Proxy workflow on large scenes

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This workflow uses the following SiNi plugins - IgNite. Forensic. ProxSi.

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Proxies are incredibly powerful at optimising 3D scenes, allowing for scenes with potentially billions of polygons of complex and detailed models, all generated at render time to deliver photorealistic environments.

There have been drawbacks to using proxies in your scenes in the past. These have included the one-directional saving into the proxy format and updating models.

The workflow below addresses this and shows you how our bi-direction and round-trip proxy workflow allows artists the flexibility to add proxies into their projects.

Part One - Instances

You may want to create instanced object rather than using proxies. In the following steps, we show you how we've reduced the process to two clicks. We encourage you to familairise yourself with the first workflow suggestion on importing BIM models as the project has used the same project, attaching objects by material, excluding the ones we want to instance and create into proxies.

The attached layers have been frozen to allow us to focus on the windows and balconies.

Screenshot of the balcony and window copies.
Screenshot of the balcony and window copies.

Select Similar Objects

OpenIgNite (UI) - Standard and select in the Select and Rename rollup, select the Select Similar button. Select a window object and IgNite will find every object that shares similar values.

Screenshot of IgNite Similar Objects selection.
Screenshot of IgNite Similar Objects selection.

Instance Objects

Next, in the Object Tools rollup, select the Instance Objects. This will work through the scene and convert every selected object into an instance.

Once complete, all the selected windows are instanced. Repeat the process with other objects.

To demonstrate they are instances, I have selected some window frame vertices and pulled them out from the building facade. See below.

Screenshot demonstrating instanced geometry.
Screenshot demonstrating instanced geometry.

Part Two - Proxies

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We now more on to working on the balconies. For these, we will turn them into proxies using the IgNite (UI) - Workflow tools. You can select from ProxSi (Arnold), V-Ray, or Corona.

Tip - Active layer

Before converting the geometry to proxies make sure you are working on the correct layer. The proxies will be saved to the active layer.

Screenshot showing IgNite Workflow tools.
Screenshot showing IgNite Workflow tools.

Select all the objects you want to convert, select the proxy format (V-Ray), select the file path to where you want to save the proxies, and click Create Proxy.

Screenshot demonstrating bulk proxy creation.
Screenshot demonstrating bulk proxy creation.
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Tip - Do your objects move when converting?

This may occur if the imported geometry has been transformed or altered in the BIM/CAD software. To fix this, select all the objects before converting to proxy and click on Reset Object in IgNite. This performs an Xform function and remakes the mesh.

The balconies are now all proxies, displayed in Preview mode.

Screenshot showing all the balconies as proxies.
Screenshot showing all the balconies as proxies.

Export to Edit Mesh

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If you wish to export your models for editing or replacing them with another object, you need to convert them to an edit mesh.

Screenshot showing exported proxy geometry as Edit Mesh.
Screenshot showing exported proxy geometry as Edit Mesh.

Select the object you want to edit and in IgNite Workflow, select the Export to Geometry button. This will export all the instances to Edit Mesh.

Note - Edit Poly

At present, the workflow tools only export to Edit Mesh.

Export the Edit Mesh to Proxy

When you are finished editing, you can save it back into a proxy again.

Tip - Change proxy formats

You can bulk convert proxies from one format to another by changing the Choose Your Workflow proxy preference.

Screenshot showing the edited balcony converted to a proxy.
Screenshot showing the edited balcony converted to a proxy.

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Design Freeze

You may want to lock the design when approved, or if you are sending the file to another person. For this convert the proxies, or the entire 3D scene to the ProxSi format and enter a password.

For more information check out ProxSi (UI)

Screenshot showing the V-Ray proxy converted to ProxSi.
Screenshot showing the V-Ray proxy converted to ProxSi.

Part Three - Replace Objects

You may want to replace an instanced object with another. For example, trees or furniture.

To do this, use IgNite.

First, select the Select Similar button and select the object you want to replace. Then click Replace Object to open up the pop up.

Screenshot showing how to bulk replace objects.
Screenshot showing how to bulk replace objects.

Pick the objects (replace) and then select the object you wish to replace them with. The image below shows the balconies being replaced with the Teapot.

Tip - Convert proxies to Edit Mesh to replace

If you plan to bulk replace, convert the proxies to edit mesh first.

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Conclusion

This is a flexible and fast method to optimise your scene using instances and proxies.

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