Property Modeling

Greetings ~ I have it in mind to create a 3D model of our land and buildings. My first thought was to download an image from Google Earth and use that to place the “buildings”. That has not worked well ~ zooming in to the image blurs the details making it difficult to precisely place lines. Zooming out makes the detail too indistinct.

So, I am seeking ideas to accomplish this. Do I need to create separate models of each building (8) and import them? Or is there a simpler approach? I don’t need to create very detailed models but I would like the scale to be correct for all.

Bonus question: If I could model the land to conform to actual terrain (relatively flat but sloped east/west) I would. How to do that?

Thank you!

My suggestion is to model the buildings separately, full size ( (scale 1:1) is how SketchUp works best for buildings). So you can model each building alligned with SketchUp’s world axes with no hassle.

Also create a separate main model that serves as a template to later import each building component. The template would just contain the local origins and directions of the separate buildings.
When importing a building, temporarily rotate/translate the world axes to new drawing axes just before importing the building. (you could save these axes settings in separate scenes)

You could of course model all buildings in one giant file but to me it seems a disadvantage:

  • different angles not according to the world axes are involved
  • slows down modeling as you go (more geometry)
  • changes / corrections to geometry is easier done on a separate building model and replacing the old building component in the template.
    As for the terrain, either use survey data or (for personal use only! if I’m not mistaken) see if you can apply Google’s terrain. Or use ‘Add Location’ in SketchUp.

Hi @smcb3357 ,

Check this plugin for an easy solution: PlaceMaker

Continue below to do it manually.

For terrain:

Use SketchUp Pro’s terrain feature.

For buildings:

1- You can check Open Street Map (OSM). If you’re lucky enough, somebody already drew your buildings with appropriate height and roof types etc. , so you can just export your desired area which will download an .osm file. (If not, you can spend some time to edit/draw it yourself via online tools they provide. Note that all the editing/creating you’ve done will be public when you save! Also there is JOSM in order to create more advanced structures and option to only save in your computer)
2- You can convert that .osm file into an .obj file via this: Osm2World, then you’ll be able to import that .obj file into SketchUp (use meter as unit) which includes 3D mesh (hopefully without a problem). (You can check in order to preview the available 3D data.)
3- Use this plugin to drop 3D structures: DropGC on to your terrain. You might need to close bottom gap in order plugin to work. Then refine/adjust 3D structures placement via ‘stamp tool’ (You can do this all at once but one by one might result better).

Note 1: You can also import .osm file directly with this plugin: OSM Path Importer. This imports 2D lines defining roads & building borders etc. You can then use ‘drape tool’ to the terrain you grabbed.
Note 2: CleanUp³ tool might come in handy in the process.

Good luck!

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