Working with Softplan models in Sketchup

I have been using Softplan for about 6 years now, and its the best software that I have found for both designing and modeling my houses. But the rendering part of it is just not capable of producing the high quality of renderings that I want. So I recently bought Sketchup Pro 2021 and the Vray for Sketchup plugin.

My question is, once I import my Softplan model into Sketchup, what do I need to do to it in order for me to be able to edit the materials on the house, or the grass, etc. The only way so far that I have found is to explode the model and then explode all of the separate components. But surely there is a much easier and efficient way to do this. So if there are any Softplan users out there Im hoping you can give me some advice.

Thanks in advance

Bernard Turner

Try with right click on the model > Edit component/group. Only on very rare occasions is it necessary to use Explode.

1 Like

If the model already has different materials attached, you can select and replace them in V-ray’s Asset Editor.

For more precise advice:
Perhaps you can share a model here that Softplan “outputs”
I am assuming Softplan allows a save as .skp or export to .skp?


Good morning Charlie, I have picked a smaller house that I did a few years ago and exported my model from Softplan to Sketchup. I havent done anything to it yet other than import it and save the file. So feel free to play with it and see what you come up with. I appreciate your help.


Bennett Elcan.skp (3.11 MB)

I had a quick look and two things I can see that will help you.

(1) Reversed faces w/materials applied will play heck with you in any render software.
See attached scene…blue faces are “reversed” and all should be properly oriented.
This can be done manually or with the aid of an extension to speed things up.

(2) I see Softplan includes the wall plates/studs/etc. if Softplan allows you to de-select items like these when you export, it would be good practice to export the absolute minimum “envelope”. (I assume you are generating exterior renders)

(3) Softplan does a good job keeping all geometry “untagged” and it appears well grouped/isolated but without any tag’s to better control visibility so you will also have to manually assign tags to control visibility or perhaps tag by materials applied.

Anssi has spoken to assigning different materials via V-Ray asset mgr.

I am a long time Softplan user, although not using “current” version so I cannot have a look at options for you from that side of things.

Bennett Elcan_Reverseface.skp (2.8 MB)

Thanks Charlie, I appreciate all your input. Softplan is a great program, and could be much greater if they would improve their rendering engines a little more.

I played with that drawing some more this morning too and found that if I double click on a surface until the dot pattern appears (3 or 4 times) then I can change materials via VRay…and it changes all items in that group (posts, beams, siding, etc)

I am able in Softplan to turn off or make “not visible” things like wall framing, interior trims etc. so I will try doing that on the next one.

Oh, one more thing I’d like to ask you about…watermarks, or background images. I applied a nice wooded background image in sketchup but its not rendering in VRay for some reason. I did something yesterday to another one and I got it to display in VRay but not sure what I did lol

RE: Watermars/Background rendering in V-Ray
I unfortunately cannot help with that as I don’t have V-Ray, perhaps someone who does could chime in and answer that one.