The Pro version of Finale 3D imports models in the Sketchup model format, which have the filename extension “skp”.
If you want to use a free, publicly available model, there are more than a million models in this format of buildings, bridges, and other fireworks venues all around the world, freely available for you to download and use from the site, https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/ You can download and add models to your Finale 3D scene following these steps:
- From the web page https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/ search for a model of a specific structure (e.g., typing “golden gate bridge” into the search box) or search for a generic structure (typing “barge”). Click on the thumbnail image of the model that looks best to view details about it.
- In the details panel, look at the number of polygons in the model. Finale 3D can import models of up to 100,000 polygons, but as a general rule you should look for a model with 10,000 polygons or so. If it is a very simple model, as low as 500 polygons might be okay. If it is complex, 50,000 polygons is no problem. But if the model has a only one or two polygons, that’s a clue it is not a real 3D model. If it has more than 100,000 polygons, that’s a clue it may be too complex for real time simulation.
- After finding a model with the right level of complexity, select “Download 2018 format” to download the model to your computer.
- From Finale 3D, choose the menu item “Scenery > Models > Add model”, and select the Sketchup model that you downloaded to your computer.
- That’s it!
If you want to use your own model, saved in a different format, then you will need to convert your model to the “skp” format. Some modelling applications can save in this file format directly, in which case simply save the model in the “skp” format and that’s all there is to it. If your modelling application does not save in the “skp” format, or if you don’t have access to a modelling application, then you’ll need to download and use the Sketchup modeller itself to import your model from its native format and to save it in the “skp” format.
At the time of this writing, the free version of Sketchup does not include the capability of importing from other model formats, so you will need to buy or rent one of the paid versions of Sketchup. The web-based Shop version, available from https://www.sketchup.com/buy/pricing costs $119 per year. The web-based Shop version of Sketchup can import files in these formats: 3DS, DAE, DWG, DXF, STL, KMZ.
Once you’ve downloaded and launched the Sketchup modeller, import your model and make any required changes. If the original model has millions of polygons or tens of megabytes of textures, you may need to edit the model to reduce its complexity. Then download the model in the “skp” format. If you are using the web-based Shop version of Sketchup, you can download the “skp” version of your model following these steps:
- From the Sketchup web-based application, choose the “Save as” menu item and select “Download.”
- In the format dialog, choose “2018 SKP.”