JDHill wrote:Well, I did look into that, but I did not see enough benefits to justify the amount of work it would entail, since the MXS format and the Maxwell SDK both have no native referencing concept. I would be curious to know, what would be the primary benefits you see gaining by such a feature?
Let me explain where I'm coming from here. From what you've said, it sounds like something you're not eager to jump into and I can understand why. Nevertheless, here's the current situation as I see it....
Currently if I want to have a tree or even a low poly human with UV's that must be maintained in my rendering, it can't be done with the direct SU -> Maxwell Render workflow. You must export the SU model to Maxwell Studio (or another renderer, but that will require reassociating all of your textures with maxwell materials). There you'll need to bring in and place your trees, people, cars, etc. and then render. If you need to make a change to the SU model you must then reexport to Studio, open up your old file and delete everything except the trees, etc. that were placed in Studio, and then reimport the SU model before rendering.
I don't really mind longer export times because the extra 2 minutes would save me the 10 minutes it takes to manually go through and manually merge the files after any changes, not to mention the extra time it takes to place the objects in Studio rather than just placing them in SU.
Is it a SketchUp problem (as opposed to a Maxwell problem)? Mostly, sure. If SU handled high poly and had better importers it wouldn't be an issue Maxwell would need to have to solve. But what I'm suggesting is something very much like (in theory at least, if not in ease of implementation) what's already been implemented with the ability to link a SU material to a Maxwell material. SketchUp's materials are very limited compared to what's possible in, say, 3ds Max and NL could simply provide the ability to associate color and transparency to the SU texture (as it currently works in your plugin). But NL (you) has recognized that SU limitation and so has provided a workaround by being able to link any given SU material to any given .mxm file.
That's about the best argument I've got in favor of it I suppose.