Making my files compatible with Skatter and different render engines


I’ve made a set of autumn leaves which I want to make compatible with several render engines and Skatter. I use Maxwell and I’ve already created the necessary files for it (.skp which links to a standalone MXS file) but now I’m wondering how the included Skatter libraries work with different renderers.

In the library folder I see there is only one preset sklib file and .skp file for all engines, and then the standalone files for Thea, Vray, Maxwell, having the same name as the .skp file. So I’m guessing what goes on behind the scene is Skatter automatically sends the right standalone file depending on the render engine?

I’d like to do the same thing, so that I can avoid having one set of library presets for each engine. One problem I’m finding with Vray though is that the vrmesh doesn’t contain any material assignments. The files I have need to use a Vray multimaterial to render properly, and I don’t know if it’s possible to specify this at load/render time.

To make the vrmesh have the right material assigned what I do now is:

  • Import vrmesh into Sketchup and assign it the proper materials
  • create the Skatter preset. Skatter creates the .skp file with the vrmesh in it
  • This vrmesh inside the file created by Skatter is a “special” kind of vrmesh, it no longer has the materials assigned to it and if I try to edit it, Vray says I need to serialize it or something like that.
  • I do that, and now it has the material applied.

But this means I need to create a preset for each of the render engines. I’m not sure yet how Thea’s standalone files work, if they also include material assignments or not. Maxwells MXS format does.

When do the textures/materials get applied to the vrmesh file when using one of the supplied library presets with Vray?

If someone has a better way, please let me know. Ideally I’d like to have just one set of preset files for all 3 renderers.

The assets in the Skatter library required quite a lot of manual process. To have a single component with materials and proxies for multiple engines, I actually create them separately, then copy all the attributes in a single one.

Attributes are data attached to entities in SketchUp, in this case components. They are normally used by extensions to write data to the model, there is no UI in SketchUp to access them directly.
I use this extension to browse and modify the attributes manually :

Thanks Thomas, I see it’s not so simple :slight_smile: Maybe I’ll just create separate presets for each engine. I doubt anyway many use 3-4 of them with Sketchup…