A Few Shadow Tips & Tricks

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In SketchUp, there are a few little tips and often "hidden gems" (even bugs or "nicer to say" unfavourable features) that we can exploit to our advantages. This is also the case with different shadow settings, SketchUp's incapability to display png transparency in shadows and a few others.

In this SketchUp tutorial, we are trying to demonstrate a few solutions with the Shadow tools and settings that are not as common as others and show a "fix" for an often misunderstood problem.

Window to Cut Hole on Thick Wall

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In an earlier tutorial this week, we demonstrated how to create a basic window (or in fact any component) that can cut a hole on a face. The drawback of a single component is that it can only cut a hole on a single face and walls for instance modelled with real world thickness, have two faces.

In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to create a component (more exactly a complex component) that can cut the holes on both the outer and inner faces of such a wall.

Face-me Billboard Component

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In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to create a Face-me Component in SketchUp. In other applications, these are often called "billboard" components. Their main feature is that they consist of a single face (although they can be more complex, too) but they always face the camera so we can use them as backdrops in our scenes without having to load high-poly 3D models. Usually they are used in the background however as from closer look, they may not look too convincing and it is often hard to take birds-eye-view shots where they reveal their thin appearance.

Window to Cut Opening on a Face

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In SketchUp, a component (or as a matter of fact, a group too) can be "glued" to a face and also cut an opening on it. This feature allows modellers to quickly place windows, doors etc. on the faces of a building and immediately make a virtual opening on it without having to physically "cut" that hole on the face. These components can be moved on this face without their cutting feature lost.

Unfortunately, a component can only have one gluing (cutting) plane so a simple component cannot cut only one face which means we need to apply workarounds for thick walls (described in another tutorial).

Edges Bleeding Through Geometry

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In SketchUp, when one does not model with accurate thickness of geometry, it is natural that edges touching faces will be visible "outside", too. But edges may "bleed through" even geometry modelled with proper thickness. Unfortunately, the reason is the underlying OpenGL rendering engine and apart from some workarounds, we cannot do too much about it.

If we understand the whole phenomenon, however, our workarounds can be tailored to our needs and the result can be as pleasing as anything else in ASketchUp.

Scripting a Christmas Card with Ruby

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Ruby, the scripting language that is built into SketchUp is a bit of a mystery for many SketchUp users. They know it is there and that plugins wouldn’t work without it but they don’t know what else they could do with it. As it turns out, Ruby can not only be used to write plugins but also to make beautiful designs – especially those types of designs that can’t be modeled using any other tool in SketchUp. A good example is geometry that is created using a mathematical formula.

How to model a Palm tree - Part 2

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how to model a palm tree in sketchup - the leaves

Now for the fun part! Modeling leaves in SketchUp is a straightforward task but when you add some plugins into the mix it is a very simple and quick process.

In this tutorial you will use transparent .png images to reduce modeling time.

This is the second part to the Modeling a Palm Tree tutorial

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Hans Wegner Chair - Part 2, The Legs

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If you followed the tutorial published in the latest CatchUp edition, here is part 2: how to model the legs of the Hans Wegner Chair in SketchUp.

Beside the basic SketchUp tools like PushPull, Intersect, Mirror or Paint, you will need Fredo's Joint PushPull plugin for this tutorial to follow. Download it from here and make special care to follow the installation instructions as this plugin consists of several files and subfolders.

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Halo around transparent png files

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In SketchUp, we always have to balance between performance and quality. We try to keep poly-count, image sizes low, use styles that are faster while modelling etc. This is also the case with image transparency. While modelling, try to use a style that is fast enough but when we want to export our final 2D output, of course, we want to have the nicest images possible. In SketchUp, you can notice that sometimes - when images with transparent areas are "stacked" in front of each other - there is a rather "ugly" halo around the images. This is due to some style setting however and can be overcome when we export images.

Design, Standard Heights and Dimensions

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When it comes to creating furniture, products or architectural designs etc. I think modeling with real world standard heights and dimensions or popular city design from around the world helps the integrity of the realism of the image. Knowing these things can save much time on making some decisions because the standards of say the "risers of stairs" are for good scientific reason so the dimensions to model by already exist; it's a matter of engineering to serve its purpose if realism is what you're after. Of coarse different cities have different codes but I find some standards to be pretty universal.


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