Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions. If your question cannot be answered from the FAQ’s listed below click here to send us your question.
The OBJ file format is a simple data-format that represents 3D geometry alone — namely, the position of each vertex, the UV position of each texture coordinate vertex, vertex normals, and the faces that make each polygon defined as a list of vertices, and texture vertices. Vertices are stored in a counter-clockwise order by default, making explicit declaration of face normals unnecessary. OBJ coordinates have no units, but OBJ files can contain scale information in a human readable comment line.
PROS: The most popular exchange format for 3D models, OBJ can be exported and imported by just about every 3D application. Quad topology is retained.
CONS: Does not hold rigging or animation information.
FBX® is a proprietary file format developed by Kaydara and now owned by Autodesk. FBX data exchange technology is a 3D asset exchange format compatible with many 3D tools. FBX facilitates higher-fidelity data exchange between several Autodesk content creation packages and supports certain third-party and propriety applications. With FBX in your pipeline, it’s easier to transfer files, retain more data, and work more efficiently.
PROS: A modern format that retains more information during an exchange as well as the only exchange format that holds rigging and animation information. Since it is a newer format it holds more complex material information than OBJ. Quad topology is retained.
CONS: Older versions of the FBX format often exchange model information better than newer versions.
|LightMap | DetailMap | NormalMap||Link||No|
|Multiple Channels Mapping||Yes||No|
|Interchange File Format||Yes||Yes|
It was the native file format of the old Autodesk 3D Studio DOS (releases 1 to 4), which was popular until its successor (3D Studio MAX 1.0) replaced it in April 1996. Having been around since 1990, it has grown to become a de facto industry standard for transferring models between 3D programs, or for storing models for 3D resource catalogs (along with OBJ, which is more frequently used as a model archiving file format).
Despite its popularity there are some disadvantages:
- The 3DS format is an old format that can be buggy.
- Lost data often occurs when importing a 3DS object into ArchiCAD.
- Texture’s applied to an imported 3DS files can often be corrupt.
- The number of vertices and polygons per mesh is limited to 65536.
- The 3DS format only stores 3 sided polygons and ArchiCAD does not handle 3 sided polygons very well.
- ArchiCAD has problems applying texture display on 3 sided polygons.
- On the “Basic Settings” tab ModelPort has a “Report Level” parameter. If it is on value “only Errors” – the plugin writes out only error messages (into the “Session Report” window). But if it is on “Debug” it can write out a lot of info and this can multiply the import time. Don’t select “Debug” unless coordinating an issue with support.
- On the “Basic Settings” tab “Add mesh parameters” parameter can slow down an import if the scene contains a lot of objects. Thus it is probably good to turn this setting off if there are lots of objects in a scene.
- On the “Basic Settings” tab “Add Material Parameters” can slow down import if there are a lot of materials in an object. We would recommend turning off the “Add Material Parameters” in this scenario.
When importing a model you can view the Import Statistics in ModelPort before importing into ArchiCAD. In this panel you can view the number of imported items, number of polygons, vertices and the size of the scene Bounding Box.
TurboSquid has an excellent search option that allows you to refine a search by setting a polygon count. The search can be set to the following polygon count options:
- Up to 10k polygons
- 10K to 50K polygons
- 50K to 100,000K polygons
- Over 100K polygons
The majority of objects on TurboSquid are available under 100,000 polygons.