Author Topic: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds  (Read 67395 times)

Offline Paul

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How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« on: May 01, 2009, 08:33:40 PM »
If you have tried to create models for your 3D games, you probably know that many modeling programs out there (like Max) are quite expensive, and have so many features that using them feels like drinking out of a fire hose. One of the simplest modeling programs to use (in my opinion) is Google Sketchup (http://sketchup.google.com/). It doesn't have a lot of the features of some of the other modeling programs available, but it is more than sufficient for most models you will want to create. There is even a "3D Warehouse" full of Sketchup models available for download (http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/).

Only problem is, the free version does not export your model into a common format (like 3ds). So I figured out a way to do the conversion.

The first important piece of information I found, is that the .kmz file format is actually just a .zip file. If you export your sketchup model to "Google Earth 4 (*.kmz)", you can change the name of your file from filename.kmz to filename.zip and look inside. You will find a model file in there, of the Collada "Digital Asset Exchange" format. It has the extension ".dae".

Once you have your .dae file, you will, of course need a converter to change it to a .3ds file. I found a free converter that will do this for you. It is called the FBX converter tool, on the Autodesk website.

You can download the windows version of the FBX converter from:
http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/fbx200611_2_converter_win.exe
The program will install to the following location (unless you specify otherwise):
Program Files\Autodesk\FBX\FBXConverter\2006.11.2\FbxConverterUI.exe

I also saw Mac and Linux versions of the converter (I forgot to grab the links while I was there - you'll have to search the Autodesk site if you aren't running windows).

Now the FBX converter will convert your .dae file into a .fbx file. From there, the FBX converter will let you convert the .fbx file into a .3ds file.

This converter also supports a few other formats, so it could be pretty handy to have around.

Here is the process for converting from .skp to .3ds:

1) Download or create a .skp model in Sketchup
2) In Sketchup, export your model to "Google Earth 4 (*.kmz)
(note: be sure to choose version 4, because the other one is different)
3) Change the extention of the .kmz file to .zip
4) Pull out the .dae file
5) In FBX Converter, convert the .dae file to .fbx
6) In FBX Converter, convert the .fbx file to .3ds

The main problem with this conversion method is that the Autodesk FBX converter is often not able to convert many .dae files (possibly due to large poly counts) :'(.  Fortunately, I found another more complicated method which generally works for cases when the method above doesn't work.  I will outline this other method in my next post.

Another issue I sometimes have when converting models is the materials not being quite right.  When necessary, I use a free program called LithUnwrap (http://www.sharecg.com/v/5169/software-and-tools/LithUnwrap---Free-UV-Mapper-for-Windows) to edit the materials.  Lithunwrap works great for this, but it does have a maximum number or polys it will load, so there are probably better programs out there for editing materials.

I made an applet that loads a .skp model I converted:
http://www.paulscode.com/source/LegoCar/
(Use the mouse to rotate the object)

You can get the source code at:
http://www.paulscode.com/source/LegoCar/LegoCar.java
http://www.paulscode.com/source/LegoCar/LegoCar.3ds
(In this demo applet, the .3ds file needs to be compiled into the jar)

And to show that I actually converted that model, here is the original Sketchup file:
http://www.paulscode.com/source/LegoCar/LegoCar.skp  8)
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Offline Paul

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 08:37:44 PM »
Method #2
(when the FBX Converter doesn't work)

I have found that the Collada importer for Blender is more compatible than the FBX converter for loading .dae files.  Blender is free, making it a good tool to use for converting Google Sketchup (free version) models into .3ds.

How to use this method:

1) Download Blender from http://www.blender.org/ and install it.  Pay attention to what version of Python it recommends that you download.

2) Download the correct version of Python from http://www.python.org/ and install it.

3) If your version of Blender doesn't import .dae files, download the COLLADA plug-in for Blender from http://sourceforge.net/projects/colladablender/.  Follow the included instructions for installing it.

4) If your version of Blender doesn't export .3ds files, download export_3ds2kex.txt from http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17674 (requires a free registration).  Rename it to export_3ds2kex.py and copy it to the Blender scripts directory.

5) Follow my previous instructions for obtaining the .dae file.

6) Import the .dae file into Blender.

7) Export to .3ds.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Dathor

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 04:42:23 PM »
Google Sketchup really is pretty easy to use, plus most anything I've looked for is in the warehouse in some form or another (might need to tweak, but it gets you started)

3d modeling is what has kept me from trying to do 3d games so far, but I've been using this for a few days now and already I am doing pretty good.  I was wondering about how to change it to .3ds though since I saw how jPCT doesn't support .skp, and now I know.

Offline Paul

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 07:37:25 PM »
Quote from: neuropulse
What SketchUp version are you using?

I ask because I am using 7 and there is no option for selecting the Google Earth version. It does not even show the version.

Also there is an option to export as .dae.  Can I just use that?and skip a step?

That simplifies things a bit :D
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Master

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 02:09:26 PM »
Hi,
I need help. I try to open 3ds file in gmax, and it write: Improper file format.
What I need to do?

Offline Paul

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 03:51:38 PM »
What method did you use to generate the 3ds file?  Method #1 or Method #2?  You might try the alternate method in case gmax doesn't like the way FBX Converter or Blender encodes its output.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Master

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 08:35:09 AM »
Hi,
I try both methods FBX converter doesn`t convert me skp to fbx file, Improper file format wrote when I use method 2.
What is alternative method?

Offline Paul

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 08:38:43 AM »
You convert the DAE file, not the SKP file.  You have to use Sketchup to export the SKP file to DAE format (or to KMZ and manually extract the DAE from that).  If you email me a link to the file you are trying to convert, I'll take a look.  My address is paul AT paulscode DOT com
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Master

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 09:07:24 AM »
I will send you my skp file to covert me for few days, I need add some datailes on model.

Offline Master

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 03:15:24 PM »
I figured out how to convert SketchUp models to 3ds: I exported model to DAE file, opened file with Meshlab and exported to 3ds file.

Offline Paul

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2014, 08:38:00 AM »
Yeh, I posted this thread way back when the free version of Sketchup didn't export to DAE, and the DAE format itself was not well supported.  Obviously the conversion is very simple now.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline mggrocks99

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Re: How to convert Google Sketchup models to .3ds
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 06:56:02 PM »
Thanks man. But you really need to update your website