3ds Max 2011 out of the box imports .skp files

I've been meaning to say something about this, but keep assuming that everyone knows this.  3DS Max 2011 imports SketchUp (SU) files without needing any plug-ins or Connection Extension add ons.  This is most strategic for Autodesk, and I'm sure that Google is all flustered over this one.

So why is this so special?  Well, typically if you wanted to get your model from SU to 3ds Max, you would then have to have a SU Pro license to export your 3d model into either a .3ds or .obj file from SU.  But now that Max imports the .skp file straight up, this means that Max users can forgo the license for their SU software and use the free version.  Perhaps this will force Google to start charging for even the free version of SU.  But in the meantime, Autodesk has the match point.  So it will be interesting to see what happens in the future!


  1. why would you want to import a .skp file? Max is so much better at modeling forms to begin with. Now that being said, I do on occasion actually export max files into sketchup as .3DS files, so I can use the dimensioning and interesting line-sketch treatments of sketchup. Will Max save/export as a .skp file?

  2. You'd be surprised at how fast some models can be done in SketchUp, particularly architectural models. However, there are definitely objects that are easier/faster/better to model in Max. Max does not export to .skp....yet.

  3. Also, there are tons of free .skp files out there, good for previz anyway

  4. Hi Ramy!
    How do you fight constant constant revisions\updates in your su-->max workflow?
    Another thing: multi sub\object materials that connection extention produces. As a normal sketchuper I don't like them. How do you hide\unhide, apply uvw mapping to the material
    that is instanced in the myriad of MSO mats?
    Could you please enlight these questions or even
    make some post? Thanks in advance

  5. Hi Rami!
    1. How do you fight constant revisions\changes\updates in your su->max forkflow?
    2. How do you work with multi-subobject mats that connection extention produces?
    For example: I have some base material that instanced in the myriad of MSO mats. Is there way to say hide\unhide or apply uvw mapping with one click?

  6. Another workflow question: double sided materials. How can I make sure, in sketchup, that both sides of a face have material X applied to them so that when I bring it over to Max I don't have to deal with so many double sided material issues?

  7. I try to avoid creating single plane objects with different material on each side. I would actually model it as a box.

  8. Do you ever have issues with importing sketchup into 3dsmax. Maybe I have sloppy modelling techniques in sketchup. My models always seem to be quite tesselated. Oh and have you ever used vray for sketchup? If so, how do you handle multiple passes with that workflow?


  9. Dustin,
    check this post out:


    It will help you import your .skp files cleanly into Max.

  10. Hi Ramy,

    I`ve modeled a huge file in SU, and when I import it in 3ds max 2011, i get the camera really crazy. Is it a scale issue? (I`m using the metric system, cause i`m from Brazil).

    Other thing is modeling in SU. For example, i tend to group things up like the window frames with the glazing. I dont know if its because my file had a lot of materials applied in SU but i got a lot of multi-materials in 3ds.

    So, finally, my question is: is there a way of proper modeling in SU to feel like I modeled it in MAX?

    Fábio Knabben

  11. pls am using connection extension to import my models to 3ds max, but I dont know how to apply materials to my sketchup models and it come into 3ds max as a block which I dont know how to edit. PLEASE help me shade more light on this issue.