Alibre -> Keyshot: Splitting all surfaces is making things hard work.

Started by jhiker, January 27, 2021, 06:42:41 AM

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I'm using Keyshot v10.
I started a similar topic on this a little while ago. Needless to say, I can't find it using the search function or 'My Posts' so I don't know where it's gone.
I've more or less finished setting up this scene and, due to Keyshot splitting ALL surfaces on import from Alibre I reckon it has taken me three or four times longer to apply materials than it did in previous versions of Keyshot. I'm constantly running up and down the scene tree, trying to see which parent a surface belongs to. 'Collapse all' does nothing for me - 'collapse to parent' would be marginally more useful.
Sure, I can drag a material from the library at the LHS and drop it on a part in the scene window but I can't 'copy and paste' a material from a part in the scene window to another 'complete' part in the window, only a particular highlighted surface of that part. I have to 'copy' a material from a part (or the library), highlight the new part to which I want to apply the material in the scene window, go to the scene tree and run up and down to find which parent the part belongs to and paste it to that - it's really time-consuming.
In the scene tree I can double-click (LMB) and apply a material and a texture individually to one or more sub-surfaces from the drop down in the project window but I can't do that to the parent part (including all the sub-surfaces) - that seems crazy - a simple screw has ten sub-surfaces.
I honestly think I preferred the 'Edit geometry - split surfaces' method from previous versions.
Furthermore the 'search' function for the scene tree doesn't work properly for me - searching for 'M2.5 washer' gives me results for a random selection of washers of all sizes, it seems - see pic.
It's not just me is it....?


I don't think this is a KeyShot issue. It seems more related to how Alibre implemented the "Face Color to KeyShot" when sending a model to KeyShot. I submitted a ticket to Alibre support on a similar issue and was told "It is possible that when we implemented the Face Color to Keyshot functionality in v22 it fundamentally changed how Keyshot reads the file."

One thing that may help to at least shorten the list of items in the scene tree is to use Groups. Select those items that make up, for example, the threads on a screw and add them to a New Group. I know it would take some time but that would put all "like items" in the same group. It may not help in the Copy/Paste function for applying materials but may shorten the scene tree list to something that you can better manage.

I'd also suggest that you copy/paste your post into an Alibre Support ticket and see what they have to say about the issue.



It is indeed an Alibre problem, it seems.
Max (from Alibre) has posted this on the Alibre forum and I think this will address the issue.

We are prioritizing a fix that we hope to get in v23. The spec of the fix covers the following, though when we implement things may change slightly:
Parts of all 1 color will not be broken out at all into geometry sub-groups (so no more lists of every face)
Parts of more than 1 color will continue have subgroups of faces
Unlike what we do today, there will be as many subgroups as there are distinct colors. So a gray cube with 1 red face will produce a Part<1> node with 2 geometry subgroups, one representing the 1 red face and the other representing the 5 gray faces. It will not be a list of every face, unless every face has a distinct color.
This should address the most common workflow side effects of the prior change including making it easier to copy/paste materials to parts and not just faces. It also similarly affects Keyshot's move and duplicate tools.

This implies that if you want a face to have the ability to be distinctly colored in Keyshot, you must assign it a face color in Alibre Design first.