I know there are some of you who have made this move and I am also going down this road and could use some advice on what you have found to be the best methods to get SolidWorks files into Modo - then apply decals and animate.
Well right now this is a little bit cumbersome as the work flow in not totally streamlined. However, in the 'near' future modo will be releasing the SW kit that greatly improves the import UI.
I have made some tutorials on bringing in models into modo from SW. Check out the tutorial section on my site
I think this will get you started. Also - do some digging on the Lux forums as there are some other tips and tricks dispersed throughout.
As far as decals go, it is a different concept than what we as SW users are used to. But it is very powerful. Maybe I'll do a tutorial on this soon. Bottomline, you have to create what's called a "UV". Essentially a 'flat pattern' of your part or at least the area of your part that you want to put the decal on.
Then you have very flexible and precise control on placement/scale/rotation etc.
When it comes to animation, it is a very capable engine for sure. But once again, the language and tools are not the same. In some respects, you will be disappointed if you are looking for the awesome mechanical feel of mates etc. from SW. There is no direct equivalents on this. However, you can set up pretty intricate mechanisms...see these for examples.
Cart Top Remove
Stopping Mechanism View1
Chain Reaction Side view
Pin Turner closeup
I made this jump over 1 yr ago and it was challenging but rewarding.
Take a look and let me know if you have any specific questions...i'd be glad to help.
I use the 3ds exporter from sycode - it costs about 200 but its worth every penny, it allows you to control the density of your mesh and align the Y axis to be pointed up. When you import an assembly as 3ds each body is its own mesh so its easy to texture and apply textures..
Its gonna crash a lot, resize your textures, render black squares, render nodes are going to have memory leaks and crash fairly often, they will never render over the weekend unless you wan to camp out and keep restarting the render nodes as they run out of memory or just crash....
That being said I probably do between 20 and a hundred renders a day using Modo all at 5 x 7 at 120 dpi photorealistic so it works for single images quite well, but when you need it to work it will "probably" fail on you...
AMD dual 3.2
4 gigs corsair 800Mhz ram
ATI FIreGL 5200 pro cad card
WIn XP pro 32 bit
THats amazing!....all of it.
I must be missing something on the crashes/texture resizing/black squares/production down time etc. Also the 20-100 images a day. Awesome. In some cases these are a few seconds of animations at 24 fps every day that you are putting out.
I guess the only htink I'll add.......
Your materials and decals applied in SW should come into modo just as they do in PV360 and basically work the same way. Any detailed decal (uv) work will probably want (have) to be done in modo but the work you do in SW will carry over
OK thank you for everyone's advice but I do not seem to be able to bring any objects in to Modo yet. I did have the 64 bit installed and now have the 32 bit going and it says that the file is loaded but I can not see the model in Modo?
I will keep at it and look over the tutorials you have and the others
I am working with:
8 Gigs Ram
64 Bit XP
SW 2010 SP 2.1
SW 2011 Beta
Nvidia Quadro FX 5600
Dual Monitors ( I want 4)
Currently only 32 bit modo iports the SW file. Are you on the trial verion? I'm not sure the trial version has the correct loader for 2010 files. If you're on the trial contact Luxology and they should be able to set you up.
How did you bring it into modo? Did you use the 'open' command?
Also - if you hit 'shift+A' is should 'center anything you have in the scene. It is slightly possible that the viewer is looking in the wrong direction...but I don't guess this is it.
Thanks. That was it. Shift A
The other thing you will run into right away is that your imported geometry is in a combination of 'static meshes' and 'replicators'. All of which were done to keep memory usage way down for the PV360 loader. I believe that they were never really intended to be visible to the user through PV360.
Anyway this will cause you a little bit of problems so what you will do is convert your 'static mesh' to a 'mesh' by right clicking on it in the 'supergoup' item.
For an assembly, the current modo importer slams all of the parts into something called "supergroup".
In order to get to individual parts, you can use material masks to do it by going to the model tab, lists>statistics>Materials>your material mask.
Now make a new mesh and cut/paste this part into it. That way you will have your parts separated. Do this for each part.
Oh - couple of other points - with a 'static mesh' you don't have access to most things you might need. But you can still change materials etc. You won't be able (I don't think) to make a UV map of the part for putting a decal on.
Regarding replicators - any parts that you have that are duplicates will be 'replicated'. They will look like white ghost boxes. And for all practical purposes, you have limited to no access to them...See my tutorial on this for more info.
An x64 Windows 7 OS and more memory and I bet your modo issues go away.
By today's standards your computer is pretty out dated. Let's say really outdated....
Just need some current technology horsepower to help you with your renders.
The 3ds exporter is worth every penny just looking at the convoluted mess that is the "accepted way" of getting models into Modo, I just export to 3ds, import 3ds and I can texture in seconds, all that extra work is anti-productivity if you ask me I tried it for a min but WHY?? its a big waste of time , I did almost a hundred renders yesterday of 15 different designs some with up to 5 unique configs that all had to be rendered individually, some of the chairs are 6-30 parts you think i want to do do all that work, I save as 3DS and i'm importing and texturing actual individual mesh that UV's really well in seconds....
I have 26.4Mhz of render power in my render farm, 18 threads, 2 quadcore 2.5's and my dual 3.2 so my render times are usually under 2 minutes for photorealistic images... I have only hit the 3 gig limit of my 32 bit os with 3 gig switch a few times in my life and see no need for the thousands of dollars it would cost to get a top o de line workstation.
Of course i7 extremes with 128 gigs of ram and 4 gig pro video cards are all the rage but I dont need that yet lol....
Sorry to see that your workflows are so unproductive, if you convert to 3DS you can use all the replicators and mirrored parts you want, everything coverts, you want surfaces - no problem, hybrid solid surface parts - no problem, library parts and a thousand replicators in a circular pattern, save as 3ds, open modo - go to import - open model - you can drag textures from the texture browser right onto the model at this point....
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