Exporting objects to Google Earth


I’ve created a geo-located 3D model of a house and added terrain to blend it into the site location. In this model I’ve added some objects outside the house, people, bushes, trees and other plants. When I export the model to a KMZ file and view it in my downloaded version of Google Earth everything shows except these exterior objects. What’s the problem here? Is there a filter in Google Earth or SU that doesn’t allow these objects to be exported? Thanks.


Are those objects components with geometry or maybe just images?


They were components from the 3D warehouse.


Maybe you could share the model, then we could tell you exactly what is going on… Maybe…


Sure here it is in the geo-located site. Tried too upload. It’s 88GB, 30’s the limit. I could put it in Drop Box or Google Drive.


First try purging unused stuff from Model Info>Statistics. Then use Drop Box.


OK, still 87GB but here’s the link in Drop Box: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2c3hk417cxrek61/SCHM01-3.skp?dl=0
Let me know me what you think. Thanks.


I often find it helpful to use Thom Thom’s CleanUp3 plugin to reduce file size.


You aren’t using Layers correctly for one thing. I’m still looking at the file.


Is this place supposed to be on a hill just east of Stoughton?

I wonder if you’re running into a file size limitation with imports into GE.

The many reversed faces don’t help. Nor are the interior details. Why don’t you try making a version of the model showing just the exterior of the house? Leave out all that interior stuff. It won’t be useful in Google earth anyway.


Yes it is, it does line up OK.

I’ve got CleanUp3, I can try that. I thought of just using a shell of the structure as well, but it seems strange that say, if there’s a file size problem, not even one bush appears. How could I use layers better? I went thru the model and tried to consolidate individual layers for elements in the kitchen into one layer. Thanks.


As for layers, you need to be leaving Layer 0 active at all times and leave all edges and faces on Layer 0. Only groups and components get assigned to other layers.

You’ve also got other problems with reversed faces and faces z-fighting because they are in the same space. After deleting all the furniture, fixtures, the car, and people inside followed by a purge, I did get exterior trees to show up.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Stoughton. I had a professor when I was at the U who lived on Hwy 138 a little west of 51.


Yeah, that looks good. That’s what I’d like to send my kid to see if he likes it.

I don’t work with this program every day and used this project to try and get back up-to-speed. So I probably have much to learn to use it efficiently. But, I thought it’s better than my AutoCad LT for structural work.

Guess I don’t know how you leave edges and faces on a particular layer and what “z-fighting” is.

Not going to work on it tonight but will try gutting the interior tomorrow, purging and exporting to Google Earth to see if it works from this end.

The last project I did was a proposal for a pavilion: http://rpschmitz.com/doku.php?id=current_work

Thanks for your input. Bob


Just leave the radio button to the left of Layer 0 selected at all times. Then make groups or components of objects. If you want to control their visibility (which is the only thing layers do) you assign those groups and components to other layers. Leave the edges and faces within the groups and components on Layer 0.

Z-fighting is when multiple faces occupy the same space. The graphics card can’t determine which one is on top so it shows them all. In my screen shot you can see this as a sort of cross hatch on the face around the outside of the house as well as on the garage roof.

That pavilion looks like a huge building.


That building would have been about 100 x 200 ft. Don’t think it’ll get built though.

Regarding edges and faces. Do you make components of or groups of everything you draw?

Regarding Z-fighting. Where there are two layers of terrain I have merged them and then deleted the lower ones.
For the roof I’ll be looking at that today. I used the Medeek truss extension and added the plywood deck. I also added a ceiling to the bottom chords.Don’t think I added a roofing layer over the deck.


Making groups and components is the only way to keep geometry separated. The furniture, fixtures, and stuff in the house are components which prevents them from merging with the geometry of the house. If I were drawing a house, I might make the foundation a component, the floor would be a component, the walls another component, and the roof yet another. If you want to show trusses, sheathing, and shingles separately, you would keep them separate. It makes sense to use copies of a truss component to make the rest of the trusses for the roof. Sheathing might be copies of a 4x8 OSB component, for example.

Then you could put the trusses on one layer, the sheathing on another, and the shingles on a third. This would allow you to show the roof without the shingles by turning off the Shingles layer. You could turn off the sheathing layer and show just the trusses. You can probably imagine how to put that to further use.

It can get more involved, too. You could select the trusses, the sheathing and the shingles and make a Roof group. Then put that on a Roof layer. Turning off the roof layer visibility makes the entire roof go away or you can just elect to show only part of the roof. All the way through this Layer 0 remains active and the edges and faces remain assigned to Layer 0.

It’s different than working with layers in ACAD but it’s freeing because you don’t have to ever chase which layer is active. Few errors that way.


Thanks Dave, I appreciate the info. I’ll be working on “cleaning it up” today. At least as much as I can with this model.
I have some other ideas for framing the roof so we’ll keep grouping and component creation in mind when we do.


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