- Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:21 pm
Instances are generated automatically, if the Output > Export > Use Instances option is enabled. An instance is always an instance of a mesh, and a mesh is created when faces are directly contained (meaning, are not actually in a child group/component) either in a group, or in a component definition. If, for example, you have a group which contains faces, and that group is copied around the model by including it in a component that is inserted many times, only one instance of the group will be exported as a mesh.
MXS References provide a way of inserting arbitrarily-complex geometry into a rendering, without ever putting it into the SketchUp model. Basically, you would open a SKP containing, say, a tree, set up its materials, and then export it to an MXS file. In another model, you can then insert a reference to this MXS file; in SketchUp, it will be represented using a set of bounding boxes to keep things light. When rendering, Maxwell will read the path to the MXS file, read the MXS file, and load it into the model, rendering what's contained in the MXS, instead of the bounding boxes you see in SketchUp. Copying an MXS reference in SketchUp does not result in a higher memory requirement, because further copies of a given MXS Reference are exported as instances of that reference. Another advantage to using MXS References is that you cannot alter them, except by actually editing the MXS in Studio; this means that all the materials they use are "baked in", which means that your material list in SketchUp can remain less cluttered.
Proxies (i.e. Output > Export > Proxies) refers to something else, and is (or should be) likely rarely used. Basically, there is a ruby script named proxy.rb (I think) floating around the web somewhere, which you can use to swap the the definition to which component instances point. The swapped-in definition just consists of a set of faces describing the bounding box of the real definition. The proxy instances are named specially (_proxy is appended), so when exporting, if the plugin finds such an instance, it substitutes an instance of the non-proxy geometry instead. The main point of using these is to lower the number of faces shown in SketchUp, and thereby speed up the viewport (and the viewport only, since the SKP still contains the full definitions); they do not change anything from Maxwell's perspective, in terms of speed or memory usage.
One last thing to remember is that it is not possible to render something that's not loaded into memory; where instances of meshes are basically free in terms of memory, it does take x-amount of memory to load and render each MXS that is referenced. This will generally not be an issue when working in Studio, or rendering directly to Maxwell Render from SketchUp, but it is certainly something to keep in mind when rendering in Maxwell FIRE.
Next Limit Team