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SketchUp to FormZ and back to SketchUp

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I'm helping out another architect for a few days as they are understaffed working up to a deadline.  They use SketchUp.  What is the best export from FormZ to SketchUp?  DWG seems to work fine so far.  

 

Are there any differences between import/export options?

 

Are there any tricks I should know in drawing, managing, or import/export options that would help the workflow?  This is a rough conceptual model so I don't think it will have texture maps.

 

I will be importing a SketchUp 2016 file they have started, working in FormZ, then exporting back to SketchUp. 

 

It also seems that the very latest SketchUp build (16.0.19913) does not import into FormZ.  Once I back saved to 2015 it imported fine.  Is this expected?

 

I'm on FormZ Pro 8.5.3, Mac OS 10.10.5

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Round-trip journeys involving Sketchup can always be a little hazardous without due care. A few hint's for the way that I tend to work (but I'm sure there are many others). Evan Troxel would be a good person to consult too as I know he's done a lot of round-trip work involving Sketchup too.

 

- I always revert to Sketchup v8 as my export format as I find it the least problematic

 

- Use a specific SKP importer where available (the FormZ one was working correctly last time I used it)

 

- DWG export from FormZ is always my first preference, then DAE and 3ds (3ds is actually pretty solid apart from the underlying triangulation)

 

- Only do serious material settings at the end of the round-trip. If need be maintain two scene files in FormZ, one for the round-trip focused on the geometry and one optimised for FormZ materials

 

The materials part may seem a pain but you'll save a lot of time in the long run by optimising materials for each particular platform and only focusing on the geometry for the round-trip stuff.

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Hi Paul,

 

Jon has some good advice for everyone.  DWG should work  well in general, and we have adopted the latest SKP Import Libraries, but Trimble has  since released a new version with a new format, so yes, you do need to back-save to the previous version.  

 

(We haven't done a lot of testing with "which format works best" but perhaps Jon's suggestion of using v8 can help if you have any issues with the newer versions.)

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Thanks for the tips.  So far reverting to 2015 SKP has worked.  Luckily I don't think I will need to worry about materials too much for this short gig.

 

I'm interested to see how SketchUp groups and components are maintained.

 

 

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My limited experience in FMZ-> SKP results in "sticky" objects once inside SU; meaning shared edges are not easily selected making managing in SU cumbersome. This is fine with me, as I don't like using models downstream in SU anyway. If your client expects to manage the models downstream in SU, they might be disappointed. 

 

The only reason I've needed to export to SU is for one client to view the models without installing FMZ Free. It is very encouraging to see the announcement of a forthcoming FormZ viewer app! Good, good news for the future of FormZ!!

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DAE is probably the best option still... especially if there are materials. Hopefully FBX will give us an even better option. I've found that whatever is an object in formZ becomes a group in SU, which is a good thing if you want to avoid the sticky geometry mentioned earlier.

 

If you have facetted/curving objects, you'll want to use the Soften command on them in SU so the facets are automatically hidden in your views. You'll need to do that to every object that has said facets. 

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Thanks for all the feedback.  DWG was working fine for me, though I might give DAE a try also in the future.  Luckily for this job they were simple buildings, all rectilinear, and no materials to worry about.  

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