Tutorial: breaking a 3D Warehouse model apart in SketchUp, saving just one part.

The recent iClone competition has made me take a bit more notice of the free Google SketchUp software. So here’s a new 10-step SketchUp tutorial:—

Breaking a 3D Warehouse model apart in SketchUp, so as to bring it into iClone in parts.

1.   Download your test model. This is SeaFreak’s excellent Tron-inspired car, although sadly untextured, from Google 3D Warehouse. We want to take the wheels off — so we get a wheel-less car, plus a separate wheel prop that can be made to spin in iClone.

2.   Admire the quality free content…

3.   Right-click on the file, and choose “open with…”. Open with SketchUp, rather than the usual 3DXchange.

4.   Two basic keyboard things are useful for quick working in Sketchup…

  O = Orbit the camera
  H = Move the camera side-to-side.

5.   Now click on the the arrow key (top left corner) for selection of bits of models…

6.   Now right-click on the model, while the “select” arrow is active. In models that are likely to be mirrored (like this car – which duplicates one side onto the other to save time in modelling) you may need to first click on “Make Unique”…

Then click on “Edit Component…” in the right-click menu.

7.   You can now isolate a component on the model, such as this wheel…

8.   With the component still selected, go to File | Export…

9.   Select Options in the export dialogue box. Make sure “Export only current selection” is ticked.

Clicking “export two-sided faces” can help if you find that the model has strange transparency after you bring it into 3DXchange.

10.   Export the wheel as a .3ds model.

Find where SketchUp dropped the exported model and its textures, load it in 3DXchange for simple conversion to an iClone prop. Then go back to SketchUp and delete the wheels, “select all”, and export just the car’s body.

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