A 3D model of a gCADPlus landscape design can be built quickly in SketchUp Make by exporting a graphic from gCADPlus. The graphic can then be imported it to SketchUp where it can be scaled image and used to place SketchUp entities. The 3D model can then be built by extruding 2D shapes drawn on top of the image file. Here we detail the steps to take in order to get a suitable image file from gCADPlus.

Export graphic  This movie shows how to export a JPG file from gCADPlus. The File > Import function in SketchUp make is then used to place the graphic ready for use as a base to begin creating the model.

Tools Export

Here is a short summary of the gCADPlus steps shown in the movie.

Step 1: inside gCADPlus

Use the SmartLable tool place a code to indicate species used. Generate a plant schedule.

Include one long dimension. This will be needed to scale the image file in SketchUp.

Prelim export

Switch from model space to layout space.

Turn off the layer holding plant symbols, leaving just a text code to indicate species.

Using Tools> Export Raster, generate a jpg file - from layout with LWT ON. Adjust resolution such that resolution is approximately 300 dpi (max is 10000 pixels).

Step 2 - inside SketchUp

Now switch to SketchUp Make and to a new file. If you have not adjusted your template, make sure that units are set appropriately.

Use the layers option is and make a new layer layer (L-IMAGE) for the incoming image file. 

To do this, use File > Import and set the import mask to JPG.

As shown in the movie, use the measure tool to scale the image basing your scale factor on the measure dimension in the image file.

Rules to follow when using SketchUp

  1. Save work frequently - just like you do when using gCADPlus. Unfortunately there is no incremental backup tool in SketchUp.
  2. Layer 0 should always be active when modelling.
  3. Draw one part (component) at a time.
  4. As soon as a part component takes on a 3D shape, make it a component. [The stickiness of SketchUp is a stumbling block. As soon as two elements touch one another, they meld. So make parts into a component as soon as possible.]
  5. As soon as a component is created, name it and move to the layer where it will reside.


gCADPlus image to SketchUp