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How to find decent Sketchup freebies
Posted: 13 March 2014 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This thread contains instructions for wading through the low poly and low quality stuff on the Sketchup 3D Warehouse in order to find the decent and good models, as well as what to expect.

Sketchup is a commercial 3D modelling tool, but there is a free 8 hour evaluation period (8 hours of total use, not 8 hours from installation).  Forumites here are most likely to use it to convert .skp models into obj models (or dae/Collada models once the trial period is over—the collada models must then be converted to obj format with a 3D conversion program like Poseray or Propviewer)

SUMMARY OF THE SKETCHUP ToS: Most of these models are of brand name products, created for advertising purposes, and may be subject to copyright, despite what Sketchup’s ToS and FAQ claim.  This means that any model of a brand-name product should only be used in non-commercial renders.
  In addition, Sketchup’s “royalty free” rule does not apply to redisributing models or their derivative works owned by someone else outside of the 3D Warehouse website without the owner’s permission (this means that converting models to .obj or duf files and uploading them to Sharecg is not allowed) 

WHAT TO EXPECT: The overwhelming majority of models on 3D Warehouse are either very low-poly or are “billboard” props (in 3D modelling, a “billboard” is a flat plane with a diffuse and transparency map added, which is used as a background object—in Sketchup these are also known as “2d Face-me”) .  Most of the decent ones are professional models created for the purpose of advertising.  One major exception, of course, are the plant models—but some of the really hi-poly plant models crash DAZ when imported at 99% (or at least that is the case for me—e.g. the Bilimbi tree)
It is important to bear in mind that the majority of sketchup models contain minor to major flaws when imported into DAZ Studio—these range from a diagonal line running across a flat face (e.g. on one side of a cube—the same flaw can be seen in some wavefront models available on ShareCG and other free sites), to missing bits of polygon, to examples like the image below.  The most common flaw is the aforementioned diagonal lines.  (The exception to this rule is of those models created in other programs and then imported to Sketchup)
As a general rule, good models will usually be at least 1 mb in file size.  Models of 6 mb or more may crash DAZ Studio when imported.  Colors may or may not be retained on the model when imported into Studio.  As will all imported wavefront models, you must apply the textures manually.
Finally, bear in mind that Sketchup transparency maps are not compatible with other 3D programs, so you’ll have to fix/edit them yourself in an imaging program such as GIMP.  Likewise, Sketchup only supports transparency and diffuse maps, so you’ll have to create bump, displacement, etc. maps for textures if you want them.  In addition, the textures may be flawed in that they don’t fit the UV map properly (leaving uncolored spots, or less commonly, overlapping regions) 

HOW TO SEARCH FOR GOOD MODELS  A simple technique can be used to filter out most of the low-poly models in order to find the good stuff, as detailed below.
1. Go to the search box on the upper right.  Click on the tiny gears icon.  This will bring up a dropdown menu—click on “advanced search”.
2. In the bar to the right of “model complexity”, click “less than” (<) in the drop-down menu.  In the bar below, type “1”.  (the really good models all have a poly count listed as zero for some reason—perhaps the count exceeds what the site AI can list or something)
3. Enter your keyword in the desired search bar—“tags” will only bring up hits from the “tags” list.  “description” will bring up hits from the description text (seen below the picture of the model), and possibly also the tags list.  “with text” will return hits for models with that word (or parts of that word) anywhere on the model’s page (title, description, or tags)  “with text” may return way too many hits, so you might want to select a different category instead.
4. Once you have entered your keyword, either press enter or click the red “Search 3D Warehouse” button at the bottom of the screen.

Most of the really good models fall into the categories of medical supplies and mechanical, plumbing, or automobile parts.

Eventually I plan to add links to good sketchup models to my freebie archives (including an upcoming one of medical and hospital props)

I really hope this thread is not considered off-topic somehow—no freebies are offered here, but this is a tutorial on how to find good freebies.  That said, here ARE a few example links to decent models (ones with minimal flaws), so that you can see what to expect.  Keep in mind that you will NOT be able to see the flaws until they are actually imported into DAZ Studio.

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=518833fb88d143ddee8f0f6d51f8e71b
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=b852202f803c3dfe90c794d3b20112e6
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=3fcdc5b50dfdfce31197c42e24c98e04
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=f80d0274e1ff28f7bd98e3137eb977e2
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=96329a90d3278821eadafea2d1db37f5
(this last one has a flawed texture which doesn’t cover the entire leaf, and one of the textures must be tiled at 5x6)

Now here are the aforementioned examples of severe flaws.

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Sketchup_holes.jpgSketchup_major_flaw2.jpgSketchup_major_flaw.jpg
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Posted: 14 March 2014 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My first reaction when seeing the title was isn’t “decent Sketchup” an oxymoron?
Some can be fixed up some for D/S in Hexagon and some, well ... best left buried.

{works fine for the programs it was designed for}

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Posted: 14 March 2014 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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you can get an obj exporter from sketchucation
http://sketchucation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=323&t=33448

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Posted: 14 March 2014 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I heard the free Shade for Unity can load a sketchup file and export an .obj.  It’s at mirye.net.  I’m awaiting my download link…

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Posted: 14 March 2014 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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@Wendy: this site has nothing to do with Google?
I cannot log in with my Google account

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Posted: 14 March 2014 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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no you need to sign up
it is an independent site but linked to by Trimble who in fact own the warehouse

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Posted: 14 March 2014 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks Wendy. Keep it in mind when I’ll need it.
———————————-
Here’s an example of a Sketch-up model.:

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Posted: 14 March 2014 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Here is another way to get sketchup models into DAZ Studio.
http://3dreferences.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-use-skpkmz-or-dae-models-in.html
There is also a plugin to load .skp files into blender.

Plus there is another problem with using sketchup models in DS, you will get what looks like webs across some of the openings in the model. This is caused by having polygons/vertices that have more than 4 sides. The .obj file exporter in sketchup does not convert these n-gons into quads or triangles. DAZ does not like n-gons.

The way to fix this is to run the model thru PoseRay to convert it into 3 side vertices.
Load the model, then on the groups tab, click the weld & calculate normals boxes,  click update, then save as object.
On the materials tab you can select the textures, bump & transparency maps. This will all be put in the .mtl materials file when you save the model.

In the pictures below is the same sketchup model before & after being cleaned up by PoseRay.

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Posted: 15 March 2014 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Plus there is another problem with using sketchup models in DS, you will get what looks like webs across some of the openings in the model. This is caused by having polygons/vertices that have more than 4 sides. The .obj file exporter in sketchup does not convert these n-gons into quads or triangles. DAZ does not like n-gons.

Ah, yes, that is a problem I’ve noticed as well, but I didn’t mention it because I didn’t know how to articulate it.  The flaws found in Sketchup models are actually pretty similar to those found in 3DChaya’s models—the diagonal line and webbing. at least.

Edit: Oh, cool, there’s a way to fix that?  Cool, that should fix 3DChaya’s models, as well.

Patience55: The ones I linked to are all pretty good aside from the diagonal triangle thing (also, most of those medical models haven’t been assigned any mat zones) 
Some of the medical models in particular are very nice, esp. since there aren’t very many freebies of such items (hell, there aren’t even very many PAID versions of those items outside of say—Turbosquid and CGTrader).  Some of the medical models by Bond (the one with the no-mat-zone medical models, I believe) have punch-hole missing polygons in them, and some have the appearance shown in two of my screenshots—however, some of them only have the latter on the back side of the model, which isn’t too bad.  The MRI model has it on some small on the side near the bottom—it’s not likely to be very noticeable except on extreme closeups (I can’t think of a single reason for such a render other than horror/zombie scenes where someone is lying on the floor beside the MRI…)

There are other models that aren’t of great quality, but look okay and aren’t any worse than plenty of the free lo-poly models available at ShareCG and other places.  (the Cucina Giapponese items come to mind—besides, if you don’t like the super-low poly bowl, you could probably make that matzone invisible and then put the soup in a better bowl.  I actually like the design concept of the soups + texture in those models, I think it’s an interesting technique and effect as an alternative to bump and displacement maps.)

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Posted: 25 March 2014 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Load the model, then on the groups tab, click the weld & calculate normals boxes,  click update, then save as object.
On the materials tab you can select the textures, bump & transparency maps. This will all be put in the .mtl materials file when you save the model.

Where in POV ray is “update”?

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Posted: 29 March 2014 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Could anyone please tell me how to “update” the model in POV ray?

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Posted: 02 April 2014 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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opal42987 - 29 March 2014 01:46 AM

Could anyone please tell me how to “update” the model in POV ray?

You use PoseRay to feed scenes to POV Ray.
The instructions I gave is for PoseRay,
But I can see how you would be confused.

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