Importing DEM files for terrain


Can SU import DEM files to model a terrain?


The easiest way I know of to import a heightmap into SketchUp is with Blender. In Blender, make a plane (Shift + A, mesh --> plane) and apply a subdivision surface modifier & a displace modifier. Add your height map as the displacement texture. Adjust the displacement strength until you like it, then apply the modifiers in the correct order. Export a COLLADA file, then import it into SketchUp.

This is great for art, but isn’t accurate enough for actual measurements.

I used this height map I found on Google images to make this terrain…


Yes, SU Pro can import DEM files.


Yes, take a look at this article: Importing DEM Files for Terrain

Check this for my tutorial-like content about how to import DEM files.

Both Make and Pro can import DEM files according to this help center page.


How do I convert a png heightmap into a .dem file? I manually changed it to .dem &.ddf, but after importing I got an error message saying “file format not supported” “Import failed”.


I don’t really know a way of doing that.

But maybe this plugin will be useful: Bitmap to Mesh


Hi everyone!
Did anyone make any progresses regarding to import a *.dem into SketchUp?

My Environment is:

  • Windows 7 with SU 2018 and SU 2016

Kindly regards


Do you have a way to get terrain in a .dem file for say a residential neighborhood lot?
Try this on importing terrain.


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.