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Material Library for Enscape Software

Overview

The Enscape Material Library comes with a selection of pre-made PBR materials that you can import into the Enscape Material Editor and then use as they are or you can choose to edit them further to create rich materials for your projects.

Once materials are imported into the Material Editor, they will then also be available to assign to surfaces from within the CAD you are using Enscape with.

The Material Library can be accessed in one of two ways, and it’s worth noting that Enscape does not need to be open and running to gain access to either the Enscape Material Library or Enscape Material Editor when using an Enscape Fixed Seat License. Although, a free seat must be available if you are using an Enscape Floating License.

NOTE: For Revit 2018 users, the Material Library and Material Editor are not supported. This is due to an API hook not having been made available from that Revit version.

Either via the Enscape toolbar in that CAD, shown here in Revit and SketchUp

Or, via the Material Editor menu option:

Opening the Material Library via the Material Editor menuOpening the Material Library via the Material Editor menu

Either way will result in the Material Library dialog opening:

The Enscape Material Library dialog windowThe Enscape Material Library dialog window

Being one of Enscape’s Core Features, where a license is invalid expired, whether that be a full or the 14-day trial license, or there are no seats available on a floating license, then the Material Library will be blocked from being used and you will see a notification similar to that shown below, depending on the cause.

The Enscape Material Library dialog window

The Enscape Material Library dialog window

IMPORTANT: Before importing any materials, you should decide whether the project will be shared with another user for collaborative purposes. If this is the case, a storage location where all users working on a project will have access should be used. Specifying this location as early as possible in a project’s life cycle is highly recommended. Therefore, you should pay attention to the ‘gear’ icon that can be found at the bottom left corner of the dialog in both the Material Library and the Material Editor. If you do not adjust the storage location then when a project file is opened by another user, that user will not be able to access the materials assigned in the project due to the default storage location being assigned locally by default. This means that the materials assigned in the project will need to be manually reimported and reassigned.

Pressing the ‘gear’ icon at the bottom left of the dialog, therefore, allows you this option to easily share projects by changing the location where textures are imported and stored whilst also providing a warning dialog about modifying already imported textures that reside on the storage path, as well as a warning about relocating them to another location. This feature can allow you to store materials on a shared network drive for example.

Click on the Folder / Path link to change the storage location of imported textures, once you have selected your storage path, hit Save to close the Imported Texture Path dialog.

Imported Texture Path

Imported Texture Path

Offline Material Download Link

Pressing the ‘gear’ icon at the bottom left of the dialog, therefore, allows you this option to easily share projects by changing the location where textures are imported and stored whilst also providing a warning dialog about modifying already imported textures that reside on the storage path, as well as a warning about relocating them to another location. This feature can allow you to store materials on a shared network drive for example. Click on the Folder / Path link to change the storage location of imported textures, once you have selected your storage path, hit Save to close the Imported Texture Path dialog.

Working with the Material Library

You can select multiple materials’ to import at one time, clicking the Import Selection button becoming available when at least one material is selected.

Furthermore, you can Favorite materials by clicking on the star buttons in the top left corner of the tiles. These are then shown in the Favorites folder. Just click on the star again so it is not solid to remove materials from the Favorites folder.

New materials that get added over time by Enscape will show in the New folder, as well as be listed under their respective category.

Favorite and select a material to be imported to the Material Library

Favorite and select a material to be imported to the Material Library

 

Once the import process has finished you will find the material listed in the Enscape Material Editor, where you can further edit the material if required.

Make sure to refer to the relevant CAD articles you will find listed here to understand how to work with the Enscape Material Editor with the CAD you are using Enscape with, including how to import *.matpkg files.

Material imported into the Enscape Material Editor

Material imported into the Enscape Material Editor

Replace Materials in CAD

Current materials in the CAD model can be replaced with ready-to-use materials from the library. This can be performed by the material editor. This is illustrated in corresponding to the Materials in CAD article for your CAD and can be found here.

 

Need more information about Enscape?

Click here to learn more about Enscape, or to contact our visualization experts at enscape@microsolresources.com.

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Getting Started with Your Enscape Software

Overview

Installing Enscape for the first time should be simple and straight forward. However, for best results we recommend that, before installing Enscape, you should make sure that your CAD software is not open and that you also have the user rights to install software on your Windows operating system. You can then simply open and run the Enscape.msi installer from the location on your machine that it was downloaded to.

If this is not the first time that you have installed Enscape and you have a version of Enscape prior to version 2.6 installed, we highly recommend that you uninstall that version, remembering to move any files you wish to keep to a temporary location before uninstalling. It would also be advised that you reboot the machine before running the version 2.6 installer.

Open the Installer

When installing Enscape for the first time, the initial screen will request that you agree to the End-User License Agreement (EULA). The ‘I accept the terms in the License Agreement’ checkbox needs to be checked, allowing the Install button to become available. You can also print the EULA via the Print button, or you can choose to press the Cancel button if you do not want to proceed with the installation.

Enscape EULA

Enscape EULA

Install button activated

Install button activated

You will then be asked to select the language that you would like Enscape to be installed under. Currently, the options are English (US), German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and Polish (with more languages to come). In this window, you will also be able to click the Advanced button, to choose whether to install Enscape for all users of the machine or just the current user.

Language Selection

Language Selection

NOTE: the language can be changed after installation, if required. The option to do this is found in the Enscape General Settings window under the Preferences options.

If you have a previous version of Enscape installed, or if you are missing any software that Enscape requires to function correctly, then the next screen you’ll see is the Requirements screen.

You can click the Skip button, even if the machine is missing any of these requirements or if you decide not to remove any previous versions of Enscape. However, it is advised that you click on the Perform uninstall button and that you also make sure that you install any missing requirements that are listed in this window, as Enscape will not function correctly otherwise.

Uninstall previous versions of Enscape

Uninstall previous versions of Enscape

The installer for versions prior to version 2.6 will open (you can confirm this as it will show the old Enscape logo in the installer dialog) and it will indicate the target uninstaller location next to Uninstalling from:. Click on the Uninstall button to uninstall the previous Enscape version.

Uninstall location of the previous Enscape version

Uninstall location of the previous Enscape version

You will then see the following window, indicating the uninstall process is running and when it will have completed. By clicking on Show details after the process has run, you will be able to see which files were uninstalled. Or, just click on the Close button to close that old installer dialog.

Show details if uninstalled files and close the window

Show details if uninstalled files and close the window

You will be returned to the Requirements page of the current installer dialog which should indicate that the process was completed. If you want to be sure of this, or if the installer indicates that a previous version still exists, then you can click on the Check again button.

Check again for previous Enscape versions that are installed.

Check again for previous Enscape versions that are installed.

If one of the other requirements is missing, this will be indicated next to the missing requirement whereby a prompt will request that you Download that missing element.

Download missing Requirement

Download missing Requirement

Once you click on ‘Download‘ the missing software will automatically download and the installer for that software will then be required to be manually started and opened after download is complete. By default the downloaded installer will be available in your systems Download folder, or directly from your browser. The installer for each software required to run Enscape will guide you through the installation process for its installation. Once installation has been completed, click the Check again button back in the Enscape installer dialog which should allow you to continue the installation process.

If all previous versions of Enscape have been successfully uninstalled and all software requirements have also been installed on the machine you will then be able to click on the Next button to proceed with installing Enscape.

Simple Installation

After clicking on the ‘Install‘ button once the language has been selected, and there are no missing requirements, then the Requirements dialog is skipped and the installer will proceed to install Enscape and all its subfeatures, but only for the currently logged in user.  You will therefore find that it installs to the default location: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Programs

The installer will then run and you should see this in the installer window as shown in the following screenshot.

Enscape is installing

Enscape is installing

Once it has finished, you will then see the following screen indicating Enscape has finished installing.

Enscape has finished installing

Enscape has finished installing

You should then be able to open your CAD where you should see Enscape as a top level menu option, or as a Toolbar. If you can not see Enscape in your CAD, then you may need to enable it in the CAD’s workspace.

Advanced Installation

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Advanced button becomes available once the ‘I accept the License Agreement‘ checkbox has been checked and you have clicked ‘Next‘, whereby you will be asked to select the Language. The Advanced button is available only at this point of the installation process and will give you additional options for the Installation Scope. As this option is only available on a fresh installation of Enscape, if you want to access these options again, then you will need to uninstall and reinstall Enscape first.

Advanced button

Advanced button

This will allow you to specify a custom installation starting with the option to Install just for you, the currently logged in user, where it is installed in a per-user folder, or Install for all users of this machine, meaning it installed in a per-machine folder. In the screenshot below, if you choose the Install just for you option, that currently logged in username will be placed between the brackets in the installer window to confirm which user folder Enscape will be installed to.

Installation Scope

Installation Scope

Install for Single User

If you choose the ‘Install just for you’ option, then the additional options to specify a custom installation, including whether to install the plugin for only one specific CAD, multiple CADs, or all CAD’s becomes available.

Select which CAD's to install Enscape for

Select which CAD’s to install Enscape for

When installing Enscape, the main feature that is Enscape is always installed. You can then also choose to install each individual CAD specific subfeatures of Enscape by clicking on the small arrow next to each CAD listed, as shown in the following screenshot. You should then select the option ‘Will be installed on local hard drive’. If you want to install Enscape and all the subfeatures all at once, then choose the ‘Entire feature will be installed on local hard driver’ option. Please note that this install option will only take effect when selected in the top level Enscape main feature menu option.

You can choose to not install individual subfeatures by selecting the option ‘Entire feature will be unavailable’ from each subfeature menu.

Change CAD installation options

Change CAD installation options

When done, click on the Install button which will allow the installation to proceed.

Once installation is complete, you will then see the following screen which confirms installation has been completed.

You should then be able to open your CAD where you should see Enscape as a top level menu option, or as a Toolbar. If you can not see Enscape as an option in your CAD, then you may need to enable it in the CAD’s workspace.

The installation process has completed

The installation process has completed

Install for all Users

Choosing the option ‘Install for all users of this machine’ will mean that you have an extra option to change the installation location.

Install Enscape for all user of the machine

Install Enscape for all user of the machine

You will then be shown the following screen, indicating the current default installation location. Click Change to alter this location.

Destination folder for installation

Destination folder for installation

You can then change the installation location by navigating to the location you want to install Enscape to under the Look in: drop down menu.

Changing in the installation location

Changing in the installation location

You can use the two buttons  to navigate up a level in the file structure or respectively create a new folder in the current location.

Here, you can see that we have changed the installation location, which is reflected also in the Folder name: section.

Installation location is changed

Installation location is changed

Once the installation location has been chosen, you can then click on OK and this will take you to the Product Features window, whereby you can select which of the Enscape subfeatures you want to install.

Change, Repair, or Remove Enscape

Once Enscape has been installed, if you want to change the installation location, or if you have to repair the installation, or if for some reason you would want to uninstall Enscape, then you can run the Enscape .msi installer again to perform these processes.

Change, Repair, or Remove Enscape

Change, Repair, or Remove Enscape

Change the Enscape Installation

Clicking on Change will return you to the Product Features window, where you can again choose which subfeatures you would like to install or remove.

The Enscape installation is being changed

The Enscape installation is being changed

The Product Features window will then be shown, where you can alter which subfeatures of Enscape are installed.

Repair the Enscape Installation

Clicking on Repair will request that you confirm that you want to perform this.

Confirm that you want to repair Enscape

Confirm that you want to repair Enscape

The repair process will then be seen to be running in the installer window.

The Repair process is running

The Repair process is running

On successful completion, the installer will confirm this for you.

Remove Enscape from a Machine

Clicking on Remove will result in the installer asking you to first confirm that you want to remove Enscape.

Confirm that you want to Remove Enscape

Confirm that you want to Remove Enscape

If you confirm that you do want to remove Enscape, the process will begin and you can see this running in the installer window.

The Remove process is running

The Remove process is running

Once any of the above processes has finished, the installer will confirm that the process is complete. You can then click the Finish button to close the installer.

The Remove process has completed.

The Remove process has completed.

So, this concludes the initial installation process, and once you open the CAD that you want to use Enscape with, you will find that there is an Enscape menu, and / or a ribbon / toolbar available in the CAD.

NOTE: You may have to enable the toolbar from the Toolbar Workspace options of that associated CAD. If you incur issues when trying to make the Enscape Menu / Toolbar visible, please contact our Support Team for any questions at support@microsolresources.com

Installation Error Messages

If you have your CAD open when trying to install, repair, change, or remove Enscape, you should get a warning message telling you which CAD is blocking the install process. You then have the choice between; Close the applications and attempt to restart them. or, Do not close applications. A reboot will be required, which will need to be done before Enscape becomes available for use in the CAD.

File in Use installer process error

File in Use installer process error

Once you decided on which method to use Click OK, which will then continue to process.

If the installer is unable to close and restart the application, then you will get the following message:

The installer failed to close the CAD software

The installer failed to close the CAD software

Click Cancel to cancel the process, in which case you should close the CAD blocking the process, and then try to run the installer again.

Click OK to allow the installer to continue the process. Once complete, you will get the following message:

Files in use installation error

Files in use installation error

Clicking Yes will automatically restart your operating system, so you should make sure any unsaved documents open in other applications are saved first. Clicking No will mean that you will manually have to restart your operating system before the changes take affect.

 

 

Need more information about Enscape?

Click here to learn more about Enscape, or to contact our visualization experts at enscape@microsolresources.com

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Asset Library for Enscape Software

Overview

The Asset Library is available for all CADs that Enscape is provided for.

There are in essence two variations of the Asset Library. One is accessed via the CAD toolbar and can be opened when Enscape is not running when using an Enscape Fixed Seat License. Although, a free seat must be available if you are using an Enscape Floating License. The other variation can be accessed via the Enscape Viewport User Interface (UI) toolbar, and therefore only when the Enscape Viewport is running.

Whichever variation you opt to use, the assets selected can only be placed via the respective UI. That means, the Asset Library opened from the CAD toolbar will only allow placement of assets within the CAD UI and the Asset Library opened via the Enscape Viewport UI will only allow placement of assets in the Enscape Viewport.

Both variations also contain the Custom Asset Library.

To understand how to place assets either via the respective CAD or via the Enscape Viewport, please refer to this article.

Open Asset Library via CAD

Once the associated button in the CAD is clicked, the Asset Library dialog will open and the library can be browsed for the asset you want to place within your project.
Assets use simplified, white textured, placeholders for reference in the CAD viewport to keep project file sizes low. If you want to view the asset with  textures, then you will need to start up Enscape, which can be done without having to close the Asset Library dialog.

The Asset Library CAD dialog on initial opening

The Asset Library CAD dialog on initial opening

Open Asset Library via Enscape

If you want to access the Asset Library panel in the Enscape Viewport, click on the associated Asset Library button in the Enscape Viewport UI, or press the [L] on your keyboard. Once opened  the following options available:

  • Search Assets function
  • Category and Tag filters
  • Asset Placement tools
  • Enscape and Custom Assets tabs
  • Offline Asset Library

NOTE: If you find the Asset Library window, or the Enscape Viewport is blocked by a notification stating that no seats are available on the current License Key, or that the License has expired, then please refer to this article.

Offline Assets

The Asset Library is a feature that functions online by default, but the assets are also available in an ‘Offline Mode’, meaning the assets can now be downloaded for offline use. To do this, check the Offline Enscape Assets checkbox to be found at the bottom right hand side of the Asset Library window.

Offline Assets checkbox in CAD dialog

Offline Assets checkbox in CAD dialog

There is also an Offline Asset Library checkbox available from within the Asset Library panel in the Enscape Viewport UI.

Offline Assets checkbox in Enscape

Offline Assets checkbox in Enscape

Once that is checked, a dialog will appear requesting that you define the location you would like the Offline Assets to be stored.

CAUTION: please observe the warning that any contents of the directory you select as the location of the Offline Assets will be deleted. So, make sure to choose a dedicated folder that will only contain these downloaded Offline Assets, otherwise you may lose some files that you may otherwise have wanted to keep.

Define the location to store the Offline Assets

Define the location to store the Offline Assets

Another dialog will appear asking if you want to download the latest versions of all the Enscape Assets, or use the existing cached Assets, those being the Assets that have already been placed in the CAD and rendered once in the Enscape viewport.

Choose between the latest version or locally cached version of assets to use.

Choose between the latest version or locally cached version of assets to use.

Selecting ‘Download’ may result in you having to wait for all assets to download (depending on internet speed, but on a good cable connection this should take approx. 5 minutes) and a progress bar will be displayed at the bottom of the Asset Library dialog to indicate the process.

Progress bar showing the progress of the download

Progress bar showing the progress of the download

To revert to the online Asset Library again, just uncheck the ‘Offline Enscape Assets’ checkbox option.

TIP: If new Enscape Assets become available (usually the same time as a new version of Enscape is made available) and you are using Offline Assets, then to have access to any new assets you will have to un-check the Offline Assets option and  re-download the Offline Assets once more.

Custom Assets

Again, notice a tab for Custom Assets is available which allows you to upload and use your own assets in your projects.

Location of Custom Asset Library

Location of Custom Asset Library

Animated Assets

Only the tree assets are animated (although the Enscape special Grass material and the Enscape sky are also animated).  The degree of animation of these assets is affected by the Wind Settings in the Visual Setting’s Atmosphere tab, so you will need Enscape running to change these settings. The Intensity will affect how strongly the assets animate and the Direction Angle will affect the direction, in degrees, that the wind is blowing from.

It’s worth mentioning that this feature does not affect any Custom Assets.

Wind Settings in Visual Settings dialog

Wind Settings in Visual Settings dialog

It’s also worth noting that some assets animate by default, such as vegetation, but only when moving around and for approximately another 2 seconds after coming to rest. You can allow the assets to animate all the time by disabling Restmode. This option can be found via the CAD toolbar by clicking its associated button General Settings button which will open Enscape’s General Settings dialog, where the option is found under Rendering.

Rest Mode disabled, assets will always animate

Rest Mode disabled, assets will always animate

Further Functions

You can see in the following video how you can collapse and expand the Category and Tags Area, as well as how to add and remove an asset as a Favorite by clicking the small orange star available in each asset thumbnail.

Once you have selected the asset you want, by clicking on your CAD’s active window or viewport, you can place the asset in your scene, after which it will appear in the Enscape window.

To exit the placement of assets, close Enscape’s Asset Library window.

Need more information about Enscape?

Click here to learn more about Enscape, or to contact our visualization experts at enscape@microsolresources.com.

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