Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby EddyNL » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:42 pm

[INTRO]
Hello everyone,

After a long 6 year break from SketchUp I am happy to say: I'm back!
And boy, have I missed SketchUp.

I have been 3D modeling as a hobby on and off for the past 10 years. I started in SketchUp, modeling buildings in my city. These models were published on Google Earth. When Google killed off the user created buildings I paused modeling for a couple of years.

When Corona hit and I was forced to work from home I decided to start modeling again, this time trying my luck with Blender. Damn... Blender is a whole different ball game when coming from SketchUp.

[PROJECT INTRO]

Ok, so about the project I'm now working on.
Long story a bit shorter:

I read a book about the Dutch history of New York - back then New Amsterdam. (The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto)
The book contained a map from 1660, the so called Castello Plan, showing what the city looked like back then. I was fascinated by this map and wanted to model it straight away.

I started creating a base model in Blender and was looking for more maps and reference materials.
The search led me to a historical society based in New York. They had some great images and maps on their website. I contacted them and asked if I could use some of their materials for the model.
It turns out they were actually looking for someone to create a 3D model of 17th century New Amsterdam! They had a SketchUp 3D Google Earth model on their website about 10 years ago but technology caught up with it and it was no longer being used - so they were now looking to make a new model...

I immediately said yes, let's cooperate!

After messing around with Blender a bit I came to the conclusion it was not feasible for me to create an entire model from scratch. I asked the historical society if I could attain their original SketchUp model and base my work on that.

And there we go - reunited with my old love SketchUp!

I have to say it is a joy to work with SketchUp again, it is so easy to use compared to Blender.
Cutting holes in a mesh, push / pull, rotating, snapping and texturing. So, so good!


[PROJECT GOAL AND WAYS OF WORKING]

The goal of the project is to publish the 3D model of New Amsterdam on Sketchfab, a web viewer for 3D models.
Clickable annotations will be added to provide more info on the city and its inhabitants.


Software:
SketchUp
I'm using SketchUp to take the old model apart and optimize it wherever I can. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, working on a model that someone else made makes me itchy sometimes ;-)
When I see superfluous or incorrect geometry I need to fix it.
All the basic modeling such as creating new buildings and applying textures I do in SketchUp. Simply because it is the easiest and quickest. (compared to Blender)

Blender
I import the SketchUp model in Blender to do some more advanced operations like randomize placement of objects and adding animations. Blender is also used for simple texture painting, mainly to indicate the building outlines and the location of fences - as preparation for the ground texturing.

- Photoshop and / or Krita
Used for the creation of the ground texture

Sketchfab
The final step. Uploading the model from Blender to Sketchfab.
Sketchfab is used for lighting and shadows, color corrections and adding effects such as film grain, ambient occlusion or depth of field.

I've been working on this project for the past 4 months or so. It truly is a huge challenge.
Using both SketchUp and Blender has cost me blood, sweat, tears and a lot of cursing.
Stuff would randomly break down, importing / exporting errors, missing textures etc. etc.
When I found a workaround it could break at any moment forcing me to find a workaround for the broken workaround :roflmao:
So far it have been two steps forward, one step back. Eventually I will get there, it just takes time.


Enough talk! If you've made it this far, thank you.
Time for some project pictures.

Cheers,
Eddy
4
Last edited by EddyNL on Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
EddyNL 
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby Rich O Brien » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:08 pm

Big projects are great ways to learn more and get better!

Remodelling 1660 New York is a glorious project to be involved with!
2
User avatar
Rich O Brien 
Administrator
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby EddyNL » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:26 pm


Above; the original 1660 Castello Plan
Below; the current SketchUp model



The "construction yard".
This is where I keep all buildings as components. I place these randomly across the city to make it look a bit less uniform.



More constructions bits and pieces.
PNG people and animals, dormers, steps, shacks, vegetation and street furniture e.g. bags of wheat and barrels.



View of the current model in Sketchfab.
Experimenting with lighting, shadows and PNG people / trees.



Detail of the wall. The wall segments are randomized slightly in Blender.



Fort Amsterdam and two windmills. One was used to grind wheat, the other one as a sawmill.
4
User avatar
EddyNL 
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby Bryan K » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:55 am

Wow! An impressive project! :thumb:
4
User avatar
Bryan K 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby Mike Amos » Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:47 am

A huge project, I wish you luck with it mate. :thumb:
2

Mike Amos 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby HornOxx » Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:04 pm

:) NO! you don't return to SketchUp with "anything" - it has to be not less than New York at least! :)
Great to see you back - Great project!
4
never trust a skinny cook
User avatar
HornOxx 
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby L i am » Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:31 am

Hi Eddy........ the word "EPIC" is over used a lot. Not in this case though truely epic mate......good luck :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
3

L i am 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby EddyNL » Sat Jan 22, 2022 5:25 pm

Thanks all for the kind words, appreciated!

The last couple of days I've been trying to improve the potato resolution ground texture.
I decided to cut the ground mesh in 16 equal segments and create a unique texture for each of the segments.
Each texture is enlarged about 10x, the largest one now being around 8000px.



By increasing the size of the textures I'm hoping the ground textures will end up being less blurry and closer to the resolution of the buildings.

I had a graphic designer friend come over to teach me a thing or two on Photoshop, mainly on the Healing Brush tool. Below a very quick before / after test with some grass, stone and dirt road textures. Quite happy with the result so far.


1
User avatar
EddyNL 
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby Mike Amos » Sun Jan 23, 2022 1:27 pm

That works extremely well, nice one. :thumb:
1

Mike Amos 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby Bryan K » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:44 am

Wow! Big difference! Good job! :thumb:
0
User avatar
Bryan K 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

Re: Historical reconstruction of New York in 1660

Postby tuna1957 » Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:24 pm

Big choice for “getting back into SU” . Looking good so far. Look forward to progress reports. :thumb:
0

tuna1957 
Premium Member
Premium Member
 

SketchUcation One-Liner Adverts

by Ad Machine » 5 minutes ago



Ad Machine 
Robot
 



 

Return to WIP

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests