How to model a Palm tree - Part 1

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Model a Palm Tree n SketchUp

Making any type of vegetation in SketchUp is a challenge. Here we'll use some common techniques, plugins and tricks to make the process of modeling a Palm tree quick and easy.

This is aimed at any skill level and is the first in a 3 part series. You will learn how to make an irregular element, taper it and bend it to bring it to life.

 

Inner bevel with a bit of a trick

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inner-bevelThe Follow me tool is one of the most powerful, native tools in SketchUp. There are some little tricks that can make life much easier. Making an inner bevel on a cabinet door's face may seem to be problematic first. Where to place the profile? How to avoid problems, like having to temporarily hide faces?

This tutorial shows an easy "trick" we can use and, despite the warning of possible errors, everything works out just perfect!

Texturing a component vs. its faces inside

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component-face-materialsWe can certainly read a lot about what the basic difference between texturing a component or group "from outside" (its editing context) or by editing it and applying the materials directly to the faces. Here is a basic intro about the differences in the SketchUp Help Center.

This tutorial is not about these trivia but about a common mistake when sometimes even experienced users are stumped (especially with models made by others). The "symptom" usually is that people are trying to pull their hair because they simply cannot position the material and do not know why.

Aligning the Rotate and Protractor tools

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aligning-rotate-tool

For new users, it is often extremely frustrating that they cannot seem to align the Rotate or Protractor tools in any, arbitrary direction / angle. Below are some basic tips on how to do this easily. Some of what is written here can be applied for the Circle, Polygon or Rectangle tools as well.

To practice any of the methods below, best is to create a simple model which has some edges/faces that are not aligned to any of the world axes and major planes defined by them. Group your geometry first and pre-select it before starting the Rotate (or in other cases the Move) operation. Of course, for the Protractor tool, you need not pre-select anything.

Internal & External Components

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Internal and external components in SketchUp

It is a very often overlooked fact that in SketchUp, the program makes dif­fer­ence between internal components (that you create "on the fly" while making a model) and external components (that you import either from the 3D Warehouse or your hard drive or internal components that you reload with any other component on your hard drive).

True that during a "normal" (or rather "average") workflow, most users do not realize these differences but sometimes they can either cause surpris­es and serious issues or - if you are aware of them - you can turn these differences to your advantage.

How to install Plugins in SketchUp

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installing sketchup plugins

In this guide you will find every possible method for installing plugins in SketchUp and what you need to make it as trouble free as possible.

If you are new to Sketchup and you have just begun to explore to vast world of plugins then this is the ideal introduction.

This tutorial is aimed at Beginner SketchUp Users who are familiar with using various archiving apps and digging about their computers innards.

How to model a Teardrop Lamp in SketchUp

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modeling a teardrop lamp

If you struggle with making complicated models like this TearDrop Lamp then this 4 minute screencast is just what you need.

You will learn how to apply several common techniques in SketchUp along with using various plugins to speed up the modeling process.

This tutorial is aimed at Intermediate SketchUp Users who are familiar with array modifiers, scaling handles and component instances. Along with installing SketchUp plugins and extensions.

Adding Ivy in PhotoShop

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adding ivy in photoshop

Using image editors like PhotoShop or GIMP to add elements can dramatically reduce render times and help to keep your SketchUp scenes more navigable.

In this tutorial you will learn how a masked image can quickly add an extra dimension to your SketchUp renders.

This method requires you to be familiar with PhotoShop or GIMP and be able to apply masks and perform various brightness corrections.

Texturing an Arch #2

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archIn this tutorial, we shall go through setp-by-step, how to distort a material to follow a curve. The example will be an arch but it can of course be anything. In this tutorial, we use two plugins (note that both need some additional plugin libraries installed):

ThomThom's UV Toolkit 2

and Freo6's FredoScale.

How to make a spiral stair

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Spiral 1

Today you will learn how to make a spiralling stairs when you have no CAD files only an image. In this image you can see that we have key dimensions to work from like the stairs width and the inner and outer radii.

This method uses no plugins and requires only a basic understanding of SketchUp. So regardless of your user level you are sure to find some useful tips in this tutorial.

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