Author Topic: [Survey] Corona Proxy and .obj importer  (Read 3327 times)

2019-11-21, 10:15:56

alexhajdu

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Hello everyone!

I'd like to open the discussion about proxies. I feel there is slight misunderstanding and misuse of proxy objects usage in AC right now.
Let's sum it up.

Proxy object ( current implementation )
The current proxy is a GDL object to help to bring custom geometry into AC from a file (like .obj or .cgeo).

Corona proxy ( NOT implemented yet )
Proxies are useful for keeping smooth viewport performance while handling large amounts of high-poly objects in the scene.
This is not implemented in the Corona for AC now - you can't select the geometry and save it as a .cgeo right now.
More info: https://coronarenderer.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/5000516724-how-to-use-proxies-

Conclusion
What we want to do first, is fully implement Corona Proxy (save and load)
Making .obj importer as a separate GDL object is questionable - it's worth it and should we spend the time on this or rather on another more important functionality?

To keep the discussion rolling, will be obj. loading GDL object a useful feature? Is this a used and trusted way how to bring objects into AC? It's not better to use the objects from some well-prepared library? It's another way how to bring custom geometry into AC(plugin)?

Thanks for your feedback!
« Last Edit: 2020-03-31, 10:50:04 by alexhajdu »

2019-11-21, 12:17:40
Reply #1

Ole

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The basic functionalty I would like from a proxy object is simple plan and 3d preview of trees, with full details when rendered. In Vray for Max/Rhino we use a library of vrscenes to add vegetation to our scenes and something similar would be great in Archicad. If we have to make our proxies in Max that is no issue for us. Having the ability to not get the actual materials from the proxy into our AC files would also be nice. There is enough attributes in the files as it is.

Ole

2019-11-21, 20:56:33
Reply #2

tma

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Reading this post, the "corona proxy" would be better.
ARCHICAD 21-22
Corona ArchiCAD Alpha 5

2019-11-22, 08:59:43
Reply #3

alexhajdu

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The basic functionalty I would like from a proxy object is simple plan and 3d preview of trees, with full details when rendered. In Vray for Max/Rhino we use a library of vrscenes to add vegetation to our scenes and something similar would be great in Archicad. If we have to make our proxies in Max that is no issue for us. Having the ability to not get the actual materials from the proxy into our AC files would also be nice. There is enough attributes in the files as it is.

Ole


Yes, as I said, there is a problem with the proxy word, because everyone is explaining it differently :) From the Corona side - Corona Proxy is here to help the editor handling high-poly objects in the scene. What you want here is, however, an object importer, because AC is not providing a good way of importing custom geometry except for the libraries => prepare in Max and bring to AC.


If I understand it correctly, if you import your objects as a geometry, it's missing all visual information for another important views, like documentation, Ground Floor etc, right? Objects in prepared libraries (gdl) have all this information prepared by the creators and therefore are much suitable. If you import your custom objects, what are they??

2019-11-22, 09:50:42
Reply #4

rozky

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I think it is possible to create hi-quality interior visualization by Corona.
But it is not possible to create hi-quality exterior visualization. The problem is the environment - a lot of objects and RAM usage.

for me, corona proxy is more important.
Combo: Corona proxy - Randomization materials - Corona scatter will be great
btw : Is the corona proxy virtual object (low memory eater)?

Thank you.
Peter



Archicad 8-23CZE, Corona Renderer for Archicad Alpha 5

2019-11-22, 10:12:13
Reply #5

rozky

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Quote

Yes, as I said, there is a problem with the proxy word, because everyone is explaining it differently :) From the Corona side - Corona Proxy is here to help the editor handling high-poly objects in the scene. What you want here is, however, an object importer, because AC is not providing a good way of importing custom geometry except for the libraries => prepare in Max and bring to AC.


To import objects to archicad I use the C4d bridge, but I think 3ds in can do it too. It is a little tricky - it is necessary to modify gdl code: replace some parts but if it is not very difficult - with note++ you can do it in few minutes.
More important is to have a low memory eater object.
Archicad 8-23CZE, Corona Renderer for Archicad Alpha 5

2019-11-23, 18:24:36
Reply #6

Hathor

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We can create simple geometry and a 2D symbol ourselves. Or we can use separately 2d tree symbols for the general plan, and proxies for visualization.
The main thing for us is to be able to use high-poly models in visualization, without overloading the ARCHICAD itself.
Now we can export from 3dsMax or Cinema, but then it becomes impossible to work in the ARCHICAD , everything slows down.

It’s not necessary to make it possible to save the proxy-file directly from the ARCHICAD (because first you will need to export the geometry to the ARCHICAD and it can freezes).
But it would be cool to be able to load files in other formats into the proxy-object (max, 3ds, fbm), without having 3dsMax or Cinema with Corona.

2019-11-24, 11:51:15
Reply #7

Ole

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The basic functionalty I would like from a proxy object is simple plan and 3d preview of trees, with full details when rendered. In Vray for Max/Rhino we use a library of vrscenes to add vegetation to our scenes and something similar would be great in Archicad. If we have to make our proxies in Max that is no issue for us. Having the ability to not get the actual materials from the proxy into our AC files would also be nice. There is enough attributes in the files as it is.

Ole


Yes, as I said, there is a problem with the proxy word, because everyone is explaining it differently :) From the Corona side - Corona Proxy is here to help the editor handling high-poly objects in the scene. What you want here is, however, an object importer, because AC is not providing a good way of importing custom geometry except for the libraries => prepare in Max and bring to AC.


If I understand it correctly, if you import your objects as a geometry, it's missing all visual information for another important views, like documentation, Ground Floor etc, right? Objects in prepared libraries (gdl) have all this information prepared by the creators and therefore are much suitable. If you import your custom objects, what are they??

What I would like is actually the excact same feature as Vrscenes in vray (geometry and shading only, really. No need for lights yet). An object shaded and ready for rendering. Does not need to be able to import any other format, just prepared geometry from Max. No need for any plan or 3d symbol other than a bounding box. A minimal footprint in the Archicad application (not added to library etc.). Just visible in rendering.

Ole

2019-11-26, 07:09:36
Reply #8

spr0ckets

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Thank you for bringing up this discussion Alex, as I believe it's currently probably the most important feature to be considered in the plugin going forward.
Thanks also for the distinction because I can definitely confirm that most people probably were confusing the terms between how you explained it and how we were understanding it before.

To very briefly summarize, I will state that my personal opinion is that you should pursue the second option (Corona Proxy).
I'll explain why.

Perhaps my decision is more heavily influenced by the fact that my experience comes from the 3ds Max side of things using proxy objects there (as proxies either with Vray or Corona's cgeo objects), and that's why I probably confused the understanding of the current implementation. As to why which is the better option, as you well might know, ArchiCAD like most CAD and BIM software isn't that great at handling high-polycount objects - unlike say, 3ds Max or Cinema4D even without the proxy features of the various render engines (And granted those are not CAD or BIM software, but modelling software). In fact this has been a major bone of contention for years now with users asking the Graphisoft developers to provide a way to allow users to "instance" geometry the way you can with 3ds Max, to allow people to save on memory and facilitate smoother viewport navigation.

But there are other reasons why I think this would be a far better option, aside from memory handling, such as the fact that there already exists a large library of already proxied custom entourage objects (trees, cars, 3D people etc) for the various render engines that are commercially available - aside from the libraries that most users who use these other software have already developed themselves.
It would also facilitate the implementation of other features down the line with the plugin like the scatter object or feature for example, for creating grass lawn surfaces and forests or even crowds of people - things that are typically easy to do in a BIM software like ArchiCAD.

Obviously there are drawbacks to this option - like the fact that one has to have access to proxy files (cgeo) and objects or at least the means to create them outside of ArchiCAD (using either 3ds Max or Cinema4D) which a lot of ArchiCAD users might not have. There might also arise the complication of getting the right textures and maps saved and loaded with the files since I imagine it wouldn't be straightforward or easy to do so from within ArchiCAD and the Corona plugin without a material editor and information from the proxy file showing what's what.

However the current Proxy object implementation, which useful, also has its own drawbacks even if it were to be fully functionally implementation.
chief among this is that you're always going to be reliant on the person who created the GDL object to have done a decent enough job in making most of the functions accessible based on how they coded it, and sad to say, most GDL objects are just not that well coded and at the same time most ArchiCAD users are not GDL-coding proficient (again, another thing that ArchiCAD users have been begging Graphisoft to make more accessible via a better interface than line coding, to no avail).
The other obvious drawback is that there simply isn't as large a GDL library of custom objects available out there (to a high enough quality) that are available to ArchiCAD users as one can find of objects that are either Corona proxy files or capable of being converted into them.
Last but not least, correct me if I'm wrong, but this method wouldn't save any memory usage like the Corona proxy file (which should be representable either as a point cloud, a cube or a single 2D plane or a line or point in the viewscreen.).Which means, users will once again always be limited as to how many Proxy objects they can load before they hit the Polycount ceiling and the program begins to crawl and gets brought down to its knees.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts and opinions.


2019-11-26, 09:08:28
Reply #9

alexhajdu

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Thanks, everyone. Very useful information!
Please, keep going, you can imagine as engineers, we don't have enough information about your workflow, or insight on how architects are using AC in general.

We have a bigger AC meeting tomorrow. I will inform you in the next days about conclusions and the next development steps.
Probably also the roadmap will be updated too.
Stay tuned :)

2020-01-03, 19:04:44
Reply #10

leceta

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Please, keep going, you can imagine as engineers, we don't have enough information about your workflow, or insight on how architects are using AC in general.

we architects use ArchiCAD as a 3D modeling and documentation software. Nowadays we cant manage complex, high poly exterior scenes (vegetation) in Archicad, so we need to adopt other software to achieve high-quality 3d images. Without corona proxies, there is no clue for general adoption of Archicad as a rendering tool. Corona has the potential to import all the advanced rendering goodies (proxies, scattering system, procedural textures, batch renders, distributed renders,...) to Archicad. Almost all of these features are a must-have to compete with any traditional rendering environment.

Ideally, corona proxies should behave exactly as GDL objects do, id est, in particular with the ability to represent various geometry entities depending of context (we need a tree to be represented in a particular manner in a plan view, and no, just a 2D projection of the 3D geometry will not work, usually a representation of a vegetation or a furniture is dictated by some standards, not an artistic option). When looking at Archicad 3D views, this proxies should be represented in a stylized manner (probably low-poly) and it should be represented high-poly when rendering (well, this is the main reason for using proxies, a responsive work environment. Sure, also low ram memory and blah-blah...)

Hope if this clarifies and (this) architect point of view.

thanks and keep on the great work!

2020-04-22, 13:00:48
Reply #11

Javiermarin

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You have to think about Archicad's automatic reconstruction of sections and elevations. Placing objects with a large number of polygons will make these reconstructions terribly difficult. Corona Proxys will be the most important because of the difficulty Archicad has in moving objects with a large number of polygons

2020-04-24, 16:10:31
Reply #12

marko.zeko

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Hello everyone!

I'd like to open the discussion about proxies. I feel there is slight misunderstanding and misuse of proxy objects usage in AC right now.
Let's sum it up.

Proxy object ( current implementation )
The current proxy is a GDL object to help to bring custom geometry into AC from a file (like .obj or .cgeo).

Corona proxy ( NOT implemented yet )
Proxies are useful for keeping smooth viewport performance while handling large amounts of high-poly objects in the scene.
This is not implemented in the Corona for AC now - you can't select the geometry and save it as a .cgeo right now.
More info: https://coronarenderer.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/5000516724-how-to-use-proxies-

Conclusion
What we want to do first, is fully implement Corona Proxy (save and load)
Making .obj importer as a separate GDL object is questionable - it's worth it and should we spend the time on this or rather on another more important functionality?

To keep the discussion rolling, will be obj. loading GDL object a useful feature? Is this a used and trusted way how to bring objects into AC? It's not better to use the objects from some well-prepared library? It's another way how to bring custom geometry into AC(plugin)?

Thanks for your feedback!


Will it be possible to import *.max files and save them as proxies?

2020-04-25, 11:55:43
Reply #13

spr0ckets

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......

Will it be possible to import *.max files and save them as proxies?

No you would have to export the object from 3ds Max into a more common file format like .3ds or .obj or .fbx and then that is probably what you would likely be able to import.

Ideally, (if they ever resume development of the plugin) would be to convert the objects directly into Corona proxy file format in 3ds Max (the .cgeo format) and then those could possibly be imported directly into ArchiCAD using the plugin  which would display the object either as simple geometry (cube or a 2d billboard or point) or as a mesh point cloud.

.max is a propriety file format that belongs to Autodesk and neither ArchiCAD nor the Corona plugin would be able to read them directly.
It might be potentially possible to create a translator (??) but I suspect that that would be too much work and you would probably run into IP legal issues with Autodesk.
(although I don't know why they are fine with everyone else's software being able to translate .DWG file format which is the industry standard in a lot of areas)