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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.1 
Well, it has taken me a while longer than I had thought, but I've almost got export to SketchUp .skp format working for the next beta.

Here's an example - a model created in MoI:



Saved as an .skp file and opened into SketchUp gives this:



SketchUp model is attached here as MoiExportTest.skp .

It's a huge quality improvement over using .3ds format which can only contain triangles. This new exporter preserves planar surfaces in MoI as single large n-gons in SketchUp which can be push/pulled, etc...

Curved surfaces will get diced into triangles (or sometimes quads if they happen to be planar quads) but all the interior edges are hidden for you automatically so there is no edge cleanup type step.

Still have a few details to work out but it is looking promising.

- Michael

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 From:  stinkie
1978.2 
Ooooh! That'll come in handy! Well done there, mr. G! Very exciting news.
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.3 
Yeah! That a cool idea!
Works like a charm!
Don't care to the textures, i had made no regulates! (Podium rendering)

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.4 
Hi Michael
If you enable Menu View/ Hidden Geometry that can help you for the exportation problem ;)
But maybe I suppose you have the same view in the Moi export Skp window :)

EDITED: 17 Sep 2008 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.5 In reply to 1978.4 
Hi Pilou - yes you actually see those polygons during the export from MoI (when the Meshing options dialog is shown) but the ones that are internal to a curved surface will be hidden when they are actually stored inside of the .skp file, so that you don't have to do any extra cleanup steps to hide them yourself.

And for planar surfaces there are no internal edges at all, those get to be nice big single polygons.

I think it should not be too much longer before it is ready, just a few more things to finish up for it.

- Michael
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 From:  Ray (WAGGONER)
1978.6 
Hi Michael,

I imported the file easily into Sketchup Pro V. 6.0.312

After exploding the import it became just another sketchup model to be manipulated.

Good Job and a very useful selling point for MOI.

Ray
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 From:  rayman
1978.7 
You know Michael how much I wanted that ... you made my day !
Your great thanks !
Peter
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.8 
I'm glad this will be useful!

I just finished the most difficult part which was to enable holes in planar faces to come across as clean interior holes in the .SKP model:




So all planar faces in MoI will come through as clean single faces in the SketchUp model. Rather than being made up of a bunch of polygons I mean.

Curved surfaces are converted into a bunch of polygons, but the internal edges are hidden so your wireframe is not cluttered and will look like your surfaces in MoI did with the same kind of boundaries.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.9 In reply to 1978.8 
When you have thickness (as yellow face) internal faces (of the yellow face) are the same than this one or the all thickness is integrated?
have you an Xray view of this? (or skp format)
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.10 In reply to 1978.9 
Hi Pilou - the thickness is just exactly the same as whatever you have created in the model in MoI.

I just happened to hollow out that area by doing a boolean as part of the test.

I've attached the 3dm and skp files here so you can look at them.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.11 In reply to 1978.10 
Seems cool! Facets are good oriented!
For rendering i will answer you in more time because I have something in work in the same time
(times of rendering seems very long)?? Resolved! It was the other thing who is blocking the process of calculate ! :)



EDITED: 19 Sep 2008 by PILOU


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 From:  Marcos (MARCOSRODRIGUES)
1978.12 In reply to 1978.11 
Good news, Michael! Thank you.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.13 
One problem is that it is rather slow to export larger models that end up with quite a few triangles in them.

I profiled this a bit, and all the time is taken up inside of the SketchUp's IO toolkit so there does not appear to be anything that I can really do about speeding it up.

You may have to wait as long as 10 minutes or so to let more complex exports finish.

- Michael
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 From:  George (GKSL4)
1978.14 In reply to 1978.13 
Hi Michael, very good news.

Comparing time with Rhino SKP export for the same model, which is the difference?

George
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 From:  yannada
1978.15 
Cool news Michael, Thank you
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.16 
in fact for Google Sketchup from Moi there is now 2 direct possible formats 3DS & SKp ;)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.17 In reply to 1978.14 
Hi George,

> Comparing time with Rhino SKP export for the same model,
> which is the difference?

The Rhino SKP export is definitely much faster. However, there are a lot of problems with the resulting data - it looks like the Rhino exporter does not fuse together faces so for example a box comes in as 6 disconnected pieces (and actually each face piece is made up of multiple polygons instead of one) and push/pull on those faces does not behave like a normal solid box made natively in SketchUp would.

I think it's probably better to have the "high integrity" but slower exporter instead of one that is fast but has bad structure to it.

But I'll take a bit more of a look at it today though, there is a possibility I could do more of the joining/fusing work in my own code instead of relying on the SketchUp library code to do it.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.18 In reply to 1978.16 
Hi Pilou,

> in fact for Google Sketchup from Moi there is now 2 direct
> possible formats 3DS & SKp ;)

That's certainly true, but really you will want to avoid using 3DS format, since that format can only contain triangles. 3DS will give you a result like this:




While the SKP export will give you a result like this:





- Michael

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1978.19 In reply to 1978.18 
Yes but...
Clean plug is Menu Tools / D.B.Tools / Clean Selection
then Soften edges

EDITED: 19 Sep 2008 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
1978.20 In reply to 1978.19 
Hi Pilou, that's certainly not bad that there are some plugins and extra steps that you can use to help to clean up .3ds imports...

But it is much better to just have all the data clean right from the very beginning without the need to do extra steps.

I've also heard from people who have had problems getting just the built in automatic soften edges to work completely right on a more complex model.

That's one thing that tends to be a problem with relying too much on extra steps like this, they can sometimes not work quite properly on complex shapes.

If you want to continue to use .3ds export instead of .skp you are certainly welcome to do that though! ;)

- Michael
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