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Old 26th March 2012, 12:12 PM   #1
coldby
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Default Importing groups embedded in an obj

While importing into AC3D something in obj format, all I get is one single huge object, and in some extreme cases splitting it into its natural components would take longer than re-drawing the whole bloody thing from scratch.
Yet other programs (freeware Shaper, just to name one) would see the same obj as a set of different parts (objects? groups? don't ask me), which means that the necessary information is contained somewhere in the file.
Whereas a 3ds apparently can be imported without any problem - objects, groups, textures and all.

Is there a trick (that I obviously missed) to persuade AC3D to behave and read the different components of an obj as individual items rather than putting everything in the same pan?
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Old 26th March 2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

There's likely some difference in the format of the two file types... one which is more "friendly" to ac3d than the other.

How about converting your file from .obj to .3ds and THEN importing it into AC3D? Sometimes this kind of roundabout conversion is necessary when your 3D toolbox contains several titles.
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Old 26th March 2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

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How about converting your file from .obj to .3ds and THEN importing it into AC3D? Sometimes this kind of roundabout conversion is necessary when your 3D toolbox contains several titles.
Thanks Stiglr, I think it's an excellent idea and will give it a try ASAP if not a little earlier
Hmmm... by the way, what would you use to convert the one into the other? I guess the web is full of share/freeware claiming to be able to do it, but I'm afraid that a considerable share of those may be crap.
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Old 26th March 2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

I had to use Blender for a time and had multiple file types going back and forth, with AC3D in the middle. It seems to "see" most file types and to import and export to and from pretty well.

But as you say, there are always utilities, and you have to kind of try them and see which work best.
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Old 26th March 2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

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..., and you have to kind of try them and see which work best.
Sigh, right what I feared most... OK, I'll try the first few dozens and then report here.

Speaking of reporting: long ago I was looking for some simple software to cast a quick look at my (many) .objs without having to import them one by one into AC3D. The few hints I got on this forum weren't entirely satisfactory, so I kept looking around. Eventually I run into Shaper (mentioned above), that really surprised me: preposterously small, clean, fast, intuitive, portable and freeware.
In case your 3D stuff is overflowing and you cannot keep count of it anymore, it's worth a thought. It's not that easy to find, however you may get it here.
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

Et me voila again, just to prove I'm no coward To keep my word (and to oblige myself, of course ) I downloaded and tested three format converters.

- Wings-1.4.1 looks simple and honest enough, and does the job. As in AC3D the files must be imported rather than opened - in my case import an obj and export a 3ds. Takes some time and patience. Freeware.

- 3dconverter claims it can do the job but when it comes to exporting, the shareware version invites you to register first ($50), and I'd rather not invest any money in something before I'm sure it does what I expect it to.
Some remarks I run into, not all positive, persuaded me that what I needed was something else. As said, shareware as long as all you want is playing with it.

- AccuTrans (at3d2-12-1) looks very professional, does the job and promises (didn't test that feature yet) it can be done in batch too. Freeware. I think I'll stick with that one.

* * *

As far as the original problem is concerned (group and materials info getting lost when importing an .obj), it seems to be a bug of AC3D: the relative info is actually exported (other programs read it correctly), but while re-importing an obj AC3D ignores it even if the file is of its own making.
By the way, Stiglr was absolutely right: by reimporting the converted .3ds files the problem disappears. Thanks again!

Last edited by coldby; 27th March 2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 5th June 2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

There is something that might help here and that's selecting one surface, or a collection of surfaces on a part of the model you know is all one 'object' then go to edit - select surfaces - connected. What I normally do then is copy that 'object', delete it then re-paste it, as this creates a separate object in exactly the same location as the previous one.
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Old 5th June 2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

But that's the very point of it: as long as you know which surface belongs to which object, and can easily access them all, you may as well select them and then 'cut away object'.
It grows harder and way less pleasant when you don't know what the hell belongs where, or when in order to reach that tiny surface down there you must cut away and lock two thirds of the rest...

Last edited by coldby; 5th June 2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 5th June 2012, 04:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

Well, if you just randomly select one face and do as I suggested, you'll get through it a whole lot more easily than selecting a ton of faces and cutting them away. Try it out! I'm pretty sure it's as near as you're going to get really; I've split an OBJ into it's 2000+ component pieces this way in an afternoon and I wasn't sure what I was looking at. Utilise the hide and lock object features as well and I'm sure you'll get there easy enough.
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Importing groups embedded in an obj

Ok, now I begin to understand: If I get you right, all surfaces belonging to one original object stay 'connected' in some way, in spite of being now all assigned to the same 'megaobject'. Is it so?

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio..."
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