Is there at plan to give us the option to export to FBX in the future? I see that many users talk about it but turn it to that there now is a solution to it by Datasmith to use with Twinmotion. But not all of us work with Twinmotion.
I work with 3D Studio/VRay and Unreal for many of our projects and sure Datasmith is nice to have in Archicad, but not to have the chance to export to FBX for 3D Studio or Blender is really a bummer. To not have the opportunity to have linked projects with FBX-files makes revisions a really hard days work.
FBX-Files is used by many 3D software and gives Archicad projects the chance to go in many different ways for presentation to clients. To just say we have Datasmith is to say that we only work with Twinmotion and Unreal, I don't just want to work with those, I want my projects to have the opportunity to expand in many other 3D applications.
Maybe I missed something but I cant find the Export FBX anywhere.
I tested this method using the Graphisoft's Sample Office model (found here)
"Back in the day" when Revit was gaining traction in the market in the 2010s linking the RVT file to MAX for ArchViz Production was my norm. Then I replaced it with FBX a few years later. So I was sad to see FBX gone in AC25 but Glad to see an RVT option. (breath a sigh of relief) So for me losing FBX is not such an "end of the world" issue. (it still sucks though)
So the most important things to achieve with this workflow are.
1. Changes to the building model can be updated via the RVT link file 2. Materials are identified by material definitions and Material IDs in Max 3. Changes made in MAX are retained even if the model is updated/reloaded 4. Export and Reload process can be done quickly (<1min)
5. Naming convention translation to identify AC elements in MAX
This update above took ~40seconds to complete (still a little long but acceptable for the size building)
Important point. It would be wise to create specific views in Archicad with some aspects of the building turned off/on for exporting, as linking the entire model with MEP, furniture, site etc will take a long time (20mins+! for me).
In the image below I created a view with the buildings, walls, floor and roof layers on, (basically the building shell) and exported that as RVT, then I exported the furniture as its own RVT, and the MEP as its own RVT. I then linked all files in MAX using the Manage Links Feature. So if I need to change something that affects only the building shell (for example) I would not have to reload the entire building.
Building shell <40seconds to save & reload in MAX Building Furniture ~8mins to save & reload in MAX MEP + Structure ~12mins to save & reload in MAX Site / Context Only <10seconds to save & reload in MAX
Important points: In my workflow, I would not use most of the furniture coming from Archicad for the production of ArchViz, I mainly use them as reference placeholders to be replaced by more premium models. Hence I would not be constantly reloading the furniture from Archicad as this takes the longest time to save as RVT.
As for the MEP and Structure, I hardly use these elements in the final ArchViz production as they are usually hidden behind walls, and will unnecessarily burden my 3d scene, however in some cases, I may use them when I need to show the makeup of a building or show views of service areas, so I link them just in case. And for the site, especially with terrain, sometimes I will use the mesh only from Archicad and disregard everything else, however most times I will build the site (Terrain, Roads, Curbs, Sidewalks, Landscape, Hardscape) in max and just use the export from Archicad as a reference, hence I have no need to be constantly reloading the MEP, Structures and site Links.
So in a nutshell I link the Building Shell, MEP+Structure and site but I pretty much hide everything except the building shell, and I only constantly update ONLY the building shell from AC25
Do I dear say that even if Graphisoft comes up there own FBX exporter, maybe I will still be using the RVT export instead, for my workflow... 😲
The material textures do not translate with the RVT export, however, MAX interprets the material definitions as independent material ID's which is great!. Besides, persons using 3ds max would be planning to use more premium materials and 3D assets anyway. As for the UV coordinates, just simply throw a UVW Map Modifier on your objects you want to have UVs in max, and even if you reload the 3D model, it WILL keep your materials and UVs!, ... and ... any modifiers you add in MAX!
If you want a "quick" fix to applying materials in MAX, after you link your building from AC25 switch MAX renderer to "ART" and that will give you access to the Autodesk Material library, and u can just drag and drop from there, see image.
Great description of your process Brian. Although for me I am really wanting FBX for a more global solution for asset creation and transfer, it's good to have another method of inclusion of models into Twinmotion, or various other ArchViz programs.
Not holding my breath for an FBX solution for Archicad 26; especially since Graphisoft hasn't responded to this thread in weeks or months.
Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com ArchiCAD 26 (user since 3.4, 1991) 16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System
But it really seems like quite the hassle with many steps.
With my custom script to export obj and import in Blender. I keep material names and linked and UV:s are retained as i found automatic creation of UV:s (both in max and blender unreliable and often scales are whay off and uneaven UV:s)
Exept that the export and import takes a while to load it works fine.
In the projects we are working with a lot of time is saved by setting texture directions in Archicad as you build the model. That's why it is important for us to be able to export the texture coordinates from Archicad to 3dsMax. The texture bitmap itself is not always that important. Lately I've used Archicad to model detailed timber constructions and setting the direction of the wooden texture is done very quickly i Archicad. This is an Archicad screenshot from such a project where it had been a lot of work redoing the uv:s in Max:
There is no mention of it anywhere in the updates list. But it is a good time to bring this request up again. There was an emphasis on "We want AC to be an open platform" during the keynote. Not having FBX export locks a lot people into using TM / Redshift / Enscape. And while these programs are great, the lack of proper FBX export prevents users from exporting into 3ds Max.
AC26 ARM // MBP M2 Max // Twinmotion | Corona | Rhino