Tips for developing a great 3D model
Model quality is very important in the judging of entries. Here are some tips that will
help get your models considered:
1. Check out our best practices documents from the 3D Warehouse
2. Use a color image from Google Earth for the top surfaces of the
model. A video demonstrating this technique can be found here.
3. Preview your model before publishing to the Google 3D Warehouse.
- Delete any extra geometry, inside or outside of your bridge.
- Turn your hidden geometry on, View -> Hidden Geometry, and check
for excess hidden lines.
- Limit the number of faces (polygons) in your model, Window ->
Model Info -> Statistics. Less then 500 is ideal for most bridges. Avoid building
geometry for all the complexities of a bridge, use textures wherever possible to
illustrate otherwise complex details. Use of alpha transparencies can be especially
helpful. Check out the "Advanced Photoshop" section of the Modeling Guide Best Practices.
- Check to see that all elements of the bridge are complete faces,
Window -> Style -> Edit Tab -> Edge Tab -> Uncheck "Display
Edges" and "Profiles."
- Ensure that all faces are properly oriented - blue facing in, white
facing out for the default style.
- Purge your file of unused layers and images - Window -> Model
Info -> Statistics [Purge unused] and [Fix problems].
4. Geo-locate your bridge correctly.
- Make sure your bridge is aligned with its connecting roads in
5. Avoid floating bridges.
- Toggle the terrain button and confirm that your bridge is planted
in the ground.
6. Preview your bridge in Google Earth.
- Export your model to Google Earth, File -> Export -> 3D Model
and choose Google Earth 4 (.kmz).
- Open the .kmz in Google Earth to check that it accurately
represents the bridge. Compare the bridge's height and scale to neighboring structures.
- If you see flickering (z-fighting) on the model in Google Earth,
but not in SketchUp, this means you imported your textures incorrectly. This happens
when you import your textures with the "image" radio button selected instead
of the "texture" radio button. To fix this, delete your incorrectly applied
images and reapply the images with textures. Also, parallel faces must be more than
3" apart. Closer than 3" will result in z-fighting in the 3D Buildings layer
of Google Earth.
- Make certain that your model does not conflict with an existing
building on the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth. Check especially any terrain you
may have constructed.
- Be aware of photo textures that have errors. There can be several
reasons for this - improper proportions or poor alignment and application.
7. Make sure that each SketchUp file is under 10MB for a successful upload to
the 3D Warehouse.
8. Publish bridges to the 3D Warehouse as individual models within your
collection (eg. do not publish multiple bridges as a
9. Tell us about the bridge in the description; why it is unique, and make it
searchable with a helpful title and keywords.
10. Browse other
highly rated models that are part of the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth and
learn best practices of accepted models.
11. Use images on surfaces to show detail.
- Take time to edit out distracting things like cars and people.
- Align horizontal features in images that align on corners.
- Make sure the images have similar color standard.
- Try to avoid textures that look tiled.