Common questions asked by ModelPort Users
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions. If your question cannot be answered from the FAQ’s listed below click here to send us your question.
Getting Started FAQ’s
- Select the ModelPort menu and Open Scene.
- In the Open Scene dialog select the file to import into ModelPort.
- The object will be displayed in the ModelPort Viewer where you can change scale, rotation, materials, reduce polygon count and other parametric editing options.
- When you’re ready to finalize the object import and convert into an ARCHICAD object click the “Create ARCHICAD Library Object” button.
- The object can now be placed into your project.
- Selection by Sub-Object
- Edits the object as a whole
- Selection by Material
- Allows you to select individual elements in the object
To use these two options select the green buttons in the upper left of the ModelPort Viewer. Once selected click on the model to edit it as a whole or to select individual elements.
- Example of Selection by Material:
- An individual pillow can be selected and then the material color, texture, texture size and other options can be edited.
At the bottom of the Properties panel you will see controls for Re-Scale and Re-Orient. Use these two options to change the object scale or rotate it around the XYZ axis.
File Format FAQ’s
PROS: A modern format that retains more information during an exchange as well as the only exchange format that holds rigging and animation information. Since it is a newer format it holds more complex material information than OBJ. Quad topology is retained.
CONS: Older versions of the FBX format often exchange model information better than newer versions.
PROS: The most popular exchange format for 3D models, OBJ can be exported and imported by just about every 3D application. Quad topology is retained.
CONS: The OBJ format is a unitless file type so getting the correct scale is sometimes a problem. It also does not hold rigging or animation information.
PROS: If you want to import SketchUp objects from the 3D Warehouse there is usually a DAE format option in addition to the standard SKP format.
CONS: The DAE format is not as heavily used as the OBJ, FBX and Alembic formats.
It was the native file format of the old Autodesk 3D Studio DOS (releases 1 to 4), which was popular until its successor (3D Studio MAX 1.0) replaced it in April 1996. Having been around since 1990, it has grown to become a de facto industry standard for transferring models between 3D programs, or for storing models for 3D resource catalogs (along with OBJ, which is more frequently used as a model archiving file format).
Despite its popularity there are some disadvantages:
- The 3DS format is an old format that can be buggy.
- Lost data often occurs when importing a 3DS object into ARCHICAD.
- Texture’s applied to an imported 3DS files can often be corrupt.
- The number of vertices and polygons per mesh is limited to 65536.
- The 3DS format only stores 3 sided polygons and ARCHICAD does not handle 3 sided polygons very well.
- ARCHICAD has problems applying texture display on 3 sided polygons.
Save Mode & Performance FAQ’s
- ModelPort : This NEW Save Mode significantly reduces the file size of imported objects and models.
- GDL : Standard ARCHICAD format but doesn’t store the extra ModelPort information and creates a larger file size.
- GDL+ModelPort : Provides all the benefits of both options above but creates the largest file size of the three options.
If a team member does not have ModelPort the Floor Plan symbols will be maintained but the imported objects will show the warning “Requires ModelPort Plug-in” in the 3D Window.
- Object Polygon Reduction
- Choose the “Select by Object” green button in the upper left.
- In the Item List select the item that shows an Object icon (blue cube)
- In the Properties select the Poly Reduced option from the pop-up menu and set a number for the Decimation Steps.
- When you’re satisfied with the polygon reduction click the “Freeze Poly-reduced Geometry” button.
- The final step is to click the “Update ARCHICAD Library Object” button.
Note: When using the Polygon Reduction you’re altering the geometry of the elements in the model. The more you reduce the polygon count the greater impact of change to the object.
When importing a model you can view the Import Statistics in ModelPort before importing into ARCHICAD. In this panel you can view the number of imported items, number of polygons, vertices and the size of the scene Bounding Box.
TurboSquid has an excellent search option that allows you to refine a search by setting a polygon count. The search can be set to the following polygon count options:
- Low: Up to 10k polygons
- Moderate: 10K to 50K polygons
- High : 50K to 100,000K polygons
- Very High : Over 100K polygons
The majority of objects on TurboSquid are available under 100,000 polygons.