Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video SketchUp to 3ds Max, part of SketchUp: Tips & Tricks.
- [George] Hi, I'm George Maestri and today we're going to take a look at how to go from SketchUp into 3ds Max. Now the reason you'd want to go into 3ds Max from SketchUp is for a number of features that 3ds Max offers. I like to go into Max for the many renderers that it offers, but there are a ton of other tools that are available for your SketchUp models. Now, the process for going into 3ds Max is actually fairly straightforward. But you do need to be organized.
So, make sure that you have everything grouped and/or turned into components and that everything has a descriptive name. So if we were to go into our Outliner, you can see here that I have good descriptive names for everything. Now I also have my scene separated out into some nice layers. So, for example, I have the roof on a separate layer as well as the kitchen and the bathroom and so on. Now this keeps the objects a lot more organized when they go into Max.
Now, getting into Max is actually fairly simple because 3ds Max does import SketchUp files natively. So, all you have to do is make sure your SketchUp file is in the right format. Now, as with all Autodesk applications, SketchUp version 8 is really the sweet spot here. Anything later than that might not be able to be read by Autodesk applications. So, I'm going to go File, Save As ... Now, right now I'm in a later version of SketchUp.
So what I want to do is to just create a new file here. And I'm just going to call it Bungalow_V8 for version 8. Now here, under this pull down, I can just change the version number. So I'm going to make sure this is SketchUp version 8, and then just do a Save. Now when I go into 3ds Max, all I have to do now is Import. So let's go into 3ds Max. We do File, Import.
And then I want to make sure I have Bungalow_V8. Now when I saved this out, I did save all the textures into a complementary folder. So, when I open this, it's going to ask me a couple of questions. One is, "What do I want to do with the objects in the scene?" "Do I want to skip anything that's hidden?" In this case, I'm actually checking Yes. So if I have a layer or an object that's hidden, that will not import. We can also split objects up by layer and this will preserve SketchUp's layering system by translating them to Max's layering system.
And then did we want to bring in Cameras and the Daylight System? Well, SketchUp really doesn't have Cameras. It has Views. And so Cameras will be roughly translated to Views. So, if you have multiple views in your scene, you will get multiple cameras. And Daylight System brings in the time of day, as well as longitude and latitude and converts it into 3ds Max's Daylight System. And then for materials, you want to make sure that you have the proper folder selected. So, in this case, I have that Bungalow_V8 selected.
So let's go ahead and select OK. Now, I'm creating a Daylight System, so when I first do that, it's going to ask me to turn on Exposure Control. And so, I'm just going to go ahead and say Yes and just use that default. And here is my model. So, as you can see, the SketchUp model came in very cleanly. So, here, is my Daylight System. Here is a camera. That's really how I was looking at that scene and, in fact, if we wanted to, we could take a look through that camera and that's pretty much the view that we had in that scene.
I'm going to go back to a perspective view here. And then, by default, Max will bring it in with standard materials and set it up for the scanline renderer. Now you can certainly change materials to do something like the ART Renderer or Arnold if you have it. But even at the default, you should be able to get a pretty good render. So I'm going to go ahead and just do a quick render production and, as you can see, I'm getting a reasonable render of this scene.
Now the lighting can certainly be changed and tweaked, but we're pretty much all the way there in terms of materials and that sort of thing. So if we look at the Material Editor, I'm going to go ahead and just Eyedropper one of these materials. So let's say one of these windows here. And, as you can see, this window comes in as a Multi/Sub-Object material. So we have an aluminum material here. We also have some translucent glass. And, again, these materials can be edited using any of the standard Max tools.
And then the scene itself comes in pretty cleanly. So if we look in the Scene Explorer you'll see that we have all of those names that we had in our scene come across and it comes in in a pretty flat hierarchy. So you may want to reorganize your scene as it comes in. And then if we look at the Layer Explorer, you can see that our layers come in. So, if I wanted to, I could hide that roof layer. And, again, I've got that same functionality. So that comes across completely into SketchUp.
So, hopefully, this gives you some insight into how to get from SketchUp into 3ds Max.
Skill Level Intermediate
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