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Rendering pro/e models with blender


New member
I'm hoping to find an expert here who can help me with the following:

I create my models in pro/engineer and use blender/yafaray to render
them. Unfortunately, I didn't find a really good way to import the
pro/e-models into blender, they always get messed up.

This is my typical workflow: I export from pro/e in the .obj format,
import them into blender. They look very unsmooth then (see pic 1):

[url]http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg32/scaled.php?server=32&amp ;filename=blender1.jpg[/url]&res=landing

When I use "set smooth" I get rid of all those edges, but now the model
has errors, especially in rounded or very detailed parts (see red
circles in pic 2 - hope you can see what i mean):

[url]http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg26/scaled.php?server=26&amp ;filename=blender2e.jpg&res=landing [/url]

Only way to get acceptable results i found is to export the .obj with a
very fine mesh (1 million + faces), but then the files get much too big
to work with them properly.

If anybody has a workflow or a solution on how to avoid these errors in
the meshes and get nice and smooth models from pro/e I'd be really happy
to hear about it



New member
For Blender: I tried this in past.... Use .slp instead of .obj you might get better results.

For Yafaray: I wrote application to convert .slp to Yafaray Mesh.

File size is always going to be a challenge with with these exports, unless you are able to use formats like IGES or VRML.

smooth: If I were you, I would try to modify them in blender interface
itself. Sub divide the surface and try to get rid of the bad
sectors/edges on tessellated surface.

Hope this helps you.


New member
Hello hemuman, thank you for your reply!
I just tried .slp and it seems that quality really is better. But my problem with .slp is that I don't know how to keep parts of my model separated. With .obj I just assign different colors to my model in pro/e and this gets me different materials in blender. With .slp everything is just one piece.
Do you have a solution on this, too?

And I'm interested in your .slp-converter for Yafaray - what exactly does that?


New member
I've gotten around this in the past by creating a simplified rep of all parts that are the same material and exporting a file for each rep (I used .OBJ without any problems). When you import into Blender they should reassemble easy enough (I think you have to manually set the scale to 1 each time to get them all the same size IIRC).

Hope that helps.


New member
I agree with seaeye...Probably simp rep is best method at this point of time.

For Yafaray. its just an application that exports ProE geometry into Yafaray mesh/scene.


New member
Well, can you tell me what the advantage is of using simplified
representation instead of just giving one specific color for every
different material? I'm not familiar with simplified reps...


New member
The advantage is that Blender keeps each .OBJ as a seperate body so that when you want to apply a material you don't have to pick individual surfaces for each material type - just select the whole body in one click.


New member
seaeye said:
The advantage is that Blender keeps each .OBJ as a seperate body so that when you want to apply a material you don't have to pick individual surfaces for each material type - just select the whole body in one click.

I'm pretty sure that assigning different colors gives you the same possibilities of selecting all parts with the same material with one click...


New member
I use Blender for rendering and animation of parts and assembly created with Creo, with very good results.
Blender doesn't take into account vertex normals contained in .OBJ
files. Better explanation here:
http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19181&sid =9ec6ab942f42773ac8327f69d7a790a0
However it's seem that with Cycles render engine, the problem is less noticeable.
Usually I export using a chord height from 0.05 to 0.8 mm (depends on camera distance).
my experience the best file format is .OBJ because Blender can create a
separate object for each different color assigned in Creo.


New member
Modified OBJ-importer script is available: Modified OBJ Importer for Custom Vertex Normals. It uses original vertex normals from OBJ.
Works well.
Don't modify imported meshes or normals (don't enter edit mode, don't press "smooth", etc.) - otherwise normals will be recalculated. Just transform (drag/rotate/scale), edit materials and render.


New member
if you have some money to spend, it's better to use the Cycles renderer.
I would also recommend you use a render farm like sheepit, it's free and would let you render this probably in an hour or even less if you're lucky.
I also using Blender, this 3D program is good for "organic" modelling, or the sorts of models that are sculpted.
I own a XP-Pen Artist 16 (2nd generation) display drawing pad which is perfectly usable for drawing, sculpting, or modeling.


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