Export Formats?

Greetings all, new user here, very basic question.

My interest is in creating 3D models which I can import in to Hitfilm, a video editor. Hitfilm can import these 3D formats: 3DS, LWO, OBJ, ABC, and, FBX. ABC

Will I be able to import SketchUp models in to Hitfilm?

I thought I should ask this right at the start before investing time in learning SketchUp, which looks pretty darn cool so far.

Many thanks for any advice.

These are the 3D export options in SketchUp Pro.
Screenshot - 6_29_2020 , 9_26_00 AM

See: https://help.sketchup.com/en/sketchup/exporting-obj-files

Many thanks for the prompt reply. This is good news, I can now dive in to learning SketchUp.

Download the demo and give it a try :wink:

Download the demo?

I’m using SketchUp Free, that’s just online, right? Do I understand correctly that SketchUp Free is free on an ongoing basis and isn’t a temporary trial version? When I want more features I can upgrade to a paid version?

Do I have the business model right?

SketchUp Free is free for hobbyist use. If you are using it for commercial use you need either SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Shop. If you are planning to go to SketchUp Pro so you can get the export options you need, you might as well start with it now and use the 30-day trial period. The user interfaces are quite different so you might as well use the one you’ll be using later.

Your idea is like learning to ride a horse with the idea that you’ll get the Corvette when you are ready to go faster. :smiley:

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[Edited to add that Dave beat me to it as I was composing this, but I decided to leave my reply here too.]

A major but nearly “invisible” aspect of SketchUp Free (the no-cost web-based version) is the prohibition of using it for revenue/commercial work.

There are two variations of SketchUp:

  • SketchUp Web is web-browser-based and comes in a few forms (Free - which is no-cost for hobby-use; Shop - which is subscription-based and OK for commercial use; and School - which is for education settings).

  • Desktop-based SketchUp Pro, which is a native application. Currently this can be licensed via either a one-time fee that grants a “classic” perpetual-use license, or via an annual subscription. The classic perpetual option will no longer be available later this year, though existing perpetual licenses will continue to be useable indefinitely. (Historically there was also desktop-based SketchUp Make, the earlier no-cost offering for hobby use. It ceased to be updated after SketchUp Make 2017, though it can still be down-loaded from Trimble).

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Thanks for the clarifications guys, much appreciated. Ok, no worries about the commercial use limit because my 3D skills are currently at level where there is a less than 0% chance of anybody hiring me. :slight_smile:

DaveR says,

If you are planning to go to SketchUp Pro so you can get the export options you need

Are you saying that SketchUp Free will not export in the formats I’d need to move my model in to Hitfilm? I do need to be clear on this issue.

Over the last hour I’ve found some great YouTube tutorials for both Pro and Free, which are really appreciated. Should save me from asking lots of novice questions.

So far I’m pretty impressed with the SketchUp realm, not an experience I’ve had much in the 3D realm. So thumbs up for that, and thanks to all who have come before.

The free version won’t export any of the file types you listed.

SketchUp is indeed very powerful and capable of a lot of things. The free web version is much simplified compared to the desktop versions, especially Pro.

Next nube question…

Best I can tell so far none of the export formats in the 3D Warehouse will import in to Hitfilm. Please tell me I’m wrong! I need to nail the format issue down because if I can’t go from SketchUp to Hitfilm I’m in the wrong place.

Many thanks.

The free version won’t export any of the file types you listed.

Ah, thanks so much for getting me clear on this. Not what I want to hear, but surely what I need to hear. Ok, time to back up and think this through. I’m not really in to paying a year upfront to anybody for anything, so I just might be in the wrong place after all. Sad to hear, but good to know before I invest tons of time in to the learning.

Much appreciated.

The 3D Warehouse is primarily intended to share SketchUp models with other SketchUp users so it’s not too surprising that it doesn’t offer a a file format for your other application.

Maybe there’s another 3D modeling application out there that will do what you need.

You can try exporting to Collada (.dae) from SketchUp Free or SketchUp Make 2017 (the last free desktop version) and then using the free Autodesk FBX converter to convert it to FBX.

You can try exporting to Collada (.dae) from SketchUp Free or SketchUp Make 2017 (the last free desktop version) and then using the free Autodesk FBX converter to convert it to FBX.

Aha! Ok, I’ll check this out, many thanks.

An update for anyone with similar questions:

Sorry to report I found the Autodesk converter worthless, no idea how it works. Perhaps those with more skills will find it useful, I really don’t know. Not newbie friendly.

However, I did find this online conversion tool which is super simple: https://anyconv.com/stl-to-fbx-converter/

I imported the FBX file it produces in to Hitfilm and it seems to work, but I have a lot to learn yet before I could offer any firm conclusion.

Update: I colored the object and tried to convert again. Looks like the object makes it through the conversion, but not the colors.

That said, I’m having consistent difficulty getting materials and textures to travel with any 3D file from anywhere. Best I can tell, the 3D industry is determined to kill off it’s future by getting rid of nubes like myself. Simply transferring a file from one place to another is almost always some kind of hassle.

I did a screen recording on how to use the FBX converter, in case anyone else is worried about it being difficult.

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The problem is with the STL file format. It is meant for 3D printing so textures are kind of irrelevant for it. Collada (.DAE) is the only export format for the free versions that carries material information.

Ah! Thank you! Ok, this opens a new avenue of investigation. I’ll check it out and report back.

Thanks also for the screen recording of the FBX converter, will check that out too.

As way of feedback to anyone working in the 3D industry, the single biggest obstacle to me buying anything from anybody are the chronic problems I routinely have (90% of the time or more) simply moving a file from one place to another. Not doing fancy expert work or anything like that, just moving a file from point A to point B.

Not referring to SketchUp specifically here, but every 3D situation I’ve experienced, everything everywhere. There must be thousands upon thousands of people who hit this obstacle, can’t get over it, give up, and never become customers. Such a waste…

Ok, tried DAE, but it looks like I’d need to upgrade to export in that format. Welcome a correction if that’s wrong.

Best I can tell, there’s no way in the free version to get anything I create out of Sketchup. If that’s true, well, at least I figured all this out in only 24 hours, and now I know about Sketchup so maybe that will come in handy someday.

For what it’s worth, the ease at which I could almost immediately begin doing fun things in Sketchup is quite impressive, and I’m not at all easy to please in that department, to put it mildly. So, good job guys, it’s a thing of beauty, and I’ll regret not exploring it further.

You can upload from free to the 3d warehouse, then download from there as a .dae.

As Box said, you can use the 3D Warehouse to convert to DAE ( you don’t need to make the model public). Or you can install the 2017 version of SketchUp Make (desktop software) that is still available for private use.

Just as an aside, if this is your situation, all this discussion has been academic, and you have to use either the SketchUp Pro (desktop) or SketchUp Shop versions, with the FBX export built in.

I have had to struggle with the alphabet soup of different 3D formats for something like 30 years already. I see no end to it. The Collada format was intended to be somewhat an universal open source solution with fewer limitations and subcategories that 3DS or OBJ that tend to break with modern large models.

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