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File requirements


VU.CITY supports models in the FBX format (2011-2016). It also supports OBJ files.

If your chosen modelling software is unable to export to FBX, you can also convert DXF, DAE and 3DS files using this FBX converter from Autodesk. Converting different CAD/BIM formats to FBX/OBJ can produce mixed results, so please review the following to understand what constitutes a good FBX/OBJ file.

Meshes and faces

VU.CITY supports meshes only. Any NURBS, curves, or surfaces will need to be converted to meshes for them to render inside VU.CITY.

The faces on your meshes may be tris or quads only (n-gons are not supported).

Models with multiple meshes can't be selected by the ZTV, object highlighter or camera tool. We suggest merging models into a single mesh/node for full compatibility.

Materials / textures

You can import models that have standard Autodesk materials applied to them (Revit materials are not supported). VU.CITY can also import UV-mapped models, however support for this is limited to apps that can bundle your UV map into a material (which to our knowledge can only presently be done in the latest version of 3ds Max).

File size

While there is no theoretical file size limit, we recommend keeping files well below 128MB for performance reasons.

It is not necessary to join/collapse/merge/explode your geometry, though doing so can greatly improve rendering performance and reduce your file size. To further help keep your file size down, we recommend exporting externally visible geometry only (i.e. not exporting interiors / furniture etc), and leaving out terrain / surrounding buildings (as VU.CITY already contains both).

The size of your model can also impact your ability to save projects. If for example your file size and internet connection speed combination is such that it takes more than 60 seconds to upload, the upload will likely fail, and you will be unable to save your project.


For the UK, geolocation should conform to the British National Grid (GBOS). For Ireland, geolocation should conform to Irish Transverse Mercator (ITM). All other supported locations use UTM projection.

Geolocating and georeferencing are not the same thing, and it's important for architects and BIM managers to understand the difference to get the best out of VU.CITY. Please see here to learn about the difference, and how to position/orient your model in a way that works for rendering formats like FBX and OBJ.

Elevation / AOD

A good practice is to extrude your model downwards so that the base of it sits at sea level (i.e. AOD 0). This avoids confusion regarding whether your Z coordinate (i.e. height) refers to the elevation of the terrain, the height of your building, or the AOD of your building. It also means that in the case of a proposed scheme involving landscaping, you don't run the risk of gaps appearing between the base of your building and the VU.CITY terrain.

Known quirks / workarounds

We're unable to give granular instructions or training on how to perform specific tasks inside your CAD/BIM software-of-choice. Instead, we would steer you towards the support documentation and forums relating to your chosen software package. If we nevertheless become aware of any useful steps or information that can help, we will post it here.

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