Datasmith File Import Workflow

See how to import content into Twinmotion using the Datasmith File Import workflow.

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To use this workflow, the Datasmith Exporter plugin for your design application must be installed. For more information on design applications that support Datasmith and where to download the plugins, refer to Supported Design Applications for Datasmith.

3D models and assets from any major Building Information Modeling (BIM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), or modeling design application can be brought into Twinmotion using the Datasmith File Import workflow. Once you've installed the Datasmith Exporter plugin in your design application, you use the Datasmith Exporter toolbar to convert your content into a .udatasmith and a folder containing all your material assets. You then import the .udatasmith file and the material assets into Twinmotion.

Using the Datasmith File Import Workflow

The steps to import 3D models and assets from your design application into Twinmotion are as follows:

  • Step 1: Download and install the Datasmith Exporter plugin for your design application. This installs the Datasmith Exporter toolbar in your design application.

  • Step 2: In your design application, use the Datasmith Exporter toolbar to export your content and create a .udatasmith file and Material assets folder.

  • Step 3: Import the .udatasmith file and Material assets folder into Twinmotion.

Certain design applications, such as ArcGIS CityEngine, BricsCAD, and Vectorworks, have the Datasmith Exporter functionality built-in to their software. If you are using these applications, you can skip Step 1.

Step 1: Download and Install the Datasmith Exporter plugin

  1. Download the Datasmith Exporter plugin for your design application.

    The plugins can be downloaded from the Twinmotion website, from the Supported Design Applications for Datasmith documentation page, or from your design application's website.

  2. Install the plugin for your design application.

    For information on how to install the Datasmith Exporter plugin for Archicad, Revit, Rhino, or SketchUp Pro refer to:

    Using Datasmith with Archicad

    Using Datasmith with Revit

    Using Datasmith with Rhino

    Using Datasmith with SketchUp Pro

Step 2: Export the Content with the Datasmith Exporter Toolbar

  1. In your design application, open the scene that you want to export

  2. In the Datasmith Exporter toolbar, click Export to Datasmith

    Export to Datasmith button

    Export to Datasmith command in the Datamith Exporter toolbar

  3. In the file browser window that opens, select the location where you want to save the .udatasmith file and folder.

  4. Choose a file name and click Save. The .udatasmith file and a folder containing the assets of the scene are created. In most design applications, only assets that are visible in the Viewport are exported; hidden assets are not exported.

Step 3: Import the Content Into Twinmotion

  1. In Twinmotion, click Import.

    Import icon button

    The Import window opens.

    Import window

  2. In the Geometry tab, click Open.

  3. In the file browser window, locate and select the .udatasmith file and click Open.

  4. In the Import window, under Options, select the importing options for the .udatasmith file. For more information about the importing options, refer to Import Options below.

    Import options

  5. Click Import. The import process starts, and the scene and material assets from your design application open in Twinmotion.

Import Options

The table below shows the Import options available when importing .udatasmith files into Twinmotion using the Datasmith File Import workflow.

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 Building Information Modeling (BIM) information for each element in your scene.

This option is useful if you want to create phasing groups and scene states. 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 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 are collapsed into one single group. If a material is modified on any of the objects in the group, it will also be modified on all objects in the group.

This is the recommended option and is selected by default.

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, or delete, or to save in the User Library.

Max UV precision

Select this option to ensure that the UV map layouts projected on objects that are imported into Twinmotion are maintained accurately and with the maximum precision possible. Selecting this option can increase the amount of memory consumption during the import process.

Selecting the Max UV Precision option resolves most UV map precision issues. Some issues may not be resolved on import due to geometry issues originating in the 3D modeling process in the original design application.

Process

This setting determines whether lights are processed when imported into Twinmotion.

This option is only available when you first import a .udatasmith file into Twinmotion; it is not available in the File Settings when resetting or reimporting a .udatasmith file

File settings for reset and reimport

All: Imports the light source and the geometry of the light. By default, this option is selected.

Meshes: Imports the geometry of the light only.

Light: Imports the light source only.

Light settings

When the Process option is set to either All or Light, this property determines the settings of imported Omnidirectional lights, Spot lights, and Area lights when imported into Twinmotion. These settings affect the imported light source only, and do not affect imported geometry.

Lights that are disabled when imported are not fully supported. They may not be imported, or the color of the light may change to black. There are some conversion inconsistencies when importing lights between design applications and Twinmotion.

Use original : The original lighting parameters such as intensity, color, angle, IES profile, and other compatible settings that were set in the design application are used.

Set intensity to 300lm: The original lighting parameters that were set in the design application are used, but the intensity of lights is set to 300lm.

Set all values to TM default : The lighting parameters are converted to Twinmotion default lighting parameters.

Enable substitution

Select this option if you want to enable material substitution. When importing or reimporting 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 that defines the material substitutions that you want to make when importing or reimporting a scene.

By default, the .csv file is located in C:\Users[user name]\Documents\Twinmotion[version number].

Updating a Scene in Twinmotion

If you make changes to the original 3D model in your design application, you can update the scene in Twinmotion by creating a new .udatasmith file and folder and reimporting them into Twinmotion.

  1. In your design application, open the updated scene.

  2. In the Datasmith Exporter toolbar, click Export to Datasmith.

    Export to Datasmith button

    Export to Datasmith command in the Datamith Exporter toolbar

  3. In the file browser window that opens, select the location where you want to save the .udatasmith file and folder. You can create a new file and folder or just overwrite the existing ones.

  4. Choose a file name and click Save.

  5. In Twinmotion, click Import. The import process starts, and the scene and material assets from your design application open in Twinmotion.

  6. If the .udatasmith file name and location has not changed:

    • In the Import dock, click the Refresh icon above the .udatasmith icon to update the model.

If the .udatasmith file name and/or location has changed, you need to re import the file:

a. In the Import dock, click the ellipsis (...) above the UDATASMITH icon.

b. Click File Settings. The Datasmith File Import window opens.

c. In Your file, locate and select the new .udatasmith file, then select the import options and click OK.

If you have made changes to materials or objects, or have deleted objects, you can reimport 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, Reset properties on selection, or Reimport deleted objects.

Reset and reimport commands

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.

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