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Sketchup and Blender

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92
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us-northdakota
Is it possible to rough out let say a hanger that has some challenging curves and angles and then import it to Blender to finish it up.

Also. If you create an object lets another hanger or building in lets say Sketchup 2017 Pro free edition can you import the object to Sketchup 2020 Pro If I should decide to purchase SU2020. pro? I am looking at purchasing the 2020 pro edition if I like the way it feels and what I can do with it.

Thanks
Randy
 

Rotornut44

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us-florida
Is it possible to rough out let say a hanger that has some challenging curves and angles and then import it to Blender to finish it up.
If you are talking about building most of a model in Sketchup then completing it in Blender, it can be done, but sometimes models made in Sketchup can be a bit quirky when importing into Blender. I usually fully build my model in Sketchup then use Blender to correct mapping, do texturing, and add AO.

Also. If you create an object lets another hanger or building in lets say Sketchup 2017 Pro free edition can you import the object to Sketchup 2020 Pro If I should decide to purchase SU2020. pro? I am looking at purchasing the 2020 pro edition if I like the way it feels and what I can do with it.
The SKP save files should work in 2020 without issue. I don't own 2020, but that has always been the case every time I did an upgrade. You just wont be able to downgrade to an earlier version of Sketchup after you save the file in 2020, unless you use an interchangeable format like DAE or 3DS.
 
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austria
Is it possible to export a .fbx or .obj in SketchUp? Then yes, blender can import that.

Edit: too slow :)
 

Rotornut44

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us-florida
Is it possible to export a .fbx or .obj in SketchUp? Then yes, blender can import that.

Edit: too slow :)
:) Adding to that, I have personally had the best luck using .3DS format while going from Sketchup to Blender. You just have to set the scale back to 1.0 after you import it.
 
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hungary
:) Adding to that, I have personally had the best luck using .3DS format while going from Sketchup to Blender. You just have to set the scale back to 1.0 after you import it.
Hi @Rotornut44 ,

I can't find the 3DS import option in Blender.

I started creating building models for airport sceneries for MSFS and I am looking for guidance for an effective pipleline for the process. If I understand correctly, you propose the following approach:

  1. Create the structure in Sketchup. Can I maintain logical, hierarchical object (group) structure, or will that block correct importing to Blender?
  2. Export it to ... format. What is the best format and options with the current Sketchup/Blender versions?
  3. Import it to Blender
  4. Adjust scale
  5. "Correct mapping, do texturing" - do you still add "fake" textures yet in Sketchup, or you start it from scratch in Blender?
  6. "Add AO" - is it ambient occlusion? Is it neccessary when developing for MSFS?
I just asked about this process today in a separate thread: What is your 3D production pipeline?

Gábor
 

Rotornut44

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637
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us-florida
Hi @Gabor hrasko
Blender no longer supports .3ds in newer versions. I would use .dae or .obj. The important part is you need to set your units to decimal meters in Sketchup before you export. It needs to match the units used in Blender (Meters by default). You can change that under Window > Model Info > Units Tab.

deci_m.PNG


Then you can export by either format. OBJ will likely just need to be rotated 90*. Here are my DAE export settings:

dae_export_settings.PNG


Usually hierarchies and groupings don't transfer that well from Sketchup to Blender. Expect some parts to find their way into another group or get buried a few empties deep. So, I would expect to organize everything again in Blender.

When going from Sketchup to Blender, I find that it's easier to do everything material related in Blender. Don't worry about mapping in Sketchup. After you import, delete all of the materials and create new as you need them.
I highly recommend manually unwrapping your object by selecting and setting unwrap seams. Smart unwrap can work in a pinch, but it usually produces pretty messy unwraps. It's always better if you do it manually. It gives you more control and ends up a lot cleaner.

Before you unwrap, always make sure you apply all transforms with Ctrl-A! If not, you may get some UV stretching on unwrap.

AO does stand for Ambient Occlusion. It's not 100% necessary as MSFS does automatically generate some on the fly. Including an AO texture does help it to stand out a lot better. However, you need to remember that some PBR textures have their own AO map, so when you are creating your textures in Substance or Armor paint, some AO will be written for details in the actual texture as well.
 
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hungary
Thanks very much of the detailed description!

In other forums several people recommended to do all modelling in Blender (instead of Sketchup). I see that people are doing fantastic sceneries in Blender, but as far as I read, Sketchup is better suited for building modelling. What is your opinion about this?
 
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420
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unitedkingdom
My usual process is design in Sketchup.

Export as a .obj.

Correct the material colours changed by the import. Double check for flipped normals. Adjust metallic, roughness, emission and glass. I can't be bothered with PBR and often skip normals and never bother with roughness, glossy textures etc.

Split normals. Shade smooth and then add the edge split modifier.

I don't bother changing anything else or touching any other Blender setting unless there's a clear problem.

Export to MSFS.

That whole process might only be 1-2 minutes.

Does that make me a bad person? I am a total philistine and don't care about the technicalities as long as it looks acceptable in the sim.

I'm sure Blender does many, many things better but Sketchup is just simpler overall for me. Maybe that will change.
 
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hungary
@Rotornut44,

I followed your config for export. The scale is OK now, I had to change it from mm to m and I also set to import unit settings during import (DAE). It is still very wierd, parts of the building dissapears when I move the view, and some faces (for example one roof) is missing. I selected all and run "All transforms" that generated a ton of errors as seen in the screenshot. I don't understand this yet. I creeated components in Sketchup, used them in several instances and the groups are organized hierarchically. Is that related to this somehow?
 

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hungary
@superspud, with OBJ export/import the first impressions are much better as seen on the picture. But it imported as a single object. I really can't do anything with it (if I have to at all). I fast set some glass materials and it seems working fine. So far this seems to be the simplest solution if I don't need any real changes in the structure. i have not yet tested more complex textures.
 

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420
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unitedkingdom
with OBJ export/import the first impressions are much better as seen on the picture. But it imported as a single object. I really can't do anything with it

If I need to separate I usually do it in Sketchup first and export the component separately. Sketchup is usually intelligent enough to select the component I want to separate with a double click.
 

Rotornut44

Resource contributor
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637
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us-florida
@Rotornut44,

I followed your config for export. The scale is OK now, I had to change it from mm to m and I also set to import unit settings during import (DAE). It is still very wierd, parts of the building dissapears when I move the view, and some faces (for example one roof) is missing. I selected all and run "All transforms" that generated a ton of errors as seen in the screenshot. I don't understand this yet. I creeated components in Sketchup, used them in several instances and the groups are organized hierarchically. Is that related to this somehow?
I ran into this yesterday when I tried it on a model of my own as well. I was not able to figure it out. It also imported a lot of disconnected edges, which I had to go back and clean up. So, it may be better to use OBJ format. Even if it exports as a single object, It shouldn't take you long to break it apart in Blender. Just select the faces you wish to break off and hit "P" then by selection in the menu that comes up.

Some things are definitely easier to build in Sketchup, it's just the conversion issues that can slow you down. Everything else though is so much easier in Blender.

Edit: I corrected my post above as well. I typed FBX for the other option, I meant OBJ! The version of FBX Sketchup exports cannot be imported into newer versions of Blender!
 
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hungary
Very few people mentioned, but there is a pipeline without Blender:

Sketchup -> (kmz) -> ModelXConverter -> (glTF) -> MSFS Scenery Editor

It seems to be extremely simple and ModelXConverter provides nice tools for textures (for example resize them in batch).
 
Messages
92
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us-northdakota
Very few people mentioned, but there is a pipeline without Blender:

Sketchup -> (kmz) -> ModelXConverter -> (glTF) -> MSFS Scenery Editor

It seems to be extremely simple and ModelXConverter provides nice tools for textures (for example resize them in batch).

Are there any Youtube tutorials to go with this process. Thanks
 
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