To import a file into SketchUp, you need:
1. How to import Altizure DAE files into SketchUp?
The 3D model available to download at altizure.com uses .obj filename extension. Please watch the short tutorial or follow the steps below and convert your 3D models into DAE format.
Step 1: Merge the .obj files. Go to Altizure Desktop > Converter and select Full project obj files > merge.
All the .obj tiles at the same level of textures will be merged into one file. Take the example of a model in LOD level 5. If you set the Block Size as the default number 32, you will export 5 .obj files with each representing a particular level of textures.
Please notice: .jpg files are the textures of model. They must be in the same folder together with other files of different formats.
Step 2: Choose the level of model that your computer can process. Go to Single obj file > dae, and convert the selected .obj model.
Step 3: Open SketchUp. Click File > Import. In the pop-up window, locate and select the .dae file for import.
Please remember to choose COLLADA Files (*.dae) in the Files of Type drop-down list on the bottom right corner of the dialog box.
Step 4: After loading the .dae file, you may find that the model is not displayed in high resolution. By default, SketchUp downgrades higher resolution image textures to a maximum of 1024 x 1024 pixels.
If you want to turn off this feature, you can go to Window > Preferences > OpenGL in Windows system. Check the box Use maximum texture size and click OK. In this way, you are telling SketchUp not to downgrade your model to 1024 pixels. For macOS users, please find this option in Properties > OpenGL.
Important! By unchecking this option, the size of your image textures will have a sharp increase, severely testing your graphics card and system memory. So, please be cautious about the texture size. You can keep it unchanged if you do not have a high-performance video card.
Step 5: By defult, the edges of a model would be visible in SketchUp. To hide them, you can go to Style > Edit > Edge Settings on the right panel. Uncheck Edges and Profiles to hide the lines.
In essence, this is okay because the output .kml folder includes the files in DAE format. (Below is a screenshot of the .kml folder.)
However, the biggest disadvantage of this method is that there are too many .dae files in the kml. folder. Why? Because the input data includes numerous .obj tiles, which will all be converted into .dae if you adopt this method. And it's quite time-consuming to load all .dae data in SketchUp .
3. SketchUp rendering is painfully slow. How can I speed it up?
The slow rendering might be due to the power limit of your Graphics Card. You can try to lower the resolution of textures. Through our tests, we find that NVIDIA GTX 980 can load models of LOD level 6 smoothly.
4. How to import models with a high level-of-detail in SketchUp?
In short, the whole process can be summarized as: Merge the OBJ files > Convert OBJ to DAE > Import
Step 1: Go to Altizure Desktop > Converter > Full obj project > merge.
If you want to merge the tiles at level 6 or above, we recommend that the Block Size should be 64— which is the highest that a computer can support. To further explain it, we use a model of LOD level 7. As we have illustrated in another article, the model should have 128x128 tiles at level 7, i.e. 2^(6+1)=128. This means, there'll be 4 .obj files if you merge the tiles at level 7, i.e. (128x128)/(64x64)=4.
Step 2: Select Single obj file > dae. Please make sure that each .dae file you generate has a different name.
Step 3: Import .dae into SketchUp. After testing, NVIDIA GTX 980 can load all the 4 .dae files (as shown below).