SketchUp to Microstation (via OBJ)

12-4-2008-4-03-53-pmSKP -> OBJ -> DGN

NOTE: This workflow used SketchUp 6 and Bentley Architecture XM.  Subsequent versions of either application may have better (or worse) performance using native SKP (h/t to SF).

There may be situations during the design process where importing SketchUp models into Microstation is necessary. For example, you may want to search Google’s 3D Warehouse for context buildings that you can reference into your Bentley Architecture model for a context rendering of the site. The best way to go from SketchUp to Microstation is through .OBJ. OBJ is the Lightwave file format and seems to be very material/texture friendly. Microstation has no trouble digesting the SketchUp assigned materials and importing them if the correct settings are applied. Follow the directions below to get (most, if not all) of the correct textures and scale.

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ARchitecture Hall

architecturedemoARchitecture Hall is an interface in which Augmented Reality meets Building Information Modeling.  I created during (around June 2007) of my MS in Design Computing in the Design Machine Group, in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the UW.  It is intended to be a simple, intuitive, Tangible User Interface with a MagicLens for viewing BIM models interactively.  It was published in and presented at eCAADe 2008 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The interaction was quite fluid and the polygon count very high: somewhere around 200,000 polygons displayed at 30 fps.  Multiple stencil-buffers were employed for the lens effect (thanks to Julian Looser for his inspiration on this one).   A simple Head’s Up Display (HUD) allows the user to toggle layer visibility.  Check out this video of the basic interaction…