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I was in need to know a good workflow to get alias files to work into blender (mainly for cycles rendering)

What It's obivious to do is to export to some common format like .obj (or trought other programs like maya or rhino and from there get other possibilities like .3ds or .lwo). But the program splits up the nurbs planes in different mesh pieces, who won't stick together (I'd have to do a lot of work to get a topology), so isn't there any tool to stick the overlapping edges making from them some ngons? for example when I get a file from rhino I just have to remove doubles and I'm done, but here the planes aren't connected, and I can`t shade the surfaces.

Thanks in advance

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    $\begingroup$ perhaps you could include a reference file to demonstrate the effect you describe, there may be simple solutions. So all we have to do is load it into blender and have a think :) $\endgroup$
    – zeffii
    Aug 19, 2013 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ What is "Alias"? $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2013 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ autodesk.com/products/autodesk-alias-products/overview Alias is a NURBS modeling program, here I send you the mesh I was asked for to render: link $\endgroup$
    – Pivetta
    Aug 19, 2013 at 21:29

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you just export mesh geometry. you can tesselate your geometry in alias (Auto Studio only) by the plugin "optimize for draw", that tessellates your mesh as fine as your construction options are. If you use the light Alias version you can tesselate also by the tool in the palette but it will leave you gaps. Take the meshes and export it as FBX. Done! If you are using an earlier version of Alias you do not have FBX export. You will have to export every part separately by OBJ. You could think of exporting everything by Material.

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If you are looking to visualize Alias files in Blender only, not edit or remodel etc. The best way require a few steps, but is not too difficult. There are more than one good method for transfering models from Alias to Blender for visalisation. The following is a basic workflow that nails down the most basic steps.

  1. In Alias, first make sure all normals are aligned in the correct direction (=out). This means both geo-N (red) as well as vis-N (yellow).
  2. Make sure there are shaders assigned as you intend to have them.
  3. Set the tessellation level by using the Diagnostic shade in the control window. 0.01 mm deviation is usually good enough. This will enable a simple and direct visual check of the result.
  4. Use the tool Nurbs to Mesh in the mesh tool pallet. Set it to use available tessellation. This will pick up the tesselation from step 3 above.
  5. Use the FBX file export to save the file for Blender.

It is also possible to use Stitch as step "1B" to get single meshes for each detail. Also, there is a plugin "optimise for viz" that will generate a tesselated model for quick viz. The model will have one mesh/shader so the model structure will not be maintained. It will also pick up the tessellation settings from the Control Panel.

Normal orientation is really important to set in Alias before export as it can be a real nightmare to fix in Blender.

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