New proxies for existing mod.thea files

Hi guys,

I’m really interested in the kind of proxies Transmutr Studio will be able to generate. Particularly the Billboard Cross and Sketchup File.

I have made some Billboard Cross in the past but they are really hard work. Laubwerk generates proxies like Sketchup File but, of course, we are bound to Laubwerk trees and with Transmutr we are not. These are really handy as the volume is great for placing trees in the model and generate architectural plans.

So I’m really eager to get my hands on a Studio License when I can (I hope it’s when the trial ends… :slight_smile: )

However, I already have a request: would it be possible if you could import Thea.mod files into transmutr or somehow generate the proxies from Thea.mod files?

I guess people from vray will also want that option, but maybe Tomasz will be friendly towards the idea. Are you in contact with him about Transmutr?

Thinking further on it. Transmutr should also be able to open skp files.

I have some trees that I made in Sketchup, and it would be handy if I didn’t have to convert them to DAE in order to generate the proxy versions.


Is this just a Thea thing having to convert to dae from SU? Just wondering if it adds anything to other workflows. I’m asking because I’m not familiar with Thea proxy workflow.

I think there’s been some misunderstanding of the feature.

“SketchUp file” simply allows the user to select an existing *.skp file that will be used as the proxy preview. Transmutr doesn’t generate this convex hull shape, it’s just an example. I don’t even know if it’s possible to do this automatically, with the separation between the trunk and canopy.

Regarding “Billboard”, for now you need to provide the image that will be applied to the plane(s). We want to be able to generate the image automatically, but our first attempt was a failure, do to some issue with openGL context… I hope we’ll manage to do it before release.

Unfortunately, Altair is not willing to provide and SDK to us. This is why for now Transmutr doesn’t generate Thea proxies. We may be able to create our own exporter, though. We’ll see.
As for an importer, I’ll discuss it with Merwan, but frankly I think it’s too small of a niche for us to spend so much time on a feature like that. I’d rather spend this time developing Skatter V2.

I thought about this, and it may be doable. Although there are a few issues I can think of.
I’ll add it to our todo list.

That is a real shame. Sorry for the confusion. I understand the feature now.

I think the simplified geometry will be good and will work for me.

As for the rest, just keep the good work and thanks!

No. It’s a transmutr and Sketchup thing.

Transmutr doesn’t open SketchUp files it just produces them.

It would be cool if it would.

So if you have models in SketchUp format and you want to generate proxies or simplify geometry using transmutr you’ll have to export from SketchUp. The best exporter for SketchUp geometry is .DAE which transmutr accepts.

Thinking further on this, maybe, you could find a way to generate the separated hull geometry for trunk and canopy if you think on geometry as you’re thinking on materials.

You allow users to pick on group’s of geometry as you allow for materials. The user wouod select a geometry grouo by material, like foliage and generate a canopy hull. Then the user would select the trunk geometry/material and generate a trunk. If user is happy he can ignore all other groups and transmutr is able to generate the proxy.

Not full automation but only two clicks from user and should result great!

Generating a shperical kind of hull for each group should be pretty simple for you two programming ninjas :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I added it to our todo list. No promise, but we’ll see what can be done.

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That clears up my question. I see now it’s a multi-step process for Thea proxies, you can’t directly generate one from Transmuter. I still don’t quite see what advantage there would be to open SKP files when you could just use Sketchup, and the proxy conversion is already in the SU plugin.

You could have a standard file for trees, cars, chairs, people or whatever else in SketchUp, that could then be used.