SketchUp to CryEngine

This is a step by step workflow for getting a model from sketchup to cryengine.

  • Follow the instructions below.




1. Open Sketchup


2. Create a model

Here I’ve made a simple box.
For your first go at this, try to keep your model fairly simple, while you get your head around the process.

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3. Make the box a Component

Each “piece” or part of the model that you’d like to be separate needs to be a component.
eg; A door and a wall would each be separate components.

  • Select the whole box
  • Either right click and select “Make Component” or press “G” on the keyboard.

A component is a uniquely named group of your sketchup model.
A component can be copied/duplicated in the model, and any change made to the component updates all the other instances (copies/duplicates) of that component.

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4. Setup PlayupTools

In the sketchup menu, go to Plugins ->Playup Tools -> Preferences
On the “Current Engine” tab, select “Crytek CRYENGINE 3”

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Now select the “CryENGINE 3” tab:

Image 167


  • Click the “BROWSE” buttons to set the both the “Model Export Path” AND “RC Path
  • You’ll need to navigate to the correct locations to set it up properly
  • Set the “Model Export Path” to be a sub folder of “C:\Program Files\CryEngine\GameSDK\Levels\“, you’ll need to create a new folder in there, and call it something significant with “_SU” on the end eg; “NewFolder_SU”
  • Set the “RC Path” to “C:\Program Files\CryEngine\Bin32\rc\rc.exe

Even if it looks set up, it may not be, so make sure you set these paths each time you open sketchup (for each new sketchup window also)

Click the “Save and exit” button when it’s set up. (The playup window sometimes likes to stay visible, just ignore it)


5. Export Layer/Level

Right click on your model and select “Playup -> Export Level…”
Read the prompts (Ok/cancel boxes) that come up and select ok on them all.
The computer will take longer to export/compile the model the more complex it is and the more textures that are in your model.
Little black windows will open on screen for each component in your model/level/layer
After it’s done exporting a window like this will open, read it and click ok.

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6. Open CryEngine


7. Create a account and login

After the CryEngine editor login window loads up (it can take a while sometimes),

Read and Accept the terms, fill out the form, then use the account info to login to the cryengine 3 sandbox editor.

8. Create a New Level

After CryEngine loads up, click on “New Level”

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Name it something significant but put a “_CRY” at the end so we know it’s the cryengine level project folder (eg; “NewLevel_CRY)

Click OK

CryEngine will then ask you to “Select Project”, don’t really need to worry about this, so just leave it on none and click OK

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CryEngine will then ask to “Generate surface texture”, click ok.

CryEngine will load up the new level, you should get a big wide ocean like this:

Image 179


9. Import Sketchup Layer/Level

Now you’ve created a new level in CryEngine, you can import your sketchup model.

On the “Rollup Bar” (toolbar on the right) open the last tab (layers tab) and click on the “Import Layer” folder icon

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Navigate to where you setup your “Export model path” for PlayupTools (back in step 4)

Double click on the .lyr file

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10. Find and Move the imported geometry (Sketchup Model)

You probably will not see any change in the level, because the layer you’ve just imported is positioned at 0,0,0, which is under water.
That’s OK, just open the “Select Objects” view pane under “View -> Open View Pane -> Select Objects” in the menu (up the top right of the window)

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Double click on your model (mine is named the same as my component name in sketchup “Component1” )

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Now look around and find your model.

In CryEngine you need to hold down the right click and move the mouse to look around.

Use the middle click to pan, and the “w, a, s and d” keys to move around in space (this is standard in-game movement too)

You should see your model indicated by an icon and/or the red, green and blue axes co-ordinators associated with the models origin:

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The model is probably ages away, so click on the “Goto selected object” button on the toolbar:

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You might end up under water, at the model axes origin:

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Pan up (middle click and drag) until you’re out of the water and zoom out (scroll wheel back) so you can see the model axes,

depending on the size of your box you made in sketchup, it may still be under water, so move it up (press the 1 key to change the axes to move mode and drag the blue arrow up)

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Sweet, you’ve imported some geometry from Sketchup.


11. Inhabit Digital Space

Position yourself over the box and press “Control + g” to go into game mode.

You should be able to walk and look around with the “w, a, s and d” keys and the mouse.

The guns and HUD (Heads up Display, graphics and information on the screen) are all on by default, we’ll go over how to turn that off later.

Press “Escape” to get back into editor mode.


12. Apply Materials

Select the model again.

Press “m” for the material editor and press the little “Refresh” icon in the top left:

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Navigate to where your materials are, it should be under “Levels” somewhere,

select the whole material (not a sub material) and click on the “Apply to Selected Objects” button in the Material editor:

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I only used the default material in Sketchup for my box, so it just makes it white.


13. Update the Geometry

Go back into sketchup,

Double click on the box component to enable editing of it,

Change it, make more geometry, add something, try to make it more detailed etc,

I ended up with this (you can see the original box in blue by the axes):

Image 189



14. Export the selected geometry

Now still in sketchup, click outside the component to disable editing of it (go up a level)

Right click on the component and select “Playup -> Export Selected Geometry…”

Click OK on all the dialogs that come up until it says it successfully exported it.

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15. Reload geometry

Go back to CryEngine, sweet, the model should look updated:

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To be able to walk on the updated model, on the CryEngine menu you’ll need to select “Tools -> Reload Geometry”

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16. Change the Materials

You can update the materials in Sketchup too (paint different faces with new materials etc):

Just do step 13 and paint materials,

then step 14, make sure when the dialog that asks “Overwrite Master Material File?” click “Yes”

then step 12 (you’ll need to click the “refresh” icon in the CryEngine Material Editor to get the updated Sketchup materials)

Last modified: March 17, 2014