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It is important to know which modelling/CAD/BIM package was used to create the FBX file you are trying to import into VU.CITY. This is because not all packages have the same concept of which direction is up. Packages supported by VU.CITY use one of two orientations:

As a general rule, 3d modelling packages tend to use Y-up, and CAD/BIM packages tend to use Z-up. This is why when you import an FBX file from AutoCAD as though it was created using SketchUp, it flips over on its side.

If therefore you do not know the origin of the FBX file, aside from asking the creator of the model, you will need to manually try importing it as though it was created in different packages until it appears in the correct upright orientation.

Seeing though there are only 2 likely orientations, as a shortcut you could simply try importing a model of unknown origin as though it was created using AutoCAD (i.e. a CAD package), then if that does not work try importing as though it was created using 3ds Max (i.e. a 3d modelling package). This will save you from needing to try every import option.

Models appearing in unexpected locations

A model can appear in the middle of an empty grid, or sometimes in the centre of your city if the model. This can happen for a number of reasons:

– The model has not been geolocated;
– The model has been geolocated using the incorrect scale (note VU.CITY supports mmcmmin, and ft);
– The model has been geolocated using a coordinate system other than OSGB, UTM, or ITM;
– The model has been prepared correctly, but imported using the incorrect import settings.

In the majority of cases, the FBX file simply hasn’t been geolocated. This is common, as CAD and BIM packages do not tend to have the functionality to geolocate FBX models.

If you are certain you have used the same scale as the architect who built the model, the recommended step is to assume the model has not been geolocated, and manually enter the survey coordinates in the import menu before you import it. See here for instructions on importing a non-geolocated model.

Dealing with scaling issues

Models imported using the incorrect scale may be too small to see, so large that all you see is their shadow, or appear in an unexpected location (see above). The way you can tell if a model has imported or not is to click the location pin icon that appears in the import menu next to the name of your model:

If the model imported successfully, the camera will pan to the location of the model.  If however the camera does not pan (you may need to pan to a different location in the map, then click the location pin again to verify) then the model has not been imported.

Once you pan to the location of the model, if you cannot see it, click on the positioning tool:

While this tool is selected, red/green/blue arrows will be superimposed over the position of the model that you can drag in any direction. These arrows will appear over the top of the VU.CITY model, which can be useful when trying to find a model that may be underground, or otherwise in an unexpected location:

If you’re unable to see your model in VU.CITY, troubleshoot by re-importing using a different scale. Note you may need to try this several times using different scales on each attempt.

If after experimenting with the scale you’re still unable to see your model, double-check the position of the decimal place in your geolocation coordinates to make sure they are in metres. Coordinates in the UK for example should have six digits before the decimal, as should ITM coordinates. Some UTM coordinates are more than six figures long, so please double-check.

If you cannot see the model regardless of the chosen scale, and manually entering geolocation coordinates does not help, the model may need to be zeroed if it was made in a modelling package, or have a VU.POINT added if it was made in a CAD or BIM package. If you’re still having difficulty, please contact our support team who can analyse the model for you.