Overlay SketchUp in Google Earth 3D

I built a model of an entire neighborhood in SketchUp: houses, trees, topography, etc. I would like to be able to display it in 3D in the context of the surrounding neighborhoods, but when I import the SketchUp model as a KMZ into Google Earth, my model conflicts with the existing buildings and vegetation on the site. If I turn the existing buildings and trees off (3D Buildings > Photorealistic) in Google Earth, it turns the hi-res topography off with it.

Is there a way to import a SketchUp model into Google Earth so that the land area where my model exists is cropped out from the Google Earth model?

I also have access to Photoshop, so if there is a solution to this issue involving Photoshop, I should be able to utilize that method. However, I already tried overlaying an exported image from SketchUp onto an exported image from Google Earth - using the same Scene/Placemark Snapshot - for both images, but the images do not align due to what seems to be a difference in camera lens settings between the two programs. I scoured the internet, but could not find a way to view/alter the camera lens settings in Google Earth in order to match them in/to SketchUp.

I also tried the Match Photo tool in SketchUp, but the dialog box and pins are incredibly difficult to use. For a model like this that is not a simple, rectangular building and needs to be rendered on all sides in 2D, Match Photo is not a feasible solution.

Any ideas?

This sounds like a Google Earth problem instead of a SketchUp issue. If you don’t need it to actually be displayed in Google Earth, you might use Placemaker to get the high res location terrain and imagery.

Match Photo just isn’t designed for that situation so it’s not surprising it wouldn’t work for you.

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Yeah, you should definitely check out PlaceMaker if you want to view your model within the surrounding context.

The big question is do you want to spin around the model or just see it in context of one or two view? If you want to spin around or do animation you may be better off doing as the others said and import the context into SketchUp. If it’s for a few stills, then you can pretty quickly match up Google Earth view with SketchUp. See example of process I’ve used in the past:

Here is a simple model as example that’s been geo-located. It sits on an existing building that will conflict if I sent it to GE.

Here is the view I like from GE. I screenshot this twice. Once with and once without the KMZ model layer showing.

Then I add the screenshot fm GE with the building in it to a Style in SU and turn on XRAY mode to see my terrain in my model as well. A bit of adjusting gets things pretty close. I have curbs, basketball courts, road striping, etc to help with alignment.

Here it is without XRAY mode and with the Location Terrain turned off. You can see the existing bldg on the lot that conflicts with the design.

Her I take the GE screenshot into Photoshop and cover over, clone stamp, mask etc any context I want to hide and that’s it. Repeat for more than one view as needed.

Lastly, if you’re still struggling to line things up there may be a difference between the camera FOV between SU and GE. Check this site out for KMZ files that can change the FOV so you know for sure what to match in your SU file.

For example, this is the exact same placemark after loading the 45 FOV kmz:

And this one after loading the 90 degree FOV: