When we teach Sketchup to our corporate customers, we always refer 3dwarehouse to them. As you know there are many models at 3dwarehouse. It will make our life easier if we can use some of the models in our Artlantis work.

 

In this Part I tutorial, we will learn the technique to import Sketchup file into Arltantis. We will take The "Denny" - A Rowboat as an example.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

..and convert it as Artlantis Object File (aof file), name it as Rowing boat.aof

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

In the Part II tutorial, we will insert the Rowing boat.aof using Catalog Window into our model and do the final render as shown.

 

Understanding How to Import Sketchup into Artlantis

 

There are 2 approaches to import sketchup file into Artlantis:

  • Use Google Sketchup Pro with Export Plugin
  • Use Artlantis to open Sketchup File (skp) without Export Plugin

 

Let me explain the pro and cons of both approaches:

 

Approach 1: Use Google Sketchup Pro with Export Plugin (I won't show in this tutorial, will be presented in another tutorial)

Pro: 1. Faster, 2. Can take layers in sketchup to import into Shaders List, 3. After Import, it give a snapshot of material list being imported

Cons: 1. Need to buy Google Sketchup Pro, 2. Sometime the import will fail without reason

 

Approach 2: Use Artlantis to open Sketchup File (skp) without Export Plugin

Pro: 1. Free

Cons: 1. Artlantis only recognize 1 of the 2 faces in Sketchup, you may paint material wrongly on the face in Sketchup

2. Artlantis will only group same materials objects in Sketchup into the layers in Shader List, Artlantis won't sort out the shader list based on Layer in Sketchup. This mean you need to paint material for all objects in Sketchup, and must paint correctly on the face. I tell you, this is really painful. What to do?! I can't afford to buy Sketchup Pro.

 

So, if you want to use other people's model from 3dwarehouse, the person who draw that model, won't know you want to use Artlantis. So, he (for this boat) just paint the material without concerning which side of the faces to paint. Large chance that he painted the material at the wrong face. So, it is your job to set it right. This is where your nightmare starts. 

 

Ok. Let's begin the tutorial.

 

1. Go to 3dwarehouse to download The "Denny" - A Rowboat. Thanks C.J. Leigh, the model designer of this boat. Remember to save the skp file in one new folder. Name the folder as Media.

 

Note: Ensure no other files except the skp file inside that folder.

 

2. In Artlantis Studio 4, open the downloaded 3D Challenge #039 - Rowing Boat~.skp.

 

3. In Preview Window, click Render button.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

Note: Sketchup is using Surface Modelling, a surface has 2 faces. In my explanation Cons 1 above, Artlantis only recognizes 1 of the 2 faces. So clearly it took the wrong face.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

4. Open the folder containing the skp file.

 

Note: When importing skp file, Artlantis extract out all textures (jpg files) used in the skp and place them on the same folder. So, a new folder in step 1 is a good practice to avoid the mess.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

If the above problem, i.e. wrong recognizing the face, happen only at few faces. You can fix the problem at the Shader Inspector in Artlantis. But, looking at the rendered output, it is better to fix the problem at the source file at Sketchup.

 

Fixing Problems in Sketchup

 

1. Close the Artlantis Studio 4 without saving.

 

2. This time use Sketchup to open 3D Challenge #039 - Rowing Boat~.skp.

 

3. Select surfaces, open up Entity Info dialog box. Here you can see Artlantis recognize the green texture.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

4. Change the green texture to white texture. Repeat step 3 and 4 until all surfaces have been fixed.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

5. Close and save the skp file.

 

Creating Artlantis Object File aof

 

Artlantis Object File (aof file) is an object that is available in the Catalog, allow you to use them in your artlantis work by dragging them in. Artlantis provides many aof files in the Catalog. Notice that the pre-installed aof files in the Catalog, all have been rendered with nice sky, ground and heliodon. So, it will be a good practice to prepare your own object with nice sky, ground, heliodon also before creating the aof file.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

Another advice is to store all your aof files inside the Media folder, you created earlier, so that the textures used by aof are together. When you need to transfer the Media folder to another machine, the textures are moved together. Warning will arise if the aof cannot find the texture file.

 

One more advice, do not add your aof with pre-installed aof in the Object folder in the Catalog. 

 

1. In Artlantis, open up the revised version of 3D Challenge #039 - Rowing Boat~.skp.

 

2. Add background, heliodon, sky, shadow. [I skip this, else the tutorial will be too long)

 

3. File > Export as Object, name the file as Rowing Boat. Use name that is meaningful to you. Save the file inside the Media folder.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

Let's show up the Media folder in the Catalog.

 

4. In the Catalog, click the + and then choose the Media folder.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

5. In the Catalog, click the Media folder. You can see the Rowing Boat.aof is inside and ready to be used.

 

Note: In the screenshot below. I show 2 aof files, one with good background, another one is black background. Which one you like?

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

6. You have created and exported the aof file. You can just close the file without saving the artlantis file. If you need to modify the aof, you can open the aof and re-export again.

 

Thanks for viewing this Part I tutorial.

 

Click to continue Part II tutorial.

 

Written by Liang Ee Hang | LinkedIn
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