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SketchUp Anyone still using SketchUp?

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unitedkingdom
It may be a day or two before I can produce some images to demonstrate the issue more clearly, but the problem comes when I create a unique texture from a tiled surface, then apply it via MCX to the bgl model in FSX/P3D. All of the boundaries display the bloom effect, which may be lighter or darker than the texture itself (I suspect it’s a mid-tone that just looks lighter or darker depending on the texture).

My artistry isn’t great, and so the main benefit of ‘create unique texture’ - ie making a one-off that can be imported into a photo manipulation program to add weathering and other visual delights specific to that location on a building - is probably a bit wasted on me!
 
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It may be a day or two before I can produce some images to demonstrate the issue more clearly, but the problem comes when I create a unique texture from a tiled surface, then apply it via MCX to the bgl model in FSX/P3D. All of the boundaries display the bloom effect, which may be lighter or darker than the texture itself (I suspect it’s a mid-tone that just looks lighter or darker depending on the texture).

IIUC, you refer to mapping a texture onto a Face within Sketchup, allowing the texture to auto-tile by repeating itself ?


When you "apply it via MCX" are you referring to the process of:

1.) Exporting from Sketchup in a format that MCX can import (with mapped texture Materials intact)

2.) Importing into MCX, then:

a.) MCX Icon Bar > Material Editor:

(1) Edit Texture Material attributes (if necessary)

(2) Set \Texture output path

(3) Convert Texture to Powers of 2 / DDS etc.

b.) Export from MCX as FS format 3D object to be manually added to scenery library and placed via another BGL

...or:

c.) Export as a Geo-locked FS format 3D object inside a scenery BGL containing 3D object with placement


...or are you referring to using MCX Ground Polygon Wizard to manually import / select / map textures onto G-Poly Faces ? :scratchch

My artistry isn’t great, and so the main benefit of ‘create unique texture’ - ie making a one-off that can be imported into a photo manipulation program to add weathering and other visual delights specific to that location on a building - is probably a bit wasted on me!

As you may already know, in Sketchup workspace, Select > Right-Click > Texture > Edit Texture Image... enables a linked graphics application to do that.


And, as you may know, MCX can "Render-To-Texture", system Colors and any texture image auto-tiled ...by 'repeating itself'.

Also, MCX can commit a texture image mapped as a Material (w/ distortion ?) to a texture atlas sheet via DrawCall Minimizer.


The Sketchup "Make Unique Texture++" plugin Ruby script can bake any distortion (aka "Render-To-Texture"), any mapped texture image that auto-tiles by repeating itself ...within Sketchup via ImageMagick rather than the default Raster engine.

Additionally, the texture image is clipped at the Edge of the mapped Face, thus UV-mapping it to 'FS compatible' coordinates.


I appreciate your kind offer to further illustrate what you allude to above, and look forward seeing your posted images. :)


GaryGB
 
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unitedkingdom
Hi Gary. I think you're well aware of the process! Turn each surface into a 'unique texture' however it was applied; whether by tiled seamless textures, colours, or an edited image. Export the Collada 3D model to MCX, then modify the textures within MCX to ensure the final bgl isn't too large and that the texture properties present as well as possible (I don't get into modifying the textures to apply PBR or HDR characteristics) in the intended sim (FSX or P3Dv4/5). On occasion I have taken the unique texture created by SketchUp and edited them in Gimp or Affinity Photo but, as I explained before, my artistic talent is limited, at least in this format.

However, here's an example of the effect in SketchUp. This is a simple model, with each coloured surface turned into a unique texture and then combined into a single texture sheet (in this case 1024x1024) which is then used to texture the model. The 'bloom' is very evident both on the individual unique textures as created by SU, on the texture sheet created in Gimp from those unique textures, and on the model in-sim. The render I've attached shows that it's less obvious in a ray-traced environment, but is definitely noticeable. Of course, the limited resolution of forum images may make it less obvious!
Screenshot 2022-11-10 121007.jpg
Screenshot 2022-11-10 115601.jpg
 
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unitedkingdom
Just to add, this is a sample of a unique texture from this model as exported by SU and before combination into a texture sheet. The image as exported is very lo-res, which may well be the issue...
_0029_BlanchedAlmond__25.jpg
 
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Many thanks for this explanation of the work-flow you had alluded to above; I shall try to see if this occurs due to Sketchup's internal Raster processing. :scratchch

GaryGB
 
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Hi Tim:

It is possible there could be an issue with Sketchup internal Raster processing of its default 'Named Color Material':

"0029_blanchedalmond"

...when Sketchup converts that Color into a Texture.


But, IIUC, to further inquire into how the "0029_blanchedalmond.JPG" derived from the Sketchuip default Named Color Material "0029_blanchedalmond" is rendered and displayed in any 3D viewer / editor (including the rudimentary Sketchup default workspace scene renderer), we must see its Material Properties as mapped onto the 3D model.


If you would be so kind as to attach- or link to- a ZIP of the original *.SKP, and the exported Collada *.DAE with all mapped textures (or a 'Google Earth' format *.KMZ export) of the 3D model shown immediately above, I anticipate we may be able to better understand what might be the basis for your reported display issue for this 3D object.


Thanks in advance for providing this 'worked example' to allow sorting out this intriguing display anomaly. :)

PS: Which "ray-tracing" (aka "photo-realistic rendering") application did you use for the image attached above ? :scratchch

GaryGB
 
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unitedkingdom
Hi Gary. You're welcome to have a look at it, but it's not a function of this colour - it's happening on all exported unique textures. Hence I don't bother with them other than to provide a template for the very rare occasions when I want to create a bit of artwork(!) as a texture. Pretty much all of the models I've screenshot in this thread are textured with seamless textures or simple colours, and not converted to unique textures.

The rendering plug-in is Twilight.

As a comparison, I've attached the DAE file of the same building as coloured, with no unique textures created.
 

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Hi Tim:

A number of possibilities may apply to this scenario of a perceived change in Material display after conversion of a Sketchuip default Named Color Material into a Texture Material.


FYI: Whether I load either of the above attached *.SKP or Collada *.DAE files into Sketchup 2017 Make, then I:

1.) Select a Face mapped with what appeared to be the "0029_blanchedalmond" color using <Alt>+<Paint Bucket>

2.) View the selected Material in the Sketchup Material dialog under "In Model"

...it shows a Mapped Texture ...not a Color.

Thus, I am unable to see the original display of a "0029_blanchedalmond" Named Color prior to using "Make Unique Texture".


Can you attach a version of these Sketchup projects using the original "0029_blanchedalmond" color for a valid comparison ?

Do I understand correctly you have a original Sketchup project that only uses the mapped "0029_blanchedalmond" color ?


Or do you only have available versions of this 3D model mapped to a texture atlas sheet made via a graphics application ?

If so, be aware that there is yet another Pandora's Box of potential "gotchas" that may impact this perceived display scenario:

Hi again:

FYI: Older and current versions of PhotoShop and GIMP can output *.BMP / *.TIF files which are not fully compatible with SDK Resample.


For SDK Resample compatibility in source images output by PhotoShop and GIMP, ensure 'output' options meet the following criteria: :pushpin:


When Day / Seasonal variation "visible" source images are 'Saved' as a 24-Bit color *.BMP, configure the file format with:

* "Run Length Encoded" (aka "RLE") NOT checked

* "Do NOT write color space information" checked

* "24-Bits" (R8 G8 B8) 'ticked'


When Blend and Water Mask 'data' source images are 'Saved' as a 8-Bit gray-scale '(256)-color-step' *.TIF, configure the file format with:

* NO compression, whether FAX - CCITT 3, Huffman Encoding, LZW, PackBits etc.

* RGB NOT CMYK

* NO ICC sRGB Color Space Profile Embedded

* Optimized NOT Custom Palette


Hope this helps a bit more. :)

GaryGB


As I previously mentioned, forum posts by Sketchup Developer Team members have freely acknowledged the fact that the default Raster processing engine used for certain functions is intentionally geared towards yielding a faster on screen rendering to facilitate user responsiveness, and that substituting other Raster graphics engines may yield higher quality results.


I recommend testing ImageMagick engine substitution as implemented by Aerilius in some of his Sketchup plugin Ruby scripts.


Additionally, Sketchup community 'insider' Rich O'Brien has posted a useful tutorial on editing Sketchup Materials that incidentally alludes to potential color changes that may occur when performing Material edits:



BTW: The number of permutations with a potential to change mapped Material display may escalate as a result of MCX import.

I have not yet found a full featured Material editor that displays the number of applicable parameters and assigned values for mapped Materials on 3D models in the workspace of a Sketchup project that can be compared with that available via MCX (...assuming one could eventually gain a working comprehension of the impact such Material property edits may have on display).

However, IIUC, the above tutorial by Rich O'Brien describes how to "Match" a Texture image color to a source 'Colored' Face.

Perhaps you may find a way to implement a match of display attributes for a Texture image 'color' ...with a "Named Color", after the 'Unique Texture has been derived from its source "Named Color" ? :idea:

If you are inclined to consider further the basis for perceived display changes in "Unique" Textures derived from Colors, feel free to attach an original version of the files above, mapped instead with Sketchup "Named Color" Materials, and I'll be glad to take a look at them to see if we can discern what options may be used to resolve this anomalous change in display of a Material Color converted to a Texture. :)

GaryGB
 
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unitedkingdom
Hi Gary. That’s odd. I was pretty sure I’d given you the raw, coloured model as well as the one textured with the ‘make unique’ textures. Forgive me, I’m suffering after having had both Covid and flu jabs in the last 24 hours and feeling distinctly sub-par. I’ll have a look and see if I can locate the original.

Interesting info about imageMagick and SU2017’s material handling. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to concentrate a bit more effectively and have a look through your links.

IIUC, if I produce a texture sheet (even if it’s totally artwork, and not in any way generated by SU17), apply it within SU17 and then process it with MCX, the way SU17 natively handles the material results in a low-quality output? Looking at the size of the individual unique textures output by SU17, that makes sense. An answer, I guess, would be to substitute the SU17 texture output with higher-quality textures taken directly from the graphics program (which could use the SU-generated unique textures merely as a template). I imagine that could be done before processing with MCX to produce a sim-compatible model. That effectively is the process when using seamless tiled textures, which SU17 doesn’t alter but simply references?

I don’t have time to play with this over this weekend (I have to take advantage of the warm sunny weather to prepare my garden for the winter!) but I should be able to have a go at it next week. This may even motivate me to exercise my artistic muscles in Gimp or Affinity!
 
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Hi Tim:

Please allow yourself time to fully recuperate and attend to other IRL commitments before considering this scenario. :oops:


AFAIK, internally, Sketchup works with non-compressed / non-lossy JPG or PNG format even if "Use Maximum Texture Size" is enabled.

Note that if we edit a mapped texture in an externally linked "Pro" graphics application, when we save, by default it shows JPG format.

At that point, I assign maximum quality with no sub-sampling / compression, so it saves / updates the workspace texture accordingly.


It would indeed be interesting at some future date, to test the use of yet another external graphics application to make our mapped textures, rather than using either the default- or ImageMagick- internal graphics engine sub-system in Sketchup.

IIRC, rhumbaflappy used to advocate that approach with earlier versions of custom photo-real imagery because the results were better with the external graphics application than was being performed by the newest SDK Resample at the time ( FS 2000 or FS 2002 ? ).

Of course at that time the textures were still kept external to the BGL.


It may prove interesting to see what can be done external to Sketchup with mapped textures assuming correct URI info in a 3D model. :scratchch

Enjoy the gardening after you are feeling better, and we can proceed further when you are ready. :cool:

GaryGB
 
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unitedkingdom
After some health issues, then the build up to Christmas and other commitments, I've finally found time to spend on doodling some more buildings for another project with John Young. Gary, I'm afraid I still haven't looked at ImageMagick! I will do soon, however.

This project is RAF Thorney Island as it was in the early 1970s. John has recreated the HS780 and 748 Andover as AI for P3D and FSX, and this is the frame for that picture. Once again, the buildings are created in SketchUp Make 2017 and rendered in Twilight. The detail is, as usual, rather too much for the resolution that P3D (let alone FSX) can support, and I don't (yet) build for MSFS, so it's for my own indulgence - and historical accuracy - that the models are relatively highly detailed.

This is the Brian Clarke EGUV (available at MAIW) that will be effectively repaced by what I'm doing. The buildings are the excellent Ted Andrews productions that go back many years. The Andovers in the screenshot are the flyable CBFS, versions.

tH9sTp7.jpg


3HLs9op.jpg


An overall view of the new EGUV. The Ted Andrews buildings are being used as placeholders for the development; most will be replaced. Other than the buildings, this is a totally new AFD.

37sX4mE.jpg


izhDPDh.jpg


And now my new C-Type hangars:

2xv2VjP.jpg


tHXUE2J.jpg


8wAOALR.jpg


l7wHMVm.jpg


Offices remaining from a hangar that was bombed in WW2:

JzW0lbu.jpg


Station Workshops:

NPtSK9t.jpg


25KVa Houchin powerset:

yMNxEgf.jpg


Close-up of John's Andovers (yes, we know about the numbering!):

oeTeCjP.jpg
 
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