February 11, 2022 Candace

Using the Datasmith Direct Link workflow into Twinmotion

Twinmotion from Epic Games is an amazingly easy-to-use real-time visualization tool built upon the Unreal Engine. In this article, you can see how to export content from your design application to Twinmotion using the Datasmith Direct Link workflow.

Setting Up a Datasmith Direct Link

  1. In your design application, open the scene that you want to use to set up a Datasmith Direct Link.
  2. In Twinmotion, click Import.
  3. In the Import window, select the Direct Link tab.

The filename of the scene from your design application appears in the Direct Link settings source field.

Note: If you have more than one design application open, all of the filenames of the scenes that are open appear in the Direct Link settings source dropdown. If this is the case, select the scene that you want to use.

         4. Click Options, and select your Datasmith Direct Link importing options. For more information about the importing options, see Import Options below.

       5. Click Import.

       6. In your design application, on the Datasmith Direct Link toolbar, click Synchronize with Direct Link. The Direct Link synchronization process starts, and the scene from your design application opens in Twinmotion.

Note: The time required for the synchronization process varies depending on the amount and complexity of the data that is being synchronized.

Import Options

Option Description
Collapse Keep hierarchy Select this option to retain the same geometry hierarchy that is used in your source file. In Twinmotion, all objects will be separate and have their own pivot point, so you can move and manipulate them independently. When you select this option, you can also view BIM information for each element in your scene.

This option is useful if you want to create phasings. All objects inside your scene will be separate, making it possible to hide and show them as needed.

Retaining hierarchy is also useful if your scene contains dummy objects that need to be replaced by Twinmotion objects, as you will need each object to be separate.

Note: Although keeping the hierarchy is sometimes necessary, selecting this option will increase the size of your scene in Twinmotion.

Collapse by material This is the recommended option and is selected by default.

This option optimizes the model for real-time rendering, as it reduces the number of objects that are imported into Twinmotion — all objects that use the same material is collapsed into one single group. If material is modified on any of the objects in the group, it will also be modified on all objects in the group.

Collapse all Select this option to import objects or scenes as a whole. In Twinmotion, the entire object or scene will be grouped as one element and controlled by one pivot point only, making it easier to move, select, delete, or save in the User Library.
Enable substitution Select this option if you want to enable material substitution. When importing or re-importing scenes, this option enables you to replace any material that is used in your source file with a Twinmotion material. The material substitutions are defined in a .csv file. This can be useful if your scene contains many objects and you want to simplify material changes by being able to apply the same material to many objects.

Note: This option can be used with any of the Collapse options.

Substitution table The .csv file defines the material substitutions that you want to make when importing or reimporting a scene.

Using the Direct Link Auto Sync Feature

To use the Direct Link Auto Sync feature, you must have both your design application and Twinmotion open, with a Datasmith Direct Link set up between them.

  • Click the Direct Link Auto Sync button in the Datasmith Exporter toolbar.
  • In Archicad and SketchUp Pro, the background of the button switches to light blue when enabled.
  • In Rhino, the appearance of the button remains the same when enabled or disabled. You can verify the status of the Direct Link Auto Sync feature in the command history window.

Updating a Scene in Twinmotion

  1. Open your design application and the scene that you want to import.
  2. In Twinmotion, open the scene that you want to update.
    If the file name and location of the scene has not changed,
    Twinmotion automatically establishes a connection between the scene in Twinmotion and the scene in your design application.
    If the file name and location have changed,
    a broken link icon appears on the file name in the Import dock. If this occurs, click the ellipsis (…) above the file in the dock, and in the menu, select Direct Link Settings to locate the file.
  3. In the Import dock, point your cursor above the scene, and click the Refresh icon.
    The Direct Link feature updates the scene in Twinmotion with any changes that were made to the scene in your design application

Tip: If you have made changes to materials or objects, or have deleted objects, you can re-import the original settings for these items only from your source file instead of doing a full reimport. In the Import dock, point your cursor above the scene icon, and select Reset transform on selection, Reset materials on selection, or Reimport deleted objects.

Note that if the link between your source file and Twinmotion is broken, you need to re-establish the link before selecting one of the options.

iRender - Powerful servers to accelerate rendering projects in Twinmotion

As almost all users know virtual machines have not supported Twinmotion. But in iRender, we have based-mental servers with strong CPU and many GPUs to accelerate rendering projects. We provide powerful machines that have processing capabilities of AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3955WX @ 3.90GHz. In addition, they have the strongest GPU: RTX 3090 24GB VRAM.

Hard drives like SSD (Solid State Drive) or HDD (Hard Disc Drive) should also be taken into consideration when working on a very large project. Furthermore, storing your project on an SSD will allow your project to load and save faster. Luckily, iRender’s server is enough to adapt to these requirements and more.

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Do not hesitate to contact Candace – Customer Support via email: [email protected] or Whatsapp: +840394000881 if you have any questions.

www.twinmotion.com

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Candace

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