SketchUp Exporter plug-in for 4.20 available

Requires Unreal Engine 4.20 Preview1. This will NOT work with 4.19. Only for SketchUp 2018 right now, but we will eventually make available 2017 support.

I’ve just tried exporting a house model from SketchUp 2018 Pro. No problems.
Converted my AR project to use Datasmith plugins. No problems.
Imported the Datasmith file. Produced a heap of SMs and materials. No problems.

My problem is that the scene hierarchy is imported into the world as attached SM actors. This is no good for AR where you typically want to spawn an actor dynamically.
I want to spawn a scaled version of my house on the surface of a table for example.

Is there an option to import the scene as a blueprint with the scene hierarchy set up by SM components? Big problem for many AR applications if you can’t do this I fear.


@pfbreton I don’t know the answer to this, but others out there probably do.

“My problem is that the scene hierarchy is imported into the world as attached SM actors. This is no good for AR where you typically want to spawn an actor dynamically.”

You aren’t bound to use that method to use AR. Although using an actor containing all your scene technically works, it might not be the most best solution.

You should spawn a calibration actor to the desired location with AR. Then, re-position a streaming level to the location calculated by the calibration actor. That level would contain the data imported by Datasmith.

This way you don’t have to alter the structure of your scene to fit the AR workflow.

Glad I searched for this today!

I noticed that Architectural units are an issue. I assume Unreal wants centimeters. Any way to have the plugin automatically change the units before export?

were handling scaling automatically. anything that you experience that you think doesn’t work?

I don’t want to have to change the fundamental working of AR projects to suit the asset import workflow.

Thanks for the advice and that’s a useful but limited workaround technique perhaps. I think the AR system has a separate transform you can set to offset the tracked camera to give the same result.

However that’s not going to work with multiple models present (House A is on this table… House B is on this one.) The Import into Level option lets you choose whether to import as actors (as Datasmith does) or as a BP. The Datasmith import code is obviously based on this and really does need the option to import the hierarchy into the BP (and re-import.)

Please consider my request for this previously existing option to be re-instated. Otherwise the SketchUp import path is limited/useless for AR.

I am just relaying the Professionnal advice from our tech artists and orienting you in the path that works best with our reimport workflow…

Nothing prevents you from using several levels, one per house too.

you can always put everything in a bp in the editor too

What is the size of the default grid on a new project? When I imported my model set to feet and inches it seems really large and when I click on a object to look at its properties, it says its been scaled up by 2.54.

Edit - Looked at some other dimensions and it does seem to be to the correct scale actually.

You should not look at the local scale xform on the details panel. they will contain the scale defined by components, hierarchies etc.

to check the scale in real world units, you can use an orthographic viewport:

Unreal is always in centimeters, your sketchup model was most likely in in inches

Thanks again. Using sub-levels for this will not work well. You would have to setup a sublevel for every model, manage hiding/showing them, potentially dozens. Are you allowed to scale/rotate sub-levels arbitrarily in realtime? What about the case where I want to show multiple instances of the same house model in different positions?

I’m interested in how I get the actor hierarchy in the world imported by Datasmith into a BP hierarchy as you suggest. That may be a better hack! How do I do this?

I think you need to extend the reimport workflow to using BP (as already exists for fbx). Advising users to use hacks (which won’t work well) as workarounds doesn’t bode well for anyone considering paying for Unreal Studio.

Is there an ETA for the sketchup 2017 plugin?

Checking on it.

Were not going in that direction. It’s not scalable for many technical reasons, especially with fully assembled scenes that goes beyond a couple objects.

To your specific task our tech artists suggest the following:

a) Import a DS scene in a given level. That would become a level that you keep untouched and preserve reimport functionality to synch with design changes that may happen in SKp or max. Consider it as a Sand box level

b) use the merge actor functionality to collapse the imported scene as a single actor: you’ll reduce draw calls compared to converting to bp, which don’t do anything performance wise.

c)the resulting actor / Mesh is what you want to use in AR, on a different level / map

this way you are preserving reimport functionality, gain performance and separate entities meant to be cooked from entities meant to be used for editing by exploiting the ability of the engine to store data in many compartiments that can have different purposes.

The above steps can be automated in python.

Doing a import as bp is a bit simpler but it will limit you a lot more than what you think.

Thanks for the advice pf_breton. What you suggest seems workable, I can make progress now I think.

first of all im so beyond excited that the sketchup datasmith is available!! However, doing my first import i already noticed a few errors with geometry location/rotation. Is there a documentation page for the sketchup exporter to maybe find out what i have in my model that could be causing this?

Can you log a support request for that? We’d like to see the file.

We still have a core defect with negative transformations. This usually happens with groups that have been scaled nonuniformly and negatively.

Unreal being in a different coordinate space sometimes makes math tricky .

for now explode the group or component and redefine it that’s going to reset the scale in skp

Ah thats what i had figured is that happened, it was a component that was flipped and scaled negatively. Just odd it only happened to a few of the components. Another thing i have noticed is the build times have gone up by at least 3x with the same sized lightmaps i normally use for interiors and im only on high setting. Other than that and a few lightmapping issues the exporter seems to be working flawlessly. Thank you guys so much, looking forward to posting my work here soon!

Will it / Is it be possible to reload a model after it has been imported?

Yes reimport workflow was also part of the improvements fo 4.20