I blogged about my concern that Microsoft wasn’t supporting SketchUp files in trueSpace last week and I said I’d report back on what I learned.

As long as you have Google SketchUp Pro, the process is really easy. I opened a model in Google SketchUp Pro and exported as a 3ds Max file. But that was the least of my worries. First off, don’t be fooled by Microsoft owning trueSpace though. This product obviously has had zero input from the Microsoft team. The install program wants to install the thing at “C:trueSpace76”, not putting it in the logical Program Folders place. Second, how many file menus does a program need? Trying to just find a place to import the 3D Studio Max file was difficult. Eventually I realized I wanted the other File menu (the left file menu, not the right file menu).

FAIL

Once that was figured out and I was able to import the scene, the model came in perfectly. As far as I can tell it looks as good as it does in SketchUp Pro. That said, quickly I realized that trueSpace is not a simple program to work with. The reasons I choose SketchUp is that it is easy to get started with, easy to use and usually logical in how it handles operations. I never felt that way with trueSpace. I’m sure someone who is more experience with programs such as 3ds Max, Lightwave and others would feel more at home, but for someone who wants to quickly generate 3D models, I just don’t see trueSpace as being my choice. I suppose the workflow would be generate model in SketchUp, export to some intermediate file format and then import into trueSpace for placement in Virtual Earth.

If the user interface was at least somewhat usable, I might want to explore trueSpace more, but I didn’t even want to open the program back up to take another screenshot for fear of having to try and figure out which File Menu allows me to exit.

Here is the original model in Sketchup:

SketchUp

Model imported into trueSpace:

trueSpace

Now I suppose I should be fair, trueSpace does look like those who are really into 3D modeling will jump on its featureset. I do understand that Microsoft has been telling people that the two programs don’t “compete” against each other and I do see that is the case with my short visit to trueSpace. But for a casual modeler, this is just way too much hammer for my little nails.