Custom Asset Library

Overview

The Enscape Custom Asset Library is an additional option for users who want to place their own custom assets into their projects.

The Custom Asset Library is accessible in the same way as the Enscape Asset Library, Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut [L], which will result in the Asset Library panel being opened within the Enscape Viewport. Note that a free seat must be available if you are using an Enscape Floating License.

NOTE: In order to use this feature successfully it is strongly recommended that the user should have a pretty solid understanding and at least some experience of low poly modelling.

To understand how to place and transform your custom assets in the CAD or in the Enscape Viewport UI, please refer to this article.

Asset Library button in CAD UI

Asset Library button in CAD UI

Asset Library button in Enscape UI

Asset Library button in Enscape UI

Whether you choose to open the Asset Library from the CAD UI or from the Enscape UI, you’ll need to click on the Custom Assets tab to access this feature.

Location of the Custom Assets Library button in the floating dialog

Location of the Custom Assets Library button in the floating dialog

Custom Assets Library button in the Enscape UI

Custom Assets Library button in the Enscape UI

Tip
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.

Supported File Formats

Only the file formats; *.gltf, *.obj or *.fbx can be imported to the Custom Asset Library. As these constitute the most common cross-platform industry standard formats, a model that can be converted to one of these formats can, in theory, be imported into the Custom Asset Library.

Model files to be imported should be low polygon models that, for performance reasons, should have less than 20,000 triangles (also referred to as 3 sided, or 3-point polygons). A model with more than 20k polys may be successfully imported, but you will be given a warning message that the model may affect performance and that the asset may not be visible in the Asset Editor Preview window. This also means a thumbnail cannot be generated for the custom asset, which is needed to export the asset to the library in the first place. It can also result in the model not being shown in the Enscape viewport, despite a placeholder being shown in the CAD. Lastly, trying to import a model with over 20k may result in Enscape crashing. Therefore, it is advised to check your poly count before importing a model file into the Custom Asset Library.

Support criteria for the different model types differs and the Custom Asset Editor does rely on the paths being set correctly for the model’s textures. This should be done in the software the model was created in, although the materials may still have to be assigned manually in the Custom Asset Material Editor.

​Some .fbx material formats, for instance, are unsupported at the present time.

Import Options

Clicking on the Custom Assets tab will reveal the following screen, where you can import single or multiple (batch import) models. You can also define the Source Path to the folder where Exported Assets are to be stored on creation. This location could also be a shared network drive, for example, and any valid custom assets found in a designated drive will be displayed in the Custom Asset Library.

Options to Import a Custom Asset

Options to Import a Custom Asset

Custom Asset Editor Dialog

This is the initial window you will see upon using the Custom Asset Editor.

Custom Asset Editor dialog

Custom Asset Editor dialog

Left Side Right side
Search – Search for keywords to find an Asset Project. New Project – start a new blank Asset Project Import Project – import an existing Asset Project Configure – define the paths for Asset Project and Asset Export.
Add Category – Add a new category to Asset Project Library. Save Changes and Export – save the current project and export asset into the library.
All – Shows all Asset Projects in the Project Library. Export All To – all assets in the output directory will be cleared and re-exported
Uncategorized – Shows all Uncategorized Asset Projects. Discard Changes – discard all the changes and close the window.

Configuration of Custom Asset Editor

When you click to import single or a batch of models for the first time, you will be prompted by a wizard to define some locations.

Enscape will request that you define a location for your Asset Projects (the file you are editing), so we begin a project by defining the location your asset project is to reside.

For Floating License holders, you could define that as a shared drive.

Define location for Asset Projects

Define location for Asset Projects

Click on the folder icon to open with the Select Folder dialog and then navigate and select the location you want to have your Asset Projects. Once decided on a location, click the [Next] button.

Step 2 is to define the location to save the Exported Assets (the file that will appear in the Custom Asset Library), which for Floating License holders could also be a shared drive:

Define location for Exported Assets

Define location for Exported Assets

As before, click on the folder icon to open the Select Folder dialog, and navigate to the folder you want to use. We recommend setting up new folders for both steps for the purpose of following this tutorial, although you can always reconfigure this later via the [Configure] button in the Custom Asset Editor dialog.

Once you’ve decided on where you want the Asset Projects and Exported Assets to reside, click the [Save and Close] button. This will open the Custom Asset Editor window, which is where we begin the process of importing custom assets.

You will also notice that when the Custom Asset Library dialog is in focus and the Custom Asset Editor is open, a warning dialog is always shown when the Custom Asset Editor dialog is open.

Clicking on the [Switch to the Custom Asset Editor] button will put the Custom Asset Editor dialog into focus which will look like this:

Custom Asset Editor is open

Custom Asset Editor is open

The locations for Asset Projects and Exported Assets can be changed at any point via the [Configure] button or (just for the Exported Assets location) the [Source Path] button found at the bottom right of the Asset Editor. However, if assets that have already been exported are stored in one location, and another location for Exported Assets is set, then this may result in a mismatch between the Custom Asset Library and the Asset Editor.

In such a case, an error information dialog will be shown to the user asking them to replace or keep the current path.

Asset Path Mismatch

Asset Path Mismatch

In a scenario where a project that contains previously exported assets is opened but the path has been subsequently changed, these assets may no longer render in Enscape (although their placeholder will appear in the CAD) until that path has been corrected, via either the [Configure] button or the Source Path button. The following type of error message will be shown in such a case, which also allows you to decide which path to use.

Asset Error Dialog

Asset Error Dialog

Once the path has been set correctly, a restart of the Enscape viewport will be required for the assets to show.

If you want to configure the project and output directory at a later date, after clicking on the [Configure] button in the Enscape Custom Asset Editor, a dialog will open showing the current path ( blue) and any change to that path can be made by clicking on this. Two steps are required: project path and export path.

Project Directory path

Project Directory path

Output Directory path

Output Directory path

Add Category

There are two methods to add a new Category. First is from within the Custom Asset Editor Dialog. The second method is to Add Category while creating or editing an Asset project.

To create a new category simply click Add Category. A dialog will appear. You can choose an Icon and a Category Name. Once finalized, you can click the Add button to create the category. It will appear on the left bar of the Asset Editor

Add Category to Assets

Add Category to Assets

To move projects to new categories, simply drag and drop them to the desired category within the category list on the left.

Drag and Drop Assets into Categories

Drag and Drop Assets into Categories

To save changes click Save Changes and Export button. Once saved, you can see the New Category in the Enscape UI as well.

Save Changes and Export

Save Changes and Export

Create a New Asset Project

This is the window you will see upon creating a new Asset Project.

New Asset Project Window

New Asset Project Window

Notice that any required fields will be highlighted in red, as shown above where a ‘Title’ is required.

 

The layout of the Custom Asset Editor consists of the following:

Left Side Right side
Project Source – states the path to the project if already defined, otherwise the source is stated as a New Project up until it is saved. Import Geometry – import a single model (Batch Import can only be done from the button in the Custom Asset Library).
Title – this will usually take on the name of the model file by default, but this can be changed. A title is always required for an Asset Project. Scale (XYZ) – scale adjustment of the asset.
Category – choose Category Name and Icon for the Asset Project. You can define custom categories for your project Up Axis (XYZ)– to choose which axis is treated as being the axis which orientation is based on (normally this is Y).
Description – optional additional information for the Asset Project. You can insert line breaks here by using Shift + Enter key combination. Placeholder Geometry – to swap out the placeholder that defines the asset in the CAD, by default the nearest matching primitive is used as an assets placeholder.
Materials – this is essentially the Enscape Material Editor embedded into the Custom Asset Editor Preview – where you can preview the model and how its thumbnail for the asset library will be displayed..
Thumbnail Buttons

Create a thumbnail for the Asset Library.

Apply camera position of asset thumbnail to the preview viewport.

Temporary Save and Open the thumbnail in the operating systems default image viewer.

Safe Frame in Thumbnail View.

Save Changes and Export – save the current project and export asset into the library.
Export – export the asset into the Custom Asset Library.
Discard Changes – discard all the changes and close the window.

Importing a Model

To import a model click on the Import Geometry button.

Again, models with less than 20k polygons should successfully be imported and exported to an asset for use in Enscape.

Generally, where a model has more than 20k polygons in its geometry, a message stating that the model exceeds that 20k triangle limit will be shown, indicating that this may cause performance issues.

Geometry exceeds 20k polygons

Geometry exceeds 20k polygons

Your only option here is to correct the file by reducing its poly count. Once you have managed to successfully import your model, it will appear in the Preview area. The materials may not be assigned correctly at this point.

NOTE: if nothing is shown in the preview window, then it will not be possible to generate a thumbnail, meaning you will not be able to export an asset for the Custom Asset Library.

The thumbnail is missing

The thumbnail is missing

Click on the Take a Screenshot of the current preview and use it as the asset’s thumbnail button to generate a thumbnail for the asset and to allow the asset to be exported.

Create Thumbnail of the asset for the Asset Library

Create Thumbnail of the asset for the Asset Library

You can always generate a new Thumbnail for the asset by clicking this button again.

Notice how we now have a Title automatically applied to the Asset Project, and how the Material Editor now contains some working information, as well as a value being assigned to the Scaling and the Up Axis being indicated as Y. All of these can be adjusted, including replacement of the Placeholder Geometry. The Category and Description are optional fields that can be filled up to better organize your Asset Library.

Assigning Materials

If the materials are not assigned automatically on import, we now need to match up these materials with the ones shipped with the model.  We can do this directly in the Custom Asset Editor, using the built-in Enscape Material Editor.

It’s worth noting at this point that a project needs to have the surfaces defined in the 3D software the model was made in before importing it, otherwise you cannot choose your surfaces in the Enscape Material Editor even if the paths are incorrect.

You also have the option to Import / Export Material packages for each listed material. Just right click on a material you want import / export a material package to / from, and select from either of the options, after which a dialog will appear to allow you to select the file you want to import, or the location you want to export.

NOTE: only *.matpkg file formats are valid for use here.

Import / Export Material Package

Import / Export Material Package

Lastly, you can assign materials to be applied to both sides of a surface by checking the Double-sided checkbox.

Double-sided Material

Double-sided Material

Scale and Up Axis

Once you have set the materials correctly, you can update the Thumbnail. You will need to set up your model in the Preview viewport, which is essentially how your Thumbnail will appear in the Custom Asset Library.

You should position the asset as you want to see it in the Custom Asset Library using the same navigation controls that are available in the Enscape Viewport (ie. W,S;A;D;Q;E to Move, right click to Orbit, mouse wheel to Move in /out and numpad for Standard Views ie. 2,8;6;4;5). You can also Scale or change the Up Axis of the asset.

Navigating the Preview Viewport

Navigating the Preview Viewport

Once you are happy with the materials, Scaling, Up Axis and Thumbnail of the custom asset, click the Save Changes and Export button. Alternatively, you can click the Export Asset button as well.  If successful, a green confirmation message at the bottom right of the Custom Asset Editor dialog will be shown.

Asset Exported

Asset Exported

Close the Custom Asset Editor dialog using the X button and your custom asset should now be listed in the Custom Asset Library. Sometimes it may take a few seconds to appear, or you can restart the Custom Asset Library. You will also be able to see any new Categories that you might have created in the Custom Asset Library.

Newly Created Custom Asset

Newly Created Custom Asset

You can always edit the newly created asset further by clicking on the Edit Asset button.

Edit Newly Created Custom Asset

Edit Newly Created Custom Asset

Replacing the Placeholder

A model will, by default, have a placeholder automatically assigned to it, but you may want to change the placeholder which is achieved via the Placeholder Geometry option.

The placeholder will also act as the collision box for the asset.

NOTE: Any new placeholders must be of the file formats: *.gltf, *.obj or *.fbx only and high polygon placeholders should be avoided, as they will result in bad CAD performance, so try to keep the placeholder as low poly as possible.

This is a custom asset chair example with its default placeholder.

Default Placeholder and Associated Asset

Default Placeholder and Associated Asset

Click on the ‘chain’ icon associated with the Placeholder Geometry option and navigate to the location of the placeholder you want to use.

Once you have imported it, it will not be initially visible in the Custom Asset Editor dialog.

To show the new placeholder in the Custom Asset Editor Preview window, check the ‘Show in preview’ checkbox.

Unchecked 'Show in preview' checkbox

Unchecked 'Show in preview' checkbox

The new placeholder will become visible in the Preview viewport.

New Placeholder Loaded

New Placeholder Loaded

The following shows the new placeholder alongside the default placeholder.

Replaced Placeholder

Replaced Placeholder

You can remove the placeholder by clicking the orange chain icon, as shown in the screenshot.

This will re-enable the default placeholder.

Remove Placeholder

Remove Placeholder

Thumbnail Buttons

These buttons have the following functions:

Take a screenshot of the current preview for use as the asset’s thumbnail.

Take a Screenshot of the Current Preview and use as the Asset's Thumbnail

Take a Screenshot of the Current Preview and use as the Asset's Thumbnail

You can make the Preview window revert to the camera position that was set when the thumbnail was created by using the middle button in the Thumbnail button section.

Set the preview to the camera position of the thumbnail

Set the preview to the camera position of the thumbnail

You can also save the thumbnail out to a temp file which will open in the operating system default image viewer.

Save the thumbnail out to a temp file and open in default image viewer

Save the thumbnail out to a temp file and open in default image viewer

Clicking on this button will open the operating systems default image viewer with the thumbnail being displayed in that viewer.

Export Custom Asset Library

Once you have created Custom Assets in the Enscape Asset Editor, you will find the Export All To option under the Save Changes and Export arrow down button.

Export All To option

Export All To option

Once you click this, you will instantly receive a warning that if you proceed, all assets in the output directory will be removed and all assets in the Custom Assets Library will be exported to the directory. Please make sure to choose a dedicated folder that will only contain these downloaded Custom Assets, otherwise you may lose some files that you may otherwise have wanted to keep. You can change the output path by clicking the folder icon.

Export All To warning dialog

Export All To warning dialog

Batch Import Several Models as Assets

Click the Batch Import button, as shown in the animated screenshot earlier, and this will open a dialog to allow you to import several files at once.

Here we will import the files named Armchair Cafe.obj and Armchair Lounge.obj into the Custom Asset Editor.

Batch Import dialog

Batch Import dialog

NOTE:
All model files need to be placed in the same folder, as the multiple selection of model files from different locations is not possible. You can additionally define the path via the Source Path option.

Once you have selected the files that you want to Batch Import, a progress bar will be displayed during the import process. In this example we are importing 2 model files.

Batch Import Progress Bar

Batch Import Progress Bar

Once that is complete, the models will show up in the Custom Asset Editor, labelled as ‘New’ with the thumbnail being automatically generated from a front view, which can of course be adjusted later.

Batch Import Success

Batch Import Success

We can place these assets directly into our CAD project, but it is advised to review and edit them first. The process is same if you want to import a single model file instead of a Batch Import.

To edit the asset, hover the mouse over it in the Custom Assets Library dialog and click on the Edit Asset button.

Conflict Resolution

While working on a Shared Network location for Custom Assets, there is a possibility that two users might be editing the assets concurrently. In this case, the user who saves the changes first gets to keep the changes in place. The other user will receive a conflict dialog stating that the assets have been moved by another user and the changes they were working on have been overwritten due to Simultaneous Editing.

Simultaneous Editing dialog

Simultaneous Editing dialog

Deleting Custom Assets

This is simply achieved by removing them from the folders that the Asset Project and Exported Asset reside in.

It is possible to delete the Asset Project and keep the Exported Asset, but you will no longer be able to edit the asset once the associated Asset Project is deleted.


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