Interior rendering with asset example

Best Practices: The Enscape Asset Library

Adding 3D assets to your project is a great way to add context and bring your scenes to life; it can make all the difference during a presentation. In this article, we take a look at the Enscape Asset Library and provide you with some best practices to help you get the most out of it.

What is the Enscape Asset Library?

Enscape’s real-time visualization tool comes with its very own Asset Library. Over 3,000 high-quality and ready-to-use assets are available, making it incredibly easy for you to locate, place, and position assets within your projects.

This handy tool saves you time by delivering 3D-ready models of people, vegetation, furniture, accessories, lighting, and much more for your projects in Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks. The Enscape-ready assets can be added to your project in seconds, simplifying your workflow immediately. You no longer have to spend extra time searching for the right tree model or vehicle: they are now right at your fingertips.

Enscape Asset LibraryThere may also be times when you'd like to use a very specific model that's not in the Enscape Asset Library. With our Custom Asset Library, you can import your own models into your projects. We'll discuss that later on in this article. To get started, let's start by looking at how you can maximize your use of the Enscape Asset Library.

How to use the Enscape Asset Library

The Asset Library can be opened either through your modeling software or via the Enscape rendering window (via the asset button or by pressing 'L' on your keyboard):

Asset Library icon on your modeling software toolbar:enscape_toolbar_al_32

Asset Library icon within the Enscape rendering window:

enscape_renderer_toolbar_ap_32When you open the Asset Library from the CAD toolbar, you can select individual assets and place them directly into your model. You can then move, rotate, and scale them in the Enscape rendering window (rotation is not available in Revit). When you open the Asset Library directly from within the Enscape rendering window, you also have the option to place multiple assets. 

From the CAD toolbar, the Asset Library will open in a separate window and show all available assets grouped by category. Click on a category to see the available assets. When you hover your mouse over an asset, you will see its name and a short description. At the top left you can also search for specific assets by name.

Enscape Asset Library

The main view of the Enscape Asset Library. 
Asset Library Hover Over ImageHover over the asset to view a description. Click on the star to add it to your Favorites.

You can also favorite your assets, so that they appear together in the Favorite category. To add an asset to this category, simply hover your mouse over the desired asset and click the star in the left corner. The asset will automatically appear in the Favorite category. Any favorites will be saved after you close your CAD program. Click the star again to remove an asset from the Favorite category.

TIP: When browsing the selection of trees, keep an eye on the figure standing next to it. This way you can gauge the relative height and size of the tree before adding it to your project. If the assets are too large or small, you can scale them. In SketchUp and Rhino, the assets can be scaled along any axis. In Revit, you can scale assets uniformly by increasing or decreasing their height. 

Enscape Asset Library Trees

Select an asset to place it into your project. While you are placing the asset in your CAD program, the Library window will minimize, and return when you have finished the placement. You can also press the Esc key on your keyboard at any time during placement to abandon the asset and return to the Library window.

With Enscape version 3.2 and above, you can also place an asset directly into the Enscape rendering window. The asset is then automatically added to your project in real time. 

Creating assets in Revit

Let’s take a look at how to place your assets in the different CAD programs. We’ll start with Revit. The easiest way to add an asset in Revit is to place it in a floor plan view. Select the appropriate level and the asset you want to place by clicking on it. The Library window will automatically minimize and your cursor will allow you to place the asset. Just click once to place the asset exactly where you want it. The Library window will open again and you will see the asset in Revit, represented as low-res geometry.

TIP: When you place assets in a floor plan view, the elements might automatically be hidden. If this is the case, simply unhide the “Planting” category and all of your assets will be visible again.

Click just once to add an asset to your floor plan

Click just once to add an asset to your floor plan

The vegetation will appear as low-res geometry

The vegetation will appear as low-res geometry

Now it’s even easier to add great-looking vegetation to your model. Two clicks and you can immediately see how the tree or flower fits into your model. With the models currently available, you can create welcoming gardens of every kind.

Terrace example

The great benefit of the Asset Library is how quickly you can create scenes like the one above. Being able to add assets with two clicks streamlines your workflow and saves valuable time. I added around forty assets around the terrace to create a more comfortable, grounded scene. You want your client to be able to picture themselves in the scene; by adding some vegetation and a preset Enscape horizon, you might be able to convince them you’ve just taken a photo of the already-built project.

Animated vegetation is also available in Enscape! Learn more here.

Creating assets in SketchUp

It’s just as painless to place assets in SketchUp; I’ll demonstrate using some people assets. Select an asset from the Library window and place it with one click on the desired face. If Live Update is enabled, the asset will immediately become visible in the Enscape window. The asset will be shown as a white, low-res figure. After you place an asset in SketchUp, you will be able to continue placing the same asset in a batch. This is a great way to add many assets subsequently and keep your project size small. Pressing the Esc key will recall the Asset Library window.

Asset LibraryPlace an asset on a face with one click

Best Practices Asset Library-7

Continue clicking to place more of the same asset

Previously Enscape offered 10 RPCs, which were only available for Revit. The new library, however, expands this number to 18, and makes the figures available in all four supported CAD programs. Use them to really bring your scene to life. No matter which program you use, Enscape assets can take your scene from empty to bustling.

Best Practices Asset Library-14Combine different assets to make your scene dynamic.

Use of assets in scenesCarefully arrange figures to mimic real-life interactions

Creating assets in Rhino

In Rhino, you can place assets in any of Rhino’s Viewports. Play around and decide which one works best for you. Select the asset from the Library window by clicking on it. Rhino will ask you to select a target surface, or alternatively, you can press the Enter key to use the base plane. After that, your cursor will allow you to place the asset on a surface by clicking once.
Best Practices Asset Library-17Assets in Rhino are shown as low-res geometry

Assets-1

A fall morning created in Rhino

Combine different assets to create specific scenes and evoke certain feelings. You can use the more autumnal trees available in combination with more heavily dressed assets to create a fall scene. The more specific you can make your project to your client and their wishes, the more likely they are to fall in love with it.

Creating assets in Archicad

In Archicad, you can access the Library through the Enscape dropdown menu or via the ribbon. Open the Library and select the asset you want to place in your scene. The cursor will change to allow you to place the asset; click once to add it to your scene. In Archicad, the assets are represented as orange, low-res geometry. You can also rotate, elevate or drag the asset after it has been placed using the native Archicad Move functions.

Best Practices Asset Library-18Enscape assets represented in Archicad view


People AssetsMix and match assets and backgrounds to create scenes.

Enscape Custom Asset Library

With the Enscape Custom Asset Library, it's possible to create and import models into Revit, SketchUp, Archicad, Rhino, and Vectorworks. To get started, open up the Asset Library and you'll see the 'Custom Assets' tab at the top of the window. Once selected, you can import a model by clicking on the + button that will appear.
Custom AssetsThe file formats supported are:

  • OBJ
  • FBX
  • GLTF 

It is possible to import models from third parties, such as SketchUp 3D Warehouse, but we do recommend that their poly count is no greater than 20,000 to ensure optimal performance. It should also be noted that some models may not be compatible with Enscape.

With Enscape 3.4 and above, it is possible to create categories for your custom assets to help you better organize and share assets. 

Please see our Knowledge Base article for step-by-step instructions on how to use the Custom Asset Library.

Simplified Assets

Simplified assets are available within the Enscape Asset Library. These assets are ideal for use in early design when you require basic asset placeholders to provide some context but without any complexity or specificity.

The simplified assets are white, low poly assets and include people, buildings, furniture, vegetation, and vehicles. SimplifiedAssets_03_FINAL copy

Dynamic Asset Placement

Dynamic Asset Placement is available with Enscape version 3.2 and above. This feature allows you to select, place, and modify assets in the actual Enscape rendering window. Previously, assets could only be placed into your design software. But now, everything that is added to your rendering automatically appears in your design software. This will make it faster and easier to place assets into your projects than was previously possible. We're very excited to bring this functionality to our users. 

With Enscape 3.2 and above, multi-asset placement is also available, allowing you to place multiple assets at the same time within Enscape. Imagine you have a large, empty landscape. With the new multi-asset placement, you can select the vegetation you'd like to use, then place them all at once in the Enscape rendering window. You no longer need to pick and place every individual asset. This will be a significant time-saver for those users who wish to place multiple assets into their scenes. 

For more information on how to use Dynamic Asset Placement in Enscape, head over to our Knowledge Base article or check out this video tutorial:

Enscape Material Library

It's also worth mentioning that besides assets, you can also choose from a range of ready-to-use materials from the Enscape Material Library to use within your projects.

A large number of pre-made PBR materials can be imported into the Enscape Material Editor. They can be used as they are, or you can edit them further to create the perfect look for your project.

Enscape MAterial LibraryFor further information on the Enscape Material Library - take a look at our detailed Knowledge Base article.

Conclusion

A stunning Enscape project results from the combination of several different aspects, but the icing on the cake are assets. With just a few clicks, you can transform your project and better communicate your design ideas to your clients and stakeholders.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to use the Enscape Asset Library, why not try it out for yourself? Click on the button below and sign up for your free 14-day trial of Enscape's real-time visualization plugin.

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