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Exporting VRML Files

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If you’re a SketchUp Pro user, you can export your SketchUp models to a VRML file, which has the .wrl file extension.

VRML 2.0 (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is a 3D scene/object description format often used to exchange data between 3D applications and to publish 3D information online. VRML files can store the following SketchUp entities and features:

  • Camera views
  • Edges
  • Faces
  • Groups
  • Lights
  • Materials and textures
  • Transparency

To export a VRML file from SketchUp Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Select File > Export > 3D Model. The Export Model dialog box appears.
  2. Navigate to the location where you want to save your VRML file.
  3. In the Export Type drop-down list, select VRML File (*.wrl).
  4. (Optional) Rename your file in the File Name text box.
  5. (Optional) Click the Options button. The VRML Export Options dialog box appears. Select your desired options, which are explained in the following list, and click OK to return to the Export Model dialog box.
  6. Click Export and your VRML file is saved in the location you selected.

When you export a VRML file from SketchUp Pro, you have the following options:

  • Output Texture Maps: When you select this checkbox, SketchUp exports textures to the VRML file. When deselected, only colors are exported.

    Tip: If you publish VRML files online, make sure the VRML file references to the textures from their online location, not your local hard drive. Also, because VRML texture and materials names can’t contain spaces, SketchUp replaces spaces with an underscore. Be sure the file names in your VRML file and your texture images are consistent before you upload a VRML file to the Web.
  • Ignore Back of Face Material: When selected, the front material is applied to both the front and back of your model’s faces. SketchUp exports VRML files with double faces so that you can see the file from any viewpoint.
  • Output Edges: When you select this checkbox, SketchUp Pro exports displayed edges as VRML edge entities.
  • Use VRML Standard Orientation: When selected, your exported file conforms to the VRML standard, which impacts the orientation of your model’s ground plane. Whereas SketchUp considers the XY plane to be the ground plane, the VRML standard considers the XZ plane to be the ground plane.
  • Generate Cameras: Select this option to create a camera for the default view and any SketchUp scenes defined in your model. The current SketchUp view is exported with the name Default Camera. The other scenes are given the same scene name that appears in SketchUp.
  • Allow Mirrored Components: If you mirrored a component so it’s the opposite of the original, select this checkbox so that your mirrored component is exported to the VRML file.
  • Check for Material Overrides: Select this checkbox, and SketchUp Pro determines whether any faces, edges, or components contain references to the default material or default layer.
  1. Select File > Export > 3D Model. An export dialog box appears.
  2. Navigate to the location where you want to save your VRML file.
  3. In the Format drop-down list, select VRML File (*.wrl).
  4. (Optional) Rename your file in the Save As text box.
  5. (Optional) Click the Options button. The Export Options dialog box appears. Select your desired options, which are explained in the following list, and click OK to return to the export dialog box.
  6. Click Export and your VRML file is saved in the location you selected.

When you export a VRML file from SketchUp Pro, you have the following options:

  • Use VRML Standard Orientation: When selected, your exported file conforms to the VRML standard, which impacts the orientation of your model’s ground plane. Whereas SketchUp considers the XY plane to be the ground plane, the VRML standard considers the XZ plane to be the ground plane.
  • Allow Mirrored Components: If you mirrored a component so it’s the opposite of the original, select this checkbox so that your mirrored component is exported to the VRML file.
  • Output Edges: When you select this checkbox, SketchUp Pro exports displayed edges as VRML edge entities.
  • Ignore Back of Face Material: When selected, the front material is applied to both the front and back of your model’s faces. SketchUp exports VRML files with double faces so that you can see the file from any viewpoint.
  • Check for Material Overrides: Select this checkbox, and SketchUp Pro determines whether any faces, edges, or components contain references to the default material or default layer.
  • Output Texture Maps: When you select this checkbox, SketchUp exports textures to the VRML file. When deselected, only colors are exported.

    Tip: If you publish VRML files online, make sure the VRML file references to the textures from their online location, not your local hard drive. Also, because VRML texture and materials names can’t contain spaces, SketchUp replaces spaces with an underscore. Be sure the file names in your VRML file and your texture images are consistent before you upload a VRML file to the Web.
  • Generate Cameras: Select this option to create a camera for the default view and any SketchUp scenes defined in your model. The current SketchUp view is exported with the name Default Camera. The other scenes are given the same scene name that appears in SketchUp.
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