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How to Import from Sketchup (free) to Blender - a Short Tutorial

Started by angainor88, April 08, 2018, 01:43:30 PM

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This tutorial is pretty short, but it's basically to help those people who like building in Sketchup and want to put that in Blender without pulling out too much of their hair. It assumes you already know how to make the stuff in Sketchup (the free version). It's also not a complete tutorial, so I suggest using Discrepancy's for how to put out a full project. I'm not an expert by any means, so if I did something wrong, tell me :P

Step 1: Exporting

So you've built a nice building in Sketchup (make sure your scale is set to meters at the beginning of the project, or you'll have to rework the scale later on). Exporting is fairly simple. Under File --> Export --> 3d Model. A window will pop up where you can name it. It doesn't say, but the file type will be .dae.

Make sure to also export a Build 1 and Build 2.

Step 2: Importing

Open Blender and start a new project. Delete all the junk they start you with.

Then under File --> Import --> Collade (.dae) . Choose your file and import it.


Step 3: Getting it in Place

If you're making something more complicated than a box, Blender likes to import it in pieces, so you'll need to join them together.

In 3D View, highlight all of your imported objects on the right. Then go to Object --> Join.

This will put all of them into one object, which you can call mesh.

Next we want to make the scale work. Make sure your object is at 0, 0, 0. Then on the right of your screen, under Scene, expand Units. Then set the units to Meters, and the scale to 1.

Now we have to apply the scale. Under Object --> Apply, click Rotation, Location, and Scale for your object. This makes it so Blender recognizes what you did.

Step 4: Cleaning it up

At the top of the page, go into Edit mode. Make sure you have it on Edge selection. You will see a lot of lines that weren't there in Sketchup.

There are two ways to clean them up. The first is to manually highlight the extra lines, hit delete, and choose Dissolve Edges. The manual way takes a while (especially for complicated objects), but it means you won't delete edges that you want. The automatic way won't delete outside edges, but it may delete internal edges that you want.

To do it automatically, select all, then go Mesh --> Clean Up --> Limited Dissolve. If there are particular internal edges you want to keep, make sure they are unselected when you do this.

Step 5: Normals

We want all of the normals to be facing out, otherwise that piece will become invisible inside the game. To make the normals visible in Blender, we want to be in edit mode, with Face select. Then, on the right, under Mesh Display, then Normals, click the box that has the Faces outlined. This shows the direction of the normals.

Now, select any face that doesn't have a normal pointing the right way. Then click Mesh --> Normals --> Flip Normals.

There, now your building is all fixed up!

Also note, when doing UV Layout, choose Smart UV Layout, or otherwise it will twist all your pieces in weird ways.


Next up, Troubleshooting!

So a really common error I have found when doing this, is that sometimes, pieces of the building are invisible. I don't know what causes this (extra vertices?), but I do have something of a solution.

So here's an example. In game, there's a small gap at the bottom of the house.

In blender, there isn't:

There is usually a problem of extra edges, with extra vertices, crammed into one visible line. Usually, just deleting or dissolving these works, if you can find the right pieces and rip them from the rest. To Rip (i.e. split a vertex into multiple vertices with edges attached) a vertex, Ctrl + V -->Rip.

Sometimes this leaves you with a gap that you will need to add a plane to fill the hole. As you can see, it's the same gap that was on the in game model.

For this, on the left, you can go to Create --> Plane, then move it in the gap, and reshape it so it fits.

So that's what I've got. Hopefully it helps!