baking sketchup materials in 3ds max

this little tutorial shows how to export a model from sketchup and bake the materials to one texture map, to make it easier for (e.g.) realtime use / exporting it from 3ds max.. etc.

this works only with sketchup pro version

1. create textured model in sketchup

2. export the file as 3d model -> 3ds -> use the following options:

you will get a directory full of textures and a 3ds file.

3. import in 3ds max

open 3ds max / file -> import -> choose 3ds file

you can now render the scene, it will be textured as it is in sketchup.

where is the texture map ? at this moment the textures are applied as multiple submaterials in 3ds max. to see the material:
  1. open material editor
  2. klick "get material" (the icon is an arrow and sphere)
  3. select "browse from:" "scene" to see all materials in the current scene
  4. choose e.g. "Material #66 Multi/Sub Object"
  5. double click to replace the current selected material
  6. now you see the different submaterials
4. bake textures into oneselect the object to bake
  1. choose rendering -> render to texture or press "0"
  2. remember the number you setat "Mapping Coordinates": "Channel"(**)
  3. scroll down to "output" / choose "add" / select "complete map"
  4. choose a texture size for example 512x512
  5. change "baked material settings": select "Output Into Source"
  6. klick "Render"
  7. open "Material Editor"
  8. choose an empty material
  9. open "Maps"
  10. click the "None" Next to "Diffuse Color"
  11. choose "Bitmap"
  12. select the image you rendered using the render to texture tool previously
  13. set "Map Channel" to the number from step (**)
  14. assign material to your object
  15. click "show map in viewport" to see the texture in 3ds max
You now have baked all Textures into one.

The Resuling Texturemap will never be optimal, because you are working with automatically generated uv coordinates. you can optimizie the used space a bit if you remove faces from the model, which are never seen.

You also should considering to enable gi or shadows etc before rendering to the texture to make everything look better :D

import sketchup to 3ds max

there is that wonderful xml format digital assets exchange (.dae) format called collada.
google earth models (.kmz) contain the mesh information as a dae file.

this also works with the free version of sketchup!

what you have to do is get that .dae file out of the .kmz and import it into 3ds max.
a kmz file is basicaly a zip file, which contains the model and textures and information on where on earth the model should be placed etc..

  1. export your sketchup scene as "3d model" - "google earth x (*.kmz)"
  2. find the file and rename it to ".zip"
  3. unzip the content of the file
  4. open max - choose "file" - "import" - choose "dae" file format, and open your file
perhaps max says something like:
    -Warning: Meter conversion factor is too small or invalid: 0.01
there is a way to change this:
open the .dae file in your favorite text-editor.
  • find the line:
    <unit name="centimeters" meter="0.01"/>
  • relpace "0.01" with something bigger, like "1.00"
  • save the file
  • now you should be able to import the scene into 3ds max
i used 3ds max v9 for it and this collada importer ,
but there should be free collada importer for earler versions of max and nealry every other 3d tool like maya or blender etc...