Using Datasmith Direct Link

An overview of Datasmith Direct Link technology in Unreal Engine.

Datasmith Direct Link is a feature found in many Datasmith Exporter plugins that can incrementally update the viewport in an Unreal Engine-based application, such as Twinmotion, with the push of a button.

Archicad Direct Link

Collab Viewer Direct Link

Source Application

Destination Application

With the Direct Link workflow, you can set up a Datasmith Direct Link between one or more source applications and multiple destinations such as an Unreal Engine-based application or Twinmotion.

Direct Link Diagram

Datasmith Direct Link allows multiple Source applications to connect to one or more Destinations.

This link updates your Unreal Engine Level or Twinmotion model, removing the need to re-export a *.udatasmith file from your source every time you make a change. This makes it easier to update and visualize incremental changes to your 3D scene in near real time.

Setting up a Direct Link Connection

Getting started with the Datasmith Direct Link workflow begins with creating the connection between your 3D application and your Unreal Engine-based application.

  1. Download and install the appropriate Datasmith Exporter plugin for your application. You can download the appropriate plugin here. For more information on using the Datasmith Exporter plugin with your application, see Datasmith Software Interop Guides.

    Archicad Plugin Install

    Installing the Datasmith Exporter plugin for Archicad.

  2. Once you have installed the Datasmith Exporter plugin for your 3D application, check to ensure the Datasmith features are enabled. This will depend on your application.

  3. Open your destination application and select your 3D application as the Source.

    Direct Link Destination setup

    Datasmith options panel in the Collab Viewer template.

    For example, when running a local session in a project setup with the Collab Viewer template, press and hold the spacebar and select the Datasmith options to add one or more Direct Link sources to the Level. For more information on using the Collab Viewer template, see Collab Viewer Template Quick Start.

  4. Back in your source application, sync your Direct Link connection by clicking the Synchronize with Direct Link button.

    Archicad Toolbar

    Sync your changes between applications by clicking the Synchronize with Direct Link button.

Using Direct Link in Packaged Projects

To use Direct Link in packaged projects, you must take an additional step to enable UDP messaging for your project's .exe file.

  1. From Windows Explorer or another file explorer, go to your project folder, then open the WindowsNoEditor folder.

  2. Right-click your project's executable file and, from the context menu, select Create Shortcut.

    Creating a shortcut to the packaged Unreal Engine project

  3. Right-click the shortcut you created and, from the context menu, select Properties.

    Opening the properties of the newly created shortcut

  4. In the shortcut's Properties window, add the -messaging parameter to the Target property.

    For the current example, the full line would look like this: "C:\Users\admin\Documents\Unreal Projects\DirectLinkTest\WindowsNoEditor\DirectLinkTest.exe" -messaging

    Adding a parameter to the shortcut's target

  5. Click OK to save your changes.

End Result

With the Direct Link connection established, you are now able to update your Unreal Engine or Twinmotion models with the push of a button.

Direct Link Example

Disabling the Use Less CPU when in Background option enables the engine to update the 3D viewport when the Unreal Engine window is not focused and when a Pawn in the level is not possessed. This option is found in the Editor Preferences under General > Performance.

This page was written for a previous version of Unreal Engine and has not been updated for the current Unreal Engine 5.2 release.
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