Troubles creating 3d bazaar library using Transmutr


I am now building my library using transmutr and 3d bazaar, and though it’s a lot of work, I am sure it’s going to improve my workflow when the time comes. For now it is still trial and errors, but I am between 2 jobs so it’s time to put my hands in it!

So, to start with, I have had sketchup crashing several times using Transmutr. Transmutr keeps running, but Sketchup crashes (Crash #235183) and Transmutr gives me this error (while finishing its job):
I do have a preset saved for this job, as I am repeating the process for several objects (from Globe plants… I hate that I purchased them before the release of 3d bazaar…). I can send you the file if you want.

One thing to know (maybe), is I am creating a library of proxies that can be used with both Vray and Thea render, as I can be using both for different uses.
Right now it works randomly. Below are two captures of 3 trees imported as proxies with transmutr, with both Vray and Thea render proxies enabled, and rendered in both engines.
One proxy renders only in Vray, one renders only in Thea, and one renders in both.
Thea :

Vray :

These trees are from Vizpark (FBX format), as I am also having trouble importing trees from Globe plants (I’ll do another post about it).

Thanks for your helps!

Note :
Latest versions of Sketchup, Transmutr, Thea and Vray are installed.

So about Globe plant trees,

They provide proxies for both Vray and Thea, but in 2 different files, which is not what I want. Plus, in order to use the Thea proxy, you have to copy all files in a folder to be created in the C: hard drive root, which I don’t want either.
So on paper, Transmutr is the best solution, but I can’t make it work for those files specifically.

This is the workflow I experimented :

  • I find the *_fullgeometry file provided in the Sketchup folder, and drag it to Transmutr window.
  • First problem with the texture. Alpha maps are not recognized (even though image files are transparent are transparent png, and have alpha maps provided all located in the same folder as the sketchup file)

  • I choose face skipping for the proxy creating
  • I get an unusual and very heavy “proxy” like so :

Close up :

  • And when rendered (similar results in Thea and Vray) :

Ok, I guess I am done for today, thanks for reading!

Hi @Eqc

Usually Thomas is the most knowledgeable regarding renderer-related questions but he’s currently away from work for a few weeks.
I’ll do a deep dive into our export pipeline and try to investigate what goes wrong in that workflow but it might take a bit of time as I have other tasks to attend to :slight_smile:

Could you privately share the files so that we take a look?

This error indicates that the connection between Transmutr and SketchUp has been interrupted due to the crash. So at first sight, it looks like it’s a consequence of the SketchUp crash rather that its cause.

Do you think that the crashes are related to Transmutr or they also happen when not using it? Any additional detail is welcome!

Thanks for your response,

No problem I can wait, it’s better to get Skatter 2 right on the tracks first :wink:
I will link you the file via email so you can investigate. It is a test file for me also…

Yes, the crash only happens when I click “transmute”.

1 Like

Hi again :slight_smile:

So I gave up making a both Thea+Vray proxy library for now. Now I’m concentrating on making a proxy asset library just for Vray, and I am doing some tests between projects to optimize the worflow and finally have a nice and ready-to-use library for my archviz projects.
I searched for answers in the forum and in the manual, but didn’t find anyhting. Sorry if it has been asked before.

1- I understood that .max format is proprietary and I need to use .fbx or .3ds if available in order to convert them because I don’t have 3dsmax (too expensive as it’s obviously not my main software :)).
The thing is Vrmat are not often provided (let’s say never).
So my first question is : how do I modify the materials after transmuting an object?

2- In some assets, I need to modify the proxy afterwards. As a practical example to be more explicit, some of the trees I once bought have roots, and the billboard provided doesn’t. The consequence is the proxy generated gets distorted and therefore doesn’t represent the proportion of the model. Here’s an example to illustrate (xfrog tree):
On the left is the proxy generated by transmutr, on the right the expected proxy, and then the render that explains why the billboard gets distorted.

Transmutr proxy 1 render

The problem is when I open the proxy file to change it, I get an error message and if I ignore it, it breaks the link with the vrmesh:
Opening the proxy:
Rendering after modifying the proxy and importing it in another file :

That leads to a second question : how do you modify a proxy without breaking it?
Changing the proxy afterwards can be very useful in many cases as well, for models that need to be rendered as well as used in the sketchup model for different purpose.
(I see that @Qu_Dao is having the same problem in another thread. Sorry if I should have posted there)

Thank you!

Hi @Eqc

(First of all, I have not forgotten your initial request! But things are so busy right now that I haven’t had time to look into it in depth yet :confused: )

Ideally materials should be set up before the export via the Materials tab in Transmutr.

What is your use case?
Maybe there are some missing material options in Transmutr?

Editing materials once exported seems quite tricky with V-Ray. It looks like we cannot directly edit the proxy itself or V-Ray complains about unlinking (like in your second question).

In a SketchUp model, it should be possible to edit/apply new materials to the proxy but this would have to be done each time the proxy is imported. If your goal is to have several material variants for a single asset, this could be made a bit more convenient by importing the proxy in a model, tweaking materials and exporting a few vrmat files to your library.

That’s a similar issue unfortunately and I think that this is more of a question for the V-Ray developers :slight_smile:

Like previously, this is made difficult by the impossibility to edit proxy files.

I experimented a bit by converting back and forth between skp/vrscene/vrmesh to go from a Transmuted proxy → to an editable proxy → back to a regular proxy, but so far there’s always something that breaks along the way.

Maybe other users reading this have found the secret recipe?

Seems like le root of the issue is the preview that doesn’t match the model in the first place.

There’s actually an “automatic billboard generation” feature hidden somewhere deep in Transmutr’s roadmap that could help with that problem. The idea would be to generate billboard images by directly rendering the asset when exporting it so that it perfectly matches. Looking forward to implement this, but once again, we’re short on time at the moment so it’s unlikely to be available in the short term.

Thanks for your thorough response :slight_smile:

I have this need almost every time I use Transmutr. There are indeed some preset materials that would be much appreciated (like a basic car paint for example), but really what I need is to see a preview of the material in order to tweak the parameters and see the result. That’s why I would like to be able to modify the materials afterwards and even use some premade or preset materials from vray because it’s not possible with Transmutr (which I totally understand considering you support several render engines that don’t have the same parameters).

As for now I do several trials end errors before I find the “good” match (it’s never perfect but it’s good enough). But it takes time and with models that contain many textures it gets complicated (vehicules for instance)
That’s why I haven’t succeeded making a full library yet :sweat_smile:

I don’t know much about coding, but I’m guessing modifying the materials afterwards in your own rendering software seems simpler that integrating a material rendering engine in Transmutr! I might be wrong… (I’d love to!)

I read in Chaos forum that it was possible, but maybe I misundertsood because I couldn’t make it work with Transmutr proxies :

What do you think?

Yes that’s exactly the point :wink:

I saw that when I investigated in your manual to find a solution :wink:
That would be great indeed, but the need to modify the proxy will still be there in other cases, when a proxy is both a render element and a graphic visual in sketchup.

I totally understand that use case. The process seems very inefficient right now!

Showing an approximate preview of the model directly in Transmutr would greatly help indeed. But as you guessed, it would be a significant undertaking! So not realistic in the short-term unfortunately.

Interesting. This looks similar to what I experimented with. But I did not succeed.

From what I understand, the matter is still not resolved. The V-Ray person in the thread mentions that “There are a couple of improvements the team have in mind which may directly affect this problem”.
No idea if they have time to make this easier since?

Sorry for the late response…
It seems the solutions stands in the hands of Vray, and its ability to modify proxies afterwards. I’ll post on their forum as soon as I have more time and keep you informed.

In the mean time (also when I have more time), I also want to try a workaround and test if “double proxying” would work. Meaning put the proxy in a file, modify materials and appearance if needed, and then use that file for libraries. It would take some time, but achieve a similar result in the end.
I’ll let you know wether it succeeds or not :wink:

The double proxy idea seems interesting. Please keep us updated!

Ok, I have good news : the “double proxy” works! For both problem!
The downside is that it takes time to setup, but with practice it can be improved :slight_smile:

So here are the steps as I performed them :

1- Open a new file, and import the 3d with transmutr
2- Tweak the materials as needed, and do test rendering!
3- If the proxy has been created with face skipping or billboard, I suggest creating a hidden layer with all materials in it (they can be applied on small surfaces, they just need to remain in the file to prevent from being purged). I guess the proxy materials can be purged because they are linked and therefore not recognized by sketchup as used materials. This solution is tricky but works!
I’m even wondering if that was not the base problem… This will be a future test…
4- The proxy appearance can also be modified from there.
5- Save the file (several files can be created from here, allowing material variations)
6- Use this file to drag and drop into a project.
7- Tada!

There might be a shortcut to this as I am not a vray expert. If anyone has an idea to share…

As I said before that same workflow can be optimized with practice, and with render ready materials…

Good news :slight_smile:

Argh, yes! We encountered similar problem with Skatter. As soon as a material or component is not used, it’s likely to get purged and this generates issues down the line. A bit like you, we hide the important stuff in a hidden & locked group to ensure it remains in the model.

Anyway, good to know you found a suitable workflow.