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Message - DW to Artlantis Scale Factors

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Posted by  Jeff on January 16, 2001 at 12:26:56:

Gary, Bob, and other Artlantis users,

How I wish Gary didn't ask why I used 1200%. The real reason was that it just put me in the ball park, but was not as accurate as it should be. Here is a little more information on the subject of exporting from DW and importing into Artlantis.

First, I want to share this important fact with you. Any texture images that you use with Artlantis (i.e. bricks01.tag from ImageCELs) are scaled at the default setting of 1 cm = 1 pixel. Inasmuch, when you use a 512 X 512 pixel image, Artlantis will interpret that image to represent a 512 cm wide sample of the texture. In the "Size" mode, however, you can change the 512 cm setting to the distance the image actually represents. Get used to thinking in CENTIMETERS! Artlantis uses cm as the default measurement in many ways. For this example: brick01.tag / 512 pixels X 512 pixels, we know that the actual image represented 4 feet of bricked area (ImageCELs says so). Therefore we can calculate the real "Size" (always in cm) by multiplying 4 by 30.48 (1 ft. = 30.48 cm) which equals 122. So if you change the "Size" from the original 512 to 122 your bricks will map out at the proper size; that is, IF your model is scaled properly in Artlantis.

Knowing the 1 cm equals 1 pixal rule, we created a couple of dummy images that allowed us to map a grid on a model cubes to help us figure out what was really happening with imorted scale. We created a 10 ft. wide cube in Design Workshop. We then exported it as a DXF and also saved it as a 3DMF. Both files, DXF and 3DMF, imported in the same way. When they were brought into Artlantis, our 10 ft cubes were now 10 cm cubes. Which means you could never get a "shader" to map out correctly.

When you open a DXF file, Artlantis does allows you to change the "scale factor". If you change the default "1" to "30.5" (30.48 rounded up), you will then have the proper scale. The 10 ft. cube is now a 10 ft. cube! This may be one advantage to using DXF type file. I'm not sure it outways the dis-advantages yet.

You have no "scale factor" options for opening a 3DMF file. So, the end result is that your scale is interpreted as "cm" instead of "ft". With that in mind, the actual amount that you would want to increase the model size before saving a 3DMF file is 3048% (30.48 larger), not 1200% as I first was using. Now, with our DW model enlarged, this cube is 10 ft. too! If there is an easier way, I'd sure love to hear it.

Finally, I wanted to see how DW would recognize the DXF and 3DMF files that I just created in DW. When I imported them into DW, I found that they imported 12 times smaller than what they were created at. The reason for this is that the "Import" setting default is set at "0.8333333" and the "Export" setting default is set at "1". Those adjustments are in the DW.ini file. You can adjust them to help balance out routine Importing and Exporting. Unfortunatly, it only effects the "Export" scale for DXF and does nothing for saving a 3DMF file.

Well...are we totally confused yet? Anybody have any better ideas? Does anybody (including Artifice reps) know why the different default "import and export" settings were chosen?

That was fun...

See ya,



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