will be much different than what you are seeing now.
Overall, (unless the file was created in and I can purchase the file in the same software format I'm using) when I purchase a model I'm really purchasing the geometry and the textures. I expect I'm going to have to do a fair amount of manual work for that purchased model to be usable.
I use this work flow frequently. The trick is discovering what polygon count you need to stay under. I import .obj model and set up cameras first then lighting(I don't import the SolidWork project yet). My computer usually starts running slow at this point due to polygon count. Then I go to projects folder and copy and paste the project several times. I rename the projects into foreground, mid-ground and background. I open background and delete everything that isn't background then add materials and render out. Then do the same for the other projects. Add your SolidWorks project to the midground project. It takes time to do but renders out perfectly and just combine renders in Photoshop or Premier if you make a video. By having lighting and cameras all dialed in first, everything will perfectly align. I am hoping that someday the disable button will prevent the system from working on the disabled polygons in the background. That way it makes it fast enough to work with .obj's and we wouldn't need to run multiple projects files for 1 project.
Rob & Chris,
Thanks for your comments. Here is what I have done so far.
On the weekend, I downloaded a 30 day trial of 3DS Max to see what the original MAX file looked like . I got a lot of errors & missing when I opened it, which supports your comment of "buyer beware". If you look closely, the floor lamp has no vertical post!
I made no changes and tried other exports (3DS & FBX) and opened them in Visualize. I concluded that OBJ is the best format. I used group by appearance to keep the feature tree short.
I saw he has applied the same appearance to different objects (the potted plant and fireplace, for instance).
So I used Split part to "un-group" dissimilar parts and apply Visualize native Appearances. Slow & steady got the job done.
I then added my SolidWorks assembly.and positioned it to fit. Quite pleased with that.
Now, my new set of questions:
4. The building walls are one part, so I used split part to get rid of the closest wall. Now I have open areas. What is the easiest way to create rectangular faces?
5. Ground was one big rectangle, so when I applied a wood finish, it went "outside". What is the best way to add a rectangular split line to ground so that I can apply Wood to just the floor area? (In SolidWorks it would take me a minute to sketch a split line to a face.)
Or do I just delete the ground part and create a new floor part?
Is there a tape measure tool in Visualize? I could then whip up a new wall & floor in SolidWorks.
I first tried opening the OBJ in SolidWorks, but there are 6,560,852 faces so it would only come in as a mesh (if i could wait that long!)
Seems like you're definitely getting closer to your desired project! Here are my answers to your latest questions:
4) You can create primitive shapes in Visualize by clicking the "+" in the Models tab and selecting 'New Model'. From there you can choose Cube or Plane, depending on the area you are trying to cover up or close.
5) You could either scale the existing floor object, or delete it and add a new Plane, using the above suggestion.
6) There is no tape or measure tool in Visualize. Visualize is to tool to make your CAD data look pretty, so it's advised to make those sort of adjustments back in the CAD modeling tool (where you have more control over measurement and dimensions), then use CAD Live-Update to import the changes. However in your specific case, this won't be possible (using multiple CAD tools and composing the scene in Visualize). I do have a suggestion. Go to Tools > Options > 3D Viewport and enable "Model Bounding Boxes." This will show a green rectangle around each model, and then give the dimension in meters. Note this trick is only available for Models, and not for Parts or Groups. And even then it doesn't help you directly measure.
That said, your result is looking really good! Can't wait to see some final images inside that space.
Thanks for those suggestions.
I could not figure out how the native objects work. Maybe that would be a good topic for a tutorial?
So I followed you advice to scale the Floor. to shrink it. A little trial & error and I got the right numbers.
I then created a new "wall end" part in SolidWorks. That Bounding Boxes tip allowed me to get starting dimensions and I did more trial and error to get the dimensions right. Monitoring the part was very helpful!
Question: How do I get those bounding box dimensions readable? They are in a very small lime green font and zooming in did not increase their size.
Here is the updated render. The original render did have the SolidWorks assembly, so I did another render of the living room only.
Only have Model bounding box enabled in Preview mode. Numbers are in meters.
It will not show in accurate mode.
Occasionally I need something measured. I like to duplicate complete model then delete everything except that part. That way I can see the exact size. You will notice I have tires separated from car above.