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Preparing Models For Import

The following is a useful checklist for ensuring seamless model importing into VU.CITY:

  • The model is saved as an FBX file (Filmbox – version 2011-2016 only);
  • File size does not exceed 128MB (if the file is above 20MB it likely needs optimisation);
  • The model is built in positive 3D space with the origin set to the south-west-most corner of the model:
  • Preferably geolocated in OS space (ordnance survey);
  • You know the scale the model was built using;
  • You know which modelling app was used (AutoCAD, 3DS Max/Maya, Rhino, SketchUp, and Revit are currently supported);
  • Different modelling applications use different X/Y/Z axis orientations.  This is why it is important to know which programme was used to build your model when importing.  3DS Max and Maya both use the same axis orientation hence they are grouped together in our import interface – all the other apps use unique axis orientations;
  • VU.CITY is built for massing purposes therefore does not accommodate importing large BIM files containing structural information;
  • Massing models are typically small in size.  For example, many of the buildings you see in the VU.CITY model do not exceed 1MB.  While VU.CITY can handle files up to 128MB, in practice, importing files in excess of 20MB will likely result in performance issues.  Likewise the number of objects inside your model can have a significant effect on performance regardless of the overall file size.  For best performance we recommend your model contain no more than 10 objects;
  • Normals need to be facing outward, and vertices need to be welded.  Not doing so may cause holes to appear in your model;
  • For best performance, avoid importing unnecessary geometry such as interiors or furniture;
  • If your model uses materials with diffuse and specular maps, please ensure these maps have different file names.

Considerations When Importing

  • Import using the same scale the model was built with;
  • If your model is not geolocated, it will appear in the VU.CITY model’s zero point.  Presently the only compatible modelling apps that do not support geolocation are SketchUp and Revit;
  • If you are unable to geolocate your model prior to import, zero your model (place it in the centre of the scene in your modelling app) then add OS coordinates directly into VU.CITY;
  • For more information about importing Revit models, see here;
  • For more information about importing SketchUp models, see here;

Video Demonstration

If you need additional help importing, please raise a support ticket and attach your FBX model file.