C4D Quick Tip – Importing Models From Google Earth

C4D Quick Tip – Importing Models From Google Earth

For this quick tip we show you how to import Collada files into Cinema 4D – That itself would make a pretty short and boring tutorial so also show you where you can find a lot of Collada files, Google’s 3d Warehouse.  What you’ll find by clicking the 3D warehouse link is pretty much every model that you can find on Google Earth plus many other things that people have made and uploaded to the site.  These models are free and most are saved in two ways, as a google sketchup file (which is what most of these were made in) and also as a Collada (.dae) file – that’s what we’re after.

Most of the models that you will find are pretty low resolution – a lot are just simple cubes with satellite images mapped onto them, but if you look hard enough you can find some very incredible models. If you do download and use a model please remember to credit whoever made it.

One problem that you will find on a lot on the Google Earth models are transparency issues.  On some objects (for example, a steel girders on a bridge) when you import them into Cinema 4D do not show transparency through the girders like you would expect them to.  Most of these materials are saved as .png files with an alpha, so a solution is to just drag the color .png into the alpha channel in the material editor.  Doing this can take some time, especially on objects that have many different textures – But this is a pretty small price to pay on a free model.

If you have any unexpected problems, something that wasn’t made quite clear enough, or you just want to show off a cool model that you ran across in the 3d Warehouse – Just leave a comment below!

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