Sketchup to Unreal (via Blender)


Hello – and welcome, or welcome back to the channel. I’m going to be using some Sheffield buildings I found on 3D Warehouse, and importing them into my Unreal map. With them using imagery from Google Earth, I can’t actually use them in the game – but for a sense of where things should go, and how they should look – they’re a lot more useful than the grey blockout buildings you see on the screen. The building we’ve just ran past is Montgomery Theatre on Surrey Street.

I’ve got 3D Warehouse open, and I’m going to use Sheffield Library for this example. So, I download the Sketchup file. I’m going to use the 2023 version, because I’ve downloaded the latest Sketchup – and activated a 30 day free trial of Sketchup Pro – the reason for this is that the Free version of Sketchup doesn’t allow you to export files like we’ll need to do.

I should also apologise for the ReStream overlay, I wasn’t expecting this to come up while I was recording offline screen activity – and don’t feel like re-recording the footage.

Once I’ve opened it, I’ll go to File → Export, and save it as Collada DAE Remember to select Options and ensure that ‘Export texture maps’ is enabled.

I’ll jump over to Blender, where I have a map of Sheffield from the blender-osm plugin, and find the Library. In this map, I’ve coloured all the Sketchup imports yellow, so that I can identify them later – and I’ll search for Library. Once I’ve found it on the Outliner, I’ll press Numpad full stop, or period – to jump to the building on the map

I’ll go into edit mode, select the roof – and Shift S → Cursor to selected, and back to Object mode.

Now when I’ve imported the .dae file, I’ll press Shift → S again and this time ‘Selection to Cursor’

This will snap the imported Sketchup file to the approximate region of the actual building on the map

I’ll eyeball it so it lines up with the map, and select Origin → To Geometry

You’ll be able to tell when it has worked, because all the elements will have those orange dots on them.

Once that’s complete, click File → Export – and this time you want to export to an FBX file.

Now I’m going to head over to Unreal, and import the building.

Open the Content Drawer

I’ve got a subfolder for each building, because they are made of a lot of different parts of mesh.

And I’ll drag the FBX file into the newly created folder, and select Import All.

I’ve got a search filter enabled to only show Static Mesh, and I’ll Select All, and drag them anywhere onto the scene.

To put them into place, I’ll reset the Location and Rotation with the backwards-facing arrow button – and then ‘F’ to jump to the building on the map.

This building actually has quite a bit going on; the yellow mesh is the previous Library I had there -but untextured, so I’ll be replacing that. The dark grey building is The Graves Gallery, which occupies the same building as the library.

I’ll open the content drawer, and I want to adjust the collision for all these mesh elements -so I’ll open a row at a time, to keep track of which I’ve done.

From the panel on the right, I’ll search for Collision to filter out the settings, and change the Collision Complexity to ‘Use Complex Collision as Simple’

Now I need to do that for all of the tabs open.

File → Save All

Now I can delete the yellow mesh-only library, and you can see the textured version in place.

I’ll click Play from Here, and see how it looks in-game.

It’s above ground level, and that’s to be expected – I need to model in the walkway, and the library actually has stairs up to it to access the entrance.

And then if we come up to the roof, you can see how the two buildings are merged.

Let’s have a little run across the rooftops, to make sure the collision is working

And while we are here, we can enjoy the view.

From up here, we can see one of the University buildings straight ahead, and if I run over here – we can see a building I’d prepared earlier – the Millenium Gallery.

I’ve done it again with the City Hall. This time I’m going to let it play out in realtime, so you can see what I’m doing.

If we have a quick run around it, we can see that it’s raised off the ground – but in actual fact it does have steps raised up towards it, so it won’t be flat on the ground – again, I’ll have to put the walkway in for it.

This is why it’s so important to set up the collision on the mesh elements – you’ll see on some parts, the player seems to be walking on the air.

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