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Google SketchUp Pro: Tools and Techniques shows professional users of Google's popular 3D modeling software how to create compelling 3D graphics. Author George Maestri focuses on the features available in Pro that make SketchUp a valuable design tool. He demonstrates the new Dynamic Components and shows how using them can add interactivity to a model. He teaches how to create custom Dynamic Components from models, which is a feature unique to Pro. He also explores SketchUp Pro's companion application, LayOut, a presentation tool that retains the editability of models even when they're embedded in documents. Last but not least, George shows how to export and import objects to and from other programs, such as AutoCAD and 3ds Max. Exercise files accompany this course.
SketchUp Pro has a number of different export options that you can use to take your SketchUp models and bring them into other 3D applications. Probably the most common reason for doing this is to do some external rendering. Now we can certainly do some rendering within SketchUp, but if you want to do something that's a little bit more photo realistic, you'll have to go to an external application. So we can export by just going File > Export. Now there are two options here. One is 3D Model, the other is 2D Graphic. Let me quickly show you 2D Graphic.
And what this does is it just exports your scene as a JPEG image. So however it renders here, it will just be written to a JPEG. So we don't really want to do that. What we want to do is export the whole model. So we can do Export 3D model and we give it a file name and we give it an export type. We have 3D Studio, AutoCAD, Google Earth, Collada, FBX, Object, VRML, and XSI for Softimage XSI. Now we are going to use FBX and that's actually kind of a more common format for something like 3D Studio Max or something like that.
For MAX, we could also use 3DS, but FBX actually preserves textures and a lot of other things, so that's one I like to use. So once we have that selected we can also select some options for this. We can export only the current selection, which means just export the selected model. I'd like to check triangulate all faces particularly for rendering because sometimes the face will disappear if it's not triangulated, and this will kind of solve that. Now what this does is it makes the model less editable but if we're just going to render this, this should be fine, and also for pretty much the same reason.
We want export two-sided faces, so that way everything shows up. Now also we can export texture maps which means what it will do is actually, I've already done this once, it creates a directory with all the textures that you need to create the scene, and it will go ahead and put JPEGs of all your textures in that folder. And then whether or not we want to swap Y,Z coordinates. I am going to leave that at the default. Let's go ahead and say OK, and then just give it a name, Modern_House. Now you can see I've already exported this once before, so let's go ahead and export it again. Yes, I want to overwrite it.
It gives me some results. That's great. So let's go into 3DS Max now. So I'm using MAX 2010. This should work with pretty much any version of MAX and all you really have to do is just Import. So I am just going to go ahead and do an Import and I can look at all formats or I can select a specific one. And I'm just going to go back up to my Desktop and back to where I saved this out and we have this FBX called Modern_House.
Now notice how it also wrote out a separate folder full of JPEGs for the textures. Now we'll be getting to this in a little bit. Just go ahead and select this, hit Open. For this I just generally select the default, so that we really don't need to include animation if we want to or lights but those will be in the file anyway so it doesn't really make a difference. And here it is. So as you can see this comes in pretty much complete. Now when you import something like this via FBX into MAX, notice how it comes up as just one particular object.
In fact I am going to do an Edge Faces here. You can see how it comes in it's just one giant object, so you can't really separate it out. If you wanted to go into Edit Poly or something like that, you could certainly do that. Also let's take a look at how it does materials. So we go into the Material Editor here. You'll notice that-- Let's go ahead and eyedropper this. I am going to go ahead and select this Eyedropper and bring this up. Notice how the one object has everything listed as a multi-sub object.
So this one actually has about 10 different materials on it. So if I wanted to select any one of those materials, I could go into that and then just go ahead and see where we've got, for example-- Notice how the bitmap is actually set to Modern_House, which is that folder, and it's the name of the file. So let's go ahead and take a look at how that works. Let's go into Bitmap and you can see here that we've actually got this in the folder called Modern_House and we've got each of the textures that we have for the object.
So those are some of the basics of exporting models out of SketchUp and as you can see we can bring these into other applications to go a little bit further with things like rendering.
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