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How to Set Up ArchiCAD and Twinmotion Direct Link

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

ArchiCAD is a powerful tool for creating 2D and 3D architecture models, while Twinmotion Direct Link allows users to quickly generate photorealistic renders of their projects. With the combined power of these two programs, architects can have complete control over their design process. Learn how to make the most out of the ArchiCAD-Twinmotion Direct Link collaboration in this guide.




What actually is a "Direct Link" ?


A direct link is a connection from Archicad to Twinmotion via a smart Datasmith Exporter Plugin for Archicad with Direct Link functionality. Once you have installed the plugin return to this article and follow the steps below on how to set up the Direct link.


With this live connection, both the Archicad and Twinmotion model are synchronized in real-time, enabling architects to edit the model and make design decisions on-the-fly, while all changes made in the Archicad model are subject to an automated update process inside Twinmotion.


How to get started with Archicad to Twinmotion direct link.

Watch the video or follow instruction below the video which explains how use Archicad to Twinmoition direct link.




1. After you have installed the datasmith plugin, open both applications - Archicad and Twinmotion. Now open your Archicad project. While in Archicad you need to be in the 3D view window to be able to synchronize your Archicad model to Twinmotion. This is because only 3D information is able to be synched to Twinmotion.


2. Next you go to Twinmotion and create the direct link. To do this make sure you are in the import options. Then click on the plus to import a file or create a direct link. We like to create a direct link hence we choose the option Direct Link next to the Geometry option.




3. Next we check the direct link settings source. You will see that Twinmotion is automatically finds the Archicad project file you have open. If for some reason it is not and it is empty, just click next to the direct link settings source and choose your Archicad file you have currently open, from your file system.


4. Looking at the other settings below I recommend to use the - collapse by material - option. This will combine any Archicad objects you have applied the same material to into 1 object geometry in Twinmotion. This is the most common option/practice to work and best optimizes your Archicad model in Twinmotion.


5. Then we click the import button.



6. Next we need to swap back to Archicad. Now click on the sync button icon from the datasmith pallet, the one on the very left of the pallet. If you don't see your datasmith pallet, go to your window menu - palettes - datasmith and make sure it is not hidden.


7. Archicad will now send data to Twinmotion through the datasmith plugin. Depending on your project 3D model size this can take a bit longer. When you do this the first time, you will see in the middle of the Archicad 3D window, how far in percentage the synchronization is progressing.




8. Archicad should swap automatically to Twinmotion during or just after finishing this process. Now in Twinmotion you can see the direct link being processed and created.




9. SUCCESS! You just linked your Archicad project model to Twinmotion. Make sure you save your Twinmotion file before you continue to work with Archicad and Twinmotion.



Now you are ready to create your visualization in Twinmotion. To help you with your visualization projects here is a starter course on Twinmotion.

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