Asset Placement

Overview

Asset Placement is achieved via the Enscape Asset Library which can be accessed in one of two ways. Either from within the CAD toolbar or from within the Enscape Viewport User Interface (UI) toolbar. This is covered in more detail in this article.

This feature is available for both Enscape and Custom Assets, but the complete feature is only available when the Asset Library is opened via the Enscape Viewport UI. The Asset Library dialog that is opened via the CAD toolbar only allows for basic Single Asset Placement. But, once an asset has been placed, it then becomes available to be edited using the tools accessed via Asset Library when opened from within the Enscape Viewport UI.

This article focuses on the initial placement of assets via both methods and begins with explaining the tools available in the Enscape Viewport UI, followed by the placement methods available via each of the CADs.

NOTE: If you find the Asset Library window, or the Enscape Viewport is blocked by a notification stating that no seats are available on the current License Key, or that the License has expired, then please refer to this article.

Asset Library button in the CAD toolbar

Asset Library button in the CAD toolbar

Asset Library button in the Enscape Viewport UI

Asset Library button in the Enscape Viewport UI

Asset Library in Enscape

With the Enscape Viewport open and in focus, open the Asset Library panel either by clicking on the Asset Library button in the Enscape Viewport UI toolbar or via the [L] key on your keyboard, as illustrated below.

The Asset Library panel in the Enscape Viewport, once opened, has the following options available:

  • Search Assets function
  • Category and Tag filters
  • Asset Placement tools
  • Enscape and Custom Assets tabs
  • Offline Asset Library

NOTE: When Asset Placement is in progress in the Enscape Viewport UI, no changes can be made in the CAD, and a notification will be shown if you try to switch to the CAD. It is therefore advised to apply or discard changes to the assets and then close the Asset Library in the Enscape Viewport to continue working in the CAD. If this is not done, a notification, as shown here, will block the CAD from being used.

The CAD blocking notification

The CAD blocking notification

Placement in Enscape

The full feature set is only available when opening the Asset Library via the Enscape Viewport UI. When opening the Asset Library via the CAD toolbar only Single Asset Placement is available. Once assets have been placed via the CAD side Asset Library, they are then available for further editing from within the Enscape Viewport UI Asset Library.

Single Asset Placement

The Asset Library interface allows you to narrow down your choice via the Search field.
To refine your search further you can also click on the Categories and Tags buttons.

Asset search tools

Asset search tools

Once an asset has been selected, move the mouse in the Enscape Viewport over a surface in the project you would like to place the asset on.

A low poly approximation (proxy) of the asset will provide you assistance as to where the asset will be positioned. Once you’ve decided on where the asset will be placed, click the surface to fix the asset position which will continue to be shown as a proxy asset. Multiple instances of a single asset can be placed by continuing to click on surfaces within the Enscape Viewport.

To confirm the asset positioning, click on the Apply Changes button after which the proxy will be swapped out with the complete asset geometry and its associated textures.

NOTE: to successfully place an asset in the Enscape Viewport, there needs to be a surface available in the project. A blank project will not allow for placement within the Enscape Viewport, although in that may be possible from within the CAD UI instead.

Whilst an asset is selected multiple instances can be placed by clicking multiple times on any available surface, as illustrated above.

Asset Positioning and Scaling

Once an asset has been placed, individual assets can then be selected, moved, rotated, scaled, and deleted from within the Enscape Viewport UI by using the transformation tools that are available in the Asset Library panel.

The available tools in the Asset Library are, from top to bottom:

  • Select
  • Translate [T]
  • Rotate [R]
  • Scale [G]
  • Single Asset Placement
  • Multi Asset Placement
  • Delete [Del]
Asset Placement

Translate

The Translate tool will allow you to reposition an asset that has already been placed. It can also be quickly accessed by pressing the [T] key on your keyboard as long as the Asset Library panel is open in Enscape, before or after the selection of an asset.

A set of control points will appear around the selected asset in the Enscape Viewport. To move the asset, click on the arrows and, drag and drop it on the desired surface. To rotate it, click and drag the green ring left or right. Additionally, you can move it freely by clicking on the orange control point located in the center of the asset. You can only drag and drop the asset to an area where a surface exists.

You can also use X,Y,Z coordinates for a more precise placement. You will find these input fields located  at the bottom left of the Enscape Viewport.

To confirm the changes, click on the Apply Changes button.

Rotation

In addition to the rotation option available in the Translation tool (limited to the XY axis), the Rotation tool allows assets to be rotated around the XYZ axis.

To do so, before or after the selection of an asset, select the Rotation tool (quick access:[R] key on the keyboard).
With the asset selected, 3 control rings will surround it. To rotate the asset, simply click on a ring and drag your mouse from left to right (or up/down). Your asset will start rotating around the selected axis. Alternatively, you can more precisely rotate your asset by entering the desired degree of rotation for each axis via the input fields located at the bottom left of the screen.

To implement changes, simply click the Apply Changes button.

Note for Revit and Archicad Users!
This tool is not available when used in conjunction with Revit or Archicad. Instead, you will have to use the native Revit / Archicad rotation tool after the asset has been placed and the Apply Changes button has been clicked in the Enscape UI.

Scale

The Scale tool allows you to increase / decrease the size of an asset. Once an asset has been selected, 3 control handles will appear around the selected asset. By clicking and dragging your mouse from left to right (up/down), the asset will scale up/down on all axis symmetrically. Precision scaling the selected asset can be achieved via the input fields located at the bottom left of the screen.

To implement changes, click the Apply Changes button.

Delete

After assets have been placed and changes have been applied, assets can be selected individually and then deleted from the project by clicking on the Trash Can icon. This can also be achieved by pressing the [Del] key on your keyboard.

To implement any changes, click the Apply Changes button.
To recover the deleted asset, simply click Discard All instead.

Multi Asset Placement

To speed up the asset placement process on large surfaces you can use the Multi Asset Placement tool. After clicking on the Multiple Asset Placement icon additional options will become available below the Asset Library.

Multiple Asset Placement menu

Multiple Asset Placement menu

The first step to placing multiple assets is to select all the assets to be placed. Single or multiple assets can be selected and selected assets will receive a check box and will also be shown under the Selected Assets area at the bottom of the Enscape Viewport UI.

Selected Assets

Selected Assets

Click the checkbox in the asset thumbnail either in the Asset Library panel or under the Selected Assets area to remove individual assets from the selection. To remove all assets at once click the Clear All option in the Selected Assets area.

If Confirm Placement is clicked, the current placement can be undone by clicking Discard All.

Note
If assets are added, or removed by unchecking them, all assets in the current selection will be repositioned.

Before or after selecting the assets, you need to select one of the selection tools to scatter the assets on a surface.

There are three options available:

  • Rectangular Selection
  • Circular Selection
  • Bucket Selection
Area selection tools

Area selection tools

During the asset placement process, it is not possible to change the selection tool until the Confirm Placement button has been clicked. Or, click the Clear All option or uncheck all selected assets in the Selected Assets area first.

Rectangular Selection

Selecting the Rectangular Selection option provides a way to stipulate a limited area the assets will be placed in. Once selected, by moving the mouse over a surface in the Enscape Viewport the user will see a circle with a control point in the middle to assist in choosing the origin of the rectangular area to be specified. Once you have clicked on the surface to specify that origin, 2 orange control points will appear. One control point will anchor itself to the surface to act as a pivot point and the other control point will follow the mouse movement to specify the length of the rectangle. When you finally click to specify the length of the rectangular area some proxy assets will appear within that specified area. You can  increase the width of the rectangle at any point during this process by adjusting the Width slider located below the 3 selection tools.

You can continue to adjust the size of the rectangle by clicking on either of the 2 orange control points which will allow you to adjust the rectangle’s orientation and size. The assets will be recalculated and regenerated to accommodate changes made to the selection area.

You can continue to make adjustments up until you click on the Confirm Placement button. Once Confirm Placement has been clicked, you can continue to specify other selection areas using any of the 3 selection tools. Only after you click on the Apply Changes button will the full asset geometry and the associated asset textures be placed in the project.

At that point the individual assets will be available for individual editing or deletion.

If you want to start placement again, click on the Discard All button.

Circular Selection

Similarly, to the Circular Selection tool, a allow you to specify a circular area of a surface for a selection of multiple assets to be placed on.

As with the Rectangular Selection option, the first click will specify the point that will be the center of the circular selection. Two control points will then become available. The control point at the center of the circular area specifies the pivot point or the center of the circular area. The second control point will follow the mouse movement to allow the user to specify the initial diameter of the circular area. Once specified, asset proxy models will appear within the defined circular area.
You can continue to adjust the size and position of the circular area by clicking and dragging the respective orange control points.

As with the Rectangular Selection tool click on Confirm Placement to continue creating other areas. Click Apply Changes when you are done placing assets to load the full geometry and textures and allow for individual asset editing.

If you want to start placement again, click on the Discard All button.

Bucket Selection

The Bucket Selection tool will place assets on to an available surface.
Hovering the mouse around in the Enscape Viewport when the Bucket Selection tool is selected will show a bucket symbol instead of the the mouse pointer and any surfaces that are available for asset placement will be highlighted as you hover over them. Once a surface for asset placement has been identified click on that highlighted surface and proxy models of the selected assets will be placed on that surface as a preview. That means the assets will not be fixed in place until you click on the Confirm Placement button.

If you click on another surface before clicking the Confirm Placement button, the proxy assets will be removed from the previous surface and applied to the newly selected surface.

Once you are happy with the placement of the assets, click on Confirm Placement and then Apply Changes to finalize the placement of the selected assets. If you want to start placement again, click on the Discard All button. This will then revert the tool back to a state where you can continue to place assets.

Density

The Density tool determines how many assets will be placed in total.

For example, you may have only chosen a total of 3 assets from the Asset Library, adjusting the Density slider will increase or decrease the number of the 3 selected assets to be placed in the selected area or on the selected surface. This is particularly useful for placing vegetation, for example.

Note
Using the highest density could potentially lead to performance issues on large surfaces.

Distribution

The Distribution drop down menu determines the way in which the assets are placed.

The 3 options available include:

  • Random: no placement pattern is followed, and assets are placed randomly. This is better suited for large surfaces.
  • Jitter: assets are placed on a grid based layout, but with a random offset. In large areas, the pattern may be more easily noticeable.
  • Uniform: assets are placed on a grid layout.

Random Rotation

The Random Rotation checkbox, when checked, will be randomize the selected assets on the XY plane. This option is enabled by default
If unchecked, all placed assets in the current selection will face the same direction. This can be useful when placing a group of spectators, for example.

Preview Selected Area

If Preview Selected Area is checked, the complete assets geometry and textures will be loaded and shown in the Enscape Viewport.

Regenerate

If the Regenerate button is clicked the selected assets will be appear in another position specified by the currently active  placement settings (Density, Distribution, and Random Rotation).

After the Regenerate button is clicked, the Preview Selected Area option will be disabled (unchecked) if it was enabled when the Regenerate button was clicked.

Confirm Placement

Once assets are placed in the desired position clicking on the Confirm Placement button will fix the assets position, although the asset will continue to be shown as the low poly proxy version by default.
Once Confirm Placement has been clicked, assets can not be edited or deleted as a group and must be dealt with individually. Additionally, the area selection guides will disappear.

Alternatively, you can simply click on Undo option in the CAD UI.

Apply Changes

Click the Apply Changes button to load the full asset geometry and its associated textures (if Preview Selected Area is disabled). Apply Changes will only become available after Confirm Placement has been clicked. This is also valid for Single Asset Placement.

Discard All

The Discard All button will only become available once Confirm Placement has been clicked, and it will remove all that have not be applied by the Apply Changes button.

Performance Considerations
When using the asset placement tool, multiple assets will be placed simultaneously and depending on the area and density of assets placed, the use of video memory could increase considerably. Therefore, keeping this in mind is important to avoid out of video memory issues.

Asset Library in CAD

When  the Asset Library is opened via the CAD toolbar button, initial placement of assets must be performed via the CAD UI and it is only possible to place single assets via this method. The tools provided within the Enscape Viewport UI to rotate, scale, and move an asset, as well as the Multi Asset Placement feature are only available when opening the Asset Library from within the Enscape Viewport UI.

What follows is a guide on how to place assets via each of the CADs. This is only possible by opening the Asset Library via the associated button available in the CAD toolbar and not from within the Enscape Viewport UI.

Lastly, the Asset Library when opened via the CAD does not require the Enscape Viewport to be open.

CAD side Asset Library dialog

CAD side Asset Library dialog

Placement in Revit

We have three ways to place an asset in Revit.

The option available are:

  • Place asset on active work plane (default) – this will result in the asset being placed on the active Work Plane only. You can set the Work Plane via the Revit -> Architecture -> Work Plane -> Set 
  • Place asset on surface – this will result in you have to select the surface you want to place the asset on to first, and then the precise location on that surface.
  • Link Revit family to asset – this will replace one of the existing families in the project with the current asset.

These options are available by clicking on a button that is displayed when hovering over one of the assets in the Asset Library.

Location of the asset placement button in the Asset Library for Revit

Location of the asset placement button in the Asset Library for Revit

Click on that button to reveal the three options available to you.

The asset's placement options menu

The asset's placement options menu

Place asset on active work plane (default)

Placing an asset on an active Work Plane means you need to select the work plane you want to place the asset on.
Select Architecture –> Work Plane –> Set, and in the Revit dialog, a drop down will allow you to see what levels there are.
In the following example we want the ‘Terrace Level’.

Select the active Work Plane

Select the active Work Plane

Once you have decided which work plane you want to place the asset on, select the Place asset on active work plane (default) option for the asset. Once you hover your mouse over the Revit viewport, you will see some Revit ‘Guides’ as well as a low poly proxy of the asset to assist in placement within the project.

Don’t click yet, first check that the correct Level is also selected from the drop down associated with the Modify | Site Component option in Revit.

Check the level is correctly selected before placing asset

Check the level is correctly selected before placing asset

Click to place the asset. The asset proxy model will turn slightly darker in the Revit viewport, indicating the asset is ‘placed’.

You can carry on placing more instances of the asset up until you press the [ESC] key twice, which will drop the current asset and bring the Asset Library back into focus for you to either choose another asset, or close the Asset Library.
Pressing the [ESC] key before placing the second asset, and pressing [ESC] a second time will close the Asset Library and Enscape will update the view appropriately.

Place asset on surface

To place the asset on a surface, select the second menu option next to the asset you want to place.
Then, hover your mouse in the Revit viewport and you will see a small cross-hairs pointer and each surface that you hit with the pointer will highlight in blue.
Once the surface is selected, placing the asset will be helped by Revit showing you some guides so you then just have to left click to place the asset.

Once placed, press the [ESC] key to stop placing more instances of the asset and until the Asset Library comes back in focus. The asset will then appear in Enscape.

Link Revit family to asset

Choosing this option to place an asset will open up a window names Select Target Family where a list of the families that are already placed in the project will be shown.

Select Target Family

Select Target Family

In the following example, to place the asset where ever the Bar Chair appears, we select Bar Chair from the Target Family window.
This will then replace the target family in the Enscape window with the asset you chose from the Asset Library.
Close the Asset Library when finished placing the assets.

To remove a linked asset from a Revit family, you can open up the Revit Family Parameters dialog and remove the EnscapeAssetI, which will remove the link.

Placement in SketchUp

Placing the asset in a SketchUp project can be easily achieved because SketchUp will indicate placement to a surface with ‘On Face’ being displayed in the SketchUp viewport.

The asset will stick to your mouse movement until the location for the asset has been chosen and you have clicked in the SketchUp viewport. This will place the asset, which will be instantly displayed in the Enscape window as long as Enscape’s Live Updates is enabled.

In the SketchUp window the asset will be displayed in white, and another of the same asset becomes immediately available for placement, useful for placing multiple instances of an asset. To cancel any further placement of the asset pressing the [ESC] key will exit the Asset Library.

Adjusting the asset’s rotation or position further must be done after asset placement using the native SketchUp tools.

Placement in Rhino

Rhino has two options to place assets:

Place asset on surface (default) – where you select the surface in Rhino before placing the asset.
Place asset on base plane – which will place the asset on the base place (Construction or C-Plane).

Initial asset placement in Rhino

Initial asset placement in Rhino

Place asset on surface (default)

Using this option, open the Asset Library, click the menu next to the asset and choose Place asset on surface (default). Then, move the mouse into the Rhino viewport you want to use, choose the surface you want to place the asset on so that the surface is highlighted in yellow in the Rhino Viewport.
In the active Rhino viewport, Rhino will indicate where the Asset can be placed with a small cross hair and the text box ‘OnSrf’ will appear in the Rhino Viewport next to that small cross hair.
Left click to place the asset. As long as Live Updates is enabled, the asset will show instantly in the Enscape viewport.

Place asset on base plane

This option will place the asset on the base plane (also known as the Construction-Plane or C-Plane) only.
In the following example, we’ve removed everything from the project apart from the floor and ceiling and an asset that has already been placed on the floor plane. Then we set the ceiling to be the C-Plane in order to demonstrate this type of placement.

Placing multiple instances of assets in Rhino is possible, but once one asset has been placed, the Asset Library will come back in focus and you are forced to choose the next asset, or the same asset, you wish to place in your scene.

Placement in Archicad

To place an asset in Archicad, open the asset library and choose your asset. Hover the mouse in the active Archicad 3D viewport, and you will see that a shaded area that represents the footprint of the asset will be displayed on the surface where your mouse is hovering over.

Once you have chosen the location you would like to place your asset, left click and the asset will appear in the Archicad viewport, whilst also appearing fully rendered in the Enscape window. You may need to rotate and align it to the surface using the appropriate Archicad tools.

To place a different or another instance of the same asset, return to the Asset Library make a fresh selection.

NOTE!
If you have issues downloading the assets for the Asset Library, then this may be due to your Firewall. You may need to add some exceptions to your Firewall, and you will find the information you need to do this via this link.

Placement in Vectorworks

To place an Enscape Asset from the Asset Library into a Vectorworks project, make sure the surface you want to place the asset on is an Active Layer in Vectorworks.

Then open the Asset Library, choose your asset and mouse over the location you want to place the asset in the Vectorworks’ viewport. Click once to place, which will then allow you to also rotate the asset (around the Y axis). Once rotated, click again to make the placement final.  You can then continue to place more instances of the same asset, or if you click on the Vectorworks’ Selection Tool that will exit asset placement and will bring the Asset Library dialog back into focus to select another asset for placement, or you can simply close the Asset Library to exit it.

At that point any assets placed will become visible in the Enscape Viewport.

Video Tutorial

In this video, we showcase the asset placement tools as described in this article, as well as showing some useful tips & tricks.


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