Tips to Exchange Models Between ArchiCAD and Autodesk 3ds Max

by GRAPHISOFT and Péter Koncz · updated: 04.23.2013

Importing 3D Studio Files into ArchiCAD

  • You can import textures with 3D studio files into ArchiCAD, but you have to pay attention that only bitmap type textures can be transferred. Procedural maps (Checker, Noise, Tiles) will not be imported.
  • Texture images can only be applied to the diffuse channel of a material.
  • Textures applied only to Standard or Architectural materials will be converted properly with the 3DStudio In AddOn.
  • Textures applied to professional materials (e.g. Arch&Design, Vray material) will not be converted.
  • Diffuse, ambient and specular properties of any material can be imported, along with reflection and refraction values.
  • Model cannot contain any element with more than 65K faces. Use ProOptimizer modifier to reduce facecount in 3ds Max. Readymade highpoly models might be reduced to 30-40% without any visible change and that will speed up 3D workflow after importing it to ArchiCAD.

mateditortree.png

  • Note: e.g. a highpoly tree with more than 500K faces is not suggested to be imported into ArchiCAD.
TIP: you can download objects for ArchiCAD in GDL format: Help Center LinkCollection

Exporting 3D Studio Files from ArchiCAD

In this dialog, you can set up the scale and type of exporting. You should set the scale to match the units that will be used in 3ds Max.
Note that convert units will need to be unchecked in the 3D Studio Max import dialog.

You can read more information on the ArchiCAD export types below the images.

exportimport.png

 

ArchiCAD objects (native output)

Click this button to create a 3D Studio file without grouping. Elements will be exported “as is” and some objects will be exploded into smaller parts.

  • native.png

 

Element types- Materials

Click this button to create a group in the 3D Studio file for each ArchiCAD construction element, and within these groups, create internal groups for each surface material. Elements will be exported “as is” and complex objects will recieve a Multi/Sub-Object material.

  • element.png

 

Layers – Materials

Click this button to create groups in the 3D Studio file for each ArchiCAD layer, and within these groups, create internal groups for each surface material. With this option elements will be merged according to layers and Multi/Sub-Object materials will be applied to the whole layer.

  • layers.png

 

Materials

Click this button to create a group in the 3D Studio file for each surface material. With this option all elements are exploded into faces and faces will be merged according to material.

  • materials.png

 


Suggested workflow

 

  • When you wish to use the model for visualization, it is very useful to export the ArchiCAD projects based on materials. However, for a smooth workflow materials should be applied consciously from the beginning of the modelling, so after exporting they can be selected with only one click and modified easily.

 

  • glass.png

 

Related content

3dstudio--download

3D Studio Files in ArchiCAD

Import 3ds Max Files (.3ds) With the help of 3DStudio In Add-On you will be able to convert .3ds files to ArchiCAD GDL objects. By default, it is not integrated into ArchiCAD’s interface.   Download and install "3DStudio In" Add-On You can download…
dwg-import-3d--4

How to Open and Save 3D DWG or 3DS Files

  The 3D modelling softwares have different engines to compute the objects, they have their own file formats. The conversion between these applications goes usually in two ways: Using DWG/DXF format : the content of the file depends on the conversion…
fileformats

Import/Export File Formats in ArchiCAD

  ArchiCAD formats File format Import Export 2D 3D Notes .PLN Solo Project file File compatibility list .PLA Archive Includes all library parts, linked images and textures; File compatibility list .BIMX BIMx format - - For details, see BIMx…