SketchUp to 3ds Max Design


I have created a rather intense model in sketchup. it is the first time i have used the program, and forgive me but I rather hate it lol - its bass akward to Auto Cad and a little frustrating to use. But I wasn’t sure I could create this concept in Revit (which is how I have been doing my concept renders to date).

I want to import the file into 3ds Max - which I can do. the problem is the building and the landscaping are coming in as one object (the yellow lines:

I have tried to explode/ungroup whatever - but I cannot (explode command is greyed out) which means when i try to apply materials to the building the bushes and landscaping get them too…

I know i need to have the model more exploded so that I can edit it - just not sure how to achieve this but will not give up!!! If anyone has any experience with this and can offer suggestions and advice I would greatly appreciate it :smile:


Why not export the foreground and background as two separate files? (You can make them each a component and then save them individually with right-click > Save as…)



In SketchUp, turn asphalt geometry a new group
In Max, open the material browser and with the eye dropper, click at asphalt material and edit them.


Yeah I was thinking that this morning - breaking the file up and importing it all separately… I was also thinking of just starting over in 3ds Max aha but am not sure how much time I want to spend fixing this concept or redrawing it…also not sure when the client is coming in so time may be a factor!

I will give that a shot…

Well saving things as components definitely didn’t help - or more like did not make a difference.

I am beginning to think the only option is to model directly in 3ds max which sets me back quite a few hours!!


Sound’s like you hate sketchup because you don’t know how to use it… You should try to keep things grouped and clean. If you keep the layers and grouping well done in sketchup, working on it in max i s a pleasure. (at least for architectural purposes)
You could either group the things in sketchup and properly apply the material or detach it in 3dsmax by the edit mesh panel THEN apply the material… or maybe i don’t fully understand your problem… anyway if you are on deadline and need help maybe you can share the model either skp or max and i can try to fix it…


the file is too big to share! You are right I do not know how to use sketchup very well…I did learn to make components - but when I couldn’t edit things in 3ds I may have exploded everything…How can I share a file if it is too big? Even zipped it is just over 9000kb…


Maybe google drive? Anyway waht do you mean exactly by “i main have explode everyting” just can’t figure looks like you are just ovedoing something…Which version of sketchup/max are you using?

From what i can understand, i assume the problem is that you want to import two detached meshes with different material applied right? and it turns out to be one merged mesh in max?

If so… in sketchup you should simply select the geometry and make two groups. Then if you are in trouble, i’d recomended to keep things clean and be sure to remove the materials wich are eventually applyed to groups/components (you can set the grop/component material to default in the “entity info” window) because that could lead to weird problems in certain conditions.
I would strongly reccommend to apply the material directly on the faces of the mesh itself because that gives more consistent results in max… Also make sure in sketchup all faces’ normals are properly oriented because reversed faces also can lead to annoying issues when imported in max.

(Optional) You can assign the two groups in two different layers for better handling of the file in 3dsmax later on. Please notice that if you have in sketchup subgroups assigned to a layer different than parent group’s the lowest layer in sketchup hierarchy will be taken in account by max (i assume you are importing straight .skp by SketchupReader in 3dsmax)

If you did all of the above you should now have in max 2 different “editable mesh” and two different “standard materials” assigned to two different layers…
Quite simple.


i post reply here because this site don’let me send 3 pm in a row because i’m a “new user”!?!?

ayway… answering your pm…

I don’t know… We actually run Vray and you don’t have it… I would say MentalRay (that you currently run) is the best between those you have… Unfortunately i don’t know MentalRay… If you happened to run vray i could have set a basic daylight scene… Sorry i’m not able to do this with MR… i vould suggest to search for some MR basic daylight tutorial meanwhile i’m finishing the model… i suppose this version will be waaaay lighter and faster to handle both in sketchup and max than the current model… also i’m fix LOAD of error/bad practices…


ok sounds amazing! That is weird it didn’t let you pm me? I just got your post from 16 hours ago - showing up now - so I guess this site does some weird stuff. I will find a tutorial, (I’ve been watching them all morning trying to sort out my life aha) note to self = in future find a job with senior staff that can assist!! Well I guess that will be me soon enough…


Ok i managed to find a moment to fix this… i emailed the working .skp & .max…it works for me… i hope it may help… anyway i suppose there are some problems goin on architecture-wise… look under the arcade… the model itself work good everityng is grouped and you can easily edit materilas… Let me know…


Hey- when I extract the file its just a RAR file still -> am I missing something? Oh I feel like such a dolt- but I can’t open it!


Not sure if i understand if you are having trouble unzipping the file or you unzipped and then max fails to open the file??


i unzipped

and what i get is this

and i cannot open it

I will try to get my bf to make it a .zip


oh ■■■■ looks like you got winzip instead of winrar…
winzip can’t open .rar
i’ll se if i can do a .zip then


No worries my bf did it for me! I am currently opening the file!!! (so excited)


How can I ever thank you!!!


i assume it works? =)


so far so good! when I change the building the trees don’t take on the same material! aha! How the heck did I go so wrong?


Panixia you have saved my life!
Thank you so much- if every there is something I can do for you!!!


try to examinate the .skp and see how things are grouped (and subgrouped) and make sure to understand the difference between group and components (you did the hi-poly colums as group taht should be components, and the flowers too lol) that model is still far away from being “clean” at all… that’s just a basic quick cleanup to make it work a bit… also pay more attention at purging your model often because that was bloated with unused materials, components styles…
too much wrong things to explain in a single post… i think you should give a look at some nice tutorials search youtube there’s plenty of good tutorials also give a look at which has load of tutorials/resurces…