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Google SketchUp is an easy-to-use modelling application that is particularly suitable for architectural models.

Reference Guide:
SketchUp SDK:

Known Issues

Unity Scale Calibration

SketchUp's basic unit is the inch. Thus: 1 inch in SketchUp = 1 unit (meter) in Unity. If you use meters in SketchUp, your model will be ~39.37 times too large.

Meshes (Modeling)

When you finish modeling and are ready to export, remember to delete any faces that you can't see. For example, if you have two overlapping solids, e.g. a sphere and a cylinder, make sure you intersect their faces (Select them, right-click, choose Intersect->Selected), go inside, and clear out all the unused faces. This makes the job a lot easier for the animator.

The following Ruby plugin can help in locating useless internal faces by selecting edges that border more than two faces:

require 'sketchup.rb'

unless file_loaded? File::basename(__FILE__) sam = Sketchup.active_model sel = sam.selection

edit_menu ="Edit") edit_menu.add_separator

new_menu_item = edit_menu.add_item("Select all Edges shared by 3 or more Faces") { sam.active_entities.each { |e| sam.selection.add(e) if e.is_a?(Sketchup::Edge) && e.faces.length > 2 } }

file_loaded File::basename(__FILE__) end

Textures (UVs)

Import the textures as assets into Unity, and apply them to the materials sketchup imports.

Exporting to Unity

Scene Cleanup

If you discover that faces are missing in Unity, switch SketchUp into monochrome display mode (View→Face Style→Monochrome). In this mode, front faces are white and back faces (which should face the insides of models) are blue. If you have any outward-pointing faces that appear in blue, right click on one of the correct (front) faces and choose "Orient Faces" from the contextual menu. If this does nothing or causes existing front faces to turn blue, there are still internal faces to be cleaned up.


If you have the Pro version, you preferably export into Unity using FBX format. Exporting to Collada (DAE) also works.

When you use the Free version, you might have success with export to Collada or Google Earth (which creates a kmz-file, that is a zip-file with a Collada file included). For the free version, you can use the OBJExporter script at the SketchUcation forum (free registration required).

With the LightUp add-on for SketchUp (Pro or Free) you also get an integrated FBX exporter along with the lightmapping functionality.

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