Posted by Jeff on January 15, 2001 at 13:27:08:
In Reply to: Re: Artlantis 4 posted by GaryV on January 12, 2001 at 21:34:47:
Glad to hear that you have purchased Artlantis 4. As for your question on "what file type to use", click on the link below to view an earlier message I posted on this forum a short time back. I still would love to hear from others on the same question and on any Artlantis issues.
One area that I touched on breifly in that message was the "Scale" issue when you bring in a DW made *.3dmf file. If you don't adjust the DW model scale ahead of time, you will not get the standard "shaders" that Artlantis uses to scale down small enough to use (Shader = internal texture maps/bumps in Artlantis). I scale up my DW models by 1200% before I bring them over. I still like *.3dmf better than *.dxf.
I use a lot of "textures" not found in Artlantis. I typically create a folder for an individual rendering and keep a copy of each texture image in that folder. Artlantis searches for the texture image based on where you first import it from. In many cases I may use multiple CD's to find the perfect texture; obviously you can't have multiple CD's all loaded when you open your Artlantis file. This is why I just keep all the textures in the rendering's folder. If I take the job on the road (i.e. use the laptop at the customers facility), I just transfer the folder and don't have to worry if an image file is somewhere else.
Artlantis 4 looks like it will allow you to add textures to their "shader" library now. Artlantis 3.5 would not let you do this. It only alloud you to keep a modified version of an already existing "shaders". Artlantis 4 also has a preview window for importing textures; 3.5 did not. I use an external image viewer for now.
One scarry thought is that if you need to change anything on your model, you have to start over in rendering the model in Artlantis. It sounds like they have a new trick "reference opening" in Artlantis 4, which will be great if it does what I think it does. However, I have also found that modifications aren't that big a deal in 3.5 either. Let's say your client doesn't like a "chair" you used on an interior rendering. You can replace the chair in your existing DW model with a new chair design; save the DW model; now make the chair the only "visible" item in the model; creat a "lights and texture" view of it; save that view as a *.3dmf (i.e. chair.3dmf). Now go to your already existing Artlantis file; open it; using "reapply materials", select all of the objects that make up the undesired chair (call them "Old chair"); using the "display material list" select "Old chair" and make it invisible. Now open the new file (chair.3dmf) while you still have your existing Artlantis file open; it will place the chair in the exact place you put it in your DW file. I actually create a "deleted objects" material name for items I don't end up using.
You can model with alternatives the same way. For instance I wasn't sure if I wanted to render a gate Opened or Closed. I model both and select which one I want to use in Artlantis.
Because you can keep adding (opening more files) objects to your Artlantis file, I also keep items in separate DW files that I can bring together at the rendering stage. I am using a "tile roof" that is model (not just mapped) as a barrel tile roof. It is a memory hog! So I keep the house and the roof on two different DW files. That way I don't have to wait for a memory hog roof when I want to make modeling changes in the rest of the builing. I simply bring the two *.3dmf files together in Artlantis.
I'm not crazy with the Artlantis color revision methods on some items. Like if you map a Shutter (object image) or Siding (texture image) to an object and you want to change their color. Sometimes the color changes you make create a third color with little ryme or reasoning. Many times I find it easier to change the original texture image or object image using PhotoShop (or similar program). The next time you open your Artlantis file, the changes will be incorporated.
I've rambled on too much... I need to get back to work. We will talk more. Have fun! I did use the tutorials to get a quick start with the program. Did they add a "Help" menu to Artlantis 4? In 3.5 the book is the only guide other then the tutorial instructions. I'll be upgrading very quickly to 4; as soon as I hear back from Artlantis with an upgrade price. I'm looking forward to playing with the "depth of field" and other features incorporated in Artlantis 4.
Who else out there is using Artlantis? Is there enough DW users to establish a new DW forum?