Bryce Terrain to SketchUp (or .3ds)

AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
edited May 2012 in New Users

Hello, I've been trying to export my Bryce terrain to some format that SketchUp can use, as I will do most of my buildings in SketchUp. Because SketchUp can import .3ds files, I have been trying to export the terrain to that format. Whenever I select either 3ds option (mesh or test), my exported file is 0kb in size and broken. I'm not exactly sure what I am doing wrong, and the file format has to be .3ds to be able to be used later in the roller coaster simulation program I am using (NoLimits).


Here are some things I have done to the terrain... perhaps this might help:

- I have created and edited the terrain/height map
- I have applied a texture to the terrain (New Mexico Cliffs, I think)
- I have selected the terrain before exporting (to export it alone)
- I'm not running the program as an administrator


Hopefully there is something I can do to fix this, because otherwise I will have to throw away the Bryce terrain and try to model it all in SketchUp. Thanks in advance.


And, if you're curious on what I'm currently working on, here is "Icarus" w/Bryce Terrain.

Post edited by AJClarke0912 on

Comments

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,519
    edited December 1969

    Hello, I've been trying to export my Bryce terrain to some format that SketchUp can use, as I will do most of my buildings in SketchUp. Because SketchUp can import .3ds files, I have been trying to export the terrain to that format. Whenever I select either 3ds option (mesh or test), my exported file is 0kb in size and broken. I'm not exactly sure what I am doing wrong, and the file format has to be .3ds to be able to be used later in the roller coaster simulation program I am using (NoLimits).


    Here are some things I have done to the terrain... perhaps this might help:

    - I have created and edited the terrain/height map
    - I have applied a texture to the terrain (New Mexico Cliffs, I think)
    - I have selected the terrain before exporting (to export it alone)
    - I'm not running the program as an administrator


    Hopefully there is something I can do to fix this, because otherwise I will have to throw away the Bryce terrain and try to model it all in SketchUp. Thanks in advance.


    And, if you're curious on what I'm currently working on, here is "Icarus" w/Bryce Terrain.

    ok - this is on a pc - made a terrain ( not a plane ) - works fine for me

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,519
    edited December 1969

    render made in Carrara 8 from the Bryce terrain

    3d_test_from_Bryce.jpg
    640 x 480 - 156K
  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited December 1969

    Works for me to, technically there should be no problem.

    It would be interesting to see one of your roller coaster animations rendered in Bryce.

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Well, the roller coaster won't be animated in Bryce... it will be animated in the simulation program "suite" that I used to design it. The simulation program allows users to import .3ds files, and I was hoping to convert this Bryce terrain into a .3ds file so it can import. So far, no luck. Anyway, since you don't have the simulation program, I will post a YouTube video here of the finished product later if you guys want to see it when it's done. I have done this in the past for my other NoLimits Coaster designs (mainly for the NoLimits community).

    Any other suggestions on the .3ds export issue?

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited December 1969

    Well, it is difficult to know what is causing your problem, I know SU. has an issue with size on import sometimes, does not like small triangles, how many triangles has the terrain? Perhaps try adaptive triangulation instead of grid triangulation you could try Collada export. As a suggestion I will test the file for you if you send it to me in Bryce format.

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hey, thanks in advance if you want to try and export it and stuff. Here is the link to the Bryce file. Just export the terrain... ignore the coaster structure that's put in there. I'm only using that to build the terrain around it properly.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?gjt7lzqtii9if2p


    Also, it would help to have the terrain at a decent level of detail. Perhaps 150,000 polys on the terrain export, since the coaster will be moving about this terrain closely and it will need some decent detail (but not HUGE detail... there are others that will download this in the coaster package and they need to be able to run it on their computers okay).


    A .3ds export would be preferable, but if you think another SketchUp friendly format would work better then be my guest! So long as it imports I will be happy.


    Thanks again!

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,519
    edited December 1969

    Hey, thanks in advance if you want to try and export it and stuff. Here is the link to the Bryce file. Just export the terrain... ignore the coaster structure that's put in there. I'm only using that to build the terrain around it properly.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?gjt7lzqtii9if2p


    Also, it would help to have the terrain at a decent level of detail. Perhaps 150,000 polys on the terrain export, since the coaster will be moving about this terrain closely and it will need some decent detail (but not HUGE detail... there are others that will download this in the coaster package and they need to be able to run it on their computers okay).


    A .3ds export would be preferable, but if you think another SketchUp friendly format would work better then be my guest! So long as it imports I will be happy.


    Thanks again!

    I loaded it in Bryce - deleted the ride - group the terrains - saved them as group1.3ds - worked fine - don't know why you can't .

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    bigh said:
    - group the terrains - saved them as group1.3ds.

    Maybe it had something to do with this? I don't recall grouping terrain and whatnot. Anyway, at this point I would just like to have the 3ds export if (anyone) is willing to send it to me.


    Email is 12jmclarke(@)gmail.com if you are able to do it that way. Otherwise, I suppose upload it to MedaiFire or something like that.

    Thanks again, sorry about all the trouble!

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited December 1969

    Hi AJ, yes it might be possible, you have 3 identical terrains in your scene, if you click on the terrain icon at the bottom of your screen you will see. Although this should make no difference, bigh may have confused things a little by stating he grouped and saved them as one file, Bryce will not save the grouped terrains rather it will give you the option to export them and edit them individually ie. one after the other.
    Here is the 3ds file that you asked for, just one of the terrains in the scene, it has 150152 facets, it will load into SU. but I fear you will be pushing SU as the mesh in my opinion is far too dense.let me know how it goes.


    Terrain 13

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,519
    edited December 1969

    Hi AJ, yes it might be possible, you have 3 identical terrains in your scene, if you click on the terrain icon at the bottom of your screen you will see. Although this should make no difference, bigh may have confused things a little by stating he grouped and saved them as one file, Bryce will not save the grouped terrains rather it will give you the option to export them and edit them individually ie. one after the other.
    Here is the 3ds file that you asked for, just one of the terrains in the scene, it has 150152 facets, it will load into SU. but I fear you will be pushing SU as the mesh in my opinion is far too dense.let me know how it goes.


    Terrain 13

    there are 6 terrains in scene - so if you didn't group them - not the same
    I suppose you could save them as .obj - then import them and save as 3ds .

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,519
    edited December 1969

    render showing them all

    1_a_bryce_to_show.jpg
    765 x 417 - 88K
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hi AJ, yes it might be possible, you have 3 identical terrains in your scene, if you click on the terrain icon at the bottom of your screen you will see. Although this should make no difference, bigh may have confused things a little by stating he grouped and saved them as one file, Bryce will not save the grouped terrains rather it will give you the option to export them and edit them individually ie. one after the other.
    Here is the 3ds file that you asked for, just one of the terrains in the scene, it has 150152 facets, it will load into SU. but I fear you will be pushing SU as the mesh in my opinion is far too dense.let me know how it goes.


    Terrain 13

    Well, the good news is that your export worked just fine in importing to SketchUp and to the NoLimits Simulator. Scaling is off, but that can be adjusted in SU or NoLimits itself (it actually has object resizing). I guess the main problem now is why I can't do the same.


    I'm not sure I understand the "3 terrains" that I have, and maybe how to group them or export the right one. Did you just click the terrain I had and press "File > Export Object"? Or was it something else? And did you select the mesh export as well?


    I suppose if I do those exact things and it still doesn't work, it must be the machine I'm on. It's not powerful to say the least, but I haven't really had it drop tasks or screw them up like that. For instance, opening a huge SketchUp file takes forever but if I wait (even when Windows thinks SU isn't responding), it eventually opens. However I've never had an object import progress bar move at a constant pace, then suddenly stop at 50% and crash SketchUp.


    Anyway, if I still can't get things working, I suppose I will send you the final Bryce file when I finish. Hopefully it's not a hassle for you to export it, because it would help me tremendously. Thanks again - at least I know it is possible to get Bryce terrain into the NoLimits Simulator!

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited May 2012

    Hi,AJ
    Very straightforward in Bryce.:)
    1.Ctrl+left click over the terrain mesh in the scene you will get a choice of 3, choose one.
    or
    1.Click on the Terrain icon at the bottom of the screen and choose one.
    2.File/ExportObject/3DS mesh ( I think the test type was some left over beta code although am not certain)
    3.Name n save
    4.The export terrain window will appear where you can adjust the mesh and texture output.
    5.Click the tick and you are done.

    Useful documentation.

    Bryce Artists Guide

    Hi,bigh
    It is interesting that you draw attention to the 3ds file that Bryce exported. In fact there are 7 grouped 3ds objects not 6, have another look at the file,It appears that as the triangulation is increased in the Bryce export terrain window this is what happens Bryce divides up the terrain into exactly 21845 polygon sections apart from one,which rounds up the total. try it with some other terrains, I do not know why it does this, yet!
    So as Bryce will not export groups of terrains, as such, it will break up one and export it as a group.

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited May 2012

    ^It's weird... I did exactly what you said and I still get "0 bytes" files that are broken. File > Export Object (after selecting the correct terrain, not the grid or coaster), 3ds mesh export save type, adjusting to 150,000 polys, leave resolution at 256x256 (didn't bother messing with it), and pressed the checkmark. After that, I get "Terrain 13.3ds" and it is 0 bytes in size. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't open in any program after that... those programs always say "invalid file".


    So ultimately, I think I'm going to let you guys handle it. Sorry for the inconvenience, but TapiocaTundra, I would really appreciate it if you would export this final set of terrain for me properly just like you did before. Oh, and this time, make two exports: one with the terrain only, and another with the terrain PLUS the coaster track if you would. I will use the coaster track to scale up the terrain in SketchUp and match an existing coaster track model in SketchUp. In essence, the coaster track will be my ruler. After that is matched, I will use the "terrain only" file, match that with the "track and terrain" file, and delete the "track and terrain" file to leave me with the terrain itself only.


    Thanks again, you have been a big help in keeping this project of mine alive and moving forward. I was about to give up on modelling terrain for this coaster, and since this coaster so heavily relies on the terrain features, I would have just trashed the coaster itself as well. Thanks to you, however, I do see that it is possible to add terrain to this coaster and I don't think I'll be trashing it after all!

    Post edited by AJClarke0912 on
  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited December 1969

    Hi AJ.

    You are not getting off that lightly :)

    Can you export any files from Bryce chiefly .obj ?
    SU. will import Collada files.
    Are you using a Mac. if you are on a Pc.there is this.

    FluidImporter free object importer for Sketchup

    Of course I will help, do I wait for a new file or do it from the original "Icarus" Bryce file you supplied?

    You will find a wealth of knowledge and plugins here.

    sketchucation

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited May 2012

    Whoops, forgot the link. Here you are:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?1ofd08lq27abin5


    I have tried .obj exports as well and they produce the same problem. More and more I think it is my own computer and it's skimpy 2GB of RAM and outdated Intel Pentium processor, combined with Vista. Perhaps the lack of power causes the exporting part of the program to collapse... not really sure. Either way I have a new and more powerful computer. Hopefully I can carry over my license... especially since it is the free license acquired through that DAZ-3D February giveaway.


    Anyway, thanks again. This should be the final "request" I have haha.

    Post edited by AJClarke0912 on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited May 2012

    EDIT: Nevermind.

    Post edited by AJClarke0912 on
  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited December 1969

    I downloaded the Nolimits trials as a diversion, I was interested in how things were put together, was surprised when using the old Terraformer programme that it had the option to build terrains with hight maps and images, I used the image map from your Icarus file and built one to compare, very similar to the Bryce terrain once the mesh is resized, do you not like to use it?
    The sample roller coaster rides in the simulators are great fun,
    Only one thing occurred to me is that they were devoid of any human figures, sort of lonely, would there be an opportunity to slip a few in here and there, maybe someone on the Daz Studio Forums here would be interested?

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Oh hello there! I had no idea that Terraformer could import height maps... you know more than I do! lol Was it the old Terraformer or the one that was bundled with your demo? It may have been the old one... the older Terraformer actually had more options than the newer one in terms of importing/exporting.


    While I would tend to say "yes" to that (it sounds very easy to do compared to our existing issues), the problem is you cannot cut through terrain with tunnels. You can bury track underneath, but it would leave these terrain collisions inside the tunnel. Essentially, the terrain is a giant one-sided texture... I could build under/through it, but the entering tunnel would show a collision with the ground. However, if that is our only option at this point, that is a great idea... especially if it has the same quality of terrain from Bryce. I can always cover the terrain collisions with black 3D blocker shapes that cover the terrain collision. It would just look like your were hitting a black face though... not very good looking.


    Oh, and if you're still bored and interested in NoLimits, I can show you how I made my track. I didn't actually use the basic NoLimits program to design the track itself... rather I'm using it to render it. Instead I used the free fan-made third party program Newton 2, which creates tracks in an easy graphical force-vector design environment. It's popular in the NoLimits community... it has extreme precision, perfect heartlines, and a nice slew of transition functions.


    Here's if you're super-super bored and want to see some nerdy stuff.

    Newton 2 download: https://nolimits-exchange.com/news/newton-2/20

    My Icarus project file (open in Newton 2): http://www.mediafire.com/?03f4ahkou952k7h


    Anyway, if you're done checking out nerd stuff, see if you can export that "track w/terrain" file in a low-res format. If I still can't open that, we may have to go with the Terraformer idea you proposed. Great catch, thanks again!

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited June 2012

    I got the old terraformer standalone.

    Yes am interested in how you will cut the tunnels. As this is a Daz forum I have tried in Bryce it can be done but for me too time consuming and awkward, Hexagon will do it I am sure but the mesh "rock" is dense and must be difficult in SU. I would need real explosives on my machine.
    It occours to me that if the track can be exported as a curve or a curve extracted from the mesh. then no problem the cleaned up mesh track that I sent in my pm. is nearly there, also there are plugins for SU. that will convert curves to tubes and the like. Then a boolean operation on the mesh terrain.
    What is your procedure?
    Have your downloads on the desktop and looking forward to investigating.
    Glad the .skp file in my pm. helped.

    edit: how about a ghost train??

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I am using SketchUp to make the tunnels. The process I use involves setting up minimum clearances and then building tunnels from there too look like rock. I use another third party program called the NoLimits Tunnel Maker. I create a shape for the tunnel, and then I export it onto my track. This creates a custom 3ds file that contains a bunch of tunnels. I then import this into SketchUp and trim off the excess tunnels. The parts that hit the Bryce terrain are rulers in which I use to cut the Bryce terrain with acceptable clearances.


    Eventually all the tunnels will be deleted since I want to have rocky insides too, not smooth concrete tunnels. So I suppose I'm going to try to create rocky terrain inside the tunnel areas.


    BEFORE: http://i.imgur.com/l9gFX.png

    AFTER: http://i.imgur.com/ZZjnP.png


    Then I will use little rocks to cover up the sharp edges, and that's pretty much it.

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited June 2012

    AJ
    That is exactly what I am talking about :lol:

    When I saw the No Limits tunnel maker I laughed, I had spent quite a while working out how to get your track mesh from the initial Bryce Icarus file to a neat ,easy to work with state that would work with Sketchup as it was dense and had really too much info for what was required. you asked for a blob and got lovely smooth rails.
    What would have been a lot easier would have been to..
    Flag your track file as ALL tunnel.
    Run it through the tunnel maker with say a simple circle shape or even set it up how you want the tunnels ultimately to be.
    Export that as a .3ds file as it will now be a good low poly template for you to model the terrain.
    You will be able to use this also to cut your tunnels. Even in Bryce with a few clicks!
    PS. I did not realise you were using the pro version of SU. it imports .obj files.

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Wait, are you saying I should have done all of the tunnel-digging in Bryce instead of SketchUp? I suppose I could have done that... I'm not really aware of the benefits though. Do you think I should do all of my modelling in Bryce? Buildings and all?


    And yes, I used your blob/smooth rails to resize the other Terrain 13 export. It worked well as it imported to SketchUp this time lol. I lined up your smooth rails with the Construction Kit model (a direct, NoLimits .3ds track export), which scaled up your terrain as well. Then I matched your earlier Terrain 13 export with the blob, and deleted the blob.

    Your smooth rails/blob was completely out of scale, as with anything from Bryce upon SketchUp import. But now I have everything covered in terms of scale and detail. I suppose I will continue to cut through the terrain as I am right now... hopefully I won't run into any major issues!

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited June 2012

    Hi AJ

    I do not know how fast SU reacts on your machine with those big meshes, on mine it lags so much and makes the program unusable.

    The original track you gave me was dense and messy and would not load into SU as you found out.

    After fiddling with it for a bit I took out all the frame work and some inner polys with Meshlab then using Hexagon average welded all the sections together which was time consuming. (although I enjoyed It)

    All this was a sort of waste of time, because...

    When you told me about the tunnel maker afterwards, :lol: I saw the potential to use it to help the process from the start.

    So I was suggesting that if there was a simple mesh file exported using the tunnel maker in the first place ie: turn the track file into one complete tunnel then export it so we were left with a tube or pipe or even box sections, it would have much less polys and still be the correct shape to model the terrain around and better to work with in SU,
    A good template!
    You can then, if you wanted, use it to cut the tunnels in Bryce or any programme using boolean subtraction. maybe the tunnel maker. is underestimated.

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited June 2012

    Well hey, if you want to do that, it may be a better option. The current method I'm employing is kinda messy (at the edges of the terrain cuts, especially). I'll give you the tunnel shape that I want you to use, and maybe you can do your boolean subtraction with the tunnels, combined with some optimization magic lol.


    And yes, the Tunnel Maker does exactly what you said. It sees where you have tunnels flagged on your NoLimits track, and then creates a 3D object in any shape you want to replace those tunnels, and places them in the correct spots in a giant model. I used that .3ds export in the SketchUp model to carve out the tunnel openings for minimum clearances.


    All roller coasters have clearance requirements (so that people with long arms, legs, etc cannot hit anything surrounding the coaster track and car). In the NoLimits community, most people define that as the space the tunnel provides. The term the community likes to call it is "tunnel testing", and if anything pops inside the tunnel frame (track, scenery, supports, another tunnel), then that is declared as a "collision" and something must be done to restore the proper clearances, such as moving scenery away from the track area.


    Anyway, the tunnel shape that I created is that exact clearance zone. When I import that into SU and start trimming, it is the closest the rock/scenery can get to the track. That way the ride is very exciting, but safe. Now, I have the 3ds tunnel export... I can give that to you if you want to do some magic on your end. I would be grateful. Do note that it IS to scale in NoLimits, so you will have to match your track with it.


    -------------------


    That is the problem though. Your models are not to scale, and the only way to make them to scale is to match your track/rails with the raw track export I provided. And you can't load the raw track into SU... only I was able to. If I give you the tunnel file, it will be much too large for your model (your model was very tiny). And you won't know what size to make your model. So... I'm not really sure how to let you do the tunnel thing.


    Is there anything you think I can do on my end?

    Post edited by AJClarke0912 on
  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited June 2012

    Hi AJ

    Your models are not to scale, and the only way to make them to scale is to match your track/rails with the raw track export I provided. And you can’t load the raw track into SU

    That is what I am trying to help with, with the method I set out in my last post there would be no need of the raw track at all, just a tunnel version to model the terrain around. keeping things simple and easy to work with.

    If you would send me your exported "all tunnel" .3ds file from the tunnel maker I will test some ideas. Make sure it is one complete tunnel and not just the sections to be cut.
    If you could send me a Bryce file with the new all tunnel file added in to the original Bryce Icarus file 'don't delete anything' that would be a help but no matter if it is too much messing around.
    A full scale .skp file maybe of use.
    I think I may have a good method to make the entrance to the tunnels appear realistic as well.

    Hope its not to much.

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Here is a zip file that contains the SketchUp model (to scale), the full tunnel exports (to scale), and the original Bryce file that I had. I have to go, so I didn't import them all into Bryce... sorry lol. Anyway, see what you can make of this.


    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?khaz5q34sw55zrl


    Do note though that I may want to turn the tunnels into rocky cave areas. I do not plan to keep them as boring concrete burrows, although I may use some of the concrete to make trenches. Which brings me to my next point: if you see a tunnel collide with land even when the track isn't "underground", remove that terrain. This will create a sidecut or trench into the rock, and it will look cool. Also, that needs to happen for the ride to be safe. If a tiny corner hits a tunnel, see if you can pull it away and keep that little corner without deleting it, if you want. Either way the entrance to the tunnels aren't of utmost importance if I'm going to do cave entrances. BTW, if you want to go ahead and create caves in the tunnels, be my guest! :)


    Oh, another thing to note: some of the tunnels may cross with other tunnels. This is intentional... eventually I want one of the cave areas to be open and include both parts of the track crossing over in one space. Also: there are some parts where the terrain dips really really low in a sharp crevice... so low that it often hits the tunnels. Do not move this up. Instead, cut it so that it will leave a hole. I want light to streak through those gaps as that will create an interesting look.


    This may be a lot to process.... just e-mail me if you have any questions lol. I have to go though, good luck!

  • TapiocaTundraTapiocaTundra Posts: 268
    edited June 2012

    AJ

    The Icarus tunnels .3ds file in the zip is useless, please open and check it before you send this really the file that is important.
    Do you understand when I ask for the complete track to be exported as ALL tunnel?

    Post edited by TapiocaTundra on
  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yeah sorry lol. I was running late. Here is the fully tunneled 3d file.


    http://www.mediafire.com/?122lk5u9w22e99v

  • AJClarke0912AJClarke0912 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hey have you made any progress? If not I will continue this on my own (I think I got it from this point on), but if you could let me know that would be great haha.

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