You can easily export your models in three different file formats (OBJ, GRS, FBX and IGES) directly from the Export Menu in Gravity Sketch VR.
There you can select different file formats together with advanced settings. In this article, we will explain all 4 file formats, what their advanced settings mean and when to choose them.
OBJ File Format
The OBJ file format is widely compatible with other polygon modelling and rendering software programs. An exported OBJ contains geometry information, color information, and normals information.
It is a relatively simple file format as it is one of the oldest interchange file formats around.
OBJ files do not contain layer information and when imported, come in as a single object with material groups. It’s important to be aware of this limitation when exporting to OBJ, as editing can be more complicated.
OBJ files can be a good option for relatively simple files, or for creating quick renders.
Other software compatibility
Work well with Autodesk Alias, Maya, Blender and Keyshot. They do not work with Solidworks.
FBX File Format and Advanced settings
The FBX file format gives you several unique options and is widely compatible with many workflows and other software programs.
This format is essentially a modernized version of the OBJ format that can contain more information about your model. In addition to containing geometry information, color information, and normals information, the FBX file can also contain layer information, part information, and camera information. This can enable more efficient workflows. For example, complex models can be edited with an ease in other programs. And if you plan on rendering, you can set up the cameras inside Gravity Sketch with viewports, and these same viewports carry over into other programs as cameras. In addition to this, FBX files can also contain NURBS data too in the event you have a mixed file format.
In the advanced settings, you have the option to choose between Mesh, NURBS plus Mesh, and Full Data.
- Mesh will convert everything to mesh geometry.
- NURBS+ will retain any NURBS data, and export that alongside any Mesh data.
- Full Data will export everything in the model but goes one step further. With full data, you will get both the render mesh and the control mesh in the same file, and everything is neatly organized in a set of easy-to-use layers. This is a great option for more advanced workflows where having components of both the render mesh and control mesh could be useful to have.
Other software compatibility
FBX files work well with Rhino, Blender, Maya and Keyshot. They do not work well with Alias or Solidworks.
IGES File Format
The IGES file format is primarily used for exporting NURBS Geometry. Since you can create both NURBS curves and NURBS surfaces in Gravity Sketch, using the IGES File format is a good option if you want to continue working in other NURBS-based software applications such as Alias, Maya or Rhino.
It is important to note that any polygon data will be converted into NURBS patches, which can make it tricky to edit later on. NURBS data on the other hand exports like for like. Any strokes or curves created in Gravity Sketch are converted to NURBS curves however and do not have any kind of dimension.
There are no advanced options for the IGES file format as the format itself pretty much packages NURBS data into a well-recognized interchange format.
Other software compatibility
IGES files work well with Rhino, Maya, Alias, Keyshot and Solidworks. They do not work well with Blender or other poly-modelling software programs.
The GRS File Format
Exporting as a GRS file allows you to take 3D data and models from one Gravity Sketch room to another. This means you can export your geometry as an asset and then import it into a Collab room or another sketch.
There are no advanced options for exporting the GRS file, so any visible layers will be exported and saved as a GRS file as they appear.
This setting is available when exporting OBJ and FBX.
Single Sided (for real-time rendering)
Refers to a surface that is only reflecting light from one direction (one side) which means that only one side of the surface will be exported and only that one side will be visible.
This is useful if you want to continue modelling or if you have a fully enclosed model and you want to reduce the complexity of that model.
Doubled Sided (for rendering)
Refers to a surface that is visible from both sides. When exporting your model is duplicated in the same exact location, however one side reflects light in one direction and the other side reflects light in the opposite direction.
This option is useful if you want to quickly create a rendering and don't want to worry about the direction of the normals in the model.
Welded Vertices (for modelling)
This option refers to the vertices in a model being welded and it's useful for UV unwrapping or if you want to continue modelling.
Type of Mesh (Render or Control)
You can choose either the Render mesh or Control mesh option when exporting OBJ or FBX.
Choosing this option will export smooth surfaces. When brought into another program (for example Blender) the surface will appear smooth but is actually made of several small polygons and is very complex. This is great if you want to continue rendering but it will be difficult to continue modelling with this mesh. Thus the render mesh option should be used if you intend to do the rendering.
This option will export unsmooth, raw polygon data which is great if you want to continue modelling as you can re-subdivide the surface using the native SubD tools in other programs. For example, in Blender, you can use the SubD modifier to re-subdivide the imported mesh.