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Exporting LDD to *.3ds or other simmilar format


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#1 aposaric

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:08 PM

Cheers folks :-)

I am wondering, is there some way to export objects from LDD into *.3ds or *.obj or any other popular 3d format? I am wondering because I would like to render my LDD models in Vray for max, and animate them and do fun stuff with them. I browsed the forum, but I didn't find anything useful. Is there some mediating exporting application for this sort of stuff?

Thank you for your replyes in advance,

cheers

Andrija Posarić  :thumbup:
Cheers,

Andrija Posarić ;-)

#2 DLuders

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:23 AM

I don't think you can.  Using the "Export" utility in the LDD program, one can export into the following formats:

LXF-Files (.lxf)
LXFML-Files (.lxfml)
LDraw-Files (.ldr)
LXFML4-Files (.lxfml)

#3 Brickdoctor

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:38 AM

In theory, you can export to .ldr, and there are programs such as LDView and LeoCAD that can open .ldr files and export in .3ds format.

In practice, it really doesn't work that well. LDD and LDraw are too different to export and/or import well the other's formats. You're better off creating your model with an LDraw editor instead of LDD.

I do know that somewhere around here there's a post by Superkalle about some program that grabs the data of the 3D object(s) off your graphics card, but I'm not sure how far you can go with that.

#4 aposaric

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:04 AM

Thank you for the swift replies folks  :thumbup:

I was googling for the last couple of hours, and only thing that I found remotely simmilar to what I was referring to is LdrDat2Obj converter http://www.ldraw.org...load-cid-6.html, but it does nothing, there seems to be a problem regarding a LDD library, which LdrDat2Obj doesn't reccognise at all, so I only get a descriptive *.obj format file, which is empty. I tried to import it in to 3Dmax, Cinema 4D, Sketchup and AutoCAD, but no result. It seems that I will have to find another way around it. Maybe the LDD designers wanted their format to stay native, so probably it is going to be very hard to convert *.ldr format into anything usefull.

Thank you again for your replies, I appreciate them very much  :classic:

cheers,

andrija
Cheers,

Andrija Posarić ;-)

#5 Lalror

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:45 AM

Lego's mainframe graphics software that they use is Maya.  They have a plug-in that they use which has all of the pieces in that specific format.  I have tried for a long time to transfer models to blender, sketch up, 3ds max, etc but so far there is no way to do it.  Hopefully Lego will allow LDD to export to other file formats than what they have currently but until then we're kinda stuck with LDD and LDraw.

#6 aposaric

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:36 AM

View PostLalror, on 28 September 2011 - 01:45 AM, said:

Lego's mainframe graphics software that they use is Maya.  They have a plug-in that they use which has all of the pieces in that specific format.  I have tried for a long time to transfer models to blender, sketch up, 3ds max, etc but so far there is no way to do it.  Hopefully Lego will allow LDD to export to other file formats than what they have currently but until then we're kinda stuck with LDD and LDraw.

Ok, so, is the plugin for Maya available? I used Maya for quite some years, but it got outdated few years back, at least for me, at least for architectural visualisation, which is my field of expertise. There is no problem with getting correct geometry from maya to max :-) I will look into that a little bit more.

Thank you for the tip :-)
Cheers,

Andrija Posarić ;-)

#7 Brickdoctor

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:11 AM

I'm pretty sure that Lalror just meant that Maya is the software used by product designers at TLG. As far as I know, there is no way to convert files from LDD to Maya. If there is a plugin, I'm fairly certain it's not available to us.

#8 Lalror

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 05:48 AM

There is some info out on the plug-in/add-on out there and I don't wanna get in trouble with any of the mods in case this is sensitive information, so I am going to stick with what I can already find out on the internet.  Its called the Easy Builder Tool (ebt) and uses the same file format as LDD.  In fact lxf. stands for Lego Exchange Format and is primarily used between Maya and LDD.  I have tried to get my hands on EBT but it appears to be a strictly internal tool.  It does contain a complete piece library of all the pieces that Lego has produced in a higher level of detail than the ones in LDD.  The reason that LDD does not have every single piece is because they have to be very low poly models for LDD to handle them.  I wish that a select few of us fans would be allowed access to it since I think that it would be pretty cool to have the extra functionality but it doesn't look like that will happen.

P.S.  Are the bricks in MLcad, LDraw, etc, official models or are they close estimations of the real thing?

~Lalror

#9 aposaric

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:42 AM

Thank you for replies,

I am trying to find something Legal, and for non commercial purposes only :-) Only to have fun in my spare time :-) I managed to export a file from MLCad to *.ldr format, and from ldr via LdrDat2Obj to *.obj file, which was populated by geometry, but only thing that I managed to see in Max was a single triangle :-) So there seems to be some kind of translation issues, but that is the start. I will keep you posted as I progress, there has to be a working solution :-)

Cheers,

andrija
Cheers,

Andrija Posarić ;-)

#10 Brickdoctor

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:13 PM

Do you have LeoCAD? I know that program can export to .3ds.

#11 nemo

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:30 PM

View PostLalror, on 28 September 2011 - 05:48 AM, said:

all the pieces that Lego has produced in a higher level of detail than the ones in LDD. The reason that LDD does not have every single piece is because they have to be very low poly models for LDD to handle them.
Because as we know, Maya works by voodoo magic and not by the same software engineering techniques that could have been employed in LDD.

It’s a cruel, cruel world... :devil:

#12 kyphur

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:08 PM

View PostLalror, on 28 September 2011 - 05:48 AM, said:

P.S.  Are the bricks in MLcad, LDraw, etc, official models or are they close estimations of the real thing?
Mostly they are close estimations but in recent years Lego has reached out to the LDraw community and actually provided exports of official parts which are then manually cleaned-up and reduced in size for faster rendering by the LDraw community.

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#13 mali

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:13 PM

View Postkyphur, on 28 September 2011 - 09:08 PM, said:

Mostly they are close estimations but in recent years Lego has reached out to the LDraw community and actually provided exports of official parts which are then manually cleaned-up and reduced in size for faster rendering by the LDraw community.

How does one find those unedited exports from LEGO?

@aposaric: Like someone else said, just use LeoCAD http://www.leocad.org/trac
It exports natively to obj format ;)

There is a way to export models from LDD as well, but it's somewhat complicated and involves jumping through hoops and such :D so I won't get into how to do that unless there is a demand for it :)
LDD parts are not the same as LDraw parts BTW and there are some parts in LDD that aren't in LDraw library.

#14 toatanu

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:30 AM

View Postmali, on 07 October 2011 - 06:13 PM, said:

How does one find those unedited exports from LEGO?

@aposaric: Like someone else said, just use LeoCAD.
It exports natively to obj format ;)

There is a way to export models from LDD as well, but it's somewhat complicated and involves jumping through hoops and such :D so I won't get into how to do that unless there is a demand for it :)
LDD parts are not the same as LDraw parts BTW and there are some parts in LDD that aren't in LDraw library.

Sorry that this is an EXTREME necrobump (and thus not exactly a good first post) but... we're making a LEGO game and we need an authentic, high-quality minifigure model to animate, and we know of other projects that are the same. So... Yes, there is certainly a demand for it.

#15 hrontos

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

View Posttoatanu, on 26 July 2012 - 01:30 AM, said:

Sorry that this is an EXTREME necrobump (and thus not exactly a good first post) but... we're making a LEGO game and we need an authentic, high-quality minifigure model to animate, and we know of other projects that are the same. So... Yes, there is certainly a demand for it.

I am sorry, if I missed something. You are making a LEGO game and you need a high-quality authentic minifigure for animation.

First of all, I would say, that when I am making a game, the effort needed to recreate a minifigure in some suitable modeling tool is only a fraction from the effort needed to create whole game. So why don't you create your own?

As a second point, LDD is using simplified geometries, which are not very accurate when looking to closely so it does not fulfil the "high quality" requirement.

And as a final point: minifigure is copyright protected design, you cannot use it for any purpose without permission from LEGO.

#16 mali

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:39 PM

View Posttoatanu, on 26 July 2012 - 01:30 AM, said:

Sorry that this is an EXTREME necrobump (and thus not exactly a good first post) but... we're making a LEGO game and we need an authentic, high-quality minifigure model to animate, and we know of other projects that are the same. So... Yes, there is certainly a demand for it.

Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation.
I already explained this process to someone via personal message, so I will just copy the same text here. Hope it helps you, but as hrontos wrote, you would be better off creating the minifig model yourself, because the LDD minifig model would certainly not be suitable for animation due to its simple topology.

Anyway, here is the process:

First of all, you need 3ds max 2008. As far as I know, it can't be done without it, because it requires a script that works with that version of max...

Next, you need 3DVIA PrintScreen, which you can download here: http://www.3ds.com/p...3dvia/3d-xml/1/ It captures a 3d scene from opengl applications like LDD. It's similar to a screenshot, only it captures the 3d geometry displayed in LDD and stores it in a 3dXML file. The 3d XML viewer that you can download from the same link can be used to view those files as 3d geometry but it can't export it in any acceptable 3d format. (It seems that the PrintScreen application is not present on the linked download page any more, please find it elsewhere yourself)

Now you need to get the script I mentioned from here: http://www.4shared.c...tml#dir=5807793 (just get the latest version, 2008.11.25., it works for me) and install it. When you run the script, you need to browse for the source file (3dxml), then click on "Read Source" (don't forget this), then choose a destination and click "Write Destination". The mesh is then imported, but it will be rotated wrong so you need to manually correct it.

Edited by mali, 07 August 2012 - 05:43 PM.


#17 toatanu

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

View Postmali, on 07 August 2012 - 05:39 PM, said:

Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation.
I already explained this process to someone via personal message, so I will just copy the same text here. Hope it helps you, but as hrontos wrote, you would be better off creating the minifig model yourself, because the LDD minifig model would certainly not be suitable for animation due to its simple topology.

Anyway, here is the process:

First of all, you need 3ds max 2008. As far as I know, it can't be done without it, because it requires a script that works with that version of max...

Next, you need 3DVIA PrintScreen, which you can download here: <link snip> It captures a 3d scene from opengl applications like LDD. It's similar to a screenshot, only it captures the 3d geometry displayed in LDD and stores it in a 3dXML file. The 3d XML viewer that you can download from the same link can be used to view those files as 3d geometry but it can't export it in any acceptable 3d format. (It seems that the PrintScreen application is not present on the linked download page any more, please find it elsewhere yourself)

Now you need to get the script I mentioned from here: <link snip> (just get the latest version, 2008.11.25., it works for me) and install it. When you run the script, you need to browse for the source file (3dxml), then click on "Read Source" (don't forget this), then choose a destination and click "Write Destination". The mesh is then imported, but it will be rotated wrong so you need to manually correct it.

Ah. Anyway, a minifigure isn't all we need, and Minifigures aren't the only thing that LDraw exports badly. Parabolic dishes, the gate frame piece, the Astromech droid body... The list goes on... and on... and on...So thanks a lot! I'll either try that or have someone else on the team try it... it just depends.

Edited by toatanu, 26 September 2012 - 11:57 PM.





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