This is a free opensource Loop subdivision plugin for Google Sketchup. Loop subdivision smooths hard edges to give a more rounded organic looking shape. This plugin has not been tested extensively, so please save any important Sketchup models before using this plugin on them.
Installation instructions using the RBZ format - Sketchup 2015, 2013, Make & version 8.2 and up:
Sketchup introduced an easier way to install plugins. Download the RBZ version of the plugin (loop_subdiv.rbz) to your harddrive - it is a zipped file but don't extract it. Then in Sketchup click on the install extensions button. It's found under Preferences > Extensions > Install Extension. Clicking this button will bring up a file browser window where you can can selectl loop_subdiv.rbz from your hard drive, and SketchUp will then install it for you.
Alternative installation instructions for Sketchup 2015 - using plain ruby file
If using the above method does not work, this is an alternative method which will work on Sketchup 2015. To install the plugin you need to download the file above (loop-subdiv.rb) to your Sketchup ShippedExtensions folder.
- On a Windows PC. If you have installed Sketchup on the C: drive then this folder will be at C:\program files\Sketchup\Sketchup 2015\ShippedExtensions.
- On Mac OSX. The sketchup plugins folder is something like /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 2015/SketchUp/Plugins
Alternative installation instructions for Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup Make (Sketchup 2013) - using plain ruby file
This is an alternative method which will work on versions including Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup Make (Sketchup 2013).. To install the plugin you need to download the file above (loop-subdiv.rb) to your Sketchup plugins folder.
Location of the Sketchup plugins folder, [VERSION] stands for the version number of Sketchup (6, 7, 8 or 2013).
- On a Windows PC. If you have installed Sketchup on the C: drive then this folder will be at C:\program files\google\google sketchup [VERSION]\plugins.
- On Mac OSX. The sketchup plugins folder is /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp [VERSION]/SketchUp/Plugins
Using the loop subdivision plugin:
- First install the plugin (see above for methods)
- Re-start Sketchup, there should now be an extra option "Loop subdivide smooth" in the tools menu
- To use the plugin select your model and click "Loop subdivide smooth" in the tools menu.
- A box will appear asking how many times you want to repeat the subdivision (1,2,3 or 4 times). More repeats gives a smoother model, but also takes longer, so try 1 or 2 first.
- You can choose whether the subdivided object has softened and smoothed edges.
- If you have a large model (with lots of faces) the smoothing will take a long time so be prepared to wait!
The smoothed model is added to a new layer(called Loop_subdiv_XXXX)
- The original selection is deleted (but you can Undo the operation to get it back)
For the technical details see the Hoppes and co-workers paper: Piecewise Smooth Surface Reconstruction . This paper also describes how to do partial subdivision, using crease edges and darts, which are not yet implemented in this plugin.
You could also try exporting your Sketchup model to the Blender or Meshlab programs, which have lots of subdivision features.
Please feedback or leave comments about problems or suggestions for the plugin. This plugin is opensource, so I welcome any improvements in the code.
There are known issues with non-manifold meshes where adjacent faces do not share edges (try smoothing a captial E), I am looking for solutions. Also when smoothing components the face materials are lost in the smoothed object.