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, that is, via either via the Asset Library button in the Enscape Toolbar in the associated CAD, or via the top-level menu in the CAD, either of which will open an independent dialog when using an Enscape Fixed Seat License. Although, a free seat must be available if you are using an Enscape Floating License. Alternatively, via the button in Enscape Viewport User Interface (UI), or via the keyboard shortcut [L], which will result in the Asset Library panel being opened within the Enscape Viewport.
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 SketchUp 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 Asset tab to access this feature.
Location of the Custom Asset Library button in the floating dialog
Custom Asset Library button in the Enscape UI
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, in theory, a model that can be converted to one of these formats can 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 meaning a thumbnail can not be generated for the custom asset, which is needed to generate 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 models 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.
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 Generated 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
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 Project (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 Asset Project location
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 Project. Once decided on a location, click the [Next] button.
Step 2 is to define the location to save the Generated Asset (the file that will appear in the Custom Asset Library), which for Floating License holders could also be a shared drive:
Define Generated Asset location
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 decided on where you want the Asset Projects and the Generated 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 in to focus which will look like this:
Custom Asset Editor is open
The locations for Asset Projects and Generated Assets can be changed at any point via the [Configure] button or (just for the Generated Assets location) the [Source Path] button found at the bottom right of the Asset Editor. However, if assets that have already been generated are stored in one location, and another location for Generated 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 show to the user asking them replace or keep the current path.
Asset Path Mismatch
In a scenario where a project that contains previously generated 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
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 (coloured blue) and any change to that path can be made by clicking on this. Two steps are required, project path and output path.
Project Directory path
Output Directory path
This is the initial dialog you will see upon first using the Custom Asset Editor.
Custom Asset Editor dialog
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|
|[Import Geometry] – import a single model (Batch Import can only be done from the button in the Custom Asset Library)||[New Project] – start a new blank Asset Project||[Open Project] – open an existing Asset Project||[Configure] – Define the paths for Asset Project and Asset Generation|
|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.||Scale (XYZ) – scale adjustment of the asset|
|Title – 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.||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.||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 Viewport – 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||Open the thumbnail in the operating systems default image viewer|
|[Save Project] – saves the current project||[Generate Asset] – for generating the asset into the Custom Asset Library|
So, to import a model click on the Import Geometry button.
Again, models with less than 20k polygons should successfully be imported and generated 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
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 generate an asset for the Custom Asset Library.
The thumbnail is missing and the asset can not be generated.
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 generated.
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 Description is an optional field.
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 can not 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 menu
Lastly, you can assign materials to be applied to both sides of a surface by checking the Double-sided checkbox.
Double-sided material option
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 Library using the same navigation controls that are available in the Enscape Viewport (ie. W,S;A;D;Q;E to move, as well as right mouse button to orbit, mouse wheel to move in / out). You can also Scale or change the Up Axis of the asset.
Navigating the Preview Viewport
Once you are happy with the materials, Scale, Up Axis and Thumbnail of the custom asset, click the Save Project button.
Model Ready for Asset Generation
You can then click the Generate Asset button. If successful, a green confirmation message at the bottom right of the Custom Asset Editor dialog will be shown.
Asset Successfully Generated
Close the Customer 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.
Newly Created Custom Asset
You can then always edit the asset further by clicking on the Edit Asset button.
Edit Newly Created Custom Asset
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 the example chair with its default placeholder.
Default Placeholder and Associated Asset
So, 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
The new placeholder will become visible in the Preview viewport.
New Placeholder Loaded
The following shows the new placeholder alongside the default placeholder.
You can remove the placeholder by clicking the orange chain icon, as shown here in the following screenshot.
This will re-enable the default placeholder.
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 View and use as the Asset 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
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
Clicking on this button will open the operating systems default image viewer with the thumbnail being displayed in that viewer.
Click the Batch Import button, as shown in the animated screenshot above, and this will open a dialog to allow you to import several files at once.
Here we will import the files named CoffeePLace_DiningChair_17.obj and CoffeePlace_DiningChar_18.obj into the Custom Asset Editor.
The Batch Import Open Files dialog window
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
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 location, which can of course be adjusted later.
Batch Import Success
As we have essentially imported two files of the same model in this example, as you can see we have two chair assets in our Custom Asset Library.
We can place these assets directly into our CAD project, but it would be advised to review and edit them first and this is the same process as above for single model files.
Batch Import Asset Placement
Again, to edit the asset, hover the mouse over it in the Custom Assets Library dialog and click on the Edit Asset button.
This is simply achieved by removing them from the folders that the Asset Project and Generated Asset reside in.
It is possible to delete the Asset Project and keep the Generated Asset, but you will no longer be able to edit the asset once the associated Asset Project is deleted.