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Old Posted Jul 7, 2019, 5:35 AM
jagr jagr is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 7
how do I create simple 3D building models in Sketchup?

Hi,

New member here. Great site.

I would like to create some very simple 3D models (length, width, height) for several buildings in my area. I can get the (lat,long) of the corner(s) from Google maps, and I can get the height from published no. of floors (e.g. @ 3-4 m/floor). So that's the easy part.

I'm also familiar with UTM, MTM, geographic coordinate systems, and I can convert between them if required.

I recall trying Sketchup a couple of years ago. At the time I wanted to draw a model of a house, but it wasn't easy to use for that level of detail. But all I need now is a 3D cube to represent each building, so that's much simpler.

Once I get these models, can I display them as 3D buildings on Google Earth or has that feature been discontinued now?

I have seen a detailed Sketchup model of a house in the Sketchup Viewer. It allowed me to rotate the building and see shadows at any time of day on any day of the year. To do that, I presume it must be geo-registered to know where the sun is. So how can I do that?

If there is a quick tutorial that shows me how to enter (lat,long) of a corner, the 3 dimensions (length, width, height) that would be great. I did some searching but couldn't find one.

Thanks.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2019, 2:50 AM
jagr jagr is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 7
Ok, I answered most of my questions I think. I found these excellent videos that describe the whole process and more!

long video:
Viewing Your Model in Google Earth

shorter video:
Exporting Your SketchUp Model to Google Earth - The SketchUp Essentials #28

So I proceeded to get Sketchup. Unfortunately, the only version that is affordable to me is the free Web version. I just want to visualize some local development around me, as one-time only project, so it doesn't make sense use anything but free.

Unfortunately the free web version seems broken:

1. I was able to "add location" and grabbed a section of a map just like the video shows. Unfortunately, it's only Open Maps, with no satellite. I guess Sketchup doesn't pay Google to licence their imagery? So that's not very helpful and it means I won't be able to use the Google imagery to make realistic-looking models.

2. I found 3 existing models in the 3D warehouse, and tried importing them. After a long delay (my connection is only 7 Mbps down, 1 up), my grabbed map disappeared and the imported 3D model is nowhere to be seen - just the axes. When I started fresh and skipped the map grab, and imported the model, it displayed just fine. Not sure why I can't have both. I thought everything was there, but just to small to see, so I zoomed in (seemingly forever) and never saw anything other than the axes.

3. the video shows how to uses the "axes" tool to re-align the axes parallel to roads (for example). But I don't see any such "axes" tool on the free Web version.

If I'm doing something wrong, please advise. Is that my only choice for Free or cheap software to visualize these proposed buildings?

Thanks.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2019, 11:49 AM
rocketphish's Avatar
rocketphish rocketphish is online now
Planet Ottawa and beyond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagr View Post
Hi,

New member here. Great site.

I would like to create some very simple 3D models (length, width, height) for several buildings in my area. I can get the (lat,long) of the corner(s) from Google maps, and I can get the height from published no. of floors (e.g. @ 3-4 m/floor). So that's the easy part.

I'm also familiar with UTM, MTM, geographic coordinate systems, and I can convert between them if required.

I recall trying Sketchup a couple of years ago. At the time I wanted to draw a model of a house, but it wasn't easy to use for that level of detail. But all I need now is a 3D cube to represent each building, so that's much simpler.

Once I get these models, can I display them as 3D buildings on Google Earth or has that feature been discontinued now?

I have seen a detailed Sketchup model of a house in the Sketchup Viewer. It allowed me to rotate the building and see shadows at any time of day on any day of the year. To do that, I presume it must be geo-registered to know where the sun is. So how can I do that?

If there is a quick tutorial that shows me how to enter (lat,long) of a corner, the 3 dimensions (length, width, height) that would be great. I did some searching but couldn't find one.

Thanks.
Welcome to the forum!
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