Ready to Export? Here's what each file format can do.
So you've just completed a 3D sketch in uMake and are wondering how to take it to the next step...well not to worry. When we developed uMake we incorporated the ability to export your creations in several common 2D and 3D formats. Here we will break down the different ways you can export your sketches and take them to the next level.
Save as Photo - PNG (Portable Network Graphic):
2D - part of the Free starter edition In some cases it might be necessary to create simple 2D image of your uMake creation. uMake can export transparent PNG images of your model which are great for digital painting/ graphic design, sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail etc. These PNG's have no background, so when you use them with other apps like Procreate, Pixelmator, or Photoshop, you can overlay the image on top of existing images or backgrounds. When you export a PNG, uMake takes a snapshot of the existing view of your model, so before exporting, be sure to orbit to the view you would like to make a snapshot of. From there, navigate to the export section in the side panel and choose 'Save as Photo' from the options. uMake will save a PNG image to your photos on your iPad. From there you can share the image just like you would share any other photo. Note: When viewing transparent PNG's on the iPad, you may notice they appear to have a black 'background'. This is normal and is because there is no 'background' color when viewing photos. To change this, simply rotating an image 4 times will give the image a white background.
Export as STP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Data):
3D - Part of the Pro subscription plan The STP (or STEP) file is the most widely used 3D data exchange format and was developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as a way to create a standardized file format that was compatible with various software suites, thus making compatibility less of a problem. Exporting your uMake creation as a STEP file will allow you great compatibility with several 3D applications such as Rhinocerous, Moment of Inspiration 3D, Blender, Alias, Maya and Keyshot. One of the key differences between the STEP format and IGES format, is that when exporting a uMake file as a STEP file, each surface remains independent whereas the IGES format (discussed below) tends to create a single object from the uMake file.
Export as IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification)
3D - Part of the Pro subscription plan Development of the IGES format started in the 1970's with the United States Air Force Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing initiative and the standard was first published in 1980. The format is widely used by many different software applications to this day. uMake can export to IGES format for use with software such as Rhinocerous, Moment of Inspiration 3D, Alias, Maya, and Keyshot. In some of these applications however, the IGES file will come in as a single object making editing a bit more challenging in some cases. That said, in some situations this may be beneficial when you want the original sketch to remain unchanged.
Export as OBJ (Object File)
3D - Part of the Pro subscription plan Developed by Wavefront Technologies, the OBJ format has become the standard file formate for exchanging 3D files that are primarily based on polygonal modeling. OBJ files work a bit differently than STEP and IGES files in that they create a polygonal mesh instead of curves and surfaces. They work great with software suites such as 3DS max, Blender, ZBrush and Modo for example. If you use a software suite that works with Polygons as the primary method of creating, exporting to OBJ is probably your best option.
Export as UMK (uMake file format)
3D - part of the Free starter edition When we began developing uMake, we knew we would need a way to share files with other users, and thus we developed the .UMK format. If you have multiple iPads or different accounts, or would like to share your uMake files with colleagues or friends so they can continue working on the project in uMake, you can export your work files as UMK files. When you export to a UMK file, it is essentially like saving your uMake file-- nothing is changed or converted. Opening a UMK file on another account or device will open exact same file that was exported. You can use the UMK file format to save and share your works in progress, or make multiple versions of a single project. While it makes working with your files easier, it should be noted that only uMake can currently open .umk files at this time.
It is worth nothing that while uMake can export to STEP, IGES, OBJ and UMK files, it can also open and import all of these 3D formats as well. Thus you can use uMake at any time in the design process, allowing you to import models made in other programs to uMake, modify and edit the file in uMake, and then export the same file out of uMake to continue work on or begin rendering. So, that is our quick overview of the different file formats uMake can export to. We hope you found it helpful and informative, and that you will be able to test the various formats in the near future. If you've exported something you started in uMake and have taken it to the next level with another piece of software, we would love to hear from you!
August 9, 2016