Since the release of Autodesk Product Design Suite 2012 earlier this year I've been asked a lot about interoperability between the products int he Suite and in particular how colours and materials are transferred. With that in mind, and whilst updating one of my old modelling projects, I decided to run some tests and share them with you.
This is a model of my sons wooden fork lift truck toy which I originally modelled in Inventor R11 and have just updated it to Inventor 2012:
This next screen-shot is the same data in Inventor 2012 but with the new ray tracing option turned on:
I was always impressed with the texture on the string, even back when I first modelled this back in Inventor R11 but now with the new ray tracing option in Inventor 2012 it looks even better, here's a close up:
I then decided to open the Inventor model into Showcase to see how the materials etc transferred across. The next two screen-shots show the model as it first comes into Showcase, and the second is when I turn the ray tracing on in Showcase and set options for the shadows:
I then did the same thing with 3ds Max Design, the first shot shows how the data comes into Max with the correct colours and textures, and the second shot is what I got by clicking on the Render option. I didn't do anything else other than ask 3ds Max Design to render the Inventor model I had opened:
I was then wondering how I could use the same data in SketchBook Designer but thought to myself that surely a sketch, paint and illustration tool would be used at the upfront phase of the design process for concepts, not after it had been designed - or would it?
In this case, I created a 2D drawing of the toy fork lift truck in Autodesk Inventor and opened the DWG in SketchBook Designer so I could add colour and produce some presentation material:
Because I used a DWG file to document the Inventor design the 2D geometry was recognised in SketchBook Designer as vector curves that can be edited using the vector tools available. These allow me to push, pull, delete, add points to curves, blend curves etc. All from the 2D geometry that originated in Inventor from the 3D model:
Finally, I wanted to make sure my 6 year old son could take apart and re-assemble the fork lift truck toy so inserted the data into Inventor Publisher 2012 (not part of Product Design Suite) so I could create some interactive assembly instructions for him. Once again, the colours and textures from the original Inventor model were shown in Inventor Publisher:
...and then publish this to Inventor Publisher Mobile (availble free for Apple iOS and Android) so he could access the interactive assembly instructions wherever he is (with my iPad) and still see all of the colours and textures where applied:
Hopefully that shows exactly the work the Autodesk develoment team have done with the tools within Product Design Suite 2012 so that users can quickly and easily move data between the different applications within the suite (and products outside of the Suite) and not have to spend time re-applying colours, textures and materials.
If you're interested in how colour, materials and textures transfer between Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit Architecture you might want to read this post....