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06/01/2016 20:22:52

braj
braj
Posts: 286
I'm kinda confused. Could someone consolidate the current Sketchup tips into one concise thread, listing the plugins and extensions needed and how they work together? I officially have brain damage, so going through long threads for the nuggets gets way too tedious for me, my apologies, but I imagine while extreme, my situation isn't unique. The more accessible modeling in Muvizu becomes, the more popular it likely will be, so that's my goal. Thanks to whoever can clarify this to the lesser among us Big Grin
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06/01/2016 20:51:36

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Braj,

I feel your pain. I've reached the "old dog-new tricks" stage of life, and I find it very hard to absorb new information. However, I think this particular learning curve has no direct route. Without taking time to read not only the comments here on the Muvizu thread, but also the instructions and tutorials offered by the various plugins, I'm pretty sure I would still be dead in the water.

Having said that... let's see what we can do. Before we start from zero, tell us where you bog down, and we'll go from there. I presume you already have installed the following:

Sketchup
The ASE export plugin

are you able to export your models as ASE and open them in Muvizu? If so, we don't need to talk about that. If not, then we need to get your models into MUVIZU before we start to refine the process.

If your problems are mostly regarding textures then I suggest installing the SKETCHUV plugin and then watch every Youtube tutorial you can find on how to use it. Before you add any other plugs, let's get each of these steps nailed down:
1) Sketchup is installed
2) ASE export plugin is installed and working
3) SKETCHUV plugin is installed and working
here's the link for the plugin DL: http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sketchuv


here are a few Youtube videos that show how to use it:
https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=sketchuv&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004
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06/01/2016 21:00:21

MrDrWho13Muvizu mogulExperimental user
MrDrWho13
Posts: 2220
This may, inevitably, become one of those long threads that things get buried in.

Anyhow, I'll list the basics:
  • First of all, you'll need Muvizu:Play+ to import objects, so you have to buy it from here: http://www.muvizu.com/licence (Or the store if you want)
  • Next, you must have Sketchup 8 for the plugin to work. Apparently the other plugin that floats around the forum and some tutorials works on newer versions, but this one seems to be foolproof. I have a download link for it here, but you can find others with google: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-_4UVPr59ACNjBQSTNYRjNwQkE
  • The Ziggymesh exporter is the most popular since it removes the collision of the object (well, makes it incredibly small) which allows you more creativity once you get it inside Muvizu. The installer and instructions can be found here: http://www.rodneyandberty.com/downloads/
  • If you want a pre-made object that you can't find in the store ( http://www.muvizu.com/Store ), then you could try the sketchup warehouse: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/?hl=en You then import this model into sketchup, use the ziggymesh plugin to export it in .ase format and import this model into Muvizu
  • An additional tip is to add a 256x256 pixel bmp file to c:\ut3\ and name it toto.bmp - This is the default texture for anything you import into Muvizu since you have to choose the textures within Muvizu after importing them. If that doesn't work, add the toto.bmp file to wherever you saved the .ase object.
  • You can add mapped UV textures with this plugin, but this is slightly more difficult for a beginner: http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sketchuv

For more advanced controls, you might want to look into blender and the .fbx format which can have transparent and emmisive textures, in addition to many more improvements. (However, this is a very steep learning curve)

Thanks to ukBerty, Ziggy72, Fazz68, PatMarrNC and many other users for sharing this info.


Doh! Having refreshed the page, I see that PatMarrNC has got there before me. What a speedy whatsit!
edited by MrDrWho13 on 06/01/2016
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06/01/2016 23:28:33

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Well, so far I can create simple objects like cylinders and import to Muvizu. I have two Muvizu exporters installed in Muvizu+, the HardPCM's Ziggymesh and the Muvizu ASE Exporter based on HardPCM. I'll watch the videos on SketchUV really soon and let you know if I'm still having issues. One thing: the Ziggymesh export doesn't allow me to change the texture after import, and the Muvizu ASE Exporter I guess needs me to export the images used to a folder, does SketchUV provide this?

Thanks for all your help!
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07/01/2016 00:06:55

braj
braj
Posts: 286
OK, here is where I'm at. This looks just like it does in Sketchup, so that's good, I think I am set to get started, I'll watch the videos some more. My big issue right now is actually general about SU exports: how do you control orientation of objects. For one model I created just a cylinder and it stayed on the ground properly, then I added a tower and it tilter over, once I unchecke Keep Upright it fell over. :

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07/01/2016 00:22:18

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Here's a very simple procedure that works pretty well for me, even without any more plugins

1) in the folder C:\UT3 you already created, edit copies of toto.bmp and save them as the various colors... for example, red.bmp, blue.bmp, white.bmp etc
You may also want to create some commonly used textures in this directory, like wood, fur etc and name them accordingly (wood.bmp, fur.bmp mainly so it's easy to remember the filenames

2) now, You have a model in Sketchup .... open the material editor

3) click on surfaces that you want to be different (color or texture, it doesn't matter)

4) apply a texture, and choose your textures from what you have stored in C:\UT3\
(This will keep from generating "file not found" errors)

5) repeat as needed until all the different colors or textures in your model are defined

6) export as ASE

7) when you bring the model into Muvizu, all the colors will be where you put them in Sketchup. But you can select other colors or textures if you want to by using the color / texture menus in the object's properties.

The whole goal of assigning textures in sketchup is to define REGIONS. The regions remain absolute, but the colors and textures are variables that you can change at any time afterward to your heart's content
edited by PatMarrNC on 07/01/2016
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07/01/2016 00:32:00

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
My big issue right now is actually general about SU exports: how do you control orientation of objects.


When your model comes into MUVIZU, it should have the same orientation it had in Sketchup... so it's up to the modeler to put it in the right place before exporting.

Any object that mates with a character will need to have X0 Y0 Z0 origin pretty close to where the mating occurs. If its a hat, origin should probably be on the bottom, if its a sword, origin should be on the handle etc

If models don't come in at exactly the right place, the properties dialog box gives you some leeway for adjustment in every direction, including rotation

For one model I created just a cylinder and it stayed on the ground properly, then I added a tower and it tilter over, once I unchecke Keep Upright it fell over. :

yeah, you probably don't want to uncheck "keep upright" if you want it to stay upright. ;-)
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07/01/2016 01:51:59

braj
braj
Posts: 286
OK, so I was able to figure out the axis issues thanks for the help. And I was able to get textures exported by using the UT3 folder as well, that's great! BUt, when I try to edit the textures in Muvizu, it gives me color pickers, and if there are a lot of colors, say in wood textures, it will be a massive list. Using very basic textures though does get interesting results. (see screenshot).

How do I get it to allow me to replace textures, not let me choose the texture's color map?

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07/01/2016 02:59:12

braj
braj
Posts: 286
And I just figured out that 'use id textures' settings let me change the texture images, but changed the way the model handled lighting reflections. Anyhow, I have a lot to learn, but I do now have the basics for getting on with making some basic props and scene elements. I'll be sticking to 4 colors per texture that I create, which will make them adjustable if I use id textures. Anyhow, many thanks, I'm on the road with both feet at least now.



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07/01/2016 06:10:55

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
AWESOME Braj!

You are apparently a much faster learner than I am. What you just figured out in an evening has taken me months to unravel!!

I look forward to seeing your next project using all this cool new knowledge!

Here's a quick & dirty way to change textures without navigating menus in Muvizu:
The ASE file is an ASCII text format which can be edited in notepad. A few lines from the top you'll see the path and filename to the texture bitmaps you used in Sketchup. Just edit the filename and reload the object in Muvizu, and the textures will be whatever you edited.

(But make sure files with those names actually exist in the path you specified, or you'll get the "file not found" error again)
edited by PatMarrNC on 07/01/2016
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07/01/2016 06:31:36

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
Braj - you've clearly got a knack for this....

But please do bear in mind what others on this thread have said....

  • Make sure you get rid of collision.
  • in time you will move away from Sketchup to Blender or 3DS.
  • in time you will move from ASE to FBX (even I - the defender of ASE - have done this in the last 6 months!)

....just trying to save you some time here, although maybe we all need our Muvizu modelling scars.
edited by ukBerty on 07/01/2016
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07/01/2016 06:54:46

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Well, my forays into Blender so far have been really tedious, and that is literally painful for me unfortunately. I don't have huge ambitions for modelling, I made this house in about 30 minutes tonight, I have a lot to learn about Sketchup and in Muvizu getting the shadows nice, but it is serviceable, I'm hoping most of the props I will need will be in the community and store already, and mostly I want to make stuff for fun, and want my son to learn Sketchup over the summer (his school also uses it). I just want to have fun at this point, and this setup doesn't force me to deal with anything too technical. Brain damage suuuuuuucks. But at the same time, many people drawn to the simplicity of Muvizu also would likely want something equally simple for modelling. My dream is for something like Spore's creature creator to become available. It seems within the realms of possibility for Muvizu and I do hope the developers have taken a look at it. My son loves it, it is genius. Anyhow these are the latest pics, this is just a test building so definitely not perfect, any tips are appreciated:


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07/01/2016 07:07:42

MrDrWho13Muvizu mogulExperimental user
MrDrWho13
Posts: 2220
You can use the fazzing technique to stop freaky shadows from the unreal engine: http://www.muvizu.com/Wiki/wiki/100/import-objects-strange-shadows-on-imported-models
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07/01/2016 07:12:08

braj
braj
Posts: 286
MrDrWho13 wrote:
You can use the fazzing technique to stop freaky shadows from the unreal engine: http://www.muvizu.com/Wiki/wiki/100/import-objects-strange-shadows-on-imported-models


Oh yeah, I figured that out earlier, though it isn't implemented throughout the model in the pics. It was far worse on my first try
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07/01/2016 07:20:25

MrDrWho13Muvizu mogulExperimental user
MrDrWho13
Posts: 2220
I'll post the general wiki link here, but since you're such a fast learner, you'll already have outgrown the tips given: http://muvizu.com/Wiki/wiki/143/
When you start feeling the limitations of sketchup and the .ase file format (which appears to be obsolete everywhere else), you'll find yourself moving to blender and .fbx.
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07/01/2016 07:45:47

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
braj wrote:
I'm hoping most of the props I will need will be in the community and store already, and mostly I want to make stuff for fun

No pressure....

I know what you mean about Blender though. I just can't make it out and this is supposed to be fun !
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08/01/2016 06:56:28

braj
braj
Posts: 286
MrDrWho13 wrote:
The Ziggymesh exporter is the most popular since it removes the collision of the object


Thanks, I didn't pay enough attention to this point, but today made a little car that a character can sit in and have actual driving scenes. This is a very important point.
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26/01/2016 19:24:54

braj
braj
Posts: 286
ukBerty wrote:
braj wrote:
I'm hoping most of the props I will need will be in the community and store already, and mostly I want to make stuff for fun

No pressure....

I know what you mean about Blender though. I just can't make it out and this is supposed to be fun !


Well, the fun factor trying to use SU and Blender together faded fast, way too much trial and error for mediocre results. I ended up buying a 3 month subscription to Blender Cloud to get access to their files and tutorials. I can now say I'm more comfortable in Blender than Sketchup, and last night I successfully figured out how to UV map objects, and one big huge side benefit to this system is the models are reliable and I can make OBJ versions of anything and animate them in Anime Studio's basic 3d environment which has really great control over the animation, so when I need a spaceship to fly by it will be much faster to create and give consistent read across the two animation platforms. That's really cool. With TARGA export for both, I can then compose them easily. I'm SO happy I gave learning Blender a shot, it is way less intimidating now. I feel I know the basics enough now to model what I need for my stuff and feel really good about learning something I thought was too much for me.
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26/01/2016 19:26:09

MrDrWho13Muvizu mogulExperimental user
MrDrWho13
Posts: 2220
Congratulations! I might have to have a go now.
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26/01/2016 19:29:53

braj
braj
Posts: 286
One thing I did in Blender that made all the difference for me was switching the behavior of the mouse buttons. It by default uses left click to set the 3d cursor, which is confounding and was the one thing that killed the workflow for me. Now left click selects like I expect from every other app out there. That one checkbox in the preferences was like magic for me, it instantly became less confusing and frustrating.
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