File Ownership Data


I’m a SketchUp teacher and I currently have a student who’s skills demonstrated in class is not very good, but he hands in work that is almost flawless. I suspect he is cheating and getting someone else to do the work for him. Is there any data hidden within a SketchUp file to workout who the author of the model is? I can’t prove this student is not doing the work but it would be good if I could work it out from any SketchUp data. Thanks in advance.


Hello. Well, this is an interesting topic. The first things that came to my mind were the File tab from the Model Info menu and the Properties option of the SKP file (if it’s a Windows machine).

But unfortunately, they don’t provide much help and information for reverse-tracking. Maybe other members of the Community will be able to come up with a good workaround. After giving a thought about possible solutions, I would suggest to do the following. Assign all of your students to record their computer screens with an application while they’re doing SketchUp with their computer cameras on so you can be sure it’s them working on the computer, not someone else.

Another workaround - assign that particular student to redo that exact SketchUp assignment in class as a test, with you watching. The thing is, if he really created the original file himself, recreating it is going to be relatively easy for him (I know this from personal experience because of many lost works of several hours). If he made the original, he will know what goes where and how. If he did not create the original, it will be obvious from the first 5 minutes.


Thanks so much Vahe. I didn’t think of the model info details. Good find. I think I may have to resort to testing the student in class to prove it’s his work, or not.


You’re welcome. Let us know how it turns out, please. This was interesting. You don’t come across something like this every day. :slight_smile:


SketchUp files store for all textured materials the original texture filepath (and can “leak” the file structure and account name on the creator’s computer). If someone else edited the file on their own computer (account) and added textured materials, you would see a different account name in the filepath.

To make this data visible, open Window → Ruby Console and paste, followed by Enter:

puts{ |m| m.texture && m.texture.filename }.compact

Edit: This only works if the students had to create their own materials. But textures may also come from default materials (only filename) or from imported components from 3D Warehouse (show file paths from component author’s computer).


Spectacular Aerilius I’ll give that a try. Thank you.


I would start by going to Model Info > Credits. If the work is made by others the model as a whole or components may have an author’s name.

In addition to what Aerilius wrote about materials and textures you can also run this to look for clues among components:

You could also ask the student. He may be cheating but he may also be telling the truth. Maybe he has problem concentrating in the classroom. Maybe he works best when he’s alone and there’s no pressure on him. Maybe he needs more time then what there is available in the classroom but take that time out of his spare time.

One way to know if he is really making the models is to give him the assignment to model some specific object that he can’t find online very easily. Maybe you could lend him a bottle or a teapot or toaster or some other object, preferably rather old, quite unique but not at all famous, and ask him to model it.


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