Exporting SketchUp Models into Unity 3D (With Texture)

(Updated 6/17/2013)
Currently the best format for bringing models with textures (including Google Earth images) is through Autodesk FBX format. If you have SketchUp Pro, you can export within SketchUp as an FBX. If you don't, Collada (.dae) will work.

The workflow below will outline FBX export and import. However, if you are using collada format, follow the same steps.
Information at the end of the page cover Collada and SketchUp formats. If you cannot get the new (free) SketchUp Make, you can use a third party program such as Blender or an Autodesk Plugin for FBX in order to transfer files. The forum thread listed in Resources can be helpful for troubleshooting.

Export the SketchUp Model

1. Go to File --> Export --> 3D Model (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Open the Export Window for the 3D Model

2. Name your file and set the location you would like to save it to. Select FBX as your file type in the drop down menu.
3. Select Options before exporting (Figure 3.1). Select "Export two-sided faces" & "Export texture maps" and change units (Figure 3.2). Units can be used as preferred, default in Unity 3D is centimeters. If desired change the Y-Z axis (Game Engines utilize Z-axis as through the screen). Press "Ok" in the Options Window.

Figure 3.1: Location of Options button in Export Window

Figure 3.2: Option selections

Importing into Unity 3D

5. BEFORE Importing: Find your export folder, next to the FBX file should be a folder with the exported materials/textures.
6. Open Unity. Within the Project Browser right-click on the Assets folder and create a folder for your textures and name it, for your own organizational needs. (Figure 6)
Select all textures in the folder created with your FBX file and drag them into your new folder within Unity (they will all be imported into Unity). When you import the FBX file, Unity will search all folders for the correct material name associated with the model before creating one, so feel free to create as many layers of folders as necessary.

Figure 6: Create a new Assets Folder (Name it Textures) and drag and drop all textures into folder.

7. In the top menu, select "Assets" --> "Import New Asset..." --> find your FBX file for import. (these last few steps are outlined in more detail on the Revit to Unity Wikipage
Note: If you import the FBX first, Unity will create materials for each texture assigned and when you import those textures, you will have duplicates, and each will need to be manually changed. The default route of the textures will be in the "Materials" folder. For complex geometry, manually changing textures is not practical and deleting the newly created materials not possible, without deleting the whole Materials folder, and any other materials assigned.
8. Select your new asset, the preview should show all imported textures. Within the Inspector, change the Scale Factor to 1. Hit "Apply" and drag your model from the Project browser into the Hierarchy of the desired Scene.

Information on Other SketchUp Export File Types

COLLADA (.dae) File Type

  • Will transfer Google Earth Images intact without stretching or misplacing them.
  • Will transfer base geometry.
  • Will break down base geometry into surfaces that can be selected, edited and grouped in 3D Studio Max.
  • Collada has a smaller file size because it will only export geometry and not textures and materials.
  • Will not export default, sun, sky, camera, and import symbol that need to be deleted later in 3D Studio Max.
  • Will export the default SketchUp materials applied to the model into a folder next to the exported model file with generic names as .JPEGs.
  • These material files will not import into 3D Studio Max well. These are recommended to be deleted and replaced with accurate materials and textures.

SketchUp (.skp) File Type

  • Will export a default sun, sky, camera, and import symbol that will need to be deleted in 3D Studio Max.
  • Exports the model as a whole and does not break it down into editable surfaces.
  • Will transfer some of SketchUp's default materials, but not all of them.
  • Will have a larger file size because of carrying the sun, sky, camera, and materials.


Unity Forum Thread