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Softimage-3D Exporter Features

The Softimage-3D export converter add-on module is one of Okino's premier and overall best selling export converters that allows entire PolyTrans and NuGraf databases to be written out to a Softimage-3D .hrc model file, or more conveniently to a Softimage-compatible 'database'. All geometry (polygonal mesh, NURB patches and bicubic patches), hierarchy information, material, lights, cameras, '.pic' bitmaps and texture mapping attributes are output. It is one of our most popular data converters for PolyTrans and NuGraf.

Please note that these export plugin modules have been developed to work in conjunction with the data processing and user interface functions of Okino's NuGraf and PolyTrans products. As such, they are not plugin modules for Softimage-3D but rather plugin modules for Okino's software products. This actually benefits users of Softimage since the NuGraf & PolyTrans software have many additional features necessary for fast and accurate data translation (such as polygon processing functions, the selector window, batch 2d and 3d translators, and so forth) that a Softimage plugin would not have.

Production houses should find this converter invaluable in their daily production work. Advanced features include tuned conversion of all texture modulation methods (ambient, diffuse, bump, etc), alpha channel mapping, automatic or batch conversion of bitmaps to .pic format, direct database intergation, accurate (u,v) texture coordinate conversion and dozens of export options (see below).

Arrow Demonstration Versions

The Softimage import/export converter modules are available as an optional add-on feature to Okino's NuGraf and PolyTrans products. These modules can be evaluated by downloading the combined PolyTrans/NuGraf demo program. They are only limited in the fact that every fifth polygon exported from the programs will be deleted.

It is recommended that you download the NuGraf software since it has the added ability to render Softimage scenes. This will allow you to properly evaluate the Softimage import converter without needing to export to another file format first for rendering.

Arrow The following information is output to the Softimage model file

N-sided polygon mesh geometry with holes, normals and (u,v) texture coordinates.
NURBS and bicubic patches
All hierarchy information
All material parameters
Every texture mapping parameter, modulation method and bitmap reference. This aspect of the export converter has been carefully tweaked so that the (u,v) coordinates, the scale and offset parameters and all other texture-related parameters are matched between the corresponding import converter and this Softimage export converter.
Automatic conversion of referenced bitmap images to the Softimage .pic file format. In addition, the texture maps can be automatically resized to a power-of-two, ideal for subsequent output to 3d gaming engines.

In addition, the following is output to a Softimage scene file (if enabled):

Spot, directional and point light sources, with associated parameters.
A default camera that is equivalent to the default camera position used within PolyTrans/NuGraf.
Bitmap files to the 'pictures' directory.

Arrow Performing Batch .hrc and Scene File Conversions

For those that have a large number of scene files to convert to Softimage format the PolyTrans/NuGraf software includes a useful batch converter dialog box that can convert a wide variety of 3d file formats to SofImage .hrc files or Softimage database scenes. The batch conversion process can also perform a wide variety of processing operations on the exported polygonal data including fast vertex welding, unification of the normals, removal of duplicate coordinates and removal of double sided polygons.

Arrow Performing Batch Bitmap Image Conversion

This converter has a unique option that automatically converts all referenced bitmap images used by the source scene (ie: TIFF, JPEG, Targa, etc) to the Softimage '.pic' file format required by Softimage. This option can also automatically resize the converted bitmaps to power-of-two in size (useful for 3d gaming applications).

Note: Many Softimage users have voiced the need for a batch bitmap converter which can bidirectionally convert .pic files between other formats. Such a batch image converter is available via the 'Bitmap Image Functions/Batch Convert Image Files...' menu item of the main program. It can convert a variety of bitmap file formats to .pic format and/or convert .pic formatted files to other formats.

Arrow Explanation of Texture Mapping Conversion

Since the internal NuGraf/PolyTrans database closely resembles the multi-layer/multi-texture mapping system of Softimage, this converter program can convert complex scenes from other programs to Softimage format with good resolution (in particular the multi-layer/multi-texture maps used by Lightwave). The texture modulation parameters of this converter's internal database are translated to Softimage as follows:

NuGraf/PolyTrans Texture Parameter Softimage Texture Parameter
Ambient color modulation Ambient color texture map
Ambient shading coefficient modulation Ambient color texture map
Diffuse color modulation Diffuse color texture map
Diffuse shading coefficient modulation Diffuse color texture map
Specular color modulation Specular color texture map
Specular shading coefficient modulation Specular color texture map
Luminous color modulation No equivalent
Luminous shading coefficient modulation No equivalent
Face opacity modulation Transparency texture map
Highlight/Reflect opacity modulation Reflectivity texture map
Reflected color intensity Reflectivity texture map
Bump mapping modulation Roughness texture map
Spherical environment map Reflection map
Scale and offset parameters Scale/Offset/Repeat Parameters
(u,v) coordinates per polygon vertex (u,v) coordinates per polygon vertex
Color mixing source (alpha or RGB) Blending method (Alpha channel or RGB)
Effect source: Alpha channel or RGB Map component (Alpha channel or RGB)

Arrow Notes:

  • The texture maps are assigned locally to each material instead of globally to each object. Hence, in order to edit a texture map assigned to an object choose the "Texture/2D Local" menu item instead of fhe "Texture/2D Global" item.
  • The converter correctly translates the Softimage texture's "Blending Method" and the "Map Component" to either the RGB channel or the Alpha channel of the image.