Jump to content


Photo

Export FormZ to SketchUp


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 diesellam

diesellam

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 19 November 2014 - 09:15 PM

What's the best way to export a formz file to sketchup file?

Save it as DWG and import the DWG in Sketchup?

 

Does the new FormZ 8 have the direct export as SKP file?

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 rob

rob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 239 posts

Posted 19 November 2014 - 09:32 PM

Export DAE...



#3 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:52 AM

Hi David,

 

Previously the SKP and DAE Import / Export functions were only 32 bit for SketchUp, and since formZ 8 is now 64 bit they are not compatible.  SketchUp has just released some new libraries that are now 64 bit, and we are working on a re-write of these file formats so they can be supported in formZ 8 in the near future.  For now, Import the file in formZ v6 or 7, save, and then open the file in formZ v8.  Or, if you are using formZ 8 and need to Export, Save A Copy As formZ v7, open the file there and export it as DAE as Rob suggests.



#4 diesellam

diesellam

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:35 AM

OK, thanks for the info.



#5 jonmoore

jonmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 12:38 PM

Hi David,

 

Previously the SKP and DAE Import / Export functions were only 32 bit for SketchUp, and since formZ 8 is now 64 bit they are not compatible.  SketchUp has just released some new libraries that are now 64 bit, and we are working on a re-write of these file formats so they can be supported in formZ 8 in the near future.  For now, Import the file in formZ v6 or 7, save, and then open the file in formZ v8.  Or, if you are using formZ 8 and need to Export, Save A Copy As formZ v7, open the file there and export it as DAE as Rob suggests.

 

Will your updated 64 bit SKP IO plugin include direct SKP export as well as import without the need to use DAE?

 

The smoother the round-trip communication between Sketchup & FormZ the better. IMHO, Sketchup is a hugely complimentary product to FormZ rather than just another competing platform.



#6 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 02:53 PM

Hi Jon,

 

We are investigating Exporting SKP files as well, but we don't have any further official info on this just yet.  :)



#7 jonmoore

jonmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:22 PM

Will your updated 64 bit SKP IO plugin include direct SKP export as well as import without the need to use DAE?

 

The smoother the round-trip communication between Sketchup & FormZ the better. IMHO, Sketchup is a hugely complimentary product to FormZ rather than just another competing platform.

 

This is great news. Timeline is less important (within reason) but full IO of native SKP will be a boon to many.



#8 Martin Malinski

Martin Malinski

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:54 PM

+1....opens many doors



#9 pfschuyler

pfschuyler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 22 November 2015 - 11:35 AM

Any news on this?  The existing formats just don't cut it if your goal is to export to Sketchup from FormZ.  FormZ is missing out, big time...on many potential customers.  I've tried to get this to work for years, and it absolutely does not work in a sensible way.  Here are the many caveats.

  • DWG/DXF -  is the best option, it brings geometry and layers, and a fixed position for all objects, but not any materials or object names.  Also a huge problem is that if you modify and re-import the files into sketchup, a complete duplicate set of layers is created, making organization a serious problem.
  • DAE - Geometry is often lost but more of a problem is that things don't import with fixed coordinates.
  • 3DS - Geometry and materials come in reliably but there is the size limit, no layers transfer in, and object names are chaotic.

Sketchup is a very popular file format really, one of the most important nowadays.  If this export capability existed today then every Sketchup user would have a darned good reason to consider modeling everything in FormZ to complement their Sketchup workflow.  FormZ would be the ultimate complement to Sketchup, a huge enticement for its many, many users.

 

Many years later and there is still no satisfying workflow between these two programs.  In my case, for drawings, although FormZ's Layout has made great strides recently, it still can't hold a candle to Sketchup's layout...FormZ is black and white cad only. Sketchup is rich, textured WYSIWYG output.  My ideal workflow today would be to model everything in FormZ, and open it/or link it in Sketchup for presentation and drawing purposes.  Until the day that FormZ Layout can compete, I'm stuck with Sketchup for drawings.  In version 2016 of Sketchup the ability now exists to link all sorts of Sketchup files through Trimble Connect.  So the value of modeling in FormZ and exporting to Sketchup is that much stronger.  Its being used more and more for construction documents and fancier presentations.  There's a giant ecosystem of uses for Sketchup out there but FormZ is in its own world...disconnected from it all.  Take for example the brand new IRIS VR, a new VR platform that directly imports Sketchup files  Or lets not forget all 20+ renderers natively supported in Sketchup (i.e. Vray).  Or the other incredible applications like Lumion and Lumen RT that directly export from Sketchup.  Or the many cad systems that directly import textured SKP models directly (Archicad, Chief Architect, Vectorworks...etc. etc.).  Or the game engines (i.e. Unity).  Or the energy modeling programs, etc.  The list is very long.

 

What a shame.  FormZ is the ultimate Sketchup plugin...unlimited modeling capabilities, all it needs is the ability to output to SKP.  It would pretty much eliminate the need for most Sketchup modeling plugins.  And it would buy Autodessys lots of time to improve FormZ's layout further, if that's a goal.  And if the day comes that FormZ's layout is as useful as Sketchup's...you'd have a whole cadre of trained FormZ users ready to switch over and work only in FormZ, this would be a smart strategic move.

 

PS


Edited by pfschuyler, 22 November 2015 - 11:49 AM.


#10 rob

rob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 239 posts

Posted 22 November 2015 - 01:23 PM

We rarely export to SKP, but when we do, we use OBJ.  Does that work better for you?



#11 pfschuyler

pfschuyler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:46 AM

Rob,

 

Sketchup on Windows does not import OBJ, are you using a 3rd party importer or a very old version of the program?  Even if it did, OBJ would not cut it.  I'm not talking about importing the occasional item, I'm talking about a robust pipeline workflow for bringing models from FormZ to Sketchup, every day, all the time, with these features.

  • Fixed world coordinates, no manually placing each item
  • Object names intact
  • Materials intact (minus certain mapped ones)
  • Layers names intact
  • Scenes would be nice, too.
  • The SKP file format can effectively be linked into Sketchup models, or swapped in or out without duplicating layers and scenes.  So providing that format would eliminate the DWG duplication problem that I mentioned above.

No existing FormZ output format handles these things.  As I mentioned, some formats do some things, and other formats do other things, but all have major compromises that effectively destroy any workflow.

 

Why am I using Sketchup you might ask?  

  • Superior Layout, colored, textured nuanced viewports.  Far better, more compelling drawings. Output is everything, I just can't commit to FormZ Layout when the output is so important.
  • Vast support for 3rd party programs.  Either direct use/output from Sketchup, or those other programs import SKP perfectly.  

It would have been a better financial decision for Autodessys to provide SKP format output, rather than to develop Bonzai 3d.  I'd bet it would double the number of pro FormZ users over time.  Having FormZ as a viable modeling option for Sketchup would eliminate the need for most of the Extension Warehouse.

 

 


Edited by pfschuyler, 23 November 2015 - 08:47 AM.


#12 jonmoore

jonmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:55 AM

@pfschuyler, I think your request for SKP export is a very reasonable one and you'll see earlier in this thread it's something the AutoDesSys are actively investigating. It's just not something they can give us an ETA on at the moment.

 

I'm sure that FormZ's native Layout tools, will improve over time but for the moment, the likes of Vectorworks and Sketchup are far better options for Layout tasks for many people. And on that basis robust roundtrip IO options are a necessity.



#13 pfschuyler

pfschuyler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:48 AM

Good points, ironically this came back to the fore of my mind because I was investigating Vectorworks last week as a possible alternate drafting option.  Something that can really be used to crank out quality, detailed and rich drawings at any level.  I concluded that Vectorworks is a great overall cad system, but I realized that FormZ + Sketchup can achieve the same or even better results for a whole lot less effort and cost. 

 

 

 

 



#14 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 24 November 2015 - 05:16 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Yes, SKP Export is something that we would like to do for the future.  ;)



#15 pfschuyler

pfschuyler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 25 November 2015 - 11:25 AM

ZTech,

 

That's good news, but is there an ETA on that?  V9?  Its important.

 

Thanks.



#16 Tech

Tech

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,110 posts

Posted 25 November 2015 - 11:34 AM

Hopefully it can be included with v9, but we will make a "more official announcement" when we know more for sure.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users