Friday, February 01, 2008

From SketchUp to Bryce

At the beginning of the year, Mitch Lopata of Lopata Design introduced to me to Google's 3d Warehouse. It has an impressive collection of 3d models that were made with SketchUp. He wanted to use some for reference but his program (Silo), could not open the SKP format, nor could it import the KMZ format (which SketchUp will export to). Knowing I used Blender, he asked if I could import them. As it turned out, Blender right out of the box cannot, but (similar to my ASE scenario) there is a Python script for Blender to read KMZ files. After bringing it into Blender, I was able to export it as an OBJ, which he could then import to Silo. So here are the steps to go from KMZ to OBJ.
  1. Open SKP in SketchUp
  2. Export to KMZ
  3. Import KMZ to Blender
  4. Export as OBJ
Today, I told a co-worker about 3d Warehouse and it wasn't long before he found something useful. He asked me if I could bring it into Bryce. I followed my steps above, but the objects came in entirely black. So for the heck of it, I brought the OBJ into DAZ Studio (DS). They rendered fine in DS so I used the DS link from Bryce to DS to get the blocks from DS. Then they rendered with fine, go figure. So the revised SketchUp to Bryce process:
  1. Open SKP in SketchUp
  2. Export to KMZ
  3. Import to Blender
  4. Export as OBJ
  5. Import to DAZ Studio
  6. Open Bryce and click the Launch DAZ Studio button
  7. In DS select Return to Bryce
It's funny, I just bought Bryce last weekend. I'd been away from it for 14 years (since version 1.0). It is now on version 6.1. At first the UI seemed unfamiliar, but as I worked in it tonight it started coming back to me. The interface has not changed much, I'd just been away too long.

About the image: The image above was created with Blender and Bryce. I modeled the face in Blender, imported it into Bryce using the technique above (OBJ to DAZ to Bryce), added materials and rendered in Bryce.