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Alternative to sketchup for Linux

 
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I really like the idea of grabbing google earth data and building a 3D map of it but have left the empire and joined the rebel cause (open source) and sketchup for linux doesn't look like it will happen any time soon. Anyone know of a good alternative to sketchup for Linux?
 
gardener
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If you still have the Windows key from your old install, you can use this guide to get SketchUp running with all the Google Earth and 3D Warehouse tie-ins, unlike emulating it with Wine.
 
pollinator
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Blender? Just saying, haven't tried it.
http://www.blender.org/

Some Google search strings to look up:
blender google earth
sketchup vs. blender

Importing Sketchup *kmz into Blender: http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/blender/import-google-sketchup-kmz-models.php

Hope that helps a bit.
 
Jason Nicoll
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Thanks guys. I tried both the sketch up in virtual box and blender with mixed success.

Bill, the guide was great and with some tinkering (and some swearing), I managed to get virtual box running a vista vm, but ran into problems with google earth and my gpu's open gl drivers. For now I think I am beat until I get a new gpu, but I am pleased to finally be able to get a vm running.

Crt Jakhel, I tried blender 2.6.2 but can't get it to import kml or kmz. The method of renaming the kmz file to zip file and then extracting the dae doesn't seem to work as the zip folder only has a kml file in it now. Also, it seems Blender no longer ships with a collada plug in for importing dae files. I did some sniffing around the net to find any info on workarounds or updates or scripts or plug-ins but so far, no cigar. Any suggestions?

Cheers
 
Crt Jakhel
pollinator
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It looks like one path would be to install an older version of Blender just for the purpose of importing, according to this:
http://blenderunderground.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5171

(and then saving in native format and reloading it in a new version to continue work)

... But again I'm just echoing Google since I haven't tried any of this myself (it's just that IT is my home turf and I like to try and help if possible).

What bugs me is that I don't seem to be able to find any mention of this after the year 2011, suggesting that either people have given up on this problem entirely or the solution has become trivial and obvious. From the little I've seen so far neither seems very likely.

UPDATE: using Blender 2.66a I was able to open this Sketchup model: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=6adbb97cb78b2b8e153050c10dfa4b4d&ct=hppm using the technique of downloading it (as Google Earth 4 kmz), extracting it as if it were a ZIP file and then loading the model.dae (in the models folder that appeared during extraction) with File / Import / dae (default).
 
Jason Nicoll
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thanks crt,

I'll try out 2.66a but I think the dae file only applies to models that are within google earth and not for grabbing the profile of land as per this demonstration within sketchup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4J9sWEZR6E
Every time I try and grab land and convert the kmz to zip, I get a folder with a single kml file and no folder with a dae file in it. I fear that google is only exporting the line drawing and not the land profile, but I can't check as blender doesn't seem to be able to import kml or kmz. It might be that the land profile grabbing feature is unique to sketchup.
 
Ben Plummer
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Sorry that didn't work out for you, been a good workaround for me.

Wouldn't happen to be using a laptop with a nVidia video card? I have to use Bumblebee to launch applications using that video instead of the integrated Intel gpu.
 
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