Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Model Import Wizard

The Model Import Wizards is used to import 3D models of objects that you have downloaded online or created yourself in another program. To import, the model must be in SketchUp (skp) or 3D Studio (3ds) format. Both of these formats are popular for sharing general 3D objects online.

landscaping software model import wizard dialog

To import a model:

1.   Click Tools and Model Import Wizard.

2.   Click the Next button.

3.   Select the type of model you wish to import and then click the Next button.

4.   Select the model you wish to import and then click the Open button.

5.   A preview of your model will be displayed. Click the Next button; the following dialog will appear:

landscaping software model import wizard dialog2

6.   If necessary, modify the size and orientation of the model by entering values in the appropriate fields. Click the Next button when finished.

7.   Click the Set File Name button to enter a different name for your model, or just click the Next button.

8.   Click the Finish button to import the model and complete the wizard.

When the wizard completes, click an area on your landscape design to add the newly imported model. If you need to add the model again in the future, it can be found within the appropriate object library. For example, if a pond bridge has been imported as an accessory, then it can be found within the Custom category of the Accessory library.

Modeling Guidelines

General guidelines are listed below for creating 3D models for use in Realtime Landscaping Architect.

      Each 3D mesh in the model must be polygonal.

      The bottom of the model should rest on the origin. Think of the origin as the terrain surface.

      Size the model so that 1 unit = 1 inch, even if using metric in Realtime Landscaping Architect.

      3DS files that reference texture maps must use texture file names that are 8 characters or less. (This is a limitation of the 3DS file format).

      Ensure that the no single 3D mesh exceeds 32,000 triangles. Multiple meshes can be used for extremely complex objects that require more than 32,000 triangles.

Advanced Instructions for 3DS Models

The instructions below are available to assist advanced users in designing objects that make use of special features such as lighting, waterfalls, and fountains.

Note: The instructions below do not apply to SketchUp (Skp) files because SketchUp does not currently support the ability to name individual model pieces.

All models

      Bird landing points can be added by placing a small polygon at the intended landing point and naming it fx_bird.

      Pools of water can be created by designing a low-density planar mesh and naming it fx_pool. The planar mesh will be replaced with water during Realtime Walkthroughs. To cause your pools of water to ripple automatically, place a small polygon slightly above the water and name it fx_rip.

Doors & Windows

      Rotate the door or window so that the front of the object is facing the negative Z axis.

      Doors and windows support reflective areas. To make part of a door or window reflective, add a texture to the model in 32-bit Targa format, and specify the alpha channel for the reflective areas based on the values below:

      0 = fully transparent

      128 = reflective (blend between color channel and environment map)

      192 = blend trim color with luminance of color channel

      255 = opaque (use color channel)

House and Landscape Lights

      Ensure that the glass in the light model is a separate mesh, and name it fx_glass to prevent the glass portions from being darkened due to shadows.

      To create a spotlight, add a small polygon and aim it in the direction you wish the light to shine. For wide-angle spotlights, name the small polygon fx_lt_sw. For narrow spotlights, name the small polygon fx_lt_sn.

      For lights that shine in every direction, create a small polygon and name it fx_lt_sm. The light will emanate from the position of the polygon.

Fountains

      To create flowing water, add a small polygon just above the nozzle and name it fx_wfall.

Waterfalls

      To add a flowing stream of water to your model, create four small polygons and position them as shown in the picture below. Place two of the polygons where the water should begin to flow, and name them fx_wf0_0 and fx_wf0_1. Place the bottom two polygons where the water should end and name them fx_wf0_2 and fx_wf0_3.

design custom ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and more

      If multiple streams of water need to be added, then repeat the steps shown above but increase the first number of the polygons. For example, the first polygon of stream 1 is named fx_wf0_0, but the first polygon of stream 2 should be named fx_wf1_0. The number after “fx_wf” indicates the number of the stream.

      The picture below shows the above model during a Realtime Walkthrough.

watergarden with pond and custom waterfall

Tips:

      When you import a model, a copy of both the model and textures is made and stored in a separate location. This means that if you delete the original model your designs will not be affected. It also means that if you make changes to the original model you will need to run the Model Import Wizard again.

      Once you have imported a model into Realtime Landscaping Architect, it can be added using the appropriate tool. For example, if you imported a model as a window, then it can be added by clicking the Add Window button.

See also:

Editing Materials
Model Creation Wizard
Selecting Objects
Grouping and Ungrouping Objects