Rhino direct export or udatasmith export

Hi Good Morning everyone,

I use UE4.26 and Rhino6.

While exploring the export workflow from Rhino into UE project, I learnt three different methods:

  1. export 3dm file directly and into UE asset;
  2. export 3dm file in Rhino using plugin to udatasmith file, then import into UE asset;
  3. use Dataprep to import either 3dm or udatasmith files into UE.

Of the three methods, I do not know the pros and cons comparing between methods 1) and 2)? Are there any documentations or discussions on the topic? Please help.

Hello kchow321,

We should split in 2 different questions:

  • 3dm or udatasmith
  • datasmith import or dataprep import

3dm or udatasmith, it is about who is generating the data and where the control is.

  • 3dm you rely on datasmith importer to parse the file, extract material and metadata, and tessellate if geometry is parametric (not a specialist of Rhino 3dm so guessing you can have parametric data in). The key positive point is that you are not dependent on having a Rhino application around to do an export just to import the model in UE or retessellate geometry (again if you have parametric data in model).
  • udatasmith exporter: you are more embedded in the Rhino application, you can tune how you export the data, you have more control on what is exported and you might have a better translation of metadata and material that way. Using Datasmith with Rhino | Unreal Engine Documentation

Other + for udatasmith version:

  • Rhino version supported: 3dm we are limited to Rhino 6 while with 4.27 exporter we support export from Rhino 7 to udatasmith.
  • with 4.27 you should get direct link between Rhino and UE. Allowing you to connect Rhino to editor or application and see live modification from Rhino in your application.

Datasmith vs Dataprep:

  • Dataprep relies on datasmith and is an extra layer that offers you the possibility to create recipe to do data process on your import files. As you noticed from previous thread some import options were missing in dataprep but we have fixed that in 4.27.
  • choose dataprep if you like to execute processing steps on your data using a visual recipe, else you can go full datasmith with some editor blueprint or python.
  • 3dm and udatasmith can be loaded either in dataprep or datasmith

Hi @UE_FlavienP ,

I understand more on the topic now. There are so many ways that we can utilise to export Rhino files and it is so flexible. It is amazing. However, I hope that the documentation should include some of these explanations so that users can make the right choice when it comes to choose the export for the job.

Our projects handle very large geometry files with thousands to components sometimes. Because of this, I need to develop an export workflow that is suitable for our team usage. By the look of it, I may need to experiment with the udatasmith export as well.

By the look of it, the UE4 documentation have not update the fact that it can import 3dm files directly!
Datasmith Supported Software and File Types | Unreal Engine Documentation

Thank you very much on the detailed explanation. :+1::slightly_smiling_face:

Is there any documentation on this topic available yet? I can’t get it working. Does it require any additional plugin?

Hi spinaze,

I have not tried the UE4.27 direct link. However, in UE4.26, if one wish to use direct import, there are a few plugins need to enable. Have you checked if those plugins been enabled? Please refer to the screen dump (Those modules with red arrows). I hope this help.